Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service  (Read 1304 times)

Kevin Raber

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 948
  • Kevin Raber
    • Kevin Raber
New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« on: August 21, 2017, 09:13:15 AM »

Happy Monday and Eclipse Day - Today I published an article on the 60 years of service that Roberts Camer has provided the photography industry. It's a great story of success considering how the photography business is today. Plus you get to see Roberts up close and get a good idea what it takes to survive in the photo retail business today. Also included are 2 videos.

Check the article out.  Lots of images and a chance to see a Camera retailer up close.  Roberts Camera Celebrates 60 Years Of Service
Logged
Kevin Raber
Publisher - luminous-landscape.com
[email protected]

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10397
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2017, 10:40:46 AM »

Happy Monday and Eclipse Day - Today I published an article on the 60 years of service that Roberts Camer has provided the photography industry. It's a great story of success considering how the photography business is today. Plus you get to see Roberts up close and get a good idea what it takes to survive in the photo retail business today. Also included are 2 videos.

Check the article out.  Lots of images and a chance to see a Camera retailer up close.  Roberts Camera Celebrates 60 Years Of Service

Really interesting story and videos Kevin. I worked in photographic retail as a young teenager and really got to see how it works from behind the counter. This brought back memories. Most of those shops from the 1950s are gone  - long gone. Here in Toronto we still have several professional retailers, respectable businesses and we hope they survive. The efficiency and convenience of well-managed on-line retail is one thing, the experience of being able to walk into an expert shop and shoot the breeze with knowledgeable professional sales people and customers, handle the equipment, even try it out on the spot, is something else that the Internet just doesn't replicate. The fact that Roberts has an adaptable business model and loyal clientele that keeps them in business is something to treasure. Thanks for featuring them.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml

Jeff

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 24
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2017, 01:01:49 PM »

Interesting article, they appear to have quite a range of stock in the shop.

Here in the UK I have been shopping for most of my gear since 1983 in a family run shop but they hardly have any customers mid-week, which is great for getting prompt service : ),  these days so I assume most of their sales are predominantly from online sales.
Logged

Rajan Parrikar

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1867
    • Rajan Parrikar
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2017, 01:20:22 PM »

I ordered the Canon 11-24 lens over the telephone from Roberts some years ago. Outstanding service.

Jim Kasson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 1852
    • The Last Word
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2017, 03:44:37 PM »

Happy Monday and Eclipse Day - Today I published an article on the 60 years of service that Roberts Camer has provided the photography industry. It's a great story of success considering how the photography business is today. Plus you get to see Roberts up close and get a good idea what it takes to survive in the photo retail business today. Also included are 2 videos.

Check the article out.  Lots of images and a chance to see a Camera retailer up close.  Roberts Camera Celebrates 60 Years Of Service

When I was growing up in Muncie, Indiana, my father taught me about photography. Brownie Hawkeye, developing pictures in the bathroom, Kodak plastic tank with an apron to keep the film from sticking together, Kodak Tri-Chem Pak, contact frame, 60 watt bare bulb -- I'm sure you old timers know the drill. We bought supplies at the local drug store. After I went away to high school, borrowed my father's folding Zeiss 645 camera and started on what seemed to me as a sort of career as a photojournalist and event photographer (newspaper, yearbook, etc), I started going to the local camera store, Jack's Camera. I bought my first 35 there, an Argus C3 (a bow-wow of a camera, but cheap). In 1958, I spent a whole summer's wages on a used Nikon S2 that a local press photographer had bought new. I bought a used Speed Graphic 3 1/4 x 4 1/4, and traded it in very quickly on the 4x5 version.

I hung around Jack's, and people -- sometimes the staff, sometimes the customers -- would teach me things. News photogs would show off prints, especially right after the Indy 500. They knew I didn't have much money, and they weren't going to sell me a lot. It didn't seem to make any difference in the way I was treated. For a kid like me, Jack's was school, clubhouse, and church, all rolled up in one.

It's still there: http://jackscamera.com/

I wrote the above paragraphs on Jack's upon the occasion of the closing of KSP in Palo Alto:

http://blog.kasson.com/the-last-word/requiem-for-a-camera-store/

There must be something in Indiana that's good for local camera stores.

You ever get up there.Kevin?

Jim

Kevin Raber

  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 948
  • Kevin Raber
    • Kevin Raber
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 04:30:12 PM »

Jim, Yes I get up that way every now and then.  Jacks is like the old Roberts store.  Who doesn't like hanging around a camera store?
Logged
Kevin Raber
Publisher - luminous-landscape.com
[email protected]

alainbriot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 756
    • http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2017, 08:33:51 PM »

Nice essay.  Camera stores are fun! It's just too bad they are disappearing. I was also pleasantly surprised to learn that you like video-audio gear as much as photo gear. So do I but when I try to talk about it with other photographers I am met with puzzled looks.  DPA, Neumann, Senken, Nagra, Countryman, Lectronics, etc. are not familiar brands to most photographers.   I certainly undertstand that, but it doesn't have to be that way now that most digital cameras can record sound and video.
Logged
Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

skirkp

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 18
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2017, 07:08:24 AM »

Great essay, with lots of insights into the present, evolving state of the retail camera and professional photography businesses.

When I read Jim Kasson's comment: "When I was growing up in Muncie, Indiana, my father taught me about photography. Brownie Hawkeye, developing pictures in the bathroom, Kodak plastic tank with an apron to keep the film from sticking together, Kodak Tri-Chem Pak, contact frame, 60 watt bare bulb -- I'm sure you old timers know the drill. " of course I remember the drill.  My hangout was Lincoln Camera, on Union Street (it had moved from Lincoln Street) in Wilmington, DE, long gone now.

I stumbled across Roberts recently when they offered a less common lens I was looking for in NOS (new old stock) on EBay.  They were very professional to deal with, but I had no idea of the extent of their operation until I saw this video.  Also, I didn't realize the margins were so high in used camera lens resale.  (Have to bargain harder!)  Their move into video, and audio for use with video equipment is part of a larger trend.  B&H has a lot of that gear.  Leica Store Miami (Dave Farkas' outfit) has a careful selection that fits with Leica's positioning of the SL as a high color quality 4K rig. Tony Rose, at Popflash, hasn't made that jump yet, so it is still a transition.  Alain Briot's observation about video is interesting.  I would assume that self-taught landscape photographers would not have much interest, but school-trained younger photographers should be familiar with current digital cinema gear, and street photographers with a documentary style should also care.



Logged

Mark D Segal

  • Contributor
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10397
    • http://www.markdsegal.com
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2017, 08:15:40 AM »

Also, I didn't realize the margins were so high in used camera lens resale.  (Have to bargain harder!) 

The photographic retail business I was familiar with needed a minimum margin of 10% to open the doors. With today's panoply of regulations and disproportionate real-estate and rent values, it could well be higher. Certain important manufacturers impose restrictions on pricing of new equipment, sometimes resulting in margins not much above the cost of keeping the shop open, and competitive pricing on a lot of gear keeps free margins low. So to make any money at all in this business, they need higher margins on the unencumbered, less competition-affected stuff to meet the restrictions and competition on the low margin stuff. Without that they would sink.
Logged
Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml

bjanes

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3271
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2017, 08:41:46 AM »

The photographic retail business I was familiar with needed a minimum margin of 10% to open the doors. With today's panoply of regulations and disproportionate real-estate and rent values, it could well be higher. Certain important manufacturers impose restrictions on pricing of new equipment, sometimes resulting in margins not much above the cost of keeping the shop open, and competitive pricing on a lot of gear keeps free margins low. So to make any money at all in this business, they need higher margins on the unencumbered, less competition-affected stuff to meet the restrictions and competition on the low margin stuff. Without that they would sink.

That is an interesting statistic. In the Chicago loop sales tax is 10.25% and if a store (such as Central Camera) wants to keep the total cost of purchase competitive with B&H or similar out of state outfits, they have to eat some of that tax. Together with congestion and expensive parking in the loop area, online shopping becomes even more attractive. It's a tough business.

Bill
Logged

alainbriot

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 756
    • http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #10 on: August 23, 2017, 01:06:58 PM »

Alain Briot's observation about video is interesting.  I would assume that self-taught landscape photographers would not have much interest, but school-trained younger photographers should be familiar with current digital cinema gear, and street photographers with a documentary style should also care.

Your point about school trained photographers being knowledgeable about audio and video is certainly accurate.  In my case it is not about that (even though I am, or was school trained) but about the fact that I communicate with my audience through several media, one being photography, another being my podcast, another being live seminars and yet another being recorded tutorials.  All of these require audio, and to be enjoyable audio has to be of high quality, hence my interest in audio gear.

I also worked as an audio technician in noise and vibration analysis for my father and we used Bruel and Kjaer microphones and recording equipment.  I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the Bruel and Kjaer microphone department is now DPA and that they carry on the tradition of high quality audio set by B&K, as well as keep up Denmark's reputation for high quality products (Phase One is made in Denmark).  This ties several aspects of my life together, something which I find both meaningful and enjoyable.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 01:32:18 PM by alainbriot »
Logged
Alain Briot
Author of Mastering Landscape Photography, Mastering Composition, Creativity and Personal Style., Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are Sold.
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

Al DaValle

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 11
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #11 on: August 23, 2017, 01:30:40 PM »

Roberts is a great camera store and a rare treat in this day of online commerce.  Bruce is wonderful and his staff is knowledgeable.  I live in St Charles, IL but have family in Indy.  So I try to stop by the store as often as possible and attempt to make all my major purchases through Roberts!  They carry a full inventory and have competitive pricing.  Great customer service as well.

Al DaValle
Logged

antoine_k

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2
Re: New Article - Roberts Camera Celebrates 6o Years Of Service
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2017, 01:03:12 PM »

Great article. I've bought some things online from Roberts. They are one of the few places that carry Fuji GX680 stuff.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up