Random Thoughts... [Photographic Edition]

Tram

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Continuing with my lens story: something's definitely wrong with it, and it's probably VR. I haven't had that much need to look into one so far, but now I kinda need one for my uni project.

I'm currently debating whether to buy a camera lens from eBay or from classifieds. Classifieds are cheaper and you can meet the person, and it's pretty much an instant purchase then, but it's also a bit risky. On the other hand, some sellers even offer 12-month warranties on eBay, and I've heard good things about eBay's buyer protection system. Still, you have to wait a bit more, there's a chance of package being damaged in transport, and of course, it's still somewhat risky.

I don't have money for a new lens, though, and I'd just get the same as I had, but working. Does anyone have experience buying second-hand camera lenses here?

Oh, and as for which lens it is exactly, AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55 mm f3.5-5.6 VR is what I had, the local classified ad is for a AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55 mm f3.5-5.6 VR II. Does the VR II part make it better/worse? It's being sold for €80, whereas on eBay, they go for around €95 shipped. Is that eBay seller warranty worth the extra €15-ish?
 

CraigB

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My camera got knocked off a counter a few years ago, part my fault, part my fathers. A new lens was going to be $800. Neither one of us wanted to pay our half so I bought a grey market import. It was bout half the price of new. Honestly, I can not remember if it was off of eBay or Amazon, but it showed up in a couple days and was exactly like the one that got broken.
 

Matt2000

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I don't have money for a new lens, though, and I'd just get the same as I had, but working. Does anyone have experience buying second-hand camera lenses here?

Oh, and as for which lens it is exactly, AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55 mm f3.5-5.6 VR is what I had, the local classified ad is for a AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-55 mm f3.5-5.6 VR II. Does the VR II part make it better/worse? It's being sold for €80, whereas on eBay, they go for around €95 shipped. Is that eBay seller warranty worth the extra €15-ish?
I just got a new lens to use with my pre-ordered Nikon Z9 when it eventually arrives, a 28-300mm full frame lens because my old DX lenses would be of little use. There's not much to buying used lenses at this level, what you see is what you get and they aren't complex enough to hide too much. You want to check the following when you go to see it:
  • Front and back optics for scratches.
  • Dust inside the lens (a little is expected but note what dust (if any) is visible inside your existing lens.
  • There should be no fungus on the aperture iris, it can grow is the lens is kept in damp conditions.
  • Try it on your camera to check the AF and VR works. If it looks well used (text/markings wearing off, scores on the mounting ring, worn looking rubber zoom ring are good clues) but the seller says it's barely used then they're probably lying.
Obviously it's sold-as-seen so you want to be sure it works before paying, otherwise eBay covers you better for issues the seller didn't describe. I got my lens online, it was boxed, in mint condition and had all of the specifics listed on the website I bought it from. It's exactly as expected but was still only about 65% of the new price. I bought my old 55-200mm used on eBay and the VR in that started to go wrong after a year or so.

The VR II is generally better than VR, it's the updated version. I don't know the exact differences, Ken Rockwell's site is a good place to read about the differences between the two lenses.
 
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