Second hand lens purchase

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Ricoh, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    What % (of new) would you consider appropriate for 2nd hand 'glass', assuming the lens is in v-good condition, or close to being so? My understanding is the remaining warranty is non-transferable to the second owner - Olympus policy apparently. There is risk with focus by wire glass, given electronics and other ''stuff' inside and this needs to be factored in the selling price.

    Edit: Any warranty issue is with the vendor, of course, under the 'sale of goods act' (UK), so this may not be Olympus policy as stated as 'matter of fact' above. When I phoned olympus about the OMD bezel crack they said sure send it in for repair at my expense for post and insurance. I then phoned the company I bought it from and they said no don't send it to olympus, but to return it free post (including insurance) to them and they would send it back to olympus. Great, but that's something you lose when buying second hand, so the price should reflect the situation. By how much though?
     
  2. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    The market will tell you what an appropriate price is, not some calculation. Check eBay, buy/sell forum here, etc.
     
  3. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Yeah I've done that and the seller's market seems to be way too high/optimistic for second hand complex lenses. Most sales of the 12mm f2 seem to go for 70 to 80% of new, some higher still, and yet no guarantee should it go wrong. I have bought second hand off the bay, but at something like 35% of original price for a 14-54 Mk II it was worth the risk.
     
  4. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    When I say "market" I mean what things are actually selling for. I check eBay "Sold" and look at forum prices for items that sell quickly and for those that don't, the latter probably being overpriced. There is no value judgment that applies to the market. Too high/too low, etc are just market participants' opinions that cause them to not buy or buy. So you will probably not buy.

    FWIW I have six lenses right now and all but one were bought used. I have probably bought and resold another three or four at least. Never had a problem as a buyer or as a seller. So now, if I ever do have a problem it cannot possibly cost me as much as I have saved by consistently buying used. YMMV of course.
     
  5. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I don't think 70-75% of new cost is out of line... This is normally the range in which I buy/sell excellent condition lenses.
     
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    70-80% for most lenses*, but there are notable exceptions in both directions.

    *based on final cost to the buyer
     
  7. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Nov 18, 2011
    That's a kit lens, hardly anyone pays anything close to the "original" price price for those. So not a good benchmark vs. something like an Oly 12mm.
     
  8. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    The 14-54 Mk II I was referring to is a 4/3 lens and is classed as high grade. Optically very good, better than my current capabilities!

    Interesting to gauge the views held by others. I'm currently considering a 12mm in black, complete with Oly lens hood and filter, £500 is the asking price, $800 approx. It might sound expensive to you guys in the US of A, but someone has to pay for free health care on demand, the NHS being one of the biggest employers in the country!
     
  9. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I just look at the market and make decisions accordingly. I bought a new 45 1.8 because I found a deal on ebay that was not much more than people were selling used for and I didn't want to wait around looking to save a few dollars. I bought my P14 used because they were bundled with cameras a while back and the used market is full of them so the price is much lower than new. In fact, if I couldn't have bought it used for such a good price, I probably wouldn't have bought it. For me to buy used it needs to be a pretty good savings or I'll just buy new. I'm not opposed to buying used though, in fact over the years I have bought quite a bit of used gear and most has worked out great. Years ago I did buy a used Tokina 19-35 for my Canon that quit working after a few months. I didn't try to get it fixed, I just threw it away. I also bought a much more expensive Sigma 70-200 2.8 that worked for a couple of years and then quit focusing. I mailed it back to Sigma and asked for an estimate for repair. I didn't hear back from them for over a month and was concerned my lens was gone for good. I eventually called them and found out they had repaired the lens and mailed it back to me at no charge. Their communication was terrible, but what they did was wonderful and I never had another problem with the lens. But it is a buyer beware market.
     
  10. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I don't think focus-by-wire makes the lens any less or more prone to problems. Sure, if the AF motor fails, you're in trouble. But for most people, if the AF motor fails on any lens, manual focus still isn't a viable alternative. Other than that FBW and non-FBW lenses don't really have any difference.

    As to a warranty, it depends. My own rule of thumb is that for high-end lenses (>$500 or so), I want a warranty. Whether that's from the factory, or the original owner includes the sales receipt I don't care particularly. True, the warranty is not technically transferrable, but my experience is that with the receipt, one can usually manage something.

    In terms of overall pricing, I'll buy secondhand if the price is significantly (read 15% or more) lower than what I can find the item for new or refurbished. The main point is that I buy and sell lenses fairly frequently, so I don't want to take a bath if I end up reselling something later on.
     
  11. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    IMO, the failure rate for lenses that are well maintained is very slow. You hardly hear about failures outside of abuse or lenses that have known design issues.
     
  12. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I've bought a lot of used glass, mostly the higher quality stuff (canon: 15/2.8 FE, 50/1.8, 17-40L, 70-200/2.8L IS, 35L, 135L, sigma 50/1.4; MFT: 7-14, 12-35, P20; 43: 50-200, EC-14), never had problems. I look for well cared for, check aperture works smoothly across full range, check autofocus, check manual focus, check for damage to the glass (rear element more important to me than a minuscule mark in the front) and then enjoy the lens. Overall they didn't lose much value at all when I sold them (all the canon gear) - some went for a little less, some a little more than I paid for them.
     
  13. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I have seen some higher end lenses go for almost retail, for instance the Voigtlanders. Others sell for as low as 50% of retail. It also depends on when you sell. If the manufactures are having a big sale or have a bunch of refurbished lenses out then the prices will be lower.
     
  14. Crushader

    Crushader Mu-43 Regular

    62
    Dec 11, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Tham
    I wasn't aware that lens warranty isn't transferable, I thought as long as the warranty still stands then doesn't matter who the owner is, and still could claim warranty...

    I bought a "brand new" VF-4 from a local guy, and it had some screen synchronise/frequency issue out of the box. I sent it off to warranty as it was purchased from the store just a month prior and Olympus still accepted it. Even though the name and details on the invoice used for warranty isn't my details, I simply described the VF-4 was a gift.
     
  15. Ricoh

    Ricoh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    906
    Nov 2, 2013
    UK
    Steve
    Describing it as a gift sounds like a good strategy, after all we often use the term "it was a gift" colloquially when we believe we bought a bargain.

    What do you think, black or silver for the Oly 12mm, and is the black worth any more second hand? Apparently only 3000 have been made and consequently are in short supply. I'm thinking of speculating to a) use it and b) get the best deal if I recycle it later.
     
  16. Crushader

    Crushader Mu-43 Regular

    62
    Dec 11, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Tham
    I'd go with a black one if you have a black camera. I know I would =]