As photographers, a majority of us all tend to have the same problem – too much gear on our wish lists and not enough money to satisfy those gear cravings. I’ve been eyeing the Canon 85mm f/1.2 for a number of years now, and cannot bring myself to purchase it because I’m on a strict budget…and I’m also eyeing the Sony A7R…and the Sigma 50mm Art…and the, well, you guys understand.

Recently, we shared an article with some useful tips on buying gear without breaking the bank and since I’m always skeptical and weary of buying second hand stuff off Craigslist (even books) or even the used department at a local camera store, I always end up going and paying full price for my stuff or having to wait for a great deal at B&H. Then I hear about how my friend got an almost brand new Canon 24mm f/3.5L TS-E II for a steal because some person sold all their gear on Craigslist to pay for college or whatever…


Now that I am *this close* to just biting the bullet and buying that 85mm, I’ve challenged myself to find and buy it used so I can stay within my budget. And since I know now where to look, what to look for so I don’t get scammed is my key focus. Enter this handy video from Karl Taylor giving some practical tips on buying second hand lenses.

The 8 minute video is full of common sense advice and things I didn’t even think doing, like shining a light through the lens to check any internal problems like mold. Definitely check this out if you’re planning on purchasing a used lens – and as always please use precaution when meeting with people off Craigslist when you’re ready to buy.

What other bits of advice can you offer someone who is looking to purchase a second hand lens?

[Via YouTube]