Local camera stores are useless

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by Hugo Drax, Jan 19, 2004.

  1. Hugo Drax

    Hugo Drax Guest

    Not one local camera store carries any product anymore. I needed a 135mm
    F2.0 and no one carries them. I have visited several local stores and this
    is what I found.

    #1 Little if any stock
    #2 Uneducated Sales people
    #3 High prices (typically 40% over B&H) [some things are cheaper so I always

    So what is the point of going to them if they cannot provide for your needs?
    I wish I lived in NY where I can walk into B&H for my needs.
    Hugo Drax, Jan 19, 2004
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  2. Hugo Drax

    PSsquare Guest

    One thing which might help is to ask where the local pro's do business. I
    am fortunate to have an excellent store nearby, and am regularly running
    into pro's there who are wedding photogs in there buying their film etc.
    Some of them come from as far as 75 miles, and that may suggest that you
    look a little further than I had to look.

    Sure, the price are higher than B&H but I don't wonder if I am going to
    really find what I needed when I open the UPS box a few days later. And, I
    don't have to deal directly with Nikon repair service as a single purchaser
    either. The leverage from a pro level store seems to help get proper

    Good luck.

    PSsquare, Jan 19, 2004
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  3. needs?

    Every month, there are fewer and fewer local camera stores like this. Of
    course, every month there are fewer and fewer local camera stores. About
    the only way a "no-stock, no-expertise, no-discount" camera store can
    is in a high tourist traffic area, and even that's going to become
    as digital's market share increases.

    But you also have to be realistic in your expectations. A 135mm f/2.0 is a
    specialty item. At least here in the U.S., the focal length has fallen out
    of favor for portraits, and for other professional uses a 70- or 80-200
    is far more common. I wouldn't expect any consumer-oriented store to stock
    such a big-ticket, low-volume item.

    For a "pro-boutique," the model is slightly different, but they might not
    have it in stock either. Instead, if I was an established customer and
    to try such a lens, I'd call ahead and give the store some time to arrange
    with the appropriate Nikon or Canon sales rep.
    Michael Benveniste, Jan 19, 2004
  4. Hugo Drax

    Matt White Guest

    An analogy: would you start up a Ferrari dealership in a small, remote
    city? That's what a 135/2.0 is. A Ferrari. Your average person just wants
    a consumer-grade Honda Civic or a Ford Taurus, like an Espio or Sureshot.
    It simply makes no business sense for a shop in a small city to stock
    something that's so rarely sold.

    Also, a small city simply might not have enough knowledgeable people
    willing to work for a retail wage. You've got better luck if there's a
    university nearby, with some arts students. Your average retail store
    can't afford to hire pros as salespeople.
    Matt White, Jan 19, 2004
  5. Hugo Drax

    Gregg Guest

    B&H and any other good store will ship you what you need in a couple of
    Gregg, Jan 19, 2004
  6. Hugo Drax

    Skip M Guest

    Where do you live? Are you looking for the Canon version? Your description
    doesn't fit any of the local independent stores in San Diego. Maybe Ritz,
    but not George's, North County Camera or Nelson's.
    Skip M, Jan 20, 2004
  7. Not me....Cause then I would have to pay NYC's 8% sales taxes on everything
    I bought there. By ordering it mail order from here in Oregon, I don't have
    to pay any sales tax. Even if you lived in New Jersey, or some other high
    tax state, you can order it tax free....The best thing you could do is to go
    into their store, look at the item, and have them put it aside for you. Then
    go home to Jersey, and pick up the phone, and have them send it to you and
    charge your credit card. You would then have the best of both worlds....Get
    to see the item in hand, but avoid the sales taxes when you paid for it.....
    William Graham, Jan 20, 2004
  8. Hugo Drax

    Jaimie Guest


    I totally agree with you there, but don't blame all of the mom and pop
    stores. B&H sells at basically dealer net or a few dollars over. I
    know because I used to work at a mom and pop camera store. We shut
    down long ago but still exist as a used camera dealership online
    (where margins still exist). As far as getting expert advice, you
    *should* expect to pay at least a double digit percentage more (15%
    seems reasonable to me!). You pay a waiter that in tips. A good
    educated staff (not salesmen) where most people in the lab shoot in
    their spare time, etc., is worth a few bucks.

    Quit complaining. B&H is legit. But don't expect handholding either,
    you know?


    Jaimie, Jan 20, 2004
  9. Hugo Drax

    Roger Guest

    Wow, you seem to be looking for a pretty specialized lens. Are you
    looking at the right stores? I wouldn't expect anyone in the Chicago
    metro area to have one of those on the shelf except the stores
    catering in specialized used items or pro business, even then I call
    first. I gladly travel the extra miles to Helix Chicago when looking
    for an item that my local stores can't carry or even have access to.
    However, I keep in close contact with the local stores and sometimes
    they call me when something on my list comes up.

    Roger, Jan 20, 2004
  10. Hugo Drax

    Jim Waggener Guest

    You need to get that "typical price list" link on your site repaired ...
    its broken.

    Jim Waggener, Jan 20, 2004
  11. Hugo Drax

    Rivergoat Guest

    Bingo. I think you nailed it right there. I have a local store I deal
    with all the time in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of the guys that
    works there knows everything and more. He shoots and craves
    photography; it's not just a job to him. I respect his opinion and
    advice. And yes, their prices may be more than B&H, but even he uses
    KEH as a source for his own equipment, so he has no reservations about
    helping me even if I just bought equipment from both KEH and eBay.

    Wherever possible, by all means support your local pros....
    Rivergoat, Jan 21, 2004
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