You Don’t Have to Break the Bank

posted on 6th of november, 2010

You don’t necessarily have to “break the bank” to buy good photographic equipment. I bought my camera used (on-line), and did very well in my pricing. I shoot a Nikon D300.

I bought my favorite Nikkor lenses “new” 10-16 years ago. (I have been a Nikon shooter for a long time.) The technical quality of the images produced from these old lenses is consistently excellent. It is usually "user error" when I am dissatisfied. Thus my recommendation for those of you who cannot afford to buy new is to buy a high quality lens used, even a much older lens.

I do recommend buying from a reputable store, with an extended warranty, and having the ability to return used equipment for at least two weeks after purchase, so that you have time for careful testing. I also recommend checking the Internet for comments or reviews on equipment, before determining what to buy. I have found reviews on older lenses when I have searched.

Buying refurbished equipment is also another consideration. One of my favorite lenses for ease of use and flexibility, particularly in low light, is a 50mm 1.8 prime Nikkor lens, which I purchased new last year for less than $140 (U.S. dollars). I just noticed it is available refurbished by Nikon for $99. It is an incredible lens for the price.

Of course buying new would be my preference, but until I win the lottery, my next camera will probably also be “gently used” .

FYI, all of my images on this page are from one of my oldest lenses, shot with my Nikon D300. I don't remember when I bought the lens, but it is at least 16 years old.

Comments (19)

Posted by Jjsloan76 on October 05, 2012
I need someone to take shots around san diego county, is that something you would be open to? My cell is 858.414.5000.
Posted by Tan510jomast on December 10, 2010
CHEERS for the comment to my latest blog.
and you shivering over there in Calif? are you kidding me ? here we 're into the minus celsius. -14 last night... yikes.
Posted by Linqong on December 08, 2010
Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Adeliepenguin on November 09, 2010
Continued thanks for the supportive and kind comments. Wordplanet---a 24-70mm f/2.8 (slightly used) lens is on my wish list:) I am jealous:)
Posted by Wordplanet on November 09, 2010
First, I love your photos. They are beautiful and have a nice almost dreamy feel.
Great advice too. I bought my favorite lens--a Nikkor 50mm 1.4 used on ebay from an individual for $40 when I was starting out --it's so sharp and very light on my D700 when I don't want to lug around heavier lenses. You can also get those Nikon macro lenses to attach to it if you can't afford a macro lens (I have a 105mm Nikkor macro but still take the 50mmm with the attachments when I want to travel light).
I bought a refurbished Sigma 50-500mm a little over a year ago and it's super sharp well above 400mm. Amazing range and I can shoot fast with it even handheld--it weighs a ton (it's nickname is the Sigma "bigma") but it's another of my favoirites.
Of course, when you can afford the more expensive lenses that's nice too --my most expensive lens, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 is my workhorse when I'm shooting assignments
Posted by Sobek85 on November 09, 2010
nice shots
Posted by Cammeraydave on November 08, 2010
But I have to have the most expensive and highest megapixel camera to make good photos ! ( I am joking here ) My first digital camera was 5 megapixel and one of my top sellers is from this camera. Wise Blog and thanks
Posted by Freedomphotos on November 08, 2010
Thanks for sharing your experience, it is always hard to know where to start looking. Cheers. Karen
Posted by Egomezta on November 08, 2010
Thanks for sharing, nice article and nice ideas.
Posted by Starblue on November 08, 2010
I fully agree, a splendid blog! I see several people think that they must have a very expensive tolls and... then they photos will be beautiful and successful. The truths is that a technical quolity is a very important side, but one can be reasonable during bying aquiments. Great blog!
Posted by Shopartgallerycom on November 08, 2010
You are right, if you want to be professional you need good equipment and the prices today are not exagerate. Beautiful images!
Posted by Thanatonautii on November 08, 2010
Great post! Thanks for sharing!
Posted by Adeliepenguin on November 07, 2010
You said it so well Brad...if you are buying for microstock you will do better to get the best value. But Unteroffizier, you are also so right--you have to have confidence in your equipment for paid assignments:) I couldn't imagine having equipment fail during a wedding!
Posted by Unteroffizier on November 07, 2010
It really depends on the job in nature. I do not disagree with the fact that some used or older equipment are better in quality or were well taken care of by its previous owners but i usually avoid newly bought used equipment or maybe even rented ones if i were to use them for paid assignment on site (e.g weddings, product shoots . . . ), in case they just fail.
Posted by Bradcalkins on November 07, 2010
While not all my equipment can be considered a value purchase, I tend to get last year's camera (still shooting a 40D) or buy refurbished or used when I can. If you are buying for microstock, you will do much better to get the best value you can on the equipment. It really doesn't take fancy gear to get good results, it just makes it a bit easier in most cases.
Posted by Adeliepenguin on November 07, 2010
Thank you all for your comments. Debbie, great tip yourself:) I will check out the site. I actually sold my D100 to help pay for my D300.
Posted by Dmccale on November 07, 2010
thanks I have been looking at trading some lens for better used ones at
great tips debbie
Posted by Mani33 on November 07, 2010
Great advise Adeliepenguin! I might start from there to have my equipments! :)
Posted by Mariaam on November 07, 2010
That´s a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Comments (19)

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Photo credits: Adeliepenguin.

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