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01-24-2011, 11:08 AM   #1
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Buying lenses from Craigslist, what should I look for?

I'm looking to buy a couple lenses off ebay. What should I look for to make sure they are of quality?

01-24-2011, 05:38 PM   #2
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Pray to the lens gods and ask for deliverance.

Otherwise, ask us here. Tell us the lens brand, focal length, maximum aperture, and you'll get much advise. Or go to the top of this webpage, on the line that says HOME FORUM CAMERAS LENSES ACCESSORIES ARTICLES GROUPS etc. Click on LENSES and read user reviews. If you have lenses in hand that you're considering, like at pawn shops or yard sales, click on ARTICLES and then LENS ARTICLES and then read my guide to buying pawn-shop lenses. Good luck!
01-24-2011, 06:29 PM   #3
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Do you mean quality lenses, or lenses in good working order?
01-24-2011, 06:37 PM   #4
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Lenses in good working order more specifically, but I guess quality lenses would be good too, lol. Currently I'm looking at picking up a Macro 1:4.5-5.6 80-200mm and a Sigma super wide II 1:2.8 24mm for $40. I don't know the brand for teh 80-200mm (I'm awaiting a email reply).

01-24-2011, 06:58 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
I'm looking to buy a couple lenses off ebay. What should I look for to make sure they are of quality?
Craigslist? or eBay? Pls make up your mind.

Or maybe you're ACDC... anyway, I recommend reading this first:

best of craigslist: You stole my freakin' cameras


Have fun with your cheep cheep manual manual lenses, make sure you don't spend over the Pentax Owner $75 Limit™ though.

.R.
01-24-2011, 07:09 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
Lenses in good working order more specifically, but I guess quality lenses would be good too, lol. Currently I'm looking at picking up a Macro 1:4.5-5.6 80-200mm and a Sigma super wide II 1:2.8 24mm for $40. I don't know the brand for teh 80-200mm (I'm awaiting a email reply).

are you sure that sigman super wide II is 24mm? i thought they're only in 28mm, what brand is the zoom?

It's not too hard to check out lens.

1) check the glass, scratches both front/rear elements
2) check the aperture, clicks, open ect...
3) check the aperture for sticky oil ect...
4) take some pictures with it, zoom in and scroll around, see if anything's mess up...

and ofcourse the fungus and stuff ect...

for the most parts lens are quite easy to buy in working condition, people tend to keep them very well (hehe, most of them bought it for hundreds of dollars, I'd be amaze if they treat it poorly).
01-24-2011, 07:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mojoe_24 Quote
I'm looking to buy a couple lenses off ebay. What should I look for to make sure they are of quality?
Except for the obvious defects you can see in an ebay photo, I don't think there's much you can do. But it's probably not a big deal with a $40 lens. There are all kinds of defects that seem to be common even in brand new lenses, and you can't test for them without actually having the lens. Because of that, I'd hesitate to buy a $400 lens from a seller that didn't have an amazon-like no-question return policy.

Paul
01-24-2011, 08:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by clockwork247 Quote
are you sure that sigman super wide II is 24mm? i thought they're only in 28mm, what brand is the zoom?
Sigma had SuperWide's in both 28 and 24mm, the 24 is prized and that's a damn good price. Most ~80-200 'macro'-zooms of that vintage aren't that great. If it's branded Sears or Vivitar or Soligor, it won't be too bad, but don't expect a lot from it. And 'macro' zooms ain't macro.

01-24-2011, 08:44 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Sigma had SuperWide's in both 28 and 24mm, the 24 is prized and that's a damn good price. Most ~80-200 'macro'-zooms of that vintage aren't that great. If it's branded Sears or Vivitar or Soligor, it won't be too bad, but don't expect a lot from it. And 'macro' zooms ain't macro.
The Super Wide was 24mm, the Mini Wide was 28mm.

Sigma 24mm f2.8 Super Wide II Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

Sigma 28mm F2.8 Mini Wide II-- Manual Focus Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

$40 is an absolute steal for the Sigma if it's in good condition.
01-24-2011, 08:58 PM   #10
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The Sigma is likely to be a KA mount (I think that's what II meant in Sigma-speak) and have a version of the Ricoh pin. Don't worry, it's probably harmless. I used mine for years before removing the extra pin. It's the third lens pictured here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/87589-photos-k-m42-m...-k-mounts.html

The markings are painted on the later versions and might be worn. Don't worry about that either, still a useful lens to own.
01-24-2011, 09:05 PM   #11
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Ask the seller lots of questions, such as: are there any flaws that you know of in the lens? When you remove both lens caps and look through the lens, do you see any dirt, dust, scratches or something that looks like spider webs in the glass? (the last is fungus, very difficult to remove). Does the aperture mechanism work?

The seller may not be able to answer all those questions, but his/her willingness to try will tell you something about the seller. An honest seller will try to give you as much information as possible. If there is a dispute after the sale, your record of email correspondence will help your case with the eBay people.

Oh, and make sure all communication is via eBay, not direct email. Ebay messages are available for the dispute resolution folks to look at. If the seller misrepresented the item, you stand a better chance of getting your money back.

By asking a lot of questions, you eliminate the seller's ability to say "I never said it was in working order." You will have a record that he/she did, in fact, say just that.

If the seller insists that he got it at an estate sale and he knows nothing about cameras, either walk away from the deal, or treat as a gamble, if the price is low enough. The first rule of gambling is, never bet more than you can afford to lose. IOW, don't pay $100 (or any amount), in the absence of positive representations, unless you can afford to lose $100 on a completely worthless lens. If its $20, you're probably not going to lose any sleep if you get ripped off.
01-24-2011, 09:07 PM   #12
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fear not, craigslist (and eBay) are not inherently bad, though occasionally you may run into bad people...in years of buying and selling on both, I only had one bad transaction out of a couple hundred.

Fact is, I've only ever bought one lens brand new, and that was last month. Besides that, my entire rig (3 DSLRs, dozens of lenses, a couple flashes, tripod, etc, etc) all came second hand from eBay and craigslist. I could not be more pleased either.
knocks on wood.
good luck!
01-24-2011, 09:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
The Sigma is likely to be a KA mount (I think that's what II meant in Sigma-speak) and have a version of the Ricoh pin. Don't worry, it's probably harmless.
The II meant it was a PK/AR lens. The original Super Wide was a PKM lens. Yes it does have the "Ricoh" pin, but it is not the kind that will get stuck.
01-25-2011, 12:37 AM   #14
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Sorry I meant craigslist. I'll probably go through with it then. Figure for the price I can just sell them if I don like them and buy something else for my Kx lol.
01-25-2011, 05:49 AM   #15
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Here is a great forum article written by RioRico.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-lens-articles/59245-pawnshop-lense...ers-guide.html

Tim
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