Deciding on a new lens is hard. There are many options and many factors to consider, such as your photographic style, cost, and build quality.
My approach is to look at times when there are photos I have missed due to not having a particular capability in my kit. The area that I’ve noticed this of late has been at the wide end of the spectrum. I own a wide angle lens, but as it is the kit lens, it doesn’t spend much time on the camera. Time for an upgrade.
Once I decided on the lens, purchasing it becomes tricky. The cost of buying glass in Melbourne is not small if you walk into a camera store. I was lucky enough to be flying through Hong Kong and Canada, so had some more options.
Here is a comparison of prices I found when hunting, to give you an idea of the differences:
- $1,439.00 Canon recommended retail price
- $955 + shipping, photobuff, Australian online retailer
- $918 Don’s photo, downtown Winnipeg
- $900.00 Hong Kong shops, Stanley Street in Central
- $851.00 + shipping + maybe import tax, mpex.com, US online retailer
- $799 + $80 shipping + maybe import tax, ebay.com.au, via HK online retailer
There is also the fun of calculating various taxes, and considering the risk associated with returns and warranty claims. In the past, I bought my 70-200 f/4 from mpex.com and had no problems with shipping.
This time, I collected the lens from Don’s Photo in Winnipeg as there were a few other bits I also wanted to grab. They ended up doing me a good deal on the whole sale, and I’m confident that I can return it to them should there be a need.
The process is simply too hard. Unfortunately, due to the cost of glass in Australia, I’m likely to have to revisit this process on my next purchase.
If you know any other places to get reliable and cheap sales of Canon lenses, let me know in the comments.