Camera Care : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I just wanted to put up a warning so to speak about a camera shop that advertises in Shutterbug called ironicly Camera Care. In their ad they alot of bold things like ..."this is only a small portion of our used equip." "WE have a large selection of large format cameras and lenses" Its not and they dont.I was in there the other day and saw all the large format they had which included a random assortment of old lenses that were all covered in a thick lair of dust, 3 cameras one ancient cambo one new cambo and some old 8x10. I did luck out and got a recessed lens board for my cambo. But I would not mail order from these people. The shop was filthy papers, dust, garbage ,and all sorts of photo equipment on the floor. They advertise a f1 outfit, a cambo outfit , and linhof technorama with 90 super angulon none of which I saw in the actual shop. So if you happen to be in philly stop in you might get lucky but I would only buy merchandise after close inspection. Also Abbey camera advertises new large format they have to special order it and the people dont seem to know that much. I took a lens board in to see if they could tell me what shutter it was drilled for they could not. nuff said. Josh Simpson

-- Josh Simpson (, March 01, 1999


Gee Josh, not to dis' ya but I've had good experiences with Camera Care.

This is the store in Philly on the left hand side of the street as you head east I think, right? Very small glass door that's hard to open, can't remember the street but I think it's named after a tree? It's near the convention center and China Town, right? There is another older camera store down the block on the right which has some interesting stuff but they don't seem to get a lot of traffic.

Ayway, if it's the same place I thought they were wonderful. Just my kinda store, a coupla steps away from a flea market, merchandise out where you can see and touch it, check the sound of the shutters, and so forth. When I was there last they had some very nice Linhoff stuff in a glass cabinet way at the back and you hadda ask so they'd unlock it for you. The owner is a big guy with a lotta curly hair, always a little flustered, really seems to know his stuff though.

There is another camera store in Philly that is considerably more up- scale, clean very brightly lit and well staffed, but the prices reflect that.

Did you ask the folks at Camera Care where the stuff you were looking for was? Maybe they had it in storage or were preparing to do an Photorama show or finishing up from doing same? I bought 4 8X10 holders from 'em and they said they'd replace 'em within 30 days of purchase if I found any light leaks, which I didn't.

Anyway, 1 man's humble opinion and experiences.

-- Sean yates (, March 01, 1999.

I've also had a brief experience with Camera Care myself. I too saw their ad in Shutterbug and at the time was in the market for a 4x5 enlarger for my current darkroom. Since I live about an hour from philly I decided to go check them out. Upon arriving I got the same impression as Josh and was not too impressed with their shop or their LF gear or how it was being kept. I did luck out though and found a Bessler 45 MXT complete (and in excellent shape exept for the thick layer of dust) with lens turret and it's price was quite attractive. I didn't expect to be buying an enlarger when I was there so of course the enlarger was too big to fit in my car. So, I asked the man if he could ship it and I was prepared to pay the shipping costs. I fully expected him to be able to ship it considering almost all mail order companies will ship the merchandise they carry. Well, this was not the case and he told me that I have to take it with me if I want it. Anyway, before my response gets too long, the enlarger is now in my darkroom after a hell of a lot of stress. My opinion of Camera Care is not negative but I probably wouldn't shop there again.


-- Brian Jefferis (, March 01, 1999.

I bought a Tachihara and lens from them by phone; they sent me a cheaper lens than the one I had paid for, and after several futile lens exchanges I sent the stuff back. Eventually my money was returned. I also bought a Perkeo II from them that was reasonably priced, and as described. I must say that they are pleasant people to deal with, and the apparent owner, a gentleman name Steve Serota, is charming. I would do business with them again only if I were in the store and able to see and handle the merchandise I was buying.

-- Richard Deimel (, March 03, 1999.

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