If you never considered buying used camera lens, let us tell you we totally understand you. A lot of photographers have same fear when it comes to used lenses. You dont want to have lens fail you down the road, just because someone used it before you and didnt take care off it properly. This attitude is actually very common through photography community.

Buying used lens has its advantages

But buying used lens has its advantages, and in this tutorial we will show you why & when you should consider buying used lens. We will also provide you with some best tips & advices on how to choose & buy used lens. Keep reading to discover how to get best deal possible on buying used camera gear.

Get same qualitty with lower budget

The one of main advantages when going for second hand lenses is that its going to save you considerably amount of money. Especially if you are on budget, for the same amount of money you can probably buy used lens that is double the quality.

Keep in mind that used lenses usually dont have warranty, so reparing the lens in the case of breakdown would add additional cost.

What is your personality?

Often buying used camera gear depends from your personallity, if you are type of person who wont send their lens for repair for some minor things then you will have more benefits from buying used lens because you wont be sending lens for every rattle, some small adjustments like focus ring getting lose etc.

On the other hand, if you are type of person who wants everything to be perfect, and if you repair your camera gear for even micro damages & scratches, then you will have more benefits from buying new lens with free warranty that you get when buying new lens.

Lens can last forever

Dont get us wrong, lenses, specially lenses from premium brands such as Nikon & Canon, are usually very well built, they are made from high quality and will last for long time if properly stored. If you find good deal on used lens then you should go for it. But you need to pay attention on the condition of the lens. In this guide you will learn how to inspect lens before you buy it to make sure lens is in great condition.

How to check condition of the used lens?

 

Check physical condition

When you find best deal on used lens, there are few things you need to do before you pay for it. First, inspect body of the lens, look for any scratches or damages. Lens will work flawlessly even if its dropped a few times, but remember that you want to avoid bigger signs of rough use.

Shake and listen

Just take the lens and put it near your ear. Shake it and listen for any rattle sound. A lens in good condition shouldnt produce any weird sounds. Sometimes focus ring can cause rattling sound so just press it with your fingers and then shake it.

This is not the official advice, but often lenses who have something loose in them will cost a lot to repair and that is something you want to avoid.

Shine light through lens

Bring flashlight with you when going to buy used lens. Find some darker background and flash a light through the lens. This way you will discover for any problems with the glass of the lens itself, which is very important.

If you dont have flashlight, you can put lens near some other source of light (sun, lightbulb etc).

Check for mold

The method above can also be used when checking for mold. Removing & reparing lens that has mold is very costly. Mold appears when lens wasnt stored in proper conditions so you should avoid it at all cost.

Try the Lens

Dont forget to mount lens to your digital camera and shoot some pictures. Take your time, shoot as many photos as you want, try different styles of photography, take pictures in darker conditions, and out on the sun. After all, that is what the lens is for, to improve quality of your photos.

If you are not happy with it, then dont buy it.

Analyze photos on bigger screen

Its very important to see how your photos look on bigger screen, so make sure to bring your laptop with you. Deskop screen is something on what most people will look at the photo. Picture may look great on small 5 inch camera screen, but how it looks on monitors is what is important.

You dont have to check every pixel, just and compare how the new lens compare with one that you have. If you dont find any problems while shooting & analyzing photos, you are most likely ready to buy it.

Warranty & Return policy

Most likely used lens will be out of warranty, but it doesnt hurt to ask. Also ask about return policy. Ideally you would want to make a deal with a seller to try a lens for a couple of days so if any problems occur in meantime you can return it.

Premium brands – Nikon & Canon has great reseller value

Dont forget that premium brands such as Nikon & Canon hold their reseller value, which is a good thing. This means that even if you buy used lens, you can sell it again for more or less same money. And if you buy them new, again, the lens wont lose to much value.

This often means its hard to find good deal on the used camera lenses market. On the other hands, value of the manufacturers such as Tamron & Sigma plumits, and there is no way you would want to buy new lens, when you can find used Tamron & Sigma lenses for cheap money.

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