Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Camera Gear: New or Used?

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Any photography enthusiast knows that camera gear can be extremely expensive. The good thing for us is there are lots of options out there to buy used equipment. Ask the question, can the previous model do the job for me? In many cases, yes it can.

For example, I recently purchased a Nikkor 300mm f2.8 AFS II which was manufactured between 2001 and 2004. Since then Nikon has come out with a 300mm f2.8 AFS VR and VRII versions. Back to the question, can older equipment do the job for me? Chad and I believe that older equipment can in fact do the job and remain a viable option for many photographers. Remember one thing about lenses, they last! Despite the advances in lens technology, they hold their value because even older "pro" lenses perform great on these new cameras.

In the example of the Nikkor 300mm f2.8 lens, there are many viable generations of the lens. For me, it was important to get fast and accurate autofocus with the TC-14, the TC-17 and the third generation TC-20 teleconverters. These will give me a focal length of 420mm , 500mm and 600mm respectivly.

A Nikkor 300mm f/4 will work well with the TC-14, but the autofocus suffers drastically with the TC-17. This need for autofocus limited my search to 300mm f/2.8 models with the AF-S motor. Also, I found the image quality of all the AFS version to be excellent.

The first version of the Nikkor 300mm f/2.8 AFS is very similar to the version II. The biggest difference I found was the weight. Version I weighs 6.8 lbs and the version II weighs 5.6 lbs. To me this was worth the price difference.

So if your in the market for a pro grade lens and the price of new is more than you can bare. Take a look at the used market. Do your research and find out if an older generation model will work for you. That way you might be able to save some money for that new camera your lusting after!

History of the Nikkor 300mm f/2.8

Used Camera gear:
Fred Miranda Buy & Sell
BH Photo Used Equipment
KEH Used Photogaphy Equipment
Adorama Used Equipment