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Old 01-07-2010, 01:10 AM
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Default Buying old lenses

Any of you guys every buy whole camera setups off of Craigslist or at garage sales just to get the lenses? Is it a good idea? I keep looking at people who are selling their old 35mm film cameras with a few lenses, and I wonder if it might be a bargain just to get the lenses. The lenses won't have VR of course, but as long as they are AF I would be OK with this.

Here are a few I was just looking at:

http://denver.craigslist.org/pho/1535659281.html

http://denver.craigslist.org/ele/1534354050.html

http://denver.craigslist.org/pho/1525084760.html

http://denver.craigslist.org/pho/1520011670.html

http://denver.craigslist.org/ele/1499608697.html (My name is Sergio)

http://denver.craigslist.org/pho/1498848481.html (Starblitz?)
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Old 01-07-2010, 05:52 AM
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I personally don't have a problem buying from craigs list, just make sure you get to use those lenses before you buy them, check them out, make sure everything works properly or if it doesn't then offer a lower price. Most of the lenses I see on craigs are a dime a dozen, I hold off for the pro stuff the 2.8F lenses, they are usually well taken care of, because they were/are pro gear (expensive when new) and usually someone serious about photography had them. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFA FJ40 View Post
I personally don't have a problem buying from craigs list, just make sure you get to use those lenses before you buy them, check them out, make sure everything works properly or if it doesn't then offer a lower price. Most of the lenses I see on craigs are a dime a dozen, I hold off for the pro stuff the 2.8F lenses, they are usually well taken care of, because they were/are pro gear (expensive when new) and usually someone serious about photography had them. Just my 2 cents.
I agree, some lenses can be had for a good deal but I would call those mid-line lenses. For Canon I know the top level is the Red line. There is a 16-35 on Expedition that just sold for $1100 I believe.

If you want very good quality but don't want to break the bank check out the Sigma DX line. THey are very good and cost nearly half the price of Canon or Nikon Pro stuff. You may have to shoot a few before you find a real sharp copy but that is the same for the name brands. I have a 17-40 that I returned 3 times till I found the one I liked and this is not uncommon.

I think CL is the best place to find lenses for walk around and abusive situations AKA 4Wheeling. I don't bring the good stuff out because it will only fill with dust or worse. I use a Sigma 18-200 mm lens for Moab and other dusty environments. It does real well but not as nice as my Redline stuff.

Go check out some Siga stuff and read the reviews. You can usually get the same size lens from Nikon in a 4.0 for the price of a 2.8 in a Sigma with nearly the same quality glass. Check out B&H in NY they have the best selection hands down and great catalogs for you to drool on.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:27 AM
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dpreview has a lens review section. The Tokina wide angle got pretty good reviews and is half the price of a Nikkor. I buy everything I can from CL but as with anything, the evaluation is as much about the seller as the product.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:27 AM
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Thanks for all the analysis, Dave. I'm going to need to study up some more on this stuff.

AFA FJ40, the 2.8 stuff sure holds its value -- the prices usually are only a couple of hundred less than new. (Hey, what's your name anyway?)
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:52 AM
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Default evaluating used lenses

pawn shops can sometimes yeild some decent lenses, and you can easily inspect them. Here are some basic things to check out when evaluating used lenses:

1. visual inspection: check for any obvious signs of dropping, scratches on the body of the lens as well as the optics (both front and rear). gently shake the lens to be sure it doesn't rattle and feels tight. check mounting surface and be sure the contacts are in good shape, etc. Some Nikkor lenses have plastic mounts, while the 'higher' quality ones will be metal.

2. pop off the two caps and look through the lens: check the optics as well as the aperature blades for alignment, etc.

3. if the lens has an aperature ring, look through the lens and adjust it from max/min and check for smooth operation throughout the range and be sure watch the aperature acutally get bigger and smaller. It'll be obvious.

4. check the 'action' on the focus ring, too. be sure it's smooth and not too tight or loose throughout it's range also.

5. if you can...put it on your camera to check it out for quality (front/back focus issues, chromatic abberations, sharpness, etc.). also listen to the lens as you fire the shutter, it should not sound 'weird' (whatever THAT means. )

I like Dave's theory of getting an aftermarket or less expensive lens for wheelin' camping, etc. and if photography is important to you, invest in really nice glass when you want snap those "keepers". it truly is alll about the glass.

HTH
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Old 01-09-2010, 08:38 AM
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I saw this product in last month's Popular Science.

http://www.popsci.com/diy/article/2009-12/old
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:55 AM
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I have bought many used and new lenses over the years. Both manual and AF lenses. Many of those lenses were before the internet really got powerful like it has in the last years. So good old fashioned books (what turn pages, what's that) helped. Moose Peterson was a forerunner in the nikon world in really writing the truth of old glass. Recently my friend Dean who went with us on last years TLT in Moab sent me an article on my 500f4P telephoto lense. The sight he used, and he uses many, is www.nikonglass.blogspot.com. Wonderful right up on my lense. I still believe in f2.8 lenses if you can afford. Usually the best optics and coatings, smoothest mechanisms, and most money. But now you don't limit yourself from an exposure standpoint. Yes I know, now with you can reset your ISO at any time instead of for the whole roll of 36. But with f2.8 usually one less gyration to go thru and you can keep your ISO lower.

Also I am not very kind to my equipment at all. Even though it is mostly highend. So once a year or year and a half or so I would take to to Nikon Factory Service in Torrance,CA to have it serviced. Now this is not free but one thing you have to remember. They cannot or will not ship it back to you until those components are back to factory spec. This was very important to me as a photographer and an owner of expensive and abused equipment. They send you an evaluation with costs for you to approve or dissapprove and you go from there. Local guys being what they are I believe in the mother ship.
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Last edited by Cheeseman; 04-01-2011 at 02:30 AM.
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Old 01-11-2010, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheeseman View Post
The sight he used, and he uses many, is www.nikonglass.blogspot.com. Wonderful right up on my lense.
Very cool website! Thanks for the link.
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