Some Days Are Diamonds

I swear I’m facing straight on to the camera but my nose appears to be veering left. The bags under the eyes are from 
waiting up all night for a baby to be born. Ah well, you’re supposed to be looking at the price of the lens written on the box.

Because Tracey has so much free time (did the sarcasm come across there?) she’s taken on studying for a diploma in photography. She started the course two weeks ago and has already completed and passed a third of the modules. We’ve put her intense focus down to her harnessing her nesting instinct: after the baby comes the remaining 8 modules might take the rest of the year between nappies and feeding, but at least she’s off to a great start.

Two nights ago Tracey decided she wanted a macro lens for her camera. No, wanted is wrong: she NEEDED a macro lens for her camera or the sky would fall, the Earth would tilt off it’s axis and the basic premise of Zombieland (ie Bill Murray gets killed for bad acting) would become a reality. Well I’m too big of a Bill Murray fan to let that happen.

Dishes, kids and life in general were all pushed aside as we surfed the net for the best lens and prices. In the end Tracey decided on a Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS USM Macro (photographers don’t go for fancy, comprehensible names, they like their equipment to have indecipherable mixes of letters & numbers, presumably to add to the mystery), which you can pick up for a lazy $900-1300. Dang. All our money is currently hard working.

And then we saw Harvey Norman had a great 36 month deal going. Cool. We use the deals to buy the bigger stuff we want (need) and then pay it off when our lump sum Centrelink money comes in after we submit our tax returns.

When we arrived at the local Harvey Norman we also discovered they had a Zinc promotion going – there was a jumping castle, petting zoo and free drinks for the kids. Could this day get any better?

Yes. Yes it could.

While they had to order the Canon lens in for us, and it would take up to a month for it to arrive (because, we were told, their Canon rep was on holidays?), they did have some great specials going. There was a special on a Tamron lens, for example, which displayed a discount of $130 giving a buy price of $148. Above it was a Tamron 60mm Macro with a buy price of $499.

I pointed at the Tamron 60mm Macro. “Is that one on special?” I asked the nice girl behind the counter.

“Yes, it’s $148.”

“No, the Macro lens,” I explained to her.

“Yes, it’s $148,” she said, indicating the sign. “See,” she said, pointing out three random matching numbers on the special sign and the Tamron box, “they’re the same numbers.” Yes, but different order.

“That sign is for a different lens,” I explained.

“No, it’s for that one,” she assured me.

“We’ll take it,” I assured her.

But we didn’t stop there. Usually I’m a believer in ‘three strikes, you’re out’ but there’s a part of me which can’t knowingly rip someone off. I asked her to go check the price. She went away and came back with the Canon 100mm price.

“No, I meant for you to confirm the price for the Tamron. We don’t want to get to the counter and find out you’ve got the wrong price.”

“Here,” she said, clearly getting a little tired of us going on and on about this silly price business, “I’ll write it on the box.” And she did. $148.

When we got to the counter even the guy behind the register raised an eyebrow when he saw $148 written below the $499 recommended retail on the box.

“That’s a fantastic price,” he told us.

“We know,” I told him. “It’s unbelievable, isn’t it?” I added pointedly.

“It sure is,” he agreed. “Cash or card?” At that price? Cash.

When we arrived home, skipping and crowing and high-fiving each other like halfwits, we hit the net again to see if we’d really got the bargain we suspected we had. Best buy on the net? $435 delivered. Putting it in real terms, even at this best buy price of $435, that’s a genuine saving of 9 cartons of beer!!

Now the biggest decision will be when the Canon lens arrives whether to keep the Tamron as a backup lens or sell it on eBay for a tidy profit.

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