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Where to purchase a NEW lens?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Lenses' started by Xterra, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. Xterra

    Xterra TalkEmount Regular

    93
    Feb 8, 2016
    Strasbourg, France
    David
    Obvious choices are local photo store, B&H, Adorama and so forth... but then comes ebay with reputable sellers? And Prices MUCH LOWER.
    Anyone has insight into this pros and cons? Maybe Gray market, but should not matter so much with a lens?
    Looking at the 35mm f/2.8 ZA lens. Retail US= US$798
    ebay: $586 from HK

    Thanks everyone
     
  2. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    I find generally that on Ebay new lenses are dearer, not cheaper, although I do buy from reputable sellers when a bargain appears. There are quite a few good sellers in Japan for second hand lenses. I also buy from Hong Kong when the price is right. The more reputable dealers (eg T-Dimension or E-Global) are reasonable and usually offer warranty service etc.
    B & H are quite competitive. The general idea is to shop around and look carefully at what their policies are regarding delivery, returns, warranties etc.
     
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  3. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    New lens prices don't generally seem to be a whole lot cheaper on EBay. Its the clearance or used lenses that will save you the $$$$. However, for the patient buyer, you can occasionally find great deals on new lenses. Just check out the buyer carefully.



    Sent from my SM-N920P using TalkEmount mobile app
     
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  4. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    FWIW I've bought all of the legacy lenses I've ever used off of eBay, and one used SEL55F18Z. I've never been ripped off.
     
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  5. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    I agree with this. I have bought Minolta AF 20mm f/2.8, 24mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, 50mm f/2.8 macro and 85mm f/1.4 (as well as a few zooms) all for the price of one of the new Sony or Zeiss primes. I have bought from people in USA, Australia, Canada, Japan and UK. I am a little hesitant about buying from some of the European countries and will not buy from anyone in Russia at all.

    Most people are honest, although there are a few rogues around. Beware of people who set up email addresses with local providers to disguise the fact that they are actually overseas. This is done by some in certain Asian countries.

    In the end it boils down to how much you can afford to pay and what you really want. I cannot justify spending $2000 plus on one lens as I am only a retired enthusiast. If you are willing to pay for the best then the online specialists like B & H and local camera shops are worth looking at.
     
  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    I buy from eBay or the likes, knowing I'm taking a bit of a gamble. But if some $75 legacy lens turns out to be a bust, I can absorb that. (For higher dollar amounts it's a judgment call and I pay close attention to feedback ratings. Under 99% is not so good - a perfect 100% over tens of thousands of transactions is exceptional. Most are somewhere in between - the closer to 100% the better.)
    The more high stakes the purchase, the more likely I am to stick with B&H. If some $1000 lens turns out to be unsatisfactory, I want that rock solid return policy (I've used it before).
    I also stick with B&H for batteries and other items that may be prone to counterfeiting. (I like Amazon for a lot of other stuff but I've read too many reviews where a battery turned out to be not genuine.)
     
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  7. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    By the way, Xterra, I forgot to mention that I bought the Sony 35mm f/2.8 from Hong Kong (T-Dimension) for about the same price and have used it successfully for 18 months now.
     
  8. michealj

    michealj TalkEmount Veteran

    252
    Jan 2, 2015
    Blaine, MN
    Xterra, I have used Greentoe.com with success. The merchandise was new, and shipped from a reputable US dealer with US warranty.
     
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  9. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    99% of the times you see a MUCH lower price on a new lens on ebay, is definately a grey market product. Its up to you to decide if you are comfortable with purchasing grey market products. I've bought before and didn't have an issue but if I had, I would probably be into big trouble with returns/warranty etc.
     
  10. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    Ohio
    Matt
    I'm a Huge fan of helping the local guys. Anytime i've got the dough to buy full price i like to give them my money first. Not to mention they always go the extra mile to give me deals. Help out the local guy whenever possible!
     
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  11. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Yeah, I would like to do that. But the nearest "local" camera store (other than Best Buy) is 300 miles away from me. :frown:
     
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  12. Jefenator

    Jefenator TalkEmount Top Veteran

    876
    Nov 23, 2012
    Oregon, USA
    Jeff
    They haven't quite gotten around to closing the old-school camera store in Klamath Falls yet. (Part of the whole "time capsule" feel I enjoy when I go over there and explore downtown - they even have a few shelves full of old film camera gear!)
     
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  13. unlo

    unlo Sony ******

    Jan 19, 2014
    Ohio
    Matt
    LET ME BE CLEAR 'BEST BUY' IS IN NO WAY CONSIDERED A LOCAL CAMERA STORE.


    for me, the local is an hr drive away. And as far as I can tell the only place left in the city that actually does everything a local camera store should offer and more. With personable staff who have knowledge and the rental department with quite a diverse range of products. They even do sensor cleaning and offer classes for every level of photographer/cinematographer hardware/software.
     
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  14. Andromeda143

    Andromeda143 TalkEmount Regular

    47
    Dec 19, 2015
    Melbourne, Australia
    Clive Dickinson
    I would like to buy local, but when the local store charges $500 more for a $3000 camera I draw the line. I still buy from 'local' stores but they may be in a different city. When it comes to large items I prefer to buy from a legitimate camera shop with a store front and local warranties. However, if the shop with the best price is 1000 or even 3000 kms away that is Ok, as long as their service is the same.
    With second hand lenses and cheaper items the local stores do not usually have the range to compete with Ebay.
     
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  15. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    649
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    I like the the brick and mortar stores in my city. Downtown would be empty and liveless without them so I prioritize local stores first, specialist stores in Copenhagen second and then webbased and foreign sellers. Some things are unavailable here though and then I'll go directly to the www.
     
  16. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount Veteran

    399
    Sep 10, 2015
    Bob
    I still have a real camera store not far from me (10 minutes tops). They have been around for probably 40-50 years or more. Sadly they are nearly completely Canikon, other than "Promaster" gear and accessories. No idea on the history or quality of that brand. I think they do have a couple of the Sony A-mount cameras and lenses, but that's about it. It sure makes it difficult to support them, as much as I would like to, though I still pick up a few supplies or accessories now and then.

    Truth be told, I buy most of what I own used. A few lenses came from ebay, the rest from dpreview and now here. My relatively recent-to-me body, an A6000, I bought through keh.com. This is the first thing I have ever purchased there, and I have to say I was very satisfied. The item was in better condition than they rated it and the price while not the very lowest was competitive. I may buy there again.
     
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  17. soeren

    soeren TalkEmount Top Veteran

    649
    Dec 12, 2014
    Næstved, Denmark
    Soeren
    BTW I made my lavest purchase, a Mamiya RZ67PROII here.

    One Of Many Cameras
    I went there to ask the repairman som questions regarding a faulty large format leaf shutter and a few other things. Went home with the mamiya, a Ltm-emount adapter and a memory card :D ouh just recalled my latest purchase was in fact the 24mm f1,8 Sony-zeiss bought locally.
     
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  18. Hawon

    Hawon TalkEmount Regular

    141
    Feb 5, 2013
    Chicago, IL
    Hawon
    When I buy new either Amazon or local shop. Usually a local one as they price match.

    Used? I usually shop via forum either here or fredmiranda.


    Sent from my iPhone using TalkEmount mobile app
     
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  19. Xterra

    Xterra TalkEmount Regular

    93
    Feb 8, 2016
    Strasbourg, France
    David
    because of you, I just bought my 25mm f/2 Batis from Greentoe, great price..... definately better than B&H and having to wait for their 4% and then being forced to use it at B&H. Thanks!
     
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  20. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    For new, I prefer Amazon. Sony's QC is not always the best and I want to know that I can always exchange the lens as opposed to just returning it and going back to square one. However B&H and Adorama are also high on my list as long as they are price competitive. The local camera stores seem to be on crack.

    I did not have good luck with Greentoe. I suspect many of the stores they deal with would use GT to try & resell returned lenses as long as they don't show signs of use - this is legal in most states and if I was selling through an intermediary that expects me to provide a discount to the end customer plus a profit for themselves, I'd probably want to move these returns through them first. So as a buyer, I'd want a discount large enough to entice me into taking this risk. So far GT has not really been able to deliver. YMMV. (Amazon does this too but it's a simple phone call to exchange the lens).

    For used I prefer CL - the prices can be negotiated and you get to inspect the lens first. KEH has been good too, they are not the cheapest but their descriptions are accurate and prices are OK. eBay has gotten pricey.
     
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