Is it "mail order time" where you live?
I try to get some things at the local camera store to help them financially. But with film, it's mail order time in Houston. One store wants outrageous prices for slide film. And the other hasn't had 35mm Velvia or Provia for weeks. Every week I call, and one time I asked if they were not going to carry that film anymore. The answer I got was "I don't know." And last week I asked again, and the employee said when school starts they will get more film. Well, B&H, here I come. It's frustrating when you want to help the local stores, and get this.
Pentax's 645, ME Super, Spotmatic II
Minoltas SRT 102, SRT 202
Canons A1, EF, TX, FT QL
many Nikons-F2 eye level F2AS N90s, F4E, N2000, N6000, N6006, Nikomat FTN, N5005
Same here in Orlando, Florida. I can get a lot of film/darkroom stuff locally because there is one store that still carries that stuff. But film wise, prices are through the roof. I have no idea if it's retailer or the supplier that's jacking up prices. I understand small demand puts heavy burden on their cost but I also have needs. Except in cases I need it NOW, I am getting my supplies from mail order firms in California and New York.
As much as I'd like to support local businesses, I can't justify paying 50% to 100% more for the same item.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
We still have a couple of shops that are pretty good for darkroom stuff. Their biggest problem is not selling the good, but getting them from the distributors
I was just in Colonial on Thursday. Their prices on 120 B&W were quite fair, so I stocked up.
Originally Posted by tkamiya
Around home, it is 90 miles to find that the "local" dealer is often sold out.
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Local shop does not exist here. So a loyal B & H customer I am who's history includes years of B and H shipping to my FPO addresses while in strange isolated places. Indianan University runs a photography class so Cord Camera, Bloomington IN, makes sure they have stock to support that and the remaining local analog market. It's hard to support a local store if they are not forthcoming on what they can and can not do. On the store side, once burned they may stay shy.
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I try to support my local camera shop. I can't afford to spend much, period, but I always try to buy a couple of rolls of film at least when I stop in. The shop, however, is an exercise in frustration. Most of their display space on the sales floor is devoted to photography periodicals, frames, tripods and bags. What few cameras they have, digitals included, are stuck behind a glass wall case, and they don't even attempt to make an enticing display of even Nikons or Leicas, although they advertise they're an authorized dealer of those two companies. Chemicals, papers, straps, plastic sleeves, seamless paper, and mounting materials are stuck in a second side room that customers may not realize is accessible to them. Students from the local universities buy their products, yet they don't have a single Holga, Diana, or any such Lomography-minded product that might entice the younger or more casual demographic. I really don't see how they continue to stay in business, especially since they have a staff of four.
This is not a phenomenon unique to film or darkroom supplies. Between "big box" stores with 40,000 square feet but no variety or selection, and the internet; local specialty stores are, for the most part, gone.
My wife sews and makes all of her clothes. She buys 95% of her fabric and notions mail order because all the local stores have is stuff for quilting and "crafts". Mostly low quality and over-priced. She also paints and gets most of her art supplies online, too.
Earlier this week, I needed new blades for my riding lawn mower. I called the dealer and was told that they don't stock those since they didn't sell that brand. I told them that I bought the mower FROM THEM and hung up. Ordered the blades online and they arrived the next day. Shipping was less than gas would have cost me to drive to this dealer!
If I need a piece of hardware or a light bulb that is not one of the six that Home Depot sells (this month), it's off the the internet.
I don't live in a small town. I am in a suburb of Dallas, and the Dallas/Fort Worth metro area has 6 million people. It's the same all over.
there hasn't been anywhere to buy supplies in my city in several years. I also won't buy film/paper which is covered in dust or not stored properly.
I can get the consumer film at the drug store (even Kodak B&W). Our local pro-chain is mostly digital now, but has a variety of film and paper. However, they made an ex-customer out of me a few years ago - so it's mail-order for me.
For me, the local store is a Calumet--it's just a couple of blocks away. They still have a reasonable selection of film in stock, but their darkroom supply section is just a couple of shelves. So mostly I do mail order from B&H and/or Freestyle, unless they happen to have something I need and don't want to wait for. Most of the space of the store seems to be accessories--studio lighting stuff, tripods, bags and cases, and so on.
Originally Posted by Truzi
"People get bumped off." -- Weegee