Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I went to Hidalgo St. and all I got was a lousy UV filter…

Ah, the mighty Hidalgo St., Mecca of Filipino photographers, ground zero for cheap finds. I went there with the notion that I'd blow some money on a new lens or some accessories. What did I turn up? Nothing but a UV filter. It's a nice one though.

Marumi. Funny name! The last thing you'd want from a lens filter. It's made in Japan though, so it's a winner in my book. Besides, it only cost me P300. And 46mm filters are distressingly difficult to find.

I was massively disappointed with Hidalgo. It's Canon-country. And Nikon-land to a lesser degree. No love for Micro Four Thirds users like me. (I was warned about that though.) What really surprised me is that things weren't always cheap. I thought that was the point of Hidalgo!

Here are the highs and lows of what I found there:
1. The new Panasonic GF-2
Overpriced at P45,000 (body with kit). You can get the dual lens kit from Kimstore for P37,000.
2. My new Nissin Di466 flash
Overpriced again at P7,600. I bought mine for P6,400 at Digital Walker.
3. Vintage Leica lenses
The seller was nowhere to be found. Argh. How unprofessional!
4. A handful of lens adaptors
Nothing useful though.
5. Video rig for SLR
Henry's had a number of shoulder rigs, perfect for shooting video with your SLR.

I'm sticking to the Internet from now on. Plenty of stuff to buy there for cheaper. It's crazy getting to Hidalgo and the place smells. The street sells cameras for God's sake -- there's no reason for pools of rank, putrid water!


Jonathan said...

where exactly in quiapo did you stumble upon those leica lenses you mentioned?

The Third World Nerd said...

Jonathan, across the Olympus store, there are dudes who fix/clean cameras and lenses. Right in front of them there are display cases of vintage lenses. The Leica lenses are in there. Saw some screw mount lenses which caught my eye (I have a screw mount adaptor for micro four thirds). Maybe you'll have better lucking finding the seller!

Jonathan said...

Thanks sir! will head down there next week. I'm also curious about the SLR Magic. I've read good reviews of them (including yours) around the net. Are they available via purchase sans having to buy them online?

The Third World Nerd said...

I haven't seen any around here, though I'll admit I haven't looked that hard. There's a new Toy Lens coming: http://www.43rumors.com/new-slrmagic-11mm-toy-lens/

verabear said...

The first time I went to Hidalgo I was disappointed too. I feel that the City Government of Manila could do loads better for that street and fix it a bit to be a photographer's haven. Nakakalokang makipagpatintero sa mga gulay at abubot! A lot of times, other goods are in the way so you don't see those small stalls selling vintage camera stuff. oh well.

The Third World Nerd said...

Exactly, verabear! Patintero sa mga gulay. Haha. I like that.

Neo Saicon, SJ said...

Would you know how much is the cleaning fees for cameras and lens? I had my camera and lenses cleaned last year but seems like its going to be there forever. Also, do you know where I can sell old Nikon film cameras and lens (N50-body, F401s-body and Tokina AF lens)?

The Third World Nerd said...

Hi Neo. Probably not the answer you're looking for, but I believe the best option for selling and buying nowadays is really online. I use ebay because of the reputation system (I don't sell gadgets though), but sulit.com.ph and tipidpc have larger, more active communities. I know someone who sells internationally and he says gear from the PH tends to fetch a lower price. I just limit my selling locally.

You can always try the Nikon Service Center in Megamall. Be warned though. I've heard horror stories about Nikon service.