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How NOT to bag yourself a bargain....


Guest plesbit

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At present my main walkaround lens is a 24-105/f3.5-5.6 which is nicely complimented by a 100-300/f4.5-5.6 APO which I generally used for the old garden bird shots. The system I use is broadly broken up in four main lens levels; entry level / kit (<£150), mid range (£200-350), hi range / enthusiast (£400-600) and pro (£1000 or more). Of my lenses the 24-105 slots into the mid range description and the 100-300 APO would sit somewhere between entry level and mid range if was still made - optically it probably deserves to be considered mid range but without some of benefits that the proper mid range lenses (like the 24-105) enjoy, like non-rotating focus rings and front elements and slightly sturdier build quality.

With my significantly increased interest in photography last year I had many times been considering upgrading both lenses to the next level up, though my main interest was in the 70-300 G ("G" meaning Gold series - serious kit). The reason for this was provide myself with a really high quality lens for birding. After all, Michael Reichmann of Luminous Landscape recently helped himself to one of these so if it's good enough for him it's definitely good enough for me - and could last me 20 years or more.

A couple of weeks ago I discovered they were going for £450 at Jessops. So last weekend I phoned Jessops in Lowestoft who confirmed that although it was the display model they did have one left and did I want them to put it by. I said not to worry about putting it by, but I'd be in the next day to collect it. I then phoned Norwich to see if they had a non-display one. No they didn't, but offered to order me one (which would, in fact, be the one at Lowestoft because they could get it more quickly). I said no, leave it, I'll go with my original plan and drive to Lowestoft to pick it up from them. Only the next day I was doing other stuff and didn't manage to go. Yesterday I checked Jessops online and realised I'd definitely have to go to Lowestoft as they were becoming scarce. This morning, however, the price had gone up by £120!

In desperation I phoned Lowestoft to see if I could convince them I'd been tried to get there last week but just couldn't. They said if I'd reserved the item they would have held the price but because I didn't I'd have to pay the new prices! So I asked if I could get it discounted to the old price because it's the display model. When the bloke queried which lens it was again he said it had gone. Sold? Nope - the Norwich store ordered it midweek!

And just to make matters worse, the other lens I had been interested in has gone up by £110. Yikes! Don't these people know there's a recession on??!! Jessops in Lowestoft also confirmed that Canon and Nikon lenses have seen similarly huge price hikes.

So that's that opportunity completely blown - still, I guess I just saved myself over £800 as I'll now be buying neither.

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Bummer Simon. Of course it's the value of the yen against the pound that's causing the problem. I almost came unstuck myself, because I've just ordered a Canon 5D Mk. II with several L lenses - if I'd left it a couple of days there would have been a massive price hike on the whole lot. I just got in in time! Phew. Doesn't help you of course but I'm pleased to be able to share my more positive story! Anyone buying new camera gear would be well advised to look around PDQ for dealers with old stock at last week's prices.

Bruce

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Sadly the US price, at the current exchange rate, is not far off the new higher price over here, plus if Customs got stuck into it then it would become a heck of a lot more!

I spent much time this afternoon pricing up Canon equipment in my irritation but alas they really can't provide equivalents of what I have / need for anything approaching a sensible price. Their prices on are the verge of a huge hike too (as are Nikon) - as Bruce said, it's down to the £/Y exchange rate and I've known it was coming for some time I just couldn't quite make the decision to go for it and ended up procrastinating too long. And anyway, I can't switch to Canon because now that Bruce has defected that would make every single SLR shooter on this forum a Canon user and that would just be too boring! ;)

But if I ever needed prodding, that was it. A kind soul on DPReview sent me a link to a retailer with one at £459.99 (so £9 more than Jessops old price and £110 less than Warehouse Express) so it's now ordered. Phew!

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now that Bruce has defected that would make every single SLR shooter on this forum a Canon user and that would just be too boring! ;)

Not quite Simon - I don't think Jonzo has gone over to the dark side yet :)

I'm glad to hear that your story has a happy ending :clap

Yes folks, it's true, I've gone over the wire. I've never had fanboy inclinations, so no real loyalty to any brand - they're just tools. I've been waiting for some time to decide when to go full frame/hi res for my digital shooting. With the 5D Mk. II having a 21mp sensor which is apparently better then the 1DS III in a small, light body for half the price of the D3X, it became apparent that it was time to jump ship. Nikon will no doubt bring out the D3X chip in a D700 body at some point, but the time for me to have the kit is now, not in 9 months' time.

In fact, I'm going back to Canon - I bought one of the first A1s in 1981, and only acquired Nikon lenses when I bought the Fuji S1 Pro digital SLR in 2003 or thereabouts. Before (and after) then most of my work was on Hasselblad and Pentax 67 medium format film cameras. I only abandoned those when the Nikon D2X came along and (in my view) pretty much equaled their quality. Then the D300 arrived, which is better than the D2X. All the time I've kept shooting 5x4" film, which tops all of them. Now some pros who know what they're talking about are saying that the 5DII chip is approaching 5x4 quality. We live in an interesting time! Most of my pro quality Nikon lenses are DX fit (i.e for small sensor), which means I have no big investment in Nikon or Canon full frame lenses (my old Canon lenses are the obsolete FD mount). I had the option to jump either way, and decided on the Canon side.

The Canon L lenses are superb above 24mm, but contrary to common belief not so great wider than that - that's another story, and I will share my journey to super-wide nirvana in due course when I've made sure it's worked!

Watch this space!

Bruce

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I bought one of the first A1s in 1981

That too was my first 'proper' SLR after the Practika I started with - ah happy days.

Look forward to your exploits with the 5DMK11 Bruce, I have been keeping abreast of things but wanted to see a few more in actual use, experience and results rather than just test shots.

Look forward to the review ;)

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Yes I'd forgotten Jonzo and his trusty D80. Tried to get my hands on a D60 recently but the Nikon display area at WE is a bit of a muddle and the only thing I could play with was a D90.

I've never had fanboy inclinations, so no real loyalty to any brand - they're just tools.

I've never seen so much snobbery in my life as there is in photographic circles, it really is something else. Could you imagine a bunch of builders squabbling over whether Makita's or DeWalt's drill the better holes and going to great lengths day and night to provide proof?

There are Sony professionals on DPReview stripping out the EXIF data from their files because they've been threatened with losing business if they don't switch to a "proper" system. A day doesn't go by without another report of someone whose been to photography classes or clubs and been advised by the instructors that they really need to dump their Sony if they want to become a get anywhere, nor does a day go by without reports of people going into shops and either being advised they should consider buying a Canon or Nikon or overhearing people looking to move up to an SLR being told by sales staff that Sony are rubbish and the only ones that should be considered are Canon and Nikon. Before all this I hadn't even noticed I was "different" but I'm the sort of person that the more peer pressure there is to conform the more likely I am climb on the rooftops and yell that I'm not changing just because someone else thinks I should. And it's surprising how much more notice I've taken of the system I am using for this reason - I doubt I'd have even noticed what people shot with before but now, by having the wrong word written on the top of my camera I seem to have marked myself out in the eyes of some! I'm not particularly a fan of Sony as almost all of their stuff I've bought in the past has failed within weeks but they took over the mount I use and I have too much invested now to switch without a really good reason. Peer pressure and small mindedness doesn't fit that description. Interestingly, even the worst Canikon fanboys still refer to Minolta with distinct respect, the venom seems to be entirely reserved for Sony. I genuinely don't mind people who've tried a camera or whatever and find it doesn't suit their wants / needs but I have rather less patience for those who write something off when they've patently never even seen one, much less taken the time to use it.

The most interesting development is the A900, the camera which set the benchmark for high resolution full frame DSLR's when it came out. I didn't expect anyone to buy it but lots of people have including some who've switched systems at great expense to themselves, or have added an additional system. I suspect the system's top end glass had as much to do with that as the camera body. Hopefully cameras like that, together with the Zeiss glass, will be what finally start to break down the barrier for Sony. After all, Canon and Nikon users will also benefit if the market becomes more competitive at the top level.

Now, perhaps it's about time we started discussing what we can do on the next photo walk.... :)

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Simon said:

I'm the sort of person that the more peer pressure there is to conform the more likely I am climb on the rooftops and yell that I'm not changing just because someone else thinks I should

Good grief Simon where has that rant come from :o

I have not seen anyone here put pressure on you to 'conform' its all about personal choice. If you are happy with your kit that's fine I'm sure others are happy with theirs. Bit like cars and boats all personal choice you pays your money and makes your choice. As we all know it is not the camera but whose behind it I frankly don't care if someone shoots with a box brownie. I would not get too wrapped up with the thoughts of the Pixel peepers who spend more time in front of a Computer than behind their camera.

Could you imagine a bunch of builders squabbling over whether Makita's or DeWalt's drill the better holes

Not been around many builders then Simon.... talk to pro builders they are just as avid over their kit. Oh and by the way the one I know well says it's DeWalt :lol:

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Guest chriscraft

March seems ok ,there may be signs of spring then, later on in the month,on the kit front ,can,t see anything wrong with Simons pictures,personaly i havn,t given full frame much thought yet,so will continue abusing my old nikon d200 for now!!!

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Good grief Simon where has that rant come from :o I have not seen anyone here put pressure on you to 'conform' its all about personal choice. I

Perry, I think Simon's frustration is directed at denizens of certain photography forums rather than any of us! :)

Bruce

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Good grief Simon where has that rant come from :o

As Bruce has pointed out, it was not directed at anyone here, but alas it is not really directed at the DPReview forums either. There are enough Sony fanboys on there to be clear that it's not exclusively a Canikon trait and nor is talking rubbish. However there is sufficient useful information on there to keep me going back - you just have to pick your way around the rubbish so I try to ignore it.

But what does annoy me though is when people are going to photography clubs and being told they should switch if they want to be considered serious photographers or going into shops and new users told by sales staff to ignore Sony because their cameras are rubbish. Not only are there daily tales of this on DPReview and elsewhere but I've even seen and heard it first hand (the Warehouse Express showroom for a start). Why would people, who are being trusted to advise the less experienced, provide such poor advice? Although the Canon EOS400D I have is company owned I still take it out quite often and I can run off a list things it does better and a list of things it does worse. Ultimately neither camera is the clear winner, nor would I expect there to be as they're both tools built for the same job by large electronics corporations. And right now I am itching to get out and use it - especially after seeing the latest of Trevor's weir shots. Unfortunately I fear it will be some time before I can. But I do have some bird shots to go through, over 100 in fact, so with a bit of luck one or two of them will be half decent!

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Bruce wrote:

Perry, I think Simon's frustration is directed at denizens of certain photography forums rather than any of us!

That's a relief.... I must have misread the post.

As I outlined earlier Simon I really would not take notice of some of the pixel peepers an opinion; is only an opinion and clearly not yours so why worry. I can't say I ever look at an image I think is good and then turn my nose up because it does not happen to be taken with the marque I use, a good image is a good image.

I happen to think that one of the good points of this section is that it is free from DPreview type in depth naval gazing and more focused on pressing the shutter; in my view how it should be.

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I've been on Kiki enough to know she's a beautiful boat. You know she's a beautiful boat too but even so I'm sure you'd get irritated if you were constantly reading people saying Viki's are rubbish and anyone considering a boat should only consider a Fairline or Princess. You know it's not true and that just makes it all the more irritating hearing it repeated parrot fashion by people who've probably never even seen one. That said, reading back over the thread I'm not quite sure where the rant came from either. :lol: I must have been slacking on my tea drinking!

I was giving some serious consideration to taking my SLR with me on my jaunt to The Smoke this weekend, especially as I have time to kill Saturday morning. If I was going to haul it all the way to London I figured I might as well take it to The Boat Show on Sunday but I can't help wondering if they might get twitchy inside. My colleague and I take our EOS400D home most weekends and he often uses it for events and promotions work but frequently runs into problems with venues who don't mind P&S camera but get twitchy with anything which looks "a bit too pro". The EOS400D by itself is borderline, but as soon as you mount a chunky flash unit on the top it suddenly crosses the line. I can't see much point trying to photograph inside ExCel without the flash unit but I wonder if I am just making trouble for myself?

In other news, the mail order company rang me this morning to inform me I could have my lens middle of the week commencing 26 Jan (so much for despatch within two days then) by which time I'll be in Austria so it's not going to be until some time in February now. Here's a picture (stolen from the Photo Club Alpha site) of my current lens together with the new one. Looks like I am going to be doing some weight training!

gplusapo3.jpg

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Well the whole point of P&S is for when the weight and bulk of an SLR is not practical. But if I take the SLR to London with me I'll have to lug it around Excel anyway, so taking along a P&S as well and shooting with it when I've got a much better camera hanging round my neck seems a little silly.

Probably the best thing to do is leave it at home and just take the P&S. It's a very good P&S and I've got lots of decent shots of the capital from it before, it's just that the SLR is a a whole lot more fun to use!

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