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Anyone from So. California? - Where to buy?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by needa916, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. needa916

    needa916

    11
    Mar 15, 2009
    So Cal
    Hi, Does anyone here live near the Irvine/Tustin are in So. Cal? If so, where are some camera shops located? Google search didn't give me any valid results, just some outdated links to Ritz (closed) and Circuit City (closed).

    All I know about is Samy's Camera In Santa Ana. It is very difficult to get any service there, as there are always lines of people, and the salespeople are very busy. I did get some lenses and a tripod there. I actually got my 35mm 1.8 there on the release date which is amazing.

    Any others south of Santa Ana?
     
  2. genera

    genera

    Oct 6, 2005
    California
    Cal's Camera in Costa Mesa, Calumet in Santa Ana, and Pro Photo in Irvine come to mind.
     
  3. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Karen
    There used to be a store called The Used Camera Store almost across the street from Cal's. My husband dragged me to Tn -- so I don't know if it is still open or not. I found a LN 105/2.8 micro there years ago.
     
  4. Rob T

    Rob T

    870
    Aug 27, 2008
    SoCal
    These were the same 3 I was going to mention.
     
  5. Calumet is a great store. I haven't been to the Santa Ana location, but the ones I've been to are great!
     
  6. Rob T

    Rob T

    870
    Aug 27, 2008
    SoCal
    I completely agree.

    Their prices are not the best, but their stores are well laid out and the customer service is very good in my experience.
     
  7. Hmmm...my favorites in SoCal are Paul's Photo in Torrance, and Canoga in the SF Valley. Too bad neither is terribly close to Irvine! :( 
     
  8. Anything in particular that you are looking at buying or just a store for any camera needs. If I need something "like yesterday" to accomodate my OCD I go to Samy's but you are right about getting a salesman to stick with you while you look, play with gear. Like most stores, they are on commision and they are trying to make a living. With Samy's you just have to know what you want, what you are wiling to pay and see if they will make a deal with you. I always see what their online prices are and go from there. They aren't to happy about selling an item at online prices, but you will usually find a salesman who will work with you. I ask them to put it on hold, I show up and pay and then happily walk out within a matter of minutes.
     
  9. Jaytron

    Jaytron

    736
    Mar 22, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Go with a NY based shop like BH/Adorama, a bunch of their stuff has free shipping, and you get to avoid the beautiful 9.5% CA sales tax
     
  10. OC Camera in Mission Viejo, I don't know if you want to drive down this way, but its close to the the MV mall. It's a small store but there is always someone available to answer any questions. They mostly carry Leica, but are pretty well stocked on Nikon gear too.
     
  11. Rob T

    Rob T

    870
    Aug 27, 2008
    SoCal
    Unbelievable, isn't it!? :mad: 
     
  12. Jaytron

    Jaytron

    736
    Mar 22, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Yup, I tend to buy everything I can out of state now.

    Noooooo thank you to tax.
     
  13. Rob T

    Rob T

    870
    Aug 27, 2008
    SoCal
    Of course they are trying to do away with that tax "loophole" too. :rolleyes: 
     
  14. Some observations:

    Cal's Camera - The staff is very knowledgeable and helpful. The store has a good selection. On every occasion that I have visited, there were not very many customers to compete with the sales staffs' time so the service is excellent. Parking is a bit limited. AVOID parking in the rear area. Costa Mesa socioeconomics is quite spotty and one could invariably be approached by homeless/transient individuals looking for a handout. In the winter when the sun sets before the store closes, DEFINITELY avoid parking in the dark, rear area of the parking lot.

    Calumet - Showroom floor is roomy enough to further populate it with more items. Sales staff is sparse so customer service is spotty. Parking is very good. I make a dual-functions trip there since REI is across the parking lot. Watch the SUVs piloted by the soccer mom's zooming by. Hours are equally sparse; particularly on the week days.

    Pro Photo - Generally disheveled and dusty. Plenty of supplies on the showroom floor, however not much else in the way of lenses, bodies, etc. Parking is limited, but more is available on the street. Sales staff often do not know that customers are around since they are perpertually too busy with other things. When parking on the street, watch the industrial vehicles moving far too much above the posted 25 MPH limit to care that there are other HUMAN BEINGS on this planet.

    Samy's - Excellent selection. Not enough staff. They also offer photography and video tutorials and classes. This is a high-volume store and when there is a sales event, DO NOT take small children with you. They will be trampled by the newbies trying to get a good deal on the P&S stuff. There is a small-statured security officer with a gaze that would make Mr. T's look like a smile on the plasticine face that a desperate housewife would put on when attendding a church picnic to scope out the wealthier male members of the congregation.

    For you single guys, there are plenty of young women that frequent the store. Most of the male staff give them the attention FIRST so If you younger males are there to help them (or, at least keep them occupied), perhaps the graying, ugly, middle age males like myself can get some decent customer service.

    Watch your vehicles; especially during the evening hours. Keep the windows "rolled-up," doors locked, and place items in the trunk. Santa Ana PD is rarely around enough since they are mostly patrolling north-ish Harbor Blvd. keepin the riff-raff from taking pot shots at themselves and whomever is around as well as roaming Mile-Square Park searching for miscreants trolling and lying in wait to prey on the scantilly-clad female joggers that would be safer at Samy's shopping when the sun sets.

    But, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong, however my observations may just be accurate enough for some to take seriously.:tongue:
     
  15. Jaytron

    Jaytron

    736
    Mar 22, 2009
    San Jose, CA
    Well you're "supposed" to report it when you file your taxes. I'm sure we all do that right? ;) 
     
  16. needa916

    needa916

    11
    Mar 15, 2009
    So Cal
    Wow, thanks all for the excellent comments. I had no idea there were so many shops near me. Mission Viejo is quite close - I live close to the I-5 fwy and MV is 5 minutes away.

    As much as I didn't enjoy the salesperson experience there, I went back and bought another lens: Tamron 18-270. Anyway, last time I went there to return the lens, it appeared to me the salesperson saw my D60, assumed this dumb newbie didn't know what I was doing and suggested single autofocus setting instead of continuous on the camera. I decided to try the new setting for a week, and it still wouldn't focus at any aperture/shutter speed combination. This setting isn't ideal for someone like me just starting off anyway, but other lens worked fine. I even demonstrated on one of his Nikon 18-200 - it focused 98% of the time.

    Today I took it back again, got the same guy and I exchanged for another lens (same model). He seemed annoyed to deal with me...thats too bad because I've already spent a ton of money there, and in the market for an Olympus Pen for my dad and a D300 for myself.

    I am willing to pay a bit mode for local stores, if customer service is good. When will people learn service is just as important as the stock you have.

    I am happy to report the new exchanged 18-270 lens works as it should and focuses 9 out of ten times.
     
  17. Browse at Samys and then order from B&H and just pay for shipping. You really want to pay almost 10% of California sales tax? That's ridiculous for a state that can't even balance the budget.
     
  18. +1

    Another reason why I moved and almost always bought online.
     
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