Sunday, July 28, 2013

Paybacks, and Unnecessary but Fun Expense

Back in this column, I talked about how some very gracious ladies found my pooches and returned them to me.

I was driving along the “through” street in the subdivision yesterday, and from the corner of my eye spotted a little brown dog coming at top speed from a side street.  Further back, a heavier older lady was huffing and puffing, leash in hand, frantically calling the dog’s name (the dog having suddenly developed “K-9 hearing disorder”, with which all dogs are sometimes afflicted, “I can’t HEARRR YOU!  LALALALALALA”). 

So I stopped the van.  The brown dog stopped to investigate.  I wondered if my old trick with Lucy and Ethel would work, hit the power door, and hollered, “Get in the car!”  And the dog did!

Which enabled the lady to catch up.  She was SO grateful (and believe me, I am SO familiar with that feeling!). 

Stupid dogs! Winking smile



Well-secluded, Ethel sees all…


Unnecessary but fun expense:

Yesterday,, the big online camera store featuring very accurately described and rated used camera equipment, had a buying event at the Houston Camera Exchange, one of the two camera stores we have left (the other is for “Serious” photographers).  So, I loaded up all of Dad’s old equipment (I called him first and asked his permission, which he gave), along with MINE, and lugged it down there.  They didn’t buy two of the old lenses, but they bought the rest, plus the T-90 (camera) plus my NEW (2 months old) lens that I just bought from them.  Paid pretty good money for all of them.

When I bought my camera, in 2006, it was the second “good” camera I’d ever had.  The first, my old AE-1 Program, had served me long and well, but by the early 2000’s digital was the thing.  Dad and I bought a crappy (but expensive) Kodak, then I upgraded to a better Kodak; Dad, with more available cash, bought a Canon G3 (a point and shoot).  I bought a Canon G5 a year or so later, and that’s what I took to many of the tailgate parties. (Mother gave me some birthday money, so I always think of that as being a present from her).

So, in 2006, I was ready for a DSLR.  I knew what I wanted—a Nikon D200.  Unfortunately, Nikon thought quite a bit of their product, much more than my budget would allow.  So, I bought a D50 instead, and that’s what I’ve used since.  I paid almost $800 for it (camera and cheap Promaster “kit” lens + accessories), so that was still a lot for me (with camera equipment you’re limited only by your imagination and your budget). 

When I stopped going to tailgate parties and then moved to Houston, I basically stopped photography altogether and the whole thing sat on the shelf. 

A few months ago, when I discovered all of Dad’s old equipment, it fanned the ember of my photo hobby genes, and I got excited all over again.


Along with the D200 that I wanted in 2006, there was also a lens I wanted.  Nikon 18-200 “Super-Zoom”.  It was $800 and there was a WAITING LIST.  Dealers were selling them at 120% of MSRP.  Obviously out of the question, but I never stopped wanting it.

So when I started again this year, I began reading up to find out what the current state of photographic equipment development was.  That damn lens is STILL $800, though they are available everywhere now.  The thing is $400 and up USED.

So I bought the knock-off (the “new lens” to which I referred earlier), a Tamron 18-200.  This took fine photographs, and I would have been happy with it (other than an annoying tendency to “creep”, which it shares with the Nikon and Sigma versions), had I not gone to the camera store in Austin on my recent visit, and played with the Nikon.  As the great Marvin Gaye told us, “Ain’t Nothin like the Real Thing baby!” 

Anyway, when KEH said they were coming to Houston with a checkbook, I loaded it all up—and got enough to buy the Nikon lens (used).  It will arrive Wednesday.

Camera?  Their offer on my $800 D50 was $75.  I decided to keep it as a spare.  They wouldn’t buy my old Osawa lens (out of business, they’d never sell it) and Dad’s old Vivitar (too beat up).  So I still have one of Dad’s lenses and my old lens, both of which will work on my D50.

So now I’ve got to save the money for a new camera body.  The D200 is as hopelessly out of date as mine (but still not as cheap, so I’d be paying to upgrade to a camera as outdated as the one I now have).  The current iteration is the D7100 and the only thing separating me from it is $1,000 or so.  I really don’t want it, though.

Without going into a lot of technical detail (especially since nobody is still reading), the sensor in all of these cameras is small.  I want a full-frame, the D800 (in which the sensor is the same size as a frame of 35mm film).  Ahem, now we’re up to $2,500 for the camera—AND it doesn’t take the lens I just bought!!!!

So, I’m going to compromise on a used D90—$400 and up from KEH.

And meanwhile, I’ll use my old D50 and my new lens.

But here are a couple I took yesterday with the “kit” Promaster (ugh, I never did like that lens, have to do a lot of sharpening…).







1 comment:

  1. I have a cheap, small, digital Canon which I bought because it is small and WiFi enabled. Oh, and because it takes better pictures than my iPhone.

    As for dogs taking jaunts: My old Shades used to go off on her own, given half a chance. This was the very well-trained obedience dog. I would call her and she would turn off the hearing aids.

    But let me get in the van and say, "Wanna go for a ride?" and there she would be!

    Another dog, Hailey, would do the same. I well remember the first time that she responded when I called her. I lavished her with praise and dog cookies. From then on, she was much more likely to respond.