My DLSR was bought just over two years ago, but without thinking it through properly: it's a Sony. Apart from having the shame of supporting a company that doesn't see what the fuss is about when it does Evil, the camera itself is fine, and was considerably cheaper than the equivalent Nikon/Canons. But what you lose by buying outside the big two is access to the huge range of cheap stuff available for them. (And, aside for some panoramas, I wasn't using it as it is too big to take everywhere and my compact digital camera produces pictures that are 'good enough'.)
So she had paid around 50-70 quid for her third party lens, and the Sony equivalent was about 200 more than that, otherwise known as 'what I paid for the camera'. Eeek*.
Every so often, I'd look on eBay, find the odd Sony 50mm, put a low bid into the bidding service I use, and forget about it. If I bothered to look, I'd see the bid was never placed as I was already outbid by £100 or so by the end. Until one day last autumn I got a 'you've won..' notification email that said I'd won one - I really had forgotten bidding on it. A very local seller too.
And it's meant that I've used the camera a lot more. You can't zoom in or out with it - you have to move! But a maximum f1.4 means it lets in huge amounts of light = it works indoors with no flash, which makes a major difference to the quality of colour. You also get a narrow depth of focus, so backgrounds tend to be blurred away and not distract from what you're actually looking at.
* It really does takes some getting used to. Last month I was in one of a chain of second-hand shops (mostly games, DVDs and phones, but a couple of cameras) and saw a Sony 35mm lens on the shelf. Ooh, let's use shiny to look that up on Amazon.. gosh, new ones are about £900-£1,000. Check elsewhere, because that could just be someone taking the p!ss, no.. and they're selling this one here for £35 - I'll have that! Look again... no, it's £735. It's the two other format lenses that have the sensible prices.
This entry was originally posted at http://lovingboth.dreamwidth.org/411867.html, because despite having a permanent account, I have had enough of LJ's current owners trying to be evil. Please comment there using OpenID - if you have an LJ account, you can use it for your OpenID account. Or just join Dreamwidth! It only took a couple of minutes to copy all my entries here to there.