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Old May 18, 2009, 6:22 PM   #1
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Default On line lense purchase

Anyone here have any good experiences with online sites that sell lenses? Im looking for a 300-400 mm (open to make) and dont want to spend more then 300 Canadian dollars.
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Old May 18, 2009, 6:37 PM   #2
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keh.com for used gear is really good. I have gotten things from them and they always deliver what they promise.

I usually by my camera gear from bhphotovideo.com and memory cards from newegg.com

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Old May 18, 2009, 7:44 PM   #3
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I've had good experiences buying things from KEH, Adorama, B&H Photo Video and even eBay.

For that range, I think your best bet would be the Tamron 70-300 Di LD, which retails for US$170.
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Old May 18, 2009, 9:38 PM   #4
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I had bad experience when I bought the Flash and Remote Control from SonyStyle Australia. It wasn't really Sony's fault, but the courier Allied Express lost the package. Taking quite a few days for them to admit they lost the package which they did not say that straight. And, they took another few days for them to fill out a statement (declaring they lost the package) for Sony (so Sony can claim insurance and re-dispatch my items.)

My experience wasn't good, however, to be fair. I wouldn't blame this to Sony. Allied Express has quite bad reputation here, if you google a bit.
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Old May 18, 2009, 10:39 PM   #5
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I have bought several lenses through Ebay, also from local pawnshops etc. I have not had any problems, but I am picky about the descriptions, photos and terms. I always pay a little more for insurance on the shipping.

There are also warranties available from many suppliers. I bought a one year warranty on my 'beercan' for about $20 US. Well worth it for my peace of mind.

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Old May 19, 2009, 8:12 AM   #6
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Another "vote" for KEH for used gear. I once bought a lens from them that had a stuck irus (wouldn't shut down from viewing to shooting). They not only replaced the lens, they also paid shipping to return the lens and ship the replacement. Hard to do better than that.

For new gear, B&H, Addorama, (and some others I am sure) are good. You should be very suspicious of any vendor selling at a price much lower than B&H. Some reputable vendors get a little bit lower than B&H, but I have not heard of any getting much lower.
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Old May 19, 2009, 9:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vexedviking View Post
Anyone here have any good experiences with online sites that sell lenses? Im looking for a 300-400 mm (open to make) and dont want to spend more then 300 Canadian dollars.
Does it have to be online? Many local retailers sell used gear. By the time you pay shipping charges, cover insurance costs, and potential import taxes at the border (if the item comes from another country), it may be easier to buy something used from a local store.

I say this because I recently bought a new lens at Henry's (for about 400 bucks). Turns out there was two specs of dirt inside the lens on two of the inner elements. The defect had gone unnoticed by the staff when they rated the lens, and it took me an hour to find (after I noticed odd imperfections in some of my images). Thankfully, I had bought it locally and it cost me nothing to return it for a refund. Had the lens been purchased on eBay, it would have been another issue.

My personal rule of thumb is to:
1) Buy used products locally
2) Buy used products online ONLY if I accept I might get nothing usable for my money
3) Only buy new products online from reputable dealers.
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Old May 19, 2009, 9:58 AM   #8
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Buying used lenses from eBay is very risky, IMO. Yes, many people have done it (including myself) and got great values but, you never know what you are buying. One of the most common problems with lenses is related to focus inaccuracy, softness, etc.. It is common for two copies of any particular lens produce very different results. Just because the eBay seller claims that the lens is in mint condition, it does not mean that the optics are also good.

Moving on, KEH sells used equipment (primarily) and are very reliable. The good thing about them is that they will take the item back in case you are not satisfied with it. However, their prices are a bit higher than what you pay on eBay (for used stuff). The best option would be to buy used lenses from a local store (if there is one near by you). They are disapearing fast, though. There you can try the lens first making sure you are happy with IQ and operation of it before you buy it.

As for online retailers, I always try Amazon first. If they have it, I buy it from them. Not only they have very competitive prices but they are fast, their customer service and return policy are excellent and you don't pay taxes and s/h. Other good retailers are B&H, Adorama, Digital Foto Club (not as popular but very reliable...I've bought many items from them) among many others.
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Old May 19, 2009, 11:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conor View Post
Does it have to be online? Many local retailers sell used gear. By the time you pay shipping charges, cover insurance costs, and potential import taxes at the border (if the item comes from another country), it may be easier to buy something used from a local store.
Yes, but it does severely limit your selection. And many online retailers of used lenses have rigorous inspection proceedures they apply before they buy something. And many items offered for sale on eBay are offered by equally reputable retailers that use eBay as an alternative to hosting their own ecommerce website.
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