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buying a lens second hand...things to think about?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 6:59 am
by tree
Hello!

I hope to buy a second hand lens this weekend which I have not done before. I know this probably sounds stupid but are there any specific things i should do to check the lens is ok? Of course looking for scratches on both ends is an obvious one... checking it's possible to set the full range of apertures... I wondered if there is a possibility that i might not be able to see scratches and perhaps a standard image setting would help detect them?..or perhaps this is silly... Its a Nikon 80-200mm f2.8 ED lens which seems to be discontinued after the 70-200mm VR lens was released...at least here in Sweden. I see that it is possible to buy in the USA and UK still but these seem to be what's left of the stock according to Nikon Sweden anyway... so I am basically forced to buy second hand. It's not easy to find this lens either since it seems to be a somewhat treasured lens! ...but alas I have found one for about £350 which is less than half the selling price in Sweden last year when it was still available! So any advice for me before I buy the lens on sunday (21st sept)?

Thanks!
Terri

Re: buying a lens second hand...things to think about?

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2008 11:39 pm
by prinothcat
I have read that if one shines a very bright light through the lens while it is unmounted, it can show any flaws in the internal elements. Never tried it myself, but seems like it might work. Beyond that take your body and make sure it functions properly. Be aware that the AF motors in these lenses are a little noisy. I would definitely check the aperture range using the manual ring. These are basically tanks ans lenses go, so barring obvious visible damage if the seller has a good reputation, you should be ok. Best of luck they are a really nice lens. Used in the US prices start near 600usd. New ones are still available at around 900usd. They were still in production at the start of the year but were definitely being phased out. I would bet there are some still new ones out there around Europe.

Re: buying a lens second hand...things to think about?

PostPosted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 3:07 pm
by e6filmuser
Too late to help "tree" but the major problem is fungus, often present internally and sometimes no more than a milky film , sometimes with rainbow colours.

The other things are lack of slack in the focusing ring and lack of visible oil on the diaphragm.Plus, for lenses which have protruding elements, look for fine abrasion on the glass. Also check that the thread on any filter/hood ring is useable.

Re: buying a lens second hand...things to think about?

PostPosted: Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:15 pm
by r_karcz
i would fotograf some grey charts at all stops, fixing one as k-light, comparating density. Take it in hand see it in couter light for eventual scratch or internal dust, close and open the diafragme see if the blades are all right, see if the focus can reach infinity, if all the rings are well fix... take some picture of a definition chart at min T... what else... I thing that all