Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Make way for the big wheeler-dealer!

I've now disposed of all my semi-pro Nikon camera equipment in two separate deals.

The first was completed a month ago, when I sold my full-frame Nikon D700 camera and all its accessories to a local professional wedding photographer for £800 cash, in crisp £50 notes. I'd brought that about by sending a targeted email shot to eighteen wedding photographers, mainly in Sussex and Surrey. My Plan A. The eventual buyer was one of these.

I didn't quibble about that £800. It was only 33% of what I'd spent on the camera and its accessories three years before, but it was a sufficient exchange for something that I didn't use much any longer - the D700 was too heavy for me now. Alas, girly muscles and pro equipment don't mix.

If the email shot hadn't worked, I had thought of approaching the local photo clubs - Plan B - and touting my gear to the members in each until I found a discerning buyer, but that would all take time. And time was of the essence - the D800 was not far off. I had a Plan C - putting the thing on eBay. But an amateur bidder might fight shy of paying real money for a three-year-old camera that was about to be replaced with something newer and shinier, and 'better'. Whereas the pro I dealt with saw the soon-to-be-superseded D700 as a decent robust workhorse camera with most of its useful life still to come (I'd taken only 14,000 shots with it, and the shutter was good for 150,000 actuations). No pro would pay top dollar, of course, and he didn't, but I could expect a serious offer if the camera passed muster after examination and some test shots. I got that offer, and took the ready cash. And it was nice to know that the D700 would be going to a good home.   

I was left with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens that I bought with the D700. It was a great lens, with Nikon's latest technology and glass in it, and it would have a long useful life, but the man who bought the camera had no use for it. So this was one for eBay. A week ago I put it in at £250, hoping for over £700 on the basis of what another such lens had fetched on eBay in May. A couple of hours ago the auction ended, and the winning bid was £895! Wow! I'll get £873 after adding on the agreed amount for postage, and deducting PayPal's handling fee. And I'd paid £1,030 for it three years ago: so I was getting back 85% of its original cost. A very good result.

I won't be whizzing out to buy another posh camera though. The £1,673 that I've made overall will have to be kept in hand to cover running costs on the Cottage through the autumn and winter, in case disposal drags on. At the moment I expect it will all be spent in that practical but very dull way.

Thus endeth my semi-pro career, the career that never was. The feisty and handbag-friendly little Leica takes some excellent photos, and is good for recording my passing life, but it will never earn me money.

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