View Full Version : Is this 70-200 2.8 L IS a good buy at $775??

03-19-2009, 02:07 AM
Hello guys,

A brand new grey import Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS with one year dealer warranty sells here for 85k (~ $1635) so I jumped when I saw an advt for sale of a used copy on a local forum for 40k INR (~ $775).

I shot him this mail...


I came across your post and i'm seriously interested in your 70-200 2.8 IS. Would be glad if you could provide the following details about the same..

- How old is the lens and is it still in warranty?
- Are you the first owner of this and do you have the original purchase bill?
- You mentioned it has been serviced. Where?
- does it have any dust, or fungus? Any scratches on the optics?
- How would you rate it on 1 to 10 both functionally and cosmetically?
- Any known issues in the Optics / AF / IS System?
- Could you provide some nice detailed pics of the lens and also its date code?

best rgds,


This is the reply I got along with the pics...

Hi Viky
The lens is a little more than 2 years old and is not under warranty.
The lens actually belongs to my uncle whose son brought it down from the USA. As a result I do not have the purchase bill.
I had given the lens for cleaning 2 spots which I believe were fungus. The Canon Delhi centre wanted 2K for it and said that it would take a month. So I gave it to a person known to me in Delhi at a Camera shop called Pritam Sons in Chandni Chowk who got it cleaned.
There is absolutely no dust or fungus anywhere inside on the lens. However it has been used extensively as the pics would show.
On a rate of 10 I would cosmetically rate it as 7 but performance wise 9.5.
Absolutely no issues with the AF system or the IS. Have used it first on a 5D, then on a 400D, then on a 30D and finally on a 40D.
The Date code of the lens is UQ1103.


The seller is a reputed member of the forum and seems very honest and has stated the facts very clearly. I also know that the L series form canon can endure a lot of abuse and yet render great pictures for years. Hence, I'm not too worried about the cosmetic condition. What bugs me is the fact the the lens has had fungus before and was opened up and cleaned at a non Canon Authorized location. I'm also more paranoid because I've never purchased a used lens before. Also, since the current owner is based around 1k kms from my location, I would not have the option of checking / testing the lens physically before purchase:confused: Then again, the price is really very attractive. Heck, even fairly used 70-200 F4 IS's are not selling at this price!!

Pls help me with your suggestions and inputs!


03-19-2009, 02:40 AM
I would not buy it in that cosmetic condition....I just feel if the lens has taken that much abuse...some of that abuse will show on the inside irrespective of it being a L lens...but that's just my opinion and I've never used an L lens... :rolleyes:
Also the repair by an unauthorized dealers would bug me also added to the fact that you can't check it...so personally I would not buy one...but take my advice with the pinch of salt due to my in-experience.... :)

03-19-2009, 05:35 AM
The exif says he took em with a old camera that he didnt even list.

The optic shot (the most important imo) isnt in focus and has spots :o

I honestly wouldn't suggest buying a lens at that price if you cant even test it first.

Last but not least, this is not the type of lens that goes up for used sales often unless 1 of 3 things happened, 1) lens has something wrong with it > > 2) person is in diiiree need for money 3) its like stolen or something.

You'll find alot more deals for 70-200 f4L because of people upgrading to f4L is or F2.8L, but the 70-200 F2.8L IS is pretty much at the end of that line and at its price its not something people buy on a whim.

And to me that price just seems too good to be true.

03-19-2009, 06:47 AM
I just googled how to decode the date code on Canon Lenses, and it turns out that UQ1109 menas this lens was manufactured in Nov 2002:eek: This surprised me coz I felt that the IS version was a fairly new introduction and probably was'nt even launched by then. So, I googled the launch date of this Lens and found that it was launched in Sept 2001 as mentioned here (http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/camera/lens/ef/data/telephoto_zoom/ef_70%7E200_28lis_usm.html?p=1) and you can decode the date code printed on the lens here (http://www.the-digital-picture.com/canon-lenses/canon-lens-aging.aspx)

03-19-2009, 08:17 AM
I wonder how long these stay in stock before they are sold though.

2002.... did it really spend 4 years in stock? I highly doubt it.

Thats a very very useful link btw.

my used 17-40 was made in Utsunomiya april 2007...or 81.

Im gonna definitely keep this on hand for when i buy a 70-200F4L. Ty. :D

03-19-2009, 08:57 AM
I would be very leery of buying something 'well used' without being able to try it first.

Even for a good price, I would pass.