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Buying and Selling Lenses

Lesson 55 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

Buying and Selling Lenses

Lesson 55 from: Nikon Lenses: The Complete Guide

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

55. Buying and Selling Lenses

Next Lesson: Final Q&A


Class Trailer



Nikon Lens Class Introduction


Nikon Lens Basics


Focal Length: Angle of View


Focal Length: Normal Lenses


Focal Length: Wide Angle Lenses


Focal Length: Telephoto Lens


Focal Length Rule of Thumb


Field of View


Aperture Basics


Equivalent Aperture


Depth of Field


Maximum Sharpness




Hyper Focal Distance


Nikon Mount Systems


Nikon Cine Lenses


Nikon Lens Design


Focusing and Autofocus with Nikon Lenses


Nikon Lens Vibration Reduction


Image Quality


Aperture Control and General Info


Nikon Standard Zoom Lenses


Nikon Super Zoom Lenses


Nikon Wide Angle Lenses


Nikon Telephoto Zoom Lenses


3rd Party Zooms Overview


3rd Party Zooms: Sigma


3rd Party Zooms: Tamron


3rd Party Zooms: Tokina




Nikon Prime Lens: Normal


Nikon Prime Lens: Wide Angle


Nikon Prime Lens: Ultra-Wide


Nikon Prime Lens: Short Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Medium Telephoto


Nikon Prime Lens: Super Telephoto


3rd Party Primes: Sigma


3rd Party Primes: Zeiss


3rd Party Primes: Samyang


Lens Accessories: Filters


Lens Accessories: Lens Hood


Lens Accessories: Tripod Mount


Lens Accessories: Extension Tubes


Lens Accessories: Teleconverters


Macro Photography


Nikon Micro Lens Selection


Fisheye Lenses


Tilt Shift Photography Overview


Tilt Shift Lenses


Building a Nikon System


Making a Choice: Nikon Portrait Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Sport Lenses


Making a Choice: Nikon Landscape Lenses


Nikon Lens Systems


Lens Maintenance


Buying and Selling Lenses


Final Q&A


What's in the Frame


Lesson Info

Buying and Selling Lenses

Buying and selling your lands, okay, I don't know of anyone personally who has bought or sold more lances. I I suppose there's some guys working down at the camera store that have professionally but a combination of professionally and personally, I don't know of anyone that has bought and sold more lenses. I have a list somewhere on my computer, off all the lenses that I've owned throughout my life and it's a fairly long list I I've never broken a lance. I've never lost a lands they're wood around here, I've never lost a lands due to theft never had my car broken into never had my house broken into. I don't know if lindell on linoleum will work, I'll get my knock in later and so I've never lost him and so every lens that I am no longer an ownership up, I have sold and used that money to go fund the purchase of a new lands most likely and so this is my experience speaking here more than anything else. So when you are buying a new lands, you need to evaluate what your needs are, what I r...

eally want rather than what's cool, what is my neighbor have what's the hottest new item on the market? No, what is it that you need very selfish and choosing what you need to do with your lands? What is the subject's that you're going to be shooting and how are you going to be shooting them? Where? What do your point of view options? You know you want to shoot to swim meet, but where can you shoot it from? Can you get up next to the pool? Or do you have to be up in the stands? What's the whole situation that you're going to be in? What is the type of lighting that you're going to be in? Does that have special considerations that you need to take into as faras the aperture of the lens that you're going to get choosing the land? Okay, what's, the focal length, a range in this case, forget everything I've told you about lenses other than the first section about what focal links do what would be your ideal lens? And so I have come up with lenses that if I was the designer, my khan, I would wish to make a lens that has this new range. You guys don't make the same ridge. I think this would be a perfect soon range. Okay, you want to hear my my lens that I would like to invent for portrait photography, I would like the fifty to one hundred f to lens. I want to zoom I don't need that much range but fifty to one hundred would be so valuable I could do backed off portrait so I could get in nice and close it could be shooting shallow depth of field I think that would make a very interesting lands all right then you need to choose well, how much maximum aperture mostly kanai ford there's going to be what I want what I would like but what can I afford? What are the quality features in price that I value? Do I like to be able to look down and see a focusing scale so I know where I'm focused at or is that not important to me? Do I value a metal lens mount versus a plastic lens mountain? Is that important to me comparing the lenses? Okay, what what's the best lens that nikon has to offer what's the second best lens that nikon has to offer and then comparing them with the third party choices out there. What do they have? Are they better check out the reviews? Here are a few websites that I think have good but different types of reviews on lenses dp review does great reviews on cameras and they also do reviews on a lot of lens is not quite as many and not quite as thorough as they do on their cameras, but they also have a lot of good links two very good articles and reviews on lenses lin step is a good general purpose one fred miranda isn't so much a review site as customers revue people who use that lands let you know what they like about that lands what they don't like about that lands and their user experience. So if you like that, use your point of view, what people who own this lens think that's a good place to go for that d x o mark does the technical testing of the lens is how sharp is this land? What's the transmission rate, what's the taste ofthe how much vignette ing does this have? How much distortion doesn't have so depending on what type of information you want? And yet there are various places. Of course, I didn't list there, but I'm just thinking now you go to amazon dot com and look att reviews there, but these are very photo centric site where you're talking about people who are very avid photographers. Sometimes I'm concerned about going to a place like amazon because you get a wide range of people who may or may not know what they're doing, and I've seen plenty of cases of people who don't know a lot about photography they buy a product, it doesn't work because they're not using the right technique, and then they say the equipment is bad. And so you want to kind of flush out those reviews and going to the more experienced sites you kind of you're looking at people who kind of know what they're doing I also want to kind of check how knew or how old is this lands? You know, I prefer to buy a lands that has been recently introduced I can kind of feel like I'm at the top of the I'm writing the crest of the wave a little bit longer on a new lands buying the lens you know you're going to check your prices to see, you know who's got the right price and exactly what the package is you want to see what the warranty is because there are a number of items out there that are great market options, so I'll explain this from a united states stand point of view. There is nikon japan, which is an independent company. There is nikon yusa, which is another independent company, nikon yusa buys lenses from nikon japan for distribution in the united states. Now nikon musa they advertise at the baseball stadiums on the side of buses. They work with local dealerships as faras advertising and prom emotion and supporting things. They give free classes from time to time, and they kind of support the in country logistics of nikon yusa now, every once in a while a lens get sold and we'll just say ecuador gets sold ecuador, nikon ecuador and somebody from ecuador before it gets sold to a customer sells it to a company in the united states so now you have a lands that did not come through nikon musa but it's the same lens and it's comes all the same path eugene and same lens caps and everything else but when you buy that lens and something happens to that lens it's no longer working right usand back to nikon yusa nikon yusa says yeah you got a broken focussing ring here that's not right let's take a look at your serial number let me take the list and, uh you know, that's not on our list that didn't come through our office is here yeah, this sum we're not we're not warranted covering that because that didn't come through us says they're the in country support this didn't come through them nikon didn't take their little cut of the profits nikon yusa somebody else did and so you got to check the warranties on these things because they may not have a use a warranty now the common thing is is that the company who sells this to you when you say does this have a nikon use a warranty they will say, uh, yeah, it does it's a warranty that we cover here in the united states because we here in the store covering it's not a nikon yusa warranty it's their stores warranty and so it's kind of different, which means that to get it repaired you have to take it back to the store. You can't take it back to nikon now this kind of various depending on that night contact who grabbed your lens and says, you know what? This isn't come from threw us, but you know what? I'll fix that I'm a nice guy and so you may or may not have warranty issues with it, but it is the same product great market stuff it's not illegal it's not fake stuff it's just the real stuff that's important to another company or another country? Excuse me, nikon, I have tried to determine which lenses come with lens leads and which ones do not come with lens hood's and I've asked a number of people and nobody knows the answer to this question. You'll have to look and see what's in the box because sometimes they do sometimes they don't now hopefully no one's gone into the box and taking it out. It's usually very clearly stated it supplied worth good hb blah, blah blah but some of them do some of them don't doesn't necessarily very with price in general, the more expensive lenses have it but there's some inexpensive lenses that do in some inexpensive ones that don't but just be aware that the they all come with front front front lens caps, but I will show you I want to see the cheesiest, cheapest thing nikon does. This is just sorry. This is terrible. This is a really lens cap over here. This nice black molded design piece this is a piece of tupperware that they use on their cheaper lenses that it doesn't really it doesn't bayonet on it just kind of friction fits on, and they put this on there cheaper lenses and it's, like our thief is really that expensive because they can't cost more than a nickel or a dime. But these probably only costs a penny and they're able to save just a little bit of money so you'll find that on the lower end lenses. So you have to go out and buy a ten dollar lens cap. Okay, so what else are we going to check on when we're buying you want to test your equipment? I think the most foolish thing that you could do is plant a huge trip, go out by a bunch of gear and take it out of the box the night before your early morning flight to find out something's, wrong and it's too late to do anything. Most of the time ninety nine point nine nine percent of the time you're not gonna have a problem but on the off chance there is give yourself the opportunity to figure it out and deal with it and then keep the packaging I have a closet full of empty boxes and when I turn around and sell the lands I have that box so if you have that space in an attic or a basement or in a closet that you don't use that's a good place ted t throw that under the bed okay buying used I do not have a problem buying a used lance I don't like buying used cameras but I don't mind use lenses use cameras I'm very worried about the digital sensor in they're used film bodies I'm okay with the digital cameras I much prefer a new a new camera digital or with with lenses if they're clean and they work they are good and so looking on ebay craigslist or whatever the listing is for use lenses I've bought a number of lenses use and so first you need to be aware of what is the new item what is itself or what does it feel like what does it look like so you need to familiarize yourself with what is this product like new because you got to cut it down for used check ebay's completed listings I don't care what somebody is advertising to sell a lens at what did somebody actually by actually not just one person? What did a lot of people buy these sorts of lenses in the sort of condition for what is the realistic selling price? So what is a fair price? What is the high price you're willing to pay? What is the low price that you're willing to pay when you're looking at these? If this is a craigslist or an item where you get to see it in person, you want to know what the new one looks like and feels like what is the focusing ring? What is the zoom oring feel like review the ad very closely? What are they saying? What do they not saying in the ad you want to examine? The external wears now, just as a personal reference, I don't buy lenses that are heavily used just there's too many issues that are going to have is just like buying a car with two hundred thousand miles on it there's just potential problems that are ready to go. If it's clean, then I'm very interested, but that's my standards, you can check the class with the flashlight so you could hold the lens up, take a little flashlight and kind of shine it through looking for and that you can open up the aperture in the lens and you want to shine my light three like, is there dust in there? Bring a cleaning cough maybe clean it off because what you're looking for is either dust or fungus if it's been stored in the wrong type of environment you can get fungus growing on the inside of the lenses and it's pretty much toast at that point it can be fixed but it's very very expensive check everything that moves zoom focus every lever lens cap on and off everything that moves check it put it on a camera see what the auto focus feels like if it has vibration reduction check how that sounds does it sound like it's making a normal motor noise and then do some test photos and check for sharpness and exposure to make sure that everything is working properly on it? If you're selling used equipment first off you need to organize all your stuff make sure you got all package that you got the original packaging you got the battery charger all the cables, everything that came with it make sure you have that because that makes it more valuable rather than oh yeah it's missing the charger like well now I got to go run and I gotta find the charger and pain in the butt for them so do a little clean and check on it just to see what's wrong with it if there is anything wrong with it, I don't know why but photographer seemed to be really bad photographing their equipment maybe it's just people who got into photography that are clearly not good at photography and they're trying to sell their gear and so there's a whole section in here where we're going to look at some really terrible photos, okay, so we want to photograph and not have our photos look like this these air really bad salesmanship when it comes to photographs there cluttered environment, they're poorly exposed, they're out of focus, we have too much empty space. We want to fill the space, these air kind of general photographic rules, right, bad lighting we want to be able to see our subject nice and clearly it's just not a very descriptive angle for showing us what this object. Yes, so think about how you want this to look and whatever you do, please don't use your phone. You get this barrel distortion up really, really close does not look good don't use the stock photo that is at nike on this is not the lens you are selling. This is a sample of the lens you are selling, and so I want to see the actual lands. And when you select what is the main photo because you know there's like one photo, that is the leadoff photo, come on, sell me your lands don't give me an afterthought of a snapshot that you didn't really trying effort at and I guess the worst thing is not including any photograph it all for photographers are very visual people we want to see exactly what you are selling and so I uh you know, photographs stuff and I would like to try to make it as clean as possible. I do have a little studio like that I hook up there, but if I did it I would use a window light I want to show a nice clean overall shot I want to show a shot of everything you get with this purchase and then I want to show details because the photos are kind of small on screen what is the front of the lens? The back of the lens, what the buttons look like so that people have a really good idea of what they're getting into and so when you're photographing there's all sorts of ideas and to me these are fairly obvious you want a clean environment simple thing you want basic good lighting, you want your picture nice and sharp and not distort it. So all those sorts of things you gotta avoid by using proper technique describing it be short, be brief pre clear in describing it described what you're selling be very clear about it what sort of condition is it in described the glass condition it's clean, perfect glass like new, almost like new well used get the right terms in there. Described the mechanical condition of it is in good physical condition. Now, it's a little rough on the focusing ring. Probably more important than anything else is. Don't lie or mislead. You're just going to get yourself in trouble because people know what they have bought. And if you said this is in perfect shape and you get there and it's not it's no good. I mean, I went out to buy a lens from somebody and they said it was in, like, new condition. I get out there it's not like new. And I find a sticker on it from a rental apartment. He bought it from a rental department that had been heavily used. This would have been nice to know in the ad. And I just wasted an hour getting out here. Take a look at this lens and I'm not gonna buy it now. Now I have sold a number of items, and generally what I do is I meet folks down at the starbucks and crossed my fingers every time I've gone down there to meet somebody. That item has soul because I was honest and truthful about the way I advertised it as faras setting the price. See what a new item sells for you're not going to sell a used I always find it funny when people try to sell a used items for more than you could buy a new idea I don't know what they're thinking it's going to be less check ebay for the completed sales to see what what's the going rate and what I do is for setting the price I said it a little bit on the high side and then I lower it every week to two weeks, depending on how quickly I need to get rid of that item set high and lower as needed and as far as selling it just respond quickly. Teo emails you want to be really responsive? Yeah, I can meet you tomorrow night at so and so at this time or this is kind of for craigslist type meeting somebody in town and so some of this doesn't apply to ebay stuff, but I don't play any games, I'm not going to do trades, I don't want to take any checks just let's make this really simple and clean and be very, very clear about it, and if you just stand your ground and say this is the way I do it, then they're either going to have to adhere to it or you're not gonna have to deal with that problem, so those are some thoughts on how to build a system, maintain it, buy it and so forth. So hopefully, that helps you out in your direction and getting your all your equipment, all your ducks in a row, and get into mall just right in the bag.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Nikon® Lenses Part 1
Nikon® Lenses Part 2
Nikon® Lenses Part 3
Nikon® Lenses Part 4
Field of View
Nikon® Lenses Part 5
Nikon® Lenses Part 6
Nikon® Lenses Part 7
Nikon® Lenses Part 8
Nikon® Lens Data

Ratings and Reviews


Outstanding class! This is a must own. You will refer back to this class many times during your photog career. John has put a ton of work into this class and it shows. Being able to download the slides and other Nikon glass info is wonderful. Even if you're not a Nikon shooter you will still gleam tons of information from this class, John covers in great detail the strength and weaknesses of each lens and when you might consider using it. I was expecting a good class, but this turned into an epic class. I watched multiple videos several times. The only bad thing I can say is I "had" to order a few more lenses! Thank you John Greengo for making a truly amazing class.

Anna Fennell

Wow! What a course! Very in depth, lots of valuable information. John instructs with great knowledge and integrity. I have taken other online courses, NOT from Creative Live (my bad!) and was left feeling like a monkey who had learned tricks without understanding or knowledge. Now I feel I have the confidence to move forward on my photographic journey securely knowing how lenses function, what to look for and what price range I can expect. Bravo John! I'd love to see a 2020 update video as an addendum.

Fusako Hara

Finally I have some sense of what lens do, know what I have, what I would like to have, what lens to use, and how I can get images that I see. Best part of this session is it was made so clear, simple, logical, and practical. I am glad that I purchased this product. Now, I am going to look for more from John Greengo so I can take better understanding and take better images. Thank You.

Student Work