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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> Lens Ripoff?
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08/06/2005 09:18:05 PM · #1
Today I went to my local photography store (which was amazing, I was in heaven) to get something besides the kit lens for my 300d. I spent 30 minutes talking to the lady about finding a zoom lens in my price range. I ended up deciding on the "Tamron AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II for Canon" with the steep price of 499.99. She gave me a 350d to test it out on in the parking lot and it seems like a really nice lens. Anyways, I get to work and am looking for info on the lens online and I find that Ritz Camera is selling what I think is the same lens for 399.99 in their online store. Is this the same lens and did I get ripped off? My problem is that if I return it I have to pay a 10% restocking fee, which will be like $50+. What should I do?

Message edited by author 2005-08-06 21:18:42.
08/06/2005 09:23:05 PM · #2
Yes it's the same lens,
if you buy from bugdig.com, then it's about $369 including shipping.
As for if it's worth returning or not, that's upto you.

As an FYI, most store charge more than internet stores. Supposed to do with overhead and stuff. Whether the convinence is worth the extra dough to you or not is very individual.

Message edited by author 2005-08-06 21:24:34.
08/06/2005 09:29:24 PM · #3
$399 is the going price online for many dealers.
I never buy anything without first checking B & H Photo and video to see what you can get it for from a good dealer.
08/06/2005 09:32:10 PM · #4
It is a very nice lens. I have been reading the reviews on it. Sorry to here you paid $499.99 for it. Our local wolfcamera and ritz want $399.99 for it and B&H wants $399.99. It is a new lens I think it came out in the spring of 2005. The only problem I have is the fact I have not been able to see a MTF chart on the lens yet. But the link below has some good links explaining the lens.

The Di II makes the 200mm almost equal to 300mm. Here is a link to the tamron site about that lens.
08/06/2005 09:32:32 PM · #5
Store have more expense than website. If we don't encourage them by buying our stuff there, someday there won't be no more store. And once there will be no more store, how can anybody can try a lense in the parking lot on a 350D in order to be sure to buy the right thing? I buy all my stuff at the local photography store. the 350d all my lenses my flash even my CF card and when there is a big difference in prices I telle them and usually they do their best to match. They can't match it each time but having the opportunity to see, try, feel the material before buying it, having someone to answer questions one on one and to handle the service and to fight with the company for you is worth a few dollars more.
08/06/2005 09:35:17 PM · #6
The photography store in my town is like that too....usually MUCH more expensive....usually because they don't buy large quantities so usually can't sell for them as cheap online (unless you're B&H!) I just ordered a tamron 28-75 (was suppose to be here this week, but not until next week) and I'm paying a little more for it....but I was able to put a down payment on it and I'll pay it off either next payday or the following one....which I can't do online. Now I will tell you...when I called Romo (town photo shop) I asked him if they had it and he's like..."Oh, we don't have it but I can order it and get here fairly quick"...I asked the price and he said..."I can get you one for under $1,000".....(mind you I had already researched it online)....I said, "Under a $1,000? I would think so....they're selling online for $389 and I don't have to pay sales tax"....he was a little taken back and starting searching (online, catalog, I don't know) and offered to sell it to me for a little above that because he couldn't even buy it for that through whoever they get their stuff from.

Just do your research before you buy :)

You can get it at buydig.com for $349.00.

OOPS...just saw someone else typed about buydig!



Message edited by author 2005-08-06 21:44:23.
08/06/2005 09:38:27 PM · #7
All local stores cost more. They cannot do the same kind of volume that online stores can, and because of this, they cannot get the same prices.
08/06/2005 09:39:42 PM · #8
My town has Samy's and a few independent stores. Not even Samy's have most of the lens that I have bought. No Bigma, 70-200 f2.8L, just mostly consumer level lens. I personally don't like the sales pressure and most of them seem to have an attitude, like unless you buy the lens that they make the most commission from, your choice of lens is bad or something.

I do my research online on price, handling, and optics then order from a reputable online store, usually an east coast brick and mortar store with an online business as well. I see no reason to support these stores that doesn't even serve my needs to look at lenses.
08/06/2005 09:43:08 PM · #9
Can anyone find a MTF chart on the "Tamron AF 18-200mm f/3.5-6.3 XR Di II for Canon" I have been looking all day for the chart.
08/06/2005 09:59:25 PM · #10
lesson here... check online, lol
08/06/2005 11:03:20 PM · #11
Some Test Results

08/06/2005 11:09:27 PM · #12
There's a lot to be said for supporting your local camera store. I don't buy all my stuff there, but my local store (Camera Company, 3 stores in Madison) has some good, smart people there. They do all my prints, and I spend a significant amount of $$ on accessories too. I like supporting the local guy, understanding from the start that they simply cannot compete with the prices of the dot-com online stores.
08/06/2005 11:12:25 PM · #13
Was this National Camera? Their prices are generally well over what's online. I wouldn't mind paying a little more for help if I needed it but seeing as how I generally know what I want when I'm ready to buy (having done the research online), I'm not really up for paying $100 over.
08/06/2005 11:34:23 PM · #14
I hate buying from the local camera store. They are so expensive. I'm willing to pay a bit more to have it right now than what I can get it for online, but not more than 15%.

The local store has a website and their prices online are typically close to B&H and other big retailers, but the in-store prices are typically quite a bit higher, in some cases, ridiculously so.
08/07/2005 01:46:54 AM · #15
Originally posted by mk:

Was this National Camera? Their prices are generally well over what's online. I wouldn't mind paying a little more for help if I needed it but seeing as how I generally know what I want when I'm ready to buy (having done the research online), I'm not really up for paying $100 over.


Hey mk, I forgot about National Camera...I ended up going over to West Photo on University. Nice store, nice people, talked about lenses with the lady for about 30 minutes and what to buy in my price range.

Was it nice to be able to test out the lens? Yes. Was the experience worth $150? Nope. Might have to take this back, pay the restock fee, and buy online. I hate to do it but with my budget I can put that $100 towards a camera bag or a 50mm prime lens. In trying this lens I also learned I should find something with an IS.
08/07/2005 01:56:45 AM · #16
I usually don't buy big ticket items at the local store, except for cameras, where they seem to be competitive, but I buy most of my little stuff, filters, lenscaps, etc. I feel it's important to support them as much as I can, but when it comes down to several hundred dollars on a lens I'm not that generous.
08/07/2005 02:50:08 AM · #17
I think yido meant buydig.com, just for the correction.

The local camera shop here (Bel Air Camera) charges an exorbitant amount of mark-up. I know it's good to encourage them to stay in town - and I'd be willing to pay maybe $30 markup or so.. but sometimes it is just as you mentioned - $100 over what I can find online.
08/08/2005 01:00:13 PM · #18
Originally posted by JordanZ:



Hey mk, I forgot about National Camera...I ended up going over to West Photo on University. Nice store, nice people, talked about lenses with the lady for about 30 minutes and what to buy in my price range.

Was it nice to be able to test out the lens? Yes. Was the experience worth $150? Nope. Might have to take this back, pay the restock fee, and buy online. I hate to do it but with my budget I can put that $100 towards a camera bag or a 50mm prime lens. In trying this lens I also learned I should find something with an IS.


I like West Photo. I've also shopped at National Camera (in Roseville). I think West Photo's staff was friendlier, more helpful, more experienced. I'm not so keen on Ritz/Wolf.

I've bought 2 lenses at West, one at National and 2 lenses over the Internet - 1 at Amazon and 1 at BH (70-300MM DO). I buy local if I can (if it's in stock) and otherwise by via the Internet.

I've not been too unhappy with the local pricing - I know I'm paying for instant gratification and the ability to be hands-on with the lens before I purchase it. Also, given that they don't have prices publicly posted, you might want to come in with your list in hand of lenses you're considering and the Internet price range. That way it's clear that you are aware of the going prices and probably won't tolerate an unreasonable markup.
08/08/2005 01:08:47 PM · #19
Ask yourself this.

Have you ever paid too much for something you really enjoyed?

That thought somewhat lessens my bitterness when I find a lower price on an equal item.
08/08/2005 02:02:32 PM · #20
To provide a counterpoint to the "local price is always higher" view, I do business with Calumet in Bensenville (the smaller of their two Chicago locations, and 10 minutes from my office). I find that on some items, they are too expensive, but on many items they are quite competitive. I bought my 24-70/2.8L from them, and paid about $70 more than B&H, but had all the advantages of a local, knowledgeable "pro" shop. I really like the team over at Calumet, and will do business with them again.
I was looking to purchase a Canon 1.4x II teleconverter recently and Calumet was too high ($399 vs. $279 on B&H). It pays to check each item, no matter which brick & mortar retailer yoiu're dealing with.
08/09/2005 12:41:59 PM · #21
Originally posted by spease:

I never buy anything without first checking B & H Photo and video ...


Thank you.
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