Where To Get Cheap Camera Lenses

By | 13/11/2022

Ever since I became a photographer, most of the cameras and lenses I take purchased accept been used. Most cameras and lenses only come with i-twelvemonth warranties (though there are exceptions), and since some used gear sellers offer half-dozen-month warranties, that actress half-year is often not worth the departure (to me). And, of course, some items — similar vintage or discontinued cameras and lenses — are only available used.

Also, if I want to try a camera out to run into how it works for me, I expect for an open-box detail — I am not a fan of returning brand new cameras considering of purely personal preference.

I have had experience with all the below-mentioned companies, some much more the others.

And so, without further delay, here is our list of the top six (in alphabetical order) places to wait at when seeking out your next piece of gear. Patently, all these places offer gear well beyond just cameras and lenses too!

At a Glance


Adorama is my accented favorite supplier of photo and video products. Subsequently hundreds (if not thousands) of items purchased and tens of thousands of dollars spent with them, I can safely say I have quite a lot of experience — including returns and dealing with its astonishing client service team.

Equally far as
cameras and lenses, its used section is my favorite of anyone on this list. Adorama has tons of used gear available at any given time, with new gear beingness added every day. Best of all, information technology has very, very good prices with some unbeatable deals popping up now and so.

Items are rated from X (for parts just) to F (off-white, which means it has certain malfunctions) to E+ (Excellent Plus). I have had null but cracking experiences with items from G (Skilful, just above Off-white) to E+, with the lonely exception of a thirteen-year-old Sigma DP1. Since returns to Adorama are and so utterly seamless, it was non even a bother.

I of the best features of Adorama — not just its used department but the site as a whole — is its VIP360 plan. It costs $49.99 per twelvemonth, but if you order a decent amount of photography or video equipment, it is well worth information technology. The primary benefits are: free ii-day shipping on thousands of new items, sixty day return menstruum instead of the normal 30, 1-yr “drops and spills” protection (applies to new items only, with some exclusions), dedicated customer service, and early-bird admission to discounts and sales. Oh, and shipping for returns is costless with VIP360 as well — so even if y’all merely alter your mind simply the product is not defective, you however pay cipher for return aircraft.

All of Adorama’s used photo products come with a half-dozen-calendar month warranty for Thou class or higher and a 30-day return window. Used video and lighting gear carries a 90-solar day warranty with a 30 twenty-four hour period render period.

B&H Photograph Video

We likely all know B&H Photo Video. Information technology is almost certainly the largest photo and video retailer in the U.s., if not the world. While most of its seemingly endless options of products and brands are new stock, information technology does have a decent used department.

Based out of New York Metropolis, B&H sits less than 2 miles from its nearest competitor (both literally and figuratively) — Adorama. The retailer has a massive superstore that thousands of people visit every mean solar day. Should you lot be lucky enough to practice and then, you can browse its used equipment in person. You lot can also drop off returns and option up online orders at its physical store, often same-day.

Unlike Adorama, the used department is non well-nigh equally robust, nor are its prices as competitive. B&H’due south inventory does not rotate over as much, and its rating system is more opaque. It does often include a note alongside the numbered rating (which ranges from 7 to 10), east.g. “Moderate Clothing,” “Well Used,” or “Little to No Signs of Wear.”

Similar purchasing new items from B&H, used gear will still come with the same quality customer service and free expedited delivery over $49. Used equipment may exist returned for any reason within xxx days and carries a 3-month parts and labor warranty.


I am sure anybody is familiar with eBay, and then not a lot needs to be said about how information technology works. Information technology is probably the most controversial option on this list — some hate it and will never use it and others (like me) find information technology to be a groovy source for a variety of dissimilar situations.

eBay is where you stand up to go the best possible cost and take the largest variety of options at any given fourth dimension for whatever given detail. For some items, namely vintage lenses, cameras, and accessories as well as rare or niche items, eBay may be the simply identify where you stand up a run a risk to detect what you are looking for.

A lot of the anticipation regarding eBay is the potential for scams or dubious sellers. This is a completely valid concern; however, it is far, far less something to worry about as a buyer. eBay has an incredibly robust protection arrangement in place for buyers — to the point that I feel the site is riskier for sellers and non the other way around. The retailer volition side with the buyer in nigh every situation.

If in that location are whatsoever issues with your detail, you can but file a claim and eBay will refund your money whether the seller accepts the return or ignores your claim. You should, however, thoroughly read whatsoever description and look at all bachelor photos earlier purchasing. From my extensive experience of over fifteen years on the site as both a buyer and seller, I take null reservations as a purchaser.

Dissimilar every other company on this listing, eBay items, in general, have no warranty — however, some sellers on the site (including several on this list who also sell on eBay) exercise offer warranties on items sold via eBay. Once again, yous should thoroughly read the list and/or contact the seller if y’all are unsure about the terms. eBay itself has a 30-day window to file a merits should your purchase be not as described, non arrive, etc.

It is worth noting that eBay, along with the beneath-mentioned MPB, is the only company on this list that is Non an authorized dealer for Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc. This can be important if you are, for example, an NPS (Nikon Professional Services) fellow member — it also may affect the ability to get repairs from the manufacturer, since any camera or lens not purchased from an authorized retailer is considered gray market.

KEH Camera

KEH Camera — the largest pre-endemic camera store in the The states — is based but outside of Atlanta and is one of the about popular and highly regarded sites for used photography (and some video) gear. With great prices, fantastic client service, warranties, and a huge catalog of used equipment, it is i of my go-to sites when I am looking for my next piece of gear. From 35mm to big format cameras and lenses, DSLRs, mirrorless, and tons of accessory gear, at that place is non much it doesn’t take.

The site is easy to navigate and browse, with everything broken downward into clear and specific categories, plus plenty of search filters forth the left-hand side of the page. Its ratings range from “Like New” to “Ugly” — there is also an “Every bit Is” rating, which essentially ways “for parts only.” And its rating arrangement is one of the strictest out there — “deal” form, which is just in a higher place “ugly” is often equivalent to what many eBay sellers would list as “Excellent++” or “Near Mint.” I have even bought dozens of “ugly” lenses — most of which simply had cosmetic issues just were optically good or excellent.

Unfortunately, KEH’s site does not have photos of each particular, so yous tin can only judge its items based on the rating system.

KEH offers a 180-24-hour interval warranty and 21-twenty-four hour period return window on bargain form or higher items and complimentary shipping for orders over $49.


Our original choice here was LensAuthority, a subsidiary of LensRentals, all the same equally
reported in November of last year, Lensrentals chose to integrate the two into i site. This is certainly a proficient move because it was somewhat difficult to detect LensAuthority unless you were directly familiar with information technology, even if you lot knew about LensRentals.

Every piece of equipment at LensRentals goes through a rigorous Ten betoken inspection, cleaning, and provision programme afterward each loan, which allows them to reach what is purported to be the lowest failure rate in the rental business concern. Equipment naturally goes through the same proprietary inspection process before being put up for sale.

You can scan the LensRentals site as y’all normally would if yous want to rent something, and if you’re interested in buying or seeing what’s available to buy, each product page has a “Buy” push in the top right. Clicking that will accept you to a page that lists all of the available bodies/lenses for sale.

Each detail will have an overall rating similar “first-class” or “practiced,” forth with sub-ratings for Cosmetics, Functioning, and Shutter Count (for cameras). Lenses will, in place of Shutter Count, accept a “Glass” rating.

LensRentals does provide some other very nice options that you don’t see elsewhere. Chief amongst them is its
affordable extended warranty options. For example, you can go a 1-year extended warranty on whatsoever photographic camera priced from $1,000 to $3,000 for an additional $25! A 2-year extended warranty on a lens from $500 to $1,500 is $14. I don’t know any other company that offers extended warranties anywhere shut to those prices if they’re even offered at all.

I do wish the site was easier to navigate for potential buyers who are not interested in renting — similar to how LensAuthority worked, or every other site on this listing. Every bit it stands, you take to find the item you’re interested in, click “Buy” and then come across what’s bachelor (if annihilation is). A somewhat divide section of the site with navigation for all products currently for sale, along with filters and the power to organize lists (e.g. from Depression to High price) would be incredibly nice. But again, the transition away from LensAuthority is very recent, so it’s highly possible updates to the site are in the works or planned.

Lastly, if yous rent an item from LensRentals, you tin opt to purchase information technology after your rental and LensRentals will credit 100% of the rental fees for upwards to 7 days toward the purchase as part of its “Keeper Test Drive” program.


MPB is probably the least well-known on this list, but it has grown quite a lot during the COVID-19 era and are absolutely worth a look. Not dissimilar the others on this list (except eBay), MPB purchases and resells used camera gear later on thoroughly inspecting and testing the equipment. With two offices in the United kingdom and one in Brooklyn, New York, MPB serves fifty-fifty more markets than several others on this list, and in April of this year, it caused Series D funding of $69 million to expand to other markets.

The two best things about MPB are its massive catalog of bachelor products and its very good prices. For case, at the time of writing in that location are twenty Nikon Z6 (starting at $1059), thirty-iv Canon 5D Marking IV (starting at $1959), and twenty-seven Sony a7R Marker Iii (starting at $1889) cameras available to purchase. I do non know of anywhere else, except eBay, with that kind of inventory.

The company offers a 7-day render window with a six-month warranty on all the retailer’s products.

Every bit mentioned in a higher place for eBay, MPB is non an authorized dealer for Nikon, Catechism, Sony, etc.

Robert’south Camera (Used Photo Pro)

Robert’s Photographic camera (hereafter referred to as Used Photo Pro), based out of Indianapolis is one of the largest suppliers of both new and used gear in the United States. Its used department, which exists on a separate website and with its own customer service line, is i of the best in the country.

Over the years, I have purchased thousands of items from Robert’s, visited its store dozens of times, and information technology has been nil but the kindest, near helpful company I have ever dealt with. Customer service resolves issues with lightning speed and without hassle.

Used Photo Pro sells everything from modern digital cameras and lenses to vintage 35mm, medium format, and large format cameras and lenses — as well as the expected accessories like tripods, photographic camera bags, etc.

While its inventory is not equally all-encompassing every bit KEH, the prices are just every bit competitive and, unlike KEH, each item on the site has photos of the bodily production.

Grades range from Inoperable to Mint. The description of what each grade means is listed on every item’s page and, as mentioned, photos are available for you to audit. The retailer is as transparent every bit it gets equally far equally what you are buying — in fact, out of the thousands of items I purchased from them, only one had an issue and the return was seamless.

Used Photo Pro offers a six-month warranty on all items, except for those graded “poor” or “inoperable.” Free shipping is offered on all items except those graded Inoperable, Poor, or Fair.

If at that place is 1 niggle with Used Photo Pro, it is that always since its redesign, the website is achingly slow to load each folio — it is deadline unacceptably slow. But, have patience because information technology is a wonderful resources. I do hope the retailer fixes that issue, though — information technology would brand it a lot more than pleasant for me, equally I check it several times a day.

Full disclosure: Adorama has been a long-fourth dimension PetaPixel sponsor, just the camera store was not involved in the creation of this commodity.

Prototype credits:
Header photo licensed from Depositphotos

Source: https://petapixel.com/best-places-buy-used-cameras-lenses/