Say Cheese

May 29, 2010 at 2:04 am 1 comment

I mentioned previously that I’ve had a camera since age 8. About five years ago, I made the big leap from 35mm to digital.

I know we are not supposed to love things. But. I loved my Olympus, like an adorable pet, like an old comfy friend, like a cherished Christmas-morn toy.

It took a lot of convincing to get me to set my beloved Olympus (and it’s wonderful zoom and macro lenses purchased over the years) aside, and it took a lot of money to get a digital camera that would give me the quality and versatility I was used to. The keys to purchasing something new were the assurances (from the camera seller at Ritz Camera) that (1) digital cameras had become capable of providing the same quality and (2) the camera I was purchasing offered a variety of lens attachments that could be purchased later.

Now, I will admit the quality is there. And of course, the ability to know you got a shot before waiting to get pix developed is fantastic. Similarly, eliminating that sickening moment of realization that the film had not caught and advanced properly is beyond awesome.

Yesterday, I decided it was time to pick up an accessory lens. I’m heading on a vacation of a lifetime soon (walking tour in Ireland). And, if that doesn’t warrant a bit of a splurge on camera accessories, I don’t know what does.

I returned to Ritz. Not the same store where I bought the camera, but the same chain. They’d be able to help, right? They’d be able to fulfill the promises they made when I purchased the camera, right?

I began by asking if there was any possibility to get an adapter to put old Olympus lenses onto a Canon. Clerk 1 says no. I ask if it’s possible to buy a digital Olympus base that would take old Olympus lenses. She said maybe but she’d need to see the lenses. (Okay, you’re a kid who doesn’t know cameras all that well, that’s fair.) I asked what lenses they had available for a Canon G5. She told me that camera won’t take any other lenses.

I explained that, when I bought the camera (at a Ritz), I was assured I’d be able to buy lenses.

Clerk 1 asked Clerk 2. Clerk 2 explained that my camera can sort of take other lenses but you need an adapter and the lenses aren’t very good and the lenses are quite expensive for the quality you’d get.

Okay, well, can I see what you have?

“No, we’re in a tiff with Canon and aren’t selling any Canon lenses right now.”

Hmm. Can you show me any of the newer cameras that WILL take additional good lenses?

Clerk 1 gestured at the display case and then looked at me expectantly. I asked her to please pick one out to show me.

So, I looked, but there was pretty much no way I could rationalize buying an entirely new camera (plus lenses). It’s not just the cost; it would feel wasteful when I’ve already got a “good” camera, y’know?   

I was about to leave and had a thought:  Do you have any kind of trade-in program? They do! Can you tell me the trade-in value of my G5? Well, it depends on the condition. Well, can you give me a ballpark? Um, no. Well, could you look it up? Let’s pretend it’s in mint condition, just to give me a ballpark number.

I waited 10 minutes for “the program to load.”

And, going just short of a giving me a drumroll, Clerk 1 announced . . . $36.

I laughed out loud. Yes, you could characterize the sound as a guffaw.

I bought a good camera for nearly $800. A replacement plus a lens attachment is going to cost me about $1,000. And the trade in (for the camera you sold me by telling me I’d be able to purchase a variety of lenses) is $36?

Clerk 1 did not see the humor in this. She even felt compelled to underline the fact that I’d only get $36 if the camera was in mint condition. I really did try to stifle the next laugh. She looked a bit offended, poor thing.

Boy, it seems crazy that Ritz stores are going out of business everywhere, don’t it?

So, for now, I’ll stick with what I have. I have no tiff with Canon. But I still love my Olympus more.

Are there any good camera stores left? You know, some small shop tucked away somewhere, run by some old guy who actually knows something about cameras and appreciates photography? If you know of one, please share.

Entry filed under: Humor - Commentary. Tags: , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Alecia  |  August 7, 2010 at 3:53 am

    Just this week I did a beginner workshop with a local (Saxonburg) photographer, and she, as well as everyone in the class but me, had Canons. And the reason they all had them was because of the interchangeability of the lenses. One gal is even using lenses she had for her Canon film camera on the new DSLR, with no appreciable loss in quality.

    I know it’s too late now for your walking tour, but it’s obvious that the kids at Ritz have no idea what they’re talking about.

    Like

    Reply

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