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Author Topic: Used gear  (Read 2333 times)

purry

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Used gear
« on: October 08, 2013, 03:39:58 PM »
Can used lenses be trusted? where are the best places to get used gear?

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Used gear
« on: October 08, 2013, 03:39:58 PM »

neuroanatomist

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2013, 03:45:36 PM »
Generally, yes.  Lenses are pretty durable, particularly Canon's L-series lenses.  I'd recommend buying from a known vendor with a return policy, like B&H or Adorama's used departments, keh.com, LensRentals' new storefront (don't recall the site), or from Craigslist via in-person sale where you can test the lens yourself.  I have bought many lenses from CL sellers, all have been fine (most of them I subsequently sold - buying cheap and reselling for no loss is my way of 'renting' a lens for a free extended trial). 
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1kind

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2013, 03:51:22 PM »
I've bought used lenses from forum members on Photography On The Net and Fred Miranda. Sellers provide condition and pictures of the item. They all have feedbacks as well. If you're afraid, go with the route that neuro has suggested but don't expect to get a deal.

neuroanatomist

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2013, 04:03:03 PM »
If you're afraid, go with the route that neuro has suggested but don't expect to get a deal.

True in regard to B&H, Keh, etc.  But I only buy lenses on CL for 70% of new price or less, and in some cases I've paid 50% of new for a pristine lens (my MP-E 65mm, for example).
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brad-man

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2013, 04:52:54 PM »
Another good option is buying Canon refurbished lenses during their 15-20% off sales (there's one now). I just ordered an EF70-300L from them for $1087 thanks to all the gushing comments posted here. $1155 ain't half bad for the 100-400L either. I paid a little more than that for my used copy I have now. My lens is sharp as a tack, so no regrets.  If they didn't charge state sales tax it would be a steal.

Halfrack

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2013, 05:27:41 PM »
... LensRentals' new storefront (don't recall the site)..

http://www.lensauthority.com/ - they'll be flushing out a lot in the next 2 months as summer winds down, and they did a Black Friday sale last year.  Lots of info and trust their ratings as they're a step or two under-rated just to make sure you aren't disappointed.  They've taken more than $10k from me so far, and I have zero complaints.
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wsheldon

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2013, 05:44:32 PM »
I've bought used lenses from forum members on Photography On The Net and Fred Miranda. Sellers provide condition and pictures of the item. They all have feedbacks as well. If you're afraid, go with the route that neuro has suggested but don't expect to get a deal.

I agree on both counts. I have bought and sold several lenses on Fred Miranda, and have found that the members police those buy/sell boards very well and take the feedback feature seriously. If someone has a bad experience with a seller the reaction is fierce and immediate, so if a seller provides photos, lens history and has good feedback I'm quite confident dealing with them. Prices are also very competitive because the buy/sell volume is very high and comparables are easy to find with a quick forum search, so they are well below used prices at B&H and KEH. It's my first stop for any used gear.

The only word of warning is that many sellers on FM try to skirt PayPal rules and fees by asking for payment as a "gift" rather than "purchase", which removes the PP buyer protections. If they are offering a fair price but won't cover the fees I usually just pay them myself as a little insurance, but it's a nuisance that has become standard practice.

Regarding CL, I think that depends a lot on where you live since most transactions are carried out in person. In my area there is typically very little quality DSLR gear on CL, but if you live near a major metropolitan area you may have better luck.
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Re: Used gear
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2013, 05:44:32 PM »

duydaniel

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 06:24:53 PM »
consider refurbished too

Canon1

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 07:24:37 PM »
I have purchased more used lenses over the years then new lenses.  The great part about buying used is that you can often sell it for exactly the same price.  I would never buy a lens that looks beat up.  Generally for only a small percentage more you van get one in very good condition.   I look for physical condition, fungus and element condition.  As far as where to purchase?... do your homework and make sure you get it from a real person.  A phone conversation or email exchange can go a long way to verify that you are getting what  you expect.  I don't know if I will ever buy another new lens. 

VanWeddings

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 07:36:11 PM »
CL is the best method I've found. just test it in person and I've never had a problem. the prices also tend to be the best.

I've bought some vintage lenses from ebay too. only once did the lens have a slight dent in the filter threads, but returning it was almost as much as the lens so I just bought another one.

PhotographAdventure

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2013, 07:53:36 PM »
I've purchased used lenses from B&H, LensRentals, and Canon's refurb site.  Seems most of my current lenses were bought new though.

jdramirez

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2013, 09:20:48 PM »
Can used lenses be trusted? where are the best places to get used gear?

Yes and no.  Depends on the source.  Adorama and B&H offer a 3 month warranty on used gear.  I bought a 430 exii from bandh and it was pretty beat up, but in perfectly fine working condition.  I kept it for about a year or 18 months and I was more than happy with it. 

I have gotten a few things from canon directly through their refurb program... all of them are either new or so close to new it is hard to tell that it isn't (though there was a small piece of lint in the felt).  They can be a pain because they will cancel your order and not tell you, but that doesn't happen all the time... just more than any of us would like. 

I have also picked up a few things from craig's list.  I usually check auto focus, listen to the motor to make sure there isn't any sand or grinding.  look at both exterior elements for scratches, look for interior dust... but more often than not, people are like me, just selling stuff they don't want/use anymore... and more often than not, are looking to upgrade. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

jdramirez

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2013, 09:34:19 PM »


Regarding CL, I think that depends a lot on where you live since most transactions are carried out in person. In my area there is typically very little quality DSLR gear on CL, but if you live near a major metropolitan area you may have better luck.

I mostly agree.  But in the past year or so I have sold 100mm f2.8L's... 70-200mm f2.8L USM, 70-200mm f/4L USM, a 24-105mm f/4L, and then some entry level gear like a t3i, t4i, 60d, 55-250, 70-300mm, and a 75-300mm. 

And I have seen other people selling a 70-200mm f/2.8L usm, a 5d mkii, a 580 exii, a 50D, a 430 exii, a t1i, a 60mm macro, a 17-55mm, a 70-200mm f/2.8L IS mkii, and some other stuff that doesn't immediately come to mind. 

And I live in Central PA... which I would not consider to be a big city area. 
Upgrade  path.->means the former was sold for the latter.

XS->60D->5d Mkiii:18-55->24-105L:75-300->55-250->70-300->70-200 f4L USM->70-200 f/2.8L USM->70-200 f/2.8L IS Mkii:50 f/1.8->50 f/1.4->100 f/2.8L->85mm f/1.8 USM->135L -> 8mm ->100L

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2013, 09:34:19 PM »

johnf3f

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2013, 07:27:52 PM »
If you are careful then E Bay can be a good source of lenses - always insist on personal pickup!

I purchased an early Canon 400mm F2.8 L, a Canon 300mm F2.8 L IS (Mk1) and a Canon 800mm F5.6 L IS for nearly 600GBP less than a new Canon 800!
All work perfectly and were in better condition than described.

ckwaller

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2013, 03:04:41 PM »
Another good option is buying Canon refurbished lenses during their 15-20% off sales (there's one now). I just ordered an EF70-300L from them for $1087 thanks to all the gushing comments posted here. $1155 ain't half bad for the 100-400L either. I paid a little more than that for my used copy I have now. My lens is sharp as a tack, so no regrets.  If they didn't charge state sales tax it would be a steal.

QFT. About two weeks ago when Canon Refurbished was running a $100-off deal, I snatched up a 17-40 f/4L for $571 (normally $671), pre-tax/shipping. It arrived quickly, with a soft case and lens hood. So far, the quality of the lens has been amazing, and I honestly cannot tell that the lens is used-- it looks brand new, not a single dent or ding.

If you're really concerned, as Brad-man said, consider waiting for Canon Refurbished to have a sale, then seize the opportunity.

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Re: Used gear
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2013, 03:04:41 PM »