Favorite On-Line Camera Store

Discussion in 'Product Availability' started by roteague, Jul 17, 2005.

  1. roteague

    roteague Member

    Messages:
    6,671
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Kaneohe, Haw
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Recently, I've begun upgrading some of my equipment and as a result I have been dealing with the big 3 on-line camera stores; Calumet, Adorama and B&H. I've found Calumet to be the best that I've dealt with, Adorama keeps lising items in stock, only to be told after you order that the item is not in stock, B&H is fine, except for a minor shipping hassle (like a lot of people these days, I only have a cell phone - they wouldn't ship my order until I could fax them a copy of a utility bill to prove I live where I do, and they won't ship to my billing address). I've considered ordering from Robert White in the UK, but I am concerned with custom duties on purchases; they do have some items I want and can't find anywhere else.

    For film purchases I generally use Calumet and J&C for the occasional B&W - I pretty well only shoot Velvia.

    My question, is are there any other stores I should look at in the future other than these three?

    Not sure where to put this.
     
  2. Paul Sorensen

    Paul Sorensen Member

    Messages:
    1,897
    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Paul, MN
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I am very happy with Freestyle, although it sounds like you might not really benefit from using them. I really like their house brand products and their inexpensive and quick shipping. I don't know that their shipping will be so quick and inexpensive to Hawaii and they probably charge a bit more for Velvia than the New York dealers do and they seem to have a bit thinner selection in sheet transparency film as well.

    They are also APUG sponsors, which I appreciate.
     
  3. KenM

    KenM Member

    Messages:
    800
    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Location:
    Calgary, Alb
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    My online shopping has primarily been done at badgergraphic.com (Jeff is awesome), mpex.com (Jim Andraki is also great), and keh.com. I built my 645 kit from mpex.com and keh.com for cheap, and everything was in perfect condition. I've purchased 4 4x5 lenses from badgergraphic, with great service from Jeff each time.

    I've also dealt with B&H a couple of times (ok experience, really expensive shipping), and Freestyle (I bought so much stuff, they threw in some freebies).

    I've not had a bad experience with any of them. All recommended.

    Oh, I have bought stuff from Calumet, but only from their store in S.F....never over the net.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,940
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    I've had good experiences with Robert White and Freestyle. I prefer B&H to Adorama, but I shop there in person rather than online. Calumet NYC has gone increasingly digital, but maybe online it's not so bad. Good experience also at badgergraphic.com and mpex.com.
     
  5. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

    Messages:
    576
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Italy
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    You're not going to like my opinion but... Robert White. I get fulfillment in under 16 hours to Italy everytime. Not the cheapest, but well worth what you pay for. Plus an honest and well informed sales team (talk to Matt Samson for LF)... they've plundered my credit card many times.

    Off hand, what IS import duty and sales tax to, say Hawaii? The other way around to Italy would mean 20% VAT + 4.5% import duty on goods+shipping value...
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

    Messages:
    17,940
    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2002
    Location:
    Honolulu, Ha
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    No VAT or sales tax to the US and import duty is hit or miss. I don't think I've been hit with a duty on the couple of items I've ordered from Robert White, but it may depend on the nature and value of the particular item. The real issue is the exchange rate. I haven't bought from them in a while since the dollar fell against the UKP.
     
  7. roteague

    roteague Member

    Messages:
    6,671
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2004
    Location:
    Kaneohe, Haw
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I'm not looking so much for film, since that is easy to get. I'm looking for additional sources for other accessories. One thing I am looking for is hard to get B+W and Lee filters - for example, a 86mm Warm Circular (or Linear) Polarizer which Robert White has for £122 (6 week order) or Lee ND Grad - 0.3, 0.6 and 0.9 hard graduation (B&H has a set, on back order).
     
  8. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,439
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've had good luck with B&H, KEH, Calumet, Alkit, and Pacific Rim Camera. I order just about all of my B&W film from J&C and can't say enough good things about them! :smile:

    I had one issue with an order from Calumet - they sent the wrong part once, but one phone call was all it took to resolve the problem. To be fair, the wrong part that they sent was actually in the correct box for the item I ordered, so it was really a manufacturers problem (Metz).
     
  9. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

    Messages:
    4,679
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Location:
    Italia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Well FedEx is holding a Keh package right now. I've bought a few LF lenses from Mpex. Both have prices that can be cheaper then Ebay bidding.

    For hard to get new stuff I think most is going special order. It's a pain but I don't see any other choice.
     
  10. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,720
    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2004
    Location:
    Vegas/myster
    Shooter:
    ULarge Format
    The View Camera Store, B and H, Badger Graphic, I am happy with these three.
     
  11. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,439
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2003
    Location:
    New Jersey,
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Speaking of camera stores...

    We lost yet another local, Mom & Pop store about a week ago. Dorn's in Red Bank, NJ closed it's doors after 60 some odd years. It was the last place close to home where I could just stop in during my lunch hour and get B&W chemicals without driving an hour or more.

    It's always sad to see the end of an era...
     
  12. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

    Messages:
    696
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    Fremantle, W
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Another vote for Robert White. They deliver the products I order to me quicker and for less total cost than any store in Australia can do. And they give a discount of 10% to members of the f32.net community, though I haven't taken advantage of that benefit.

    Cheers,
     
  13. rjs003

    rjs003 Subscriber

    Messages:
    266
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Location:
    Finger Lakes
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Freestyle and B and H have both given good service. My fear is that as suppliers drop out the variety of items available will become very limited and costly.
     
  14. photomc

    photomc Member

    Messages:
    3,575
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Freestyle, Calumet (online), and ebay for quite a bit of equipment. Have had very good luck with th auction site - from lens for a Mamiya 645, to LF cameras and lens.

    The first two for darkroom supplies, as well as Bostick & Sullivan and Photogrpahers Fromulary (but you seemed interested in equipment more).