Buying Used Camera Gear


A cold front marches across the fields from the north here on the farm.  Taken with a Nikon D800E camera bought used from B and H  photo video several years ago. In fact, it had been a display item and never used.  The price was way below retail.

The fact is, camera gear is expensive.  The top of the line Nikon DSLR carries a price tag of more than 6 thousand dollars, but one need not spend anywhere near that kind of money to obtain excellent, reliable cameras, lenses and so forth.  A quick visit to B,&H  Photo Video, Adorama, MPB, Keh and many others can often turn up incredible deals on pricey lenses and cameras,  but it pays to do  some homework on what piques your interest.  One statistic I always look for in used cameras is the number of shutter  snaps.  This is  readily available in the exif data that accompanies every jpeg picture.   Most of the used sites do not reveal this statistic in their ads.  MPB does.  Some will tell you if you inquire. Others will not, but do offer free, no questions asked returns if done within a specified length of time, usually a week.  Another thing to check is whether the item you have your eye on has been recalled by the manufacturer to update firmware, etc. Clear, close up photos of the item are another must for me.  No photos from all angles, no deal.

Just this past week, after checking off all of those little boxes, I purchased a used  Nikon 200-500mm f/ 5.6 lens with vibration  reduction from MPB in near mint condition at a considerable savings below current retail.  One my concerns was a  recall of the lens  by Nikon to correct via firmware update a problem with the auto focus.  A check of the serial number on the lens would tell consumers  whether their lens was subject to the recall.  A quick email to MPB netted the serial number on the item I was interested in and after checking with Nikon, I learned it was not affected.  Based on that information and the like new, near mint condition borne out by close      up photos of the lens published online by MPB, I purchased the lens.  After receiving it, I have a week to check it out and return it if I  change my mind.  No worries with that.

I’ve purchased numerous lenses from MPB in the past and have never had a problem.  Same with B  and H and Adorama. The key here  is to do your homework.  A little due diligence can save you some worry and save you a substantial amount of money.  And, if you take care of your gear, when it comes time to upgrade, you can sell it back to these outfits or trade it for something else. Keep snappin’.    Thanks for the visit and have a good week ahead.  See you next time.

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