any other sentimental sobs out there?
There was a great little camera shop (not that little, really) that I frequented when first starting out in photography. Claremont Camera in Claremont, CA. I bought my first serious camera there an Nikon FE-2 when that was a new, cutting edge camera. The store was a happening place. Always busy. And the staff there was very knowledgeable. You could get about anything there. It was a candy store for me. Like a lot of camera stores it fell victim to the changing times. It dwindled, split into two stores and then closed its doors altogether about three years ago. It's genuinely sad for me. I wish I could visit it again or somehow bring it back, but I don't even have any pictures of the place.
I'm just wondering if anyone else has a camera store like that that meant a lot to you and now is gone. Anyone else pine for the old camera store that has slipped away in time?
I remember a wonderful store in Adelaide, that was an Aladdin's cave for anything you could think of. I dealt in both new and used equipment, and I kitted out my entire darkroom with used gear from these guys.
Every Saturday morning, I'd drive the 30 minutes into the city, to dig in amongst the treasures they'd uncovered the previous week. I traded in my black AE1 Program with drive and 50mm f1.8 for an original F1 and drive - it had a ding in the pentaprism, and some brassing but it was a joy to use!
As digital became more prevalent, the need for all that analogue gear slowly dissipated, and they had a *huge* garage sale - unfortunately I was out of the country at the time.
They packed up from that wonderful store and moved 15 minutes closer to me, but the magic was gone. No longer did they have the gems they had before and about 3 years later, they closed up again. They were still listed in the Yellow Pages a couple of years back, but travelling nearly an hour kept me from heading to their new store(?). The loss of their mojo from the first move, meant I didn't have the same drive to visit and alas it probably means they are no longer around.
There used to be a wonderful shop in Helsinki called EP-Kamera. Bought my first F3 there while I was an exchange student in Finland 3 years ago. They had -everything-. 4x5s, 8x10s, Hasselblads, Mamiyas, Leicas, Nikons, and all sorts of other exotic gear. It was a really lovely little place. The owner retired in Spring of 2009, unfortunately.
Last edited by Chris Lange; 10-06-2011 at 10:42 PM. Click to view previous post history.
The little mom and pop camera shop just off-campus in Lock Haven, Pa, "Wolfe's" Ed sold me a ton of paper and assorted gear, and my OM-4. He wanted to retire in the mid 80's, asked me to take over the shop. I should have, alas had no interest in setteling down at the time.
Well, I had a camera store in Springfield New Jersey where I could bring my ailing Nikon for repair. The store is still there, but guess what! They no longer repair film cameras! Actually laughed at me when I brought it in and told me film cameras have gone "bye-bye". Oh, I can pack it up and mail it into Nikon and they will repair it if parts are available, but it's not the same...
" Practicing the arts...is a way to make your soul grow." Kurt Vonnegut
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Back in the mid 60's, when I 1st got interested in photography, there was a store called Fedco in San Diego. Open only to federal employees at the time. They sold everything. Food, clothes, appliances, furniture and you name it. One thing they had was a fully stocked photo department. Cameras, enlargers, developing equipment, film, paper, chemicals and more. For a small chain store they had it all and I bought everything from them. They are still around but the photo department only has a few digital cameras now.
A few other great stores in San Diego were Nelson Photo and George's Camera. Both are still around but they don't offer near enough for the film shooter today.
Still around? Fedco is long gone. Are you saying the store's still there with a different name, or is someone using the Fedco name, too?
I always liked their photo dept. I picked up Kodachrome processing mailers there cheaper than anyplace else, though I could get Kodachrome locally for about what they charged.
I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.
There was a strange one near me. One of my father's friends was a fashion photographer in the 1960s and 1970s. He inherited a shop which I suppose in the US would be called a drugstore. When he took over, one side had cameras, film and all of the other usual photographic accessories whilst the other side displayed soap, talcum powder, shampoo, etc. It seemed quite a strange mixture.
A few years ago he decided to retire and sell the building. My father bought a Rolleiflex and a Yashicamat from him and I had a few things too.
Less than two years after retiring, he died whilst on holiday in the south of France so unfortunately did not get to enjoy his retirement.
This is the sad look it had once closed: http://www.flickr.com/photos/21094292@N02/5224668752/
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Franks in L.A. It was the Samy's of the east side. A real powerhouse, top notch store. Now it has to be seen to be believed.
"Truth and love are my law and worship. Form and conscience are my manifestation and guide. Nature and peace are my shelter and companions. Order is my attitude. Beauty and perfection are my attack."
- Rob Tyner (1944 - 1991)
I remember a camera shop in Dublin, Slattery's beside the Carlton Cinema on O'Connell Street. It was a tiny shop and had the look of Olivanders shop from Harry Potter films inside. It had the smell of film and photographic paper that you only get in old camera shops. It was stacked full to the ceiling with everything photographic and they had a ladder on a rail which they would move along the shelves and climb up to get to the top shelf.
I bought my 1st 35mm developing tank and Ilford ID11 from them to develop my first Ilford HP4 (that's giving away my age )