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Old 17th December 2008, 05:21 PM
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Default The Demise of the high street camera shop

Firstly, let me say that know that times change but as a Luddite with Digital Neanderthal tendencies I morn the passing of the hight street camera shops. These shops were Aladdin's caves of all sorts of goodies and were usually staffed by people who had some understanding of photography.

In Leeds, as a for instance we had 5 or 6 really to quality camera shops in fact there were 3 authorised Leica dealers. Now my nearest Leica dealer is in Harrogate which is poor show for Leeds which prides itself on being a dynamic go ahead city. Leeds does still have the remnants of a camera shop. Dale Photographic Ltd, who I think are an authorised Nikon dealer and carry a good range of MF and studio equipment but that is all. To be fair Jessops store in Leeds has a couple of Digital Neanderthal asylum seekers from the good old days in fact one is an M6 user.

I would be interested to hear other members experiences in their towns and cities
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Old 17th December 2008, 05:31 PM
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In the very small town I live in, the old camera shop closed a few years ago. The owner retired and tried to sell the shop as a going concern. But since he was only selling a few point and shoots and struggled to supply anything out of the ordinary, it was no surprise that nobody bought it. It's now a travel agent. He should have retired 5 years earlier and he may have sold it.

As for Leeds, they used to have the best Contax dealership in the UK. Of course that died with contax.

We now have a mini lab which does a roaring trade in printing digi files to photographic paper, a little digital printing on a wide format printer and sells a small amount of film. But you couldn't call it a camera shop.
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Old 17th December 2008, 05:40 PM
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Northampton has "Skears" which sells quite a range of secondhand analogue cameras and does repairs as well. I'd rate it quite highly if a little expensive on secondhand gear but then again it has staffing and overheads costs to meet.

Mike
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Old 17th December 2008, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by percepts View Post
In the very small town I live in, the old camera shop closed a few years ago. The owner retired and tried to sell the shop as a going concern. But since he was only selling a few point and shoots and struggled to supply anything out of the ordinary, it was no surprise that nobody bought it. It's now a travel agent. He should have retired 5 years earlier and he may have sold it.

As for Leeds, they used to have the best Contax dealership in the UK. Of course that died with contax.

We now have a mini lab which does a roaring trade in printing digi files to photographic paper, a little digital printing on a wide format printer and sells a small amount of film. But you couldn't call it a camera shop.
I remember them well- Bentley Film Services. I bought my Leitz Pradovit projector from them. They were originally at the top end of Albion Place they then moved further along the same street
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Old 17th December 2008, 08:41 PM
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My local camera shop, 'Percival Cameras' is alive and apparently well. They used to have 5 shops but now down to just this one. I bought my Konica T3's from them (still have them) way back in the 1970's. They have a good second hand section, even selling darkroom goodies They even sell Ilford film, paper and chemicals mainly to students studying photography at college.
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Old 17th December 2008, 08:58 PM
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Bradford camera exchange , Been around for years has a very good selection of used cameras and stocks a good selection of Ilford film,chemicals and papers along with Paterson products . Also Janet Greens in Halifax but unfortunately any darkroom supply's are kept in the back room and it's best to wait to be served by one of the older members of staff who actually know what stop bath is but they do have a nice second hand selection usually .
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Old 17th December 2008, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul View Post
Bradford camera exchange , Been around for years has a very good selection of used cameras and stocks a good selection of Ilford film,chemicals and papers along with Paterson products . Also Janet Greens in Halifax but unfortunately any darkroom supply's are kept in the back room and it's best to wait to be served by one of the older members of staff who actually know what stop bath is but they do have a nice second hand selection usually .
You obviously live in my neck of the woods. Huddersfield used to have a good camera shop and there used to be a good one in Birstall
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Old 17th December 2008, 10:31 PM
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One of the most exciting camera shops I ever came across was 7-8 years ago just opposite Kings College, Cambridge along King's parade. A fantastic collection of old cameras in the window piled like a hoard of pirate treasure.

I would be astonished and delighted if it were still in business.

Les
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Old 17th December 2008, 11:49 PM
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As someone who work in a photographic retail chain I can honestly say that I can envisage a comeback for film and chemicals.

I have been recently astonished at the amount of developers/papers/equipment that recently have flooded into the shop and I am assured it's not just because I keep ordering quantities for myself.

Maybe someday soon the small camera shop will return with a specialised market chomping at the bit for old reliable goodies.

Paul
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Old 18th December 2008, 12:04 AM
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Another shop I always called into just to browse was Camerex in Exeter. It was stuffed to the rafters with second hand goodies. Loads of darkroom kit, various enlargers, lighting kits and many cameras of all shapes and sizes.
Then Ebay arrived and they sold the lot online. Now when you go in, the place looks empty and there is rarely anything worth looking at. Ebay just doesn't have that touchy feely thing about it that a good old fashion second hand shop has. When I was a lad we used to.....
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