I have learnt many lessons in my years as a professional photographer but if there is one that really sticks out it is that every time I have gone for the cheaper option is has cost far more than I have saved in the long run.
Let me give you some examples:
- Purchased generic batteries rather than Nikon originals for my D700 saving £30.
- Net result – Even though it was showing as fully charged the battery died half way through a wedding ceremony. Luckily I had spares in my bag but I lost key shots while changing it.
- Purchased bulk Duracell AA’s for my flash from eBay saving £2-3 per pack.
- Net result – Batteries were fakes and leaked in my flash. Cost of a new SB910 £318.89. Not covered on insurance as it is ‘contamination’.
- Purchased 3rd party grip for my D700 saving £200.
- Net result – The cheaper grip was not properly regulated and fried my camera mid wedding. Cost of repair £400 as it invalidated my warranty.
- Purchased a 3rd party battery pack for my SB910 saving £120.
- Net result – this ALSO wasn’t properly regulated and fried my flash. Net cost another £318.89 (although my insurance did pay for this minus my excess).
- Purchased a D700 from a supplier that were the cheapest locally saving £50.
- Net result – Turns out it was a grey import and had no UK warranty. When it developed a fault on the hot shoe I had to cover the repair. Cost £150.
Sure, you could just say I was unlucky. Repeatedly. But I now only buy Nikon original gear, I only buy direct from Amazon (NOT resellers on their site) and I don’t touch eBay with a barge pole. On a side note I now used the excellent Sanyo 2450 mAh Eneloop rechargeables for my flash. High capacity, last longer than non-rechargeables and much better for the environment.