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View Full Version : Help! Where are the good stores, labs?



Paul Verizzo
02-02-2008, 09:50 AM
I've gone from the great - Los Angeles - to the OK - Denver - to the Vast Wasteland, Sarasota. I would like to know where, if anywhere, a guy can buy darkroom stuff, get professional lab work done, and peruse and buy old camera stuff.

My family bought our house from the people that owned Norton's Camera here in 1959. Dad and his dad were pro's, so for a number of years Norton's was OK for my needs.

I have returned to Sarasota after 35 years and there is, like, dude, nothing here any more. Several guys at Wolf Camera near Sarasota HS are old Norton employees, and they know of my frustrations. Yesterday I bought some film, they had only 1 24 exp. roll of PX, and a few 36 TX. Mark confirmed that there is no more public darkroom and no more pro lab in the area. They will also probably be dropping E6 processing due to lack of demand and increasing regulation of chemicals!

I have looked at the online yellow pages and the closest pro lab seems to be Miami. That's a non-starter, I can mail to Denver and the labs I know. I have always loved poking around in camera stores for old stuff on the cheap. (Actually, I can remember doing that in NYC when my dad the photog had to go into the city for things. Heaven, even as a kid!)

So, does anyone know of any hidden purveyors of my desires?

Thanks, Paul

Dave Swinnard
02-07-2008, 11:29 PM
Having just wondered about the availability of 35mm B/W film (if I run out of my Acros) in the Orlando area (and down the Gulf Coast as far as the Fort Meyers area), I was somewhat disheartened to hear of your plight in locating suitable resources in Florida.

I will be keeping my eye on this thread to (hopefully) learn what I can before upcoming trip (my wife to conference, me to carry bags and spend my days doing...whatever).

S Hime
02-25-2008, 04:10 PM
I'm sorry that you think of Sarasota as a wasteland. I've been here since '81. Now I don't have the experience of LA or Denver to compare to, but I make due. I order on line, get stuff in a few days. No point in complaining. We got those white sand beaches and balmy days!

There is a used photo show up in St Pete at least once a year that seems to have all kinds of stuff for you to salivate over. I think Nancy Green runs it.

You might want to try North Tampa Photo, or Colonial Photo in Orlando.

mwdake
02-25-2008, 09:02 PM
There is Lakeshore Camera Exchange in Palm Harbor , just north of Clearwater and Pasco Camera Exchange in New Port Richey a little further north.
They both have darkroom stuff and film etc, also sell some used gear. Lakeshore has a lab, not sure how much they still do in house though.

I stop by both places now and then to pick up a few items such as chemicals etc. Sure, they may not be like the camera stores of old, but at least they still try.

Hope this helps

Paul Verizzo
03-04-2008, 01:56 PM
I'm sorry that you think of Sarasota as a wasteland. I've been here since '81. Now I don't have the experience of LA or Denver to compare to, but I make due. I order on line, get stuff in a few days. No point in complaining. We got those white sand beaches and balmy days!

There is a used photo show up in St Pete at least once a year that seems to have all kinds of stuff for you to salivate over. I think Nancy Green runs it.

You might want to try North Tampa Photo, or Colonial Photo in Orlando.

Those "white sand beaches" are what the Sarasota School Board used to tell us were compensation for our low salaries in 1969. Can't eat them, can't develop with them. I lived here from 1959 to 1972, visited often, and now am here again to take care of my aging parents. Some places appeal to one set of folks, some to another. In my heart, I'm a Westerner.

I know that I can travel to other cities, or mail order things, but that's exactly my point. There's nothing like walking into a well stocked store, maybe finding some odd widget at a markdown table, and chatting with the staff. Some of my most precious photo items I paid a buck or three for and are irreplacable. Guess I got spoiled when I was a kid and my pro photographer father would take me into Willoughby's on Fifth Avenue in NYC.

The old Norton's on Main Street, while small, was at least a "real" photo store with great staff. Gone. So, yes, I'm back to my dismissive "wasteland designation.

It's hard to go back to Gallo after Chateu Lafitte-Rothschild! Sorry if I sound disappointed, unappreciative, and spoiled. I am.

edhannon
03-11-2008, 09:37 AM
There is a pro lab in St. Pete - Zebra. It is at 1763 1st Ave N. (Right under the I275 overpass).

They do excellent work.

Paul Verizzo
03-11-2008, 09:40 AM
There is a pro lab in St. Pete - Zebra. It is at 1763 1st Ave N. (Right under the I275 overpass).

They do excellent work.

Won't let me do an N/T, so there!

Thanks, I'll keep that for referral

michael9793
03-13-2008, 11:06 AM
you think Sarasota is a wastland come down here to Fort Myers. The only two stores are Ritz which isn't a camera store and Harmans where I went into and ask why they don't carry Fiber base paper and there answer was" No one uses that anymore only RC" DAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! AND YES FLORIDA SUCKS WHEN IT COMES TO ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH SUPPLIES. If you can't do it over the internet forget it. I was in miami and out of 4x5 film one time and none of the stores carried it in black and white and that is miami.

mike a

Paul Verizzo
03-13-2008, 01:47 PM
you think Sarasota is a wastland come down here to Fort Myers. The only two stores are Ritz which isn't a camera store and Harmans where I went into and ask why they don't carry Fiber base paper and there answer was" No one uses that anymore only RC" DAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!! AND YES FLORIDA SUCKS WHEN IT COMES TO ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH SUPPLIES. If you can't do it over the internet forget it. I was in miami and out of 4x5 film one time and none of the stores carried it in black and white and that is miami.

mike a

As you know, I feel you pain.

I'm surprised you even tried to find 4x5 film of any kind in Miami. Why bother?

My first photo mail orders were in 1964, a used rangefinder Yashica 35mm camera from NY and then a film order across the country to Freestyle. When I walked in their doors 17 years later, and many times living in LA, it like just way too cool. Yeah, it really exists. I placed an order with them a month ago, which makes me a 44 year customer.

Thank God for the internet and delivery services.

michael9793
03-15-2008, 05:29 PM
well I was in Miami and hadn't bought film instate before so i just thought someone might of had some. i buy from freestyle and badger camera.

suncat33770
09-07-2008, 11:36 AM
Hi,
Just found this site. Looks great! Need to join:)
Try Fulmer Photo in sparkling , downtown, Clearwater!
They are just holding on but they are still there. Mr. Fulmer is still there!
Limited 4x5, some 120 rolls, a few chemicals, and at least 40 plus years of stuff!
enjoy,
randy webster
largo, fl

Paul Verizzo
09-07-2008, 12:20 PM
Hi,
Just found this site. Looks great! Need to join:)
Try Fulmer Photo in sparkling , downtown, Clearwater!
They are just holding on but they are still there. Mr. Fulmer is still there!
Limited 4x5, some 120 rolls, a few chemicals, and at least 40 plus years of stuff!
enjoy,
randy webster
largo, fl

Guess I'll have to check it out when my dad and I go see that exhibition in St. Pete. Have the Scientologists bought his building yet? :rolleyes:

bobdole369
02-16-2009, 07:27 PM
Apologies in advance for resurrecting a rather old thread, but this is good info for all.

The only labs I'm aware of in the tri-county south (miami-dade, broward, palm beach) - are Chromatek (3400 Powerline Road - Fort lauderdale) - and Dale Labs (2960 Simms Street Hollywood) - http://www.dalelabs.com/ .

Chromatek is an imaging place geared towards making signage and graphics that I think just happens to have a c-41 and e-6 processor and enlargers. Dale Labs is a traditional lab with very good quality service. Both places sell a very limited amount of stuff - Chromatek has an odd assortment of sheet film and some 35mm pro stuff. Dale Labs only 35mm negative and slide film - no 120 at all, perhaps some sheet film from time to time. They also have some pro gear for sale.

The next closest place I've found is Colonial Photo / Hobby in Orlando - the bees knees of photo stores. You can get anything you want here, I bought everything I needed for B&W D-76 processing. film in all formats and styles. They also have a great selection of gear. I did not go to Harmon when i was in town - Colonial had what I wanted and more!

daleeman
02-19-2009, 07:56 AM
I have been using Reedycolor.com out of St Pete for some time. They truly take good care of me and do B&W well. I mostly use them for C41 and scan. I then send back the negs for prints and have always been happy. Even sent them 17 rolls of film once just to scan to digital. Freestyle is my bet for supplies. Many things are available from the big guys in NY, but everything shipped from Freestyle is packaged like it is work a thousand dollars. I have never seen such well packaged materials and so reasonably priced shipping charges.

Ektagraphic
02-19-2009, 10:03 AM
For processing there is a great lab-Dale Labs in Hollywood Fl. I am not sure how close that is to you. They do great work by mail or you can go to their store. I believe they told me they sell film there too. For all of you film and other supply purchases use Freestyle (freestylephoto.biz). You can mail order, order over the phone, or order on-line from them. Good luck.

JimO
10-13-2009, 12:57 PM
used to live in sarasota - great place, but no photo store infrastructure...

closest is Lake Shore Camera in Clearwater (mostly digital) and North Tampa Photography, (still working hard to support film, but....) - they are shadows of what you think of as a 'real" photo stores used to be. then a lot of things have changed....