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Sunday, January 21, 2007

SeaWood Photo - an old time camera store

To quote SeaWood Photo from their homepage:
"It is hard to find a true "camera shop" anymore and we take pride in the fact that we are."

(c) SeaWood Photo

After having visited their store in San Anselmo, California for the first time this weekend, I can honestly say that I agree wholeheartedly with their description of themselves.

I wanted to try out a 19mm deep-dark red screw-in filter for my Elmar 50/3.5 LTM lens and I thought it would be fun to combine that with some hiking in the San Anselmo hills. Walking into the store I must admit my hopes were not too high for finding some Infrared film but I soon realized that this was not your regular Ritz-Wolf-[insert generic-camera-store-name-here]-camera store.

On the counter was a MF Bronica camera used as a pencil-cup, on the shelves behind it were row upon row of classic 35mm cameras for sale. To mention a few: A nice looking Olympus PEN FT, two black OM-4's, an OM-1n, three Canon F1 (at sale for about 200 dollars each), more Nikon F-cameras than I could count along with countless lenses in various mounts. Speaking of lenses there was a nice looking Nikon 20/2.8 for 240 dollars and Olympus OM 50/3.5 for 100-something dollars.

Turning the attention to the glass shelves under the counter one could spot such cameras such as an Canon 7 in excellent condition, a Leica M6, five-six Exakta cameras and a couple of Hasselblads.

Another room contained MF and LF cameras in various condition (mostly in so-so condition to be honest) and development equipment. A somewhat out-of-date list of their used equipment can be found here and will at least give an indication of the kind of items you may find here.

As impressed as I was with the cameras - and their reasonable prices - I was even more impressed with how knowledgeable the young salespeople were about the cameras they were selling and how they treated their customers. Waiting to be serviced they tended to two other customers and they really took their time explaining features and helping them take educated decisions. One man was buying a new digital camera and was considering a 4-500 dollar lens to go with it. The sales man picked up on that he was not quite sure what he wanted and suggested that instead of going for the more expensive lens he could buy a 100 dollar kit-lens as that would be good enough to get him started and allow him to figure out what he wanted down the road.

I had a great experience at this store and I will make it a point to visit them again when I find myself in the area the next time - and I recommend you doing the same if you enjoy camera stores with great, classic cameras and a very friendly, knowledgeable staff.


Anonymous Sven-Olov Sundin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

January 22, 2007 7:56 AM  
Blogger Baltazart said...

Hi, sorry to bother again, what do you know about the Konica SIII.. i just got one, and well, im sure you might know much more about it than i do:) thx a lot!

January 26, 2007 1:24 AM  
Blogger Rich Silfver said...

I don't think I've ever own a Konica SIII even though it's a pretty interesting fixed-lens rangefinder.
It came out in the early 1960's and its styling is very similar to other Japanese compact cameras of that era (Olympus, Canon, etc).
Interesting to note is that all the Konica cameras starting with S (S, SII, SIII, Auto S, etc) have framelines in the viewfinder that adjusts to compensate for both parallax as well as field of view.
Some information, in translated Japanese, along with some photos that shows how well this camera can perform can be found here: Site but you will have to run it through something like Google translate :)

If any reader out there know where there is a Konica S-III manual please post here.

January 26, 2007 9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about this for the SIII manual?

March 09, 2007 10:15 PM  

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