I have been photographing for a very long time and these are some of my tips to buying lenses so that you know what you are buying, where to buy it, and save yourself a few bucks along the way.
Rarely Buying New
1. Rarely do I buy new! Why? Lenses retain their value for a really long time, that's because of the way they are designed, the optics inside of it, and the image quality that is kept within those lenses if you take care of them. Buying second hand or refurbished is never a bad choice, I just wanna say that from the start.
Buying on Amazon
2. A lot of people would say to buy on Amazon. Amazon basically owns our soul, they have that beautiful two day shipping (even one day!), but if you are like me and live in California, then Amazon has a huge tax on it. A 24-70 for Canon has a huge tax on Amazon compared to the B&H, which doesn't have the tax; that's because there is no tax if you are not present in New York. Another thing, Amazon has many sellers that you can look at, and pick your choice to find the deal you think is best for you! One BIG thing that I forgot to say in my video (just slipped my mind), is to make sure that they have a "Amazon Guarantee" just to reassure yourself just in case anything happens! Amazon is a great place to buy lenses, but it is no longer the first place I shop for lenses at.
3. I personally am not a fan of B&H, after the mistreatments of workers. I chose to shop Adorama, they are certified to sell Canon, Nikon, and Sony; used, new, and refurbished. Adorama also has some of the best customer service I have ever had the experince of talking to. For example, they were about to close down for the holidays and my order was going to take longer than usual to ship and I had 7 day free shipping, but that day I got bumped to 3 day free shipping! That's what I'm talking about. Customer services makes a huge difference and Adorama has that. Plus, they have some pretty sweet deals, like when I bought my 24-70, which came with a free tripod I had been looking for for a long time! Along with that lens came the one year warranty, which I also got with other refurbished items.
4. We have been talking a lot about shopping refurbished, which is what I try to shop the most. Canon,Sony, and Nikon do this all the time and retailers sell them on their behalf, along with the companies themselves. Refurbished items are cheaper and they go through many tests to make sure that they work by the company before they go on sale. Also, one really big thing is that they come with a warranty so you can send it back if there are any problems with the lens.
5. I try to avoid Craigslist as much as possible!!! I got mugged once!!!! So do it at your own risk, and if you decide to do it here are my tips. I always ask for the box to match serial numbers and ask if they have proof of purchase, like a receipt; if they are a professional they will hold on to it. As a buyer do not low-ball!! It only creates problems. Lastly, meet in an open area and in bright day light.
These are some of my big tips to buying lenses after buying and selling lenses for so long. I hope this helped you in your guide to buying the perfect lens you want! Make sure to check out the video !