Monday, August 13, 2012

Tent Sale

The divine Sheila M. at the register...

The venerable local camera store (since 1917!) holds a "tent sale" every summer. I seldom need anything, but I always go and I always buy. The sale usually features refurbished and overstock items, some used gear and tons of "other" stuff—printers, paper and ink, albums and other accessories. This year, in preparation for my trip to Iceland in October, I actually required some gear, specifically a quality tripod with a calibrated pan head which was small enough to fit inside a pack on the rack of a bicycle. I found just what I was looking for and at a price much less than Amazon's. I also took a look at the used lenses; my Pentax K20D is compatible with any lens made for any Pentax camera in the last 50 years. The 'helpful' salesclerk couldn't understand why I would be interested in an old lens made for a film camera. "You can't use that on your camera, the meter won't work! The autofocus won't work!" As if I needed a meter! Most of my cameras didn't have one, and with instant playback (or preview, if you like to fiddle) you can see exactly what your actual exposure is. Autofocus? Never use it, not even on my modern lenses (Anyone want to buy a 16-50 F2.8 DA* zoom?) The prices of used gear has fallen so far that I bought three lenses for less than the cost of a high-end filter. I've already grown attached to the cute little 28mm f2.8 I got there, I might just take only that and my 50mm f2 to Iceland (along with my pocket camera.) I'm tired of lugging a bunch of stuff around.

And image quality? I'll let my $25 tent sale Vivitar speak for itself:

By Professor Batty


Blogger Jono said...

I really love that Pentax does that. Some of the old glass is incredibly well built and sharp. If you ever get the chance check out for world wide users.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

The lenses from the 60's and 70's are still great- and remain fine performers, especially the SMC ones. The Nikon glass from that era was as good or better (except for some clunkers) but it wasn't as elegant as the Pentax line. Pentax sort of lost their way in the 80's and 90's especially the cameras, but their latest offerings are as good as anyone's.

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