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Photography Question 
Donna R. Wageman
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/27/2005
 

Used lenses


Does anyone know of a reputable business that sells used tele-photo lenses?
I presently have 3 DSLR Nikon bodies. Would like to add a "lengthy" lens to my collection for capturing images of wildlife.
I do have the Nikor 400 VR and a Sigma 500mm.

Thank You for any info!


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10/30/2008 2:11:18 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Try B&H's Used Department
(...or Keh)


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10/30/2008 2:20:20 PM

 
W.   
Where do you live, Donna? Assuming you don't want to spend hundreds "sight unseen"! on used high-tech gear...

Have fun!


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10/30/2008 2:46:39 PM

 
William Schuette
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2006
  KEH.com has an extensive used lens inventory for Nikons. The ratings are very accurate and the company is very reliable.


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10/30/2008 4:58:44 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  It isn't for everyone, but I enjoy buying vintage glass off ebay and rigging it to my digital camera. There can be issues if you don't learn about the lenses, but I have some magnificent glass that cost very little just because it is old. You give up auto-everything...but it can't be surpassed for saving money!

Richard Lynch


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10/31/2008 6:45:12 AM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  E-Bay can be a viable source for used glass but one must be cautious and know what to expect from a prospective seller.

Older manual focus super-telephotos can often be acquired for a fraction of the cost of their more recent auto-focus equivalents.
As long as the seller is reputable and there is some type of return policy, you can buy from those auction sites with relative confidence.

Donna,
Just curious, but if you have a 400 and 500 mm lens...how much "lengthier" to you need to go?
Have you tried teleconverters?
There will be those who will dismiss that suggestion as "sacrificing quality" and they will be correct if your big guns are of poor optical quality.
Well-made (and fast) telephoto lenses will mate well with matching teleconverters to stretch your reach with minimal compromises to quality...and for much less cost than acquiring a huge super-telephoto.

Bob


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10/31/2008 4:23:29 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  Bob, that is either if the 'big guns' or the teleconverter itself is of poor optical quality...I've also had experience where it seems a lens will favor one teleconverter over another -- that works just fine with still other lenses. Almost every teleconverter I've gotten off ebay (every one packaged with a lens) has been worthless, except one Sigma TC that I got with a 70-200 EX that I removed the glass from to use as an extension tube (and that was a great consequential buy).

Another option for 'going long' might be a quality telescope. For the price my 1980mm telescope will outperform any combination of lens and converter I have at half the length. It came with an M42 mount which can be converted for just about any camera body. You do, however, need a lot of light, a tripod that can handle it, and cable/electronic release.

As far as ebay...you need to ask pertinent questions (e.g., is the glass moldy, hazy, dinged, coated, do apertures/blades work, etc., when that information is not included in the description) get additional photos when necessary, and be careful about defining mounts -- these extras and dealing with potential returns are why I said ebay is "not for everyone". I've had difficulty with 1 return in all the many purchases I have made, and that could have been avoided by looking deeper into the seller's reputation (which I didn't do as I'd had so many easy experiences, and was pretty excited about this particular lens). But even then I got my money back and was only out the time I wasted making he return.

Richard Lynch


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11/1/2008 7:38:58 AM

 

BetterPhoto Member
  ADORAMA


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11/1/2008 1:52:44 PM

 
Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  "...that is either if the 'big guns' or the teleconverter itself is of poor optical quality."

That's a given...and is what I meant by "matching" the T/C to a well-made (and fast) telephoto lens, preferably by the same manufacturer.

I've used e-bay a few times for used lenses and have never regretted the deals I found there...but as mentioned, the seller must be reputable and you do need to ask questions if the product is not described and pictured clearly enough to see exactly what you are buying.


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11/1/2008 2:53:19 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  I don't think 'reputable seller' is a necessity for getting a deal. Quite the opposite. If you can find the diamond in the rough, you get a much better deal. "reputable sellers" generally sell at what they can get for it, which is top dollar -- or as close as possible.

Don't tit-for-tat, and you won't get tatted...

Richard


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11/1/2008 5:44:14 PM

 
W.   
Imo ANY TC degrades the image quality unacceptably: focus softening, flare, chromatic aberration ('CA', a.k.a. 'purple fringeing').
Plus it costs 1,5 F/stops, minimum.


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11/2/2008 8:25:16 AM

 
John G. Clifford Jr
BetterPhoto Member Since: 8/18/2005
  Richard is right; eBay is a remarkable resource for finding great deals on camera lenses.

I bought an as-new Sigma 70-200/2.8 EX HSM lens a few years ago for half the street price... and have been very satisfied with it. I picked up an as-new Sigma 100-300/4 EX APO lens a few months ago, that came with a 3-year warranty, for 30% less than the new street price. I can't tell you how many great old lenses I've purchased off of eBay... my MTO 1100/10.5 mirror, my Vivitar 600/8 Solid Cat mirror, my Pentax SMC-Takumar 50/1.4 M42-mount, my brand-new Sigma 15-30 EX lens for half the street price (from a dealer reducing stock!), etc.

You have to know what you're looking for, and I use PayPal exclusively to get protection. I've had to use it once on a lens that was sent to me which had clearly visible fungus that was not noted on the item description... and the seller was being a butt-head, but PayPal got my money back quickly.


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11/20/2008 9:01:24 PM

 
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