Gray market : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

This is really a comment, not a question. One thing to realize is that the USA market is where the BIG BUCKS are, so it shouldn't be a shock that we see high mark ups from the manufacturer's official USA distribution/marketting apparatus and it's suppoorting deealers. Additionally, price differentiation is an economic reality across all classes and types of consumer products. While I sense this Q&A forum mostly involves "starving artist" type photographers, some people out there do have LOTS of cash for gear. Keep in mind that not everyone is trying to jury-rig an 50-year-old piece of glass onto a 60 year-old-camera. Or put another way, why does Schneider USA charge $2279 (B&H markup price) for a Schneider 110mm XL? Because they (and B&H) can get it!

I also think much of the money issue boils down to priorites. While we all spend money on photography, we also spend it on other things. How many of us drop $50 on diner and a movie with a special someone, are driving expensive vehicles, live in more house/apt. than we "need," decide to create and care for babies, have nice furniture and stylish cloths, stay in hotels instead of camp out, ... etc? The answer is a lot of us. So it's not an issue of money per se, it's the priority we place on our photography vis-a-vis other areas of life.

Like for me, if it's a choice between a new Ethan Allen leather sofa, or a new lens and a sofa from the thrift store, it will be the latter every time. I'll eat Ramen noodles and even cut the beer budget to save for camera gear - it's that important!

Hope this helps!


-- todd tiffan (, February 26, 2000


Ramen noodles every day, in exchange for a lens? Hmmmm....the couch one I'll buy into, because if you have the lens you won't be home sitting around on the couch. I too love photography, butI like food even more, so the Ramen one would be hard for me to swallow! Your post shows the incredible committment people have towards photography, almost like a drug addiction, except slightly healthier....assuming you don't go broke and die from mal nutrition.

As for your comments, remember, sometimes the richest people are the tightest of all with their bucks. I have shot with several millionaires that only buy things used or imported, they refuse to pay top dollar for anything.. including their new Mercedes.... it came from some crazy over seas deal. My point is, all kinds of people are watching the buck... and it seems with the internet, doing business overseas with a credit card is reasonably safe. If you have a problem, call your bank and cancel the charges! I know people who bought entire outfits on the internet (overseas) that cost $20K on up.

-- Bill Glickman (, February 26, 2000.

You think people scrimp to afford photo gear? You should see us, with photo stuff for both of us and sailboats too! Both are serious addictions- Talk about eating Ramen noodles!

-- Charlie Jones (, February 26, 2000.

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