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Tips for Buying Secondhand Lenses: What to Look Out For

5/23/2014 ISO 1200 Magazine 1 Comments

In this article, the author shares some valuable tips on what to look out for when buying secondhand lenses. If you're a photographer looking to purchase a lens on a budget, buying secondhand can be a great option. However, there are a few things you should consider before making a purchase.

The first thing to do is check the lens's focal length and aperture settings. This information can typically be found on the lens's barrel. Knowing this information will help you determine if the lens is the one that was described to you when you were considering purchasing it.

Next, you should inspect the lens's general appearance, including the casing and body. Look for any scratches or dents, as this could be an indication that the lens has been mishandled or knocked around. Additionally, give the lens a shake to see if you hear any rattling or loose screws. If you do, this could be a sign that there are internal problems with the lens.

To inspect the lens's glass elements, the author suggests using a torch. Hold the lens up to a point light source against a dark background to reveal any dust or problems inside the lens. You can also breathe lightly on the lens to check for mold or fungus, but be careful not to breathe on it too heavily. If you find any mold or fungus inside the lens, it's best to avoid purchasing it as it may require professional cleaning or even replacement.

Lastly, don't forget to check the lens's focus by putting it into manual mode and turning the focus wheel. If the focus feels rough or difficult to turn, this could indicate a problem with the lens.

By following these tips, you can be confident that you're purchasing a secondhand lens that's in good condition and will serve you well. So the next time you're considering buying a secondhand lens, remember to keep these tips in mind!

Video via Karl Taylor


Unknown said...

While I'm sure Karl's intentions are first rate, all of these "experts" tend to overlook a simple truth, even more important than all his advice...
People tend to buy second hand lenses based upon the depth of their wallet.
All the finest qualities of lenses are moot when you want/need a lens, but only have so much in available funds to buy with.
In cases like these, you match the lens to the cash you have, very simple.
The real world always trumps technical details.