How to Buy Used and Refurbished Cameras and Lenses

Sometimes buying renewed or refurbished cameras and lenses is better than buying them new.

“But it’s so expensive,” is what everyone says when a new camera or lens goes on sale. And so I’d like to welcome you to the world of photography that Leica users have known for years. There is a massive benefit to the used and refurbished market for this reason. Don’t want to pay $3,000 for that new Sony lens? Do you think the Canon R5 is way too much money? Well, focusing on the original price point, I think, is sometimes excessive. It gets in the way of having that new camera or lens. The truth is that people are switching systems all the time, so you can always get a camera or lens at a lower price on the second-hand market. And in the case of refurbished cameras and lenses, sometimes they’re in fantastic condition.

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Why Is the Leica M6 so Popular? Is It Overhyped?

Speaking as an owner, you’ll take my Leica M6 from my cold, dead hands. And even then, you’ll need to have a boss fight with my ghost for it. The Leica M6 is a fantastic camera that lots of photographers love. It’s incredibly popular among film shooters. A few years ago, photographers would’ve said that the Leica M4-P would’ve been Leica’s most popular camera ever. But arguably speaking, the Leica M6 is better. I’ve owned one for years now. Is it the perfect Leica M camera? Not at all. But in the film world, it’s pretty darned close.

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How to Stop Being Bored with a Standard 50mm Lens

The 50mm lens puts photographers into one of two camps. Some subscribe to it like they’re going to church. They listen to its every word and receive joy similar to being part of a passionate community. Other photographers think the 50mm lens is also like church, but they’re the folks who sleep during the sermon until someone lets them know they’re snoring. Those people will keep a 50mm lens around just because they might need one. But in the past few years, I’ve found ways to make the 50mm lens less boring.

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How To Clean Camera Lenses. Over 15 Experts Give Feedback

Recently, I saw a heartbreaking post on a Facebook group about cleaning a vintage camera lens with Hydrogen Peroxide. The photographer wanted to get rid of fungus on the lens. But instead, they ended up destroying the optics. They cited photographers on YouTube who say this is the thing to do. And unfortunately, that’s the problem. Lots of photographers on YouTube aren’t experts. If you wanted official information on something more pressing, it’s often best to check out .edu, .org. or .gov websites. Don’t get me wrong, we’re a .com website. But we’re also an accredited source of information. And besides, over the past decade, we’ve asked some of the best and brightest minds how to do this.

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Do You Still Hate Cameras with Electronic Viewfinders? Try This

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There are still photographers who hate electronic viewfinders (EVFs). They just can’t get used to them. But sometimes, I think that it’s part of just not adapting and embracing what’s possible. I myself love electronic viewfinders. They’ve revolutionized how much easier it’s become for someone legally blind (me) to use a camera. But at the same time, I keep them functioning like optical viewfinders. Technologically, they’re superior to optical viewfinders. They’re also better if you understand them. So I’m going to help some folks understand electronic viewfinders better.

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Do Clear Filters Affect Image Quality? You’d Be Shocked at the Truth

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Years ago, photographers stopped using UV filters on their lenses. It affected image quality way too much, and we often didn’t need them. UV filters originally protected the image quality from UV rays. But lens technology became so good that they were no longer needed. So, they evolved to become protective filters. Essentially, if the front of your lens took a ding, the UV filter would protect it. In the past few years, photographers stopped using them. Indeed, when I started my career 14 years ago, I swore by UV filters. I remember them protecting my camera as it took a major tumble. But these days? Not so much. And believe it or not, clear filters can affect your image quality.

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The Reasons Why LEDs Won’t Beat Flash Photography, Yet

If I had a nickel for every marketing rep who told me the industry is moving away from strobes and towards LEDs, I’d be rich. LEDs are great. They are easier to work with if you’re indoors as they offer tons of control over the light. They’re also great if you’re shooting outdoors at night. But the truth is that not everything happens at that time. You can sit there and spend hours in Photoshop editing an image to fix the exposure and introduce lighting that wasn’t there, but then it looks fake. Most of all, you’re turning a three-hour photography session into an even longer process. Why do we have to work excessively for the shot?

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How to Use the Leica SL2-S for Photojournalism: A Guide

We’re streaming daily on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsStitcherPocket Casts, and Spotify! You can also listen to it right here on The Phoblographer.

The Leica SL2-S has quickly become one of my favorite cameras. It’s got character, it feels great, and more importantly, it’s far different than all other cameras on the market. If a lot of cameras on the market are boring you, then the Leica SL2-S is probably what you want. It’s one of the reasons I picked it up. I’ve been using it for almost a year for various tests and shoots. I really like it.

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How to Ask a Stranger for a Portrait. The Psychology of Street Portraits

It starts out with an understanding that we’re all human beings, and it’s not all that difficult.

Fact: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Asking a stranger for a portrait isn’t as difficult as it seems. And like anything, you sometimes just need to prep for it. But a few bad photographers have given the rest of us a horrible reputation. In truth, it’s not hard to ask someone for their portrait. Sometimes they’ll say no, and other times they’ll say yes. But it’s the approach that matters. We’re going to quickly run through that in this article.

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Should You Really Use a Macro Lens for Portrait Photography?

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There are lots of photographers who have used 90mm macro lenses for portrait photography over the years. Logically speaking, it just makes sense. Most macro lenses are handy. In fact, they’re arguably the most useful lenses because of everything they can do. But some Macro lenses are better than others. We’ve tested loads of Macro lenses, and in many situations, we’ve used them for portraits, macro photography, and a lot more. In our search engine, folks were wondering if these lenses are great for portrait photography. So let’s go through it.

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We Challenge You to Identify the Fujifilm Negative Film vs Simulation

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The sad truth is that film photography genuinely needs to evolve. Fujifilm and a few other brands have been trying to push that evolution over the years. But digital will always find a way to catch up. Right? Well, that might not be the case. The social media conversations around the film photography world is rife with lies. We’re going to explain this further after the jump. We invite you to check out what we have to say.

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Canon Picture Styles Help You Make Your Images Less Boring

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Canon cameras are pretty great at what they do. But sometimes they stick to a very old-school idea of perfection in their images (well, their sensors do). And if you use cameras from Panasonic, Olympus, or Fujifilm, it’s easy to get spoiled with the unique image quality. But lots of folks forget you can tweak Picture Styles in the Canon menu. What’s more, that image quality will mostly translate into the RAW files. So you can tweak as much as you’d like and still enjoy what comes out. In my explorations, I’ve tried to find ways to make the images look like a film stock of some sort, and have come pretty close to Fujifilm Superia. Here’s what I did.

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Is Polaroid Actually Real Film? Comparing Polaroid, Instax, and Zink

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Instant film is fun in so many different ways. You can shoot a photo of someone and give them the print. You can capture fun memories with it at parties. And you can just plain out have fun while shooting with it. But it’s not all created equal. In fact, some instant film is better than others. So we dove into our archives of reviews to compare Polaroid, Instax, and Zink. Some of it is real film. And some of it is pretty awful and mixed in with terrible marketing. Instant film can make you feel great. But it can also let you down. Here’s some of the truth about it.

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How to Shoot Better Portraits with Your APS-C Camera

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The world loves to hate on APS-C cameras. But I think the hate is often misplaced and wrong. APS-C cameras can do a wonderful job with image quality. More importantly, they’re usually some of the leading options for press photographers. Because you folks were curious about this and put it into our search engine, we’re helping you get better portraits with an APS-C camera. Take a look and our tips, and hopefully you’ll find them helpful.

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The Lost Art of Freelensing. How to Get the Tilt-Shift Look in a Crafty Way

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Freelensing is a trick that’s been long forgotten. A while ago, it was very fun to do. It delivered a completely different, creative look that many of us loved. But I haven’t seen the photography community do it in a very long time. So in this post, I’m going to talk about freelensing, give a few tips, and tell you some of the best gear you can use to do it all for yourself.

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You Quit Your Day Job to Become a Photographer. Now What?

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The daily grind is something we all hate. You probably quit your day job recently because you’re very sick of how things work after the pandemic. The world helped you open up your eyes a lot more. Thus, you set about wanting to go after your dream: you want to be a professional photographer. So what do you do? Being a photographer is absolutely a job and a hard one at that. But you can make it easier on yourself.

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A Handy Guide to Shooting Film for the New Film Photographer

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The world of film photography has returned. (We’ve only been clamoring about it for years now.) It’s finally at a place where it’s stable enough to live alongside digital. Lots of us shoot film because it’s different. It’s fun, and we get into a totally different mindset when we do it. You have to think about it in a different way. You’re forced to create in a unique way. So we’re exploring and sharing a quick guide to shooting film if you’re new to it.

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Don’t Forget These Important Tips When Photographing the Fireworks

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Celebration time is coming up! For some of us in Canada and the United States, it will be Independence Day very soon! That will mean we’ll be photographing a lot of fireworks. The year 2021 will be special for lots of us too. I’ll be super happy to shoot fireworks on the 4th of July. So we dove into our archives to find some essential tips for photographing the fireworks. Take a look!

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Why the Mamiya 6 Is So Perfect and Can Make You a Better Photographer

Very few cameras capture my heart like the Mamiya 6.

I was going to start this post by saying that if you’re bored and looking for a new camera, go grab a Mamiya 6. But the truth is that there’s no good reason not to grab a Mamiya 6. Is it pricey? Yeah, but it will be a fantastic learning tool for you. If you’ve never shot film, you’ll learn to get it right in-camera. If you’ve never composed using the square format, you’re in for a treat. It can change the way you look at all your scenes. Eventually, you’ll learn to appreciate the work of Wes Anderson so much more. And better yet, you’ll learn to shoot with a rangefinder. Rangefinder shooting forces you to either predict what’s going to happen or approach the world in a more creative way. Best of all, you’re manually focusing. And by doing that, you’re creating photos with intent. So here are other reasons why the Mamiya 6 is so great.

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Sick of High ISO Noise in Your Photos? Here are Solutions

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The biggest problem with high megapixel cameras is how they perform in low light. Many have high ISO noise that just isn’t that sightly. Granted, they’ve also done a great job controlling it. So if you want to get rid of high ISO noise without even using editing software, take a look at this guide below. 

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Shooting Photos With Expired Film. What You Need to Know

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If you’re one of the thousands of photographers who are brand new to shooting film, you’re very experimental. Some of you probably want those classic, vintage looks. So you’ll go shoot with expired film. But is it worth it to do so? Will you be wasting time instead? Is it easier to do it digitally? So we’re going to briefly go over expired film in this blog post. And hopefully, we’ll give you some clarity.

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