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- What to Look for in a Used Lens
photo by Vladimir Sukhachev via iStock
You already know how and why to buy used photography equipment such as camera bodies and lenses, you can also save money by searching out used photography accessories such as flashes, batteries, tripods, and bags.
Really, almost anything that costs more than a memory card or UV filter can be found as used photography accessories. Those memory cards and UV filters also show up as used photography accessories from time to time.
Where to Buy Used Photography Equipment
Buying used photography accessories can be done at some of the same places we already use to buy used photography equipment such as lenses and camera bodies. Some of the best places to buy used photography gear are online, just as we’ve gotten used to with new gear.
While we can go just about anywhere, from private sellers on social media to online auction sites, when considering where to buy used photography equipment, I like to satisfy a few requirements I have personally found important.
Here are some of the things I look for in a used seller:
The first place I check when shopping for used photography accessories, cameras, and lenses is MPB.com. They satisfy all of those requirements I listed above to a superlative degree and also tend to have a whole lot of choices since all they do is buy and sell used gear.
Their list of used photography accessories is quite large and covers many brands and types of gear. I’ll give a few examples of used photography accessories you can find there and that make sense to purchase used regardless of where you find them.
Batteries and Grips
Batteries and battery grips are some examples of used photography accessories available. Since these items can end up costing a fair amount of money, and since we often really want to have several on hand whether we’re shooting as a pro or as an enthusiast, buying them used is a good idea.
A battery grip such as the Fujifilm VBT-XT2 for the Fujifilm X-T2 APS-C pro-level camera is a valuable accessory. Not only does it provide extra power by housing 2 more batteries, it also provides controls that mimic what is on the basic camera but situated so that they are easy to access when shooting in portrait orientation.
A shutter release, control wheel, and focus joystick are on this model, a configuration that is shared by several camera makers for their own battery grips. These are valuable used photography accessories for all levels of users from beginner, to enthusiast, to professional.
Batteries are a hot accessory for all cameras. Buying these as used photography accessories is a good idea since we have seen that some 3rd party manufacturer batteries don’t always work for certain of our cameras.
Camera makers often have very specific features and functions that require us to use only their batteries. The DJI Mavic 2 Intelligent Flight battery is a good example of staying with the recommended brand but saving money by purchasing used.
By the way, because the used market fluctuates with items being sold and added continuously, some of the links in this used photography accessories buying guide may take you to a placeholder category with current items listed.
Many of our favorite cameras have amazing flash controls, features, and capabilities which require use of a dedicated flash to take full advantage of the features. Some of these flashguns end up costing in the same range as some lenses, so finding them as used photography accessories is often a good idea.
The HVL-F60RM Wireless Radio Flash from Sony is a good example of how full-featured a flash can be for modern digital cameras. Not only will it fit on the camera itself but it can also be used as part of a multiple flash configuration while allowing full automation control from the host camera via wireless transmission.
Canon, Nikon, Metz, Godox, and several other brands are often listed as used photography accessories on MPB.com so check back regularly.
Among the most useful items we can save money on by purchasing as used photography accessories are the heavy-duty or special featured tripods and especially camera supports we use for certain important photography methods such as HDR, macro, and long exposure effects.
For shooting video, a camera stabilizer, a slider, camera cage, or a fluid video head can be somewhat expensive when we purchase high-quality gear, finding these as used photography accessories is a real benefit to our videography gear budget.
Bags, Filters, and Other Things
The last few items you can find as used photography accessories include everything else, memory cards and readers, bags, cases, and straps, filters, camera remotes, and a grab bag of other things like mics, electronic viewfinders, video monitors, and digital camera backs for medium format.
You Can Sell Your Stuff, Too
It’s worth mentioning that you can also sell or trade any high-quality, good condition item you have to MPB.com so that someone else can benefit from buying your used photography accessories, camera bodies, and lenses. It works out well for all involved when we sell used photography equipment instead of letting it collect dust.