Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Nikon D3: Dodgey Craigslist Posting

Continuing with an ongoing tradition of picking apart suspect Craigslist ads here on 1000wordpics, I bring you this mongrel of a camera kit up for sale recently:

Nikon D3-With Nikon 18-200 1:3.5-5.6 G ED VR Lens - $2300

Used Nikon D3 bodyand its come with Nikon 18-200 1:3.5-5.6 G ED VR Lens. Shows some very minor cosmetic wear, but all functions work perfectly, and it still has lots of life left in it! I just had the sensor professionally cleaned, so it's all ready to start taking amazing pictures! Includes 2 batteries, battery charger

I think the dodginess of this ad speaks for itself, but the quality of the pictures don't do it any justice either. It could be that the poster is trying to get rid of a an amateur DX lens and a pro FX body all in one go, and thinks that mounting the lens on the body is a funny thing to do. The addition of the D3x neckstrap is a nice touch, but if there's a D3x body missing its strap somewhere, it certain wasn't used to shoot the middling pictures for this ad. Whatever that bench is, it's certainly not a professional setting for a camera body of this calibre, and the camera resting on the extended lens makes me cry a little on the inside.

This ad was re-posted from 10 days previous. Another red flag is that the location of the seller changed between the two postings. Finally, the asking price is wrong: a well used D3 still commands $2000 to $2300 CDN in our town, a used 18-200VR goes for around $500 asking. Even if this is a a well used body and a well used lens, the price is $200 shy of where it should be at the time of writing.

I'm not quite ready to jump on this as a scam, but I would be very vary, as avoiding danger is a key aspect about dealing on Craigslist. So once again, even if this is a legitimate post, the seller has done himself no favours. Of the four pictures, only the dead-on shot is acceptable. The other three are either out of focus or have framing errors... you wouldn't think that technique would matter on Craigslist, but if you are buying used equipment from somebody you should be looking for consistencies in the item history and in who the person says he is. New D3's weren't cheap in their day, and you have a reasonable expectation that the owner of one would be more skilled in composing their pictures. Or that an 18-200VR doesn't belong on a D3. Or that the random inclusion f a D3x strap only raises more questions.

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