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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EF and EF-S Lenses 
Thread started 06 Sep 2013 (Friday) 13:19
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Buying Used Lenses

79 posts
Likes: 3
Joined Sep 2013
Location: Foothill Ranch, CA
Sep 06, 2013 13:19 |  #1

What are your thoughts/experiences on buying used Lenses? Ive always been skeptical of buying them used just because they are a very expensive, precise piece of equipment.

70D, 18-135 IS STM
iPhone 6+ 64GB

Instagram @alan_hess​photos/112079447@N08/ (external link)

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175 posts
Joined May 2013
Location: CA
Sep 06, 2013 13:22 |  #2

I've bought and sold a few lenses, you can get great deals if you are careful to buy from sellers with excellent track records and they provide good quality pictures of the item.


Talley Whacker
11,086 posts
Gallery: 46 photos
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Joined Dec 2011
Location: Houston
Sep 06, 2013 13:26 |  #3

Always look at the images closely. Samples don't mean much to me. check the sellers prior posts, registration date, etc. Look at his a activity and think smart.

A7rIII | A7III | 12-24 F4 | 16-35 GM | 28-75 2.8 | 100-400 GM | 12mm 2.8 Fisheye | 35mm 2.8 | 85mm 1.8 | 35A | 85A | 200mm L F2 IS | MC-11
My Gear Archive

dumb remark memorialized
29,208 posts
Gallery: 33 photos
Likes: 1390
Joined Dec 2006
Sep 06, 2013 13:33 |  #4

Almost all of my lenses are used and I havent had any issues. I dont buy them via ebay, but prefer craigslist where I can meet in person and do an inspection/test shot prior to the transaction. No problems so far with 8 transactions.

1,003 posts
Likes: 1
Joined Aug 2013
Location: A quiet place in the country.
Sep 06, 2013 13:37 |  #5
bannedPermanent ban

I have purchased almost all my gear used. Mostly through CraigsList, but a few on e-bay. E-bay scares me. CL allows you to see, handle and use the equipment before making a decision. You do need to be careful, though. Nut-jobs are everywhere. Always meet in a well-lit, public place, preferably indoors. Starbucks is a good idea.

If I am buying, I take a laptop, and a lens if I am buying a body, a body if I am buying a lens. Shoot the hardware, look at the shots. I tell the seller prior to meeting that we will be a few minutes while I check out the lens/body. No legitimate seller will balk at you checking out a $1,000 lens before you hand over the money.

Remember the sniff test. If something smells fishy, it probably is. Just leave.

Dedicated APS-c shooter. Gripped 60D, 60 2.8, 10-22, 15-85, Σ70-200 OS and a big white something or other! Plus a 5D w/28-75.

4,091 posts
Gallery: 1 photo
Likes: 653
Joined Apr 2010
Location: Wales
Sep 06, 2013 16:01 |  #6

I have purchased 3 lenses via E Bay UK, but I insist on meeting up to collect and pay for the lens.
I have bought the following lenses this way: 300mm F2.8 L IS, 400mm F2.8 L and the 800mm F5.6 L IS - I could never have afforded these lenses new.

Life is for living, cameras are to capture it (one day I will learn how!).

1,449 posts
Likes: 19
Joined May 2009
Location: Dubuque, IA
Sep 06, 2013 16:12 |  #7

I've owned 4 bodies and well over a dozen lenses, all but one lens was bought here or FM. Just do your research on the seller.

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Senior Member
599 posts
Joined Jun 2013
Location: England
Sep 06, 2013 16:14 |  #8

Bought & sold many used and new cameras/lenses/stuff on ebay for years with no problems.
Just do your research and use your common sense... that's all.

Fuji XE1 ~ XF18 ~ XF27 ~ XF60 ~ XC50-230

1,263 posts
Gallery: 20 photos
Likes: 418
Joined Jan 2012
Location: Netherlands
Sep 06, 2013 16:14 |  #9

I almost always buy used or with a cashback + local discount in a store.

This is what I bought in the last two years:
24-70L : €780,- (used)
85LII : €1250,- (used)
17-40L : €300,- (used)
70-200LII: €1418,- (Cashback + local discount)

Saved me almost €2000,-

5DII + 6D | 16-35/4.0L IS | Σ35/1.4A | 40/2.8 | Σ85/1.4A | 85/1.2L II | 70-200/2.8L IS II
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Jeff's ­ Challenger ­ RT
Senior Member
258 posts
Joined Jan 2012
Location: Anderson, Ind. USA
Sep 06, 2013 16:36 as a reply to  @ Bonbridge's post |  #10

I've bought all my gear used from this site! I have 2 bodies, 7D & 50D, 6 lenses, all used. All perform great! I just feel that the majority of the folks here are honest, hard working people, straight shooters etc...Maybe not everyone, but the majority. I feel very comfortable buying gear from this site. E-Bay, 'nother story! Jeff

3,801 posts
Gallery: 81 photos
Likes: 836
Joined Nov 2011
Location: Denver, CO
Sep 06, 2013 17:10 as a reply to  @ Jeff's Challenger RT's post |  #11

I feel very comfortable buying from this site too. I bought a 17-40 on ebay which I thought was great until I moved to FF and realized it was decentered. Perhaps the seller only used it on a crop and didn't realize either.

2 lenses I've bought on POTN have been great.

The problem I have with buying used lenses is if I'm only saving 10% or so, it's not worth it to me. 20% and it can make the difference.

Edward Jenner
5DIV, M6, GX1 II, Sig15mm FE, 16-35 F4,TS-E 17, TS-E 24, M11-22, M18-150 ,24-105, T45 1.8VC, 70-200 f4 IS, 70-200 2.8 vII, Sig 85 1.4, 100L, 135L, 400DOII.​photos/48305795@N03/ (external link)
https://www.facebook.c​om/edward.jenner.372/p​hotos (external link)

5 posts
Joined Aug 2013
Sep 06, 2013 21:11 |  #12

What are some of the steps you guys go through in checking over lens you're considering purchasing? I guess that also applies to new store purchased lens for any lemons but any tips would be awesome.

Cream of the Crop
9,903 posts
Likes: 201
Joined Jan 2006
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA
Sep 06, 2013 21:16 |  #13

Easy, buy from others here on the PotN forum:​play.php?f=14

And check out their seller ratings.​ad.php?t=28608

"Raw" is not an acronym, abbreviation, nor a proper noun; thus, it should not be in capital letters.

Senior Member
275 posts
Likes: 1
Joined May 2013
Sep 06, 2013 21:42 |  #14

All my lens buy used. Normally my country buyer and seller prefer meet up to test and COD.

6D, 100L,24-70 F4L, 40mm pancake, 70-300L
Carl Zeiss MP 50​photos/tat3406/ (external link)

1,644 posts
Gallery: 5 photos
Best ofs: 1
Likes: 234
Joined Dec 2010
Location: Germany
Sep 08, 2013 10:35 |  #15

I also buy most of my photo gear used. Bought >300 lenses used. Most where OK.
But I got for example a 300/2.8 lens from overseas with not described fungus and damaged screw heads. This was in the pre-Paypal time :-/ This was not funny.
My 400/2.8 had some damages that where not described too - but it was even with these cheap enough - and I suppose that the female seller most likely was not the user of this lens and did not know about this problems, so I did not start a Paypal case. So I did some DIY repair.

At my 24/1.4 I found some early fungus, that has not etched the glass permanently. In this case I got the lens a bit cheaper, this was OK.

I like old used lenses, and like to buy very cheap. I do calculate with some issues, and sometimes there are - most time the lenses are good. Or nearly perfect.

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Buying Used Lenses
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