camera and film

July 11 — Hit the internet to research ways to finally sell my ancient SLR camera system which I have held on to WAY too long. Possibilities turn out to be:

  •  Craig’s List. NO. Don’t want to chance meeting up with some nut-case-camera-psycho.
  • Ebay. NO. Don’t want to spend the time and effort of photographing the stuff, describing it in glowing blah blah, then responding to a bunch of time-eating queries.
  • Camera stores that sell Used Equipment. YES. Let them do all the work. I’ll make considerably less moolah on the deal, true, but save on time and aggravation.

July 12 — Dig out old Nikon cameras and lenses from musty bottom shelves. Thirty year old film still loaded in one body. Oops. Was it now a melted mess? No–whew. Photo gods are good. Film intact. Amazingly, even long expired batteries still operable. Both cameras work ok too. All levers and buttons snap to attention. Polish whole shebang with soft cloth. Camera bodies and three lenses now looking spiffy. NOT lens cases, however. Horrible shape. Outer black vinyl surface is covered with thick white film chipping off all over the place. Slather two layers of black shoe polish on cases. Instant improvement. But Not in smell department. Can only hope oily smell wears off by sale time.

 July 13 — Make 2 lists of equipment. Figure I’ll get bigger quotes splitting sale in two batches. Plus this stuff is HEAVY. Can more easily schlepp 2 smaller equipment groups to the store than one back-breaking one. Ideal plan is to sell to a store here in NYC, thereby saving weighty freight cost and eliminating possibility of breakage in war zones of US Mail systems.

July 14 — Email first list to three buyers of pre-used gear: two in New York, one in the South. List contains mainly my good old workhorse Nikon F, and two Nikon lenses, a close-up Macro and  80-200 Zoom which threatened to break my shoulder in action but which I dearly loved. In less than four hours NYC store, B&H, replies with a quote. I knew stores would be taking a healthy markup and quotes would be low, but this quote is so low it would give me a laugh if I felt like laughing.

July 16 — Camera store in South emails me second quote. Oh boy. It’s 30% LESS than first one from B&H. To be fair though, they probably factored in the cost of shipping my gear to their store, which they have a policy of paying. Will NYC store number three  save me with a bigger, juicier quote? NO THEY WILL NOT. A few hours later they tell me to take a hike; “Our pre-owned business is driven by supply and demand,” they inform me and apparently nobody is currently demanding any of my dinosaur goodies.

Jul 17 — Zip over to B&H store for their close-up inspection of my equipment. Guess what. After a thorough going-over, they write me a check for $25 MORE than their quote. I assume it’s because I’ve thrown in an extra diopter not included on my original list. However, when the whole process is repeated weeks later with the second and last batch of my equipment and B&H AGAIN writes me a final check for $25.00 more than their original quote, the appraiser says it’s based on condition, which is apparently even better than I initially described.

So your mom was right. It pays to take good care of your toys.

Some Photo Play Time: