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Thread: Central Camera - Chicago - great!

  1. #1
    Indiana, USA chassis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Indiana, USA

    Central Camera - Chicago - great!

    Discovered this great place today. They had an impressive inventory on display of used film cameras of all types, including a half dozen 4x5 cameras. They also had some LF darkroom gear for sale. Good film selection.

    If you are in downtown Chicago and need some photo supplies, this looks like the place.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: Central Camera - Chicago - great!

    I stopped in there last month on vacation and was impressed. Picked up a box of expired Fuji Quickloads and Kodak Readyloads. :-)

  3. #3
    Whatever David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Honolulu, Hawai'i
    I always love to stop there whenever I'm in Chicago.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Baraboo, Wisconsin

    Re: Central Camera - Chicago - great!

    Glad to see they're still around and today we perhaps can't be as picky about pricing as we used to be. Just finding something in stock is heartening. But FWIW, back in the days when Shutterbug was the main source of new and used photography gear Central Camera always had the higher prices than anyone else. I used to wonder why they advertised their prices when there were always many other places advertising the same thing at lower prices.
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    New Orleans, LA

    Re: Central Camera - Chicago - great!

    Huh! That's where I bought my first "pro" camera quite a few years ago. I had just gone from a Pentax ME Super (which died on me), to a Nikon N80 (which was too plasticky and not enough camera for me). I bought a Nikon F100 and 8-200 2.8 from Central, almost on a whim, while I was working in Chicago and have always fondly remembered that place as one of the few "real" camera shops left in existence. And that was sometime in the mid-90s, too. If they're still there now, they must really be on a short list of "genuine" camera shops! Excepting B&H of course.

  6. #6

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Rochester NY & Toronto ON

    Re: Central Camera - Chicago - great!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ellis View Post
    I used to wonder why they advertised their prices when there were always many other places advertising the same thing at lower prices.
    Because they were reliable. Some of the others weren't always.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2000

    Re: Central Camera - Chicago - great!

    IN 1942 at the ripe old age of 13 I rode the train From Nashville specifically to go to Central Camera and a couple of other Chicago Photo stores. Good to hear they are still the goo old reliable business.

  9. #9
    falth j
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Above the Straits

    Re: Central Camera - Chicago - great!

    I made a trip to Chicago back in 1969.

    I spent four days, all day long, walking to and fro, visiting all the camera shops and stores in the loop area.

    Sad, most are now long gone.

    Central is the only one that seems to have 'survived'.

    On my last visit, a few years ago, I had a chance to talk with a nice gentleman, who was meeting, greeting and waiting on customers, and in passing conversation said he was the owner/proprietor, and managed to dig out some old 2x3 wooden film holders for me.

    Maybe, there is a lesson to be learned here?

    Some of the longest 'surviving' businesses are those whose owners are present...

    and are actively involved in the day-to-day management,

    help and meet their customers on a personal basis.

    When you have clerks and 'sales associates' who change on a daily basis, the corporate culture lacks the familial, personal touch, that can only be presented by those people who have a vested interest in their business.

    So much for the corporate culture... like all the 'mart's'?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    South Dakota

    Re: Central Camera - Chicago - great!

    I go to Chicago once a year and always make it a point to buy something from them. I think the store goes back to the 1890s, in a different location.

    Kent in SD
    Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris,
    miserere nobis.

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