Used camera & lens website

OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
This morning I'm taking a look at categorisation

Was wondering if I could separate out Digital/Film - but it's not easy.

Since most of the data will be scraped off websites, I'm not privvy to behind the scenes categorisations.

So I have.
- brand categories with mixed bodies/lenses/accessories
- brand categories with mixed digital/film
- film categories with mixed brands

Now I could assume any lens will have 'mm' in the title, but I cannot easily distinguish between accessories and bodies. Or digital bodies and film bodies, if they are not already categorised as such.

The problem also is that lenses can be interchangeable with film/digital... so you'd want to categorise by mount ..

Also maybe I should combine Panasonic and Olympus into a 4/3rds category, because I'm missing out on third party brands because I'm separating results based on the words 'Panasonic' and 'Olympus' appearing in the title most of the time.
 
Last edited:
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
Ok question!

should I go the same route of menu categorisation taken by Ffordes? my over simplification of 'brands' does mean this is not a 'one-stop-shop' when it comes to used photography goods - but it could be.

If you see
https://www.ffordes.com/

Checkout 'Digital Cameras' 'Film Cameras' 'Lenses'

I could build something similar

screenshot.png
 
Messages
6,996
Name
Bazza
Edit My Images
No
What about those in the list have been sold? is that site of yours doing a minute by minute update. If not then it is not very helpful
 
Messages
6,996
Name
Bazza
Edit My Images
No
ok
you didn't mention that which is why I asked
sorry
 
Last edited:
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
ok
you didn't mention that which is why I asked
sorry
Mpb actually updates once a day because they update their product Feed once a day.

All the other sites I scrape and it would be too resource intensive to doing it more frequently than hourly.
 
Messages
6,996
Name
Bazza
Edit My Images
No
Did wonder why you quote from only a couple of companies at least for Nikon and they may not have the best offers
 
Last edited:
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
Did wonder why you quote from only a couple of companies at least for Nikon and they not have the best offers
What do you mean by not have the best offers? what are you comparing to?

And whilst it's not every retailer it's 7 at the moment

  • Dale Photographic
  • Ffordes
  • Harrison Cameras
  • London Camera Exchange
  • MPB
  • Park Cameras
  • Richard Caplan

I will be adding more retailers soon, just it's been a lot of work over the last week to build the site to where it is.
 
Last edited:
Messages
5,647
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
[opinion]

I think that categorising cameras by film/digi is fine. Lenses should be categorised by mount rather than manufacturer. That way if I want a wide aperture 50 for my M3, I can look at Leica, Zeiss and Voigtlander options all together. Being able to categorise by "M Mount" and then type "50mm" into the search box to get my results would be job jobbed. Sorting through "all sigma lenses" to find the mount you're looking for would be a pain.

The ffordes way of doing things is not terrible, but I much prefer browsing WYC (https://wycameras.com/) to find what I'm after.
 
Last edited:
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
Ohh great site Dan.

Thanks very much. (Although you may just have cost me £550 on a 135dc!!)
thanks, I'm not familiar with 'DC' is that a film lens? - edit I see what it is now.
 
Last edited:
Messages
4,823
Edit My Images
No
That looks really good. Thank you.
There is a list of retailers on the Light Box blog page, there may be a few used sellers there worth including in your search.

Light Box
I think that's the most comprehensive list I've seen! Ian makes a good point about adding a disclaimer, but I'd also suggest searching some review sites and drawing your own conclusions before adding a site, e.g.:

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/rockycameras.com
https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.mwclassic.com
https://www.timeout.com/london/shopping/nicholas-camera-company

Some shops have never had a great reputation, and others seem to have had 'issues' in recent years.
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
I think that's the most comprehensive list I've seen! Ian makes a good point about adding a disclaimer, but I'd also suggest searching some review sites and drawing your own conclusions before adding a site, e.g.:

https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/rockycameras.com
https://uk.trustpilot.com/review/www.mwclassic.com
https://www.timeout.com/london/shopping/nicholas-camera-company

Some shops have never had a great reputation, and others seem to have had 'issues' in recent years.
Thanks! I'll keep it mind as I add more, which is hold at the moment whilst I have a crisis over categorisation.

Should I include film?

How do I compress it, like this?

  • Canon
  • Sony
  • Nikon
  • Panasonic (non 4/3rds)
  • Olympus (non 4/3rds)
  • Pentax
  • Leica
  • Fuji
  • Sigma (Sigma mounts only)
  • Ricoh
  • Micro 4/3
  • Medium Format (mixed digital film?)
  • 35mm Film (everything)

I started to look at a more comprehensive format, but I'm told I should keep it simple... I'm struggling to balance simple and the wealth of data to categorise.


1590489152158.png
1590489167593.png

1590489195031.png
 
Messages
454
Name
John
Edit My Images
No
Great site Dan. Thanks for doing this, but as others have suggested, could cost me ££££££££.

As a Pentax shooter it's great to see we're included. Can I suggest you might wish to add another retailer? SRS Microsystems in Watford.

They're great for Pentax; other brands are available.:)
 
Messages
5,647
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
whenever I look for used Leica lenses (other brands are available) it takes a while to find all the websites they're listed on
Your site is called UsedLens.co.uk

In my very humble opinion, I'd work on getting lenses working well - which should be easier as all that matters is the mount. Both film and digi shooters search for lenses.

Maybe tackle cameras in 2 steps - 1st digital, then film. I would suspect most people know which camera they're looking for so it's a slightly different journey.

Maybe a Trello board or something to track ideas & plans as well as keep the focus on what's important (to you)?

Either way - keep on it - it's a fab idea.
 
Messages
4,823
Edit My Images
No
Thanks! I'll keep it mind as I add more, which is hold at the moment whilst I have a crisis over categorisation.

Should I include film?

How do I compress it, like this?

  • Canon
  • Sony
  • Nikon
  • Panasonic (non 4/3rds)
  • Olympus (non 4/3rds)
  • Pentax
  • Leica
  • Fuji
  • Sigma (Sigma mounts only)
  • Ricoh
  • Micro 4/3
  • Medium Format (mixed digital film?)
  • 35mm Film (everything)

I started to look at a more comprehensive format, but I'm told I should keep it simple... I'm struggling to balance simple and the wealth of data to categorise.
I guess it's the cross-system lenses like 4/3 or third party lenses in general that are the main issue? Some sites like Camerapricebuster have a simple Manufacturer->System->Category hierarchy, e.g. Leica->Leica M->Lenses. For third party lenses it's just (e.g.) Sigma->Nikon fit. This means splitting lenses from different manufacturers that fit the same cameras, but it can get messy otherwise (e.g. Should all classic M42 or K-mount lenses be together, regardless of manufacturer? How about the new mirrorless L-mount?).
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
I have done what I think necessary, it'll take me a little while to rewrite the logic for importing existing retailers to fit...

I hope putting these in a menu like and separating cameras from lenses in the table doesn't take away from the ease of use.

1590512792836.png

1590512802438.png
 
Messages
5,647
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
For me, lenses is confusing.

The Canon EF and Nikon F mount lenses work on both digital and film bodies natively. Same for Leica M, Sony/Minolta, Pentax 645 and probably others.

For a film shooter it just means dipping into multiple headings and using search, which is still a billion miles better than what we have to do today (log on to each site manually and use their search).
 
Messages
403
Name
Ben
Edit My Images
Yes
Awesome. Good luck with monitising it.

Probably a lot of work, but filtering would be awesome, e.g. by mount, focal length... not sure how you'd do this, you'd have to maintain a lens data base that can be referenced that pulls through the metadata, with the lookup based on model number, if the retailers publish that..
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
Awesome. Good luck with monitising it.

Probably a lot of work, but filtering would be awesome, e.g. by mount, focal length... not sure how you'd do this, you'd have to maintain a lens data base that can be referenced that pulls through the metadata, with the lookup based on model number, if the retailers publish that..
I'm working on a results search for most retailers, it would be too resource intensive to drill down into each page and hope for more meta data which probably won't exist.

I did consider if I had my own database of every thing, and then automatically and manually tied lens/cameras to an official entry with all the data - so ..much...work :D
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
For me, lenses is confusing.

The Canon EF and Nikon F mount lenses work on both digital and film bodies natively. Same for Leica M, Sony/Minolta, Pentax 645 and probably others.

For a film shooter it just means dipping into multiple headings and using search, which is still a billion miles better than what we have to do today (log on to each site manually and use their search).
So what would be enough to make it less confusing?

Change the 'Digital Lens Mounts' to just 'Lens Mounts'

I could list Leica as...
Leica M/CL/SL/S

What scenario will the film shooter be troubled by? I'm not too familiar with the film stuff.
 
Messages
5,647
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
So what would be enough to make it less confusing?
I honestly don't think you can win and I feel like I'm just giving you work here... Best do what you feel is right... There are a ton of lens mounts out there... Canon alone has FL, FD (film), EF (both), EF-S, EF-M and RF (digi), so it would be much more intensive to set up. Search google for Lens mounts and open the wikipedia page where they're all listed. There's a few!


What scenario will the film shooter be troubled by?
It's not exclusive to film, it's just that there are more esoteric mounts...
"I want a 50mm lens for my Leica M6." (M mount) In your current setup, I'd search Leica, note the prices, then have to search Zeiss and Voigtlander to see what was available there.
"I want a 70-200 f2.8 for my Canon 5d4" Must search Sigma, Canon and Tamron(?) to get all the options.
"I've got an M42 adapter for my (whatever camera) and I want a 50mm lens for it..." Yikes!

If you know exactly what lens you want, it works fine.
If I want the 50mm Summilux, I can go straight to the Leica dropdown & search for it. If that's the intent of your site, it's working well.

Maybe it's best just to change "Digital lens mounts" to "digital lenses" and let the user figure out what they want...
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
I honestly don't think you can win and I feel like I'm just giving you work here... Best do what you feel is right... There are a ton of lens mounts out there... Canon alone has FL, FD (film), EF (both), EF-S, EF-M and RF (digi), so it would be much more intensive to set up. Search google for Lens mounts and open the wikipedia page where they're all listed. There's a few!



It's not exclusive to film, it's just that there are more esoteric mounts...
"I want a 50mm lens for my Leica M6." (M mount) In your current setup, I'd search Leica, note the prices, then have to search Zeiss and Voigtlander to see what was available there.
"I want a 70-200 f2.8 for my Canon 5d4" Must search Sigma, Canon and Tamron(?) to get all the options.
"I've got an M42 adapter for my (whatever camera) and I want a 50mm lens for it..." Yikes!

If you know exactly what lens you want, it works fine.
If I want the 50mm Summilux, I can go straight to the Leica dropdown & search for it. If that's the intent of your site, it's working well.

Maybe it's best just to change "Digital lens mounts" to "digital lenses" and let the user figure out what they want...
But the voigtlander and Zeiss will appear under Leica mount

The sigma will appear under canon, Nikon etc only sigma mount lenses will be in the sigma category.

I am moving them into actual mount categories not their own brands. That’s what I’ve done, or have I misunderstood?
 
Last edited:
Messages
29
Name
Dean
Edit My Images
No
Ohh great site Dan.

Thanks very much. (Although you may just have cost me £550 on a 135dc!!)
Nikon 135 dc (de-focus control). It’s an awesome portrait lens. I’ve owned 2 before and it’s always the first lens that gets sold when I’m “going off” photography again (and always the first one I miss when I’m back on it again!!)
 
Messages
5,647
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
That’s what I’ve done, or have I misunderstood?
No. It's me. I saw the headings and presumed they referred to manufacturers... I'll go away now...:coat:
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
No. It's me. I saw the headings and presumed they referred to manufacturers... I'll go away now...:coat:
No it's all good, good to be sure at this stage as it'll cement a lot of coding I need to do to the feeds to categorise them! So thanks for your help.
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
Nikon 135 dc (de-focus control). It’s an awesome portrait lens. I’ve owned 2 before and it’s always the first lens that gets sold when I’m “going off” photography again (and always the first one I miss when I’m back on it again!!)
Sounds pretty cool!
 
Messages
561
Edit My Images
No
That's very neat - well done!
If I could add a couple of retailers, I'd have Camera Jungle and CEX.

Regarding spidering sites to get their prices - I'd keep the frequency nice and low.
I work in web analytics and you'd be amazed at how quickly robot activity bumps up the numbers - ruining them for their legitimate uses - then it's off to IT to find and block the browser agent/IP address...
Being a free acquisition source for a retailer will be welcome but being a nuisance won't be :)

And again - really nice job - I wish some of those retailers had such a slick search!
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
That's very neat - well done!
If I could add a couple of retailers, I'd have Camera Jungle and CEX.

Regarding spidering sites to get their prices - I'd keep the frequency nice and low.
I work in web analytics and you'd be amazed at how quickly robot activity bumps up the numbers - ruining them for their legitimate uses - then it's off to IT to find and block the browser agent/IP address...
Being a free acquisition source for a retailer will be welcome but being a nuisance won't be :)

And again - really nice job - I wish some of those retailers had such a slick search!
Thanks,

I'm keeping my hits for each retailer to once an hour, preferably in as few hits as possible.

Not sure if it's connected but my connection to clifton cameras is no longer working!
https://stackoverflow.com/questions...-valid-certification-path-to-requested-target

Not to mention I'm dying over here in trying to categorise stuff based off a scrape...
 
Messages
1,575
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
No
Fantastic effort Dan, so difficult to please everyone but I was impressed by what you have done so far.

Has the potential to cost me money....

Another retailer to add if I may suggest..... Cambrian Photography.

resist! Resist! RESIST!!!
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
Fantastic effort Dan, so difficult to please everyone but I was impressed by what you have done so far.

Has the potential to cost me money....

Another retailer to add if I may suggest..... Cambrian Photography.

resist! Resist! RESIST!!!
thank you, i'll add it to my list to add :)
 
D

Deleted member 92214

Guest
fantastic work. shows those websites that they could improve their own search
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
London Camera exchange mixed Olympus OM with Olympus Micro Four Thirds, and give you no way of separating them as there is no consistency with naming

So it makes me want to dump them together,

They also don't differentiate between Contax medium format and 35mm lenses... frustrating...

I'm going to make banana bread
 
Messages
5,647
Name
Ian
Edit My Images
No
They also don't differentiate between Contax medium format and 35mm lenses... frustrating...
It's almost like they want to hide their lenses so you can't buy them!
I smell a global conspiracy.
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
It's almost like they want to hide their lenses so you can't buy them!
I smell a global conspiracy.
I wonder that each retailer adds their own used lenses, and their is little consistency in how they name them. They're making my work impossible :D
 
Messages
561
Edit My Images
No
Thanks,

I'm keeping my hits for each retailer to once an hour, preferably in as few hits as possible.

Not sure if it's connected but my connection to clifton cameras is no longer working!
https://stackoverflow.com/questions...-valid-certification-path-to-requested-target

Not to mention I'm dying over here in trying to categorise stuff based off a scrape...
I can only imagine on the categorisation - given that MPB often used to put the wrong lens pictures or wrong lenses entirely up when they were similar - like the 3x Olympus 14-42 kit lenses.

Your link might already be blocked, glancing at your stackover flow example you are referencing http not https - it's not that simple is it?
Also make sure you're not accidentally hitting a loop - once upon a time in the beginning of the century one of our spiders got into an infinite loop on a car manufacturer site.
They very politely rang us up and asked us to switch it off until we'd fixed it :eek:

Once an hour is noticeable in most website analytics for smaller sites.
Say 5 pages x 24hrs = 120 pages per day.
Given you're only visiting once an hour - and I'm guessing you're accepting cookies but purging them each time - you'll be treated as a New visitor/New session each time.
Default sessions are usually 30mins.
So an extra 24 sessions and 24 new users every day - all from the same IP (I imagine)
...or worse if each spider is a new user 120 new users a day from the same IP.
No idea how busy some of those sites are but behind the scenes they could be running on a shoe string system - I can't imagine smaller camera chains have been investing heavily in IT since they went online.
A complete database search on used stock every hour will be a noticeable hit unless they've set something really over capacity or really well (see previous comment).
A robot hitting the site on a predictable basis 24/7 sticks out a mile.
A big site will accept it and filter it from their live analytics - a small site will see it as a cost overhead and block it.

If you know they're updating stock during business hours then throttling back refreshes outside regular hours would be polite.
If you see this as a long term project then you should probably contact sites and get their co-operation.
You should be sending them free customers - but they might not see it that way.

Keep going - it's really good!
 
OP
D
Messages
5,976
Name
Dan
Edit My Images
No
I can only imagine on the categorisation - given that MPB often used to put the wrong lens pictures or wrong lenses entirely up when they were similar - like the 3x Olympus 14-42 kit lenses.

Your link might already be blocked, glancing at your stackover flow example you are referencing http not https - it's not that simple is it?
Also make sure you're not accidentally hitting a loop - once upon a time in the beginning of the century one of our spiders got into an infinite loop on a car manufacturer site.
They very politely rang us up and asked us to switch it off until we'd fixed it :eek:

Once an hour is noticeable in most website analytics for smaller sites.
Say 5 pages x 24hrs = 120 pages per day.
Given you're only visiting once an hour - and I'm guessing you're accepting cookies but purging them each time - you'll be treated as a New visitor/New session each time.
Default sessions are usually 30mins.
So an extra 24 sessions and 24 new users every day - all from the same IP (I imagine)
...or worse if each spider is a new user 120 new users a day from the same IP.
No idea how busy some of those sites are but behind the scenes they could be running on a shoe string system - I can't imagine smaller camera chains have been investing heavily in IT since they went online.
A complete database search on used stock every hour will be a noticeable hit unless they've set something really over capacity or really well (see previous comment).
A robot hitting the site on a predictable basis 24/7 sticks out a mile.
A big site will accept it and filter it from their live analytics - a small site will see it as a cost overhead and block it.

If you know they're updating stock during business hours then throttling back refreshes outside regular hours would be polite.
If you see this as a long term project then you should probably contact sites and get their co-operation.
You should be sending them free customers - but they might not see it that way.

Keep going - it's really good!
Thanks, I see I did miss the s off http by accident, put it in but same message.

I don't know about accepting cookies, I'm not actively accepting anything - just getting the HTML of the page when it first loads. Haven't been purging any cookies.

I have dialed it back to once a day for now, in the early hours of the morning - well it would be I need to go back and check the clocks as it's an american host.

I'm almost at the point of giving up on categorisation and putting everything under the manufacturing brand and forgetting lens mounts! :) i'm sure i'll feel better once i get past London Camera Exchange.
 
Top