Looking for good&cheap camera shops in Chicago area

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by NR, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. NR

    NR Guest

    Situation:
    Old camera stolen. Want new camera. Canon 300d fits the bill [1].
    My SO flying to States/Chigago in a few weeks (I'm situated in
    Europe). In need of addresses of good camera shops in the
    Chigaco (preferably downtown) area.

    And now the longwinded version:

    Due to my old camera being socialized by parties unknown
    wearing motorcycle helmets and leaving the scene on a smoking
    scooter I'm in the process of trying to get an economical
    replacement. Incidentally, my SO is flying to the States
    soon(ish) which shoppingwise would inflict a discount of
    30% or so compared to local prices.

    So, looking for a reputable camera shops in Chicago area
    where they are not trying to rip off unsuspecting customers
    (i.e. My SO. She'll have written orders but you never know.)
    Or any other camera outlet with reasonable selection and prices.

    She might have a car and then again, maybe not, so downtown area
    is preferred. As I do not have a map of Chicago or any knowledge
    of the city, exact address(es) are best. Maybe even a website?

    I'm not looking for the cheapest deal, just something where the
    prices are ok, and if needed, she can still return/exchange the
    camera if it turns out to be defective. Without restocking fees
    or any such.

    Plan to get the following

    - Canon 300D (Digital Rebel (ridiculous name IMHO, this is not a motorbike))
    Kit lens to go with above (i.e. the $999 package)
    - EF 50/F1.8 ($70ish)
    - 256 or so 12x compact flash ($60ish)
    - UV filters for the lenses, Hoya multicoated or such... ($20ish each)

    ....provided that they have stock. Places where the prices would
    be around the ones mentioned above. Otherwise she'd have to start
    shopping around and that would dramatically decrease the time
    she'd like to spend shopping for shoes and other important items.

    My heartfelt thanks to everyone who took time to read
    this far and perchance is able to help me in my quest.

    - NR

    post scriptum: No valid reply email address, so plese post to NG.

    [1] Or maybe not, but that's _my_ problem :)
     
    NR, Jan 20, 2004
    #1
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  2. NR

    Roger Guest

    Whoa, don't let your paranoia take over. I haven't been into any
    camera shop in the Chicago area that I thought they were trying to
    "take" me. I've been in several where sales staff is not knowledgable
    and you have to assert your needs, not theirs. I don't think that is
    any different than most businesses now.

    Try, Helix Camera(pro/many locations, Racine Ave best IMO; often
    low-price supplier, but not B&H and the don't match price :) ),
    Central Camera (Chicago; big hole-in-the wall shop, good selection,
    advanced/pro), Calumet (look up the location; pro, great selection but
    not the lowest price), LaGrange Camera (LaGrange, IL; good used
    selection, well stocked with some brands, experienced staff) , TC
    Camera (Lisle, IL; very small shop but a good place to establish a
    rapport if you are in the area; !Mom-but-Pop store, some used, good
    for in shop repair, very limited new, but will watch for used items
    for you) , PJ Photo ( Wheaton, IL, pretty good staff, very limited
    used, good Nikon stock - not sure about others). These stores have
    "experts" but you still have to be in control.

    Inventory at some Wolf and Ritz stores is above average, but you are
    the expert there, not the sales people. Check out the "super stores"
    usually listed at the bottom of the adds in the Sunday Chicago
    Tribune.

    There are tons of others.

    Regards,
    Roger


    ...snip ,,
     
    Roger, Jan 20, 2004
    #2
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  3. NR

    RSW Guest

    The Digital Rebel Kit you can always find at a Walmart, Target, Sears, etc.
    They are not difficult to find and it's a boxed kit, so even the most
    nit-witted employees of the department stores will have a hard time screwing
    it up.
     
    RSW, Jan 20, 2004
    #3
  4. NR

    NR Guest

    Just being overcautios after reading an arcticle about the
    camera shops in New York, I guess :) They sell you a
    $100-bill for $49.99 and then make you buy a nice
    clip for it for $299.99.
    Whoa. Thanks! This is more than enough.

    Next I'll have to figure out what kind of test my SO
    needs to run on site. In case the purchase turns out to
    be a lemon (slightly more difficult to handle returns
    and exchanges from Europe).

    - Back/front focus
    - dead pixels
    - hot pixels
    - what else?

    - NR
     
    NR, Jan 21, 2004
    #4
  5. Camera stores in Chicago are good, but they're not cheap.
     
    Robert Feinman, Jan 21, 2004
    #5
  6. NR

    Roger Guest

    Check out the current threads in this NG, e.g.
    Subject: Re: how to check out a used camera?
    Subject: How to buy second hand lenses

    Lots of current stuff happening. You can also take a look at
    www.keh.com for an excellent selection of very conservatively rated
    used gear. Do a google search on that URL in this NG and note the
    nearly 100% positive experience.

    Whatever you buy make sure it has a grace period for money back
    returns. KEH allows 14 days IIRC. The local stores in Chicago vary.
    Still it's your evaluation that's important and you may be straining
    things if you ask your SO to go too far out on a limb in picking your
    gear for you. If you are picky about your equipment, you might try
    ordering from KEH in the "excellent" or better category and make use
    of their 14 day return.

    Regards,
    Roger
     
    Roger, Jan 21, 2004
    #6
  7. Central Camera.... absolutely honest... Cheap is relative, especially if
    the cheapest turns out to be a bad bargain after you leave the USA.. Your
    euros are up enough so that getting the last 5% off doesn't mean much...
    Deal with Central...
    denny
     
    Dennis O'Connor, Jan 21, 2004
    #7
  8. NR

    Frank Pittel Guest

    Here in the Chicago area you've got some quality to choose from. While they
    don't compete with Adorama or B&H for price they have knowledgable staff
    that will spend as much time with you as you need.

    The three big names here in Chicago in the order of my personal preference is:
    Calumet
    Central Camera
    Helix

    There is another mom and pop shop in the western 'burbs called PJ's camera.
    They are in a strip mall on Roosevelt road a few blocks west of rt53.


    : Situation:
    : Old camera stolen. Want new camera. Canon 300d fits the bill [1].
    : My SO flying to States/Chigago in a few weeks (I'm situated in
    : Europe). In need of addresses of good camera shops in the
    : Chigaco (preferably downtown) area.

    : And now the longwinded version:

    : Due to my old camera being socialized by parties unknown
    : wearing motorcycle helmets and leaving the scene on a smoking
    : scooter I'm in the process of trying to get an economical
    : replacement. Incidentally, my SO is flying to the States
    : soon(ish) which shoppingwise would inflict a discount of
    : 30% or so compared to local prices.

    : So, looking for a reputable camera shops in Chicago area
    : where they are not trying to rip off unsuspecting customers
    : (i.e. My SO. She'll have written orders but you never know.)
    : Or any other camera outlet with reasonable selection and prices.

    : She might have a car and then again, maybe not, so downtown area
    : is preferred. As I do not have a map of Chicago or any knowledge
    : of the city, exact address(es) are best. Maybe even a website?

    : I'm not looking for the cheapest deal, just something where the
    : prices are ok, and if needed, she can still return/exchange the
    : camera if it turns out to be defective. Without restocking fees
    : or any such.

    : Plan to get the following

    : - Canon 300D (Digital Rebel (ridiculous name IMHO, this is not a motorbike))
    : Kit lens to go with above (i.e. the $999 package)
    : - EF 50/F1.8 ($70ish)
    : - 256 or so 12x compact flash ($60ish)
    : - UV filters for the lenses, Hoya multicoated or such... ($20ish each)

    : ...provided that they have stock. Places where the prices would
    : be around the ones mentioned above. Otherwise she'd have to start
    : shopping around and that would dramatically decrease the time
    : she'd like to spend shopping for shoes and other important items.

    : My heartfelt thanks to everyone who took time to read
    : this far and perchance is able to help me in my quest.

    : - NR

    : post scriptum: No valid reply email address, so plese post to NG.

    : [1] Or maybe not, but that's _my_ problem :)




    --




    Keep working millions on welfare depend on you
     
    Frank Pittel, Jan 22, 2004
    #8
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