We speak to a range of leading used specialists to find out about some of their best deals on pre-loved cameras and lenses - there is also an exclusive offer for AP readers
Since 2016, MPB has become very well known as a used camera and lens specialist, offering great deals in preloved kit and also buying-in your used gear at competitive prices. “It’s tempting to think ‘newer equals better’ but usually, it doesn’t,” the company says. “Unless there’s a fantastic feature you can’t get anywhere else, there’s almost always a better option elsewhere. For less.” MPB’s site is packed with outstanding deals, but as an example, here are some of its pre-loved alternatives to premium-priced new DSLR cameras, such as the Canon EOS 90D, or the latest mirrorless models (prices correct at time of writing).
Canon EOS 7D II (£779) and Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM ART, Canon EF-S Fit (£534) = £1,313 in total
“The Canon EOS 7D Mark II is just as good as the 90D, if not better. The magnesium body is more solid than the all-plastic 90D. And, as it costs less, you can get a much better Sigma lens too. If you like keeping your camera in the bottom of your bag, it’s worth spending a few pounds more on a lens filter.”
Panasonic DC-G9 (£814) and Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm f/4-5.6 ASPH (£194) and Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 ASPH £254 = £1,262 in total
“The mirrorless Panasonic DC-G9 features focus peaking, so you can be certain your shots are in perfect focus. And that’s pretty great when you’re shooting 4K video at 60 frames per second, with in-body image stabilisation. While the Canon EOS 90D does handle 4K, it’s always a bit of a pain dealing with video on a DSLR. The mirrorless revolution continues.”
Fujifilm X-H1 (£784) and Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS (£284) = £1,068 in total, with change left for a city break
“Another mirrorless wonder, this Fujifilm set-up is a sure-fire way to get sensational shots. You will have money left over to explore your travel photography, or to keep in your bank account, it’s up to you. Fujifilm’s film simulations are something to shout about as well.”
Wex Photo Video
As well as being one of the country’s largest retailers of new photographic gear, Wex Photo Video has a thriving business selling used cameras and lenses, with lots of opportunities for customers to trade-in. “Our team of technicians inspect the items thoroughly and grade the condition according to a number of factors,” said spokesperson Matt Devine (full details here). “Unless otherwise stated, all Wex Photo Video used items come with a 12-month warranty,” he adds. See the full range here
Matt points to to the following good deals on camera bodies (prices correct at time of writing)
* Canon EOS 5D Mark III: prices beginning at under £700:
* Nikon D500: for under £1,000 (at time of writing)
* Nikon D810: prices starting at £706 (at time of writing)
* Sony A7R III: starting at under £1,700 (at time of writing)
* Fujifilm X-Pro2 prices starting at £657 (at time of writing).
Wex Photo Video is also offering AP readers an additional 10% off all used Profoto items, Nikon Z lenses and Canon RF lenses. Just enter the code USEDAP10 at checkout. (NB: offer valid until Saturday 28th September. Offer available on second-hand items only. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer. Offer subject to the standard Wex Photo Video terms and conditions which you can see here.)
There is also a regularly updated ‘manager’s choice’ selection of used items accessible here
Clearance items are listed here
Park is the UK’s largest independent photographic retailer and does brisk business in used gear as well as new. The company has two showrooms in Burgess Hill, West Sussex and central London, and you can shop online with free delivery on orders over £50. Aaron Bridgen, Used Product Manager, points to the following great used deals (prices correct at time of writing).
* Up to £1300 trade-in bonus on selected lines (Ends end of September)
* Fujifilm GFX 50S from £3299.00.
* Sony A7R body from £559
* Leica M6 J body for £4399
* Canon 10-22mm F/3.5-4.5 USM from £199
* Sigma 35mm F/1.4 DH HSM Art Canon fit from £439
* Samyang 35mm F/2.8 AF Sony FE from £199
Another major used gear specialist is Ffordes Photographic Ltd, which opened for business in May 1960 in Basildon, Essex. The business has been located in Beauly, 12 miles west of Inverness, since 2011. “The pre-owned market is very strong at the moment, not just because of the current economic climate but because customers are looking to get as much for their £ as possible due to this strong market,” notes Ffordes’ Alister Bowie. “The biggest growth we have seen this year is in film, which is becoming ever stronger, especially in the Leica, Voigtlander, and Mamiya rangefinder market.”
As a Leica specialist, Alister also notes that Leica rangefinder bodies, especially film ones, are increasing in value all the time. “Also, there are some great buys to be had in other areas, such as earlier Leica screw-mount rangefinder cameras and lenses. The fixed-lens Leica Q has now been replaced with the Q2, but the original is still an amazing camera, and I love it.”
Another good money-saving tip is to consider Voigtlander manual focus lenses. “Voigtlander has really upped their game this year and the quality is closer to a Zeiss lens rather than a Leica one. They are really starting to make an impression in the market, not just for Leica M fit cameras but Sony E and Nikon mount as well.”
Alister also points to the following good used deals at Ffordes (prices correct at time of writing)
* Leica SL (Typ 601) body only: £2500
* Leica M (Typ 240) body only – black: £2599
* Leica Q (Typ 116) – black: £2699
* Leica X Vario + EVF-2 Finder in mint condition: £999
* Leica 28mm F2 Asph M black: £2249
* Leica 50mm F3.5 Elmar M: £299
Grays of Westminster
Grays of Westminster, a long-cherished institution for fans of pre-loved Nikon cameras and lenses as well as new equipment, was founded over 33 years ago by Gray Levett and is located only a few minutes walk from the Houses of Parliament. The unique store is regularly named dealer of the year by AP readers in our annual awards, and has received numerous other accolades.
“We currently have an autumn sale, with 10% off all second hand items, up to £150 per item,” explains Gray Levett. He points to good deals on the Nikon D800 and D800E DSLRs, which are still a great buy, and the Nikon Z series of full-frame mirrorless compacts. “It’s great that you can use a full range of older Nikon lenses on these via adaptors and enjoy them for years to come,” Gray explains.