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(Maybe) Buying a used lens (in Singapore)

Michael Slater , Oct 30, 2002; 10:54 a.m.

I might be interested in buying a Canon 100- 400mm f4.5-5.6 lens.

I'd really rather experiment with one first, and see if it would get me better street photos (I figure it would give me a bit more light + I can be a bit further away and hidden and still get the same framing). The thing is, I live in Singapore, where renting is anathema. Anyone know how I could try out one of these lenses for a while here?

And if I decide it is useful enough that I want one, I thought maybe I should look for a used one.

  • Anyone know who/where to buy used camera gear in Singapore?
  • What's the advice for avoiding buying a subtlely-broken used lens?
  • Responses


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    Maxim Drogaytsev , Oct 31, 2002; 12:18 p.m.

    You can find some shops in Peninsula Plaza & Peninsula Hotel (1st floor)

    and there is one shop (Prime camera http://www.primecamera.com.sg/) selling Canon 100-400 now - http://ss1.realxchange.com.sg/prime_htm/report003.cfm?cat_id=2&start=11

    Karl Lehmann , Nov 01, 2002; 06:03 a.m.

    Camera Exchange (across from Peninsula Plaza) is good for used equipment.

    Terence Cheng , Nov 01, 2002; 11:27 a.m.

    There are couple shops selling second-hand photography gear along Peninsular Plaza / Shopping Centre belt. You can check out some shops along the back of the ground floor of Peninsular Shopping Centre, next to Cathay Photo. Or head across the road to Peninsular Plaza where you can find Camera Workshop and one other 2nd hand shop (can't recall its name) at the corner of the ground floor near the carpark driveway. Anyway, the prices in my opinion are not attractive at all. For most, you are better off getting a new piece. I would think ebay offers better bargains, but of course you would have the risk of buying a lemon or pay shipping. Hope this helps.

    Art Haykin , Nov 01, 2002; 01:53 p.m.

    You really don't need THAT lens to test for light. It's a 4.5 to 5.6, so use any lens at those settings to test forexposure.

    Ivan Tan , Nov 01, 2002; 09:11 p.m.

    If you're looking to rent, you can check out http://www.kevinphotography.com/

    I don't see a 100-400 listed at the moment but they have a sigma 400/5.6 I think.

    Guan-Leong Chua , Nov 02, 2002; 03:43 a.m.

    Second hand dealers in Singapore, I find, are arrogant and out for a quick profit with minimal work. Twice I had sold items to them at low prices and they were immediately rebadged with more than 150% of what I sold them. For example, I sold an excellent 80-200/4 AIS for S$300 (about US$165) and they rebadged it for S$520. Its better to look for second-hand items on ebay (even with shipping) than buying from them. You could also look for them in "http://classifieds.singnet.com.sg" or "http://sg.classifieds.yahoo.com" and buy from individuals instead. Lots cheaper and more satisfying.

    The reputation of most shops are also bad as I've heard many cases of shops not honoring their warranty. I have a friend who bought a lens with fungus and tried to return them the next day and they claim that my friend should have realised that when he bought it.

    Jonathan Wong , Nov 03, 2002; 06:40 a.m.

    I think it is ridiculous to expect a shop to pay full/new price for a used item and then sell it out at half the value of what they have paid for. For crying out loud, this is BUSINESS! Shops have to pay rents, render services, risk making a lost, in order to provide a service to support the second hand market. In fact their businesses benefit many photographers. I cannot understand why many people expect second shops to play the role of Santa Claus or 'photo charity'.

    If anyone can find a shop in this world that sell brand new things at used price, please do drop me a mail! Although one might be able to pick up some good bargains, but used lens are used lens. They are in the shop for one reason or another. Used items are used items, some a better and some are worse. Buying used is always a risk. The right thign to do is 'to check thoroughly and make sure you know what you are doing'.

    I think the previous post is a poor comment. I have seen many customers buy items without checking, have the wrong expectations, or at times may not know what to look for. Such customers return after a few days and ask for refunds. If all customers were to be like this, I think the shop will have to close in just a few days. Really, if one were to ask the approriate quesitons, I think the shop keeper will answer accordingly.

    My experiences with shops in Singapore are generally fine. In fact, most of my Nikkor and Carl Zeiss lenses were bought from the shops in Adelphi/Peninsula shopping Centres. I bought excellent used lenses from Prime, Ron's Camera, Camerawork shop and Alex photo. If you need help in Singapore, e-mail me and I might be able to help you get a good bargain.

    Jonathan Wong , Nov 03, 2002; 09:53 p.m.

    To add on to the same discussion, I disagree it is a good move to buy from E-Bay. I think buying from E-Bay pose a greater risk: it is buying blindly because there is no way one can inspect the item before commiting the cash; one don't even know how the seller look like! I bought two items from Ebay which turned out to be defective, and there were NO WAY to get my money back.

    When I buy from Ebay, I make sure it is a reputable shop that has good feedback (look, it's a shop again). Any individual selling an item on the NET can call himself Micky Mouse or Donald Duck, and does what he likes. Also, buying from Ebay subjects oneself to hefty postage, risk of lost, and custom duty.

    Consider the humid weather in Singapore/HongKong/Malaysia, fungus or fogging of lenses can start rather easily. This is unlike countries having cold and dry weather. The humidity in Singapore can go up to 90% at times. Even when kept in a dry box, a lens can fog or grow fungus because of the humid/stale air trapped in the lens barrel. A lens should 'suck' in some dry air before putting into the dry box, but I don't think many people do it here. If discovered early and cleaned by a good technician, the lens can be saved.

    Used items are used items. Exercise caution when buying. If the savings are peanuts, it is better to buy NEW and save the hassle.

    Michael Slater , Nov 03, 2002; 10:00 p.m.

      Consider the humid weather in Singapore/HongKong/Malaysia, fungus or fogging of lenses can start rather easily. This is unlike countries having cold and dry weather. The humidity in Singapore can go up to 90% at times. Even when kept in a dry box, a lens can fog or grow fungus because of the humid/stale air trapped in the lens barrel. A lens should 'suck' in some dry air before putting into the dry box, but I don't think many people do it here. If discovered early and cleaned by a good technician, the lens can be saved.
    How do you get a lens to "'suck' in some dry air before being placed in the dry box" ?

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