Calumet Photographic bankruptcy?

dissentdissent Posts: 1,305Member
edited March 2014 in General Discussions
Post edited by dissent on
- Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]

Comments

  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited March 2014
    Helix camera and Central Camera. None of them rent though. So much for 30.00 rentals.
    I am usually near central camera but they are always out of stock and prices are a bit high for several items.
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • cbgcbg Posts: 127Member
    There are 3 Calumet stores in the Washington, DC area (used to be Penn Camera). Every time I have been in the one in N Virginia, the stock is less than adequate and I usually end up ordering what I am looking for from B&H
  • michael66michael66 Posts: 231Member
    There are 3 Calumet stores in the Washington, DC area (used to be Penn Camera). Every time I have been in the one in N Virginia, the stock is less than adequate and I usually end up ordering what I am looking for from B&H
    Hence the bankruptcy filing and closing of all US Stores. I haven't been to one of their stores in years ( 30? ) and never did like what I saw.

  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    I am sad to hear this news. Calumet was one of my favorite dealers, the other being B & H.

    I found their staff to be professional, supportive, and helpful in ways many dealers are not.

    Several years back, when I old them I was going to Egypt in a week, they sold me the first Leica M9 to hit any of their stores so that I could take it with me. The M9 was just announced, back ordered 4-6 months everywhere at that time.

    I have had similar experiences with high end lenses, and a D800e before a an Alaska trip.

    Calumet had a largely professional clientele and were organized to support them.

    .... H

    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    From their UK FB page

    Calumet Photographic in the UK and across Europe are separate entities from the US business within the overall Calumet organisational structure and we are therefore not affected by this announcement in the UK and Europe. We are trading as usual and you can continue to shop and rent with us as normal via our stores, web and phone.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    edited March 2014
    I was there on saturday and they had wedding class going on. I asked how much they charged and they said 300 and it was a class of about 10-15 people. They also had a model groom and bride. That is where I would play with the DF.

    I had not rented from them but 30.00 an item for the weekend was a bargain compared to the online companies. Too bad. one of my friends has a wedding this weekend and the manager called him to apologize for his rental mess. He probably knew his number or the managers were calling people with rentals.
    Post edited by Vipmediastar_JZ on
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    This is quite sad for me as I have a Calumet monorail view camera from the 1960's. I purchased it from the factory in Chicago in 1964. My experience suggested this is an exceptionally good camera and priced so students could purchase one. Still have the 90mm f/8 Super Angulon to go with it…..and film holders….heck I found flash bulbs in the case as well…. :))

    For those who are of an age which does not know what a flash bulb is….. you missed out on an entire generation of burned fingers…..more LOL

    Calumet was an important part of my early learning process in photography and I will be forever grateful for their contribution to professional photographers. Thank you Kenneth Becker.
    Msmoto, mod
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited March 2014
    Still have the 90mm f/8 Super Angulon .
    A fabulous lens, mine belonged to work
    It was bough in 60s for a project with BBC on Canaletto and his use of a camera obscura . Sadly the project got cancelled, along with our trip to Venice
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 978Member
    I bought $150,000 worth of medium and large format gear from Calumet. They had a great catalog and some great staff. Jeffery Dick was my sales rep and great to deal with. My favorite purchase ever from them was my Fuji GX 617 and the 90, 105, 180, and 300 lens panels. My Linhoff and Hasselblads from them were pretty good too. My monorails were Horsemans, as to view cameras I honestly was far more effective with my Zone VI and Wisner American Expeditions. The wood from the Wisners even came from my tree farm (Black Cherry). Even their brand Caltar lens were very good. The end of an era?
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,407Moderator
    Makes you wonder how they went down the pan doesn't it - seems plenty of folk shopped there.
    Always learning.
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    It is sad to hear, but not surprising. Small stores have been closing by the droves for years. The same issues they deal with is just moving on up to the larger stores. It's all about inventory management. The need to have it on hand, needing to move it, not selling it, then having too much on hand. Then add the cost of retail rent and expenses, retail workers, building maintenance, etc. Compare that to with on-line retailers that don't have the same costs at all. Staples has closed over 200 stores, BestBuy, Circuit City, K-mart... the list goes on for miles on businesses that haven't changed or not changed fast enough to compete with Amazon and online retailers and have had to close or close many stores. B&H and Adorama and a few others moved online early and continuously updated to compete, even listing stuff on Amazon. Interestingly, many that have survived only have a handful or less stores.

    When searching for products I never saw Calumet come up at all in searches. A few times that I did, their prices were always higher by quite a bit. That is never a good thing when you need to move inventory.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • spraynprayspraynpray Posts: 6,407Moderator
    It is sad to hear, but not surprising. Small stores have been closing by the droves for years. The same issues they deal with is just moving on up to the larger stores. It's all about inventory management. The need to have it on hand, needing to move it, not selling it, then having too much on hand. Then add the cost of retail rent and expenses, retail workers, building maintenance, etc. Compare that to with on-line retailers that don't have the same costs at all. Staples has closed over 200 stores, BestBuy, Circuit City, K-mart... the list goes on for miles on businesses that haven't changed or not changed fast enough to compete with Amazon and online retailers and have had to close or close many stores. B&H and Adorama and a few others moved online early and continuously updated to compete, even listing stuff on Amazon. Interestingly, many that have survived only have a handful or less stores.

    When searching for products I never saw Calumet come up at all in searches. A few times that I did, their prices were always higher by quite a bit. That is never a good thing when you need to move inventory.
    I'm afraid it's the same here in the UK too. I don't expect them to be around much longer. Maybe the only way it would work would be for the distributors and brick and mortar dealers to fix prices - illegal at the moment, but I can't think of another way.
    Always learning.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited March 2014
    In the UK, Calumet have a good range of competitively priced, own brand, studio products. Ignoring imports there Nikon gear is the same price as online outlets
    In Bristol their store is not on an expensive high street
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,200Member
    It is sad to hear, but not surprising.

    When searching for products I never saw Calumet come up at all in searches. A few times that I did, their prices were always higher by quite a bit. That is never a good thing when you need to move inventory.
    +1...that was my experience, they never came up at all in searches and their prices....more than the mail order dealers.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    I'm afraid it's the same here in the UK too. I don't expect them to be around much longer. Maybe the only way it would work would be for the distributors and brick and mortar dealers to fix prices - illegal at the moment, but I can't think of another way.
    There are ways to succeed but they obviously didn't do many of them or just got so far behind to make up ground. Boutique stores with a strong on-line presence is where many have found success - so it can be done. Fixing prices (more than the existing MSRP which all the companies have a narrow gap of prices that stores can sell at) would actually hurt more than do any good. You have to remember that most of the money made is NOT on camera's and lenses - it is on the accessories and services. Besides you are talking about hundreds of thousands of products - that just isn't going to happen. It could be also that the land is worth enough that the investors decided to cut and run or sell it rather than try to save everything. That actually happens quite a bit. Brick and mortar stores are god awful money pits but the land is usually very valuable.
    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 978Member
    I saw a VERY great increase in prices and lower customer service form Calumet in recent years. Their era was almost over by 2004. After that they were NOT the camera store to deal with.
  • dissentdissent Posts: 1,305Member
    - Ian . . . [D7000, D7100; Nikon glass: 35 f1.8, 85 f1.8, 70-300 VR, 105 f2.8 VR, 12-24 f4; 16-85 VR, 300 f4D, 14E-II TC, SB-400, SB-700 . . . and still plenty of ignorance]
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    Let me think about this..... C & A did such a good job with Ritz......mmmm...
    Msmoto, mod
  • snorbosnorbo Posts: 28Member
    I have never dealt with or for that matter ever heard of Calumet. That being said a lot of the specialty shops of end up sooner or later getting engulfed by "superstores". General consumers want to go one place and buy everything. I come from a small town and remember the local hardware store. Once places like home depot and Wallmart came to being in our area the store could no longer compete. Sad times are upon us when it comes to the old fashioned sale and service stores. Unfortunately today's world is based on quick and easy.
    Nikon D7100 (Gone), Sony A77, 18-140 mm f3.5-5.6, 50 mm f1.8, 18 - 55 mm f3.5 - 5.6, 55 - 200 mm f4 - 5.6, Lowpro bags, tripods and speedlights..cleaning assories ect.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    Looks like a spin off is coming soon at least for the Chicago area. YAY

    http://calphotous.com/
  • kyoshinikonkyoshinikon Posts: 411Member
    edited June 2014
    Calumet died due to internal corruption. Luckily Here in LA they weren't the #1 choice to begin with but...

    More often than not these companies don't go down because of a market change but because of the people who run them. Nowadays instead of people who know the industry running stores and companies like calumet, kodak, pentax, and even nikon, it is business management major types who find their way into these positions. Because they only understand the industry from a numbers perspective they often make a bunch of bad decisions (usually to garner quicker & better profits) which ultimately result in an unhealthy crash or demise of the company
    Post edited by kyoshinikon on
    “To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” - Bresson
  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,200Member
    +1 kyoshinikon

    I saw the #1 camera store in Columbus, Ohio...Cord Camera, totally fall apart and go bankrupt. Now they sell albums, point & shoot, and lots of bags, and print business. They could not complete with NYC prices and had too much inventory and when the prices dropped their spread was reduced. Mis management for sure.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
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