Buying a second handed Nikkor 500mm f/4e FL VR

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Jun 6, 2013
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Hi,

So I'm looking to buy a second handed Nikkor 500mm f/4e FL VR. I'm from Belgium myself and I'm looking online in Belgium, Netherlands, (north of) France and (west of) Germany to buy. All those places I can visit in one day to test and to see the lens with my own eyes. It's not exactly a cheap item, even though when buying second handed.

I found a lens for sale in Germany. I have requested pictures. Everything looks very good except for this:

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Is this a scratch? Or is it normal? I'm not sure ...

If this is okay, I'm about to take an option on it and drive to Germany.

Thanks for looking into this!
 
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Traveling, so I can’t check my 500 right now, but it looks like a scratch. May I ask who cares? I do not look at this as a scratch, it is a chance to get a perfectly good lens for $50 less than it would be without the scratch. My 200-400mm looked much worse than this after its first day out- crawling through the brush in Wyoming. Still a wonderful piece of glass for many many years. My images do not care about the housing.
Gary
 
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Mine does not have that, looks like a minor scratch. These lenses are tough, whatever caused that is very minor and highly unlikely to have caused any other damage. If the price is good and there are no other issues, I would have no reluctance to buy it.
 
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not normal and might effect a future resale by you, the used market is hard. I got a mint copy 2 years ago on fm for $7900 and at that time that was a great price. It is as you know a truly great 500mm lens and IMO the best ever
 
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that mark is probably nothing except after owning a G for 9 years and an e for 2 years they were both unmarked and I would wonder how a lens was treated if it had that mark, but that's me when I spend thousands of dollars on1 lens it's gotta be mint. LNIB, or just buy new
 
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Not "normal" on mine.........and I've got 2 of them.
Come to Belgium and sell me one. I'll buy you a beer! ;)

not normal and might effect a future resale by you, the used market is hard. I got a mint copy 2 years ago on fm for $7900 and at that time that was a great price. It is as you know a truly great 500mm lens and IMO the best ever
What Randy said. This lens is for sale for 7.500 EUR in Germany and needs an 7 hour drive for me back & forth. And for a lens without scratches I would have no problem to pay this amount.

But I have found lenses in France for 6.900 EUR which were described as new. Unfortunate they were old adds and already sold.

In Holland there's another one for sale, which is as good as new for 8.500 EUR. It's from a private reseller and they offer 12 months of warranty.

To give you an idea, I can buy the lens new in Germany for 9.500 EUR which is an 3 hour drive. In Belgium costs 10.500 EUR.
 
Last edited:
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for me this is an 8-10 year lens and I would normally buy new, the 500 was a freak
I got a new 400e last year and didn't even consider used
It's just too much money to not have a warranty and in the US it's 5 years
 
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Boy Frank............wish I was just a couple of hours away from you as I'd sell you one of mine as I need one of the new 500 pf lenses which is a lot lighter. But I'm on the other side of the globe from ya. Getting too old to lug these heavy ones around.
 
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Found one in Belgium. I will be picking it up next week. Condition is almost as new. The person who is selling is also an old member of the cafe here. I've seen his pictures made with the 500 f/4e. I'm convinced it's a very good copy. :)

Now to look for a good gimbal head. I will be using the lens with my D500 and Z7. I will be replacing the foot of the 500 FL with an Arca Swiss compatible one. I have read the Jobu one is one of the longest which you need to balance it with a light camera like the Z7. For the gimbal head, I'm thinking of buying the Joby heavy duty. I have read many positive things about it.

*excited*

Boy Frank............wish I was just a couple of hours away from you as I'd sell you one of mine as I need one of the new 500 pf lenses which is a lot lighter. But I'm on the other side of the globe from ya. Getting too old to lug these heavy ones around.
I just need to ask, I'm sorry. But why do you have 2 500 f/4e's? :)
 
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Well Frank......it's like this...........I'm spending my kids inheritance. We winter in S-W Florida for 6 months and the other 6 months we are up in Indiana. We fly so can't take too much carry-ons so I've got two 500's.........one at "each end". My carry on case has my two bodies and 6 other lenses and I refuse to let the airline take the big lens and "throw" it under in the plane.
 
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Well Frank......it's like this...........I'm spending my kids inheritance. We winter in S-W Florida for 6 months and the other 6 months we are up in Indiana. We fly so can't take too much carry-ons so I've got two 500's.........one at "each end". My carry on case has my two bodies and 6 other lenses and I refuse to let the airline take the big lens and "throw" it under in the plane.
I understand! :)

A good friend of me travels quite a lot by airplane. He always takes his D500, D750, 500mm f/4G and 300 f/2.8 VR with him on the plane as carry on. Sometimes he gets a warning because of the weight but he has never had to put anything under in the plane.
 
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Christmas came early this year! I just bought a 2 year old Nikkor 500mm f/4e FL VR in excellent condition! I found the seller on a local photography forum, but he was also a Nikoncafé user. After looking at his pictures posted in the 500 FL thread here, I was convinced it's a very sharp copy. :)

Now to look for a gimbal head and a replacement foot. I think I'm going to buy a Jobu Design Heavy Duty MKIV and a replacement foot of Jobu. It's the longest available, and advised to use with a mirrorless camera. I have a Z7 and a D500.

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