Lens Options for DSLR users are endless and they always have a tendency to upgrade to better lenses . Most of the lens upgrades are very costly but you can get good used lenses for significantly lower prices . You can find lots of deals on OLX and in your local camera shops as most of the DSLR owners sell their lens to upgrade . Here are five things you should check while buying used lens to find whether it’s good or not .
1. Check the Physical condition of used lens
While buying used lens Check the glass first , check for scratches on front and back element of glass. This is one defect which cannot be rectified easily, you may have to go for a lens element replacement if there is a crack or scratch on the glass. Also look for cracks on zoom rings and other parts of lens especially on the mount . Mount the lens on your camera and check its getting mounted without any effort, some times lens may have broken mounts .
2. Check for fungus strains
One of the major problem while buying used lens is the fungal growth in the glass elements . If the lens is not used for a long time and not kept in moisture controlled cabinets it may have fungus in the glass elements . Open both the back and front caps of lens and look through it. Look for dust and fungal particles small dust particles may be harmless but its not the case with fungal particles. If a flashlight is available ( or use your mobile flash ) shine it through the lens. You can easily find dust and fungus through the light . Don’t buy if even small amount of fungus particles are there. As fungus grows over time and may render the lens useless . Cleaning fungus in lens is a costly affair . So keep away from lens with fungus or if the deal is worth considering the cost of fungus cleaning .
2. Check for Zooming mechanism issues
Zoom in and zoom out the lens many times and listen closely for any creepy sounds . If any unusual sounds are coming it may be due to broken mechanism of the lens . So avoid used lens with those creepy sounds .
3. Check for Auto focus issues
Auto focus performance is most important thing of lens . Here’s how to check the AF performance of the used lens Put the lens on AF mode and select the middle AF point and click a close object and far of object check how’s the auto focus performing . Even better carry three aa cells place them in a raw and focus on middle battery and click . Check the image and see whether the middle one is in focus . If the front one or the back one is in focus the lens may be having a front focus or back focus problem . This may create soft pics as the point you focus goes out of focus . Carry your laptop with you and check the images in laptop screen to get a better clarity.
4. Check for contact issues
Make continues clicks and check If the camera is showing any error messages. Some lens with strip or contact problem may show error message . Avoid lens which shows error message as the strip or contact replacement will add to the cost .
5.Check the image stabilization system
Most of the zoom lens nowadays comes with Image stabilization like VR in Nikon and IS in canon. Image stabilization enables shake free pictures even in low shutter speeds . To check image stabilization functioning Turn on the image stabilization and zoom your lens to maximum length. If you are buying 18 55 lens zoom it to 55 mm . And Select a low shutter speed like 1/30 or 1/15 and take a shot . Now turn off the image stabilization and take the shot again . If there is significant blur /shake in the image with image stabilization turned off the stabilization is working properly.