Buying Pre-Owned Lenses

Camera lenses can be a significant investment. If you're looking to stretch your budget, the pre-owned market might have the lens you need at a more accessible price.

Potential Risks with Pre-Owned Lenses

Like any used purchase, there's always a risk. You might not know how the previous owner treated the lens, which could affect its condition and performance. Patience is key when hunting for the right lens from a reputable seller.

Advantages of Going Pre-Owned

The biggest advantage? The price. You can save substantially, and if you're lucky, snag a lens with a warranty. Many sellers are photographers themselves who've taken great care of their equipment.

What's a Fair Price for a Used Lens?

There's no one-size-fits-all price for a used lens. It depends on its condition, age, any remaining warranty, and how it compares to current market prices for new lenses.

Warranty Considerations

Many lenses come with a one- or two-year warranty, and this might transfer with the lens. Verify the warranty status and service history with the seller and manufacturer before buying.

Buying Lenses Online vs. In-Person

Purchasing online? Ask for detailed photos and sample images. If possible, inspecting the lens in person is best?you can test it out and make sure everything is in working order.

Testing a Pre-Owned Lens: A Checklist

Before you buy, conduct thorough tests. Check for scratches, test the autofocus speed, the image stabilizer, and take test shots at different apertures. Listen for any unusual sounds and ensure the manual focus ring turns smoothly.

By carefully examining and testing the lens, you'll get a good sense of its quality and whether it's the right fit for your camera bag.


Buying a pre-owned lens can be a smart choice if you do your homework. Ensure it's in good shape, and remember, even with a few extra steps, the savings could be worth it.