Best camera store on Manhattan?
July 5, 2008 11:35 PM   Subscribe

Want to try out lenses, tripods, filters, etc for my new Canon 40D. Nice camera, btw!
posted by avocade to Shopping (9 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
BH Photo/Video.
I've only had dealings with them via the internet but I've found them fast, friendly, and priced below the competition.

Their website is here: and their address is 420 9th Ave, NY New York (taken off site).
posted by heeeraldo at 11:50 PM on July 5, 2008 [1 favorite]

The only real competitor to BH (the only people I have spent more money with than BH over the years are my mortgage co., Augusta Harley-Davidson, Acura, and Apple) is Adorama. Unlike BH they also have a rental department, so you can try out that 1200L before you buy it.
posted by TedW at 12:43 AM on July 6, 2008

Don't go to B&H or Adorama on the weekend. The shops are too crowded and the reps will be impatient and brusque with you. (B&H reps adson't work on commission, Adorama reps do get spiffs for selling some things like Cokin filters.) Those stores are, however, among the best places to buy the gear you know you want. Window shoppers are usually merely tolerated by the busy staff on their busiest days.

Other good places for trying (and even buying) that aren't so crazy-busy include Calumet Photographic on W. 22nd and Alkit Camera on E. 45th
posted by skywhite at 7:02 AM on July 6, 2008

Jealous XTi ownere here...

I can't recommend a Manhattan store, but my first thought was that you might want to look into lens rentals as the next step.

Two of the rental sites I "window shop" online are and Glass and Gear, though I've regrettably never actually rented from either, so I'm living vicariously through you. ;)
posted by fogster at 8:07 AM on July 6, 2008

You will be amazed with the EF-S 10-22mm Canon on your 40D. It is the only reason I don't move to a full-frame camera. That short zoom simply cannot be replaced with anything of the same knockout clarity.

The other lens I quite adore and which performs well on the 40D is the 24-105 f4 L. The EF-S 17-55 f2.8 is also a peach.

For fixed/prime the 24mm f1.4L, the 35mm f1.4L and the 50mm f2.5 COmpact Macro are all tack sharp and fine lenses. The 50mm Compact Macro is the sharpest of the lot and can be had very inexpensively. It is a s-l-o-w focusing lens but, my goodness, is it ever sharp.

Longer lenses are the usual classics such as the 135 f2L, the 70-200 f2.8 L IS, the utterly awesome 200mm f1.8L and its new replacement the 200mm f2 L.

All of these are worth renting and when you are done with those, try a tilt-shift. That'll make you grin.
posted by bz at 2:21 PM on July 6, 2008

If you want to rent, Adorama, Calumet, and Alkit (all mentioned above) have rental departments. If you go to Alkit (on e. 45th between 2nd & 3rd), ask for Alan (the rental manager) and he can walk you through the options. Any of the three shops will have many lenses for you to rent and try out before you buy.

If you want to buy, go to B&H on a Tuesday in the middle of the day or something like that. Definitely not on a Sunday. They're fussy when they're busy, but they have, hands-down, the largest inventory of any camera shop in NYC. If you've never been there, the experience of seeing how such a large operation works is worth the trip.

As for lenses, I have a 5D, so it's full-frame vs. the 40D's crop sensor, but the lenses that I love the most are the 100mm f2.8 macro, the 17-4mm0 f4 L (fantastic lens for the money), and the 24-70mm f2.8L. I like wide angle lenses, so the 17-40 gets used the most in my kit, but the macro lens is fast becoming my favorite for detail shots.
posted by bedhead at 4:28 PM on July 6, 2008

Someone asked me what I had already bought and what I was looking for, lens-wise:
I got the 28-135mm IS USM with the camera. Additionally, I bought the 50mm f1.8 and the 35mm f2 primes, to use as portrait lenses. I'm looking at the Tokina 12-24mm f4 or the Canon 17-40mm f4L as my wide-angle lens.
posted by avocade at 9:17 PM on July 6, 2008

Thanks for the suggestions on stores! Since I'm currently staying in Palo Alto, and have visited this great store, I must give a shout-out to Keeble & Shuchat:
posted by avocade at 9:19 PM on July 6, 2008

The Tokina is an excellent bargain, but before you buy consider the Canon 10-22mm zoom. As says,"Based on its superior sharpness, distortion, close-up characteristics, reasonable size and very light weight, this zoom sits at the top of the digital-only ultrawide class. Hands down."

More (rave) reviews:
posted by skywhite at 6:20 AM on July 7, 2008

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