Jul 30, 2009

Buying used gear...

With the announcement of Nikon's new 70-200mm VRII, I instantly thought to myself, "Hey. Good time to pick up the old model!" Then I remembered the last time I bought used gear. Sigh.

If I had a tail, it would be between my legs.

I goofed big time, and wanted to share the pain, if only to save others from my error.

This is a re-print of a posting I made on Flickr a while back:

I found a used lens on Kijiji. (Nikon 20mm f/2.8)

Although I think of myself as pretty astute on camera gear, I goofed on this purchase. Even after quizzing the seller methodically by e-mail and phone, I was assured several times that the lens was in "great condition".

I saw the lens, I tried the lens, I liked the lens. I paid for the lens. It didn't come with a filter, but the optics were good. I noticed some back-focusing issues, but I corrected this in AF Fine Tune.

But I didn't check the iris.

After shooting indoors at f/2.8, with good results, I shot outside and couldn't understand for the life of me why my camera kept overexposing in a huge thermonuclear fashion. The iris was locked at f/22 and I was on Aperture priority f/8 at the time.

Only when I got indoors did I remove the lens, unlock it and twist the ring. No movement. Zero.

I contacted the seller, who told me (quite rightly) that I freely purchased the gear after inspecting it and giving it a thumbs up. He was unaware of any issues, and - to be fair - the problem could have occurred
after I bought it.

(And monkeys might fly out of my butt
after I submit this topic.)

I am taking this lens to Nikon tomorrow and am going to hold my breath. Please learn from my stupidity.

*Note: I will not identify the seller here. If you're interested, please write me.

"The first guy to say 'caveat emptor' was probably bleeding from the a$$."
-George Carlin

[Update: Nikon fixed it. It works. In total, I spent the equivalent of a new one under warrantee. Live. Learn.]

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