One sad truth about the photo industry is that there’s a ton of counterfeit products floating around, and unless you buy directly from a reputable source, it can be difficult to know for sure whether you’re getting the real thing. Last month we posted on how up to 1/3 of memory cards labeled “SanDisk” are actually counterfeit. Over on Nikon’s website, there’s a support page that shows photographs of counterfeit Nikon accessories next to genuine ones, with many of them almost indistinguishable from each other. Some of the counterfeit products are so real-looking that the only difference is a slightly different screw, or a slightly brighter logo.
Needed a Polaroid picture for a project I’m working on, so I purchased a Polaroid One Step camera for $15 off a guy on Craigslist and a pack of Polaroid 600 film that expired back in 2003 for $26 with shipping from eBay. I was a bit concerned that the film wouldn’t work anymore, but found that the battery in the film pack still had some juice and that the film still developed, though the upper corners of the image are messed up.
Expired 600 film is selling for up to $50 to $60 a pack (10 photos) on eBay these days, even though new Impossible film for 600 cameras costs $24. You can also buy
unexpired performance-guaranteed 600 film for about $5 a shot in bulk. Seems like a lot of Polaroid lovers are still snatching up Polaroid film while they still can.
Did you know that a third of the SanDisk memory cards being used on Earth are actually fake? A SanDisk engineer recently shared this startling fact with a reader over at The Online Photographer:
[…] at any given time, approximately a third of the SanDisk memory cards (made by Toshiba) being used out there in the world are counterfeit. As in, not SanDisk memory cards at all—some other kind of cards dressed up as lookalikes.
Thirty percent, was the number quoted. A third, more or less.
To make sure you’re getting the real thing, always purchase your memory cards from reputable dealers.
If you thought the Polaroid beeswax candle we shared yesterday was cool, check out this candle designed to look like the FED 3 Soviet rangefinder camera (on right, with actual camera on left). Each one is handmade and costs $39 + $18 shipping on eBay — pretty expensive for a candle, but who would buy one of these just to use as a candle?
Thanks for the link USSRPhoto!
Image credit: A Short History of Tractors in Ukranian (FED 3 type B) by Arty Smokes (deaf mute)
If you somehow got your hands on a Fujifilm Finepix X100 already but don’t mind waiting a little longer to use one, you can double or triple the money you paid by selling it to desperate buyers on eBay. Fujifilm was already experiencing extremely high demand and possible shortages, but then the tragic earthquake in Japan completely halted production of the camera after Fujifilm’s factory 20 miles from Sendai was damaged.
There are a few of the cameras being sold on eBay right now, with one auction for a used X100 — with a scratched LCD screen, no less — at $2,300 already with nearly 3 days remaining. This is for a camera that will be selling for $1,200 new when it’s available.
(via 43 Rumors)
If you’re looking to buy used camera gear on sites like eBay or Craigslist, a trick you can use to find a good deals is to search for listings that contain spelling mistakes that keep most people from finding them (e.g. “Canom” instead of “Canon”, or “Mikon” instead of “Nikon”). With less exposure — and therefore less competition — you may be able to win the auctions at far below the item’s value.
Obviously searching for various typos by hand isn’t very efficient, so there’s special typo search engines designed to do the hard work for you. A few that you might want to try out are: FatFingers, TypoHound, TypoBay, and TypoBuddy.
Image credit: keyboard shenanigans by cc511
There’s an old beat up Leica MP-36 being sold by a reputable seller on eBay (8533 feedback score with 99.4% positive) for the staggering price of $104,000. What’s strange is that the details provided in the listing are quite sparse. The page includes a few photographs and the description,
The camera comes with matching black paint Summicron 2/5cm no.1474879, first version with black bayonet mount, a matching black paint Leicavit MP. The camera was the property of famous photographer
Perhaps some crowdsourced investigation can shed some light on this unique listing. Any idea what’s so special about this camera and/or who the “famous photographer” mentioned is? Check out the listing here.
Update: Apparently the camera belonged to Leif Engberg. Kudos to Nutzibe
Update: Wow. Looks like the camera actually sold for $104K… Gizmodo jumped on the story here.
Thanks for the tip, Christian!
If you’ve never been on a budget and blow money like a vuvuzela at a football game, don’t bother reading any further. If you like saving money and are on a budget, then please continue reading.
I buy used equipment constantly. It’s more a way of life than a just a financial decision. While I like being able to get things cheaper and refuse to pay full price for almost anything, I wouldn’t call myself cheap. Overly frugal maybe, but not cheap (but don’t ask my wife). All that said, getting a good deal on used equipment isn’t rocket science.
Forget the uber-rare Leica MP2 that’s going on auction at the end of this year. If you want a unique camera but don’t want to trade your house for it, you can save yourself a couple hundred grand by going for this brand new made-for-NASA Hasselblad MKWE up for sale on eBay for a cool $33,751.
We’re not sure why the price is so specific or what exactly makes this a NASA camera (it doesn’t seem to be branded so), but it’s a definitely an eye-catching Hassy.
Most of the time we come across an absurdly large and expensive lens on eBay, it’s some sort of lens with focal lengths in the thousands of millimeters (e.g. this 5200mm Canon lens or this 2000mm Nikon lens).
The lens shown above is the Kilfitt Zoomatar 250mm f/1.3 and is currently for sale on eBay. It doesn’t have an absurdly large focal length, but is pretty standard at 250mm. See the little box handing off the end of the lens? That’s the Hasselblad medium format camera this lens is designed for.
The price? A cool $33,751. Needless to say, walking around doing street photography with this lens would earn you some pretty strange looks.
Thanks for the tip Jon!