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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎03-12-2019

Advice sought pertaining to lens/camera purchases

 I’m contemplating the purchase of an older, more expensive lens — the EF 200mm f/1.8L or EF 200mm f/2.0L USM — and understand there are some risks involved.

 

• Some sellers are not honest. You pay your money and take your chances.

• Craigslist: you pay your money, you take your chances.

• There’s nothing that guarantees that you’ll get what’s advertised; or, that the advertisement is accurately factual.

• Canon no longer repairs some lenses. Is that a prime consideration?

 

Two years ago, I saw a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM lens in a Las Vegas pawn shop.  On the objective, I saw a fingerprint which caused me to think that its placement might not be accidental. I took some lens cleaner and lens cloth, cleaned the objective — and found that where the very edge of the fingerprint had been, the objective had a huge scratch.  I’m certain the store owners put the fingerprint on the lens.

 

Businesses such as Amazon, B&H Photo, and Adorama sell new cameras primarily, though they do “mine” the inventory of smaller camera stores nationwide which have both new and used cameras. An old, very expensive lens would be quite a rarity and in checking, none have what I’m looking for.

 

• How do you find the honest broker?  Speaking from professional experience, I wouldn’t depend on a Yelp review if my life depended upon it.

• How can you assure that you’re not purchasing stolen gear?  As an investigation recently proved, some small retail stores “fence” stolen cameras.

• How can you be assured that you’ll actually receive the item purchased? 

 

‘Any sage advice from those of you who are bargain hunters, are professionals, or both?

 

 

Chris P. Bacon
F-1; AE-1; EOS 1V, 6D, 6D Mk II, 7D, and 7D Mk II.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 72
Registered: ‎10-01-2017

Re: Advice sought pertaining to lens/camera purchases

Buying anything used is a gamble, even from so called friends. I recently purchased a lens from a friend. Lens was no more than 6 months old. I knew that he had dropped the hood as it had a small bend in the mounting area. Lens had 0 damage to it. Buddy advised me that the lens was very tight fitting on the body. Second time I used it the weather seal ripped off. Took it to a local guy, he told me that the bayonet mount "lips" were a bit tweaked and the mount needed to be replaced. Probably should mention that when I sent my camera bodies in for service the lens mount on all of them needed to be replaced...
Honored Contributor
Posts: 7,778
Registered: ‎08-13-2015

Re: Advice sought pertaining to lens/camera purchases

You mentioned three sites. My advice is to avoid buying used gear on Amazon.

i have bought used accessories from B&H without issue. I even returned stuff without questions or issues. Of course, they ask for a reason, but that was it.

I have never had reason “to go to” Adorama. B&H seems to have a larger and wider inventory. Another good used dealer is KEH. Excellent gear and service. No issue with the one return I had. They saved return postage, and mailed me another one. Told me to keep the dead one.
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"I don't rent software. I use Photoshop CS6, ACR 9.8 and Lightroom 6.8 ."
VIP
Posts: 10,826
Registered: ‎12-07-2012

Re: Advice sought pertaining to lens/camera purchases

"• How do you find the honest broker?  Speaking from professional experience, I wouldn’t depend on a Yelp review if my life depended upon it.

• How can you assure that you’re not purchasing stolen gear?  As an investigation recently proved, some small retail stores “fence” stolen cameras.

• How can you be assured that you’ll actually receive the item purchased? 

 

‘Any sage advice from those of you who are bargain hunters, are professionals, or both?"

 

Everybody can find fault or issues with any and all sources.  The only variable you can control is, you need to be smarter than they are. If you are not you put yourself in a position to be a victim.  Doesn't matter if you are buying a used lens, or car or lawn mower, educate yourself before hand.

EOS 1DX and 1D Mk IV, along with less and less other stuff.
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