Warning: Function get_magic_quotes_gpc() is deprecated in /home/eventpho/public_html/forum/includes/class_core.php on line 1960
The second hand market [Archive] - Event Photographer Society Forum


View Full Version : The second hand market

Mark Amies
28-08-2009, 05:02 PM
I have recieved quite a few calls in the last fw days from people asking advice on second hand printers, in particular on ebay.

On one occassion a Mitsubishi printer was being sold that did not work, and the seller did not know why.

All I can say is be very careful if you are considering buying in this market, you need to be checking things like how many prints have gone through, has the machine had a replacement thermal head, has the printer come from a kiosk?

No doubt there may be some great bargains out there, but there may be some real dogs too. I suggested to someone that if they were going to buy second hand they may want to check out this site, as it would be coming from reputable types.

Which of course you all are. :)

steph burnett
28-08-2009, 05:18 PM
Hi Mark,

just out of curiosity, how often should you expect to change the thermal head and how much is a replacement (oh, and can you fit it yourself or is it an engineer job?)

Mark Amies
29-08-2009, 08:43 AM

Thermal head life is a difficult thing to quantify, no matter what the messages being sent out. I remember that the figure of 20,000 prints being quoted by manufacturers' reps, and more recently I have heard 30,000 being mentioned. However one has to ask how this has been arrived at?. What size of print was it based on?, based on what level of regularity of useage?

I had a customer once say they got 75,000 prints from a Sony UPDR100 printer, and that he said he managed this by keeping the machine clean - however the cleaning of dye subs is something that must be done with great care.

I have often tried to quantify head life by using an analology of an athlete's performance. If you get an athlete to run to their maximum on a regular basis then the athlete will probably get worn out faster. Putting that into context, if you were using a dye sub at it's maximum, on a regular basis every week, then it will probably wear the thermal head out quicker, than someone using the printer less often doing less prints at an event.

Ok that sounds like common sense, and it is. I am sure that fellow members will tell you how many prints they have got out of their printers. Then of course the technology has moved on , and so newer printers on the market will have heads that last longer - and I think Mitsubishi say that their CP9800 has an improved life.

Yes you can buy thermal heads, prices vary between makes, anything from £200 to £450. It is better to get someone who is qualified or competant to fit them,as it is not easy on some machines. Our technician at Photomart, Iliyan, is well versed with the procedure, and the job can add about £100 to the process.

john christopher
29-08-2009, 10:13 AM
I'll second Mark's motion about the second hand market and as always the warning must be that the buyer beware. The safest route is dealing with dealers such as System Insight and Photomart, who both sell quality used equipment which have been checked and serviced before being put out on the shopfloor and back on the market. If you know WHAT you're doing and you know what you're looking for (and you have the infrastructure in place to sort out any problems), then doing a EBAY shouldn't be a problem, as long as you've seen the printer working before handing over any cash money. There are other reputable places to source used equipment. Last week I join the FUJIFILM forum and ended up picking up a bargain. What I mean is, even if the head went tit's up, it would be worthwhile for me to repair and fully service the printer and I'd still be quids in. That's the delicate balance we ALL played when we swim in murky waters. Do your research, get good advice and factor in your worse case scenario before dipping your toe. 8-)

Stuart Etheridge
29-08-2009, 10:19 AM
I agree with everything said above. That said I did manage to pick up an immaculate printer from ebay for not a lot of money at all and so far (touch wood) it hasn't missed a beat so there are bargains out there - just be careful.

Mark Amies
29-08-2009, 11:01 AM
FujiFilm Forum John? That's a new one to me, what's the web address for that please?

john christopher
29-08-2009, 11:37 PM
Mark, here it is....


BTW: The people at FujiFilm UK are really, really nice people. If things do go tits up with my new printer, help is only a phone call away, which is very reassuring.

Now I think we have all got to be very responsible when selling on gear to our colleagues. I will now be retiring my trusty Mitsubishi CP8000DW for back-up duty only. I would be doing a disservice to both myself and any potential buyer if I did otherwise, given the HIGH running cost of the machine. That said, I think my 8000 still has plenty of life in it. Full, frank and honest disclosure by the seller to the buyer is the only thing to do.

Stuart Morley
30-08-2009, 06:42 AM
Totally agree with Mark's comments. A common trap is for people buying CP9500's on ebay which are actually CP9550DW-K models (ex-photo kiosk). These are not supported by Mitsubishi UK in any way and do not take standard media.

If you are buying from ebay then ensure you are buying from a reputable seller with good feedback and a returns procedure or buy from a dealer. No different than buying a car!

It is best to see the equipment working and if having it sent by courier ensure it is insured for damage in transit (the item must be properly packaged to claim btw)

We do buy secondhand equipment back but being a dealer have to ensure the equipment is fully working with all sizes of media, tested and provide a warranty (and make a profit!). We always provide a print count so you can see what the printer has done.

Remember (as per selling a car) your best price will possibly be privately however selling to the trade or part-ex'ing your kit will be less hassle but will result in a lower price.

Kind Regards



Mark Amies
30-08-2009, 08:18 AM
Ah yes John, that is the Minilabhelp forum. It is for lab owners, mainly on the high street.

Photomart used to sponsor this site til recently , when Fuji took it over, and it now has a heavy Fuji presence, as well as colour ( lots of green!).

So if you see kit on here , then alot of it wil have had kiosk origins, or heavy high street useage. However I am sure there wil be some good stuff on there.

Nice to see Fuji showing interest.

john christopher
30-08-2009, 09:47 PM
Tell me one thing Mark. This Photomart still selling quality used CP8000DW's?

Mark Amies
31-08-2009, 04:26 PM
Last time I checked we had one CP8000 in the front part of the showroom John.

john christopher
01-09-2009, 09:51 AM
Good Morning Mark

I think you already know where I'm going with this but we'll talk later. But in these hard times I think it's really good that both Photomart and System Insight are activily supporting a viable second hand market in Dye Sub Printers.

Mark Amies
01-09-2009, 10:01 AM
John, I would rather the emaphasis was being placed on the new equipmnet maket, obviously a machine with a full warranty and no history is a better bet. Furthermore that is what we should be about, and not playing too much in second hand.

I realise times are tight , but anyone wanting to invest in the business should be cutting too many corners.

john christopher
01-09-2009, 06:03 PM

My mum use to say "Don't out your hand where your hand can't reach". Don't make me a liar to her.

The fact remains that for some of us times are very hard indeed and yet we all agree that NOT investing in our businesses is simply NOT good business. There is NO doubt that investing in new equipment is a whole heap better than going quality used but I think that any investment is better than NO investment at all. New products and developments are coming onto the market all the time and hopefully when the storm blows over we will be better prepared for the good times to come. First of all though we have to survive the storm and loading yourself down with debt that you can't afford wouldn't make my mum very happy and trust you wouldn't like my mum when she is not happy.

Mark Amies
02-09-2009, 05:56 AM
No John I don't want to upset your Mum, so you do as you feel best! ;)

It was a general comment, for the viewers of the thread.

ian griffiths
02-09-2009, 08:20 AM
Sorry Mark, going to disagree with you here.

Photographers are notorious for buying loads of new gear and then simply not using it, a new model comes out and they just have got to have it, many wear their cameras, lenses and now printers as jewllery, just look around at trade shows, how many have a camera slung around their necks, why?

Just two weeks ago I bought a 9800 off Ebay for £400 that had made just 107 prints and a few months ago I bought a brace of EOS1's for £428.00 from the US one had 1700 shots on it the other 4500 all are in perfect condition and will make returns in the region of 100 times their investment.

Had I been buying these items new they would have cost me £5k plus, buying used is worth the risk providing you observe the usual rules of doing your homework first.

I know you have a vested intrest in selling new gear and that is a given, but to give general advise that in my opinion is flawed isn't really on.

john christopher
02-09-2009, 09:01 AM
I've got to ask IAN. Which model of 1D did you manage to nab from the US? I'm looking at getting a 1D MK2n for shooting more sport. What's your advice?

BTW: I agree with your comments about some photographers and their desire for the latest equipment. This attitude is rift in the world of press photography and photo-journalism and is currently sending many a tog to the poor house or worse still no house at all. It isn't Mark's fault that some of US are just plain stupid.

BTW: I don't buy brand new (ie: newly released) equipment for two reasons:
1. In most cases, it's VERY expensive. The new Canon 7D body only @ £1700. WOW!
2. I don't do beta testing. I let some other sucker with more money than sense do that for both me and the manufacturer before I spend my money. 8-)

ian griffiths
02-09-2009, 09:41 AM
Hey John,

They are the original 1D models, 4.2mp perfect for event work although not the greatest performers at high ISO so I do carry a 40d and a recently aquired MK2 for this work.

02-09-2009, 10:16 AM
BTW: I agree with your comments about some photographers and their desire for the latest equipment. This attitude is rift in the world of press photography and photo-journalism and is currently sending many a tog to the poor house or worse still no house at all.

I agree completely, my first DSLR was second hand and served me well. I find it funny that you should mention the press though, as only yesterday I was on a press job and was admiring a Nikon D1, D2 and D3 that one tog had hung around his neck - they usually appear the most thrifty! I use a 20 year old 80-200 f/2.8 that I purchased second hand and that has paid for itself over and over and over!

Mark Amies
02-09-2009, 11:15 AM

I get your points, and it is only my own opinion, and of course I would favour selling new equipment- it is what we are about. Sure buy second hand kit , if you can get a good deal, and the seller is giving you all the information.

You are in the know Ian, you have been doing the job and using the equipment probably longer than most others, but not all he guys outthere are so well informed, so I am just attempting to give some caution.

john christopher
02-09-2009, 12:24 PM

Please DON"T EVER MENTION THE NIKON D1 AGAIN. The camera was a pile of pooh! I used it when it first came out (and when a had a full time job as a tog) and quite frankly for everyday use, it was unusable. It was this camera that taught me never again to buy at the beginning of a products development. I now buy equipment that has been tried and tested. That's what I did with the Canon D30 and I didn't regret it. It's weird that it's only NOW that Nikon have been getting their act together. When it's your owe money, it's wise to think twice before parting with it.

Mind you, Mark is right about one thing. If you are new to event photography buying second hand is fraught with danger. My advise to those many newbies out-there would be to stay well clear of used equipment for the time being until you know what you are doing and have put some experience under the belt.

gary evans
02-09-2009, 06:04 PM
Photographers are notorious for buying loads of new gear and then simply not using it, a new model comes out and they just have got to have it.

This is the exact reason why much of my kit is secondhand.

ian griffiths
02-09-2009, 08:59 PM

Lets not tell too many people or the price of used will go up!

Gary Clarke
02-09-2009, 10:23 PM
Hey John,

They are the original 1D models, 4.2mp perfect for event work although not the greatest performers at high ISO so I do carry a 40d and a recently aquired MK2 for this work.

The original 1D is a fantastic camera i still love mine, i don't see much difference in focus speed between my Mk1 and Mk2