Yep - I love surfing eBay every once in a while. I might even be able to make a living doing it if I had the attention span of an adult. I swear I only log in once a month at the most (averaged throughout a year). Every time I end up buying some sort of bargain. I spend no more than five minutes. I usually do it when some object crosses my mind for a random reason. I search for the item and then look at a grand total of two pages. The first is buy-now just listed page - only place you find giant buy now bargains. The second page is auction-only ending soonest. That's it. If I see a bargain I buy it.
Let's recap that last 6 months or so.
- Pristine - like new Nikon FM black paint WITH a pristine Nikon AIS 50mm F 1.8 $100
- Mint I do meant MINT Nikon FM2 crome $125
- Perfect Nikon F3 HP WITH 50mm AI 2.0 $125
- Rolleiflex TLR w/ 2.8 Xenar Schneider $100
- Mint Leica 90mm 2.8 Latest pre-elmarit (this is very very good) $495
I could go on and on if I do all of last year but I won't. Today I scored a really nice 50mm AIS 1.4. Yes a 1.4. For $99 in a just listed buy it now. This is at least 50 bucks better than most of the ones I see that are also "bargains". This is a fantastic deal even if you shoot digital. Seriously, If you shoot FX do you even have a 1.4 anything - a normal with large aperture is very useful. Shoot DX? How about a really nice fast portrait lens. How can this thing NOT be worth $99?
Oh it has a 7 day return policy so I will shoot it as soon as it gets here. What do I end up doing with this stuff you ask? Well…
- Use it - I still shoot film and it works on my digital stuff as well. I use it when I want to shoot like I don't give a crap. It really is nice not having to worry about my gear getting hurt. I have a ton of backups. I have like 4 50mm AIS Nikon 1.4 lenses. I have a million Nikon $100 film bodies that are mechanical shooting beasts and a bunch of "obsolete" digital as well. I love shooting in the rain or "dangerous" places like a bar with gear that I have a bunch more at home and only cost me a few dollars. Guess what - none of it has been hurt. Maybe I need to be more risky? Anyway you slice it it is good way to relax vs $10,000 worth of new digital gear. If you think that won't make a difference in your images you are probably wrong.
- Play with it - yep. I love playing with this stuff and it's cheap.
- Give it away - Yes I give it to deserving people that actually care about making images. My daughter is delighted with the Nikon film kit I gave her last summer. Remember when you were a kid - wouldn't you like to have gotten something like that "out of the blue".
- Sell it - occasionally I will sell it at a profit. There are a ton of trends I have seen over the last few years that I could have made money on if I was concentrating on it. Sometimes I have just because I knew a few items were bargains, bought them because I was familiar with how great the gear was, sold them at an immense profit because I got a bargain of a bargain - a low priced item in a temporarily depressed market, a year and a half ago there was a bunch of Hasselblad gear going for idiotically low prices. I got a few really really good deals and guess what. The prices shot up across the board last year so I unloaded some of it. Not all of it - the profit paid for a lot of my acquisitions.
Here is my new beauty of a 50mm - nice huh? Ob it came with a Nikon hood as well.