'Cheap Gear - Pricey Consequences'

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by RT_Panther, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    • Like Like x 1
  2. I definitely can relate to those experiences.. not just photography either.

    I can think of one thing I did that worked out to save money. Cheaper equipment equates to less to insure them against theft. Guaranteed savings on my policy
  3. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I can easily rebut that article:

    By buying generic 3rd party batteries, I've probably saved over $500 over the past decade compared to OEM batteries: I've gotten maybe 5% of those batteries that had either poor voltage, or shorter lifespan than the gear I was using them with. So that's maybe $25-30 wasted. Never have the cheap batteries harmed the gear they were used in. Net savings, perhaps $475.

    By buying used gear rather than new gear, I have probably saved around 35% in the purchase cost of my gear vs. new. Less than 10% of the used purchases have had any problems. Net savings, over 25% on several thousands of dollars spent on gear in the past decade - at least $1000 in savings overall.

    Overall, buying cheaper has saved me at least $1500 over the past several years.
    • Like Like x 4
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Nothing wrong buying cheap, buying smart is probably a better credo!
    • Like Like x 3
  5. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    Well I have used a lot of third party batteries and only had one fail on me after 5 years of use, I am pretty sure if you contact Nikon or whoever they will tell you how to tell if in doubt. It is common sense though I will buy third party products either from places or brands that have proved ok or by looking for decent reviews on places such as this. I do not get it took so long to change a battery in my camera though, it takes me seconds and in this situation you should have spare in a pocket. Also if a battery is untested surely you would not use it on an important job? I would question his can't get the camera repaired as in the UK the retailer is responsible for faulty goods so the shop should have sorted it for him. There is a saying if it looks too good it is too good to be true, again why buy a branded product like AA batts when there are enough reasonably priced ones from places like 7 day shop? I would be worried if I had hired this guy, he at best is unlucky, certainly does not seen to think things through, its a one off event you have to be doubly certain it will all work.
  6. speedandstyle

    speedandstyle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I had a bad experience with a cheap 3rd party battery. It charged OK and worked great once but when I tried to recharge it it gave a "charge error". I now only buy factory batteries. They do cost a bit more but I have never had an issue with one. I do go looking for the best buy on batteries however.

    I hardly ever buy brand new. I usually buy reconditioned or good used bodies, lenses and other higher priced accessories. I have saved hundreds this way. I have bought a grey market item or two but knew they were and knew the risk of no warranty. Luckily they worked fine.
  7. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    There is buying cheap and buying smart. Seems like a lot of people either go cheap as possible or pay full retail, they just feel uncomfortable in the middle. Good example are the aftermarket batteries. Someone will buy the absolute cheapest aftermarket battery they can find. They buy it, and it does turn out to be a dud, so from then on, factory only batteries till they die. There are plenty of aftermarket batteries that are very good quality, but it takes a bit of research.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    I've easily saved over $1000- in batteries the last 10 yrs.

    I can't understand who would buy non-nimh AA's for flash use. Eneloops work so much better than regular AA's.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. AceAceBaby

    AceAceBaby Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    Just about everything in that list applied to my Canon gear, and that all worked fine up to (and I'd assume after) it was all stolen.

    I haven't had any problems with Wasabi batteries for my Pens, either.
  10. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    Well, I've bought cheap Chinese gear like filters, tripods, hoods etc and the quality is hard to to predict. Sometimes I get lucky, other times I end up buying again from a reliable brand.
  11. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Sure, but my experience with the cheap Chinese gear has been that about 80-85% of it works fine, and the cost savings is usually significantly more than 50%. So net net, it still saves money.
  12. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I once paid $100 for a Sony battery and it didn't even last a year. Early Li-Ion technology. After that I started buying ebay specials for my compact cameras and later for my PEN gear.

    I buy cheap adapters for my cheap legacy lenses. Ebay is also a fun place to get step-up/step-down rings, body caps, rear caps, hoods, and remote trigger gadgets,

    However, I don't buy no-name power tools, crappy car tires, rebuilt water pumps, watery house paint, and cheap sump pumps. When it comes to labor, safety, and headaches, quality saves time and a return visit.
  13. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Obviously, this just gets back to buying smart. With power tools or tires, substandard product would clearly be a safety issue, and with house painting, the value of the labor far exceeds the value of the paint. That being said, with tires, the expensive brand may be an illusion, as the more costly brand tires are likely made on the same Korean production line to similar specs as the less costly Hankook or Kumho or Sumitomo tires.
  14. AceAceBaby

    AceAceBaby Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    To be fair, the article was written by someone who makes his living with his equipment, and I can see that you definitely don't want to bet on off-brand, though you could argue that with the savings, you could double up on everything and have a bag full of spares in case of failures. Even OEM equipment can fail in the moment, and a good warranty doesn't help to keep you working the wedding etc.
    • Like Like x 1
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