Used DSLR Lenses

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Postby CompuDude » Sat Jun 19, 2010 10:29 am

Not that I have the cash on hand at the moment, but I've been thinking about lenses quite a bit, as I play with my birthday gift (a Nikon D90 DSLR) topside, and ponder future underwater possibilities.

What are your feeling on used lenses for Nikons (or Canons, for those who chose that route)? Good idea, or always buy new?

If you think used is ok, is there a particular place you'd recommend to find classifieds that you can somewhat trust (other than fleabay or extraordinary luck with a trusted friend)?

I'm very interested in picking up a 105 for my D90, but it's going to be a LONG time before that can happen if I have to come up with $890 or so to make that happen. (http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-105mm-2-8G- ... 1JG8WV7K6M)

A 105 would be the first step towards getting my D90 ready for underwater use. Once I have the lenses I would want to use, then I can maybe start to think about housings. The Tokina 10-17 would be next (and it's cheaper than the 105), but since it'll be a while before I could get the camera underwater, it makes sense to start with a lens that has some good topside application, like shooting macro topside with the 105, which I can see myself doing a lot more than the limited circumstances where I would ever want to use a fisheye on land. (A 60mm macro lens is on the list, too, and also cheaper than the 105, but I like to shoot super small so I'm thinking 105 first.)

Thoughts, recommendations, tips on where to look, and what to look for?
-CompuDude
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Postby bvanant » Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:42 pm

Kalani:
There are several routes to getting a 105 micro Nikkor. Try the normal used guys like KEH etc. They often have great deals. Particularly look for the Non-VR lenses. I personally have had great luck in getting lenses from ebay, either new or from individuals who have a few dozen (not thousands) of good feedbacks. For example there is a non-VR 105 micro right now that will probably go for $400 or so. There is another with a buy it now price of $550. The point is that mostly anyone who buys a good macro lens will not treat it like crap and you will most likely find that the used ones are in great shape. There is also a brand new (old stock) 105 micro that is not the VR version and I think underwater the VR function is not terribly useful. Keh has one with some filter ring damage for $300 or so and they come up there quite often. Alternatively you could look at the sigma, which is quite nice, but it extends quite a bit when focusing.
Bill

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Postby smb2 » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:59 pm

I would agree with Bill.
There are a lot of 105 mm 2.8 D lenses out there on the used market. It is a great lens and while not VR, remains a great UW tool. I bought the newer VR mostly for topside work but do use it UW as well.
I would sell you my older 105 but my daughter just came to visit and the lens seems to have found it's way into her kit ;)
Also you could consider a 60mm 2.8 micro (used) to get started and save a little more money and have a good fish portrait lens.

Through the years I have dealt with B&H photo/video. They have a great used Nikon dept. and are very reputable.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/8 ... ikkor.html
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Postby CompuDude » Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:26 pm

I forgot about B&H, good call, thanks! I'll check into KEH, I'm not familiar with them.

I plan to use the lens topside quite a bit to begin with, so I'm thinking VR is a must for me, even if it's not essential underwater.

I thought about getting the 60 to begin with, but it's going to be quite a while before a housing becomes an option, so I think I want to start with the lens that's most likely to be helpful topside, first.
-CompuDude
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Canon S90, Fisheye FIX housing, Inon D2000 strobe, Fisheye FIX Mini LED Focus Light, Inon UCL-165AD Macro Lenses x2, ULCS arms, Ikelite Handle/Tray with custom adapter plate
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Postby scottg » Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:13 am

used lenses can be great!

I get mine off craigslist locally, so I can check out the lens myself - I've had great luck that way.

you should be able to find a good deal on the old version 105mm.

Scott Gietler Owner/Editor, Underwater Photography Guide & Bluewater Photo http://www.uwphotographyguide.com http://www.bluewaterphotostore.com

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Postby northwestdiverdan » Sun Jun 20, 2010 8:38 am

the humble 18-55mm kit lens is actually a pretty good all around lens to use underwater. If you don't have it you can buy it for around $100. Its actually quite sharp, considering all the plastic. While its not technically 'macro' you can actually get pretty good closeups at 55mm with a flat port. And if you use a dome with it the 18mm setting does wide angle pretty well too. Its great for fish portraits and larger nudibranchs.

Here's a Queen Angel in Bonaire taken with that lens.

Image
Nikon 18-55mm @38mm f8
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Postby CompuDude » Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:28 pm

Thanks, Dan! Good to know. I have the Nikon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S DX VR Nikkor Zoom Lens, bought separately, so I don't know if that's the same as the kit lens or not, but it's good to know it's not useless UW. Ken Rockwell sure likes it, but he doesn't try to take it underwater. :D
-CompuDude
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Postby scottg » Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:18 pm

wow, that's a beautiful angelfish Dan!

I've enjoyed using the 18-55mm also, although I wouldn't say it does macro or wide-angle very well at all :o
http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/nikon ... ens-review

Kalani - sorry about the tangent!

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