Questions on USED DSLR lenses ***NEED HELP***

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by rgregory1965, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. rgregory1965

    rgregory1965 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    1. In buying a used lens what should i look for when I meet the seller???

    2. How long should a maintained lens last???

    Im looking at a used 70-300 VRII Nikon in the morning, Guy is a paid sports photograher with several lenses and bodies....he is selling this lens and has had it 2 years.....


     
  2. mjhoward

    mjhoward TPF Noob!

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    1. Condition. If your meeting in person, just mount the damned thing and test it out!

    2. 50+ years. I bought a used 70-300 VR and its a good bang for the buck lens. It is relatively soft, especially at the long end, but for the reach you get at the price, it's not bad. Don't expect it to compete with your 50 1.8 on sharpness.
     
  3. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'm not convinced modern AFS lenses with VR are meant to last 50+ years. Motors will likely fail before then as will the rather delicate VR mechanisms. Of course this would depend on type and amount of use. A shelf ornament can last a long time but an everyday working lens might be another matter. I've had some of my lenses for going on 25 plus years and have used them a lot but these are all older all metal and glass simple mechanical lenses. I've also not had any trouble yet with any of my AF-D lenses, but they are not nearly as old. I doubt my AFS and AFS VR lenses will last that long without some repair work being done to them. I use them nearly everyday in various types of environments. Time will tell.
     
  4. Patrice

    Patrice No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As for what to look for.

    Make a physical examination of the lens. Some braising on the barrel is normal on older lenses. However, paint chips or bent filter threads might be an indication of hard use. Look at the front and rear elements. some scratches on the front element is not a major cause for concern. Scratches on the real element are problematic. Look at the lens coatings on the front element, it should be even across the whole glass.

    Next shine a light through the lens and look through it. Fogging and fungus are not good signs. Some dust specks inside the lens is normal.

    Put the lens up to your ear and listen carefully as you move the focus, and zoom rings is appropriate, through their whole range of motion. If you hear a bit of grinding then put it down and walk away. Also look for smoothness of motion as you do this. The focus and zoom should not have any areas where you must significantly change the force necessary to complete the motion.

    Check for any slop in the lens barrel when it is extended through zoom or focus. Some of the less expensive plastic lenses and some of the super zooms will tend to develop a bit of play over time.

    Look at the mount. Any bent bits or missing screws is a good enough reason to leave it with its current owner.

    Mount it on your camera and take some photos. At this point all should function properly. No stuck aperture blades, consistent results at different apertures and at repeated aperture settings. Look at the image on a decent monitor if you can. This is the time to pixel peep. If the aberrations are within the expected range for the lens then you should be good to go.

    Cosmetics aside, a second hand lens should be mechanically flawless before considering making an offer.

    Some really excellent lenses can be had on the second hand market and sometimes veritable steals if you can see past the cosmetics.
     
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  5. rgregory1965

    rgregory1965 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thanks a bunch....Thats the kind of answer a newbie needs to see......this will be my first used lens purchase and for someone to tell me just put it on the camera and test the damn thing out, just didnt make me all warm and fuzzy.....thanks again



     

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