Ok, I've decided to go try maybe the 70-40MM f/4 lens I posted about earlier.
I'm supposed to meet him and examine the lens tomorrow (Sunday) and if it looks good....buy it for $500.
As you might guess...I'm a 100% noob. I got my first DSLR (5D3) last month.
I've never bought a used lens before...so, what should I look for when examining the lens? What kinds of questions should I ask? As I understand it..this person bought the lens from someone else, so it is at least a 3rd party buy here.
I'm guessing to look carefully at the rear element for scratches? How much is too much? Front lens?
I'm bringing my camera to hook it up..and see how it works, but as a noob, aside from taking some shots to see if AF works....what else should I look for? I'm meeting in a public place....I figure smart for a high dollar item and cash transaction....etc.
Anyway...thoughts on buying a used lens from someone in person?
Thanks in advance, I truly appreciate all the input and advice I've gotten here so far...
Canon stuff is generally bullet proof until you start doing physical damage to it, except for their micro motor USMs on older lenses (does not apply to the lens you're looking at).
Pretty much the only thing to worry about is physical damage. Check it for physical damage, especially bumps and dings, if that's good then check the glass. If that's good then all you have to worry about is the AF. Get a tripod, mount the lens on a tripod and then have it focus on a brick wall, wait until it locks focus and beeps if you have beep enabled then go into live view and zoom in and then adjust the manual focus ring to see if it's in focus, if you can get it any sharper the lens has focus issues, if not it's good. Do this at various focal lengths. Make sure to switch out of live view when focusing because the camera uses a different system to focus in live view where it just tries to guess and check the focus instead of phase detection.
If the AF and physical condition are good you should have no issues even with a lens 10 years old.
Hope that helps.