A Brief Hiatus and a Painful Lesson

I’ve got photo assignments this coming Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, in addition to a heavier-than-usual ghostwriting workload, so there may be a break in my blogging schedule. Lessons from the assignments will be forthcoming: two theater, one travel, and two dance sessions. I expect to learn a lot.

But in the meantime, I need to talk to those of you who might be buying gear soon.  One of our club members recently decided to switch from film to digital, and of course, many of us offered cheerful advice. We answered his questions without considering what he wasn’t asking.

As it happens, this fellow is in his late 80s.  He’s so far into his late 80s, he might be 90. I’ll have to check when his birthday is. Anyway, he asked me about the differences between Nikon’s D5000 and D90, and I told him that he would get excellent image quality from any Nikon DSLR, but if he had older Nikon AF lenses he could use them with the D90.  Based on this and his own research, he decided to get the D90.

He went looking for a deal, and found a “kit” on eBay. Now, I’ve bought plenty of stuff on eBay and I think it’s a fine organization, but I’ve spent the last thirty years sitting at a computer. I’ve been online since you had to put the phone in the cradle and eat two bags of chips during the handshake routine. I know not to buy camera “kits” on eBay. I’ve bought guitar pickguards, hacked microdrives, and vintage hats on eBay with great success. I buy new camera gear from reputable dealers like Adorama and Samy’s, and so should you.  Not only do you get legitimate merchandise, fair return policies, and good service, but you help keep KNOWLEDGEABLE providers in business.

My friend got a D90 all right, but his two additional “lenses” were in fact screw-on adapters, and his “deluxe” carrying case would have been overpriced if it was free. Looking for a deal, he paid too much for his camera.  Most of us do lots of research before we choose a camera; we should know the seller as well.

In my opinion, the best way to get a screamin’ deal on camera gear has nothing to do with price.  If you want the best deal possible, don’t buy more camera than you need. Some people get cheated by buying kits with useless components, but MANY people cheat themselves by buying expensive gear with features they do not need.


Filed under Camera Gear, Professional vs. Amateur

3 responses to “A Brief Hiatus and a Painful Lesson

  1. Randy Roberts

    I went through three camera dealers online before I finally got my camera without a lot of hassle. I agree with your recommendation of Adorama. I’ve had very good luck ordering from them. The gear arrived on time in excellent condition and I even got a half price deal on a 100x400mm…er…um…Canon lens.

  2. Darren Nerland


    I too, in my early twenties got a “kit”. Ebay was not around, but mail order was and I got a decent camera with crappy lenses. I ALWAYS tell people about Samy’s or B&H Photo as they are reputable. In Photogrpahy you truly get what you pay for!

  3. Just wanted to say ‘thank you’ for the recommendations for Adorama Camera, which are very much appreciated.

    However, if you ever neeed advice or after-sales support concerning an order from Adorama, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly.

    Helen Oster
    Adorama Camera Customer Service Ambassador


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