Getting top gear cheap.

   How do you get top gear cheaply?  One obvious answer is eBay.  Another is the used-gear departments of top deep-discount retailers such as Adorama.  I’ve had good experience with both.
   But nothing beats a pawn shop for deals.  My first good digicam - a Canon A60 - I bought used from a local pawn shop that was holding a going-out-of-business sale.  I had one of their people put batteries in it - and tested it in the pawn shop before buying.  Price was great.
   Today, I did  much better.  I saw a Canon 70-200 f/2.8 “L” IS USM in the display case of the pawn shop I’d lost it to when times were hard - stickered at $550.  They told me it was the one I’d brought in.  That particular lens cost me $1,500 from Adorama used.  I negotiated it down to $350, tax included.
   Pawn shops just want money - fast.  They are willing to make real deals - especially now that they are full of stuff they can’t sell that they lent on or bought.  Pawn shops are now full of all kinds of stuff - an indicator of the real economy.
   I love that lens - as it can produce real shallow depth of field effects.  See the photo below.

Cate Edwards walks alongside her father John at his trial.
Notice how - even less than a couple feet from her - he’s blurred enough to pretend he’s unrecognizable, while she’s in razor-sharp focus!
Shot with Canon 70-200 f/2.8 “L” IS USM.