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  1. #1

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    Help! Where are the good stores, labs?

    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

  2. #2
    Dave Swinnard's Avatar
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    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).

  3. #3

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    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.
    Scott

    www.scotthime.com
    www.himephotography.com

  4. #4

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    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

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by S Hime View Post
    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.

  6. #6

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    LAB in St Pete

    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.

  7. #7

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    Thanks, I'll keep that for referral

    Quote Originally Posted by edhannon View Post
    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

  8. #8
    michael9793's Avatar
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    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
    "Capturing an image is only one step of the long chain of events to create a beautiful Photograph” See my updated website: mandersenphotography.com

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by michael9793 View Post
    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.

  10. #10
    michael9793's Avatar
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    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.
    "Capturing an image is only one step of the long chain of events to create a beautiful Photograph” See my updated website: mandersenphotography.com

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