Nostalgia for the old camera store?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by jdm_von_weinberg, May 23, 2009.

  1. As is so often the case, I was tootling along on another forum and started to go seriously off topic as I remembered the camera store where I bought my first serious camera in 1959-60. I stopped and thought I'd better wander on back here where I might be appreciated...
    It was a Heiland Pentax H2, and I got it at the A-Smile-A-Minute Camera store in Salina, Kansas.
    It was a fondly remembered local store located at 119 South Santa Fe. The last trace I can find of them is a small business loan in 1984, but long after that, when I went back to visit family in Ks, the store stood closed, but with all its stock, everything, still sitting there, including window displays and everything. Then, sadly, a few years ago when I went back the store was empty.
    Alas (sob), I have no pictures, but the one below was taken looking north from near the store.
    Do the rest of you have memories of such old-fashioned, full-service stores? Maybe even pictures?
    00TRjq-137239584.jpg
     
  2. I grew up in NY and saw many camera stores come and go. These included the Camera Barn chain where I worked during the summers when I was in school, Willoughby-Peerless, Olden Camera, 32nd Street Camera Exchange, Minifilm, K&M, Spiratone in Manhattan and Flushing, Garden Camera, Competitive Camera, 47th Street Photo, Doi Camera, Wall Street Camera, Ken Hansen - when he had retail locations, Foto Cell - this store on 23rd Street on Manhattan had a fantastic collection of old cameras of almost every kind, Cambridge Camera. In my years in NJ I remember Clifton Camera, Gene Hacker and Teaneck Camera. The Gene Hacker location in Hackensack became an auto parts store and they moved to Englewood. That didn't last very long. I am lucky to be near Livingston Camera where I can get excellent C-41 processing and scanning/printing done. Unique Photo used to be in the next town over but is now a longer drive to Fairfield, NJ. Some of the cameras and other photo items I have collected have stickers in or on them from stores all over the country.
     
  3. Here in Indiana we had McJon's Camera stores throughout the 70s and into the 90s. During the 70s I was still a teen and wasn't as concerned with shopping for a camera as I was about getting my 126 cartridges developed, but as I got more into photography I began to appreciate those stores a lot. Sadly all of the McJon stores are gone now. When I visit my dad in South Holland, Illinois I'm amazed at the stores in the surrounding area there that I used to visit with him that have disappeared in the last 2-3 years. Fortunately for me my favorite camera shop of all time is thriving in Lafayette, Indiana, a mere 40 minutes from where I live and 10 minutes from my workplace. It's Berry's Camera and it's a top-notch, full service camera store that serves seasoned pros as well as budding novices. They carry a great assortment of used equipment as well as the latest digital gear, and I can buy batteries for my classics with no problem. Best of all, everyone that works there is an experienced photographer and can answer just about any question anyone has. I sometimes have to avoid the place however, because setting foot in there is a sure way to part with my hard earned cash; I'll find a reason to buy something .
     
  4. My favorite store was Sam's Camera Exchange in Getty Square in Yonkers, NY. I had to visit a dentist near there every couple of weeks and would stop by to get darkroom supplies - I'll bet that I spent $2 or $3 there every couple of weeks. I remember especially consulting the Kodak B&W printing paper book to select the 25/pack paper that was to be my next major purchase.
    The other major camera store in that part of town was Yonkers Camera. When I went off to college I found e owner's son as a classmate - he was shooting with an Exakta attended my college, omly he and I graduated on time - I doubt the other graduated at all)
     
  5. Davis Camera in Indianapolis. The first store I remember, in the early 1970s, was near Ben Davis High School and had a little narrow "showroom" that two people could barely fit into, between the glass display counter on one side and the display wall and shelves on the other side. They seemed to cram an awful lot of equipment and products into that little space. I worked on the school newspaper and yearbook at Ben Davis H.S., so I remember many a run there to get 100-foot rolls of Tri-X, chemicals (including some blue developer, the name of which I can't remember, that we used to push Tri-X to ungodly ASAs) and other goodies. While there I used to lust over the shiny new Canons, Nikons and other gear. I think most of Davis Camera's business actually was in repair, as I remember Mr. Davis almost always coming from the back shop with magnifying goggles on his head. While I was away at college second half of the '70s, Davis moved to another location, still on the west side of Indy, that was much larger. At that point, my good friend from high school, Allen Underwood, went to work there as a technician. I'm not sure if Davis Camera is even still around (I moved to Arizona in the mid-'80s), although I suspect the original owners are long gone.
     
  6. Baker's Photo in the Tenleytown neighborhood on Wisconsin Ave. NW in Washington DC. What a great place. Gobs of old stock, all the film and paper you could imagine, etc. Lots of character. Industrial Photo in Silver Spring, MD was OK when travel time mattered.
    Of course, all the great New York City stores, and their amazing junk bins, are all missed. Especially Olden, which sold me more Topcon gear than any other source. But all the big stores on 32nd Street were wonderful.
    I'm very happy that I work across the street from the Cambridge, MA Calumet. Not interesting as a used camera store, but still the best inventory of refrigerated film.
     
  7. Central Camera in Chicago --- thankfully still open!
    00TRmw-137265684.JPG
     
  8. In 1965 when I was a Purdue student, Berrys was there. Also the one at university and main near the book store, but last time I was there it became a one hour photo only.
    In downtown Lafayette, the was a really old store/semi studio, It was on the main street over the bridge east or west, can`t remember, I learned about Leicas there first. Those would be the old bridge replaced 10/15 years ago. Anyway store is gone.
    Altmans in Chicago gone. Photo World gone Wolk Camera gone. Central still servives at Wabash and Jackson. Helix is almost gone.
     
  9. Well, I'm old enough to remember when all camera stores were neighborhood shops, but only two stick in my mind: First is a camera shop in Nagoya, Japan in 1952, where this 12-year old kid used to go in an drool over the new Asahi Pentax SLRs. I'm sure I annoyed the hell out of the owner, but he was too polite to say anything. The other was a store in the Crenshaw district of LA which was on my walking route to school in 1954. That was when I was lusting after the Speed Graphics (who knows why.) All the rest kind of run together in my mind......
     
  10. I have not seen any other camera stores in my town but Ritz Camera. :(((
     
  11. My favorite was Falls Camera in Arlington, Va., especially the old location on Washington Boulevard. I believe it was owned by Les Brudnick (I called him Mr. Falls), who was assisted by Craig Wineman. I adored their complete line of Nikon, and loved diving in the junk bin on Saturday mornings. It survived 2 more locations, finally dying out a couple of years ago.
     
  12. My family opened a camera shop in 1974. I worked part-time during my senior year of high school and through college and full time during summers. We closed the shop in the spring of 1993. We did portraits, weddings, custom black & white darkroom work, retail sales of cameras, movie cameras (later camcorders), and darkroom supplies. We also copied old photographs and transferred 8mm and Super 8 movie film to VHS. If a customer needed film or a camera after hours, one of us would meet them at the shop to take care of their needs. By the time we closed it was difficult to sell cameras because people were buying P&S at wallyworld and ordering SLRs and camcorders from the big mail order houses. I will try to find a picture to post later.
     
  13. I grew up in rural southern Indiana and in 1969 at age 20 moved to Chicago to find work. At that time there were many stores downtown within the loop. Central Camera, pictured by L Mar, was at that same location on Wabash street when I lived there. Besides them there was three locations downtown for Wolk's Camera, then there was Bass Camera, and Camera Exchange, a smallish store on Dearborn, and Shutans on Upper Wacker Drive if I remember right. Then there was Altmans on Wabash, just two or three blocks north of Central camera on the other side of the street. Altmans was a 'camera wonderland'. They were located in an old five story brick building with a basement. The retail space occupied half the basement and the next three floors. The fourth floor was the office and the fifth was wharehouse space for their inventory. I moved to Puget Sound in 1978 and just this last September visited Chicago after 30 years and, except for Central, it's all gone. Oh yes, I guess Helix is still in busness on the near west side.
     
  14. On the Church St. pedestrian mall in Burlington, Vt. (2nd floor - look for the street-level sign)...Its called Lezots Camera, and they have a great inventory of both film (lots of great old Nikons, Canons, Leicas, Blads, etc.) and digital gear - a huge assortment of lenses, plus darkroom stuff...and wonderful folks who know their stuff! About an hour and a half from my home in Newbury, Vt., and definitely worth the trip!
     
  15. Well, not any camera stores. But I do have some very distinct memories of a photo lab where I used to take my 126 and 110 film catridges, when I was a little kid in the 1980's. I might have told this story here before. There was a store near where we lived, called "Ben Franklin's." This was in Forest Park, Illinois (near Chicago). I don't remember if the photo lab was actually in the store, or if that was just where I dropped my film off. It definitely wasn't a 1-hour photo lab (I'm not even sure if they were around yet...this would have been somewhere around 1985-1987). It seemed like it took a few days to get my pictures back. But anyway, I have a lot of memories of it because this was the first time I learned how to use a camera. I think the first camera I ever owned was some kind of an old 126 Kodak camera that my parents had given me. It was really old even then, and my parents had probably bought it cheap at a thrift shop or antique shop or something, and had just given it to me to play with. But I loved using it. I remember proudly going into the Ben Franklin's store to drop off the 126 catridges, and anxiously waiting several days for my pictures. Usually, I would go with my mom, but sometimes I would ride my bike down there to drop off my film.
    There was a lady who worked in the Ben Franklin's store, and she was always so nice to me. I really wish I could remember her name. Forest Park was a small town, and it sort of had a village feel to it...even though it was only a few miles away from Chicago. So you really got to know people well. The same lady who worked in the Ben Franklin's store also worked at my elementary school. I don't know if she was a volunteer or what, but I remember that she used to supervise us during lunch. So I saw her at school, and then I would see her at the Ben Franklin store. She got to know me, and used to tell everyone how I was becoming the "little photographer." I was only around maybe 8 or 9 years old, and all my pictures were just snapshots I took of my friends and my pets. But I had a lot of fun with it, and in some small way she probably inspired me. I think it's part of the reason why I became more interested in photography as an adult.
    I'm pretty sure she would be long gone now :(
    I sometimes wish there was some way I could tell all the people who inspired me in little ways throughout my life...I do remember them. At the time, they probably thought that since I was just a little kid I would never remember them. Or how things seem insignificant. But I do remember. Over 20 years later, and I do still remember. If some day, this ever shows up in a Google search...to the friends and family of the lady who worked at the Ben Franklin's store and Garfield Elementary School in Forest Park, Illinois in the 1980's. I do remember her.

    We moved to California in 1987. But I still have a lot of memories of Forest Park and the Ben Franklin store.
    The interesting thing is that recently, I was looking at some old pictures and negatives my mom has. I actually found an old envelope from a photo lab. It says "Color Craftsman" and the address on it seems to match up with the Ben Franklin store. My mom was telling me that it probably was actually Ben Franklin's, because she remembers that they used to take film there all the time.
    The address says:
    7441 Madison Street
    Forest Park, Illinois 60130

    I looked it up on Google Street View, and I found a building that looks really familiar. Ben Franklin is long gone now, but I think it's the same building, and there is a Hallmark store there now.
    What's kind of throwing me off is the name on the envelope...it just says "Color Craftsman" and doesn't mention anything about the Ben Franklin store. The date on the envelope is October 19, 1981. I would have just turned 4 years old at that time :)
    There's even bar code with a price...it cost $4.38 to get a color 126 catridge developed. So I guess my parents did have a 126 camera, and maybe they just gave it to me later on.
     
  16. I've been in Olden Camera a couple times. Kinda spooky, riding that rickety elevator. There was D & G Photo (Don and Gerri) in Wrightsville, Pa that was chocked full of old and oddball stuff. They went out of business years ago. I used to BS with Don for hours.
    There still remains, Coe Camera in Lancaster. Their new and used pricing is not competitive at all. I feel guilty going there to look because of their mark up, so I don't. There is an art school next door and I think that is the only thing keeping them in business.
     
  17. In Iowa we still have a few good camera specialty stores in Des Moines and Iowa City, and Porter's Camera Store in Cedar Falls. In the seventies I managed Palmer's Camera Corner in Dubuque. We were a Kodak Stockhouse for studios, schools, the newspaper, two photo labs, police and sheriff depts. (forensics). Our main staples were Nikon F Series, Pentax Spotmatic and early M series, and Olympus OM along with an assortment of films, papers, chemicals, darkroom equipment and supplies. We delivered in a Chevy Vega van. High school and college photo students engaged staff with the most conversation. Pros sometimes hung around to swap stories. That real estate is now a discount shoe store. I imagine most imaging in the area to now be digital PC-based and printed in-house.
     
  18. Great thread, but it's making me feel old! I remember that whenever I visited or moved to a new city first thing on the list was to check out the local camera shops. We had many in St. Louis where I was born; including St. Louis Photo, Jefferson Camera, City Photo Stockhouse, and Shaw Camera just to name a few. Most of these started going away in the early 1990s. Luckily we still have Schiller's Photographic which has been around over 100 years. Most of the sales staff look at me strange when I ask for film and skate past the DSLR shelves. They do still have a very good selection.
    One of my fave Photo Stores ever was in Chicago and called "Darkroom Aids". They were somewhere on Lincoln Ave. They had EVERYTHING you would ever put in a darkroom and all the bizarre format negative carriers...like 35mm 1/2 frame, 126, 127 etc. It had been there a while (I frequented it in the late 80's) and there were these great 1940's Pin Ups on the wall and stuck to the swinging doors....way before this got popular. It was a fantastic cornucopia of arcane photographic gear stuffed into tiny corners and heaped on groaning shelves. Very few shops like that still exist of anything. The Big Box stores are efficient but unattractive.
     
  19. Tobey , would that store that's gone now happen to be "Camera Craftsmen"? I only went in there a couple of times in the mid-90s and remember them having used manual cameras. Of course I was only interested in the latest AF gear and scoffed at those "old" manual cameras. They went out of business a few years ago. They were downtown near the bridge.
     
  20. Ahh Jeff, I too remember the hey day of the great camera district in Manhatten. My dad, and I would take trips in from Jersey to peruse all the equipment, and supplies. Later in life, my high school friends, and I would do the same. I fondly remember the bins, and barrels of out dated b&w film, flash bulbs, and other various photo sundries selling for pennies on the dollar. I also remember asking a clerk at 47th Street Photo if "I could look at a camera". Man, if looks could kill. I was kind of bummed when Unique Photo moved to Fairfield, but I still enjoy going there to get my film, and dark room supplies. When they were on Vreeland, I could stop on my way to work. Great staff, and most of them actually remember shooting film. That reminds mr, I need to go there soon. I'm almost out of paper.
     
  21. I forgot about General Photo in Boston. That's where I worked part-time during the school year while I was in College at BU. The owner, Milton Mishara, had at one time purchased a load of b&w paper from CIBA. It went under the Bromars name. Some of it was OK and some of it was just plain flat when it came to contrast. I had never heard of this paper before and have not seen any since then. General Photo also had a wholesale business so I remember packing orders for other Boston area stores. I still have some empty negative sleeves with the General Photo name on them from before the time that ZIP CODEs had five digits. Kenmore Camera, not the one now in WA, was in Kenmore Square so I could walk there whenever I wanted to. I think that store supplied a lot of the students who were taking photo courses. I also remember Hirsch Photo in NY. It was later taken over by the Camera Barn chain. Hirsch did a lot of co-op advertising of Nikon products. Their funny line was "With the Nikon F2SB you can photograph a zit on a fly." When I started collecting in the mid 1980s I went to as many small camera stores in the area as I could to see what they had lying around. I wish I had photographed the store fronts.
     
  22. There is still one in Pacific Grove/Monterey, CA. I go there when I visit my daughter, I always buy something because it looks like it will go out soon.
     
  23. I've been lucky in that my camera store, while mostly digital. Has several film cameras. They had 4 Minolta SLR's last time I was there. Film, paper, chemicals processing, everything a film store would have. They had several enlargers, too. Also, had a canon AE-1. Once they had an old Hasselblad with several lenses.
     
  24. I'm very lucky in this regard. There is a store here in Toronto called Hit Camera and Video. Although the proprietor sells primarily modern equipment (digital, lenses, etc...), the display shelf still makes the store a museum. All kinds of old Brownies, Prakticas, low end TLR's, folders (I may find that Super Ikonta yet...), Kodak Jiffy 620's, whatever your imagination can draw up. The back half of the store is for marketing Karsh prints. The owner (Shelton Chen) has a nice little gallery there.
     
  25. I have two that come to mind. Len's Camera in Bridgeport, CT and Milford Camera in Milford, CT. Both old line shops, always something to drool over, and always great conversation, and dreams! Great thread, brings me back in time.
     
  26. Great camera store I would like to have visited. Is the camera store from the late 30's serial, "Blondie meets the Boss". Shelves of folders,etc.
     
  27. I wish i had a good old camera store near me (Perth, Australia). I recently inherited a Canon FT. I visted two stores, one was a film processor (Rabbit Photo) and the other sold more cameras, but both only had about three types of film for sale, mostly Fuji 400 stuff. Im thinkin I should stock up because it might not be there next time.
     
  28. I'd love to be able to spend an hour or two in the Peerless camera store of the 40s and 50s in NYC. All those pre- and post-war (East) German cameras...
    I'm actually very lucky to live now in a college town with a fairly large photo program, so my little local B&L Camera in Carbondale, IL not only sells new stuff, chemicals, film, and so on, but some of the people are camera collectors, so there are sometimes wonderful things on the top shelf. It's actually higher grade stuff than my old A-Smile-A-Minute, and someday, if I live long enough, I'll be nostalgic over it as it is now. They are always kind enough to let me show off my latest acquisition and chat with me about it.
     
  29. I'm another big fan of the old Darkroom Aids store in Chicago. I remember walking in and asking for an Elwood lensboard with the Beseler size adapter and they turned around and pulled one off the wall. They had a few rooms full of used equipment including some monster size 8x10(and maybe bigger) enlargers. Lot's of stainless steel tanks and hangers. They also sold some used camera equipment and had a couple display cases of old cameras. Even had a gallery upstairs. Always a fun place to visit.
     
  30. Anyone remember PhotoMat? Just Kidding. I didn't take my photos there...my mom did! That was in her days. Up until two years ago, I went to an amazing place called Photo Magic. I will never forget the whole smell and feel of the place. There were a totally full service lab and they could do virtually anything that you could think of (except Kodacrhome of course). They did amazing quality work. I have not found quite as good as them yet. They took tons of time on every roll and their prices were dirt cheap. They did things right. They made every single 4X6 as if they were going to give it to Ansel Adams for a birthday gift. They were truly amazing. They have left now due to little buissness. Digital choked them.
     
  31. I remember Photomat. That's where my mom got photos processed as well. Was it a chain? I guess it must have been, and they must have had some centralized lab, because it was a shack in a parking lot at a shopping center. That must have been before 1-hour photo counters. Were they any good? I didn't take my own film in for developing until I could drive, and we lived in Pittsburgh so I guess that would have made it the photo counter at Giant Eagle. Then in college I lived a couple blocks from a Ritz and I got same-day "BIG PRINTS!" IIRC they weren't that bad, but last time I was in a Ritz it was staffed by idiots.
    Living near Kenmore Square there were actually a few good places near me (and the Ritz) - Campus Camera was somehow affiliated with Calumet and sold all the parts and supplies I needed for my B&W class, and there was a guy with a store called Camera Craftsman who cleaned the oil off the blades on my 58mm Rokkor. Even before that (1992 maybe) I did a school science fair project where I took B&W slides through color filters and projected pairs with 2 projectors superimposed through color filters and saw color images (an old Edwin Land trick) and the guy at the photo department of the BU bookstore processed the B&W slide film in some Jobo-like machine.
     
  32. For me it was Fair Haven Camera in New Haven, CT. Run by two brothers, Vinnie and Fred. In the fall of 1963 I walked in with enough cash from summer earnings to buy a pre-Spotmatic Pentax. But they steered me to a Nikkorex F which I bought although my dad had to cover the difference with $20. I never looked back and still have the camera, 50mm f2 lens and Gossen Pilot meter - all are still working. Four years later I came back to buy a Nikon F body with TN finder and they let me take one for a few days to try. Amazingly, although not a frequent customer, they didn't ask for a deposit or even ID before letting me walk out the door with it. I came back a few days later and made the purchase. About fifteen years ago I finally got my first Pentax (a Spotmatic) at a pawnshop. Since then I've acquired Pentax H1, SV and S3. I forget what I was after back then but it must have been one of these.
     
  33. I grew up in New England, Camera Barn in Worcester was the last of the independent shops to disappear, before that Fallon Camera downtown went by the wayside.
    I moved to FL, there is one big store in Tampa, Noth Tampa Photography, they are still open, but with my vast collection there is not much old stuff for me to buy.
    I remember the NYC stores very well from the mid 80's I sibscribed to Modern photography and it was 1/4 NYC ads. I actually went to NYC once to buy a camera - those guys did not have time to suffer anyone who didn't know exactly what they wanted. When that F-1 got stolen, I went back to a different store and bought another and a motor drive and zoom lens.
     
  34. Chris Tobar:
    Here in northwest Ohio, I tell people we're in a bit of a time warp, about 30 years behind the rest of the country. We still have a Ben Franklin store in nearby Bowling Green, and as a matter of fact they're framing some panos for me as I type this:
    http://www.benfranklin-bg.com/
    They don't do film processing there, though. They send it down the street to Main Street Photo, which was called Studio 157 until recently, when it was purchased by an employee, nice guy named Todd. Main Street Photo has turned out to be the "last man standing" locally in the film / camera field. Castle Photo, a 2-store local chain, folded about a year ago. Ritz Camera has folded. Buncha other mom-pop stores are long gone.
    They sell Canon, but also do a decent business in 35mm and medium format film processing and printing. I think it helps that they're in a college town where the college photo program, and local high school photo programs, remain film-based. Now and then Bowling Green will have an art fair or similar, and Main Street Photo will ask me to display my pano work there, showing what they can do in the way of odd / unique printing:
    http://www.bgstudio157.com/Index.html
    Oh, and it was "Fotomat," not "Photomat." When I first got involved in real photography, ie, 35mm; I lived in Phoenix, and there was even a Fotomat showroom. I have a very nice $30 compact tripod purchased there in 1982 or so, sized to carry in the tank bag of my motorcycle. I still use it, once in a while. Although now that I own a car, not so much....
    Fotomat still exists, too. I didn't know that:
    http://www.fotomat.com/home/home.asp
     
  35. My first 35mm camera had a shutter problem. I was about 14 years old.
    I payed $10.00 for it used. No rangefinder, had to buy a rangefinder that
    slid into the flash shoe. 3 shutter speeds and 3 apertures. Knobs that you
    had to turn forever to advance film or re-wind. Took it to a camera shop
    on Kingston Road here in Toronto, Canada. The middle age gentleman
    hand wound me a new spring and installed it. Charged me 10 cents!
    20 years later (1980) when I could afford a new Nikon F2AS for $1,400.00, guess where I went ? The older gentleman was still there. Made me feel good all over. Those days are gone forever, sigh. Best regards, /Clay
     
  36. oh wow...hey, I DO remember Fotomat! I remember seeing them when we first moved to California, when I was a kid. I thought it was the weirdest thing...this little shack out in the middle of a parking lot, where you could drop off film.
    I can even kind of faintly remember what the envelopes looked like. I think it was kind of a maroon color, with gold lettering that said Fotomat. I seem to remember a green envelope too. I'm sure they changed the design over the years. But it was actually kind of nice, it looked more like a real photo album, made out of leather and plastic. It wasn't like the cheap paper envelopes you get at photo labs now. My parents probably still have a couple of old Fotomat envelopes laying around somewhere.
    I don't think I ever used Fotomat for my pictures. (A drive-thru photo lab doesn't make much sense when you're 10 years old). I know my parents took film there all the time though, because I do remember the name and what the envelopes looked like. After we moved to California, I usually just gave my film to my parents and they got it developed for me.
    Now it looks like Fotomat is online and digital pictures only :(

    And Doug...I'm really lucky because there is actually a camera shop near me that DOES still support traditional photography. They actually carry a pretty good stock of 35mm and 120 film (they even have Ektar 100!) They also have a ton of antique cameras on display (which they will also sell). I've bought a few vintage cameras there. They also sell photo paper, chemicals, negative sheets, etc. They just moved into the building in the last couple of years or so, but the store was at another location for many years I think. When you walk in, you almost feel like you're stepping back in time. Of course, they have digital cameras and modern stuff for sale too, but seeing all the antique cameras on display feels as if it's from a different time period. It's actually a comforting feeling. It's weird, but I guess in a way, I'm nostalgic for a time period that I never lived through. Sometimes I think I was born in the wrong decade.
     
  37. rdm

    rdm

    Bruce , i like your story alot.
    There was a camera shop here in Monroe Ny . I was called A-1 Photo. was owned and operated by two men. One was the sales man and the Asian gentelman was always in the back fixing cameras and things. In the 8th grade when i inheareted my brotheres minolta x370 and started into photography it hade only the 50mm lens. So in the following years I would buy the cheepest lense I could find on this new auction site called e somthin or other. And for 50 dollars the asian gentelman at A-1 would take appart the lens and rebuild it and take out any dents on the filter ring too. they would work like new. I got 3 rokkor lenses all under 15 dollars and after the $50 rebuild i still think i did well. But i seemed to have more money back then when i wasn in high school, don't know why. The camera store closed a long time ago but they are still listed in the phone book..lol
    I wish i knew where that Asian man was now
     
  38. I have all of the slides from when my mom was a kid right in their Fotomat boxes. Thanks for the site. It was neat to see what one of those shacks actually looked like!
     
  39. Finally found photo of the family camera shop. I took this photo about five or six years before we closed up.
    00TUhm-138667584.jpg
     
  40. Photosource, in Rochester NY, and it's still there selling used cameras including large format!
     
  41. Mike, that's a great picture.
     
  42. Thanks, JDM. I have a lot of memories from the family camera store- too many to list in one post. I worked after class in college and on Saturdays after I started a full time job. I got stuff at cost and got to "play" with the stuff that was still too expensive. The first year that we had a Konica dealership we sold 25 of them (some T3's, C-35's, S3's, and a couple of S2's. Not bad considering our town only had about 8,000 people then. Our police department graduated from Polaroids to a Konica SLR. We did their B&W developing. Sometimes I got to print the mug shots and crime scene pics. I still have the Konica Auto S2 that I got at cost back in 1974. By then it was discontinued, I think, but we still had a few in stock.
     

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