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Thread started 04 Oct 2012 (Thursday) 14:50
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how to ask to test a lens in-store

 
ekinnyc
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Oct 04, 2012 14:50 |  #1

i am kinda beginning to miss my sigma 30 that i sold, and am thinking of heading to B&H to see if i can find a sharp copy. ive read that people test several lenses in a store to make sure they have a sharp one - does B&H allow this? do i just tell them that i want to test a lens for sharpness?


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Ilovetheleafs
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Oct 04, 2012 15:00 |  #2

just say you're really considering this lens but you have a policy of testing the gear before you buy so that way you know if it works for your needs


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doidinho
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Oct 04, 2012 15:13 |  #3

Most lenses need some amount of micro adjustment to perform to their fullest. How would you be able to differentiate between a bad copy and a good copy that just needs micro adjusting in the store?


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John ­ from ­ PA
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Oct 04, 2012 15:19 |  #4

Obviously most of the replies come from people who have never been to B&H, nor many other of the NY camera stores. There is little room to do proper testing and the personalities of the sales people, shall we say are a bit less than cooperative when it comes to special requests. They are interested in mving large quantities of product at great prices - for someone to spend a 1/2 hour with you just isn't cost effective.




  
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Oct 04, 2012 15:24 |  #5

they dont have a return/exchange policy?


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PUREBRAD
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Oct 04, 2012 15:34 as a reply to  @ John from PA's post |  #6

B&H has a "no bag" policy and makes visitors check everything at the front door, so you can forget about bringing your body with you.

However, they do have most current bodies on a security tethered display for guests to play with. The display models have lenses on them, so I would ask the sales person if you could (swap out) and try the lens on one of the display cameras. I don't remember if the display models had permanently mounted lenses. If they are, I guess you're out of luck.

That said, there is really no sense in trying to figure out if the lens's AF is accurate by looking at the camera LCD, especially if shooting it wide (or close to) open. The only true test is to take the lens out shooting and review the images on your favorite computer.


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criTalon
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Oct 04, 2012 15:41 |  #7

Samy's lets you test as much as you like before you buy the lens. That's what I did with my 85 f1.2 before buying it - at least the one here in CA, Pasadena.


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PUREBRAD
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Oct 04, 2012 15:51 |  #8

John from PA wrote in post #15079965 (external link)
Obviously most of the replies come from people who have never been to B&H, nor many other of the NY camera stores. There is little room to do proper testing and the personalities of the sales people, shall we say are a bit less than cooperative when it comes to special requests. They are interested in mving large quantities of product at great prices - for someone to spend a 1/2 hour with you just isn't cost effective.

"little room to do proper testing?" Huh? There is plenty of space to test the lens...He is buying a 30mm, not a 300mm.

"less than cooperative?" What? B&H has the most accommodating, knowledgeable and professional sales staff of any retail electronics store I've ever been to. Where are you getting this info?

"just isn't cost effective?" Unless you work in B&H management (which I highly doubt you do), this statement is simply ignorant. B&H salespeople will spend an hour with you comparing $25 memory cards, if necessary.


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Oct 04, 2012 15:53 |  #9

PUREBRAD wrote in post #15080036 (external link)
B&H has a "no bag" policy and makes visitors check everything at the front door, so you can forget about bringing your body with you.

I always bring my camera to test their lenses. They will allow you to bring your bag if it's camera bag

I think what the OP wants is to try as many as brand new lenses in the box and try to get the sharpest copy, not just try the lens on their shelves.

If that's the case, then I'm very positive they wouldn't allow you to do that because it means they have to order bunch of lenses from their storage since they don't keep new lenses in their shelves


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strcmp
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Oct 04, 2012 15:59 |  #10

Note: this was about a year or 2 ago, not sure if their policies have changed since then.

Some of what is said above is incorrect at least relative to my experience there.

B&H certainly allows you to try lenses.

I have been to the B&H near the jacob javits center in NY around 30-35th st and there is plenty of room to do testing.
They have a long counter with like 20 sales reps. You wait on a line/queue, then get called over to a sales rep. You can then tell them which lens you want to play with and they will go to the backroom to get it for you. And you are also allowed to bring your own body to test the lens on. Maybe there is a no bag policy now? however I don't see why you couldn't bring your own body if it's not in a bag. At least that's what I did.

Update: If you are trying to test as many boxed copies of lenses as you can with the intention to buy the sharpest one.. i'm not sure if they will let you do that. Personally I haven't tried.

They were very accomodating and let me try various lenses like the 24-70mm, 10-20mm, the 24-105mm, sigma 30mm, etc. No pressure to buy. Plenty of people have been there just to try lenses.

There's also 2-3 "islands" in the middle where customers were swarming over the latest camera bodies to test those out. Each island was for a different brand. (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc)




  
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2loose
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Oct 04, 2012 16:07 |  #11

strcmp wrote in post #15080155 (external link)
Note: this was about a year or 2 ago, not sure if their policies have changed since then.

Some of what is said above is incorrect at least relative to my experience there.

B&H certainly allows you to try lenses.

I have been to the B&H near the jacob javits center in NY around 30-35th st and there is plenty of room to do testing.
They have a long counter with like 20 sales reps. You wait on a line/queue, then get called over to a sales rep. You can then tell them which lens you want to play with and they will go to the backroom to get it for you. And you are also allowed to bring your own body to test the lens on. Maybe there is a no bag policy now? however I don't see why you couldn't bring your own body if it's not in a bag. At least that's what I did.

They were very accomodating and let me try various lenses like the 24-70mm, 10-20mm, the 24-105mm, sigma 30mm, etc. No pressure to buy. Plenty of people have been there just to try lenses.

There's also 2-3 "islands" in the middle where customers were swarming over the latest camera bodies to test those out. Each island was for a different brand. (Canon, Nikon, Sony, etc)

It still same policy till now, there is still no bag policy, but if you bring your camera bag with your camera gear inside (yes, sometimes they check your bag to make sure that you actually bring your camera gear), they will allow you to take it

They will allow you to try as many bodies or lenses as you want as long as they are available in the shelves.

But, they will NOT allow you to try multiple brand new lenses from their storage and try to get the best copy. They are just not going to open a brand new lens from the box just to try it unless you're going to buy it, then it's ok, because you just wanna make sure that everything is ok


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noisejammer
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Oct 04, 2012 16:08 |  #12

I can't speak to B&H but Photocreative and Henry's in Mississauga and Aden Camera in Toronto let me try-before-buy. This is particularly true when I'm considering something a little more exotic. So far, my ZE 2.8/21, ZE 2/25 and ZE 1.4/35, ZE 2/100 and 400/4DO were tested in the shop.

I do it this way - I arrange to go at a quiet time, take my camera, use live view to focus, shoot some images and note the serial number of the lens. I then take the images home and look at them carefully. Then, if I like the lens, I'll buy it, if I don't, I'll show the sales people the images and they can use them to show the manufacturer why the lens was rejected. For the record, all of the lenses I've tested exceeded my expectation.

Of course, it helps if you have a good working relationship with the sales staff and you don't jerk them around. IMO, it would be completely unreasonable to ask to test (say) five lenses at the same time and look for the best.


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kfreels
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Oct 04, 2012 16:45 |  #13

I emailed Adorama and asked them to pull me a good Sigma 30m f1.4 and test it on a 7D before shipping and they were more than happy to oblige me.


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ekinnyc
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Oct 04, 2012 16:47 |  #14

thanks for the responses guys
sounds like i can bring my 50D there, try a lens, and see how it looks. if its sharp, i buy it. if not, i can just voice my concern right then and there.


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ekinnyc
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Oct 04, 2012 16:48 |  #15

kfreels wrote in post #15080331 (external link)
I emailed Adorama and asked them to pull me a good Sigma 30m f1.4 and test it on a 7D before shipping and they were more than happy to oblige me.

great idea!


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