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All About Camera Equipment

People are, generally, in search of the next best deal and photography fans are no different from these thrifty shoppers. Combining old lenses with new camera bodies has become a growing trend, and you also can find some good secondhand deals on full camera kits on surplus equipment. This article provides information on all factors you need to consider when shopping for secondhand gear for your camera.


If you plan to invest in a used or new lens for your camera kit, you should first check the lens or lenses you plan to purchase in the bundle. If you can look through the lens, hold it up to a light and check for any internal marks. If you find small lines etched into the surface of the lens, avoid buying such a lens at all costs. Such a lens may have fungus and can affect the quality of the picture. If you find scratches or chips on the surface elements in the center of the lens, avoid buying it. But if these scratches or chips are around the edge, you won’t have too many problems. But the resale value of the product will be drastically reduced and it may not look good. On the other hand, check the mount of the interchangeable lens to see if it’s badly worn. Such a lens could provide a sloppy fitting and let light in. Make sure any connections from the lens to the camera body aren’t damaged.


If your camera consists of a manual focusing ring, rotate it slowly from the closest setting to infinity in order to ensure there aren’t any points where it sticks to and grates. If the focusing ring sticks to any point, the mechanism is either sprained or has grit in it. If so, you would have to take it apart, clean it, and reassemble the unit. Point the camera at various subject distances and press the shutter to see whether the autofocus function is working. 


Most cameras come with paint, plastic, or leather-coated surfaces. If the body is badly scuffed, you need to treat the camera with caution. If this is the case, the owner of the camera may not have looked after it properly, and there might be other less obvious damages. If the cover is loose and coming away from the camera body, you can use some adhesive to stick it back. Check to see if the body hasn’t shrunk before you purchase such a camera body.


Avoid scratched panels at all costs. It may not affect the quality of the image but will reduce the resale value of your camera. Try the camera set to different modes in order to check whether the LCD digits are all OK, and check if you can easily view menus, etc.


Check the battery compartment for battery contacts. If you see white, green, or brown deposits on the surface avoid buying the camera. This is a sign of a battery leak, and the damage can extend further.


Play around with different shutter speed options to know whether the shutter sticks open. Some cameras will have squeaky shutters, and if the shutter has a high-pitch squeak, you should avoid buying such a camera. It may need serving which can be quite expensive. Try to cover the lens or sensor and fire the camera if you find an automatic shutter. Now, listen for two clicks – one to open and the second to close. The longer it may take, the darker the ambient light. If the camera has a single lens, the reflex opens the back of it and checks whether the shutter blinds or blades are worn or sprained. Check the shutter count if possible – the lower, the better. It will show you how much the camera has been used and how much life it has left in it.

Tripod Bush

If the camera has a threaded tripod mount, check if the thread is stripped before you buy the product. Don’t buy it if the thread is stripped.


If the camera, you plan to purchase, has a built-in flash, fire it using a fresh battery. See how long it takes to recharge. If it takes more than 4 to 5 seconds, the camera could be at the end of its life. Avoid a camera with cracked or bent shoes. If the product has a flash sync socket, you can plug a flashgun in and check whether it fires. If you don’t plan to use flash, none of these points will matter. But you should ask to reduce the price of the product under such circumstances.

Filter Thread

The ring that you find at the front of the lens is usually used to attach filters & other lens accessories to the camera. If the mount is stripped or dented of its thread, you should be cautious about buying such a product. It may not affect the picture quality if you don’t plan to add accessories to the camera, but it can reduce the resale value of the product.

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