What to look for when buying second hand...

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by confucious, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. confucious

    confucious TPF Noob!

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    I am considering buying a second hand Canon 50mm. 1.4 and am wondering what are the main things to look at when checking out the equipment. I am thinking since there is no zoom that simplifies things a little. Would I just make sure it focusses properly, has no mould/dirt/scratches, take a few pics and enlarge on my viewfinder to find any hidden problems? Do you insist on downloading the pics and checking properly on the pc?

    Would love to get some advice/input from you guys!

    Cheers.
     
  2. SCHNOOBS

    SCHNOOBS TPF Noob!

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    second hand wquip isn't my thing really unless I am buying a camera body that is no longer made. but in this case, I have scooped out the same lens used. personally I would rather pay the extra money to garantee no mold/dirt/scratches.

    if indeed you would go through with a second hand lens, I would imagine one good things to make sure is the aperture ring works properly, there are no scuffs, scratches, specks... the quality of lens more,less.

    granted photographers, from what I have seen, take good care of equipment, I would advise you be careful.

    -Yoda
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I purchase used all the time.

    * Canon EOS 50mm f1.4 is electronic. Bring a camera to test it on. There is no aperture ring.
    * Make sure the focusing ring is smooth.
    * Make sure the USM motor is quiet and fast. No "whiring" sounds when focusing near and far
    * Focus to something in the far distance (horizon). If you have a digital body, take a photo and make sure it is sharp
    * focus to soemthing near the closest focusing distance. If you have a digital body, take a photo and make sure it is sharp.
    * Take an LED light (flashlight will do) and shine it through the lens from the front. Are the internal elements crystal clear? The rear element?
    * Take an LED light and shine it thorugh the lens from the rear. Are the internal elements crystal clear? The front element?
     
  4. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I buy used stuff all the time too and usayit gave you some sound advice.

    However, when you shine a light through a lens you may be surprised at what you find, even for a lens that is in mint condition. :wink:
     
  5. schuylercat

    schuylercat TPF Noob!

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    I sold most of my old stuff and have bought used gear alot in my time, including a few mistakes. Usayit's right on the money, and I would add this:

    * Check for "wiggles" (this is where I've gone wrong) -
    *Outside: the focus ring should be smooth, but it should feel snug, too, with little/no free play in any direction.
    *Inside: the seller may not like it, but gently shake the lens and feel/listen for loose goods inside. Folks help me out here, but I can't imagine there is ever a case where elements on a 50mm fixed lens should be loose?
    * Examine the mounting ring - look for dings, sheared metal, damaged trouble spots that look like the lens was cross threaded or forced onto a body. Even though it might mount on your body, that doesn't mean it wasn't abused in the past.

    I still have a Sigma 70-200 f/2.8 APO I bought used 15 years ago - the previous owner took good care of it, and so have I - it still works perfectly on my 40D...although it needs to go in for a little massage and a tuneup...

    Good luck!
     

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