Road Trip 2018: Chronicles of a Military Surplus Tent Adventure Day 5

Road Trip DISASTER 2018: Jack's Camera Shop in Muncie, Indiana

June 22, 2018

And finally this road trip begins to take on a bit of normalcy as our troupe heads northeast towards Muncie, Indiana and Jack's Camera Shop. I have bought photography equipment from Jack's before off of their Amazon account and when the wife and I stopped for a repast at the local eatery I took the time to check the Yelps concerning Jack's. Some were good, some not so good but I have found that a store devoted to photography is getting harder and harder to find these days so I decided to try it on for size... boy am I glad I did.

We got there at about 2:00 P.M. and I was surprised by the lack of customers to be honest. The proprietor was a mild mannered older gent who immediately set the tone by trying to sell me a $70 polarizer lens filter... $70!

Thie only problem with that is the fact that I can order Amazon brand name filters for $20 and have them within a day! But, taking into account the fact that there is store front markup and hidden fees associated with "need it now" services, I did what is the norm in such situations, I asked him if he had anything used. (This is a great aspect of camera shops, there's usually a great deal of horse trading that goes on, and lots of "extras" get passed back forth in this manner). Not surprisingly, he just happened to have one and he sold it to me for... you guessed it, $35. Oh well, I needed it then and there's the store front costs and whatnot.

One of the issues we had been having is that I hadn't brought the long lens that my wife really needed for the farm and barn shots we wanted to take and her 18-55mm kit lens just wasn't fitting the bill. I had brought her a 75-300mm kit lens that didn't have Image Stabilization and she couldn't really keep her images sharp so I asked the proprietor what could be done about such a quandary. He produced a nice used Canon EF-s lens of 55-250mm focal length with Image Stabilization priced at $90. These lenses are usually about $75 online, but there's that storefront fee...

So I asked him what he'd give me for the 75-300mm kit lens, (knowing I could replace it if I wanted to for about $45), and he offered me $30 for it. Needless to say I made the trade and my companion and I went about our merry way.

The moral of this story then? Well, in my humble opinion it is that if you are going to go to an exclusive shop of any kind, be prepared to haggle and dig for the values that are there somewhere. Small town America isn't only a great place to go for the community and ambiance, but it's also a place to mingle and strike a deal. A concept that we have gotten away from in the Millennial generation of entrepreneurs and corporate business.

And so, thus equipped we headed back on the trail for home and took the backroads and byways to capture that glimpse of rural America that we had set out to find in the beginning.

Though we hadn't really gotten a chance to document the historic farms and barns of the old Lincoln Highway, we had taken a nice few days away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and had some fun. This trip wasn't a total bust however, and in the next installment I will tell you about the final phase... our trip to the zoo.

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