PhaseOne/Mamiya 0% Financing Promo: Considerations When Financing Gear

PhaseOne/Mamiya 0% Financing Promo: Considerations When Financing Gear

At the end of any speaking engagement I'm involved in, I usually offer a bit of advice which includes "Don't go into debt over this".  If you're just starting out, trying to make a go at a career in photography, you need to focus on learning the craft, mastering your equipment, and trying to build your business to a point where you have a steady and somewhat consistent income. The business of photography is a constant ebb & flow, and if you don't have the intestinal fortitude to endure lean times, then it's probably not the right profession for you.

Having said that, once you've got a handle on things and you can sock a little money away for the rainy days, you may find yourself at the point where the equipment you need to grow your business is significantly more expensive than what you've used in the past. Maybe you need specialized equipment that would consume your entire savings account? Or perhaps you've decided to open a studio and need to outfit the space with enough equipment to handle any assignment that presents itself? Depending on your location, there may not be an equipment rental house within any distance that makes renting a practical option. So you're left with buying, and the need to shell out a small fortune. There are several schools of thought on this, but my decision was to keep my working capital available in the bank and lease/finance the equipment I needed to get the job done, writing off the monthly payments as a business expense. I felt that return on my investment would be greater than the cost of the new gear through it's use. I think this is the most important part, will this equipment allow me to increase my income through it's use? If the answer is no, then it's probably not a good investment. Fortunately for me, the gamble paid off and I have seen growth in my business as a result of the images created with the new gear. I won't go into detail on exactly what equipment, but it doesn't really matter. Each of us will have a different need when they reach this crossroad.

If and when you decide to finance a purchase, obviously shopping for the best price and best financing terms is important, just like buying a house or a car. Many of the big equipment manufacturers have promos throughout the year to either kick start sales on new product lines, or clear out old ones. Either way, the savings is usually significant. Currently PhaseOne and Mamiya are running a promotion on new, refurbished, and upgrade purchases which provides financing at 0%. It doesn't take a rocket surgeon to know if you're on the fence with a purchase, this is the time to buy. Even if you were planning to pay cash for equipment, there's no down-side here . . . it's 0% interest (for those who may not be good at math, that's the same as cash).  This allows you to keep your working capital in the bank earning interest, while slowly siphoning each month for the finance payment due.

This current promo is good through the end of the year, so you've got a little time to figure it all out. If you're planning to finance more than $25,000, the offer includes no payments for 90 days. 

Tony Roslund's picture

Tony Roslund is a third-generation photographer, specializing in architecture and food imagery. He is a nationally recognized member of the American Society of Media Photographers and the Association of Independent Architectural Photographers.

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This is a good deal, today, no doubt. However, with the amount of new MF news recently, dropping $25K+ on a medium format system may seem like a really bad idea a year from now.

That's true of anything. Cars, DSLR's, computers, etc. The upside to medium format is that the manufacturers offer some incredible trade in deals as the technology changes, which other technologies don't offer.

Of course, but the difference at this moment in time is that there are potentially a lot more manufacturers about to enter the MF space. They are all using the same sensor at this point anyway (that none of the current MF companies make). So you could be in a situation where you spent a huge chunk of change on a MF system and then all of a sudden there is an influx of new MF options that shift the whole price sector downwards. Then you are holding a system that suddenly lost most of its value (but would still take great images), and could buy a new, comparable systems for far lest cost.

But that doesn't really help you if you need the equipment, like right now :)

I agree, that's why if you are going to buy now, I recommend a deal like 0% financing. ;-)

Although I mention the current promo, this article speaks to gear in general. Maybe it's strobes, grip equip, or even drones or some other specialty gear.