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Thread: Any Good Camera Shops in Nanaimo?

  1. #1

    Default Any Good Camera Shops in Nanaimo?

    Not talking about Blacks...

    But a good, independent camera shop?

    I haven't seen one, maybe there isn't?

    -Drude

  2. #2

    Default

    There isn't one.

    There's a fotosource in Courtenay.. but I find I still have to go to Vancouver or order online for most items. It's a shame, because it's nice to browse a nice selection of used lenses at those little independent stores.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    Nanaimo
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    Default

    Nope... I get most of my photography items in Victoria or in Vancouver.

    I also order online.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    2,394

    Default

    Locally, I have purchased USED LENSES at London Drugs downtown, although that was a couple years ago.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default It's a tough biz

    Hi all,

    Unfortunately, there's not much in Nanaimo as to independent camera shops, a shame cause in the day it was always fun to stop in at Wilf Hatch's place, or to talk shop with Glen at Westwind...But it's a difficult business for the independents these days, you've got the "net", you've got the chains (Black's, LD,) with much greater buying power, and you've got continually lowering profit margins with digital (at one time, the independent could recoup the margin lost in hardware with processing film, but who does that these days? ) And it's particularily tough in Nanaimo as there's still a mindset that one has to go to Vic or Van to get a deal, often the locals got (and get)overlooked, even if they had pricing that was competitive....

    On the positive side, I have heard rumours....: )

    Still it's been a great career for me the past twenty years or so, It's given me opportunities and rewards, food on the table and a roof over me head : )
    And I may be biased, but photog types are some of the nicest folks around, and it's been great getting to know many of them these past years : )

    Cheers all,
    Al
    "Enlightenment begins,
    Where the pavement ends"

  6. #6

    Default

    Al, you're so right. If it wasn't such a tough business, I would probably be daydreaming about opening a nice little store right in downtown Nanaimo! I've often thought you could supplement the walk-in purchases with a good ebay store as well - turn over a lot more product... just a thought.

    I really tried to stay as close to home with my purchases, but the prices when I went up to Courtenay were way beyond what I can afford to pay to 'keep it local'.

    You say it's been a great career for you - in a photo store? as a photographer? I'm intrigued of course. Oh, and do tell of the rumors!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Location
    Harewood
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    394

    Default I wish I could... : )

    About the rumours, I really can't say.....but there are parties looking to open a higher end camera shop in Nanaimo, I think it's just a matter of timing. At one time Lens and Shutter were planning to open a branch here, but another opportunity came up (I believe it was West Van) and drew there expansion plans there.

    As for me, I've been involved in photo retail since the late eighties, was a Black's manager in Prince George and here in Nanaimo, (incidentally where I met Mr. Swine, another frequenter of the forum) worked for Kerrisdale Cameras in the main store on 41st in Vancouver and in the Victoria store, and nowadays work part time in my "semi-retirement" at the LD photo counter downtown....It's been a great way to combine my hobby and my occupation. I can still be found on most of my off time with a camera somewhere's around, although the days of packing my Pentax 67, lenses and massive Manfrotto tripod are long gone. These days it's usually a Sony point and shoot digital, or my Fuji S2 Pro and Nikon glass if I'm actually going out for a photo hike. I occaisionally load a roll of Velvia in a nifty old Kalimar Reflex 6x6 SLR just for old times sake, but more often it's one of the digitals.

    And yeah it was always my dream to open my own store too...something like Andrew Plank's Camera Traders down in Market Square in Victoria, where if you haven't been, I'd reccomend a look, if for nothing more, just a chance to look at some funky old geat including some nice ol' large format stuff like Graflex and Horseman 4x5's and 8x10's...sone neat Leica rangefinder stuff too, and a nice mix of more modern 35mm and digital. Andrew does a lot of e-bay, and I think it's his real bread and butter....

    cheers,
    Al
    "Enlightenment begins,
    Where the pavement ends"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Nanaimo
    Posts
    760

    Default

    Hah... I frequent the photo counter at LD quite often; my sister-in-law works there too!

    It would be nice to have some more options here in town, thats for sure. But I'll be happy with what there is, and the excuse to take a trip out of town.

    I'm looking to upgrade my camera within a few months here, but in the meantime there is a lens that I am going to aim for. Unfortunately I won't be finding one in Nanaimo.

  9. #9

    Default

    @Al: Thanks for the reply - I'm sure I'll get to meet you at the London Drugs downtown one of these days. Appreciate the tip on Andrew Plank's Camera Traders... I will definitely make a stop there! I love old gear!

    @Persephone: I'm sure London Drugs can order the lens for you, only thing that I've been told there is that you have to pay up front, and there's no returns on custom orders. No problem if you know exactly what you want.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Nanaimo
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    Default

    Thanks Sean

    I do use LD for some of my equipment but haven't sent out for custom lenses or anything.
    There was a Sigma 50-500mm that I wanted to buy at one point, but it was about $500 more to have it shipped in to the store.

    With a daughter who uses formula that costs $200 per case and $1200 per month, doesn't leave much room for over-expenses!

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