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about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance
  
 
hdm1990
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


Hi guys, first time poster here. A little about me.

I am pretty new to the dslr world. I own a 60d with a 18-55 and a 75-300. I hope I can learn a lot from this forum and its members.

I really wanted to get into macro photography and there is a local deal that I am interested in.

There is a Canon 180mm F/3.5L macro lens and the guy selling it will go down to $600.I quickly jump to the "if it sounds too good..." conclusion.

I would be doing a face to face deal. He told me we could meet and I could test the lens, no compromise.

Is there anything specific about this lens I should look out for?Any advice for a newbie? Ive read a couple of articles about buying used lenses, but if anyone can give me specifics to this lens or canon L lenses I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for the help in advance!




Here are some pics he sent me








Edited on Mar 15, 2014 at 04:42 AM · View previous versions



Mar 07, 2014 at 12:28 AM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


Hi Hernan,

Welcome to FM.

Having a face-to-face deal will let you determine if the lens is in decent shape. OTOH, as you said, $600 is pretty cheap. It usually goes for $915 to $1070 on eBay, used, depending on condition. Chances are good that it's hot.

Also, remember that buddy knows that you have a wad of cash in your pocket. Make sure that you meet in a public place, with people around. I like coffee shops or banks.

I haven't used the EF 180/3.5L Macro, but I do have macro lenses (including an SP 180/3.5), and many L lenses. First step is to do a quick overview of the exterior body, to see if there are any significant dings or dents that might be evidence of a drop or impact. Next, have a close look at the front and rear glass. You'll need a small flashlight to illuminate the rear element. If there's a filter on the front, take it off. The exterior glass should be smooth and without any chips or scratches. There may be "cleaning marks", "rubs", or streaks on the glass, but these can usually be cleaned up (esp. for $600), as long as the surface "multicoating" hasn't been eroded or penetrated.

Shine your flashlight into the rear of the lens while you look into the front of it. Some dust (a few specks) is normal. Anything else, like a "film" or haze, spots, or things that look like they're growing in there, are bad.

Mount the lens on your camera and check that the AF and aperture are working. Macro lenses don't have 'snappy' AF, so I suggest you point it at something within three to ten feet. If it locks on, then the AF is probably OK. Stop the aperture down to f/11 or so using the camera controls, and compare a few photos stopped-down and wide open. The overall exposure of the stopped-down and wide-open shots should be the same (showing the the lens aperture does stop down, as it should). Also, the difference in depth of field (DOF) should be obvious between stopped down and wide open.

Put it on a tripod and take a close-up of something flat and with texture from about 2 feet (with the camera/lens at right angles to it) - say a brick wall, or the ground, using LiveView manual focus. Then, look at the photo on your camera LCD, zoomed in, and scroll around. It should be sharp everywhere, unless the camera isn't lined up at right angles to the surface.

Regardless, pay attention to the seller and go by your instincts.

Cheers,
Jim



Mar 07, 2014 at 01:17 AM
OntheRez
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


Backing up Jim's extremely valuable advice - $600 is well below what one would expect to pay for this lens assuming it is in good condition. Mostly likely it was stolen or there is a small possibility the seller doesn't know what she/he has. I shot the 180 macro for a while and found it to be too long. I finally ended up with a Sigma 150mm that has served me as well or perhaps better than the Canon.

For sure as Jim says watch both his hands at all times and listen to your instincts. If it's too good to be true

Robert



Mar 07, 2014 at 02:41 AM
hdm1990
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


jcolwell wrote:
Hi Hernan,

Welcome to FM.

Having a face-to-face deal will let you determine if the lens is in decent shape. OTOH, as you said, $600 is pretty cheap. It usually goes for $915 to $1070 on eBay, used, depending on condition. Chances are good that it's hot.

Also, remember that buddy knows that you have a wad of cash in your pocket. Make sure that you meet in a public place, with people around. I like coffee shops or banks.

I haven't used the EF 180/3.5L Macro, but I do have macro lenses (including an SP 180/3.5), and many L lenses. First step
...Show more



Thank so very much for your insight and advice. He did agree to meet at the mall. Also, the deal came by on a local facebook classified page for camera equipment and I have the persons name and info written down as well as some family member's names(just in case). I will check all you mentioned and test it out. I currently don't have a tripod but will get one soon.Is there a way I can contact canon and see if the lens is reported stolen? For the price, I think its worth it to at least go look at it. I will let you guys know tomorrow.




EDITED to add:


I am also printing this out to use as a guide when I check the lens. To make sure I have everything you mentioned checked. Thanks for the clear instructions!


Edited on Mar 07, 2014 at 03:33 AM · View previous versions



Mar 07, 2014 at 03:29 AM
hdm1990
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


OntheRez wrote:
Backing up Jim's extremely valuable advice - $600 is well below what one would expect to pay for this lens assuming it is in good condition. Mostly likely it was stolen or there is a small possibility the seller doesn't know what she/he has. I shot the 180 macro for a while and found it to be too long. I finally ended up with a Sigma 150mm that has served me as well or perhaps better than the Canon.

For sure as Jim says watch both his hands at all times and listen to your instincts. If it's too good to
...Show more


Thank you also for your advice. I will be very careful and inspect it thoroughly. Also there is an ATM at the mall so I will get the money out of the atm if I'm ready to buy. No cash on me before that.

Thanks again!



Mar 07, 2014 at 03:31 AM
Michaelparris
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


If you don't need macro I'd go for 200 2.8 instead. That is one sharp lens. A bit cheaper too I believe


Mar 07, 2014 at 04:27 AM
Tom Dix
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


The best with this. One photographic bit of advice, a 180 on a 60d is super long, just shy of 290mm.
Because of the increased working distance, patience and extra length between lens an subject, will be required.
Fwiw, I found a great deal on a 70/200 4is, for $200 less than market, on the local CL. Lens works great and was in terrific condition. So, while rare, deals like this can happen. Great advice in this thread. Good luck!



Mar 07, 2014 at 04:33 AM
hdm1990
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


Michaelparris wrote:
If you don't need macro I'd go for 200 2.8 instead. That is one sharp lens. A bit cheaper too I believe


Really wanted to get into macro. For $600 ill bite the bullet and get it if its a good deal after I go through its condition. Wasnt really looking for it but for the price I thought, why not. Hopefully all is well with it tho



Mar 07, 2014 at 04:50 AM
hdm1990
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


Tom Dix wrote:
The best with this. One photographic bit of advice, a 180 on a 60d is super long, just shy of 290mm.
Because of the increased working distance, patience and extra length between lens an subject, will be required.
Fwiw, I found a great deal on a 70/200 4is, for $200 less than market, on the local CL. Lens works great and was in terrific condition. So, while rare, deals like this can happen. Great advice in this thread. Good luck!



Thanks for the advice! also glad to hear you had a good experience. Hopefully I'll be as lucky!




Mar 07, 2014 at 04:52 AM
danski0224
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


I'd check and be sure you can get $600 out of the ATM at one time.


Mar 07, 2014 at 01:00 PM
 

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hdm1990
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


danski0224 wrote:
I'd check and be sure you can get $600 out of the ATM at one time.



Yes! I have $140 cash tucked away in the car that I got yesterday. I should be able to get the rest there. Thanks for the tip tho, that has happened to me before!



Mar 07, 2014 at 01:36 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


hdm1990 wrote:
Really wanted to get into macro. For $600 ill bite the bullet and get it if its a good deal after I go through its condition. Wasnt really looking for it but for the price I thought, why not. Hopefully all is well with it tho


I guess it depends on the type of macro you want to get into . all (well most anyway) lenses we think of as real macro lenses go down to 1:1 (not talking about the mp here or sticking tubes on) so what the 180 gives you ove shorter macro lenses is more working distance . the payoff for that extra distance is the size and weight of the lens compared to a 100mm for example .

are you wanting to get closups from a longer distance or is the 180 a bit overkill ?

that said for 600 if its legit I think id go for it as well , if its not the lens for you your hardly going to loose a lot on it



Mar 07, 2014 at 01:45 PM
leftcoastlefty
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


I agree with others that lens is going to be big and long on a 60D. I think you would prefer the 100mm Macro IS which is smaller, lighter, has IS, and is very versatile beyond just macros.


Mar 07, 2014 at 02:08 PM
danski0224
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


What does the Canon 180 macro sell for used, normally?

Could you flip it for a profit?

I have one. I prefer the Sigma 150 on a full frame camera. I find the 180 to be a bit too much.

The 100mm Canon macro will give you ~160mm equivalent.

If you buy it and don't like it, it should be a relatively painless sale.

Everyone takes pictures of different stuff. One time, 260mm would have been nice when an unexpected Monarch butterfly stopped by. Most of the rest of the time, that is too much for me as a macro.

Don't discount buying it and flipping it to fund another lens if desired.



Mar 07, 2014 at 02:29 PM
mogud
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


I own this lens and it is my most used macro lens. Focus is very slow and the 3.5 aperture does limit the useable AF points on newer cameras. The 180 is an older Canon lens. From the pictures posted, it looks like the date code is UP. Therefore, the lens was made in 2001.

The 180 seems to be a slower mover if you find you need to sell it. If this copy is even a little beat up which is reflective of the asking price, re-selling it might be difficult. When I buy used Canon lenses with date codes, I always ask myself whether I will be able to sell it in the future.

Hope this potential bargain works out.

Edited on Mar 07, 2014 at 07:23 PM · View previous versions



Mar 07, 2014 at 06:57 PM
hdm1990
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


Thanks to all.


Since I am really new to all this and have never shot macro, I would test the lens and if I like it I'll keep it. If its too much, I will sell it to fund another lens. For $600 I don't think I would lose money if I try to sell. I'm currently on my way there(wife is driving)

I'll keep you guys posted!




Mar 07, 2014 at 07:00 PM
kzoockof
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


I find the 180 length perfect for macro photography. Since this is a macro lens, it is my assumption that this is why you are buying it. The non-macro specific lenses may be great lenses, but they are not built specifically for macro work and will not perform for macro work in the same sense.

$600 is a great price if it is in good condition.

You do not want any marks on the front elements of a macro lens!

To be honest, the price you can get from somebody who used to be into photography and is no more, especially on a local sale can be great. Just because the price seems great, doesn't necessarily mean anything negative. You'd be amazed how few people are aware of finding values of things on the internet and just want to sell it fast and easy locally.



Mar 07, 2014 at 07:56 PM
hdm1990
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


ok im here with him. lens works fine exept for the manual focus ring. it kinda works and then goes blank and you have to go back and forward to make it work again. iopinions please


Mar 07, 2014 at 08:47 PM
Ian.Dobinson
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


hdm1990 wrote:
ok im here with him. lens works fine exept for the manual focus ring. it kinda works and then goes blank and you have to go back and forward to make it work again. iopinions please



cant say as I don't know what the af drive is , but I will say that macro is one instance where you would want a fully functioning manual focus .



Mar 07, 2014 at 09:33 PM
PetKal
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · about to buy a Canon 180mm L lens. Need guidance


Well, I reckon after a $400 worth of repairs by Canon, you should be able to resell that lens for $750, which is $150 more than you paid for it. Easy money.


Mar 07, 2014 at 09:59 PM
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