(Editor’s Note: We welcome Darren Miles to Photofocus. Based in Naples, FL, Darren is a photographer who specializes in capturing architecture, weddings, family portraits and headshots. You can view his work at darrenmiles.com, and for more gear reviews and tutorials, visit him on YouTube.)
Working on a limited budget for photography gear? I’ve got the best places in cyberspace to quell your insatiable appetite for gear — also known as Gear Acquisition Syndrome (G.A.S.).
You don’t always need the latest and greatest camera gear to run a successful photography business, nor do you need it if you’re an enthusiast either. In fact, in the last 10 years, one could argue that we’ve been living in the “golden era” of photography. There have been hundreds of different camera models that have come and gone. Lucky you, because what that means is there’s a bevy of quality second hand cameras and lenses available out there at fantastic prices, you just need to know where to go to find them.
I admit, there’s something about that “new car smell” that usually goes along with the latest and greatest gear. The piece of mind that no one else’s hands have touched this piece of gear certainly has its appeal. However, I’ve figured out that I get just as much satisfaction from a quality used piece of gear as I did a new one. Never mind the extraordinary amount of savings that goes along with used gear as well.
With prices that run anywhere from 30-60% less than new, I quickly forget my desire for that new car smell. But where do you go to get the best used gear?
I generally like to get my used gear either from a reputable company with a generous return policy or from a website that at a minimum has a feedback mechanism that rates the buyers and sellers that frequent that website. Below are my favorite go-to sites.
A website by photographers, for photographers. It’s free to register and use the buy/sell board on Fred Miranda as a buyer, but if you want to list items for sale it’s a flat $59/year or $99 for two years. Fred Miranda also has a feedback mechanism, so you know who the reputable sellers are.
The best prices I’ve seen on used gear from one of the bigger players, and a 180 day warranty. Unlike the others, instead of stock images, there are actual pictures of each item along with an accurate description and rating.
I love B&H! They’re not the most economical, but they have everything in addition to an excellent return policy.
Similar to B&H — not the most economical, but they have a great return policy and a ton of inventory.
Others to consider
Another site with a great reputation. Not the best prices, this is partially offset by a generous return policy of 180 days.
A reputable place to go, but I find their prices on the high side.
So where do you go for used gear? There are others! Share your favorites in the comments and happy hunting!