Are Used Lenses or Cameras a Good Idea?

Nikon and Canon have pretty much kept their camera mounts compatible with their respective lenses, as have other manufacturers such as Leica. As a result, one can find a good used lens that may fill in an area where their collection is lacking. However, the cameras, with their newer focus, exposure, and vibration reduction capabilities requires compatibility issues to be researched a little further.

Fred Kornahrens of our “Used Camera Equipment” department gives these recommendations, when considering used photo equipment:

First, research if lens is compatible with your camera. Second, always try the used equipment, before purchase, or purchase from a reputable dealer with return policy.  Lenses can be a very good value when properly evaluated. Cameras are a little more tricky. Fred finds many of the camera bodies he evaluates to have shutter problems and other mechanical issues. He is able to recondition some of them, but usually rejects cameras which would require extensive repairs.

Used lens evaluation:

  • Check cosmetic condition for rough handling
  • Check for scratches on lense glass (both ends)
  • Check carefully for dust and fungus on glass
  • Test autofocus on your camera a few times

Used Cameras:

  • Ask for or test shutter count (camerashuttercount.com can be used free)
  • Check autofocus on close and far objects
  • Test all button & switches and thumbwheels for smooth action and operation
  • Take a picture at small aperture, out of focus,  for sensor dust
  • Try built in flash and external flash if possible

Most of the used equipment in our inventory come from customers that are trading-in and moving to new or different models.  By the way, should you be interested in film cameras,  we have a number of film cameras, Nikon, canon, Leica, etc.  Come in and Fred can give you more ideas on used equipment.  He is located in our  261 S. California Ave.  store in Palo Alto  (650) 327-8511. We also takes trade-ins, should you be interested in buying a new camera or lens.