LensAuthority.com is a stand-alone company founded by the same people who founded and operate LensRentals.com. If you're looking at a product on our website, odds are good that it was a rental item in a former life, and is now looking for a good home, where it can settle down with one user. As a rental item, it was used and probably shows some blemishes from the rental cycles it endured. That said, the rental cycle also includes relentless testing and inspection, and if needed, repairs and recalibration.
LensAuthority purchases the equipment, inspects it, tests it, grades it, and lists it here for you to purchase. Virtually all of the items we sell are used. The only exceptions are currently a handful of Zeiss and Leica new-in-box items. If an item is brand new, we will make that very clear in the listing.
We offer the same terms, level of service, and quality products as before. We are simply using a different website and a different corporate structure to do so.
We ship to all 50 states. Unfortunately, we don’t ship internationally. A direct signature is required on most packages with a value of $200 or more. Orders are shipped within one business day of being verified by our staff. In a large majority of cases, orders placed before 4:00PM Central Time are verified and shipped same business day.
Most, but not all, of our items come with a 90-day limited warranty. If the item you are interested in purchasing comes with a warranty, it will say so on the item’s listing. Click on the "Warranty" tab on a product page for details.
The warranty covers damage that arises from normal use of the item. It does NOT cover accidental or intentional damage. Simply, if you drop the lens, get it wet, decide to take it apart and put it back together, freeze it, burn it, blow it up, run it over: We aren’t going to fix it for you. If one day you start using the lens, and randomly the auto-focus stops working, or the zoom jams: We will fix it for you.
Making a Claim
It’s simple. Just email us at email@example.com. Sometimes, it is just a simple issue that we can troubleshoot for you. If it sounds like a repair is needed, we’ll send you a shipping label, you’ll send it back to us, and we’ll get it fixed up ASAP.
Transferring the Warranty
The warranty is non-transferable. Only the person who originally bought the item from us can make a warranty claim. If you sell or give the lens to someone else, the warranty is gone. If you intend to purchase an item as a gift for someone, simply type “I’m buying this as a gift for my friend Scrooge McDuck” in the special instructions box, and we’ll assign the warranty to him.
We allow a 3 day inspection period on all sale items. If, for any reason, you want to return the item within those 3 days, simply contact us to request a return for a refund (3% restocking fee MAY apply. See below for details). By default, we don't allow returns after the 3-day inspection window. Please keep this in mind when you place an order, and if you need us to delay arrival so that you're better positioned to test the item within three days of arrival, we'll be glad to work with you.
After the 3-day inspection window has passed, a restocking fee will be applied and will consider the number of days you've had the item, in tandem with prevailing market rental rates. Independent of that, for every transaction we process, we owe a roughly 3% fee to the credit card processor. Even when we refund the transaction, we do not get this 3% fee back. Because of this, we reserve the right to charge a 3% restocking fee for repetitive or abusive returns, inside or outside the 3-day inspection window.
What does that mean, you ask? It means, unless you are a jerk, you won’t be charged the fee for returning an item within its 3-day inspection period.
Who is a jerk, you now ask? If you buy 6 different copies of a single lens, intending to look at them all and return 5 of them – you are a jerk and will be charged the fee. If you’ve bought 10 things from us this year, and you’ve returned 7 of them for no apparent reason – you are a jerk and will be charged the fee.
Item Condition and Grading System
We want you to be happy with your LensAuthority purchase, and we think an accurate description of the equipment that we are selling is critical in accomplishing that. We do our very best to include all pertinent information on the physical and optical condition of every lens and camera we list.
Historically, we've graded items on a scale of 10 - on that scale, used items top out at 9.5 and fully-functional, optically-sound lenses bottom out at 7.0. Anything below a 7.0 would have at least some gnarly battle scars and possibly some poor optical performance. Most photographers who take good care of their gear have 8.0- or 8.5-rated lenses in their bags. Most working pros are carrying 7.5-rated lenses (or lower) by our scale.
As of March 2015, we're beginning to move away from the 10 point scale, and you will start to see some product pages which rely on descriptive (adjective) words (e.g., Excellent, Very Good, Good, and so on). On this scale, we'll use the term Excellent to describe items that would normally be rated 8.25 - 9.00. Good and Very Good will be used across the old spectrum of 7.00 - 8.00.
Finally, in conjunction with the new grading terms, we're including sub-ratings for Cosmetics, Performance, and/or Glass, depending on the item. Cosmetics will cover all non-glass components and will address non-optical and non-mechanical aspects (e.g., big gobs of purple paint on the lens barrel). Performance will address optics and mechanics, while Glass will specifically address front and rear lens elements only. Within this framework, we'll use terms like Exceptional (virtually or literally mint/near-mint - a rare occurrence for used items, indeed), Passed (nothing out of the ordinary for our used items), and Flawed (something that's significant enough for you to stop and read more about the issues in the Details tab).
There will be some mild scuffs or scratches on the plastic lens hoods and caps, and paint scratches around the tripod foot of large telephoto lenses. Also, every lens (even new from the factory) will have a bit of dust inside that in no way affects image quality but can be seen if you look through the lens carefully.
All bodies function perfectly or we either (a) give them to our repair department to be used for parts or (b) sell them at a massive discount. All used cameras will have a bit of dust in the viewfinder if you look carefully, but since this is not in the light path of the sensor, it does not show up on the image.
Our "Exposed!" listings (look for the green badge) provide photos of the actual gear listed for sale. These photos show most any flaw so that you can make an informed decision, but please understand that our lens-grading chief is insanely detailed when evaluating front/rear lens elements, and those glass imperfections mentioned in the listing are just about impossible to capture in an image.
In some cases, we provide a single stock photo and we list multiple quantities of the same model. In each and every one of these listings, there is no significant difference in overall quality, from one copy to the other. Further, we price these "standard" listings at the low end of the range, so you get a better deal and we save ourselves from a lot of work (e.g., taking high-resolution images of each copy, creating multiple, unique listings, etc...).
New Customer Verification
As a new customer, we want to make sure we are working with you and not someone who has stolen your information. Therefore, we may reach out to confirm your order or to request additional information. Usually this process is pretty quick and does not impact shipping.
We never share your information with anyone. Ever. Any information that we gather from our customers will be compiled anonymously and used solely for our statistical purposes. The statistical information we gather from our customers will be used to help us enhance the shopping experience for our customers. Any privacy concerns should be directed to us via our online contact form.
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