Thursday, February 12, 2009

Dear Local Camera Store,

Updated to add: Since a few of you have asked, I bought an 85 mm 1.8/f lens. Its odd to me because there is no zoom .... I am constantly trying to twist the lens to zoom in or zoom out and probably look like I have a tic. Plus I have to stand pretty far back .... normally I stand under the basket and I think this lens might require me to actually stay in the stands. I'm not sure yet about settings or which mode I'll use, but my nephew has an indoor game tomorrow and Kellen has an indoor game Sunday, so hopefully I'll get it figured out and take some good shots at *some* point during the weekend! I would have loved the lens Jim mentions in the comments below, but it was a little more than I could bring myself to spend ......... you know, what with our new (finger quotes) budget that we're on. PS. budgets suck. I should just buy the lens and feed my kids ramen noodles for three months.

Dear Local Camera Store, it should come as no big shock to you that you pretty much have a monopoly on the camera market here in our town. Sure, we can buy cameras at Best Buy or Circuit City or Wal-Mart or whatever, but once a person reaches the point of needing a high-end camera or specialty lenses and accessories, your fine place of business is pretty much it.

And that's ok, because you've made me very happy this past year. I purchased not only a new camera, but a new lens from you, and quite a few accessories to go with each. I thought we had a good relationship .... I thought (sniff, sniff) we had something special.

Something you probably do NOT know is that recently, I've ventured into the realm of indoor sports photography. Actually, "ventured" is possibly not the correct word. Stumbled and drunkenly lurched are probably better descriptions for the crap pictures I've been taking.

But! Last week at Kellen's soccer practice I met a dad from another team who was taking indoor soccer pictures, with the same camera as I have. I bolted over and practically knocked the man down casually sauntered over and asked him what kind of lens he was using. Come to find out, he had been struggling with indoor action photography as well, and had just purchased a new lens. A new lens, that he was having wonderful results with, and was happy to share that information with me.

SCORE!!! I just LOVE when life works out like that.

He told me about the website he ordered from, and my antenna immediately went up. I buy a lot of stuff online ... books, clothes, plane tickets, scrapbook supplies, etc. But I've always been leery of purchasing anything electronic, or with work-y parts, from an online store. What if it the work-y parts didn't work properly? What if it was defective? What if the online company wouldn't honor the return, or turned out to be a sham .... two guys named Leroy and Butch, selling stolen equipment our of their internet car trunk, or the internet version of a pawn shop. (Am I the only one who worries about this???)

So, my dear, dear, local camera store, I researched the lens online to make sure that was what I wanted. Then I came to you instead. And explained what I needed. And you smiled at me, and were happy to help me, because clearly our relationship is every bit as special to you as it is to me.

And then you tried to charge me $200 MORE than the lens cost online.

And when I hesitated, and mentioned how much cheaper it was online .... well, my little camera store, that was when your true feelings for our relationship became apparent.

Because you SNEERED at me. (OK, technically, it was your sales girl, but still ....) You shrugged your shoulders, made an ugly face, and said there was no way you would match that price -- Even though I didn't ask. But you said it in such an ugly way ..... truly, my feelings were hurt, and you embarrassed me.

So guess what? I went home, and took a deep breath, and ordered the thing online. And saved myself TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS.

The lens arrived today. It is in perfect condition, and from what I can tell so far, takes great pictures. I am considering making my next self-portrait Tuesday one of myself, sticking my tongue out at you. But that would be immature.

So let me just say, in a twisted way, THANK YOU for your sneerage. Without it, I wouldn't have had the nerve to break out of your small-town monopoly and venture out into this brave new world. I wouldn't have my new lens, and I wouldn't have this extra money. I'll spend my $200 wisely and happily .... possibly even in your store. Because I almost always like to kiss and make up, and I'm hopeful our relationship can be salvaged. If not, I guess I can always return to my new online boyfriend. But I'm hopeful we can be good for one another, again.

Sound good to you?


Anonymous said...

NICE! Way to get the better deal and I'm sure you'll be dropping a lot more into your local store anyway. :)

Santa Clara, CA

vgsmom said...

Welcome to electronics on the internet. Jim has gotten some amazing deals.

Jim Smith said...

What kind of lens did you get for indoor sports? I recently got the 70-200 f2.8 with IS and it rocks.

Mandy McMahan said...

Which lens did you buy? And what was the website you used? Can't wait to see some pictures with this new lens!

Mandy in Seattle
(Remember me? We had lunch one time you were in Seattle like five years ago! :))

Cindy in Yukon said...

There is a camera store here in Yukon on Main Street called Bakers Photography. They even rent equipment if you are looking to try a lens or need one for a special event. It is much smaller than the Local Camera Store you mentioned, but they seem nice. Good luck with the new lens!

Dto3 said...

This is somewhat akin to the cell phone companies that reel you in with the cheap phones and great monthly plans and then once you've been a customer for say 10 years, they won't give you anything. Certainly shows their commitment to you isn't as strong as your commitment to them.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you didn't mention what type of lens you purchased. Tell me, tell me, I have had the same crappy photos in the gym. Actually, last week at Nina's game I saw this guy taking pictures with the same Canon camera that I have but he had one of the huge lenses on it. I have been so aggravated with the way my pictures have turned out no matter what I put my setting on, every one turns out like crap!! I asked this guy if he could take some pictures of her and I would pay for them, he hands me his business card and said I could just order them off his website and that he is the photographer for our church. I was so pumped, so ready to have decent pictures of her playing basketball for the first time and I was so shocked to find out that he is charging $3.00 for one 4x6. Maybe I should of asked about prices first. Now I feel obligated to buy some of his expensive pics.


The Running Girl said...

Thanks for posting that. We've had problems with indoor pics as well, so if you find it works, we may check into that!

Lori said...

I just read on another blog (perfecting my internet time wasting techniques today) of a girl having a similar situation with a wedding dress. I've had this with my local bike shop. I know the guys, see them around all the time and felt guilty going to the chain store, much less the internet. But.. they keep their prices high, refuse to take anything back that didn't work for you AND they have developed a snotty attitude. Local shops need to see this new competition and sell around it. said...

Hello, I'm Stefunkc's Aunt! Since I totally live in another Zip code, can I try the lens when we visit this summer??!

Anonymous said...

A great place online to get camera equipment is B&H Photo Video. That's where many of the pros go.

Anonymous said...

I am a semi-pro photographer and have bought almost all my gear over many years from B&H Photo Video on line. We had the opportunity to drive to NYC to see the store itself and it is amazing. They are fair with very good prices and I have never ever had a problem with them--including a return. Check them out and feel safe buying from them Their shipping is also FAST.