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  1. #1
    Senior Member

    Buying a used lens (24-70mm 2.8)

    Hello all. What should I be certain to look for when inspecting this item? I was all set to buy a used d810 and new Tamron 24-70mm 2.8, but it all fell apart. I was looking at the Tamron because reviews had said that it was just as sharp as the Nikon but at half the price.. While looking around I found a used Nikon 24-70 for the same price as a new Tamron. This would be a win for me personally, but also a cause for caution. I would be buying from a reputable store in Dallas. I would hope that they would only sell a quality item, or that they would at least disclose any flaws, but buyer beware! Please advise.


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  2. #2
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Buying a used lens (24-70mm 2.8)

    Quote Originally Posted by texaslimo View Post
    Hello all. What should I be certain to look for when inspecting this item? I was all set to buy a used d810 and new Tamron 24-70mm 2.8, but it all fell apart. I was looking at the Tamron because reviews had said that it was just as sharp as the Nikon but at half the price.. While looking around I found a used Nikon 24-70 for the same price as a new Tamron. This would be a win for me personally, but also a cause for caution. I would be buying from a reputable store in Dallas. I would hope that they would only sell a quality item, or that they would at least disclose any flaws, but buyer beware! Please advise.
    Feel the rings while you zoom and also while you focus manually. Are they both smooth and operate without feeling too stiff? Look at the front and rear glass to make sure there aren't any nicks/scratches. That is especially important on the rear glass. With both caps removed, look through the lens from the back to the front and from the front to the back. You might see a little internal dust--that would be normal and shouldn't affect images.

    Put it on your body and shoot wide open. Pick something that is really noticeable to check how sharp it focuses while wide open. Stop it down to all apertures and keep watch of your top display. Make sure the aperture numbers display properly. Stop down to f/5.6 or f/8, shoot, and see how sharp everything looks. Make sure it focuses both with the AF as well as manual focus. Flip the switch on the lens and try it to be sure.

    I'm not sure what fungus might look like inside a lens. Maybe someone here can give you ideas of what to look for as a precaution. Be sure the lens comes with both front and rear caps. See if the cost includes a hood--a new lens includes the HB-4- Bayonet Lens Hood (if this is the non-VR lens). Otherwise, a new hood costs $29.95. Ask what type of warranty it comes with and what their return policy is. For example, you might get a 7-day return policy with a 30-day warranty. I *think* that's what a camera store here offers. If you return it, will you get a refund or only store credit?

    There's nothing wrong with buying used...especially from a reputable camera store. Good luck!
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2018 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  3. #3
    Senior Member

    Re: Buying a used lens (24-70mm 2.8)

    Thanks for the tips, hark. I will use this when I go into the store!

  4. #4
    Senior Member

    Re: Buying a used lens (24-70mm 2.8)

    I found a nice checklist online quite some time ago and have it saved on my computer (for both bodies and lenses).

    Hope this helps! If you would like a PDF copy of this, feel free to send me a PM.

    Lens Checklist

    1. Look at the front and rear lens elements. Are there any scratches? Angle the glass towards a light and look at the reflection. Are there any marks or swirls in the lensí coating?
    2. This one is kind of up for debate, but hold the lens towards a light source and look through it. Is there dust or fungus on any of the inner elements? While some dust is normal on almost all lenses, fungus is not. Fungus is a deal breaker for me because it etches the glass and can never be fully removed without a re-polishing. Dust on the other hand isnít something I worry about unless the seller said the lens had just had a fresh cleaning or is supposed to be new. A film can also be present on older lenses. If itís supposed to be a clean lens, make sure there isnít a lightly frosted look to the inner glass as it will affect the image quality.
    3. Check the lens mount for brassing. While brassing isnít a deal killer, again, if the seller said in like new condition, be sure that it is.
    4. Check the lens terminals. Make sure the pins arenít loose and that it doesnít look like someone did a crappy repair job.
    5. Mount the lens to the camera. Check to see that thereís very little play between the camera mount and lens mount. Also make sure the camera doesnít show any kind of error message when moving the lens and holding the shutter half way down.
    6. Does the lens AF? Make sure it does.
    7. Does the lens focus to infinity and up close through the entire zoom range.
    8. If the lens has a focus scale, check for cracks in the plastic. Then check that the scale matches what the lens is doing (i.e. if youíre focused to infinity be sure the scale shows infinity).
    9. Use AF and select a focus point; take a picture. Review the picture and check focus. If your camera works with every other lens youíve mounted on it, but not with this one; thereís a problem.
    10. Use manual focus and be sure itís smooth; if it catches, there could be a problem. The same goes for the zoom; If it catches, there could be a problem.
    11. Check that the filter threads have no flat spots and that a filter will screw into them
    12. If the lens has IS and other switches, be sure these features work. On most image stabilized lenses, you can hear the IS motor working.
    13. If the lens is supposed to have full time manual focus override, be sure that it works.
    14. Set the lens to infinity focus and focus on something up close. Does the lens AF as fast as itís supposed to? Different lenses will have different focusing speeds, but knowing how slow or fast it should be is important. If itís horribly slow and itís supposed to be lightning quick, thereís a problem.
    15. Check the lens grips and be sure theyíre snug. While loose grips are pretty common on older lenses, they are normally cheap and easy to replace. If itís a known problem before you buy the lens, be sure that you can get a replacement and that theyíre not discontinued. While this isnít a huge deal, Iíd hate to use rubber bands on a lens I just paid through the nose for.
    16. Check the outer condition of the lens. If the lens is supposed to be new, check that the lettering isnít starting to wear off and that there arenít scuffs in the paint.
    17. To get real picky, look at the screws that hold the lens together. Professionals use the correct screw driver sizes so that thereís very little damage to the screw heads. If the lens screws are all mauled up or mis-matched, it might make me think twice. If itís a new lens, then thatís a no go.
    18. Do a shake test. No, I mean give the lens a little shake. Does anything rattle? If it does, what is it and where is it?
    Last edited by Prefrosh01; 01-10-2019 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Added Comment
    Thanks/Like hark Thanks/liked this post
     
    Camera: D750
    Nikon Zoom Lenses: AF-S NIKKOR 24Ė120mm f/4G ED VR, AF-S 70-300mm F4.5-5.6G VR
    Nikon Prime Lens: AF-S 50mm 1.8G, AF-S 85mm 1.8G
    Flash: Nikon SB-400, Yongnuo YN-568EX x 2

  5. #5
    Staff
    Super Mod
    hark's Avatar

    Re: Buying a used lens (24-70mm 2.8)

    Quote Originally Posted by Prefrosh01 View Post

    11. Check that the filter threads have no flat spots and that a filter will screw into them
    I forgot about this, and it's a really good point. If the front threads don't accept a front filter, then CP filters, ND filters, and other types might not be able to be used. Many of the other items listed can be checked visually or tested while looking at the lens. But unless you take a filter with you, you won't know if the front threads are okay or are damaged...unless the seller has a filter available.
    Cindy
    Flickr
    and
    My 2018 Thread
    Where the Spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art
    -- Leonardo da Vinci



  6. #6
    Senior Member

    Re: Buying a used lens (24-70mm 2.8)

    Wow... that is some list! I have the response save to my email so I will be sure to have it in store. Thanks y'all for the input!

  7. #7
    Senior Member

    Re: Buying a used lens (24-70mm 2.8)

    The last new lens I bought turned out to have image quality issues. Next time I will take my camera to the store to test the lens with and review the images at home. If they are good I will go back for the lens. This would have saved me time and them paperwork.
    D810; D7200; AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR; Sigma 150-600mm C; AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; AF-S 85mm f/1.8G
    Old non-AF; 105mm f/2.5; 28mm f/2.8
    Godox V860II

  8. #8
    Junior Member

    Re: Buying a used lens (24-70mm 2.8)

    I joined just to post this comment.

    On all AF-S lenses, failure of the motor is a top concern. When the motor begins to go and seize itíll make a grinding noise.

    Another issue with AF-S and newer lenses is that they use lead free solder, which is why AF-S lenses only have a 10 year warranty from the date of manufacture.

    Repairs on Nikon lenses are very expensive and parts on discontinued lenses are becoming scarce. With that said, I purchased a N24-70/2.8G the other day, the lens is to nice for the previous issues to scare me away.

    Note, thereís a internet post somewhere online where a guy found that AF-S motor failures are from oxidation on two self lubricating sleeves. This guy dissembled his lens, cleaned off the oxidation and the lens operates good as new.

    In short, if the motor grinds pass on it. Good luck with your decision.
    Nikon: D700 ē SB-600
    Nikkor: 24-70/2.8G ē 24-120/4G ē 28-105/3.5-4.5D ē 50/1.8D ē 70-300/4.5-5.6G
    Aokatec: AK-G1s GPS

  9. #9
    Senior Member

    Re: Buying a used lens (24-70mm 2.8)

    Welcome to the forum Tom!
    Best Answers Call_me_Tom voted best answer for this post
     
    D810; D7200; AF-S 24-120mm f/4G ED VR; Sigma 150-600mm C; AF-S 50mm f/1.8G; AF-S 85mm f/1.8G
    Old non-AF; 105mm f/2.5; 28mm f/2.8
    Godox V860II

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Bikerbrent's Avatar

    Re: Buying a used lens (24-70mm 2.8)

    Welcome aboard Call_me_Tom. Enjoy the ride.
    We look forward to seeing more posts and samples of your work.
    Best Answers Call_me_Tom voted best answer for this post
     
    Brent: Poway, CA
    D7200, D200, F100
    Tokina 12-24mm
    Nikon 18-200mm
    Tokina 28-70mm f2.6-2.8
    Nikon 80-200mm f2.8
    Sigma 150-600mm
    Nikon 50 AF f1.8
    Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
    Nikon SB800





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