I tend to buy cameras and equipment from time to time, as I’m sure most of you do too. In my case, I’m usually scouring eBay for good deals on old film cameras or darkroom equipment. eBay is a great place for this, but I have more than one issue with it from a photographer standpoint.
Jeff Rutman also had issues with existing sites and services dealing used photography gear, so he did something about it. RutsCameras is a camera & equipment auction site similar to eBay, but it’s only for photography stuff. He’s just getting it started, but it could be a very good marketplace if enough people get on board. Here are some of the strong points of this new site:
IT’S FREE! At least for now. I know, “free” usually sounds too good to be true, but this guy seems legit. No seller or buyer fees.
NO JUNK! The problem with eBay is that you have to wade through tons of crap in order to find what you’re looking for. No more searching for a camera model only to find 800 listings on a screwdriver of the same model and 3 camera listings buried in there.
SWAP GEAR! I noticed on a few of the listings that swap offers were accepted. I would assume that this means you can swap gear if you have something the seller is looking for too. Pretty cool option.
JEFF LISTENS! He actually wants feedback and suggestions when it comes to shaping the site. This is way cool because you’re more likely to “have it your way”. The site even has a forum for feedback and general discussion.
At any rate, I just wanted to give a shout out to RutsCameras in case some of you are looking to buy or sell photography stuff. I haven’t tried the site myself (I don’t have anything to buy or sell at the moment), but I’ve been poking around for a day or two. If you’re looking to buy or sell any time soon, maybe give it a try. And, as with any online venue, make sure you read the fine print and that you understand what you’re signing up for.
Wow… this last week has been really crazy with activity on the Internet. I guess everybody got back into the swing of things after the holidays. So here’s a small selection of things going on. And Happy New Year too!
The Top 100 Photography Blogs Photography Colleges
If you’re looking for more photography websites to check out and follow, here’s a pretty good list to check out.
here comes 2009, the good and bad news Pro Photo Life
Our friend, Jim Talkington, shares some good news and some bad news for the new year. Good news is that he’ll be focusing more attention on his personal photography and sharing via a photoblog. Bad news is that he won’t have much time for Pro Photo Life. We’ll miss the frequent updates, Jim.
2009 Challenge: New Subject Each Day January Challenge, 2009: Self Portraits PhotoChallenge.org
Looking to challenge yourself in 2009? PhotoChallenge.org will be announcing a new photographic subject each and every day of the year. If you feel like joining in, just shoot the subject and post the photo on the web. These guys are still hosting monthly challenges in addition to their yearly challenge. January is all about self portraits.
Spatial Relationships and Distortion Beyond Megapixels
If you’ve ever struggled with spatial relationships or had a hard time grasping the distortion differences between telephoto and wide angle lenses, check out this simple explanation.
I’ve had a decently positive buying experience on eBay when it comes to old cameras. I’ve purchased six cameras and four of them arrived in great condition just as the seller stated. But I was disappointed with two of them.
In both cases, the seller stated “Camera is in good working condition.“ Now generally, if I see that I’ll assume that the camera is operational in every aspect and that I won’t have to pull it apart to fix it. But I guess the phrase “good working condition” is open to interpretation.
The first camera had a screwed up rangefinder with sticky joints and a half-silvered mirror with far less than half the silver left on it. I got the sticky joints fixed, but the half-silvered mirror is probably worth more than what I paid for the camera — so now it’s a nice little viewfinder camera that has to be used at f/16 to ensure focus.
The second camera (which I just received in the mail) was in far worse shape. The latch mechanism for the film compartment door is totally beefed up. It holds the door closed as long as you don’t touch the camera. And the viewfinder… well, it’s more than a little foggy. Oh yeah, and the focusing ring feels like it’s running on sandpaper. So I’ll be pulling this one apart to see what I can do with it. But, for a $10 camera I’m not too disappointed — I just wish the seller’s description was a little better.
The point of my whole rant: “good working condition” on eBay doesn’t always mean that the camera is in good working condition. Many times, the people selling the camera know nothing about cameras so they really wouldn’t know the difference. Anybody else have bad experiences with eBay camera purchases? Do share.
I meant to do more of these after I posted my first photo on eBay, but I completely lost track of things. So I finally found some time to post four new photos to eBay. These ones are posted a bit differently than the first one — there’s a low starting bid plus an unknown reserve amount. What reserve did I use? I guess you’ll have to place a bid to find out.
The photos will be printed, signed, and numbered by me (only one of each will be sold through eBay). This will be the only time these particular photos are offered via eBay — after this, the regular price will go back to the $500 neighborhood. So if you’ve had your eye on these photos, now’s the time to move on them!
I’ll be experimenting with alternate methods of selling prints over the next few months. One method I’ll be pursuing is via eBay. I’ve started by listing one of my photos for sale as a signed and limited edition print. I’ll be adding new items every week or so, and after a few months I’ll share what I’ve learned.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in acquiring a print, check out my latest offering. I’ve started the listing at $470, which is lower than what I would typically ask. I’m offering this particular print at any size up to 36 inches, signed, and limited to 30. So if you want it, get on it!