Camera Related Madness

Whats the first thing to do in New York. Thats right a trip to the B&H Super Store on 9th Avenue to buy some bits and pieces for my EOS 400D. The initial shopping list was short, just one lens and a flash but with the fact that things are much cheaper in the states plus the extra bonus from the strong euro the list started to grow just a tad. As part of my tidying things up in work before the trip I submitted the expenses claim of doom. From the beginning of September last until the end of June. It was a hunk of change and was my budget for camera shopping while in New York.

Yes that man does have a screwdriver in his face.

The shopping experience in B&H was fabulous. First of the store is huge and seems to stock everything one could want no matter what the photgraphic need. Everything from flash cards to outfits to be a photojournalist in a war zone. You only have to express the slightest interest in something and a demo model is produced which you can try out and handle and just get a feel for how good or bad the thing is. I am not saying this doesn’t happen at home but you always get the feeling that it is not to be encouraged. So after an initial amount of salivating I made my way to the camera corner and starting playing with stuff.

So once you decide to buy something the sales assistant keys it into the computer and a few minutes later this green crate appears out from under the counter with the item you wanted straight from the warehouse. At this point you suddenly discover that there is this huge computer controlled conveyer system that runs under the counter and up in the ceiling and has these relaly neat lifts that move the crates between the levels. So once you finish coming up with things you want from that section of the shop you are given a receipt with a barcode and your items get dispatched off to the checkout area on the conveyer system leaving you free to browse and find more stuff to buy. Once you do find something the next sales assistant just scans the barcode from the receipt, adds the new item to the order and gives you a new receipt and dispatches the additional items to the checkout area where they get added to your previous items. When you are finished you go to the checkout area and pay and are then given a docket which allows you to pickup your purchases from the collection counter.

The one major downside to this is that you lose track of how much stuff you have purchased which can make getting stuff home tricky. So my eventual list of things purchased looked like:

  • Sigma 30mm f1.4
  • UV filter for above
  • Canon 50mm f1.4 USM
  • UV filter for above
  • Canon 85mm f1.8 USM
  • UV filter for above
  • 7 year International Warranty for the Canon Lenses
  • Sigma EF-500 DG Super Flash
  • 8GB flash card
  • Zing Camera Cover

Things I didn’t purchase but which I thought about getting included the Sigma 10-20mm lens and a tripod. I figured by the time I have gotten good with the three lenses I have purchased I will be back in New York and can get stuff then and carrying a tripod across the continent didn’t seem like fun either. Though it has to be said that towards the end of the week temptation came close to defeating me but thankfully the shop closes at 2pm on a Friday and doesn’t reopen until Sunday which is because about 90% of the staff in the store are Hasidic Jews (according to our New York contacts all from the same clan). Though they could always ship stuff to me while I am on the west coast. I sense a plan forming…..

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