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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> What do you say to "How much did you pay?"
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02/01/2008 11:35:11 AM · #1
Enzo's (' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' hotpasta's) recent scary experience got me wondering:

Once I had my Panasonic with me in the local coffee bar, and a stranger asked to see it. I handed it too him because I was "too polite" to say no. He was a bit unsavory and I got the distinct vibe that he was considering running with it. I held out my hand for it and he gave it back, but -- I'll never do that again. Especially not now with my new DSLR.

However, lately I've had several variations on this conversation:

Stranger: Nice camera!
Me: Thanks.
Sr: Is it a Nikon?
Me: Yes
Sr: How much did you pay for it?
Me: It was pretty expensive.
Sr: Like over a thousand?
Me: Yes
Sr: $1500?
Me: About that.

I usually end up telling them the cost because I feel coy evading the question. On the other hand, why tell a complete stranger "Yes, including the lens, filter, memory card, battery, and bag, I'm holding nearly $3,000 of equipment here in this easily stealable bundle."

What do you say when people ask to see your camera, or ask how much you paid?

02/01/2008 11:40:47 AM · #2
Most people are just curious and are doing "casual consumer research"...if I feel safe I answer them honestly. But if they creep me out or I'm not in a mood to chat a simple, "Oh, I don't really know. It was a gift." will suffice.
02/01/2008 11:41:57 AM · #3
I got it on ebay for a few hundred...
02/01/2008 11:42:59 AM · #4
Hey nice camera can I see it?
Sure (I leave the strap around my neck and I show them the camera without it leaving my hands.)

How much did it cost?
Quite a bit but worth every penny thanks for asking...

Message edited by author 2008-02-01 11:48:29.
02/01/2008 11:43:57 AM · #5
"You could check the internet, the specific prices are there!"

nobody ever asked me what my equipment costs. They have nothing to do with that. But I am aware what I have in my bag, and don't always feel safe with it. One of the reasons I barely take it with me for "snapshots".
02/01/2008 11:44:01 AM · #6
What I would say:

them: how much?
me: enough.
them: but how much?
me: enough.
ad infinitum.

What I wish I would say:

That's none of your business.
02/01/2008 11:44:36 AM · #7
Edit to say I'm an idiot who can't delete his own repost.

Message edited by author 2008-02-01 11:48:49.
02/01/2008 11:44:48 AM · #8
repost
02/01/2008 11:45:35 AM · #9
If he runs with it then grab him quickly to slow him down and put your thumb in his eye. If you do it right then I guarantee you that he will let go of the camera and will not be able to retaliate. Just be ready to grab the camera or camera strap before it hits the ground.

Like I posted in Enzo's thread, with the kind of people we sometimes encounter these days, it is important to know how to confidently defend yourself, your family, and what belongs to you. Violations to what is important to us are occurring more and more frequently.
02/01/2008 11:47:58 AM · #10
My stuff isn't outrageously expensive so i've never had a qualm saying how much it cost, mine was £500 (i bought it when it came out), lens was $350... i guess it's worth a lot to someone outside the photographic community because £500 is still £500.

I once gave mine to a homeless guy after he asked for a look at it but he was cool.
02/01/2008 11:51:11 AM · #11
Originally posted by Tez:

My stuff isn't outrageously expensive so i've never had a qualm saying how much it cost, mine was £500 (i bought it when it came out), lens was $350... i guess it's worth a lot to someone outside the photographic community because £500 is still £500.

I once gave mine to a homeless guy after he asked for a look at it but he was cool.


I hand my camera to most of the people I take pictures of, to take a picture with it. Mostly random guys on the street.
No problems so far.

Message edited by author 2008-02-01 11:51:24.
02/01/2008 11:53:28 AM · #12
I get asked about my equipment at receptions every now and then... the killer question though, after they ask how much the camera costs, is "wow, how many megapixels do you have"? And when I'm carrying the 10mp 1D Mark III and their little P&S has 12mp ... well, it's just not all that easy to explain (short and fast) why I was willing to pay so much more.

Scary thing is ... when I'm carrying the 1DMIII with the 70-200 lens and 580EX on a flash bracket with external battery pack, and the 5D with the 24-70 and another 580EX, I'm carrying gear worth more than some cars.

02/01/2008 11:56:52 AM · #13
Originally posted by citymars:

...What do you say when people ask to see your camera, or ask how much you paid?


It's an 'X'. You can get one at 'Y's. 'I' ain't selling. (smile) Change the topic.
02/01/2008 12:06:08 PM · #14
"It was a gift."
02/01/2008 12:08:40 PM · #15
"Oh I got quite a nice price on it because it was discontinued and they were clearing them out"

Hey - it's the truth !
02/01/2008 12:10:29 PM · #16
I've never had anyone ask how much my camera cost, but we get that question all the time about our Great Dane. We answer that with "about the same as any other purebred dog." I suppose the same answer could work with cameras. Substitute the word camera for dog, of course...
02/01/2008 12:15:00 PM · #17
Originally posted by Gordon:

Originally posted by Tez:

I once gave mine to a homeless guy after he asked for a look at it but he was cool.

I hand my camera to most of the people I take pictures of, to take a picture with it. Mostly random guys on the street. No problems so far.

Yeah, I don't mean to be paranoid. As KaDi said, most people are just curious.

Even so, last night I had a kind of ugly encounter on a quiet side street with an abusive passerby who out of nowhere called me a name and then started cursing at me when I said "Excuse me?" Silly as it may seem, I was as worried about my camera as much as I was about my personal safety. The whole encounter left me feeling a bit ugly myself!
02/01/2008 12:16:35 PM · #18
[quote=thegrandwazoo] Hey nice camera can I see it?
Sure (I leave the strap around my neck and I show them the camera without it leaving my hands.)

For your safety I wouldn't leave the strap around your neck if you are going to hand the camera to a stanger. Wrap it around your wrist, not your neck. All it takes is for that person is to twist that thing around your neck and you can't breath it's going to be lights out quick. My father was a police officer for 30 years and b/c of him I look for the worst in people that I do not know. I know that sounds bad but it's all about survival and not letting someone get the upperhand on you in situations. Stay safe and aware people, you only get one chance in this world. Trevor~
02/01/2008 12:17:00 PM · #19
Originally posted by Ann:

I've never had anyone ask how much my camera cost, but we get that question all the time about our Great Dane. We answer that with "about the same as any other purebred dog." I suppose the same answer could work with cameras. Substitute the word camera for dog, of course...


So where can I find a purebred camera? ;)

and how much does it cost? ;D
02/01/2008 12:18:47 PM · #20
Originally posted by trevytrev:

[quote=thegrandwazoo] Hey nice camera can I see it?
Sure (I leave the strap around my neck and I show them the camera without it leaving my hands.)

For your safety I wouldn't leave the strap around your neck if you are going to hand the camera to a stanger. Wrap it around your wrist, not your neck. All it takes is for that person is to twist that thing around your neck and you can't breath it's going to be lights out quick. My father was a police officer for 30 years and b/c of him I look for the worst in people that I do not know. I know that sounds bad but it's all about survival and not letting someone get the upperhand on you in situations. Stay safe and aware people, you only get one chance in this world. Trevor~


Makes sense but I live in AZ where we have concealed carry and I am 6'8" 260lbs. I fear not as with me it is mostly fight and not much flight. But you do have a good point but like I said the camera never leaves my hands I don't hand it to them at all.
02/01/2008 12:21:18 PM · #21
Originally posted by dwterry:

the killer question though, after they ask how much the camera costs, is "wow, how many megapixels do you have"? And when I'm carrying the 10mp 1D Mark III and their little P&S has 12mp ... well, it's just not all that easy to explain (short and fast) why I was willing to pay so much more.

Oh, I love that question!!!

With my 6MP D70s, almost everybody's got a higher MP camera than I!!!

In most cases, they just eye it suspiciously, and drop the conversation.

If they do say anything, I just telll them to look at the difference in the lenses.

I'm never too worried about the person in the street asking me about my "expensive" camera.....maybe it's 'cause I'm 6'4", 300 pounds.....
02/01/2008 12:21:41 PM · #22
I tell them it's a Chinese knockoff coated with lead paint and it's broken anyway... if they still want to see it I sneeze on it right before I offer to hand it over.
02/01/2008 12:26:30 PM · #23
Originally posted by Ann:

I've never had anyone ask how much my camera cost, but we get that question all the time about our Great Dane. We answer that with "about the same as any other purebred dog." I suppose the same answer could work with cameras. Substitute the word camera for dog, of course...


If you want to stop questions, I think responding to a question about your camera with "about as much as any other purebred dog" would do the trick. :)

I think you can either go through life assuming the worst of everyone you don't know or relax and enjoy the ride, knowing full well you might, possibly, have a bad experience. I choose the latter. No, I don't go into bad parts of town at 3 am. But I do, and will continue to, figure that most people are honest. Of course, I also insure all of my camera equipment on a rider on my homeowner's policy for about $100/yr.

Is lowering your anxiety to essentially zero worth that much to you?

If you think someone's going to run with your camera in a crowded coffee shop, I suggest trying a bit of the second approach. But setting aside theft, what if he's just clumsy? I'd hold onto the strap for that reason alone.

If you're uncomfortable discussing money, just say so. No need to be rude and tell him it's none of his business, or blow him off with "enough." Simply say "I'm sorry, I don't feel comfortable discussing that. Here's the model - you can find prices online."

Message edited by author 2008-02-01 12:28:11.
02/01/2008 12:30:12 PM · #24
The whole Enzo experience brought back a recent adrenaline rush I had, though not completely camera-related. I was out in the middle of nowhere Arizona desert doing a spectrometer survey to map some possible uranium-hosting features. There was only one other geologist out there and he was about a kilometre away. We were both on foot, and I was about 200m from the truck. The other geologist called me on the radio and said a couple of guys on ATVs were coming toward the truck (with my camera in it), so I got up on a hill so they could see me when they went to check out the truck. They saw me, then drove out to talk to me (off-trail which is illegal). They were VERY curioius about what I was up to, and I couldn't give out much info due to the stage of exploration/staking we were at, so I gave them the story that it was an academic survey.

They were real-life rednecks, not that I have anything against rednecks, I carry a wallet my wife made for me out of duct tape. But I got a HUGE adrenaline rush when, after far too much strained-cordial conversation, which started to go in circles, one guy asked me if I was out there alone. I was sure they had guns and were going to kill me only after having their way with my irresistably sweet ass. I pointed to the other geologist, who by that time had gone to the top of a hill about a kilometre away, so we could see his silhouette. At that point I figured it would discourage my impending rape and disembowelment, and I was willing to gamble with my friends virgin anus and life as well, that they wouldn't kill two of us. No cell phone reception out there!

I had no option for flight, and was ready to pull out my elite Ninja skillz. I was so relieved when they finally said their goodbyes and drove off!!!

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Americans scare the crap out of me
02/01/2008 12:30:17 PM · #25
Originally posted by thegrandwazoo:


Makes sense but I live in AZ where we have concealed carry and I am 6'8" 260lbs. I fear not as with me it is mostly fight and not much flight. But you do have a good point but like I said the camera never leaves my hands I don't hand it to them at all.


<resolving never to trash talk Wazoo with him in the same state> ;)
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