Nicholas Cameras Camden

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Mr Worry, Feb 20, 2009.

  1. Mr Worry

    Mr Worry Member

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    Being a newcomer to film photography,I was looking to treat myself to a Rollieflex 6x6 TLR, and as I could not afford to purchase a brand new one I took the used route in hope of finding a good one. As a avid reader of Amateur Photographer I found many dealers that deal in used equipment at the back of the magazine. As expected all were very helpful and polite in trying to find me what I needed. That was until i gave Nicholas Cameras in Camden, London a call. I spoke to a assistant there when I explained what I was looking for in the best way I could (as I'm not too experienced when it comes to Rollieflexes) that must of shown, as He had absolutely no time for me whatsoever and I felt that he was talking down to me, not to me, this left me feeling quite intimidated. When I simply asked him if the camera came with any instructions or packaging he raised his voice and told me "no!,what did I expect for that price"(£1275) and that the camera was an exceptional example for its price and that there were plenty more interested buyers also looking at it. Then he quickly told me to come down and look at it for myself quoted me the store times then abruptly hung up on me. By this i was quite taken aback at how rude he was and called the store back to speak to his manager who applogised later for his behavior. Am i just unlucky or has anyone else here had any experiences like this?
     
  2. milkplus-mesto

    milkplus-mesto Member

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    Mr Worry, having been to the shop itself, I'd warn against buying anything at all from there. It's a little photographic aladdin's cave, but the proprietors are not the most agreeable of people. Nothing is priced and they rely on their own Amateur Photographer adverts to determine prices. When I turned up, they were apparently in the process of cataloging their stock. Why not check out their website, last updated July 2006.

    If I were you I'd check out www.ffordes.com or www.mifsuds.com. Nicholas didn't make me feel welcomed.
     
  3. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    I've found them extremely unhelpful on the three or four times I've called them. They seemed to never have anyone who knew about their stock, despite the items being shown in adverts & on their website.

    The attitude was so of putting I decided that's it I won't contact them again.

    Rollieflex's are easy to find and at better prices for a good camera, manuals or guides are easy to find on the Net, unless you want something very up to date go for a 2.8/3.5 lens in an E or F, probably half the price you looked at, try FFordes, or someone else reputable.

    Ian
     
  4. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    I was wandering past Nicholas once and popped in. I asked the guy if they had any brass lenses at all, just out of curiosity. The guy talked down to me and said that 'if they got to know me they could maybe 'do me a deal'. I actually laughed (I have enough brass for my wet-plate) and promptly left. The manager (I assume that was his title) was really arrogant and unhelpful, the shop was a mess, dusty and untidy, no prices anywhere, god knows how they maintain a customer base.......?!.......
    I just bought a Rolleiflex MXEVS from Leica shop Wien for £320, it is beautiful, shutter speeds bang on, lenses clean. I would highly recommend them. :smile:
     
  5. Charly

    Charly Member

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    Nicholas is one of the last vestiges of what I think of as Camden - and I wouldn't change it for the world! He makes a lot of money burning those that allow themselves to be and is a cantankerous ummm, I'm new here, insert your preferred expletive...HOWEVER - you can do "a deal" with him IF you have the patience and have done your research thoroughly. It's like shopping in Thailand - offer 1/3 of what he says and work from there.

    He never burnt me and has furnished me with several outfits in the last 10 years or so. Aperture is a much nicer place to go when you want something - you won't be patronised, everything is fairly priced and the coffee is good too - but if you want a thingummy for a blah blah and you need it by tomorrow, Nicholas will come through.
     
  6. Anton Lukoszevieze

    Anton Lukoszevieze Subscriber

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    I am sceptical. Best thing from Camden of yore was Compendium bookshop :sad:
     
  7. Peter Black

    Peter Black Subscriber

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  8. Allan Swindles

    Allan Swindles Member

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    Mr Worry, just because you are a newbie to film doesn't mean you shouldn't be treated with civility. Don't 'worry' about it, just do NOT give them your business. Neither will many other UK residents after reading this! Ffords and mifsuds are good and have been previously mentioned. Ace cameras and Camtech have always given me good service. Do not rush to make your purchase, do some research. If your budget allows, go for a Rolleiflex 3.5F, OK 2.8 if you must, but more cash and not required with modern emulsions. The E models will be less expensive, similar camera w/o built in lightmeter, I think. BTW, the meters are not TTL. I have used a 3.5F for many years, it is a great camera. You won't go far wrong with the Rollei T (Tessar) either.
     
  9. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    There was a camera shop in Windsor ON, where the clerk would ask all sorts of trick questions in order to prove his mental superiority. He'd usually whip out a pitiful snap of a dog in the woods by way of extoling the virtues of fill flash. In the half dozen times I walked into the shop, I'm pretty sure he talked himself out of a sale nearly every time. When the shop closed and the troll was gone, I bought up their entire paper stock at pennies on the dollar. :D

    Cheers,
     
  10. archphoto

    archphoto Member

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    Rolleiflexes E are wonderfull, both in 3.5 and 2.8 and easier to repair than than the F's.
    The lichtmeter was of the selenium type and measured from above the focussing lens.
    On the E's they were not coupled, on the F's they were.
    The verry late 3.5F Planar's were even better than the 2.8F Planar's.

    If you want to go cheaper: get a Rolleicord Vb, they are good performers too.

    I own a 2.8F that I restored about 25 years ago: a great camera and I got it by repairing and 2.8E cause the owner lost faith in the 2.8F .

    Peter
    Rolleiflex and leafshutter repair and prof.photographer
     
  11. David Henderson

    David Henderson Member

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    Not a nice store. They need you more than you need them. Avoid.
     
  12. ooze

    ooze Member

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    I'm glad someone brought up this topic. Nicholas had always been one of the unsolved mysteries for me. You look at their two page ads (and indeed, I still check their ads in some magazine from time to time...with a chuckle) and think they must be the best thing in town. Several visits to the shop left me wondering whether I'm at the right place, as it is an utter mess, grossly out of synch with what they put in the magazines.

    Frome one of their ads: "Desirable Property Of Gentlemen (And Ladies)..." :smile:
     
  13. vickersdc

    vickersdc Member

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    I can vouch for Ffordes, MXV and Mifsuds - all good stores, with helpful staff.
     
  14. Dave Dawson

    Dave Dawson Member

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    I bought a Rollei E3 many years ago from Nicholas for £180 and as I only live about 1.5 miles away from the shop I went in there the other day!

    As has already been said nothing is ever priced...I was after some Sinar cables for the Copal shutter but he didn't have any. At the back of the shop were a couple of Rollie's on show...I asked how much the f2.8 one was and he said £1300, then he showed me a really beaten up old banger and said that was £450. I think when it comes to pricing Nicholas thinks of a price over the top and then doubles it!!!!!! His shop is very well stocked with second hand gear (the best in London in my opinion) but I wouldn't give him the satisfaction of getting money out of my wallet if he was the last dealer (photographic!) on earth. God know how much he would have wanted for the Sinar cables.

    I think his 'assistants' from their appearance spend most of their time out the back smoking the weed (oh no...Nicholas doesn't like smoking)

    If you are thinking of visiting the shop......He rarely opens before 10am

    Cheers Dave
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 17, 2009
  15. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Fotofix in Plymouth have some Rolleiflex TLR`s in stock and are very polite and helpful.
    http://www.pixel-store.co.uk/classic.html
     
  16. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Member

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    A few years ago, I traded some MF gear for a used F5 and got seriously ripped off by Nicolas in Camden and I would just love to see the store go out of business.

    I am sickened that anyone can defend their actions as it is tantamount to theft. Being a cheeky chappy from Camden who's entitled to rip you off if you let them is not legally defensible. In the UK, as with most civilised consumer-oriented countries, there is legislation to protect us from the likes of Nicolas and they should, in my opinion, be subjected to serious scrutiny and prosecution for any wrong-doing.

    If you look at the advertisement in Amateur Photographer (and you believe that they actually hold all the stock shown) you'll see that the prices are way above what similar equipment is advertised in other stores. I recommend you buy from ANYONE else. Ffordes, Mifsuds, Mr Cad, MXV are all very helpful and, in my experience, advertise and sell at a fair price.

    If I am ever tempted back into that store (Nicolas), it will be whilst accompanied by a representative of the local Trading Standards team to ensure that either (a) I am treated fairly or (b) action is taken to prevent them fleecing the unsuspected.

    Here's hoping they get what they deserve, sooner rather than later.