Cheap filters on eBay?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Matty-Bass, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. Matty-Bass

    Matty-Bass TPF Noob!

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    Hey guys! I'm faced with a bit of a risk decision... I'm looking to get a neutral density filter but I'd rather not pay $60 for one. On eBay, they have some for around CAD $7.00, but that just seems too good to be true.

    They are being shipped from China, one company from Hong Kong was selling Hoya ND filters for about CAD $11.00 that said "Finish is not perfect, but will not affect photos". This has me very skeptical. Also, I found an eBay store from Mainland China called "jiakgong" that sells cheap lenses new. I assume they are their brand of filters.

    Should I risk it or not? I would never buy lenses from China but filters... I don't know. Opinions? If there's any effect on the photo I don't want it.
     
  2. Rachelsne

    Rachelsne TPF Noob!

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    my local camera store often has used filters for sale-may be worth you looking around for something like taht other wise Local electronic store sells filters for about ND4 for $20 - not sure where you are based, but ebay isnt always the best-oh and check out the used items on adorama.com and b+H
     
  3. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    It is a simple matter of “you get what you pay for”.

    If you only have one chance to take the picture (On Vacation somewhere) or you have to travel for a few hours (Jaspper,Banff)I would just get a better one. How much will it cost you if you have to re-shoot the image because a cheap filter ruined it.

    Lets just say you are shooting waterfalls in the rockies, if you have to go out to re-shoot you would be paying $100 in Gas, $60 for the better filter, $15 for first filter,

    So your $15 filter now cost $175.00 or more if you have to pay park fees and hotel.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Go visit Wally at Classic Camera Exchange, on 118th ave and about 126th street. He's got a ton of filters for sale.
     
  5. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I haven't paid more than $10 for my CPLs. They work great.

    Don't bother with used filters from China, though. You can get perfectly-good new ones for cheap on Amazon.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2008
  6. Mystwalker

    Mystwalker TPF Noob!

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    Just my opinion ...

    If you have opportunity to retake shot, by all means use whatever filter you think appropriate. If it "sucks", you only lose $7.00 and you can go back after getting better ND filter.

    Like SpeedTrap said ... is saving $100 worth blowing that shot when getting to location probably cost you time and money?

    In my case, I'm not good enough to know when "I blow a shot" or when it is "equipment error". To eliminate "equipment error", I try to get the best that I can afford so that all problems are "user error" - banging own head against wall also saves replacement cost of throwing camera against wall :)
     
  7. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    Well if you get the cheap $8 one first and then are unsatisfied and need to buy the $60 expensive one it'll just be like paying $68 all total plus you'll have learned something too. If you are satisfied with the $8 then you'll save the other $60 :thumbup:


    Gosh, I can't believe i just recommended to buy ANYTHING from China. :(

    On the other hand used works. I get awesome $50 ~ $100 used filters from my camera shop for $1 ~ $5. I like to be surprised so I buy whole stacks of the one dollar ones and then play at home later with them. The last go-around there were 3 linear polarizers, an orange CR polarizer, a 1/2 gradient ND8, 6 Sky or UV, 1 yellow, 1 red, one Kenko LBC8 that I haven't looked up yet, An orange thing I can't figure out what is, two +1 corrective lenses, and 3 that just say "MC Lens Guard" from Hakuba.

    All for $20 :D Most of them look good. The +1 corrective lenses are not really usable (too low quality I think) but other than that... :thumbup:
     
  8. Tykell

    Tykell TPF Noob!

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    Getting a cheap filter completely ruins the point of having one. There are many people against filters because they can degrade shots and cause odd reflections, and these flaws are almost guaranteed with a poor quality filter. A B+W or Hoya filter make these a rare occurance because of the excellent quality and the coat on the filter.

    Used on the other hand, I guess give it a go if they're that cheap, they at least have the potential of being decent if the owner took care of them. Try to look for B+W filters.
     
  9. Matty-Bass

    Matty-Bass TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice guys, I'll probably opt out of buying the lens then.

    And I'm going to check out this Classic Camera Exchange. Off topic, Big Mike, but what would you reccommend is the best camera store around town for the money? I haven't visited the new Vistek by Grant Mac yet, and I've been in the Kingsway and main HQ McBains... What do you think?
     
  10. maulrat

    maulrat TPF Noob!

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    For me, it depends on the lens. I wouldn't spend $100 on a filter for a $300 lens. I like saving money just much as anyone but I would stick to a reputable brand name when choosing a low cost filter; like Tiffen and Hoya... probably not "unknown Chinese brand".
     
  11. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The 'best' is probably a tie between McBain HQ (on 107th ave) and Vistek (half a block south of McBain). The other McBain locations are mostly useless for serious photographers.
    I know that McBain has a price match policy, Vistek probably does as well. So when shopping at either place, check around for the lowest price and ask them to match it. I usually check www.thecamerastore.com
    Classic Camera is a funky little shop full of old goodies and a lot of junk. Sometimes you can find a deal there, but a lot of stuff is fairly expensive. It's fun to just look around at the stuff in there.
     
  12. Matty-Bass

    Matty-Bass TPF Noob!

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    Cool thanks for the tip. I gotta go for a drive down there in a week or so when I get some money :lol:

    I actually live in St. Albert so it's not quite "down the street" for me, but it's not too far either luckily.
     

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