Advice on buying used glass

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Photog38, May 17, 2010.

  1. Photog38

    Photog38 TPF Noob!

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    I have the Canon 17-85mm f4-5.6 and have enjoyed using it for the last several years. This has been a nice lens and I have enjoyed the focal range, but I am considering upgrading to the Canon 24-105mm f4L. I would like to sell my 17-85mm to help pay for the 24-105mm, but I'm not sure what to sell it for. Its in great condition and I've had a filter on it since the day it arrived. Also, I have considered buying a used 24-105mm to save some money.

    After seeing some of my pictures from his brother's wedding, my cousin has asked me to be one of the photographers at his wedding this summer. I was at his brother's wedding a couple of years ago and used my 17-85mm. I can understand why some people don't like wedding photography and I have decided that I would only do it for family or close friends. This seems like the perfect excuse for stepping up to the 24-105mm.

    So all this boils down to two questions:
    1) How much should expect to sell my 17-85mm for?
    2) Should I consider buying a used lens vs. a new one? Is is better to just go new?

    Anything else I should consider or know about?

    Thanks
     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    1.) The condition of a lens has a major effect on what it sells for. The features a lens has, like IS, also has a bearing on selling price.
    How quickly one wants to move a lens determines how much you would sell for. For a quick sale you need a lower asking price and thus a lower selling price.
    Utimately, the selling price is decided jointly bu the seller and the buyer.

    2.) Yes I would, and do, consider buying used rather than new. You should also consider refurbished gear.

    I have 4 camera bodies, and 6 lenses that I bought used for a little side business I have.

    You can buy used from private sellers or in the used departments online stores like www.bhphotovideo.com , www.adorama.com , or www.keh.com.

    Many camera stores and private sellers list their used gear at www.amazon.com
     
  3. Photog38

    Photog38 TPF Noob!

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    I forgot to mention refurbished lenses. Maybe this is irrational, but just hearing "refurbished" makes me think that it is inferior. Aside from the fact that it doesn't come with its original warranty, are they basically as good as new? This would be my first L lens, so I'd hate to have a bad experience by getting a lemon. I would, however, like to save some money if there is no reason to afraid of buying a used or refurbished lens.
     
  4. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    If you buy a refurbished lens from a reputable source (e.g. adorama, BH, KEH, etc.), you can be comfortable. You should have some sort of warranty as well. In fact, since these have been individually reworked, they actually have probably undergone better inspection than a new factory-fresh lens.

    I've bought used lenses off e-bay with no difficulty, but that is a 'buyer beware' sort of thing. Many camera shops sell used lenses on consignment -- you can try them out in the store.
     
  5. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Most of the online stores I linked to also have a very reasonable return policies.

    One of the reasons used lenses cost less is you're not paying for a warranty.
     
  6. Photog38

    Photog38 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I've started looking at the refurbished lenses. As for my lens that I would like to sell, its in great condition. There are no scratches on the lens and the glass is clean (it has had a protective filter on it since the day it arrived). The body of the lens is in great condition as well; no scratches. There are, however, a couple of small scuffs on the lens hood. Overall, I feel like it is in great condition, only showing slight wear. Does anyone have any idea what I could sell it for? ($300?) Also, would you recommend selling it yourself or selling it to an online store's used department?
     
  7. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    As with cars, you will get more for it if you sell it yourself (most vendors take about 25%). It's up to you whether you want to deal with the sale.
     
  8. HelenOster

    HelenOster No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    All Canon refurbs from Adorama come with a 12-month warranty, and all Nikon, a 90-day warranty.

    All used items from Adorama do come with a warranty as follows: if you are dissatisfied with your purchase, eg because it is damaged or faulty, you may return it within 14 days of receipt for an exchange or refund.

    You are also covered for 90 days from receipt of an item, to return it for repair or exchange if required.
     
  9. anthonyd200

    anthonyd200 TPF Noob!

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    just my $.02, I just bought a bargain grade lens from KEH.com and, well lets just say I'm not upset about the 1/8 inch scuff on it...if you aren't happy with it you have a 14-day return and 60 day warranty.

    Anything that's made of high quality materials and stands the test of time is worth buying used to save money for more equipment.
     

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