September 22, 2014, 08:20:22 PM

Author Topic: When does the age of a pro lens influence the price? or does it?  (Read 2768 times)

danski0224

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 531
    • View Profile
    • Some of my Work in Progress
I recently saw a 400 f2.8 for sale, but it had a UN06 date code, which is a 6/1999 manufacture date. The price was in line with much newer lenses, but towards the low side.

Is there a point where the age influences the pricing a bit? Yeah, the glass doesn't "wear out", but there are parts inside that may. Could the lens mount could be replaced to conceal brassing from use?

What is the expected service life of the IS portion? I suspect there is no way anyone outside of CPS would know the "on" time of the IS unit.

The rubber seals?

Lots of "touch up" paint?

Or, is it just buy one and hope it lasts.....
Some of my Work in Progress..... www.dftimages.com

canon rumors FORUM


neuroanatomist

  • CR GEEK
  • ********
  • Posts: 14463
    • View Profile
Re: When does the age of a pro lens influence the price? or does it?
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2012, 09:40:47 AM »
I put 15K miles/yr on my car, my wife about 4K miles per year - as the saying goes, it's not the years, it's the miles. Yes, IS and AF motors wear out, but there's no 'odometer' in a lens.

It's a personal decision, I suppose.  If the price looks good to you, buy.

Personally, I previously bought a 200/2.8L II with a UL date (1997).  The price was right - $450.  It performed flawlessly, and I only sold it after getting the 70-200 II.  When I sold it, it was for a fair bit more than I paid for it.
EOS 1D X, EOS M, and lots of lenses
______________________________
Flickr | TDP Profile/Gear List

danski0224

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 531
    • View Profile
    • Some of my Work in Progress
Re: When does the age of a pro lens influence the price? or does it?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2012, 10:03:21 AM »
Personally, I previously bought a 200/2.8L II with a UL date (1997).  The price was right - $450.  It performed flawlessly, and I only sold it after getting the 70-200 II.  When I sold it, it was for a fair bit more than I paid for it.

I would have bought that one, too :)

I don't think the price in general is out of line, and the seller mentions an April 2012 clean and check by Canon, but much newer versions pop up on eBay for roughly the same money. Of course, there is no way to verify the "miles" on the lens.

One big difference is the older one for sale is very local and I could check it out.

I did send a reply referencing the age of the lens, and if the seller chooses to email me back with a lower price, I may be interested. 
Some of my Work in Progress..... www.dftimages.com

Mt Spokane Photography

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 8687
    • View Profile
Re: When does the age of a pro lens influence the price? or does it?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2012, 10:25:15 AM »
Plastics outgas and get brittle, lubes harden, but if its in good shape and maintained, its likely OK.  Still, I will not buy a older lens unless the price is significantly discounted.  Its merely playing the odds, given two lenses in similar condition, the older one is more likely to need repair.

paul13walnut5

  • Guest
Re: When does the age of a pro lens influence the price? or does it?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2012, 11:23:21 AM »
If something looks tired then it probably is.

You get some pro gear which has been used as a tool, banged about, used every day in all weathers, perhaps for 100's of shots each day.

With ring type USM's there shouldn't be much of a wear problem as they aren't conventionally geared, and the FTM mode means there wouln't be any crunching during use..

I would be more concerned with the condition of the aperture.   A heavily used lens may have worn blades, and oily diaphragm etc.. pop it on a body (pref not your own) and look through it as you stop down and press the dof preview button.

It should stop down immediately and release immediately.  If not. Walk away.
The iris shape should be regular, at all apertures.  If not, walk away.
The iris blades should be clean and free from smearing.  If not, walk away.

Other things to look for are dings in the filter thread (take any filters off and inspect.. a sure sign that the lens has been dropped) if theres a ding walk away.

Check the zoom ring turns smooth from end to end.  Switch the lens to MF and check the same.

Look through the lens for anything in the glass.  A little dust is fine (although you wouldn't expect so much in a weather sealed lens) beware anything that looks like a fine spiders web, or splodges of white.  This is most probably mould, so walk away very quickly and wash your hands.

A little bit of paint chipping is fine and normal.  If it's excessive then it's had a hard life.
The paint on the bayonet mount for the hood will no doubt be a little worn, and the black plastic hoods scuff if you look at them the wrong way.

Check the coatings, very light scratches are ok (these will be on the surface, internal 'scratches' are more probably mould) chips or major scoring suggests an abused lens.

One other issue is parts.  If you buy an older used lens then there may be a service required at some point.  Try and glean if the lens is still in production, and if not, if parts are available.  Call a canon service centre for advice.

I see lots of very nice looking lenses at good prices on ebay which have seemingly minor faults, but are major if you cannot get the parts.

Check return policies and warranty periods.  For expensive kit you should expect a period in order to check it works to specification.

Mt Spokane Photography

  • Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II
  • ********
  • Posts: 8687
    • View Profile
Re: When does the age of a pro lens influence the price? or does it?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2012, 12:16:56 PM »
A local Photographer had a Nikon 200-400mm AI-S for sale.  He had only used it twice, and it sat in its Nikon pouch looking like new for 30 years.
When I tried to focus it, the focus ring was so stiff that there was no way it was usable.  The aperture was likely in the same shape.
If the lens had been used regularly, its likely that it would have been in better condition. 
I asked a local repair shop about it, and they said its a common problem, the lube hardens and has to be scraped out and replaced.

Halfrack

  • 6D
  • *****
  • Posts: 466
    • View Profile
Re: When does the age of a pro lens influence the price? or does it?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 03:22:23 PM »
Saw a 300 2.8 non-IS and while the price was higher than I would have paid, I can see why someone would.  My fear is always about service - getting it fixed by Canon if needed, and how long those parts are going to be around.  My personal want more than a body is a 300/2.8 mk1 and hopefully Canon will have parts around for 10+ years, since I'll never let her go...

Another way to check the blades is to stand a lens on it's front, put on a camera body, crank all the way to F22 and while holding the DoF preview button, take the body off the lens.  The aperture should be fully exposed to see if mold, fungus or oil will cause issues later on.
"Me owning a lens shop is kind of like having an alcoholic bar tender." - Roger Cicala

canon rumors FORUM

Re: When does the age of a pro lens influence the price? or does it?
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2012, 03:22:23 PM »

pwp

  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1549
    • View Profile
Re: When does the age of a pro lens influence the price? or does it?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 05:49:41 AM »
I checked out a 135 f/2 from around 1998. It was visually in mint condition and a couple of hundred dollars less than a new  lens. But it felt a bit stiff, probably through lack of use. Given the choice of a new lens for another $200 or so vs a 14 year old lens, I walked away. But it did sell. I'll be getting a new 135 f/2 with warranty and CPS qualifying credentials.

The car analogy someone made is probably a good one. A 15 year old car with VERY low mileage will still have its issues that relate directly to age. Seals, bushes, hoses etc keep deteriorating over time.

I guess it depends on why you want a particular lens. If your livelihood depends on 100% reliable performance, most second hand purchases must be very carefully considered. But an enthusiast with a modest budget definitely should be looking at pre-owned glass. And then there are collectors like my friend Rob who pounces on Leica mount lenses that are as old as my grandfather.

Personally, I like 'em new.

PW

canon rumors FORUM

Re: When does the age of a pro lens influence the price? or does it?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2012, 05:49:41 AM »