August 30, 2014, 04:43:40 PM

Author Topic: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?  (Read 1892 times)

ScottyP

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 534
    • View Profile
Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« on: March 23, 2012, 01:18:43 AM »
I want a lens and I wonder if anyone has any advice/cautions in using Craigslist???   What to avoid?  What to seek out? 
Canon 6D; Canon Lenses: EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF 85 f/1.8; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8; Canon 1.4x Mk. III T.C.; Sigma Lens: 35mm f/1.4 "Art"

canon rumors FORUM

Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« on: March 23, 2012, 01:18:43 AM »

chrisdeckard

  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 45
    • View Profile
    • Velvet Lotus Photography
Re: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2012, 01:42:06 AM »
I bought a Canon 85 f/1.8 prime from someone on craigslist.  A lot of it you can tell just from the ad.  If you have a bad vibe, don't pursue it.  Make sure you talk by phone and find out why they are selling it, how long they had it, what they used it for.  Agree to meet in a public place with a reasonable number of people, but also where you can test the lens.  Bring YOUR camera body and try it out.  Look it over.  If it's to your liking decide to buy or not.

I've also sold a Canon 24-105 f/4 L on craigslist and that transaction went very well, and no complaints from the buyer.
5D Mark III, 7D, 60D, 70-200 f/2.8 L IS, 24-70 f/2.8, 100 f/2.8 L Macro, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.8, 17-40 f/4 L, TS-E 45 f/2.8

Mt Spokane Photography

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 8460
    • View Profile
Re: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2012, 02:09:55 PM »
I often make a decision based on the person selling it, but I was fooled once by a seller who did not know there was a issue with his 50mm f/1.4.  It was fine except at close distances where the AF jammed. I had noticed it while I tested it on my camera, but thought it might be just me and wrong settings.
 
Fortunately, the price I paid included a assumption on my part that a trip to Canon might be required.  Their flat fee ($85) at the time got it fixed nicely and it was a great lens for less than the price of new.  Unfortunately, I needed a good lens, and bought a new one for a shoot.  Then I later sold the repaired used one and broke even.
 
There was a second time with a very old Nikon, but overall, I have bought meny high end Canon "L" lenses with no issues, well over a hundred deals over the years.  I have some search software looking for them over a 300 mile range.

ScottyP

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 534
    • View Profile
Re: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2012, 06:39:43 PM »
I have bought meny high end Canon "L" lenses with no issues, well over a hundred deals over the years.  I have some search software looking for them over a 300 mile range.

Wow.  That is an astonishing number.  If you have done it 100+ times and your only negative is that one about the 50mm, then that says a lot.  Thanks.
Canon 6D; Canon Lenses: EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF 85 f/1.8; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8; Canon 1.4x Mk. III T.C.; Sigma Lens: 35mm f/1.4 "Art"

AJ

  • 7D
  • *****
  • Posts: 409
    • View Profile
Re: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2012, 07:00:17 PM »
Ask for a box or original receipt.  If the seller can produce this, then chances are the goods aren't stolen.

Test the camera or body as best as you can.  Flip all the switches, push all the buttons, and so on.

So far I've had good luck selling and buying used gear, knock on wood.

Mt Spokane Photography

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 8460
    • View Profile
Re: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2012, 07:21:54 PM »
I have bought meny high end Canon "L" lenses with no issues, well over a hundred deals over the years.  I have some search software looking for them over a 300 mile range.

Wow.  That is an astonishing number.  If you have done it 100+ times and your only negative is that one about the 50mm, then that says a lot.  Thanks.

If the price is right, I buy them and play with them to determine how I like them, and to see if they are better than what I have.  Several times, i've bought a entire photographers setup with multiple L lenses, flashes, tc,'s and so on.
 
I've had five 24-70mm L's (one new), and never thought any of them were worth keeping.  I bought out a photographer last week, he had a old 70-200mm non IS that was barely used.  It is very sharp, only bested by the mark II IS version, but I paid $350 for it, and he had the original B&H invoice, box, etc.  I think he only used it a half dozen times.
 
When there is a legit deal, you have to be fast.  Scams outnumber good deals 50:1, but they are usually very obvious, and often a search for the same title often a google search brings up the same listing around the country.

ScottyP

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 534
    • View Profile
Re: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2012, 07:35:21 PM »
I have bought meny high end Canon "L" lenses with no issues, well over a hundred deals over the years.  I have some search software looking for them over a 300 mile range.

Wow.  That is an astonishing number.  If you have done it 100+ times and your only negative is that one about the 50mm, then that says a lot.  Thanks.
Funny you mention this.  I found a listing in my area where some guy was selling 6 good Canon cameras, each one with a different good lens and even TC's and stuff.  I guess he must have done what you describe and bought out everything a photographer (or two) owned.

The search software you speak of; is that something you created yourself, or is it available on the internet or anything?
Canon 6D; Canon Lenses: EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF 85 f/1.8; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8; Canon 1.4x Mk. III T.C.; Sigma Lens: 35mm f/1.4 "Art"

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2012, 07:35:21 PM »

neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 13975
    • View Profile
Re: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2012, 09:16:00 PM »
I've bought and sold on CL with no issues. As advised above, talk to the seller by phone first, if it smells wrong then pass.  Meet in a public location in the daytime (hard to test a lens at night), bring your own camera.  Test everything you can easily test. Sharpness is a hard one, since you may not want to bring a laptop and reviewing images on the LCD makes judging sharpness moot. But, shoot a blue sky or white wall to look check for decentering (vignetting should be symmetrical), test AF at close and far distances (slight misfocusing can be corrected by AFMA if your camera has it), test IS if the lens has it (slow shutter speed, shoot with IS on then off), check for smoothness of focus and zoom rings, if possible bring the correct size filter to make sure the threads are not distorted (common after a lens is dropped).

Personally, I pay no more than 70% of the current price of a new lens when buying on CL.  That usually means I can re-sell the lens if I don't like it (which I've done many times, and overall I've made a profit on that). 

If you see a good deal, move fast - a few times, I've found lenses for ~50% of new.  Don't be afraid to counter offer, especially if you've seen the same ad listed for some time.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

ScottyP

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 534
    • View Profile
Re: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2012, 09:49:00 PM »
I've bought and sold on CL with no issues. As advised above, talk to the seller by phone first, if it smells wrong then pass.  Meet in a public location in the daytime (hard to test a lens at night), bring your own camera.  Test everything you can easily test.

Good advice.  I was looking at a 70-200 f2.8 II described as "barely used, only a few months old, but something came up and I need money.....".  Price was very nice, but the neighborhood is definitely one of the ones in our area that would give you pause.  I was actually thinking about meeting at the local police station if I do call him.  Walking into a strange area, carrying a fair amount of cash, meeting someone you don't know... 
Canon 6D; Canon Lenses: EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II; EF 24-105 f/4 L; EF 85 f/1.8; EF-S 17-55 f/2.8; Canon 1.4x Mk. III T.C.; Sigma Lens: 35mm f/1.4 "Art"

canon rumors FORUM

Re: Craigslist lenses: Anything to watch for?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2012, 09:49:00 PM »