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Has anyone purchased a used lens from lensrentals/lensauthority?


Hello guys. I'm on the market for 85 1.2ii and 70-200 2.8is ii lenses. Both are remarkable and expensive too. I really feel bad I didn't pick up them for $1799 each (after rebate) during last Thanksgiving/Christmas sale. So, I guess I'll go with the used lenses.


So, my question is whether or nor any of you guys ever bought used stuff from lensauthority/lensrentals? What I like about them is their customer support, they test all lenses before selling and also offer a 2-year extended warranty for only $15-20 extra. But my concern is that these lenses, although rated as being in a great shape, definitely saw a lot of use by rental department. Would you get a used lens from a rental company like lensrentals? Or I'd better buy a used one in excellent condition from a private seller (but of course no extended warranty)?


Thanks so much!







I bought a couple cameras from but they were brand new. I've never used Lensauthority, so am unfamiliar with them.


I'd be a little reluctant to buy a lens that's been rented a lot. They get pretty hard use by folks who probably aren't as careful with them as they would be if they owned them. I'm sure those lenses also spend a lot of time bouncing around in the back of a UPS truck, going to and from renters.


OTOH, I know Lensrental thoroughly test stuff and don't hesitate to have repairs and tune-ups done, as necessary. And Canon L series are built to be durable and last a long, long time. And I believe I read that Lensrentals only keeps gear in stock for a year or two, renewing their stock regulrarly.  


So I guess it comes down to price... It would have to be a pretty nice discount to get me to reach for my credit card. I'd be inclined to look at refurbs and used lenses at the various dealers, first. They also offer a warranty... One year on the refurbs at the Canon online store. Maybe 90 days on used stuff at the more reputible dealers. Other than new (and on sale!), those would be my first choices.


My next choice would be a private party locally, where I could inspect the item myself before handing over any monies. No warranties at all, with private party purchases. I suppose I'd rank purchasing a rental lens from an outfit I know, like Lensrentals, somewhere in between refurb or used from a dealer and used from a private party. I'd rank an unfamiliar rental outfit a bit lower.


Next I'd rank buying via an auction as a little more risky than buying locally. A lot of variables though... there are many reputible sellers on auctions, too. Feedback info can help.


The riskiest... and what I'd generally be least inclined to do... is buy remotely from a private party, sight unseen, even with a supposed right of return or warranty.


But, again, it all depends upon price. And scarcity... I bought a rare accessory for one of my cars off Craigslist in Miami (I'm in California). But I was only risking $160 US and it is an utterly impossible to find part. That transaction turned out just fine.


I have bought items through Amazon, even used from private parties. There's at least some limited warranty doing that... maybe only a week or two, but that's often enough.


I've also bought a few use items"remotely"  from people on forums ( Canon forum and Fred Miranda), but mostly limited to well-established, long time members who I felt like I knew (and had good feedback on prior sales).


It is possible to buy extended warranties even on used items. However I usually don't care for those warranties. Most are with third parties, repairs won't be through a factory service dept. and might cut corners. No telling what a replacement, if needed, might be or how long it might take to get it. Of all the extended warranty programs, the one I hear mentioned most often is Mack. You might look into that.


Also check your credit cards. Many of them warrant items you buy, or automatically extend a factory warranty.


Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories


Hi Alan,


Thanks so much for your great response. Lenauthority is a selling department of lensrentals. Basically, they wanted to separate renting and selling department, so they now have lensauthority as their selling department.


I was considering the refurbished 70-200 2.8 is ii but it's $1999+tax. I was too stupid not to get a new one at $1799 during sales last year.


Have you had any experience with KEH or Roberts camera? KEH also offers 1-2 year warranty, and Roberts camera offers 6 month warranty.


KEH is very good and under rates their product. It will be at the very least what they say. Usually better.

All the stuff I looked at with Roberts was over priced so I never dealt with them.

Possibly the best is Helen Oster with Adorama. You can call her directly.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

"I was considering the refurbished 70-200 2.8 is ii but it's $1999+tax. I was too stupid not to get a new one at $1799 during sales last year"


Man, two grand for a used lens rental is top dollar to me anyway.  Where did you see a version II for $1800?

I must have missed that one but I already have a series II and I sold my series I some time ago. I buy very little photography equipment any more as I don't use half of what I already have!

IMHO, the EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS II is the best lens of it's kind ever made. It has no peers.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV and several lenses!

I know it is, that's why I'm trying to get it at a cheaper price 😉 It was $1799 during last Thanksgiving/Christmas sale at B&H, Adorama and Amazon, and you could also get 2% rewards points. Same as 85 1.2ii. I see some used 70-200 2.8ii, but around $2000 is the cheapest I see.


Yeah, I've heard/read a lot about 70-200 2.8 ii 😉 I was deciding between this one and 85 1.2ii but I think I'll get 70-200 first. I hope I wouldn't have to wait till Thanksgiving/Christmas 2014 😉


Thanks for your comments about Roberts Camera. I keep hearing quite opposite opinions about it.

I wasn't aware that Lensrental had formed a separate division to handle their sales. That probably tells you it's been a while since I bought my pair of 7Ds from them!


Yes, I've had positive experiences with KEH as well. They come buy gear at photo shows in my area occasionally, too. So I've met several of the folks there. as well as have bought various stuff from them over the years. I agree, if anything they underrate the condition of most things they sell. I hadn't heard of a 1 or 2 year warranty from them, other than an extended warranty at additional cost.


I also agree that Adorama's used dept should be checked too. I've bought used and refurbished stuff from them, too... as well as new stuff.


Those two and B&H Photo are three of the "reputible dealers" I refered to in my earlier response. I think I own a small piece of each of those companies, I've sent them each so much money over the years!


All good choices... even before there were Craigslist, Amazon, eBay, etc.


Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories





I have purchased both a 50D body and an EF-S 60mm macro from LensRentals/Authority. Both work perfectly. I wouldn't hesitate to purchase from them again, especially lenses.


I discovered that the 50D body had over 100,000 shutter actuations but this was before they started giving at least shutter count ranges for their bodies.


Also, remember to enter sale codes if there are any. I lost out on 10% off on the lens because I forgot to enter the code.



Hi, thanks for your input! Where would one find the sale code? I tried to find some coupons online but had no luck. I'd appreciate if you could help me with that. Thanks! 😉

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