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second hand digital lenses?

what are your thoughts on going second hand digital lenses for canon instead of buying it new? Do you find a great compromise in quality? I’m thinking of the 16-35 for my d20./kitra

by [a former member] at 2005-12-09 12:06:02 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) Montreal , Canada | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Hey Kitra,

I’ve had good luck buying second-hand Nikon lenses. I bought an 85 mm f2 from a newspaper in New Jersey, and an 80-200 2.8 from a local camera shop, and I’ve been completely happy with them. Both take wonderful pictures, and I can’t tell any difference in quality from my 17-35 2.8, which I bought new. I think if you can buy from someone you know will have taken good care of the lens, or if you can see the lens yourself, buying used is an economical way to go. The last image in my gallery, for example, was taken with the 85 mm.

I know these aren’t Canon lenses, and they aren’t digital lenses, but hopefully this helps.


by Sean Carman | 09 Dec 2005 14:12 | D.C., United States | | Report spam→
I agree with Sean. Better to get from someone you know or a shop if possible. Not crucial, but more ideal. I don’t know what you mean by “digital lenses”. Perhaps just a lens for use with digital cameras. These are the same as film. I would though stay away from older auto focus lenses though. The newer ones are quieter, and generally have better coatings and all around optics. The canon 16-35 f/2.8 lens is a newer lens, and a fine lens in my opinion. The only potential downside to getting used is a lack of warranty (though I (knock on wood) have never had a problem in the first year), or if someone is trying to pass off a bad copy.

by Jethro Soudant | 09 Dec 2005 15:12 | Buffalo, NY, United States | | Report spam→
Hey Kitra,

You’ll be able to bump into many good used prime lenses as second lenses for your work. 16/35 or 17/35 2.8 are usually a digital canon documentary photographer’s main tool of work, true for you and for the person you’ll want to buy it from, and quite rare on the second hand market, I found. And if you find one, you might want to legitimately ask the photographer why he or she is getting rid of it. Also, a brand new canon lense don’t loose much of their value once used (may be 15%), which makes it expensive for you, but also a good investment. Also, I doubt you’ll find a used canon 16-35 2.8, as it is a new lense specifically designed for digital canon reflex bodies’ need.

Drop by Photoservice (http://www.photoservice.ca/) in Montreal and have a chat with the very knowledgeable and friendly staff about it, they will explain better than me why the 16-35 is best for digital. Something about light angle correction I think. There, you can also rent both the 16-35 (new) and the 17-35 (aka old) and see for yourself. If you negociate well, you’ll even be able to substract the price of the rental from the retail price (if you buy there…).

If I had a 20d, I wouldn’t try to save few hundred bucks on my main lense, I would buy a new 16-35 with a guarantee and good/rapid service. It will last you long (surely longer than you 20d). Should always invest more in quality lenses then in quality bodies, otherwise there is optical loss.

Of course, what you shoot with it and do with it is a totally different and almost unrelated story.

Hope this helps.


by Michel Huneault | 09 Dec 2005 20:12 (ed. Dec 9 2005) | Montreal, Canada | | Report spam→
This (Michel’s post) seems like sound advice . . .

by Sean Carman | 09 Dec 2005 20:12 (ed. Dec 9 2005) | Seattle, United States | | Report spam→
I’ve purchased quite a few second hand items off of KEH (www.keh.com), a used camera store. They have an accurate rating system and fair return policy. Definetly highly recommended.

by Jonathan McBride | 09 Dec 2005 21:12 | Lexington, United States | | Report spam→
I bought my 80-200 AF Nikon (the oldest one) to a friend of mine, who was using the lens for many years. I am using since 2001, with no problems. The best thing: buy it from a known guy, specially if you know wich use gave him to the lens. Good luck!

by [former member] | 09 Dec 2005 21:12 | Santiago, Chile | | Report spam→
i’m selling a Canon 20-35, 2.8 if your interested. Admitedly not a suseful as a prime lens as the 16-35, but better than a kick in the teeth, as they say!

by Robert Gallagher | 10 Dec 2005 17:12 | Santa Monica, United States | | Report spam→

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Sean Carman, Enviro lawyer and writer Sean Carman
Enviro lawyer and writer
Washington, D.C. , United States
Jethro Soudant, Photographer Jethro Soudant
Buffalo, Ny , United States
Michel Huneault, Photographer Michel Huneault
Katmandu , Nepal
Jonathan McBride, Photographer Jonathan McBride
Lancaster, Pa , United States
Robert  Gallagher, Photographer Robert Gallagher
Los Angeles , United States


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