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FORUMS Marketplace & Market Info Market Watch 
Thread started 30 Sep 2013 (Monday) 18:40
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So I'm Fairly Certain This Post Fits Market Watch

 
MDJAK
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Sep 30, 2013 18:40 |  #1

I think it goes without saying (then why am I saying it?) that many of us are viewers of the for sale threads here. All one has to do is look at the number of members viewing the for sale section to see it is very popular.

One trend I've noticed for quite some time now is the, I don't want to say inability, but the great difficulty in selling lighting equipment, whether it be monolights, packs, and especially modifiers, from soft boxes and on and on.

To what phenomena can we attribute this?

I feel it's different than most other items that languish: those suffer from a disease called high pricitis. ;)

For instance, the 85L 1.2, a much sought after lens, in the past few years has lost value on the resale side. And that's fine. The market dictates the price. I sold one some years ago for the then going price of $1800. Now the same lens moves for closer to 1600 and under.

The G&N section has many, many viewers and many who long to do that type of shooting and want studio lights, strobes, etc. However, post one for sale and you've not only got to basically give it away to move it, you've figuratively gotta pay someone to take it off your hands.

Case in point. A very large stripbox, very high quality, along with a grid, speedring, etc, is currently for sale from a well established member. He's offering (if you include sales tax one would pay a store), the box for almost half price. That would be the equivalent of the 85L 1.2 selling for 1200, in which case there'd be a stampede of buyers. Yet, it sits and doesn't sell.

I myself have purchased studio lights at B&H over the years, first two Elinchrom 600 rx monolights, and then the Eli Quadra kit. I eventually sold the Quadra kit, but only by offering a SUBSTANTIAL discount off new. And it was mint and as good as new, almost never used.

So, my fellow forum members, who by now are bored to tears with my rambling, if youv'e gotten this far, to what do you attribute the extreme difficulty in selling studio lighting and modifiers, even at very fair discounted prices?




  
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va_rider
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Sep 30, 2013 18:43 |  #2

Everyone would buy a 85L for the right price... Not everyone is into studio equipment.


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pdrober2
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Sep 30, 2013 19:18 |  #3

As a hobbyist I have little interest in lighting. To be honest, the vast array of brands, models and different types is daunting to me. In addition, I mostly just shoot my kids in natural light. However, I know all about the 85L and other sought-after glass. I believe more hobbyists will shell out big money for lenses since we have little need for studio lighting.


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BTNorris
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Sep 30, 2013 19:22 as a reply to  @ va_rider's post |  #4

1) I want a strip box sometime soon.

2) I saw that item.

3) I thought: Is this the right one for me? (maybe!)

4) Ughhhh... I need to get a speed ring to work with my lights.

4a) I wonder how much that'll cost?

5) Well, I could do some researc.... Oh, look, there's something shiny!!

{And if we are talking the same listing, it was 2/3, not 1/2 price}

In any case, if you need 85mm, there aren't too many choices and the results are pretty predictable. If you need a light modifier, well, for good and bad, there's a lot of options not all of which work together (without adapters) and may or may not be too different than what you already have.


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MDJAK
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Sep 30, 2013 19:26 |  #5

excellent replies thus far.

Kindly allow me to steer the discussion a bit. I used the 85L and the stripbox as mere examples. Don't get hung up on those items.

I'm speaking more about strobes and modifiers really.

I got into them many years ago when a former member here out of the blue invited me to their studio to shoot some models. After using her PW to control her strobes, one of which was attached to a beauty dish, and seeing the absolutely amazingly sharp results I got, I was sold and went out and purchased lights. Now that I rarely use them, I feel kind of stuck with them, yet people do a lot of model shooting and need them. Or at least it seems.




  
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Sep 30, 2013 20:39 |  #6

I think it has to do with the wider audience, so to speak, for lenses and more 'common' photography items. As you mention in the previous post, people who do a lot of model shooting need them. That's only a small subset of photographers, though. *ALL* SLR photographers use lenses, so your potential customer pool goes from that small subset to pretty much everyone, thus greatly increasing the likelihood of sale.

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princer7
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Sep 30, 2013 21:46 |  #7

Maybe the expectancy of high shipping charges for long or bulky items? Uncertainty of flash bulb damage in transit? The studio items I have sold went fairly quickly on Craigslist or local photo forum.


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M_Six
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Sep 30, 2013 22:27 |  #8

I bought a 430EXII a couple of years ago. I bet it has less than 50 pops on it. Maybe a lot less. I'm very much an existing light shooter. I have several nice lenses and I'm always looking out for good deals there. But added lighting just isn't my thing. Maybe that will change now that I'm dipping my toes into the Macro world.


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GaryS1964
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Sep 30, 2013 22:54 |  #9

va_rider wrote in post #16336737 (external link)
Not everyone is into studio equipment.

+1

I don't know if there has ever been a survey of how many members are pros with studios and how many are pros who don't have a studio and how many are amateurs. My guess is pros with studios make up a small segment of the P.O.T.N. membership.


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bps
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Sep 30, 2013 23:04 |  #10

I think this is a great discussion.

In my opinion, lack of movement is due to the fact that a large percentage of folks surfing the For Sale forum are hobbyists and have not dived into the world of creating your own light. As for all of the folks out there shooting with lights and modifiers, there are quite a few of them, but they already have lights and modifiers in hand...so they aren't necessarily shopping for them (as much) compared to folks looking for lenses and camera bodies.

It's a small market where demand is not that high.

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baj2k
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Oct 01, 2013 00:12 |  #11

I agree with the "most of us are semi-pro or hobbyists" (spellcheck liked Hobbits better than hobbyists when I spelled it "hobbists" :D ) theory. As another poster said lighting can be very daunting to the non-pro... like me for instance I have no idea what to get... I'd love to get a green screen, strobes, modifiers, reflectors, and such but it's a lot of gear, it's expensive and I don't know how much I'd use it. And if I get the "wrong" stuff (off-brand as my Grandma used to call it) then nobody will buy it when you want to resell it. I wish there was a good guide somewhere that led us "semi's" into a gradual studio gear set-up... get this first, then this, then this, that, and the other thing, tutorial or book.

Bottom line is I know when I buy an expensive lens I'll use it often, and in the event that I don't, there's usually a fairly sizable market out there to sell it to at a fair price. With lighting and studio gear if you decide it's not for you then you're usually selling to the "pro's" and they tend to want very specific items, for rock bottom prices (think garage sale - they're running a business and they have ROI's to factor in that hobbyist and semi-pro's don't). I would imagine that the "pro" market would rather buy new gear and get a full warranty, service contract, product support, business write-off, potential for new business opportunities, etc. unless they're getting a such a screaming deal it makes it worth risking the investment in used gear. Or not... ;)




  
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goldboughtrue
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Oct 01, 2013 04:49 |  #12
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I think the market is smaller for lighting than lenses, thus the difficulty and price reductions on lighting equipment.


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junkyjunky
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Oct 01, 2013 07:09 |  #13

baj2k wrote in post #16337354 (external link)
I wish there was a good guide somewhere that led us "semi's" into a gradual studio gear set-up... get this first, then this, then this, that, and the other thing, tutorial or book.

http://strobist.blogsp​ot.ca/2006/03/lighting​-101.html (external link) will give you a beginners tour, of what to get (in a beginners setup) and how to start shooting with your own light. That's what I'm doing now and plan on getting the simple setup suggested in the blog.

On a more specific response to this thread, I haven't seen many Canadian light threads. I would love to pick up some gentle used strobes at 1/2 price :D. Shipping from the US is usually not a preference here and when the item is big/bulky, it gets worse!


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Fernando
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Oct 01, 2013 10:36 |  #14

MDJAK wrote in post #16336736 (external link)
The G&N section has many, many viewers and many who long to do that type of shooting and want studio lights, strobes, etc. However, post one for sale and you've not only got to basically give it away to move it, you've figuratively gotta pay someone to take it off your hands.

I think you may have made an incorrect assumption. I think the driving reason for the number of viewers and views in the G&N section that is for lighting ideas is not as big as you would like to think.

I personally would love to have a home studio set up. Now that I built a big backyard shed I actually have my garage back and could set up some studio strobes.

And if I did, I would be living in my new studio as my wife would be less than amused.

You see, she looks at my photography spending as something for the family. Doing our own portraits a couple times a year would be a hard sell even though it would pay for itself in a year or two.


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isoMorphic
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Oct 01, 2013 10:55 |  #15

I have a friend who's son did a shoot for Brazzers (NSFW bigger than Playboy) with a $99 Cowboy Studio fluorescent kit. It might not have been up to the standards of a Victoria's Secret catalog but the guy got the job done and got paid. Some people just don't see a need or don't care or just can't afford studio lighting in the garage. But even still once you do have lights there are likely to be far more lenses you may still need or want regardless of how many you already have.




  
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