Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-08-2008, 01:53 PM   #1
Loyal Site Supporter
RollsUp's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: AK USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,451
Used Lenses

What does one need to look for when buying used lenses?
Obviously scratches and dents.
Dust particles, how much dust does it take to affect IQ?
Haze, I've read that when the lens is viewed with a flashlight it would look somewhat foggy like?
Oil on the aperture blades, what does it look like and how does oil get on the blades?
Fungus, what does it look like?
Anything else I missed?

If I find any manual lenses when I'm at Anchorage, AK I would like to know what I need to watch out for.


08-08-2008, 02:25 PM   #2
Veteran Member
pasipasi's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Oulu
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 533
Try how the aperture, focus and zoom rings work. Dust particles might not be visible in the pics you take, but they may be vulnerable to shooting against light. If possible, mount the lens and shoot against a wall and see if the picture is sharp in edges and corners.
08-08-2008, 02:26 PM   #3
Veteran Member
deejjjaaaa's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: steel city / rust belt
Posts: 2,046 +lens
08-08-2008, 02:30 PM   #4
Veteran Member
Nesster's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NJ USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 13,047
Try the lever in the mount that stops the lens down. The aperture should close down fast, and open back up. If the mechanism is slow, the cause can be many things, but the result is not good for taking photographs. Unless you plan to spend your time or $$ getting it fixed, pass these by.

Imperfections in the front glass matter less than anything on the rear element, but can be used as a bargaining point.

Look for any bent filter ring. Again, not the end of the world, but should you choose to, it can be a bargaining point.

As pasipasi says, if you can, mount the lens and test it with the camera - does it focus to infinity, are there any strange behaviors with the zoom etc.

08-08-2008, 03:31 PM   #5
Site Supporter
stevebrot's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Vancouver (USA)
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 27,436
Use a bright flashlight to view the inside of the lens. Dirt, oil, element separation, and fungus become much more visible. Be particularly aware that fungus can be hard to detect except in oblique light. Avoid fungus at all costs since it generally gets worse and can be difficult, if not impossible to remove.

As stated previously, any issue with the rear element is much more critical than the front. Even a small spot of fungus toward the center of the inner surface of the rear element can make the lens soft overall.

08-08-2008, 04:52 PM   #6
Veteran Member
Shashinki's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Norway
Posts: 357
#1 rule of buying used lenses is: "checking if the lens is actually good in the first place so that you don't end up with a crappy Centon or Rokinon lens or something similar"
08-08-2008, 05:12 PM   #7
Veteran Member
heatherslightbox's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gainesville, FL
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,595
If you're going to buy used from a dealer, then make sure you buy from a reputable seller who has a good return policy just in case you get it and you find something is wrong. From personal experience, I can highly recommend KEH Camera: Used Cameras, Digital Cameras, Film Cameras, Laptop Computers and More.. I once bought a lens from them and when I got it, I noticed that it has a horrible case of zoom creep, so they took it back, no problems. They also have very high standards as to how they rate their lenses, so if the lens you want is rated in "Excellent" condition, it will most definitely be in "Excellent" condition.

08-11-2008, 03:07 PM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
RollsUp's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: AK USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,451
Original Poster
Thanks all. I'll keep your tips in mind when looking at lenses.
@Nesster, what lever are you talking about? Is it the one on the older Takumar/Super Takumar lenses?


  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
blades, dust, k-mount, lenses, oil, pentax lens, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax Km and old manual lenses: SMC Takumars & Tamron Adaptall 2 lenses Kendrick Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10 04-14-2010 03:23 AM
For Sale - Sold: Yard sale: M lenses, K 300mm, DA 14mm, ME film body, Nikkor lenses and more Nachodog Sold Items 24 12-26-2009 12:03 AM
For Sale - Sold: Lenses, lenses, lenses... and a flash! pbo Sold Items 18 05-28-2009 04:35 PM
For Sale - Sold: M42 / K / KA / FA Lenses Grab bag of Vintage to Current lenses. 50mm FA f/1.4 MikeDubU Sold Items 10 02-09-2009 12:45 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:31 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]