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Buying Used lens

iski12345

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I am considering buying a 70-200mm f4 from someone on craigslist (they want $900). For those of you who have done this before what whould you recomend looking for when I have the lens in my hands. Besides the obvious...

Thanks,
 
I am considering buying a 70-200mm f4 from someone on craigslist (they want $900). For those of you who have done this before what whould you recomend looking for when I have the lens in my hands. Besides the obvious...

Thanks,

I bought that lens NEW for 790 USD from Canon in Dubai last week, and photo gear is expensive here.
Just to be correct, this is no IS.
 
That price is incredibly high. That's what I paid for my 70-200 2.8 IS
If you can talk them down to the $500 range, then look for dents and scratches(the obvious). Put it on your camera a take pictures with it. Make sure it focuses and stops down to f/4. If it has IS, switch it on and off to make sure it works.
 
There is IS, sorry for not putting that up there.
 
If you can take a laptop with you, do so. That way, you can look at the pix you take with your camera and that lens. I've been fooled a number of times with my own equipment when the picture in the LCD looks good but on my computer monitor at home, it's a tad out of focus, etc. I'd be especially concerned with edge focusing when wide open. Yea, a little drop off is not unusual. But you won't see it on a 3" LCD screen.
 
Thanks, I will bring a laptop with. Never thought about checking the edges for focusing. That I will do.
 
This is what I will do.

- Bring along with a little flash light. shine through the lens and see if you see anything unusual. (few dust are fine)

- Cosmetic examination. Make sure it looks good or as described. For $900, I think it need to be in good cosmetic condition. Any little damage or scratch on the front and rear lens element? Any paint chips? (paint chip on the area where the tripod collar mount ring mount may have paint chip, and that is fine) And bump scratch on the filter thread? If the lens has an filter, take it out and put it back and see. If the lens do not have a filter, pay attention on the filter thread. Make sure they looks ok.

- Turn the zoom ring and focus ring. Make sure they are smooth.

- Mount the lens on the camera body. Look at the aperture blades through the front lens element. Set the camera to aperture priority mode and hold the Depth of Field preview button. Turn the aperture change wheel (from wide open to smallest aperture setting) and look at the apertures blades. Make sure the operation look smooth and you do not see anything unusual on the aperture blades.

- Set the aperture to the smallest (larger f number) press and release the DoF preview button and take a look at the aperture blades again and make sure they open and close smoothly.

- Turn the IS feature on and off and see if you see the difference from the viewfinder (zoom out to 200mm) with half press the shutter button. Pay attention to the noise generated by IS mechanism, make sure no griding noise. If you have another IS lens, compare it with the other one.

- Autofocus. Focus on a distance object and then a object close by (of course, not closer than the min fouus distance) and then back to a distance object. See if the autofocus is quick and smooth (and quiet).

- Take some photos with different apertures and review them on the computer.
 
Definitely check the focus on a laptop if you are going to take one. There seems to have been a bad batch of 70-200 f/4 of which I had one. The focus was off by about 4 inches when shooting portraits. I do not know if this batch extended to the IS versions.
 
Thanks for all the information after iresq and bazooka's comments I don't know if I will even go and check the lens out. It no longer is under warranty and it seems like slightly to much of a risk. And thank you Dao for the information. If I do go look at another lens in the future. I will use your advise.
 
I ended up buying the lens for $870. And it is still under a protection plan the previous owner purchased. It came with a filter and the lens looks like it was never used. So I think that it was a pretty good deal. I am happy at least. I brought my laptop with and took my time examining the lens before I bought it so I thank you all for the advise again. It is my first L lens!
 
I ended up buying the lens for $870. And it is still under a protection plan the previous owner purchased. It came with a filter and the lens looks like it was never used. So I think that it was a pretty good deal. I am happy at least. I brought my laptop with and took my time examining the lens before I bought it so I thank you all for the advise again. It is my first L lens!

Good to hear. Sometimes you never know if you don't at least check it out.
 

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