7 Things to Check When You Buy a Used Lens

Lenses are not cheap, and you can potentially save thousands of dollars by buying used, but of course, you assume certain risks in doing so. If you are thinking of buying a used lens, this helpful video will give you seven things to check to ensure that you get a high quality optic that will give you years of good performance. 

Coming to you from ZY Productions, this great video features seven things you should check when buying a used lens. Some people are wary of this or outright refuse to, but as someone who loves playing with gear and constantly trying new things, I certainly would not be able to have half as much fun and creative exploration if I did not embrace the used market. And through careful purchasing, I have never had an issue and have easily saved thousands of dollars and been able to afford lenses I wouldn't have purchased otherwise. Since you can't always check out a lens in person, one thing that has helped me has been finding a forum I trust. I use Fred Miranda's buy and sell forum, as it is made specifically for photographers and features a close-knit community with a good feedback system. It enabled me to get my beloved Canon 200mm f/2L IS lens in new condition for about 40% less than the new price. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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Rohan Gillett's picture

I always buy new lenses and there is a reason for it. In Japan, where I live, buying secondhand seems to be nearly as expensive as buying new.

Rohan Gillett's picture

Not in my experience, but as my yearly salary is fairly limited I don't invest in gear often. Having said that I would like an X-T4 ...

Alex Cooke's picture

I recommend ponies; they're awesome. :)

George Popescu's picture

You can use craigslist Tokyo, I've bought and sold a few lenses directly to people using that website.

Doris Liu's picture


Hector Belfort's picture

Maybe I’m old fashioned but I prefer reading to YouTube videos. You are only reposting YouTube videos now most of the time. This is obviously commercial as there must be pay to Fstoppers for the playing of the video. You’d wonder how sustainable that is. YouTube will pay less and less out over time and your readership will drop and drop as the website is becoming more and more irrelevant. I don’t mind a bit of it but it dominates now. I’m sure Alex Cooke could still write photography posts but it’s obviously less financially attractive than posting a link to some other video.

Hector Belfort's picture

Yes they sure do but it can’t be exciting for them either.

Freddie Gibbons's picture

I try not to take the second-hand, but there's another case. The point is, I'm a novice photographer and I can't afford a new lens. I want to see tips that will help me not to make a mistake when choosing a good lens.