Shopping for Used Camera Lenses
When you're shopping for used camera lenses, always ensure the lenses are compatible with your camera system. Key points to consider include the lens mount, sensor size, and camera electronics. Alternatively, if you can't find the right lens, consider fitting lenses from other manufacturers or an early film lens using an adapter.
Understanding Lens Mounts for Used Lenses
Lenses for DSLR, rangefinder, and mirrorless cameras use quick-release bayonet mounts. Apart from different sizes, the distance between the lens mount and sensor differs. Camera manufacturers specify their lens mounts by means of a code; for example, Canon uses EF and EF-S. To avoid confusion, buy used lenses and lens accessories with the same specification as your camera. The exceptions to this rule are used Canon lenses and used Nikon lenses. These manufacturers make DSLRs with full frame sensors as well as DSLRs with cropped sensors; the lenses for full frame cameras are compatible with cropped sensor cameras, although not the converse.
Adapters and Accessories for Used Camera Lenses
Because mirrorless cameras have a shorter distance between their lens mount and the sensor than DSLRs, it's possible to use an adapter to fit a DSLR lens of the same make. Camera manufacturers make these adapters, as do third-party manufacturers, but verify that these adapters provide full functionality between the lens and camera.
You can get lens mount adapters that allow you to fit used lenses for sale from another manufacturer to your camera. This also applies to older lenses that are incompatible with your newer camera. Depending on the lens, you may need to focus the lens manually, and you may not be able to control the aperture.
Digital Lenses for Cine Work
Most DSLRs can film video, but the design of their lenses isn't ideal for professional cinematography. Reasons include noise interference caused by lens focusing motors, the difficulty achieving and maintaining correct focus during filming, and problems with exposure control during panning. You can overcome these issues by fitting used cine lenses. These lenses are larger, they have higher optical qualities, and they provide manual control for focus and aperture. Additionally, their T rating allows you to exchange lenses without needing to compensate for exposure variances between the lenses.
Used Lenses and Lighting for Large Format Cameras
Whereas DSLR lenses are model specific, used large format lenses aren't. These versatile lenses mount on the front plate of large format cameras and incorporate a mechanical shutter, manual focus, and manual aperture setting. When working indoors with large format cameras, consider used lighting equipment to illuminate your subject and avoid the need for slow shutter speeds. This allows you to use low ISO film for the best results. Control your light with used light controls and accessories such as reflectors, umbrellas, and softboxes.
Save money by choosing used camera lenses, and put your savings toward improving on your equipment. Choose from our range of hundreds of interchangeable SLR lenses at B&H Photo and Video.