Pros and Cons of buying used

CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
edited January 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
So, I am considering buying a used camera for the savings, but I don't know if I am qualified to "check" it. I don't know what to look at / how to test thoroughly. I am also low on time. I understand the camera would not have manufacturers warranty which also worries me. Does this make me not a candidate for buying used?
Post edited by Msmoto on
Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
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Comments

  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited January 2014
    Go to Adorama or B&H. they usually have a rating of used from 1-10. Or get a refurbished if they have the camera that you want plus they will probably offer an extended warranty.
    I buy used items on ebay but usually it`s nothing expensive.

    I would say to go to the thrift shop or garage sales but Im sure there are no garage sales right now.
    There is also calumet photo, keh and camera central that you can look at their inventory.

    I have only bought used/refurbished from B&H and Adorama.
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,030Moderator
    I buy used often. Get the seller to tell you the number of clicks on the body and detail all marks to you including 'rubs' through a lot of handling. If it comes back as low clicks and great condition, buy it. Don't over complicate your life, that's about all there is to it. I buy from eBay often and if, when I receive the item it is found to be not as described and the seller doesn't play ball, I open a case with eBay/Paypal and get refunded. Buying through eBay is a low risk business these days.
    Always learning.
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    The camera I am considering is a used one from B&H - there is a 90 day warranty and 30 day return but no manufacturers warranty. The particular camera has a rating of 9. I am finding out how many clicks it has. The cost savings is probably more than any cost to repair so I'm not seeing a negative. Except the hassle if I find out it does have a problem.
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • henrik1963henrik1963 Posts: 559Member
    @Charmdesign: Ask if you can take a few pictures with camera. Look at them on one of their computers. If they look OK - the camera is probably OK.
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    My reservations of buying Anything used, they got to BREAK IT in. ;-)

    I much prefer to do my own, thanks anyway though...

    I wouldn't even buy slightly worn clothing, never mind pricey electronics let alone overly expensive camera gear...
    But each to their own, and those too who are budget minded as well.
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • proudgeekproudgeek Posts: 1,422Member
    I would trust used equipment from a reputable place like B&H far more than I'd trust equipment purchased in a private sale. I have bought used lenses (not from a large reseller but from a smaller local place), and have been very happy with both the cost savings and the quality.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,537Member
    I have also had excellent experience buying used but have not done so in 10+ years. eBay, B&H, Adoroma, and KEH are good bets for a smooth transaction.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • adamzadamz Posts: 842Moderator
    was buying used from B&H before in 8 and 9 condition and never had a single issue with them.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,973Member
    Never had any major issues with used gear and I've bought plenty of it.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    Why would an item that was used be for sale again on b&h if it only had 1451 clicks? They said that it was checked over by their technicians. I wonder if it is a red flag if someone got rid of the camera so early?

    How formal of tests should I do? I don't know if I will have time to thoroughly formally test the camera within the next month. Would it be risky just to do informal testing?
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    You can send it to me and I'll check it for you :-) Seriously, depending on the model, there might be specific things to check. Otherwise, I'd check the autofocus against live view, shooting some basic chart or a ruler on a 45° angle. I'd mount whatever lenses I had and run the aperture up and down, essentially check all of the features one at a time. All in all shouldn't take more than an hour. What model?
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Consumers turn in cameras for any number of reasons… sometimes they want to buy a more expensive (or less expensive) model, or switch to a different brand. Sometimes they get buyer's remorse when the credit card bill arrives, who knows?

    I bought a used lighting gear from B&H and when the item arrived, it was pristine, looked absolutely brand new. I thought B&H made a mistake and sent me a new unit instead of a used one. Someone probably opened the box, used the item once, decided he didn't want it and sent it back to B&H.
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 4,537Member

    IMHO many amateurs or advanced amateurs with more money than smarts buy way over their head when buying DSLR's and after a while they trade it in...down size. In the 16 months since we moved the local dealer has had two D700s with less than 2K activations, D600 with less than 2K, D300S with less than 1.5K, and a D800 with less than 3K. The great example was the F6, the dealer has sold it three times, the original buyer and two additional trade ins. The manager just laughs when he told me the story. Unfortunately some of these lasted days on the shelf before it was resold.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    edited January 2014
    Photobug- interesting I hadn't thought of that angle!

    Ironheart - it's a d800 now don't going buying it it's mine! lol. This started as early research with intentions of buying after the Nikon show in spring or summer. But then I saw it and lusted! But before I take the plunge I've started to consider if I shouldn't actually TRY it before buying it. I debated on it or the d610 for awhile as my first FX camera and finally decided against the d610 since I can get a used d800 for CLOSE to the same price. Now after reading Ken Rockwell, I've wondered if I shouldn't try the Canon equivalent. I know I'm going to get burned for mentioning him lol but he said the d800 lacks user modes? Also- I read that some models have a left focus issue. Lastly, I worry that I haven't paid my dues learning my d7000 100%. At the same time I feel I have come a long way within a couple years and I'm ready to pour my energy into learning the next camera.
    Post edited by Charmdesign on
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 3,973Member
    @Photobug has it right. I got my D800 used. Guess how many clicks? 350. Yeah, not even 1000! The dealer (a local shop I deal with often and trust) told me it was a gift, and the user felt totally overwhelmed. They traded it and some FX glass in for a D7100.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    This puts my mind at rest a bit. After all the reading about the d600 I got nervous that cameras could come new w/ flaws. How typical is it for a camera to have a flaw that is that new? I mean 1400 clicks - how much time do you think they even had it for?
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    Ken Rockwell shoots JPEGs. That is why he likes Canon, because of the Canon presets which are probably a little easier than the Nikon user modes. He can switch between "kid" and "lens sharpness test" modes more easily.

    Assuming that you have Lightroom or something equivalent, then you should shoot in Raw and do post processing on Lightroom. It is not fair to say it, but I will - "JPEGS are for amateurs". That is a taunt to motivate you to go to the next level, not a real opinion, sorry. With the RAW file, you can make adjustments over a greater range than JPEGS (more information is retained). With JPEGS, as soon as you snap the photo, you have limited your options to whatever is retained in the JPEG. I don't use any of the cameras picture control features and I doubt that most serious shooters on this forum will. Therefore, I feel that the Canon advantage in this area is a non-issue.

    I thought about the left focus issue and determined that there was a certain serial number after which it likely was not an issue when I was buying my D800 last summer. Find out what this serial number is and compare it against the used camera. If the used camera is greater, you are probably good to go (you are probably good to go even if it is less).

  • CharmdesignCharmdesign Posts: 66Member
    PP - Wow- thanks for that insight. I do shoot raw and use LR. Will find out the serial number.
    Camera: Nikon D7000, Lenses: Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, 35mm 1.8G DX, Ai'd MF: 50mm 1.4, 28mm 1.4, 24-70mm
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    edited January 2014
    Consumers turn in cameras for any number of reasons… sometimes they want to buy a more expensive (or less expensive) model, or switch to a different brand. Sometimes they get buyer's remorse when the credit card bill arrives, who knows?

    I bought a used lighting gear from B&H and when the item arrived, it was pristine, looked absolutely brand new. I thought B&H made a mistake and sent me a new unit instead of a used one. Someone probably opened the box, used the item once, decided he didn't want it and sent it back to B&H.
    Sounds like a great buy for you then.
    Yes, mistakes can be made, and some are hilarious to read about...
    This happened a few years ago, but still makes me smile large.

    Man mistakenly sent size 1450 slipper


    A man who ordered a pair of size 14.5 slippers was left stunned when a size 1450 was delivered to his doorstep following a manufacturing blunder.

    Tom Boddingham, 27, who lives in Ilford, East London, ordered the £15.50 custom-made hairy animal claw slippers online for his size 13 right foot 14-and-a-half left foot.

    But after mixing up a decimal point, the manufacturing company based in Hong Kong mixed up the order and sent him one extra large 7ft slipper – also known as a size XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXL.

    However, Mr Boddingham received the other slipper in the size he requested

    According to the slipper firm, factory workers assumed the gigantic order was for a shop window display.

    Mr Boddingham said: “It was sent from Hong Kong and measures 210 x 130 x 65cm - about the same length as a grizzly bear or family car.


    “I reckon I must be the owner of the biggest slipper in the world.”
    A spokesman for the British slipper Website Monster Slippers apologised for the mistake, saying: “They messed up and didn’t notice the decimal point, so here we are with a blinking great slipper that’s equivalent to a size 1,450.

    “We are making him a replacement slipper of the right dimensions.”

    Mr Boddingham now plans to sell the giant slippers on eBay.

    Now, I heard this may have been an elaborate PR stunt.

    Either way, that's one magnificent slipper.

    I may reconsider the lightly used market.
    Post edited by ChasCS on
    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited January 2014
    "...the break over point for US D800 bodies was serial number 3055000." -Thom Hogan
    http://www.dslrbodies.com/cameras/camera-articles/image-quality/d800-autofocus-problem.html

    P.S. You should be reading Thom's stuff instead of drinking the KR cool-aide ;-)

    P.P.S Chas really?!? Not sure what that has to do with used gear, and as someone who has size 14.5 feet I'm pretty insulted :P
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    "...the break over point for US D800 bodies was serial number 3055000." -Thom Hogan
    http://www.dslrbodies.com/cameras/camera-articles/image-quality/d800-autofocus-problem.html

    P.S. You should be reading Thom's stuff instead of drinking the KR cool-aide ;-)

    P.P.S Chas really?!? Not sure what that has to do with used gear, and as someone who has size 14.5 feet I'm pretty insulted :P
    Yes, I recall that is where I got my information. I think Thom Hogan is a great source of information. Between Golf and Thom, that is what got me to buy RRS.

    I think KR has some valuable insights, but as I said before, he has biases (JPEGs, colour, anti-tripod) that make sense given his style of shooting, but he does not disclose those biases to a newbie. You have to know where he is coming from to filter that.
  • tcole1983tcole1983 Posts: 981Member
    The only piece of gear besides my tripod and monopod that I purchased new is my 35 f1.8g and that was only because it was relatively inexpensive and I got it right when it came out. In all my d5000, 18-200, 17-55, 300 f4, 105 f2.8, 18-55 were all used or refurbished. In a variety from used and refurbished from adorama and b&h to used from someone on craislist. I have had zero problems. All have been perfect. All worked perfect. All still work perfect. All saved me money (in some cases lots). Now I always purchased the higher rated used and when from a private seller I tested and tried before I purchased it. Anyway if the gear has been taken care or there is no reason to worry. I really liked refurbished the most if it can be found for a good price. In some cases I have saved hundreds. It is worth it to save $20....probably not. Cons are you don't get the same or any warranty depending on what you choose to do. Refurbished I feel like is almost better than new besides the warranty. It has all been looked over and tested and possibly repaired back to factory spec. So it has essentially been fully tested and everything twice.

    Used I would be weary of a high shutter count body.
    D5200, D5000, S31, 18-55 VR, 17-55 F2.8, 35 F1.8G, 105 F2.8 VR, 300 F4 AF-S (Previously owned 18-200 VRI, Tokina 12-24 F4 II)
  • ChasCSChasCS Posts: 309Member
    "...
    P.P.S Chas really?!? Not sure what that has to do with used gear, and as someone who has size 14.5 feet I'm pretty insulted :P
    I was obviously referring to manufacturers/shipping errors!!? Yes?
    Follow the thread history much,,,.

    Insulted? From what GOD. Because he gave you that "Big Foot" complex,,, ;-) j/k

    Walk on.

    D800, AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, B+W Clear MRC 77mm, AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR, Sigma DG UV 77mm,
    SB-910~WG-AS3, SB-50, ME-1, Lexar Professional 600x 64GB SDXC UHS-I 90MB/s* x2, 400x 32GB SDHC UHS-I 60MB/s* x1
    Vanguard ALTA PRO 263AT, GH-300T, SBH-250, SBH-100, PH-22 Panhead
    Lowepro S&F Deluxe Technical Belt and Harness ~ Pouch 60 AW 50 AW & 10, S&F Toploader 70 AW, Lens Case 11 x 26cm
    FE, NIKKOR 2-20mm f/1.8, OPTEX UV 52mm, Vivitar Zoom 285, Kodacolor VR 1000 CF 135-24 EXP DX 35mm, rePlay XD1080

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