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View Full Version : Recommendations for places to buy.


GavinM
16-01-06, 11:57
I thought it might be useful to have a positive thread to see where we get our gear, who we rate as suppliers, and why. I'm mostly a Nikon user and based in the UK. Here's mine.

Warehouse Express - incredibly fast, accurate service.

A.J. Purdy - good stock availability, good prices. will sometimes deal.

Grays of Westminster - Nikon heaven. a bit pricey but has the feel and attentive service of a victorian emporium or Jermyn Street tailors, but inside the walnut cabinets is almost everything Nikon make. Really knowledgeble staff who frequently go to Japan. What marks them out, I think, is that they are actually Nikon users and really understand the equipment.

Aperture Photographic - based on Museum Street in London, fantastic for used Nikon and Leica gear, and they have a little cafe in there where you can hang out with photographers and overhear interesting conversations.

Andy
16-01-06, 13:12
I would agree with all of those, especially Aperture Photographic... purchased my 600/4 from them and they would've personally delivered it me instead of postal carrier if I had wanted.
Warehouse Express: Fast, reliable and invarably cheaper than most. They have massive buying power to enable cheap prices, as well as massive selling power that pleases the manufacturers. Their range is impressive for wildlife photographers.

Park Cameras: in Haywards Heath have an excellent reputation from everyone I know who has dealt with them, either in person at the shop or via mail order.

Mifsuds: Good secondhand lists and negotiable on price in my experience. Reliable service.

Camtech: same as above.

Digital Depot: in Stevenage, and famous for mail order of compact digital cameras but they invariably have stock of the very latest dslr's. When the D2x was first launched, these cameras were nowhere in shops and dpreview was full of those trying to find them.. first phone call i made was to digital depot and they had 3 on the shelf. Same story for previous Nikon cameras, though they were a bit slow on the D200.

SRS Microsystems: My local shop (plus Rayners Lane branch), good secondhand lists and knowledgable staff (a rare thing today).

postcardcv
16-01-06, 13:54
I manily use two places:

1. Norfolk Camera Centre in East Dereham - it's my local camera shop - friendly, knowledgable staff, competitive prices (when I got my 350D they were as cheap as anywhere online), some nice secondhand gear - it's where I got my Sigma 500 f4.5.

2. warehouseexpress - great price, great service. I have had problems with a couple of lenses from them, but these problems have been sorted out very swiftly. The mail order return section is often worth a look as you can get even better deals.

Adey Baker
16-01-06, 14:18
I had a problem with Warehouse Express a couple of years, or so, ago when they didn't have the item that I ordered on line in stock. Without going into details let's just say it turned out quite farcical (well they made me laugh, anyway!) and I swore I'd never use them again. But as other people were continually reporting good comments on them I've started using them again with no problems and a very good price on a tripod that I'd been after for some time.

Park Cameras have always delivered next day whenever I've used them.

Incidentally, it must be said that it's the delivery companies that do the overnight delivery not the dealers, so we should say a big thank you to them, really.

Another thumbs-up for SRSMicrosystems from me - I bought my Sigma 400mm lens, which is far and away my most-used optic, in their January sale at an extremely attractive price two years ago. It's always worth checking their sale prices (this year's bargain must have been the Nikon 45mmP lens at £139)

jimtfoto
16-01-06, 20:09
Well, since this is "World" Photography Forums, I'll chip in with my 2 cents (Canadian) with the two stores I buy most of my gear from in Toronto:

1. Aden Camera - www.adencamera.com
2. Downtown Camera - www.downtowncamera.com

Of course, the big franchise here is Henry's (www.henrys.com), but I find the prices a bit on the high side.

cheers,
jim

Subzero
17-01-06, 20:50
Agree with most of the above choices, but as already stated,the mail firms are all at the mercy of the "man with the van".I have had no problems with WHE or Mifsuds all have given me a good deal, matched prices where required and either delivered on time or kept back items for me to come and look at.
Another point perhaps in relation to Second Hand/Preowned (leica) items ,is that a common definition of terms like MINT etc are what they mean, so that if you are dealing with equipment that you cannot readily see, THEY ARE WHAT THEY ARE DESCRIBED AS, and that the dealers can be relied upon with their descriptions.
regards Subzero.

hollis_f
17-01-06, 21:18
I've had nothing but good experiences with Park Cameras. Fantastic advice from their in-store staff. The only point against them is that they won't deliver to my work address. So, if I can't visit in person (and they're 80 miles away) I tend to order from Warehouse Express.

Leif
17-01-06, 23:17
Warehouse Express: I had a problem with a Leica filter and WE were very helpful, exchanging it for a Nikon one at their suggestion. Very helpful.

Norfolk Camera: I bought a used lens. It was as described. Friendly people too.

Digital First: I used to live nearby so I would pick up equipment in person. Very friendly and they often give a free extended warranty.

Fffordes: Generally good second hand gear, though it's best to ring them and ask them to describe the item over the phone so you know what it's really like.

Mifsuds: Good for selling used gear on commission. But I regularly had to push them to get the money once the item had sold as they never chased me up.

B&H Photovideo of NY: Worth it just to hear the NY Jewish accents and known by some as "Beards and hats". I've found them very good to deal with.

7dayshop: I used to buy film (remember that?) and batteries from them and they were excellent. I've heard bad stories though ...

Jessops: There are better (and cheaper) places ...

Grays of Westminster: Doubtless they know their onions, but too posh for an oik like me. :D Maybe for the Queen and Michael Winner.

Assorted professional photographers selling in small ads etc: I've had numerous unpleasant experiences dealing with pros. The gear was usually thrashed, the descriptions were often blatantly dishonest, and the prices were too high.

Leif

anthony.rowell
17-04-06, 07:14
www.warehouseexpress.com always i have never had a problem most of my gear i bought from them.

Snowyowl
17-04-06, 12:42
Future Shop. It's virtually the only game in town.

affirmation
01-09-06, 09:18
Warehouse express is excellent but have found can still be beaten on price - check out www.cameraking.co.uk - awesome price on my manfrotto 055 pro-b tripod and 804 rc2 head :)

Gidders
01-09-06, 11:57
If you are looking for a compact to slip into your pocket when you don't want to carry the full dSLR then try www.fotosense.co.uk - they have some great bundles including memory card, spare batteries, case etc but they don't have as extensive a range of SLR gear as www.warehouseexpress.co.uk

For printer OEM inks & a good range of papers www.7dayshop.com - I've always found them very good

For memory cards I use www.emartbuy.com (mainly because they are in the jewelry quarter in Birmingham and I can call & collect :D ) but I've alos used www.photo-scotland.co.uk who were very good at changing a faulty Sandisk card.

I may shortly have a recommendation for equipment for Canon users. I wanted a Canon 70-300 f4-5.6 IS but had read on the web (http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=PgComSmModDisplayAct&keycode=2112&fcategoryid=216&modelid=11922) that there were problems with some of these lenses. I found a supplier who provide this lens at 350 a price even www.warehouseexpress.co.uk could not match 369. On higher end equipment the saving he can offer seem to be in the 10-15%+ range over warehouseexpress :D but he doesn't seem to deal in anything but Canon sorry to all you Nikon/Pentax/Olympus etc users :rolleyes: Before buying I emailed about thier policy if I were to get a problem lens and was advised that they would just replace it... so I ordered. Anyway to cut a long story shot, my lens was one of the affected ones. Rather than send for repair and be without it, as it is ok in most situations, the supplier has suggested that I continue to use for the time being and when the new ones become available from Canon he will change it. Canon have advised me that the new ones should be available sometime this month so assuming I get my exchange as promised I will be a very happy bunny and will be able to recommend the supplier to you all.

The only thing that is making me stop and think is the anouncement of the new L series 70-200 f4 IS. When that and the replacement for mine are available I may talk to the supplier again about my options ;)

Nogbad
02-09-06, 15:44
Warehouse Express I have just stareted to use. Bought my Coolwalker from them and apart from the delivery people who I had a problem with I have no complaints.

Fotosense I have had nothing but problems with. Non delivery promises to send when no stock available. and never an e-mail to say out of stock apologies etc.

Local LCE are excellent. Have quite often matched or nearly matched prices except Coolwalker but service is first class and very friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Nogbad

nirofo
02-09-06, 16:06
Warehouse Express I have just stareted to use. Bought my Coolwalker from them and apart from the delivery people who I had a problem with I have no complaints.

Fotosense I have had nothing but problems with. Non delivery promises to send when no stock available. and never an e-mail to say out of stock apologies etc.

Local LCE are excellent. Have quite often matched or nearly matched prices except Coolwalker but service is first class and very friendly and knowledgeable staff.

Nogbad


Hi Nogbad

Try saving 100 by buying the Nikon Coolwalker MSV-01 from the following web address.
http://www2.computeruniverse.net/urlmapper2.asp?mapurl=/products/90126477.asp&agent=586&urlmapped=true

339.50 Euros (229.68) including vat & carriage.

nirofo.

Nogbad
02-09-06, 16:53
Hi Nirofo

Damn wish I'd known sooner that is a great saving.

Regretfully I've had it a few weeks.

Thanks

Nogbad

Canis Vulpes
02-09-06, 17:13
I dont buy much camera gear ;) but here is what I find places where I have bought camera equipment.

Grays of Westminster:- Nikon specialists with almost everything in stock. I spend much time at the beginning of this year working in Central London so I took the opportunity to collect items to avoid carrier related issues. Grays always wrapped items to make them inconspicuous for me to take into meetings etc. 75% of my gear is purchased in this way. I have been successful in haggling but dont be surprised if they take offence.

LCE:- Lincoln branch managed to supply D2X after one week of being launched. LCE had D2X on the shelves before most other Nikon dealers.

Warhouse Express:- Everything I have ordered was in stock and shipped as promised.

Mifsuds:- Slight delay after promised shipping date, telephone call to resolve. This was in between Christmas and new year so no real complaint.

Jacobs Photo:- Derby branch friendly and knowledgeable very happy to help.

Dabs (online):- Purchased compact flash cards and HDD's. One delivery went missing on the post but was replaced swiftly and without hassle.

I have never had real problems so I recommend all of these sources equally.

nirofo
02-09-06, 17:28
Hi Stephen

While I agree that the majority of the camera shops you name offer good service, none of them are particularly good at best prices. For instance, Warehouse Express are offering the new Nikon D80 Body only for £699 + carriage, when a quick search of the web (UK) produces several prices far below this, with 2 or 3 at £599.99 delivered, a saving of over a hundred pounds.

nirofo.

Saphire
02-09-06, 17:47
I recommend AJpurdy I have had good dealing with them and I haggled, I bought a Canon 100-400 Is lens and got a filter, it was only a cheap kood one and doesn't get used but they were willing to match a price. Thats good in my book.

affirmation
02-09-06, 18:27
Was supposed to recieve all my new gear today (paid £23 for saturday delivery) it hasnt turned up and you cannont caontact Warehouse Express or City-Link (the worst couriers in the world!) by phone on a saturday! Dont know whether it is WE's or couriers fault yet - will have to wait till monday but im not happy - will let you know whos to blame (suspect courier as have had countless problems with city link whenver they have ben used!)

Canis Vulpes
02-09-06, 19:03
Was supposed to recieve all my new gear today (paid 23 for saturday delivery) it hasnt turned up and you cannont caontact Warehouse Express or City-Link (the worst couriers in the world!) by phone on a saturday! Dont know whether it is WE's or couriers fault yet - will have to wait till monday but im not happy - will let you know whos to blame (suspect courier as have had countless problems with city link whenver they have ben used!)

Did you arrange and pay a Saturday delivery?

affirmation
03-09-06, 07:57
yep paid £22.95 for delivery on saturday instead of £7.95 for standard delivery.

sassan
03-09-06, 08:09
The question seems old but the topic is one that won't die over time.
As a former Nikon fan in film area who saw the real light through the L series glass and now a total Canonist :) I find the best deals on ebay and from other on line major sellers when they come with their too good to be true deals (With double emphasis on Major sellers such as Dell etc and not the ghosts from China or elsewhere where disappearing things especially the money is their specialty). I have had several accessories bought from UK sellers on ebay and found the price, quality and shipping quite fine. Some of my big lenses from Japan where the real steal as well. In short on-line buying is my preferred mode and yet to see any local shop, even those who sell both on-line and locally, to match the on-line prices.

affirmation
04-09-06, 20:05
Ok so its turns out it was Warehouse directs fualt - well their "computers" apparently! lol anyway they have appologised, refunded all delivery charges and have promised it will arrive tomorrow after 12 for my convenience - so at least it has been sorted and I havent had to pay postage. Manfrotto tripod arrived today from Cameraking.co.uk - very good service, great price and what a tripod!!! awesome. :)

R2didi2
01-10-06, 19:26
Hi

Just seen this thread - can't recommend Park Cameras enough. I have been using them for about four or five years now. They have taken me from the days of having a Nikon 4500, then a Nikon 8800, to my first dSLR (a 20D) and various lenses, and on Wednesday I am picking up an EOS 1D MkIIN.

The guy I deal with there (at Burgess Hill store), Ivan, is really helpful. All the staff are either serious hobbyists, or, like Ivan, work as pro photographers and work at Park a day or so a week just to supplement their income. So they really know their stuff and it is a great place to visit to be amongst fellow photographers and have a laugh and a natter about the latest gossip, e.g. fotokina.

They let you play with bits of kit you might dream of buying one day. For example, Ivan recently let me play with a Canon 500 mm L series lens - the one that comes in a suitcase for those that haven't got one!

Apart from Burgess Hill, they have a store in Haywards Heath (both in West Sussex) but they also do a speedy and efficient mail order service. The web site may not look much compared to Warehouse Express, and Park can tend to charge slightly more, but they will do price matching and as a regular I also get really decent discounts. I don't think you can beat that personal service that you can only get from using a store like Park and I wouldn't use anyone else. They are also extremely good with returns - if I haven't got on with something I've bought, I just take it back - but then that's what you get with a "trusted" supplier relationship.

Check out their site at www.parkcameras.co.uk

Didi

Tannin
01-10-06, 23:49
In Australia:

If you want Canon gear, Quality Camera Sales in Albany are excellent. Helpful and friendly, very reasonable pricing, fantastic fast delivery. www.qualitycamera.com.au

I've bought various things at other places, but QQS is by far the best. Some of the local shops are simply dreadful! It's a bit sad when you get faster, better service from Albany - close to 4000 kilometres from here - than you do from a shop you could walk to in 15 minutes, but that's the way it is.

Roy C
02-10-06, 07:26
Bought my last couple of L lens from 'Kerso' in Scotland. His prices are unbeatable in the UK.