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02-16-2008, 03:44 PM   #1
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How to evaluate the condition of used lenses?

Because I am just new to DSLR (K10D) I don't want to spend a ton of money on lenses until I know better how to use the camera itself so I am considering purchasing some used lenses from my local and very reputable camera shop.

What should I pay special attention to when looking at used lensesto ensure that the glass and mechanics are good?

02-16-2008, 04:02 PM   #2
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if its an old lens with the aperture ring

look at it through a light, rotate the aperture ring, do all the positions correspond to a change in the aperture

put the aperture ring to the smallest hole, use your finger to dingle the aperture leaver, does it do it effortlessly/smoothly

while your doing both pay attention to the glass, are there dust spots inside, are there scratches, is there hazing of the glass

if its a zoom.. ZOOM, does it feel tight and unobstructive?

if its a shotgun zoom, how badly does it creep (put it verticaly see how fast it slides, if at all)

put it on the camera itself, focus close, focus infinity, take a picture, inspect the picture.

if its an A lens, put it on the camera, see if changing the aperture dial does anything, ie, does the camera "read" the lens


if all is good, go for it.
02-16-2008, 04:35 PM   #3
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That's a pretty good guideline for giving a lens a quick check-out. IMO, the biggest thing to look out for is fungus on the inner elements. Mechanical things can always be fixed (but ought to be taken into consideration when deciding how much to pay for the lens), but fungus is deadly. When you're looking into the lens from the front, fungus can show up as an overall haze on an inner element and also sometimes just as a small patch.
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