View Full Version : How do I buy a used lens?
I have arranged to purchase a 21mm Biogon and will be picking it up on Tuesday. I don't have the luxury of borrowing for a test run and I am expected to pay cash. Does anyone have any advice to offer on how to inspect the lens? Obviously I will take a G body along to make sure it focuses. But beyond that I guess I'll just look for any physical problems. All suggestions are welcome!!
Take a small flashlight with you. The more powerful the better. Shine it through the lens to detect any haze. This isn't really applicable to a lens as recently built as a Contax G lens, but may be useful.
Also request an "inspection period" of say a week with a return/cash back guarantee. Long enough to shoot a test roll with the lens to make sure it is OK. If you are refused strongly consider not buying the lens. There is always another one somewhere...
Do as FrankS has recommended. Shine the flashlight through in both directions. You might see some fine scratches, sometimes called cleaning marks. Fine ones are likely just scratching the coating. A newer lens like the 21 is hardcoated and potentially mark free.
Remember you are not likely to see any marks unless you shine the flashlight in from the back.
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