The “Secret” To Locating The Hard-To-Find Gear You Want

So, I talk to a LOT of people who are excited about Nikon’s new products (although this post applies to any manufacturer) but there’s often an issue with availability.

In fact, I get e-mails and comments on a regular basis from people asking if I know anything about a particular product’s availability (and no, I don’t).

However, there is a simple little trick for finding hard-to-get gear. In fact, I just purchased a new (second) 500PF – a lens that’s normally incredibly hard to get – and I didn’t spend one second on a waitlist. Want the simple secret? Watch the 2 minute video below 🙂

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PS – If you enjoyed this post, I think you’ll REALLY like my e-books, Secrets To Exposure And Metering For Nikon, Secrets To Stunning Wildlife Photography, and Secrets To The Nikon Autofocus System – as well as my new Noise Reduction video workshop. They’re filled with hundreds of tips, techniques and information just like this. Check ’em out – click here (hey, it’s free to look).

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This entry was posted in Misc, Nikon Gear, Opinions.

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JeffDave Goldblattfrancine dollingerScottKandace Recent comment authors
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Jeff
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Jeff

This is how I got the 500 PF, where it may have been the first one sold in Seattle area, the day after they were released. I could have picked up the day of release, but I was busy that day. I also got the D850 earlier than I might have otherwise by going to a local shop.

Dave Goldblatt
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Dave Goldblatt

Definitely a great tip, and worth calling around to find out who might have them along with what their wait lists are. As a FYI, Brad Berger of berger-bros.com took my name down a couple of weeks ago for the 500PF and called me today with one in stock (and now on its way!). He has been getting them in pretty regularly, though they are a scarce item. Definitely would recommend reaching out to him if you’re interested – no affiliation, just a happy customer who will be looking for the UPS truck tomorrow. You can generally get a laugh… Read more »

Kandace
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Sorry, but this has NOT been easy to locate the new 500mm PF lens even at local camera shops. I have called many camera shops across the U.S., and have my name on many lists. One camera shop told me that you needed to be Nikon Professional Member. You could get a lens faster. All the NPS members I know have the lens. I may have to get my daughter to pick up the lens in Japan when she travels there at the end of September. I’m sure that there is some camera shop in the U.S. that has the… Read more »

Scott
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Scott

Okay, that was easy…just got home with my new 500mm PF from a local shop less than a mile away. They had 2 this morning, on the shelf. Thanks for the advice!

Francine Dollinger
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Francine Dollinger

Can you give me the info so I can see if they have any left???

Scott
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Scott

Paul’s Photo in Torrance, CA. Authorized Nikon dealer, good shop. As Steve mentioned in his video they get a couple in stock every few weeks, I got lucky on timing!

francine dollinger
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francine dollinger

Thanks I called and he had the beginning of the week. I’m now on his list. Thanks for the info

Andy
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I had a hard time finding a Sony 24mm GM. Was able to find a brand new one on eBay for a small mark up after bargaining with him.

Wayne
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Wayne

Though I have nothing against and have purchased from the big New York stores, I have always believed in shopping local. The folks at my local camera shop are always able and willing to provide advice. This is not to imply that the out of town stores aren’t helpful, because they are great, but by shopping local it helps maintain the economy of my town. Further, I have not found a difference in price. Your point about availability of product is just icing on the cake.

Ken Miracle
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Ken Miracle

Great advice. I got my D850 months before the big NY stores from a brick and mortar dealer in Idaho Falls, Idaho. That store has now opened another to great success in West Yellowstone, Montana. Perfect Light Camera and Supply is the only full line dealer for Nikon, Canon and Sony in Idaho. 5 hours from Boise but if I order early enough in the day usually have stuff the next day. Yes I own all your e books thank you for producing all the great material you do 🙂

John Blystone
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John Blystone

Oh man, you’re killing me, Steve 🙂 I’m on a wait list with a small camera shop. called last week to see where I stood, they said, we called you July 25th and left a message! Apparently I deleted the message w/o knowing who it was from… Still waiting. Good advice in the video, as always!

Bruce
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Bruce

Berger Bros. is one store that has come through for me with hard to get cameras and lenses. Oddly enough, Ritz Camera can be a good source for pro level cameras and lenses. I suspect that they are overlooked by the prosumer shooters and their average customer is not looking for a D850 or 500mm PF lens.

Adam M
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Adam M

Good to know! I’ve been waiting for 5 months (via Nikon) and I live a half an hour from Procam

Guess my logic was opposite… I figured the smaller shops would hardly get any. Lesson learned! Thanks for another great tip, Steve!

Adam
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Adam

It’s not fair Steve- so you’ve got two PF500s and I’m still waiting for mine, which I’ve ordered in a smallish retailer in Australia.

Steve Funk
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Steve Funk

Good advice! I just bought a 500pf from a local camera shop in Salt Lake City that I love to support, Pictureline. They are always exceptionally helpful and offer good advice. I only had to wait about 3 weeks.

Chris Malcolm
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Chris Malcolm

++
I do this. There is only one independently owned and operated camera store. He either has, or can get stuff quite quickly. I like to support local business whenever I can too.

William Palmer
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William Palmer

I would add that it helps keep that small-town store in business so it is there when you need it.

Janet
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The only problem is when you actually live in NYC so there aren’t any “local camera stores” other than the big guns. 🙂 Luckily I got mine from a store in the midwest although even then I was on their waiting list for about five months.

Lee Hendrick
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Lee Hendrick

Yup; good advice! That’s where I found my D850 in stock last year, when the ‘big boys’ were still wait-listed.

Yannick LE BOULICAUT
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I agree, I got mine (in France) through my local dealer without a long wait, plus he doesn’t charge more than the “big companies” plus in case of problem, I know I can count on him!

Charles Cummins
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Charles Cummins

Got mine in a little less than three months from Allen’s Camera, Levittown, PA . I’b been on the biggie store in NYC since September ’18, cancelled that lens thanks to Allen’s.
Awesome lens, truly a WOW. (D5 – D500)

Richard
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Richard

This is how I got my 500pf a couple of months ago..but I didn’t even have to call around. Someone I knew on a photo website was aware that I was looking for one. He bought his and found another dealer that had one in stock and he told me to call them…which I did. I bought the lens. Not sure this topic is worthy of a video on your site but it is good advice for hard to find items which seems to happen with nikon more than sony or canon.

Bob
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Bob

Great advice. Three months ago I used the same technique with my local dealer for my 300 PF. Also, as good as the big camera stores are, their service levels can’t compare with a top notch local camera store.

Antony Chodas
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Hi Steve- Unfortunately the reality is that Nikon is only shipping a handful of lenses each month and our waiting list keeps getting bigger … at least in Canada anyway. While I applaud your advice to “promote the local camera store”, sometimes mathematics gets in the way … when we receive only 1 500mm PF lens when over 20 people want it! I wish I could change this situation but it’s out of our control! Take care … nice post by the way!

Chris
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Chris

Yes – exactly so I got a few weeks ago my 500 PF after waiting here in Germany many months with one of our big dealers . Right in my neighbor-town I got this lens without waiting list !

FPD Cotterill
Guest

Great Steve! I saw your post on FM last night 🙂 Never before, have the smaller, more local retailers needed the direct support of their more local clientele. More of these small shops are being squeezed out by drop in customers, who click on orders from the biggest outlets instead. All these compound these delays and frustrations PLUS environmental costs of yet more cross-continental shipping.
thanks