Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Save Your Hard-Earned Cash: Look into Used Canon Telephoto Lenses!

Canon telephoto lenses are a great asset for any photographer to own. However, there is one downfall…..these lenses can carry an expensive price tag. Owners of cameras with interchangeable lenses can build up a good set of optics without having to spend a fortune. The market for used lenses is vast and can save you a great deal of money if you choose the correct lens. Used Canon telephoto lenses are, for the most part, cheaper than brand new lenses. For instance, the Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Auto-focus lens can be purchased at a refurbished cost of around $400 compared to a brand new price tag of approximately $650.

It can sometimes be rather difficult to tell if a used Canon telephoto lens is garbage or not. Most camera owners realize that the quality of the image depends heavily on the lens and its condition. Therefore, when making a final decision on a used lens, all you can do is look for obvious signs of wear and tear before you make the final purchase.

The safest and surest way to make sure that you are purchasing the correct Canon telephoto lens is to test the lens on your own camera. Does the lens fit your camera and lock into place properly? Be aware that there are lenses out there that may be incompatible. This is due to the fact that many camera manufacturers have changed their lens mount designs at some point in their history. Are the proper displays appearing in the viewfinder? Does the indicated focus on the lens match up with the distance from camera to subject? These are all valid points to check when searching for a used Canon telephoto lens.

You can also check to make sure that the focusing, aperture selector and zoom control all work properly without being too stiff or loose. In order to check to make sure that the diaphragm opens and closes properly, simply look through the lens while you change the setting of the aperture. There is a problem if it sticks, and that can be a result of defective lubrication of the iris blades. This is something that will require a service technician’s attention and may be quite expensive to fix.

Factors such as finger-prints, scratches and abrasions to the external glass surface of the lens are something to keep an eye out for. Modern Canon Telephoto lenses are coated to reduce reflection and minimize flare; this coating can become damaged by reckless handling of the lens or careless cleaning habits. Never use a harsh cloth on your lens or a fluid such as window cleaner.

Now that you aware of some of warning signs to look for in your search, you may be wondering where you can find a used Canon Telephoto lens for your camera. Well, an online auction is one source. The only disadvantage is that you will not get the chance to examine and test the lens before you bid. The only information you will be able to secure is what the vendor provides in the description. I think that buying privately is much safer as long as you get the opportunity to examine and test the used lens before you commit to the sale.

Finally, the safest way to secure a used Canon Telephoto lens is to buy from a dealer that has a good reputation. This route may cost you a bit more money, but it is the safest way to go. Most dealers realize that you could potentially bring them future business and have their business image to protect.

More often than not, you will be able to take advantage of a warranty on the used lens. The bottom line is this is a great way for you to save money. Just be careful and do not inherit someone else’s nightmare!

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