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Pro/Con of Buying 1. New; 2. Used; 3. Refurbished


SRV1981
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Purchasing Bodies & Lenses  

23 members have voted

  1. 1. When buying a camera body...

    • I prefer to buy new
      7
    • I prefer to buy used
      10
    • I prefer to buy refurbished
      4
    • see my comment
      2
  2. 2. When buying lenses...

    • I prefer to buy new
      1
    • I prefer to buy used
      18
    • I prefer to buy refurbished
      3
    • see my comment
      1


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Obviously the best value savings is in used lenses. They don't get replaced with new models every couple years and don't become "obsolete" when they do eventually get replaced. For cameras, I have a system I've developed lol. Cameras below $3000 I will buy brand new on day one to maximize the useful life and the return on my investment. Cameras more than $3000, I will mostly wait for a used body to appear before buying. But, obviously there's a balance between price and age that needs to be reached. I swap out cameras wayyyy too often TBH, but since I stay in the ~$3000 range mostly I'm never too deep underwater lol.

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I bought my Panasonic S5 used, It really only "saved" me about $200.

Not sure if it was much of a savings though.

Didn't realize it but people who were still buying them NEW were getting the Sigma 45mm f/2.8 thrown in for free.

Also, Panasonic announced some sort of discounted service plans, but to qualify, you had to have cameras you bought new.

Sooo.... check to see if there are any sort of service plans from the manufacturer that may be tempting or if they are giving away items.

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2 hours ago, MurtlandPhoto said:

Obviously the best value savings is in used lenses

Does refurbished indicate a potentially better quality?  also for used - do you like KEH? MBP? BH?

 

2 hours ago, MurtlandPhoto said:

Cameras below $3000 I will buy brand new on day one to maximize the useful life and the return on my investment.

Makes sense!  i was going to call Canon to see about their Refurbished policy and potentially save a few hundred by getting a refurb body

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39 minutes ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

check to see if there are any sort of service plans from the manufacturer that may be tempting or if they are giving away items.

Thanks! is that as simple as calling them on the phone?  I had intended to do that regarding their refurbished bodies (Canon).

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5 minutes ago, SRV1981 said:

Thanks! is that as simple as calling them on the phone?  I had intended to do that regarding their refurbished bodies (Canon).

Hmmm... they might have something on their website.

I would look in to their professional service plans. It MIGHT be overkill for you, but if you are dropping some serious $$$'s on equipment, you might feel better about having a service plan.

But I am just saying this based on MY experience with Panasonic, and how if I had realized there was only about a $200 difference between a new S5 and the used one I got, and that there was the service plan for new bodies (and the free lens), I would have gone with new.

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I basically bought all of my camera and lenses used, with the exception of my first dslr (a Canon 550D)  and the Pocket 4K I placed a Preorder for, right after it was announced. I don´t need all my gear to look brand new or to be the latest and greatest. For example, I just got a Sony a7rii as an alternative to my 5Diii. I bought the 5Diii for 580€ and the a7rii for 700€ via ebay/a photography forum. 

But refurbished could be a great option as well. Depends on what you´re looking for and how big your budget is.

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58 minutes ago, SRV1981 said:

Does refurbished indicate a potentially better quality?  also for used - do you like KEH? MBP? BH?

 

Makes sense!  i was going to call Canon to see about their Refurbished policy and potentially save a few hundred by getting a refurb body

Refurbished items often come with warrantees of their own making them a bit safer than just straight up used copies. I definitely recommend buying used or refurbished from any of those retailers in addition to Adorama. I've had great experiences with all of them. The used prices are often a little higher than you'd pay buying direct from another person, but you get the security of solid return policies and reputations.

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When it comes to cameras, it depends. My main camera I always buy new. People often tell me it's a waste of money but I always buy the extended warranty... It gives me peace of mind. I will entertain refurbished and open box deals as long as they come with a warranty. 

Every other camera though? I buy used with a focus on older cameras. My B-cam and C-cams are both used and were bought for under $400 each after I sold the lenses they came with. The G85 was about $350 and the GX85 was $250ish after doing that, and both are in excellent condition. Assuming I stay with Panasonic, the GH5 that I bought new will slide into the B-cam slot for whatever I buy new, assuming they are easy to match for by multicamera work. 

I don't see much value in buying newish cameras used unless I'm getting a good deal and know the seller, for the reasons @Mark Romero 2kind of gave. For the $200 extra I'd rather have gotten the ability to get the warranty and all the benefits you get from buying something new. That's just my preference though.

Lenses though? I've bought one new lens in my life. I tend to stick to established sellers and people I know, but if I see a real bargain I'll take the chance. I've been very fortunate in that it has worked out well for me every time. I don't care at all about getting the new model of a lens unless there's a significant difference; gimme your old lenses as long as they work! 🙂

Well used/loved gear is a great way to build up your arsenal. I highly recommend it! 

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1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

For the $200 extra I'd rather have gotten the ability to get the warranty and all the benefits you get from buying something new.

Makes sense!  Canon's 1 year warranty is extended to Refurbished and their new cameras so it would seem Refurbished makes sense here, I mean $200 in my pocket or toward a lens!

 

1 hour ago, newfoundmass said:

Well used/loved gear is a great way to build up your arsenal. I highly recommend it! 

Do you trust resellers like MBP, KEH, Adorama, BH? Or where do you go?

 

1 hour ago, ntblowz said:

I save quite a lot on buying used though, and can usally resell with minimum depreciation.

Favorite places to buy used?

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I buy used whenever I can: cameras, lenses, microphones, cars, clothes. Mainly to do my part to reduce waste. I sell or give away anything I've upgraded away from, unless it's absolutely unsalvageable. So a nice perk is that often I don't lose much value. In fact, with 2 out of the 3 cameras I've sold, I actually profited from it! In both cases I bought and sold on ebay, which is what I almost always use.

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I prefer to buy camera bodies / Electronics new. The warranty guarantee, is what excites me, having said that i don't think i have ever had a warranty claim and i have never purchased an extended warranty. Usually i find most stuff, lasts way past the the extended period anyway, if looked after. Maybe i'm a bit precious about my gear. 🤔

I have bought alot of lenses secondhand, mostly vintage m42 takumars and some fd lenses and a couple of later tokina's. The are also two new Olympus lenses in the m43 format. 

The price disparity between used older glass (off ebay) and newer glass is rapidly closing and older glass aint the bargain it used to be. Still i'm sure there is bargains around but their harder to find now.

I did recently come unstuck with my s21 phone. while starting a  petrol powered fire pump, the phone fell out of my shirt pocket and onto some grass. I thought, well at least it fell onto the grass and not the concrete pad, however when i inspected it i found the screen had cracked. It did have a half case, although it fell face down from less than three feet. I suspect the glass on these later models is not as thick as earlier models.

I'm rather disappointed in the robustness of the samsung. I'm thinking when i can find a 512 gig iphone 13, i'll get one of those and give it a go. I will be adding some type of  hard case to it as well. 😅

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2 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

Makes sense!  Canon's 1 year warranty is extended to Refurbished and their new cameras so it would seem Refurbished makes sense here, I mean $200 in my pocket or toward a lens!

Indeed! 

2 hours ago, SRV1981 said:

Do you trust resellers like MBP, KEH, Adorama, BH? Or where do you go?

Yes, those are the places where I get most of my used gear. I know they'll meticulously check everything over, grade it accordingly and if I'm unhappy with it I can return it, no questions asked. To me that's worth paying a little extra than buying it from someone I don't know on eBay or Facebook. 

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10 hours ago, ntblowz said:

e-bay, local auction site, fb local buy/sell group & marketplace.. My most recent score is Eos R with RF 24-105L kit for $1650 on ebay, I can pretty much resell for nice profit 🤑

Do find there is much potential arbitrage between buying secondhand overseas vs then selling it again locally here in NZ? 

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Depends if you can discount VAT etc and what offers you can get new. I got the S5 with the 20-60 kit lens and the 50 1.8 for about 2400€ i think. There was also 500€ cashback and discounting 21% vat and the kit cost me about 1500€. That was better than the second hand market. I've seen prices go way down in the secondhand market so it can be a good place to look. I recently bought a Weebill S, only 4 months old and little use for 225€ which is about 33% less than the cost new. Now with many secondhand apps giving sellers ratings it's easier to trust what you are buying. 

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Strange questions.  Why no nuance?

I've bought cameras and lenses new because they were just released, or because there wasn't much discount, or because the risk of something being damaged in a non-obvious way was higher and maybe I wouldn't know until I got it or maybe I wouldn't know until it proved unreliable, or because I didn't have time to wait for a deal and shipping before I needed them.

I've bought cameras and lenses second-hand because they ceased manufacture before I was born, because they're not made any more, because buying them was quite safe, because there was a significant discount from new, or because they weren't worth it for the value I would get from them if I paid new prices, or because I knew and trusted the person selling and shipping them to me.

It depends heavily on what you're buying.  My Helios 44 lens was built like a tank and I think it wouldn't have noticed that it got shipped from the eastern block to me in Australia.  Part of my gets a little nervous about shipping fragile OIS lenses or IBIS mechanisms if they're not being shipped in their original packaging.  

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One benefit of refurbished cameras over even NEW cameras is that they have had someone from the offical repair center go over the cameras thoroughly.

When a new camera comes off the production line, they are going to give it a quick diagnostic test, maybe take a few frames with it, and that's about it.

When you buy refurbished, it means someone has really taken the time to look into the camera. (At leas more so than when it rolled off the assembly line.)

Back in my Nikon aps-c days about 6 years ago, I would buy refurbished from Cametta cameras (RIP). I was always happy with how the gear worked. (Bought two bodies and a couple of lenses form them). They used to have a lot of officially refurbished Nikon gear and it carried the same Nikon refurbished warranty.

I also bought my Nikon D750 straight from Nikon Refurbished for about $1,400 or so when they were selling new around $1,800 and it worked fine. Nikon DID have some shutter recall programs where they replacing shutter boxes on ALL Nikon D750 cameras, whether they were having shutter problems or not. And they were perfectly happy to do the shutter replacement on my D750.

BTW: I think Sigma has a good warranty / service on used lenses. I bought an old Sigma 10-20 used and it didn't have LiveView AF capabilities since the lens was made before Nikon had implemented LiveView (contrast-detect) AF.

They said that even though I had bought it off of craislist, to send it in and they would update the firmware to get it to work with Nikon LiveView.  

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