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Old Aug 21, 2009, 8:17 AM   #11
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http://reviews.ebay.com/How-To-Detect-Flaws-in-Used-Camera-Lenses-on-Ebay_W0QQugidZ10000000001005542

I found this interesting article on how to check out used lenses. I think it's worth reading. Hope the link works.
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Old Aug 21, 2009, 8:39 AM   #12
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I've bought a number of my lenses in either used or refurbished condition, including my Minolta 28mm f/2, 50mm f/1.7, 100mm f/2, 135mm f/2.8, 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5, 35-70mm f/4 Macro; and Tamron SP 35-105mm f/2.8 (all are Autofocus, and they're all stabilized on my Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D and Sony DSLR-A700).

When buying used, I'd suggest sticking to reputable vendors that grade used gear fairly and offer a short term warranty. http://www.keh.com and http://www.bhphotovideo.com are popular vendors of used gear with great reputations.
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Old Aug 21, 2009, 8:52 AM   #13
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On the 3rd party aspect:

If the point was - ignore 3rd party lenses just in considering which brand has the most available lenses I could see the point. I.E. if sigma makes a lens for all the major camera brands, there is no benefit to one brand over the other in terms of number of lenses available. I think that's generally true for APS-C, not entirely sure about 4/3.

If the point is - don't consider buying 3rd party then like others here I completely disagree. There are some outstanding 3rd party lenses out there.
Sigma makes some fantastic offerings for instance:
120-300 2.8 - my most used field sport lens. Canon doesn't have a zoom lens at 2.8 that covers that range. Their 300mm prime is better but more expensive and forces you to shoot with 2 bodies (for sports) with a 2nd lens. So, the total cost of using the 300mm 2.8 is much more than the lens itself because you need a 2nd body and a 2nd lens.

The 100-300 f4 is a fantastic lens. Again, no one else makes one.
They have some exceptional macro lenses - sharper than OEM lenses at less price.

Tamron's 70-300 lens is extremely sharp and if you don't need fast focusing (i.e. not shooting sports or moving wildlife) it's a tremendous bargain at under $200

The list goes on and on.

As to buying used - here are my thoughts:
I think it's a very small subset of photographers interested in manual focus and / or manual aperture lenses. There's a market but not a big one IMO. Most people who have never done manual focus photography aren't interested in giving up AF - much less manually setting aperture.

Now, buying a current model AF lens on the used market can be a good approach. It's a tough call though and you need to be extremely careful. Personally I would probably only buy high-end pro grade glass this way - because of the discount. I.E. a used Canon 300mm 2.8 and save $1000 might be a good bargain. A used $300 lens for $200 - I'm not so sure. I'd rather pay the extra $100 and know the elements are clean and I had a warranty. But that's just me - everyone is different.
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Old Aug 21, 2009, 9:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
I'd rather pay the extra $100 and know the elements are clean and I had a warranty. But that's just me - everyone is different.
That's one reason I tend to stick with reputable vendors that grade used gear fairly. If B&H grades a used lens at a 9 or 10, or keh.com grades one at EX or EX+, etc., it's going to be in great condition (and both of them offer a short term warranty on used gear, as well as a better than average return policy if you decide you don't like a lens for any reason).
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Old Aug 21, 2009, 10:20 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnG View Post
. I.E. if sigma makes a lens for all the major camera brands

Sigma makes some fantastic offerings

Tamron's 70-300 lens is tremendous bargain

Sigma and Tamron make those lenses for? Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony (Minolta) mounts? I believe both Sigman and Tamron are produced for all 4 mounts. Olympus 4/3? Personally I don't know the answer, but if Sigma and Tamron don't currently, they will at some point.

So is the availability of a 3rd party lens an important selling point in choosing a camera? Shouldn't be even mentioned as a selling point, it is an added bonus.... but a bonus that is available to all mounts.
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Old Aug 21, 2009, 10:41 AM   #16
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Availability of AF lenses can make a difference.

For example, Pentax was a bit late jumping on the AF bandwagon. So, you don't see much in AF lenses on the used market compared to other brands. I looked at AF lens offerings from various vendors of used gear before deciding that Pentax was a bad way to go (if you wanted more AF lenses at a bargain price). When I was dSLR shopping, lenses in Minolta AF mount (a.k.a, Dynax, Maxxum, Minolta A, Alpha mount) had far more choices available at reasonable prices

Also, in the case of Nikon dSLR models, Nikon removed the focus motor in their entry level dSLR bodies (D40, D40x, D60, D3000, D5000). As a result, you need to use a lens with a motor built in (like a Nikon AF-S, Sigma HSM, or new Tamron lens with a built in motor) if you want Autofocus.

In the case of Sony dSLR bodies, you benefit from an in body stabilization system that works with used Minolta AF lenses (as well as lenses from third party manufacturers like Tamron, Sigma and others), and you've got a wide variety of lenses available on the used market. That was important to me.
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Old Aug 21, 2009, 11:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StevieDgpt View Post
Sigma and Tamron make those lenses for? Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony (Minolta) mounts? I believe both Sigman and Tamron are produced for all 4 mounts. ...
They make lenses for all four (five) mounts, but they don't make all their lenses for all four (five) mounts.

http://www.sigmaphoto.com/lenses/lenses_chart.asp

http://www.tamron.com/lenses/prod/as...alog_dec08.pdf

In addition, currently, Tokina only makes lenses for Canon and Nikon.

So the selection of new third party lenses for Canon and Nikon is much larger than the selection of new third party lenses for other mounts.
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