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What to look for when buying second hand lens


TPF Noob!
Aug 23, 2010
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Cape Town
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Things to look for:

-Look through the lens for fungus, hazing, or dust (a couple specs of dust shouldn't hurt image quality)
-If you can, look at the aperture blades and inspect them for grease or stickyness
-move the focus ring and zoom. There shouldn't be any binding. It should be smooth and fluid
-If it has metal contacts for sending data, make sure they aren't corroded. I don't know if Nikon, or that lens, has contacts.

Bring your camera and do a few test shots at varying aperture and zoom settings. The seller shouldn't have a problem with that. Good luck. :thumbup:
Addition to what my brother from another mother said, I'd say

1. scratches
2. check the mount and connector
3. take your camera, snap it in and shoot a few photos and zoom in the LCD to see if they're sharp or having issues? I know someone who bought one then found out after looking at the pix, they were all OOF because something was wrong w/ the lens itself.
4. Do look at the price difference between new and old and if it's not a huge difference, and it's a lens you would keep for using (in general) then you'd rather get a brand new one.

G' luck!
Last edited:
Bring a small flashlight. Remove both caps, open it up to it's widest aperture and look thru the lens with the light at the opposite ends. you can see if there is any fungus, hazing, scratches or dust. A few particles of dust is usually not a problem but you can use it as a bargaining tool to bring the price down a little. Close it to it's smallest aperture and shine the light thru each end and look at the aperture blades. Make sure they are'nt wet or show signs of wear. Move the tab that controls the blades to make sure the blades snap back in place when you release them. Mount the lens on your body and check the barrell to make sure it's not loose. Turn the camera on and focus on something. Listen to the motor. Take some pictures at different settings and see how the results are. As was mentioned earlier, If there isn't a huge difference in price between this one and a new one, go for the new one. At least you'll have some sort of warranty.

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