is great for bower birds. Collectors all of us, with items kept long after
their usefulness has waned. Some of it has become surplus to requirements,
some of it is broken and not worth repairing or too difficult to get
repaired in this country, and much has become redundant because you have
changed camera systems, or even changed complete formats (6x6 to 35 mm for
I found myself in that situation a couple of years back after purchasing my
Panasonic Lumix Digital DMC-FZ50. It took a year of deliberation (some might
call it ‘hesitation’ or just plain ‘dithering’) before I made the fateful
decision to a) go digital and b) go Lumix, after more than 20 years of using
Of course, some of you will ask why didn’t I stay with Nikon, with its full
range of digital SLRs? Good question, but easily answered. The upper level
Nikons are now very expensive, and whilst I had some excellent Nikon manual
focus prime lenses, they were not going to be all that compatible with the
new Nikon digital auto-focus systems.
That also brings in one of the salient reasons in the purchase of the Lumix
- the fantastic 35-420 Leica zoom lens that comes with the Panasonic Lumix,
coupled with the electronic anti-shake technology so you can hand hold, even
at 420 mm. With digitals these days, I believe that you are best served with
electronics from an electronic company, with lenses from an optical company.
The Lumix definitely fits that.
Having made the irrevocable decision, I looked at my now defunct Nikon 35 mm
film system. I had two cameras, a much loved FM2N, and an FA. The FM2N was
the typical journalist’s workhorse with more rolls of film through it than
I’ve had hot dinners, whilst the FA was the back up. Only thing was the FA
was no longer working, having some kind of internal problem, by which the
mirror was locked in the “up” mode.
The lenses were a 24 mm wide angle, old and growing its second crop of
fungus (the first was cleaned off about five years ago), a 50 mm ‘standard’
lens and a 135 mm ‘portrait’ lens. I also had a spacer for macro work, which
was also very old, but was the good one that still allowed the auto exposure
function to work.
Quite frankly, as far as I was concerned, these items were now surplus and
it was going to be very unlikely that I would use any of it again (although
I would still take the FM2N out of its bag and lovingly stroke it every so
It was at that stage that a good friend of mine suggested I sell the surplus
items, and said that he had excellent results selling items on eBay in the
UK. He was returning to the UK himself and offered to sell them, and I
thought, “Why not? I’m getting nothing for them sitting in the old camera
He had been back a couple of weeks when I got the following email:
That little lot came to 325 pounds sterling, which at current exchange rates
is around 17,000 baht, which certainly made purchase of the Lumix a breeze
His advice for anyone contemplating selling via eBay was to take good photos
of the items for sale, and be scrupulously honest in the descriptions. If
the item is broken, or scratched or repaired or whatever, declare its
condition truthfully and this avoids come-backs later.
The lenses all went for very good money, though I would have thought the 135
mm would have been more desirable than the 50 mm, but the 24 mm did attract
the highest bid, as I thought it would.
The moral to this tale, is to look at the old camera gear, broken or
otherwise and clear out the cupboard and sell it. You will get more than you
ever imagined, but it certainly helped having a friend, a regular eBay user,
and stationed in the UK.