Have you ever wondered about buying used gear?

written by Beckie of beckiegkengle.com

(image shot with Nikon D700 and Lensbaby Composer with Edge 80 optic)

Buying used gear can seem daunting or even taboo to some. You’re often wondering “Am I getting a good deal?” “Is it really in the condition they say it’s in?”. If you can’t be right there to have it in your hands and feel it and inspect it, how do you know you’re getting what you’re paying for?

With the exception of my Lensbaby, all three of my Nikon lenses were purchased used! And they are in amazing condition! They didn’t even look used when I opened the boxes! 🙂

There are numerous trusted websites that offer used lenses. B&H, Adorama, BorrowLenses, and KEH, to name a few.

I like all of these sites over others not listed, because they have an inspection and rating system that allows you to be able to somewhat tell what the condition is in. For example, KEH rates their lenses from the worst (and I use that term loosely) condition being “bargain” to the best condition being “like new”.

KEH is actually one of my personal favorite companies to purchase from! They once sent me a lens that would not focus no matter what I did (auto OR manual) and I called them, sent it back and as soon as they received it, they shipped me out a replacement, no other questions asked! Their customer service is AMAZING to say the least!

No matter where you buy, one thing you want to make sure is that it is not a gray-market product (the only way to really do this is by actually calling their store and having someone verify the serial number over the phone). For instance, if I’m buying a new Nikon lens, I want to make sure that it is a US version and not an import. From what I understand from the research I have done on this is that Nikon will not do a warranty repair on a gray-market product.

So, next time you’re looking for a new lens, don’t hesitate to look at that website’s “used” section! You can usually get some great deals!

If you enjoyed reading my post and would like to follow more of my journey through life in photography, feel free to visit my blog or follow my Facebook page!

About Beckie

I'm Beckie, a fun, think-outside-the-box mama to 2 miracle children.
I love all things photography, and being able to share in this art with others!


  1. Thanks for this post! I’ve never heard of KEH; I’ll definitely check them out next time I need a new-to-me lens. Also, eBay is another place to look. I just bought a D700 off eBay (from a camera store in Washington) and it works great. They have a 14-day return policy, so I knew if I bought it and didn’t like it, I could return it no problem.

  2. We’ve been doing business with KEH and B&H for decades now. Both have excellent service and prices.


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