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Thread: Tips for buying a second hand 5D

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    Smile Tips for buying a second hand 5D

    Hi Guys

    I am new here so hope this is in the right spot. I am looking at making a move into FF (currently use a 40D) - actually thinking of shooting 2 cameras 5D for wide and normal and 40D for tele as I am sick of missing shots changing lenses etc and would appreciate the improved image quality/better low light performance and crop flexibility of the FF.

    Unfortunately I can't afford a 5D MkII so am considering trying to buy a used 5D instead. A couple of questions you might be able to help with:

    - am I crazy to buy a 5D classic "old technolgy" etc;

    - where should I look for decent second hand cameras (ebay aside);

    - any tips on how to know if one is in good shape (other than obvious look and feel) as given they are semi-pro often they have seen heaps of use;

    - anyone have experience shotting a FF/Crop combo and does it work well?

    Thanks so much for your ideas.
    Cheers
    Josh
    Check out my new site - www.wattsgallery.com - feedback welcome

    Gear - Canon 5D, 40D, 10-22, 24-70 2.8L, 200 2.8L, 50 1.8, 430EXII

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    Ausphotography Site Sponsor/Advertiser DAdeGroot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattsgallery View Post
    Unfortunately I can't afford a 5D MkII so am considering trying to buy a used 5D instead. A couple of questions you might be able to help with:

    - am I crazy to buy a 5D classic "old technolgy" etc;
    Some may argue that as the original 5D is getting on a bit now. However, they are still an excellent camera, and at 12Mpx they still have enough resolution for most usages.

    - where should I look for decent second hand cameras (ebay aside);
    Here in the classified section, OCAU's classified section and sometimes in the PotN Aussie thread. Also enquire with your local camera club, or flickr group for your area, chances are someone may be upgrading.

    - any tips on how to know if one is in good shape (other than obvious look and feel) as given they are semi-pro often they have seen heaps of use;
    Try to get one that's already had it's mirror assembly replaced. I've known several people with original 5Ds that have had the mirror fall out suddenly. The replacement is usually free from Canon as it's a known issue, however if you get one that's already been done, chances are it'll be fine for it's lifetime.

    - anyone have experience shotting a FF/Crop combo and does it work well?
    Yeah I have a FF/crop combo (5DII + 30D). The 30D doesn't see much use but it's handy to have (although I'd dearly love to replace it with a 1DIII or 1DIV).
    Dave

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    Canon EOS 1D MkIV | Canon EOS 5D MkII | Canon EOS 30D | Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM | Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM | Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM | Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM | Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM | Canon TS-E 17mm f/4L & some non-L lenses.

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    Ausphotography Veteran rwg717's Avatar
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    Have to agree with Dave....I'd be a bit wary of ebay...often a pretty good reason why people there are off-loading a 5D. Probably AP or a Camera Club is the place.

    I too have the ff\crop pair in a 5D MkII and 50D....I use both but for different things at the same event. For sports the 5DMkII is a bit slow on "burst" so that's where the 50 gets its work...best of luck
    Richard
    I've been wrong before!! Happy to have constructive criticism though.Gear used Canon 50D, 7D & 5DMkII plus expensive things hanging off their fronts and of course a "nifty fifty".

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    Have the luxury of having a 5d to use from a friend (Dr) I have one issue that I have found with them. Using the 24-105 lens and the 5d I found this lens was back focusing and as the 5d has no adjustment ability to weed this out it was hard to get over. Other lenses like my 80-200 were ok but I found my new 50d ran rings around it in comparison. the ISO is lower also and it is almost horrible in low light when you need a high shutter speed.

    What to look for when buying.
    You need to hook up the software to the camera and see how many shots its taken.
    Look for any wear near the ring and the contacts. They are first thing to go other than the shutter itself.
    The hotshoe should be checked also (take your own flash)

    Having worked 1:1 and cropped mix you can use the 1:1 lenses on the cropped ok. Yes you have a loss on your wide shots but it's good to have a backup.
    When I shoot weddings I have 4 cameras avalible the 5d the 50d a 1000d and a 350d (the last 2 are weak but in full light they do ok.)

    I would recommend looking back to a cropped sensor like the 50d its got speed and low light ability.

    Some pro's use cropped sensor's for their photography e.g. David Ziser wedding photographer. (Well that's what his videos teach)

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    I would recommend looking back to a cropped sensor like the 50d its got speed and low light ability.
    having used both the 5D and 50D extensively for work - since the 5D came out in 2005 and when the 50D came out last yr, the 'old' 5D kills the 50D for noise control at all ISO levels - 50D sensor I was never happy with and yieled a lot of noise during processing under low light conditions.

    If I were to start from scratch, I would pick the 5D over the 50D - superior image quality and sensor - the end product is what I care about and not what features it has or does not have compared to modern DSLRs.

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    having used both the 5D and 50D extensively for work - since the 5D came out in 2005 and when the 50D came out last yr, the 'old' 5D kills the 50D for noise control at all ISO levels - 50D sensor I was never happy with and yieled a lot of noise during processing under low light conditions.
    I'd agree in good lighting situations on that the 5d is best (larger frame more detail hands down winner) but I would still consider the 5d's high ISO grain to be more Man made in appearance versus the 50d on the same ISO which came out more random (In my testing and opinion).

    However (to the Original Poster) with a 40d as your current camera, I would say go for a 5d you won't be dissapointed. (I reread the Original posters question)

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    I've bought from ebay with no problems but forums are the best place for second hand, I think. I have bought from Canadian, British and US POTN members with no problems. Gumtree may be OK with the proviso you must be able to try the camera out first, so only your local one.
    Odille

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    Thanks for all the comments so far guys. What a great forum group. I will be trying to do my bit to add what (little) I know to other posts. I think if I could afford the 5d ii most of the issues would fall away - hmmmmm......

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    Still quite confused about this.

    On one hand it seems a real risk handing over $1000+ for a second hand camera (if I can even find one that looks ok) but then the Mark II is that much more that even if I had the money I could get the classic plus a 70-200 4 IS or 24-105 (which would be my next move) with change. I guess there is always going to be something else we want. Just looking to take my photography to the next level and FF seems to offer some real image benefits.

    Really appreciate your comments let me know if you have some more thoughts.

    Cheers
    Josh

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    What lenses do you currently have Josh? I am sure you are aware that the Canon EF-S lenses will not work on a full frame body. I know this is a basic bit of knowledge for Canon users, but we have seen people upgrade and not know it.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    having used both the 5D and 50D extensively for work - since the 5D came out in 2005 and when the 50D came out last yr, the 'old' 5D kills the 50D for noise control at all ISO levels - 50D sensor I was never happy with and yieled a lot of noise during processing under low light conditions.

    If I were to start from scratch, I would pick the 5D over the 50D - superior image quality and sensor - the end product is what I care about and not what features it has or does not have compared to modern DSLRs.
    + 1
    I have a 5D a 5DMii and a 50D Both 5D's take better looking images than the 50D But the 50d auto focuses Quicker and has a better frame rate but for landscapes still life and portraits I think the 5D is better than the 50D but for action shots the 50D wins.
    Thanks Steve
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    Hi Rick
    Yep good point on the EF-S mounts - would not be hard for people to miss. I do have some EF-S mount lenses - notably the 10-22 which is a really nice lens but I would probably swap out for a 17-40L at roughly the same used price. My 'normal' range zoom is a 28-75 2.8 Tamron. I was intending to see how this went before switching if need be as it does work on FF only how good the corners are (and how important that is in real life photography) will need to be seen.
    Thanks
    Josh
    Last edited by wattsgallery; 11-02-2010 at 9:24pm.

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    Hi Josh,
    There was an Australian selling a 5d on Fredmiranda with low actuations at a good price (Australian sales are far and few between on that site). See there is a selling forum on here also so you might pick something up here as well but I'll post the link in case you chasing one quickly.

    ttp://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/857766

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RamblinR View Post
    Hi Josh,
    There was an Australian selling a 5d on Fredmiranda with low actuations at a good price (Australian sales are far and few between on that site). See there is a selling forum on here also so you might pick something up here as well but I'll post the link in case you chasing one quickly.

    ttp://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/857766
    Note the following rule (along with all the other Classifieds Rules) for using the Classifieds section of Ausphotography.

    8. All User(s) who have been a member of Ausphotography for less then 30 days and who have less then 50 (non spam) forum posts are not allowed to create threads in the classified section, however they may reply to an existing For Sale thread to discuss purchase of an item. New User(s) cannot offer items for Sale/Trade, or 'wanted to buy' using any part of the Ausphotography website. User(s) are not allowed to sell gear (or post gear for sale) on behalf of other persons.

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    I hope to buy a 5d classic soon. Hopefully I can fin a good conditioned in one of these Aus photography forums. Quick question if the sensor is full functional and clean, does it matter if there is quite a bit of cometic wear out on 2nd hand 5d before I purchase it at a really good price...or is it more likely the camera has been heavily used and not worth risking puchase?

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    If you are looking at this thread as someone who owns a 5D classic or thinking of buying one then there is a useful thread from Xenedis at the moment discussing a common mirror problem that you might find interesting.

    Per Rick's note please remember that this is not the place for wanted to buy/sell posts but more for experience on what we should be looking out for and be aware off if we are considering such a purchase - given it is a pretty expensive piece of second hand machinery.

    Thanks for your help

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    I can't wait to go back to FF.

    I use a 10-22 but would much rather the 17-40L on a 5D.

    I would get much more use out of my 50mm 1.8II too.
    Canon EOS450D+battery grip, 16GB SD, EF-S 18-200mm IS, EF-S 10-22mm, EF50mm1.8II, 2x Manfrotto tripods, LowePro Flipside 300

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    Too bad there is no way to find out 5D actuation other than sending the camera to canon for servicing. sure making determining age of 5D harder.

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    Wow, Excellent comments. I am also looking at a second hand 5D. This is going to help !

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    I just picked up a second hand 5D (with a 12mth shop warranty). One thing that might help in the absense of shutter count is that the serial numbers seem to indicate which year the 5D was manufactured in. Ie if it starts with "0" its 2005, "1" is 2006, "2" is 2007 and "3" is 2008 (final year of production). I am not sure if this is an official Canon policy but it accords with all the ones I have seen.

    There is also a similar theory (although based on months rather than years) that is around to date the 5D Mark II which also seems to work).

    Cheers
    Josh

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