Where to get stuff in the North Texas Area
I thought it might be a neat idea to post where I've found a few photo-related items lately. Maybe if enough folks post their finds to this thread we should get it sticky-ized and other regional focus groups could follow suit.
In Denton, I've found:
HMS Art Supply: great place to get matting and mounting done. I've heard another place in town does real hatchet jobs. HMS staff is quite cool. Also picked up my 10/0 retouching brush, mat board, mount tissue and release paper there. They've got a standing policy if you have a friend who wants to show you dry mounting, you can use their facilities. I think the UNT art department does some workshops there occasionally. Across the street from the University of North Texas art building.
Nitrile Gloves: found a pack of ten or so for $2.00 (approx) at Lowes in the section with the strippers. (uh.. the solutions, not the scantily-clad ladies). On Hwy 288.
Citric Acid: After looking all over town for a local source, found it in the bulk spice section of The Cupboard organic grocery. 45 cents/oz. 200 W Congress.
Film Depot: most Ilford and Kodak films, 35mm/120/220 & 4x5 in stock. Fair selection of Ilford FB and RC paper. Some Polaroid, assorted darkroom stuff, good conversation with Jerry. Most clientele is local student and teacher population. Jerry's been willing to research and order just about anything I've been willing to wait a couple of days to get. (Also a drop for BWC Lab, but I tend not to like them so much lately.) In same strip as Albertson's on W. University.
If memory serves, someone (Aggie?) was working on a database of information like this. I don't know that there would ever be an adequate market for such a thing, but I'd love a photo equiv of the AAA State guidebooks, so that when I'm traveling, I'd know where the good places to get supplies are, as well as the highly-rated places to go shooting.
Arlington Camera (Cooper and Randol Mill, a couple of miles west of the Ballpark) stocks a decent amount of film and paper across the board (large-format Polaroid and 4x5 film can be close to or out of date, be careful) and a bit of overpriced used gear. The store used to be better, but they went heavily into digital, basic lighting and accessories. A few of the newer salesmen are iffy, much more interested in you if you're buying a new digicam than a light meter. The older gentleman who runs the used area is the best, knowledgable and friendly.
They process 35mm C-41 onsite, can have most other things back in a day or two from BWC or Barron's in Dallas, minimal or no markup.
Ft. Worth Camera (on 7th Street, west of University in the Arts District) is a fairly new store (two or three years old) that seems to have a wider selection of tripods, film and paper than Arlington Camera at slightly better prices.
Competitive Camera (no idea, I navigate by feel with all the roadwork) has a good reputation as a pro shop, but I personally haven't found anything there that wasn't available at FWC or Arlington Camera. Pretty much the same story - good selection, prices higher than mail-order. Some folks don't like the owner as he can supposedly be gruff, but if you know what you want he's easy to work with.
Here's my 2 cents
BWC is really the only lab I trust around here anymore but then again all I really ever do there lately is have them process E-6 for me. They do offer some very good quality "high end" prints, as the old saying goes "You get what you pay for"
"Film Depot" on Central Expressway in Dallas is about the only place I know of around here to get that readily have 4X5 film. They have a pretty good selection of paper backgrounds on hand too. I have done a lot of business with them over the past five years or so and will continue to do so.
"Mesquite Camera" and "Garland Camera" (same ownership) does a good business but they no longer stock large format film and their medium format selection is somewhat thinned out. They do tell me they can order anything I want from their suppliers. They still have a good selection of Ilford & Kodak papers & chemicals on hand.
"Warehouse Photographic" in Farmers Branch has always had a plethora of darkroom and studio gear. They also have a good selection of fairly priced used photography equipment as well. I have bought a lot of used equipment from them over the years and have never had a problem.
I haven't been to "KEH Camera Brokers" in Richardson for a very long time but they always seemed to have a lot of 35mm and 4X5 equipment and even some darkroom swag.
I no longer do business with "Competetive Camera."
Elliot's Hardware - I bought a 100 pack of Nitrile gloves there for less than 14 bucks a year or so ago. They last a while..
Dallas Camera has some darkroom stuff and a lot of lighting stuff as does Light Tec two doors down.
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