The Greatest Locations to Purchase Used Cameras and Lenses in 2022

Ever since I turned a photographer, many of the cameras and lenses I’ve bought have been used. Most cameras and lenses solely include one-year warranties (although there are exceptions), and since some used gear sellers supply 6-month warranties, that additional half-year is commonly not definitely worth the distinction (to me). And, after all, some gadgets — like classic or discontinued cameras and lenses — are solely obtainable used.

Additionally, if I wish to strive a digicam out to see the way it works for me, I search for an open-box merchandise — I’m not a fan of returning model new cameras due to purely private choice.

I’ve had expertise with all of the below-mentioned corporations, some way more than the others.

So, with out additional delay, right here is our checklist of the highest six (in alphabetical order) locations to have a look at when in search of out your subsequent piece of drugs. Clearly, all these locations supply gear effectively past simply cameras and lenses too!

Up to date 1/08/2022 by Matt Williams: Adjusted “LensAffiliate” to “LensRentals.”


Desk of Contents


Adorama

Adorama is my absolute favourite provider of photograph and video merchandise. After tons of (if not hundreds) of things bought and tens of hundreds of {dollars} spent with them, I can safely say I’ve numerous expertise — together with returns and coping with its superb customer support group.

So far as digital cameras and lenses, its used division is my favourite of anybody on this checklist. Adorama has tons of used gear obtainable at any given time, with new gear being added every single day. Better of all, it has very, excellent costs with some unbeatable offers popping up at times.

Gadgets are rated from X (for components solely) to F (honest, which suggests it has sure malfunctions) to E+ (Wonderful Plus). I’ve had nothing however nice experiences with gadgets from G (Good, simply above Honest) to E+, with the lone exception of a thirteen-year-old Sigma DP1. Since returns to Adorama are so totally seamless, it was not even a hassle.

Among the best options of Adorama — not simply its used division however the web site as an entire — is its VIP360 program. It prices $49.99 per yr, however in case you order an honest quantity of images or video gear, it’s effectively price it. The first advantages are: free 2-day transport on hundreds of recent gadgets, 60 day return interval as an alternative of the conventional 30, 1-year “drops and spills” safety (applies to new gadgets solely, with some exclusions), devoted customer support, and early-bird entry to reductions and gross sales. Oh, and transport for returns is free with VIP360 too — so even in case you merely change your thoughts however the product shouldn’t be faulty, you continue to pay nothing for return transport.

All of Adorama’s used photograph merchandise include a six-month guarantee for G grade or increased and a 30-day return window. Used video and lighting gear carries a 90-day guarantee with a 30 day return interval.

B&H Picture Video

We probably all know B&H Photo Video. It’s virtually actually the biggest photograph and video retailer in the US, if not the world. Whereas most of its seemingly infinite choices of merchandise and types are new inventory, it does have an honest used division.

Primarily based out of New York Metropolis, B&H sits lower than two miles from its nearest competitor (each actually and figuratively) — Adorama. The retailer has an enormous superstore that hundreds of individuals go to every single day. Must you be fortunate sufficient to take action, you may browse its used gear in individual. You can even drop off returns and choose up on-line orders at its bodily retailer, typically same-day.

Not like Adorama, the used division shouldn’t be practically as sturdy, nor are its costs as aggressive. B&H’s stock doesn’t rotate over as a lot, and its ranking system is extra opaque. It does typically embrace a be aware alongside the numbered ranking (which ranges from 7 to 10), e.g. “Average Put on,” “Properly Used,” or “Little to No Indicators of Put on.”

Like buying new gadgets from B&H, used gear will nonetheless include the identical high quality customer support and free expedited supply over $49. Used gear could also be returned for any motive inside 30 days and carries a three-month components and labor guarantee.

eBay

I’m positive everyone seems to be acquainted with eBay, so not quite a bit must be mentioned about the way it works. It’s in all probability probably the most controversial choice on this checklist — some hate it and can by no means use it and others (like me) discover it to be an excellent supply for quite a lot of totally different conditions.

eBay is the place you stand to get the very best worth and have the biggest number of choices at any given time for any given merchandise. For some gadgets, particularly classic lenses, cameras, and equipment in addition to uncommon or area of interest gadgets, eBay stands out as the solely place the place you stand an opportunity to seek out what you’re searching for.

Loads of the apprehension relating to eBay is the potential for scams or doubtful sellers. This can be a utterly legitimate concern; nevertheless, it’s far, far much less one thing to fret about as a purchaser. eBay has an extremely sturdy safety system in place for consumers — to the purpose that I really feel the positioning is riskier for sellers and never the opposite approach round. The retailer will facet with the client in virtually each state of affairs.

If there are any points together with your merchandise, you may merely file a declare and eBay will refund your cash whether or not the vendor accepts the return or ignores your declare. You need to, nevertheless, totally learn any description and have a look at all obtainable images earlier than buying. From my in depth expertise of over fifteen years on the positioning as each a purchaser and vendor, I’ve zero reservations as a purchaser.

Not like each different firm on this checklist, eBay gadgets, basically, don’t have any guarantee — nevertheless, some sellers on the positioning (together with a number of on this checklist who additionally promote on eBay) do supply warranties on gadgets offered through eBay. Once more, it’s best to totally learn the itemizing and/or contact the vendor in case you are uncertain concerning the phrases. eBay itself has a 30-day window to file a declare ought to your buy be not as described, not arrive, and many others.

It’s price noting that eBay, together with the below-mentioned MPB, is the one firm on this checklist that’s NOT a certified vendor for Nikon, Canon, Sony, and many others. This may be vital in case you are, for instance, an NPS (Nikon Skilled Providers) member — it additionally might have an effect on the power to get repairs from the producer, since any digicam or lens not bought from a certified retailer is taken into account grey market.

KEH Digital camera

KEH Camera — the biggest pre-owned digicam retailer in the US — relies simply outdoors of Atlanta and is without doubt one of the hottest and extremely regarded websites for used images (and a few video) gear. With nice costs, implausible customer support, warranties, and an enormous catalog of used gear, it’s considered one of my go-to websites when I’m searching for my subsequent piece of drugs. From 35mm to giant format cameras and lenses, DSLRs, mirrorless, and tons of accent gear, there may be not a lot it doesn’t have.

The positioning is simple to navigate and browse, with all the pieces damaged down into clear and particular classes, plus loads of search filters alongside the left-hand facet of the web page. Its rankings vary from “Like New” to “Ugly” — there may be additionally an “As Is” ranking, which basically means “for components solely.” And its ranking system is without doubt one of the strictest on the market — “cut price” grade, which is simply above “ugly” is commonly equal to what many eBay sellers would checklist as “Wonderful++” or “Close to Mint.” I’ve even purchased dozens of “ugly” lenses — most of which merely had beauty points however have been optically good or wonderful.

Sadly, KEH’s web site doesn’t have images of every merchandise, so you may solely decide its gadgets primarily based on the ranking system.

KEH gives a 180-day guarantee and 21-day return window on cut price grade or increased gadgets and free transport for orders over $49.

LensRentals

Our authentic selection right here was LensAuthority, a subsidiary of LensRentals, nevertheless as Petapixel reported in November of final yr, Lensrentals selected to combine the 2 into one web site. That is actually a great transfer as a result of it was considerably tough to seek out LensAuthority until you have been straight acquainted with it, even in case you knew about LensRentals.

Each piece of apparatus at LensRentals goes by means of a rigorous X level inspection, cleansing, and provision program after every mortgage, which permits them to realize what’s presupposed to be the bottom failure fee within the rental enterprise. Tools naturally goes by means of the identical proprietary inspection course of earlier than being put up on the market.

You may browse the LensRentals web site as you usually would if you wish to hire one thing, and in case you’re focused on shopping for or seeing what’s that can be purchased, every product web page has a “Purchase” button within the prime proper. Clicking that may take you to a web page that lists all the obtainable our bodies/lenses on the market.

Every merchandise may have an general ranking like “wonderful” or “good,” together with sub-ratings for Cosmetics, Efficiency, and Shutter Rely (for cameras). Lenses will, instead of Shutter Rely, have a “Glass” ranking.

LensRentals does present another very good choices that you simply don’t see elsewhere. Chief amongst them is its extremely reasonably priced prolonged guarantee choices. For instance, you will get a 1-year prolonged guarantee on any digicam priced from $1,000 to $3,000 for a further $25! A 2-year prolonged guarantee on a lens from $500 to $1,500 is $14. I don’t know another firm that gives prolonged warranties wherever near these costs in the event that they’re even supplied in any respect.

I do want the positioning was simpler to navigate for potential consumers who aren’t focused on renting — just like how LensAuthority labored, or each different web site on this checklist. Because it stands, you must discover the merchandise you’re focused on, click on “Purchase” after which see what’s obtainable (if something is). A considerably separate part of the positioning with navigation for all merchandise at the moment on the market, together with filters and the power to arrange lists (e.g. from Low to Excessive worth) can be extremely good. However once more, the transition away from LensAuthority may be very latest, so it’s extremely attainable updates to the positioning are within the works or deliberate.

Lastly, in case you hire an merchandise from LensRentals, you may choose to buy it after your rental and LensRentals will credit score 100% of the rental charges for as much as 7 days towards the acquisition as a part of its “Keeper Take a look at Drive” program.

MPB

MPB might be the least well-known on this checklist, but it surely has grown quite a bit through the COVID-19 period and are completely price a glance. Not in contrast to the others on this checklist (besides eBay), MPB purchases and resells used digicam gear after totally inspecting and testing the gear. With two places of work within the UK and one in Brooklyn, New York, MPB serves much more markets than a number of others on this checklist, and in April of this yr, it acquired Collection D funding of $69 million to increase to different markets.

The 2 greatest issues about MPB are its large catalog of accessible merchandise and its excellent costs. For instance, on the time of writing there are twenty Nikon Z6 (beginning at $1059), thirty-four Canon 5D Mark IV (beginning at $1959), and twenty-seven Sony a7R Mark III (beginning at $1889) cameras obtainable to buy. I have no idea of wherever else, besides eBay, with that form of stock.

The corporate gives a 7-day return window with a six-month guarantee on all of the retailer’s merchandise.

As talked about above for eBay, MPB shouldn’t be a certified vendor for Nikon, Canon, Sony, and many others.

Robert’s Digital camera (Used Picture Professional)

Robert’s Camera (hereafter known as Used Picture Professional), primarily based out of Indianapolis is without doubt one of the largest suppliers of each new and used gear in the US. Its used division, which exists on a separate web site and with its personal customer support line, is without doubt one of the greatest within the nation.

Over time, I’ve bought hundreds of things from Robert’s, visited its retailer dozens of occasions, and it has been nothing however the kindest, most useful firm I’ve ever handled. Customer support resolves points with lightning pace and with out trouble.

Used Picture Professional sells all the pieces from fashionable digital cameras and lenses to classic 35mm, medium format, and enormous format cameras and lenses — in addition to the anticipated equipment like tripods, digicam luggage, and many others.

Whereas its stock shouldn’t be as in depth as KEH, the costs are simply as aggressive and, in contrast to KEH, every merchandise on the positioning has images of the particular product.

Grades vary from Inoperable to Mint. The outline of what every grade means is listed on each merchandise’s web page and, as talked about, images can be found so that you can examine. The retailer is as clear because it will get so far as what you’re shopping for — actually, out of the hundreds of things I bought from them, just one had a problem and the return was seamless.

Used Picture Professional gives a six-month guarantee on all gadgets, aside from these graded “poor” or “inoperable.” Free transport is obtainable on all gadgets besides these graded Inoperable, Poor, or Honest.

If there may be one niggle with Used Picture Professional, it’s that ever since its redesign, the web site is achingly sluggish to load every web page — it’s borderline unacceptably sluggish. However, have persistence as a result of it’s a fantastic useful resource. I do hope the retailer fixes that subject, although — it could make it much more nice for me, as I examine it a number of occasions a day.


Full disclosure: Adorama has been a long-time PetaPixel sponsor, however the digicam retailer was not concerned within the creation of this text.


Picture credit: Header photograph licensed from Depositphotos

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