Now, Maitland. Now Is Your Time.

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If you want to get the best possible bargain on good quality photo gear, August 2014 and August 2016 are your chances.

The reason? The giant German photographic fair in Köln runs every two years and in the month leading up to it manufacturers go all quiet on what they will try to bring to the fair – if there is old stock the shops are desperate to sell it out.

This year we are just about to see a spate of cash-back offers from a number of the key players in August and September to get that stock gone. I’m not talking about trash – I’m talking big-name brands and their pro and enthusiast products that are just about to get a facelift or marginal replacement. It means a headache for the shops that have older stock and if they also have pre-owned stock that goes down in price as well.

“Hop in for your chop” is the phrase that comes to mind.

I have always had no qualms about buying pre-owned and run-out goods because I can judge a camera or lens accurately. At any one time more than 50% of my professional kit has been pre-owned. I might scratch my head at the people who trade perfectly good items in for the next fashionable device, but I take their leavings cheerfully, knowing that in many cases it is pristine. This month I will add a second Fujifilm X-series body to the wedding kit as a backup unit and it will be as cheap to me as chips – and with the firmware updates that this company issues for their cameras it will have the performance of a fresh product.

If ever you wanted to get in on the deals, this is the month.

Please ignore this if you are one of the trendy hipster types or nouveau riche big spenders. You should wait until the latest announcements at Photokina and then ring up the shop and try to get the latest items heavily discounted in ten minutes before your brother-in-law gets one. While you are waiting look up the Urban Dictionary under “tosseur”.

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