Iâ€™ve taken the plunge. I bought a digital SLR camera setup several days ago. I searched eBay, Craigâ€™s List and local stores, but the prices scared me. Itâ€™s not the camera and one lens. That kind of package deal is readily available at what seems like an acceptable price. Itâ€™s the accessories that make the price tag go through the roof. I knew Iâ€™d have to buy used and Iâ€™m reluctant to do that over the internet. Iâ€™d rather have the camera in my hands to examine before buying.
So, I went to a pawnshop and found what I was looking for. It was almost a complete setup: Nikon D70 with strap and two batteries; an AF Nikkor 18-70mm 1:3.5-45G ED zoom lens; an AF Nikkor 85mm 1:1.8 D portrait lens; Nikon Speedlight SB-800 flash unit; 62mm UV filter; a LowePro Micro Trekker 200 camera backpack; and assorted cables, instruction manuals, and misc items. All are only lightly used. There are no scratches, or even wear marks. Everything looks to be in pristine condition and (so far) functions perfectly. I got it all for $680.
The only things missing are the Nikon Picture Project CDâ€™s and a battery charger. It looks like I can pick the CDâ€™s up for around $15 and a charger from $10 to $25 off eBay. Other than a few filters, there is only one other item I want (for now) and that is a wide-angle lens. Iâ€™m looking at a Nikon Nikkor 28mm f2.8 D AF for around $150.
That should be all I need for quite some time to come. Whew! Just learning all the nomenclature and acronyms that goes with Nikon cameras and lenses should keep me on a steep learning curve for the next couple of years.
Iâ€™ve always been a bit leery of buying things from pawnshops though. I suppose itâ€™s because of the poor reputation theyâ€™ve inherited from the past when so many of them were nothing more than a fence for stolen goods. Today though, there are laws in place, at least here in Colorado, that keep such illegal activity on a pretty short leash. Still, I was suspicious enough to give all the serial numbers and previous ownerâ€™s name to my son, a police detective, to check on. Everything came back clear. I suppose this extra measure of caution was due to finding the previous ownerâ€™s U.S. Passport secreted away in the camera backpack! I canâ€™t imagine leaving that behind, can you?