We had several in the Omaha area but they have all closed except for one where the offerings are 99% digital, although they still have a small corner of darkroom supplies, chemistry and film at outrageous prices compared to Freestyle or B&H.
Dean's Camera was the store I bought my first serious camera (Nikon FA and lenses) and all my darkroom supplies. Even after I could buy most of my materials and supplies for less online I still bought some items there because I liked the people and wanted to help them stay in business. I think it has been about 5 years since he closed.
Walmart, Target and stores like Office Depot as well as local mega retailer Nebraska Furniture Mart did in the camera stores. One person at Dean's told me NFM bought and sold more digital cameras in the three weeks before Christmas then all the film and digital cameras he has sold in 10 years. You simply can't compete on pricing when competing with a retailer that can buy that kind of volume from the mfg.
There are a lot of things I could be nostalgic about from years ago. Record stores and video arcades and locally owned bookstores come to mind. Heck, I'm even nostalgic over Borders and they just locked the doors 3 weeks ago.
But if one can get past to nostalgia of place and think about the product you went there for, things have never been better. While the number of products for film photography have declined I could never get the variety locally that I can find online at Freestyle. If I wait a few of months on a new book I like I can find it for pennies on the dollar on a used book site. Same goes for most music in CD or vinyl form.
The real loss is a sense of community that was shared through a physical location.
"Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
Terry's Camera on Long Beach Boulevard was always friendly. They were housed ina 1950s bank building, had a great selection of gear, and were also friendly toward talking shop. I came in once with a B&L Protar lens and asked for caps for it. The guy behind the counter took out a pair of calipers, measured my lens, and pulled out two generic caps. Then he looked at my lens, smiled at me, and said, "Where'd you find this?" "From a guy online" I replied. "Want to sell it?"
It was so nice to see someone liking my 100 year old piece of glass instead of rolling their nose up at something not digit@l. I miss that place a lot.
Paramount Camera in Downy was the local shop for me for 45 years, family owned and operated until the owners son retired and sold it to Al who worked for them. Al is a good guy and very helpful to the local collage students taking analog photo courses. Bought my first enlarger there in 1967 or 8.
Memphis photo supply is still in business but they are the only ones out of the six or seven that used to be here. I used to know all of the guys behind the counter at most of the stores, when I walked in just about all of them knew my name and what I was there for. The guys at MPS are great, infact I bought my Nikkon S2 and F from them recently. I pretty much have the run of the place when I'm in there, they know they can trust me behind the counter and they also know not to try and sell me on digital, but that didn't stop Dirk from trying to sell me a $3200 Leica MP
Years ago, I used to haunt the Wolf camera stores, now there is only one and the kids behind the counter either want to sell me on digital or a Holga, ugh.
Last edited by guitstik; 10-10-2011 at 06:36 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
And sleep to dream till day
Of the truth that gold can never buy
Of the bawbles that it may.
Someone else mentioned so-so service and too much attitude, that's been my experience with Kenmore Camera FWIW. I bought a Rolleiflex 6x6 there for a retail price ($350), then had to pay Krikor $160 more for a CLA. Obviously KC just buys stuff cheap, then puts it on the shelf as-is (without telling you about "as-is"). I had assumed that they, as "serious professionals", would go over the used gear, check it, and repair it before putting it up for sale. Not so, my mistake! Damaged Goods! Beware!
"Kenmore Camera, is still around and thriving (I think). They still have film, paper and chemistry, plus a HUGE used gear department."
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They probably are closed. I went there quite a few years ago and only saw a handful of primitive (3MP) cameras at the time. Not in a part of town I frequent. It was a good place for someone just stating out decades ago.
Originally Posted by lxdude
Good morning, JScott;
Yes, Bob Donovan's Kenmore Camera is still there. And, it may be that they actually do look at the camera before they offer it for sale to us. A couple of weeks ago, a friend you might know also called me and said that the guys at Kenmore Camera had some Minolta stuff they were hoping to show to me. I bought it.
One of the items was a Minolta SR-2 in need of a CLA and a locked back door latch that would not allow the back door to open for loading film or even checking the condition of the shutter curtains. They had a price on it and I bought it for the $14.00 USD. $14.00 for an original Minolta SR-2 from the 1958 to 1960 time period is not too bad. However, $203.67 USD later following the repair, CLA, and the work on the lens to remove the oil from the lens aperture leaves, I have a fully functional original Minolta Model SR-2 SLR 35mm Film Camera. This still may be cheaper than going to the bars and taverns, and it is more socially acceptable.
I have known and talked with a representative group of their people for several years now. Most of the time they have been very friendly and accommodating. Yes, there have been a couple of times where things did not seem right with one of them. Later I learned what outside influence had affected him on that day, and I understood why he did not have his normal outgoing personality that day. You might spend some more time with them and see what can happen.
And on the topic of the original question for this thread; Brenner Photo at 10th and E in Washington, D. C. across Pennsylvania Avenue from the FBI Building.
Last edited by Ralph Javins; 10-11-2011 at 06:06 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Ralph Javins, Latte Land, Washington
When they ask you; "How many Mega Pixels you got in your camera?"
just tell them; "I use activated silver bromide crystals tor my image storage media."
There was a Sam's Photo in Yonkers way back in the early 70's.
I remember just looking at all that those yellow Kodak boxes,bottles and bags.
I bought my first roll of film there (Verichrome Pan). And they were very patient to an twelve year old with a Kodak 620 camera with flashbulb attachment
I'd give my right arm to get that camera back
In Portsmouth NH where I grew up there were 3 camera stores; each I liked for different reasons. One carried some of the interesting Japanese brands such as Miranda and Europe such as Exacta and Voightlander. The 2nd was more upscale with Leica, Nikon, Rolleiflex and some others while the 3rd was a small shop and carried Apla, Nikonos, Hasselblad and several large format brands. The first 2 pretty much split up the market with Canon, Yashica, Pentax (and the branded variants), Olympus, etc. In the city there was an amazing number of brands for a city of only 17,000 persons. After Pease AFB opened with its PX, the population increased to 26,000 and the number of brands dropped dramatically as you could buy almost all the Japanese stuff through the PX at about half the going prices. Pentax and Canon especially became standard issue. Olympus and Nikon did not see shelf space at the PX and these survived in the stores. Surprisingly, none were Polaroid dealers but, my aunt who had a discount store there (and still does) sold a lot of Polaroid.
It was interesting to be able to visit the Leica dealer who showed why if it was not Leica it was either Rollei or not worth buying for a serious hobbiest and professional. I then would walk to the Alpa dealer who showed why an Alpa made a Leica an wanna be and a Hassy made a Rollei no better than today's Holda. Obviously these guys never got along as for each it was in their blood as to the marques; not simly business. Oh, the Alpa dealer also was the Minox and Robot dealer. He felt the only lines he'd liked to have carried additionall were Exacta and Miranda.
As a youngster with a father in business all the owners were more tolerant of me being a pest than they'd be with other kids. It was like being in a candy store with too many choices and obviously not enough cash. I fell under the Leica influence and when the CL came out, I knew I wanted it. I also tried to love the Alpa but is was just not my cup of tea as to the handling, these were earlier models but the Exacta really got my attention and I also wanted a setup. I would read books and manuals and saw what guys were doing with the Rolleiflex and would dream of having one around my neck, walking down the street making beautiful b&w prints from it.
As soon as I had a few dollars in my pocket, I graduated from my folks Argus tlr 620 to a Kodak Pony 135 I purchased from the local pawn dealer for $5 and from thnere it was downhill. I learned the sunny 16 rule as I could not afford a light meter. Thankfully my aunt understood my needs and when I went to her store, she'd let me pick up a couple of rolls of film in exchange for doing odd jobs for her such as putting tv stands together or photographing some of her merchandise. She paid for the processing, also. It taught me early that the eye was the most important photographic tool as the Kodak results and I kept improving.
In Sydney I liked visiting the old Fletcher's store on Pitt St. They had a back room with several large glass front fridges where they kept every film that was available in Australia. I remember buying stuff like Konica 3200 colour neg and Scotchchrome 3200 slide film. They collapsed in 2005.
Also the old Vanbar in Glebe was great - they had shelves from floor to ceiling with a massive range of B&W papers and chemistry.
There was a huge shop on Parramatta Rd, Annandale called Photo Antiques, run by an elderly couple who sold vintage cameras, some from the 19th century. It was like walking through a museum where you could buy anything that took your fancy.
Another good business in the '90s was Goodmans. They had a shop at Crows Nest and one on Fouveaux St, Surry Hills. Again, a very good selection of gear and consumables.