If you would like to
make a donation to
help fund this site,
Conditions Affecting Lens Value
I believe used camera lenses should be judged on a combination
of cosmetic condition and functionality. This is in addition to the original
sharpness, clarity and contrast of the lens when new. I also know that people
value lenses in distinct and different ways. For instance, a lens in mint
cosmetic condition, but not functioning, may be perfectly acceptable to
a collector. On the other hand, a user may not care much about
the appearance of the lens barrel, as long as the glass is free from scratches,
fungus or clouding of any kind -- and it works. The table below lists my
general rating categories for both cosmetic value and functionality of used
||New in box with original warranty, or as
new, never used, with absolutely no signs of wear.
||New, everything functioning perfectly. Still
has factory warranty or seller guarantees functioning.
||Very minimal signs of wear. If it had a box,
you'd have a hard time telling it from new.
||Everything functioning well. Recently
professionally cleaned, lubed and overhauled.
||Barrel may have signs of slight use, but not
abuse. Glass is very clean.
recently tested, and seem to be functioning well.
||May show signs of normal use or age. Glass is
clear (antique or rare lenses could have light cleaning marks).
||Fully functioning, but not cleaned or
||Complete, but showing signs of heavy use. Lens
glass may show light, inoffensive cleaning marks.
||Usable, but not fully. Aperture may stick at
||Restorable. Refinishing may be required or
truly necessary. Minor parts (not glass) may be broken or missing.
||Not usable without repair or cleaning.
Aperture sticking. Lens glass may have light fungus or light cleaning
||Major dents, dirt or abuse evident. Glass
broken or cracked. Consider major restoration effort only if a truly
||Everything damaged, nothing works, major parts
missing, glass bad. Probably not worth repair. Toss, or use for parts
© 2000-2010 R.L. Herron
All Rights Reserved. Legal