Analyze your options: In the era of internet and online shopping there are many sources available to buy used lenses. Websites that sell used stuff such as Olx can be an idle place to look. If you do not find anything useful you can always turn to the local camera stores.
Investigate: When purchasing a used lens you must know why it is being sold. The seller’s response to this quarry can often create or eradicate any suspicion. Mostly the reason provided is ‘Switching camera brands’ or ‘Shifting from Crop to full frame’. Such replies are often doubtful and fishy.
Physical impacts: while looking at a used lens small scratches and wears will be evident on the lenses body. However these do not impact the lenses’ performance but scratches and lines on the glass of the lens (at both ends or in the internal segments) can be a deal breaker.
Shining light through the lens: Using a pocket torch or a flash light, incident it from one end of the lens such that it passes through the other end. Any scratch or dust particle that lies between the glass segments inside the lens can now be visible more clearly. Even though miniature dust particles do not impact the result much, larger particles, clumps or scratches can bring about a noticeable decrease in image quality.
Aperture blade flow: If you are buying a lens that only allows changing aperture digitally, you will need a DSLR body to perform this test. All you need to do is change the aperture and see if the aperture expands and collapse flawlessly on every command.
The filter mount: The front ends of the lens often contain a thread that a filter can be mounted and screwed on. Mostly these are overlooked when buying a used lens but should be taken under consideration if the buyer plans to use filters.
The ‘Slightly damaged’ Hypothesis: “Bus sirf thora sa focusing karne mai masla hai, lekin sastay mai theek hojiaga” is what usually the seller claims. This slight damage to the lens, that the seller suggests, would be repaired for a low price can often cost more than the price of the actual lens. The very same reason is also the reason for that person to sell the lens out. It is highly recommended to turn away from such deals unless you are willing to accept the fault within the lens.
Connection points on the mount: Digital lenses contain few square contact points on their mount that attach to the cameras contact points in order to send and receive data for aperture autofocus and lens information. If the user has been using the lens roughly they can often be scratched and their color would have been changed from pure golden to a much darker and dirtier shade due to dust accumulation. In such situations these can fail to transfer information properly and may not provide prompt responses to auto focusing and aperture shifts.
Sleekness Zooming: For a lenses with variable focal lengths whether they are the spin zoom types or the push and pull zoom types the movement of the lens should be smooth and sleek.
The AF motor: Lenses that feature an autofocus motor inside them should be checked for proper focusing functionality. If you are purchasing a high end lens known for its ‘Ultra Sonic Motor’ or “Silent focusing motor’ you should check for the lens to make no noise while focusing. Even with low end lenses the speed of focusing should be fast and consisting (exclusive of kit lenses of course).
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