Used Photography equipment
Cameras and lenses used
The guide for the purchase of new and used cameras and lenses.
How to choose lenses and cameras used
Whether you decide to opt for the new or used, it does not matter, you still need to put your hand to the wallet and, being important figures, I want to give you some useful tips to help you figure out how to avoid cheating. You can save or print this post, so you’ll always have it with you. A small clarification regarding the cameras, the indications you will read are for SLR and mirrorless.
The advantages for the purchase of new material
It is the purchase that certainly gives more guarantees, but also more emotions, do not hide it, when we have to open the packaging inside which there is the camera or the lens, we are excited as children. Now, let’s move on to the real advantages.
– The 4-year warranty offered by most brands. When there is the possibility, choose the Italian guarantee, the final price is a bit ‘higher, but the waiting time for a possible repair is reduced. With the exception of accidental impact damage, everything concerning the electronic part is covered by warranty. Generally, there should be no inconvenience, but there is always a first time, as happened to me for example. Among other things, experience that ended in the best way, indeed, I would say beyond my expectations.
The serial number of my camera was among those incriminati, that is, the brand – of which I do not name – has produced a first series of cameras with a major flaw, which I’ve never encountered. Despite this, a year after the expiry of the 4-year warranty, I sent it for a coupon. It has returned as new, in addition to replacing the shutter, they proceeded to change – even if there was no need – all the external coating, to carry out a general inspection and cleaning. Then, they performed calibration of AE / AF values via computer and firmware update.
– It will be easier to resell the camera or the lens, as long as you have carefully kept them and you can take advantage of a little warranty. I can not list disadvantages, even if, for someone, it may be too expensive. I want to eliminate any doubt, by asking you a question, what is photography for you and what are your goals? In this way you will understand if the purchase will be motivated by good reasons. However, eye to compulsive purchase syndrome.
The purchase of used items: how to avoid cheating
With a little patience it is possible to make good deals. Through a scrupulous search, you can make purchases with new conditions, but saving a lot. First of all, on the net or with friends photographers, find out about the current market value. After you get an idea of the price, which should vary slightly, proceed.
Where to buy it?
1. In a physical store, even better if it offers a guarantee, usually a year. The photographic material, before being sold, is checked / revised by the retailer who decides to take on any problems for the first 12 months. This is the best solution, because it will allow you both to save and to be on the safe side.
2. In an online store that, as per European legislation must propose the possibility of withdrawal. However, first, it is always better to send an email asking for detailed information on the transaction and shipping costs.
3. From a private individual it is a slightly riskier alternative, but with some tricks you can avoid unpleasant inconveniences. First of all, I recommend proceeding only if the exchange is possible by hand, in this way you will have the opportunity to make some verifications and also make a first impression with who you are dealing with. Ask if the item in question still has some residual warranty. Otherwise, if it is a camera I would leave it for the simple reason that it is composed of many electronic parts, which could hide the pitfalls and occur shortly after the purchase. Instead, with regard to the objectives, mainly constructed from glass parts, you can check the correct functioning through some tests.
6 ways to test a used lens
1. Check for any visible signs such as scratches or impact marks, especially on the front and on the bayonet.
2. Place the lens against the side of the graft and check for any scratches, molds or grains of dust.
3. Verify that the manual focus ring is smooth; open your ears to hear any strange noises.
4. Lightly shake the lens to hear if there are noises due to a shock.
5. Manually operate the lever to open the diaphragm and verify its correct operation.
6. Take a few photos at various apertures and check the correct focus and exposure.
A tip, do not focus too much on saving. Quality first of all. Make investments that guarantee reliability over time and do not get too influenced by the opinions of friends, online reviews or photo magazines. Who will have to use the camera or the lens will be you.