Hey, fellow CL members, long time no see! My exams are finally over and I'm back with a review of a second-hand lens.
For the past couple of weeks, i've been scouring local classifieds listings for a seller. Initially, I thought 24mm would be the ideal focal length for a walkabout general purpose lens, but quickly lost heart when I discovered that its market price (second-hand) was about SGD$360 (divide by ~1.3 to get currency value in USD$), way above my budget of about S$200+. Hey, I'm only a student..
Anyway, after turning my attention to the Minolta 28mm f2.8 (second-hand market price ~S$180) and the Sony 50mm f1.8 (new: S$219; second-hand: ~S$170), Sony greatly gave me false hope by releasing a 35mm f1.8 , and then later listing it for a ridiculously high price of S$369. If you do your math, you'll know that it's absurdly way above the US MSRP of USD$199.
Luck struck and scouring work finally paid off when I found a seller letting go of this lens at a bargain of S$180. It's an incredible deal vis-a-vis its market price (second-hand) of S$360. His reason: "a small scratch on the rear element". It didn't matter to me - I picked up my phone and contacted him immediately. His personal ad had been published just an hour before, but he claimed that he already had another interested party. I upped my offer to S$200 (seriously, it's still a bargain) and hey presto, he agreed to meet me today for the sale.
(He later discovered some 'spots on the lens' and reduced the selling price to S$170 - very honest man, he was)
I inspected every corner of the lens when I met him, and discovered his 'small scratch' was actually a slightly deep, ~0.4cm long abrasion on the rear element. It's actually pretty severe for a scratch on the rear element - but he stated upfront in his ad that the low price was for this 'defect'. Luckily, it was only on the extreme far side of the rear element, bordering the plastic, so I doubt it would drastically affect the image quality all over my pictures.
After taking a picture with my camera (then getting -impressed- by its sharpness at 100% view) and checking out the 'small spots' on the otherwise-clean second-front element, I decided that it was a worthy deal, and the transaction went through.
I will be bringing out the lens tomorrow for the first time, and will be using it as a walkabout lens - what I intend to use it for. No other lens will be brought along.
Pictures will be posted here later on, I promise, and the rest of this review will be done Thomas-style