Almost There!

Some minor hiccups have this blog migration to its new home have caused some delays and off-scheduled postings hitting the web.  One that was scheduled for Tuesday never went live, and the others got pushed back too.

So, in the interests of not hitting the email subscription base with a lot all at once, I’ve pulled the remaining posts and will have them go live next Monday (possibly over the weekend as well), to ensure the gear reviews get their fair share of “air time”.  I know some will be very interested in reading about the Sigma 85mm f1.4 I’ve had on loan for a few months here now (being returned to Sigma on Monday).

In any case, thanks for all your patience as I sort out these snafus and hopefully return to a regular blogging schedule come Monday!  Have a great weekend all!

Garage Sale Deals of a Lifetime!

The gear from REI

When I was a kid, I fell in love with backpacking, camping, and being in the great outdoors.  My dad taught me essential life skills from as early as I can remember, including compass courses, land navigation, eating and living off the land.  Much like what Rangers do in training, but to a less intensive degree…

So, when I started getting back into it as an adult, nearly all my gear was too small for me – you grow a lot between 12-41!  I became acutely aware of that when I resumed the camping gig two years ago with the family canoe trips!  I struggled through a few years of “making do” with loaner stuff, and trying to eke one more use out of 30 year old equipment.  Just as I browse the clearance racks of B&H Photo, the walls of REI (with a main branch office right here in Denver) have also kept my eye.

Then, just this last weekend – REI had one of their apparently quite popular Garage Sales – members get exclusive access to some pretty amazing deals from returns.  After learning the hard way with camera gear (that used sometimes is better than new!), I decided to take a peak:

The gear from REI

  • Backpack – Retail $299 – Used once $49.95 (broken zipper)
  • Compact Air Matress – Retail $99 – Used once (no leaks – verified) $10
  • Long 20 degree sleeping bag – Retail $150 – Used once $30
  • AsoloFlame Hiking Boots – Retail $159.99 – Used once $59.99

When you think about it, the net results are pretty staggering.  Consider that I bought gear which at retail prices would have totaled $708.  I spent about $150 on the full set, and another $35 in cleaning and repairs (laundered the bag myself, the zipper fixed for $15, and the boots cleaned for $20).  That means I saved $523!  That’s 74% off!

If I was smart, I’d have done the same with photography.  Think about it…who cares if the tripod has a nick on one leg, or your camera body as a cosmetic scratch on one corner.  Even camera bags can get obscenely expensive.  My last camera bag I bought I paid nearly $400 for!  I probably could have found one with a busted zipper or whatever for 74% off.  Save your money where you can folks – that’s the tip here for the day.  Do we want nice and shiny stuff?  Sure!  But the question is – do we need it?  Not when I can save over $500!

So, shop around – look at Craigslist, see what’s on Flea Bay!  Heck, there’s even some good used gear that pro shops sell used – or even rental houses.  Just stick with reputable outfits and you’ll never go wrong.  But always consider going used – the gear will likely work the same, and you save a few bucks!

What did YOU do this weekend?


Every weekend, I try to devote some time to coming up with some good ideas and content for the blog.  It’s almost always photo-related, with something along the lines of a tip, idea, suggestion, or approach.  If nothing like that is in the coffers, gear reviews, product analyses, and other industry hitting events will often “grace the stage”.

Today, no such luck.  I had neither the resources to create anything (camera gear is all packed up – you’ll see why shortly), nor the time to really review or research industry happenings.  Instead, just a quick video of what I ended up doing all weekend!  (Trust me, it was not just frogging around and being lazy!)

And for the record – I [b]hate[/b] carpet tack strips! 🙂

What did you do this weekend?  Share your own weekend frivolities, photo escapades, or other nuggets in the comments! 🙂

Happy shooting, and I promise to be back again with some real content and not this frivolous stuff (although these are usually the ones people seem to enjoy the most – go figure!)