Quick! Cameras in Atlanta?
May 8, 2014 11:53 AM   Subscribe

I will have a long layover in Atlanta tomorrow between international flights, and would like to buy a camera lens. Specifically, an Sigma 18-200. Where is the best place to do this? Quick and/or easy trip from the airport by MARTA is a must. I hope this is still possible, despite my lack of planning in advance!
posted by whatzit to Shopping (11 answers total)
How long is your layover?
posted by dawkins_7 at 12:04 PM on May 8, 2014

long enough! more than eight hours.
posted by whatzit at 12:09 PM on May 8, 2014

If you really want to stick to MARTA alone, I'd take the red/gold line (the line from the airport) up to Lenox Square mall and go to Wolf Camera at the mall. I'd call them first to make sure they carry the lens. There are better camera shops but you'll need to take a cab to get there. But cabs in atlanta are terrible. Uber is pretty functional in ATL these days, though.
posted by dis_integration at 12:09 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

But scratch that, the mall location seems to have closed.
posted by dis_integration at 12:12 PM on May 8, 2014

I don't have a specific recommendation, and I don't know anything about Atlanta at all, but I just want to say this if you are going to do the research yourself: the best way to get public transit directions in a city is to use Google maps and select the transit option in the Directions page.

Don't bother trying to use the website for the transit company - IME most of those have no idea how to find anything.

If nobody comes in this thread to give you a good personal recommendation, your best bet is to just use google maps, search for "camera store", then get directions for each store from the airport using the transit option. Pick the one with the shortest commute and call to see if they have the lens you want. Repeat until you find one.

*Sorry if this advice seems too generic (duh, just google it) but I know LOTS of people who did not know that Google provides public transit options, including the scheduled bus/train times and the time it takes to walk to the bus stop. If you research it tonight, you can tell google that you want to leave at 10am tomorrow and google will tell you what time the next bus will be.
posted by CathyG at 12:43 PM on May 8, 2014

Try Showcase Photo & Video, pretty close to the Lindbergh Station MARTA rail stop.

Atlanta's Olympic mascot is visiting!
posted by Frank Grimes at 12:46 PM on May 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

Showcase on Cheshire Bridge Road may have it

Showcase Inc.
2323 Cheshire Bridge RD NE
Atlanta, GA 30324


Take MARTA to Lindburgh Station and then get a transfer to the bus to Cheshire Bridge. Should take an hour or so (depending on what time of day.)

Call to confirm, and use the trip planner for your route.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:46 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not sure if there is enough time, how about amazon overnight to a fedex or ups location?
posted by NoDef at 12:57 PM on May 8, 2014

If you're okay buying (high quality) used, KEH.com's warehouse is nearby there:


I cannot speak to the public transport for getting out there though. They do a great job fixing and cleaning stuff up. And looks like they have 18-200s in stock too:


I've bought equipment from there I've used on professional shoots and haven't had any issues. Stick with Bargain grade and up.

Also have had good experiences with them on the phone. They're friendly people.
posted by beep-bop-robot at 1:23 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Here's a thing about the International terminal, you'll have to take a shuttle from there to the domestic terminal to connect with MARTA. Then back again to catch your flight.

You may need ALL of that 8 hours.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:28 PM on May 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

OK, here's the run-down. The layover was fine, all options were tried, but no dice:

- Showcase says by phone they are out of stock of 18-200, but offered the 18-250 and a lower-priced Tamron 18-270. I appreciate that he offered the information about the Tamron and its popularity without being pressed. Didn't manage to find it by public transit. Whether I'm geographically incompetent or failed to confirm the address, it could be either.
- Wolf Camera at Buckhead answers the phone and is still around, Wolf had only the 18-250 in stock for Nikons and didn't have any offers of Tamron or other substitutes. The overall selection was narrower even than what's available in France's "Best Buy" equivalents.
- KEH would have been a win! They had it in stock, in high-end refurb, and the nice guy on the phone said they would need just 45 minute lead time between purchase and pick-up. This would have been great, because who knows, the first flight could always end up significantly delayed. On arrival, they requested 24 hours lead-time, despite what I'd been told on the phone. They tried to convince the guys in back to rush it, but it was 3pm and they were itching to go home.

Google does do an impressive job with the public transport options, though I'll note on the directions to KEH it ended the 3 bus routes with "6.5 miles, car or taxi", though I've usually used public transit search for large but well-organized cities. Thanks, Google. Google also does - in my experience - a less than awesome job identifying what is a "camera store" or "Japanese restaurant" or whatever, and that's where I needed some real brains. I mark this as best answer specifically so people who don't know about this feature can add it to their knowledge banks.

I appreciate your sharing a moment of your brains and expertise.
posted by whatzit at 3:28 AM on May 12, 2014

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