Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Lansing Area Photo Stores

The Camera Shop
Originally uploaded by Apocaplops.

The first thing a good photographer needs to have is a good camera shop. Yeah, you can order anything online nowadays for a discount price, but then you don't get to play with the camera, to cross-shop cameras and equipment in person, which can make a big difference. You'll regret buying that cheap Nikon D40 if you find out it doesn't fit your hand!

Lansing really only has two stores to fill this need. You have Castle Photo in the Frandor mall area, and The Camera Shop on South Pennsylvania, near Meijer. Yes, there are a couple Ritz Cameras around, but you know what? Ritz sucks. They don't know what they're talking about and will give you bad information. Don't go there.

So Castle Photo. It's a bit hard to find, out by Sears in Frandor on Vine Street. It's easily the best area store for the film photographer, stocking chemicals, film cameras, and more film of all types than anyone in the area. It's really the only place I would go looking for old lenscaps, bargain film, or even used cameras. They also have a darkroom available to rent, and process everything from traditional black and white to modern digital printing. For digital SLRs they specialize in Canon, so if that's your bag then you're good to go.

The store has a nice hometown feel to it. It's a bit cluttered, but you aren't going to get lost in there or anything. If you need questions answered, I've never been let down by the staff, even when I've thrown oddball questions at them. They're open Monday-Friday 10-6, and Saturday 10-5.

The other area store is The Camera Shop, located at 6006 S Pennsylvania. The Camera Shop is much more modern than Castle, having embraced the digital age completely. They carry most digital brands, and have quite a large selection of cameras, lenses, and accessories. There is a small selection of film here, and they will process C41 and E6 film from 35mm up to 220, but do not have any black and white service other than C41. In addition, they don't stock slidefilm (E6), so you'd be stuck with print film. Their used camera selection is pretty small, and from what I learned from the man behind the counter, it doesn't turn over much. If you're looking for a bag, lighting gear, or digital prints, The Camera Shop has you covered. Visit them Monday through Friday 10-6, Saturday 11-4.


Dylan said...


PianoWow said...

I Castle Photo still open? I've heard a lot of camera shops in the area are closing.

Anonymous said...

That Camera Shop you posted about is horrible! I went in there to ask about getting my nikon fixed and to buy some much needed accessories for my kodak and no one even said hi to me. No one even acknowledged me! I walked around the store with my husband for awhile and we finally just left. It was ridiculous!

Between best buy, radioshack, and the internet I finally got what I needed.