I'm sure that most readers, like me, are working hard to make ends meet these days. Whether you're a full-time professional photographer or a casual hobbyist, the prices of high-end, brand-name photo equipment can be more than a little frightening. That goes for everything from camera bodies and lenses to tripods and bags. So, if you're like me, getting that top-shelf gear for about half price is a good thing.
No, I'm not talking about one of those weird reward programs or bid-pack online auction sites. I'm talking about something much simpler: buying refurbished equipment. If you're listening to the skeptics out there on the subject all I can say is you're missing out on some incredible deals. Products are refurbished for all kinds of reasons and many are actually upgraded in the process, so as long as you're dealing with a reputable source, there's nothing to fear. Here are a few examples of awesome deals from one of my my favorite refurbished gear dealers:
You can't hang around in photographic circles for long without hearing the Manfrotto name. Their tripods and camera bags are legendary. Here's one of their classiest backpacks, at a price you won't beat anywhere. It'll hold your camera, 2 lenses, a tripod, a 15" laptop and more, securely and in style. You can own it for less than $40. That's less than half what you'll pay anywhere else.
You might as well have a great Manfrotto tripod to strap onto that that awesome backpack. This Advanced Compact comes with a streamlined 3-way head that combines pan and tilt in one lever, with leveling controlled by another. The aluminum tripod goes from a mere 17.32 in / 44cm to 64.96 in / 165 cm extended with the center column raised. The legs have 5 sections for superb adjustability. This compact has a lot to offer and you can save about $40 on these refurbished ones. Take a look at it here.
How about a really sweet monopod for 15 bucks? Yep, it's got the Manfrotto name, too!
It's an aluminum, 5-section gem that performs as good as it looks. It closes to 15.35in / 38.99cm and extends to 57.28in / 145.49cm It supports 3.31lb / 1.5kg while weighing in at just 0.73lb / 0.33kg. It'll look great hanging on that backpack above, too.
Did I mention that it's FIFTEEN BUCKS?
Alright, so you should be getting the idea. Of course, these are only a few examples and you never know what you might find next. Before you buy new, I highly recommend checking with my friends at UsedPhotoPro for their rigorously-tested used and like-new refurbished equipment. Need more convincing? How about a 180 day warranty and free shipping on most items? Go. Shop. Bookmark their site!