Nicholas Cameras Camden
Being a newcomer to film photography,I was looking to treat myself to a Rollieflex 6x6 TLR, and as I could not afford to purchase a brand new one I took the used route in hope of finding a good one. As a avid reader of Amateur Photographer I found many dealers that deal in used equipment at the back of the magazine. As expected all were very helpful and polite in trying to find me what I needed. That was until i gave Nicholas Cameras in Camden, London a call. I spoke to a assistant there when I explained what I was looking for in the best way I could (as I'm not too experienced when it comes to Rollieflexes) that must of shown, as He had absolutely no time for me whatsoever and I felt that he was talking down to me, not to me, this left me feeling quite intimidated. When I simply asked him if the camera came with any instructions or packaging he raised his voice and told me "no!,what did I expect for that price"(£1275) and that the camera was an exceptional example for its price and that there were plenty more interested buyers also looking at it. Then he quickly told me to come down and look at it for myself quoted me the store times then abruptly hung up on me. By this i was quite taken aback at how rude he was and called the store back to speak to his manager who applogised later for his behavior. Am i just unlucky or has anyone else here had any experiences like this?
Mr Worry, having been to the shop itself, I'd warn against buying anything at all from there. It's a little photographic aladdin's cave, but the proprietors are not the most agreeable of people. Nothing is priced and they rely on their own Amateur Photographer adverts to determine prices. When I turned up, they were apparently in the process of cataloging their stock. Why not check out their website, last updated July 2006.
If I were you I'd check out www.ffordes.com or www.mifsuds.com. Nicholas didn't make me feel welcomed.
I've found them extremely unhelpful on the three or four times I've called them. They seemed to never have anyone who knew about their stock, despite the items being shown in adverts & on their website.
The attitude was so of putting I decided that's it I won't contact them again.
Rollieflex's are easy to find and at better prices for a good camera, manuals or guides are easy to find on the Net, unless you want something very up to date go for a 2.8/3.5 lens in an E or F, probably half the price you looked at, try FFordes, or someone else reputable.
I was wandering past Nicholas once and popped in. I asked the guy if they had any brass lenses at all, just out of curiosity. The guy talked down to me and said that 'if they got to know me they could maybe 'do me a deal'. I actually laughed (I have enough brass for my wet-plate) and promptly left. The manager (I assume that was his title) was really arrogant and unhelpful, the shop was a mess, dusty and untidy, no prices anywhere, god knows how they maintain a customer base.......?!.......
I just bought a Rolleiflex MXEVS from Leica shop Wien for £320, it is beautiful, shutter speeds bang on, lenses clean. I would highly recommend them. :)
Nicholas is one of the last vestiges of what I think of as Camden - and I wouldn't change it for the world! He makes a lot of money burning those that allow themselves to be and is a cantankerous ummm, I'm new here, insert your preferred expletive...HOWEVER - you can do "a deal" with him IF you have the patience and have done your research thoroughly. It's like shopping in Thailand - offer 1/3 of what he says and work from there.
He never burnt me and has furnished me with several outfits in the last 10 years or so. Aperture is a much nicer place to go when you want something - you won't be patronised, everything is fairly priced and the coffee is good too - but if you want a thingummy for a blah blah and you need it by tomorrow, Nicholas will come through.
I am sceptical. Best thing from Camden of yore was Compendium bookshop :(
Once upon a time there was a guy on the AP website who actually recorded a converstaion with the owner/manager and it was a legend in its time! Sadly, it appears to have been deleted from the original 2004 thread, but they were still talking about it in 2005.
Mr Worry, just because you are a newbie to film doesn't mean you shouldn't be treated with civility. Don't 'worry' about it, just do NOT give them your business. Neither will many other UK residents after reading this! Ffords and mifsuds are good and have been previously mentioned. Ace cameras and Camtech have always given me good service. Do not rush to make your purchase, do some research. If your budget allows, go for a Rolleiflex 3.5F, OK 2.8 if you must, but more cash and not required with modern emulsions. The E models will be less expensive, similar camera w/o built in lightmeter, I think. BTW, the meters are not TTL. I have used a 3.5F for many years, it is a great camera. You won't go far wrong with the Rollei T (Tessar) either.
There was a camera shop in Windsor ON, where the clerk would ask all sorts of trick questions in order to prove his mental superiority. He'd usually whip out a pitiful snap of a dog in the woods by way of extoling the virtues of fill flash. In the half dozen times I walked into the shop, I'm pretty sure he talked himself out of a sale nearly every time. When the shop closed and the troll was gone, I bought up their entire paper stock at pennies on the dollar. :D
Rolleiflexes E are wonderfull, both in 3.5 and 2.8 and easier to repair than than the F's.
The lichtmeter was of the selenium type and measured from above the focussing lens.
On the E's they were not coupled, on the F's they were.
The verry late 3.5F Planar's were even better than the 2.8F Planar's.
If you want to go cheaper: get a Rolleicord Vb, they are good performers too.
I own a 2.8F that I restored about 25 years ago: a great camera and I got it by repairing and 2.8E cause the owner lost faith in the 2.8F .
Rolleiflex and leafshutter repair and prof.photographer