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"Real" Camera Shop

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by GeoffR, Jun 17, 2007.

  1. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Yesterday we went to the Rose Garden outside St Albans, followed by a visit to the Abbey, just a normal Saturday. Except that during our wanderings I discovered a hole in my D2x where a screw had migrated out. Walking back up the hill from the Abbey we passed a small camera shop called Clarks Camera Centre. There were used cameras in the window and just one customer inside who was being given good advice on a digital compact.

    On asking whether there were any camera screws to be had the answer was "yes, but I don't think I have anything that big, have a look". Well he did have something that big and the right length and thread so the D2x is back to normal and you are getting a recommendation to have a look in Clarks if you should find yourself in St Albans.
  2. AJUK

    AJUK Well-Known Member

    I wonder if they would have the screw I need to get for my Canonet so I can re attach my strap Lug.
  3. Moos3h

    Moos3h Well-Known Member

    Clarks is a great shop! Glad you had a good day in St. Albans - it's a lovely place! I work there, and Clarks is my first port of call if I need anything remotely camera-related. It's between them and Jessops in the town centre and bless 'em, Jessops dont stand a chance.

  4. Gordon_McGeachie

    Gordon_McGeachie In the Stop Bath

    It just goes to show that their are some caring photo shops out there......
  5. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    The other good shop in the area is SRS in Watford, just down the road.
  6. Bone_Idle

    Bone_Idle Well-Known Member

    If you look hard enough. I have always had good service from the Bradford camera exchange. Run by enthusiasts for years!

    It would be a good to have a list of recommended camera shops that still give good old fashioned service.
  7. Towershot

    Towershot Well-Known Member

    I,m at the other end,in Fleetwood ,Lancashire.

    Robert Steads shop on Poulton St, is very good.
    He can,t match the price of the big boys on cameras, but I get my filters and bags of Him,,and if your stuck,some good free advice on any camera topic,great little shop. :D
  8. jimpix

    jimpix New Member

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop

    I too have have experienced great service from Clarks. I bought a used Fuji camera camera last week when I was surprised to get a phone call from the shop saying they had forgotten to pack the charger. Knowing I would want to play with my new toy over the weekend Mr Clark drove the charger to my house (well out of his way) I had not even noticed the charger was not there.
    Long live the small independent camera shops
  9. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop

    On the subject of camera shops giving good service, I must mention The Devon Camera Centre in Exeter (and another branch in Exmouth). I've been a happy customer for years, ever since I got back in to photography. They're not above sending someone to a competitor (we have a Jessops and LCE in Exeter too) if they think that the customer's needs can be better met elsewhere.
  10. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop or Jessops

    Sorry to hijack this thread, but has anyone any opinions or facts on how Jessops are doing since their relaunch?

    The reason I ask is that my local shop in Bath never seems to have anyone in there, no matter what time of day I am passing, yet London Camera Exchange always seem to be busy.

    I usually have a quick look round, but nothing seems to change. Even Currys seem to have as wide a range of stock.
  11. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop or Jessops

    Hi Roy, The London (Oxford St) shop seems to have plenty of peeps in there whenever I look in but have a notion that many, like me, may be browsing not buying. Back on Thread, I'm pleased to learn via this resurrected Thread that Clarks is still going as well as DCC. Good news. Cheers, Oly
  12. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop or Jessops

    There is only one branch anywhere near local for me, they haven't sold anything to me. There is a decent range on display, but I haven't actually seen anybody buying. Currys seem to have cut back on their photographic stock of late.

    There was supposed to be a rolling programme of branch openings, this certainly has not happened.
  13. AlexMonro

    AlexMonro Old Grand Part Deux

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop or Jessops

    If you mean how are they doing commercially, I dunno.

    But I have been in the Bath branch of Jessops a couple of times since the reincarnation, and I was impressed by the level of technical knowledge of the staff there now, compared with how things were in the last of the bad old days.
  14. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop

    Back in January, Reading's only remaining independent camera shop, Station Cameras closed, which had been running for over 30 years.


    However, being the camera addict and workaholic, he's now involved in his other shop at at 18, Downing Street, in Farnham. His knowledge is extensive, and I'm guessing, there will be a pretty extensive range of secondhand stock there as well.


    I've bought a fair bit of kit from him over the years, and if he wasn't able to supply what you needed, would point me to where I might be able to get what I wanted.
  15. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop or Jessops

    Yes, I agree, but has this resulted in more business?
  16. George W Johnson

    George W Johnson Well-Known Member

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop

    St Albans is just up the road from me, cheers for the recommendation!

    If we're adding to the list, Castle Camera's in Bournemouth are a superb local shop. We drove 200 miles down to Dorset with the caravan, the Friday before we left I found the sensor in my 5DM2 was well and trully covered in ****, I was going to leave it at home but my wife told me to take it and we'd find somewhere. I dropped into Castle's on the Monday morning at dead on 9am. Asked if they could do a fast full-frame sensor clean, expecting a 3 day turnaround. "Yeah, sure! Takes a while though!" ( Here we go! ) "We can have it ready for you just after lunchtime?". Bloody hell! I normally have to wait at least 48 hours in London. Ok, how much? ( Here we go again! ) "Well it's a big one, fixed price of £50.". Jesus wept! I pay £75 + vat in London!

    So I can do nothing but heartily recommend Castle Cameras of Bournemouth, they got me out of a serious hole and I was able to enjoy almost a full week's shooting the Jurassic Coast thanks to their speedy cleaning service.
  17. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop

    We moved to Harpenden in 1967 and I too enjoyed visiting Clarks Cameras in St Albans, and to a lesser extent, their branch shop in Harpenden which was good for film, paper and some accessories, but carried nothing like the depth of the St Albans shop.

    It was from the St Albans shop that I bought the Vivitar 200mm F/3 AF lens for my manual focus SRT101. AF was done via some electronics, batteries and a prism beam diverter in the optical path, and this did reduce clarity without the AF being in any way useful! See http://oswegophoto.home.comcast.net/~oswegophoto/200.html for the Nikon version.

    I do remember one expensive older purchase from the St Albans shop - an 8 on 120, pre-war, Super Ikonta. Sadly, the features for which I'd bought it like the Tessar lens, and double prism coupled range-finder, were badly out of alignment.
  18. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop

    If you are able to do the job your self, and I mean no disrespect here, you can get the tools and materials to clean the sensor several times for £50. Last time I had to clean mine was on a cruise ship in the Med which is hardly the ideal place to do it. I always have a cleaning kit in my bag.

    Nice to know about Castle Cameras though, you never know when you might need a good camera shop.

    Also pleased to hear that Clarks are still there as they prompted me to start this thread more than seven years ago.
  19. KeithLeslie

    KeithLeslie Well-Known Member

    Re: "Real" Camera Shop

    May I add another local camera shop, folks, please?

    Norfolk Camera Centre, in Dereham. Mark always tries to be helpful, and is particularly helpful for repairs. Digi or film. Sensor clean is £20, as I remember.

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