Secondhand cameras in or around Boston

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Mick Fagan, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I have a young(ish) B&W worker who will be holidaying in Boston (USA) and surrounds during August and September.

    She is looking to acquire a Nikon F3 HP body and maybe a lens or two.

    Are there any camera shops in the area, which may have some secondhand stock of this type?

    Obviously there are the online stores like KEH, but it may be possible to find something local.

    Mick.
     
  2. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You could try EP Levine's in Boston.
     
  3. Phong

    Phong Member

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    She could try Hunt's in Melrose, Newtonville Camera (in Newton), New England Camera (Arlington), Park Square Camera (Arlington Street in Boston).

    Hope that helps,

    - Phong
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    Also Zeff in Belmont, or perhaps Calumet in Cambridge, I believe. Not sure if Calumet carries used gear at that location however. Most of the shops mentioned have a web presence of some sort. Across the border in Nashua, NH is Cameraland. He has a very limited supply of used gear though (but no sales tax). Farther afield in NH is Rays in Keene, not what it used to be, but they still have a largish stock of used gear for a small shop. For selection, Hunt's, and Levine's are probably the best bet.
    Barry
     
  5. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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  6. Ted Harris

    Ted Harris Subscriber

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    First, I would recommend looking in the local shops mentioned and then buying from either KEH or Midwest online or using eBay. At least do some online shopping first so you have good idea of realistic pricing for the gear of interest. Today, with the prices/values of 35mm gear at all time lows many local shops havenot yet caught up to realistic pricing.

    Second, while I agree that EP Levine has a great selection I also generally find that they are one of the local shops that has very high prices for their used gear.
     
  7. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    If you're going to look at local shops, you should at least give them an opportunity to sell to you at a price comparable to a reliable mail order shop (KEH, Midwest) plus a reasonable premium for the benefit of physically having the item to inspect before purchase. And then factor in any warranty (could be better or worse).

    If I was visiting, even for 2 months, I'd be leery of eBay unless from a very reputable seller.

    I'd be especially careful buying a F3. It seems that 90% of the ones I've seen have been used professionally so long and so hard that I'd be very careful about condition. No doubt there are good ones out there, but she may have to "kiss a lot of frogs".

    I'd also suggest monitoring Craigslist for the Boston area.
     
  8. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Call Dick Welch at 978-897-6202. If you are really lucky, you may get him. ANYTHING he sells you will be unconditionally returnable and covered 100%. I have found him to be one of the world's nicest, and most trustworthy people. He is, however, seldom in a hurry. While this is nice, it can also be frustrating if you are on a schedule. Forewarned.

    If he has the camera you want, and he very well may since his Nikon stock is pretty broadly representable of what's out there, he will give you a fair price and negotiate discounts with kindness, generosity (he loves to give students a break) and good will.

    The other shops mentioned in this thread are great places. Zeff has been running trade-in and yard-sale days this summer, taking in a lot of good used equipment from folks wanting high level "electronic image making" gear and dumping great 35 and med-form cameras. I'm not sure these are still going, but they did take a lot in trade.

    Dick does not have a shop. He works (sometimes) out of a third floor set of rooms in Maynard MA, filtering through an astounding collection of cameras, camera gear and "stuff."

    I'll ask him if I may give out his home number through PM. It's a much more likely hit than the office number. PM me if you want it.
     
  9. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    EXPERT help, SUPERB used gear, FIRST-RATE on-site repair shop.

    There is no better camera shop in North America
    ( the ONLY competitor being Keeble & Shuchat, in Palo Alto, Ca. )

    As for 'higher prices', the staff is paid a decent wage and that is how folks who KNOW there stuff are hired, and why they stay.

    The clientele is generally not comprised of bottom-feeding wannabees but real shooters who buy good stuff, care for it, and have their gear maintained there.

    There is an extensive rental department, and superb studio spaces.

    All of this means a completely different atmosphere and set of expectations than from a big-box-store or mail-order outfit.

    You get what you pay for. And EPL is nearly always a bargain
    if you are actually going to use the camera.

    Consider this, too. If a store is selling a camera for less, it means they didn't pay as much for it. Often, stuff ISN'T purchased by more expensive stores that ends up at cheaper stores, or on Ebay. Or at 'reputable' mail order shops.
     
  10. Phong

    Phong Member

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    While I used E.P. Levine extensively, especially for rentals, I had a truly horrible experience with their repair department (3 month delay on a standard repair for a current camera, unanswered phone, unreturned phone calls). They later admitted to some problems with the then newly reorganized repair department (taking over the former S.K. Grimes outfit at that location). That it took them so long to recognize the problem, was very problematic to me.

    Anyway, I understand things are better now, and I do think of them as a great local resource, but I would disagree strongly with "no better shop in North America", given my experience.

    Also, I rather not buy used gear from a shop that does a lot of rentals, unless the price is deeply discounted.

    Just my opinion.

    - Phong
     
  11. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    Instead of buying...does he/she want to borrow (no cost) an M645 super body...in which case she/he would need both a lens and a light meter. (I have a shift lens which i don't want to loan out and the light meter I use for all my other work) I suppose this equipment could be rented from Levines for a month at a time. Just a thought...

    drew
     
  12. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    Wow! What a response.

    Things must be prety good over there if there are that many possible places to get gear, compared to here that is.

    Drew B. Thank you for the offer, but she is going to purchase a camera.

    She started out on my FE2 and moved on to one of our F3HP bodies. As she wears glasses or contact lenses, the viewfinder designed for glasses, has been a winner, although preference for the match needle onboard meter, was a bit of a tug.

    We had an F3HP lined up here at a camera repair place. They were going to put in a new shutter, when they pulled it apart it was found to have suffered from water ingress in the past. Plan B was to have a look in the USA whilst she was on her holiday.

    What some of you may find interesting, is that this person has been my model for the last year. It became apparent to my wife and I, that she was really interested in photography itself. First the darkroom was visited, then we couldn't keep her away, so to speak.

    If you go to my gallery, you will see her wearing a shawl in one of my pictures. She was in the darkroom when this was printed and we both came up with the look and manner in which it was printed.

    Subsequently we have managed to make a passable darkroom set-up for next to nothing, picked up a small 35mm colour enlarger and she has been away.

    So you never really know if the question or two being asked whilst you are taking the model's photograph, is a serious one or just being polite.

    Interesting, eh?

    Mick.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2006
  13. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    "Also, I rather not buy used gear from a shop that does a lot of rentals, unless the price is deeply discounted."

    Silly. A rental department is always separate from the sales, it has to be.

    The requirements of the pro community are such that each piece of rental gear has to be perfect, each piece carefully checked when it comes in and goes out. It may look like hell, but it works great. In a real shop, there is no way rental will be sold: its too valuable.

    Below: a corner of the EPL rental department. Of course I'm biased, they're friends !
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2006
  14. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i would also suggest epl. they are great! i bought my first speed graphic from them back in the days when they were on lincoln street ... top notch folks there. i do miss paul A since he left :sad:

    i would however agree with phong regarding the repairwork.
    i too am hopeful that things have changed in the past 10 +/- years ...

    --john
     
  15. haziz

    haziz Subscriber

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    Another vote for Newtonville camera. Good service and realistic prices though maybe not the absolute lowest available. I have found his pricing on used equipment very reasonable. With used gear you are also mostly dealing with the owner of the store though there is another salesman who also handles used.

    Hunt's in Melrose is also fairly reasonable, though you will get less personalized attention and maybe more generic advice. I have dealt more with their other store in Hadley (not close to Boston).

    Sincerely,

    Hany.
     
  16. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    New England Camera in Arlington Center is excellent. She can just take the 77 bus from Harvard Square to Arlington Center (about 1 mile from my home in Arlington Heights). The restaraunts are another plus:

    Sweet Chile for Thai
    Asiana Grill for eclectic Asian
    A little Italian place whose name escapes me
    Floras in East Arlington on Mass Ave
    Blue Ribbon BBQ on Mass Ave across from Stop & Shop

    I hope she enjoys her trip.
     
  17. PhotoPete

    PhotoPete Member

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    You can't go wrong with any of the stores mentioned, but geography and transportation are factors in our fair city- in what part of town will she be staying?

    If she is interested, there's also an APUG show that Whitey is putting together, which opens August 26th or 27th, as well as a darkroom workshop that Suzanne Revy is organizing for the same day. I am sure she would be welcome at both events.
     
  18. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Sure would! Check out the New England regional forum for details. Lots of locals to give tips on travel in New England.
     
  19. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I'm not sure exactly where in Boston she will be staying. I believe she will have transport most of the time. I will be seeing her for the last time before she leaves tonight.

    I will most certainly pass on the information about the APUG show along with Suzanne's darkroom workshop.

    It could be a very interesting holiday for her.

    Mick.