Living near B+H

If you lived within 60 miles

  • You are the crazy one JIP it's just a store

    Votes: 16 55.2%
  • I would be in there once a month

    Votes: 6 20.7%
  • once a week

    Votes: 2 6.9%
  • they would have to start charging me rent

    Votes: 5 17.2%

  • Total voters


No longer a newbie, moving up!
Aug 29, 2006
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Pittsburgh PA
So I was having a discussion with a person here and either it is him or me that is crazy. He lives within 60 miles of the B+H superstore and has the perfect exscuse to go there (see thread). He claims to be a starving student wich is all well and good but it seems to me if I was a starving photograpy student (I was at one time) living within striking distance of "the superstore" I would be spending probably a little too much time there. So this brings me to my poll. Am I the crazy one? is it not that much of an attraction?? could you as a photographer stay away??
wow man really? drop it. its getting ridiculous sorry your so jealous that you don't live within driving distance go online and order.
wow man really? drop it. its getting ridiculous sorry your so jealous that you don't live within driving distance go online and order.
Mellow!! Mellow!! don't take life so seriously.
Personally, I would find it much more interesting to live within 60 miles of all those museums...

Photography equipment is just stuff.

The only cameras I care about are the ones I own, and then the only reason I care about them is because I can use them to create pictures. Lenses and cameras that belong to a store are meaningless unless I am buying one.

The chance to see great art on a regular basis is, to me, a much more important draw to NYC.
I echo Sabbath999's sentiments. Though it may seem cool to be so near a place, but really what for? You would only frequent it to buy stuff you need, develop prints, etc. Maybe mill around to check out some gear your interested in. That's about it. The glamour will fade fast once you realize you cannot afford 99% of the stuff in the place. :) Will constantly visiting there make you a better photographer? Probably not. Best spend the time out site seeing the museums, photographing at the zoos and parks. That's where I would spend my time. And are crazy. :mrgreen:
Well, I live within walking distance of B&H -- walk past it every week or so and do like shopping there. But there are a few good reasons not to spend too much time there, even if you live close by:

1. It can be a madhouse, particularly on Sundays. I can't bring my girlfriend there, because she hates crowds in tight spaces (why she lives in Manhattan I'll never know) -- and it's often very, very crowded. If you have something in particular you want, that's ok - but for general browsing it can be a pain. (The lens section in particular can be virtually impossible to get into is as crowded as a nightclub dance floor at times; you can barely move.) Weekdays aren't so bad - but I'm at work.

2. Tax. Beach Camera offers comparable prices, and...well, technically you still have to pay state income tax at the end of the year, but let's just say that it's not paid automatically.

3. It's huge as camera stores go, but in the grand scheme of things there is only so much that you can put on display in a Manhattan store. After a few times, you've seen much of it.

4. You don't want to be "that guy." You know, that guy that hangs out at the guitar store, "testing" the guitars and never buying one. Or the guy who is constantly shopping for new camera bags, or just dropping by to see if the new lens that he's not actually going to buy is back in stock, so that he can putz around with it for 20 minutes without buying it.

Nonetheless, it's a great store, and definitely a good place to come if you're in town.
I didn't vote because you didn't have 'only when I need something right away'. I live about the same distance (60 miles) from Manhattan and work a lot closer to it. Just like a lot of places in NYC the store is usually mobbed and I find not set up well and even a bit claustrophobic. The salespeople are knowledgeable and helpful but don't have a lot of time to spend showing you a lot of stuff.

Parking is a nightmare unless you spending a couple of hundred dollars (IIRC) and it isn't really close to the train. Traffic is usually very heavy in the area and it can take 15 minutes just to go a couple of blocks. On top of everything there is the 8.75% NYC sales tax on your purchases. So I never really go to browse, if I am after something I take a printout from their site with the stock numbers and tell them I need these items and I am out of there. There are much better places to hang out in my opinion, the neighborhood is kind of boring by the store.
It would be temping... I always hang out at my skate shop. It got bad sometimes. particularly in the summer, nothing to do so I'd walk down to the shop and hope for somebody with a car to come by and ask me if I wanted to go to the park.

I remember one day we had a bomb threat at school and it was cancelled, my friend and I ended up walking down to the shop and just sat on the bench and watched skate videos for atleast 5 hours.

Yes I do buy stuff there.. so I don't think I'm "that guy" but I could probably tell you everything they have in stock right now -.-

Then again a superstore might be different, while lurking at the shop I might see 2-3 customers a hour. I absolutely HATE crowds in stores. I usually wait for people to move or something but then somebody snakes me, I've decided to just be an asshole when it comes to this and be pushy
I also live nearby, about 10 miles from the store. In some respects, yes I'm spoiled that I can go there when I need to but it doesn't make the need to go there come any more often. I buy film there and every now and then something else, but I lately I don't seem to need that much new equipment and the ratio of that with my need for money is not favourable with shopping frequently.

I also shop at Adorama, their film selection is not as good but still decent, and I find their used prices on equipment *much* more reasonable than B&H.

NYC is one of the most fascinating places I have ever been to and I could spend months there and still not see everything I want to see (and photograph). It would be hard for me to spend much time in a camera store, especially when I can view and read about most of the stuff they have on there website.
I would probably still order online, to avoid the sales tax (assuming I lived in NJ). Even if the shipping comes out higher than the sales tax, at least I don't have to drive there and spend the money on gas, tolls, and more tolls (if I remember right, you have to pay to drive anywhere around there).
I didn't vote as I go when I need something.

For me... this is how I get to BH
* 20min walk from my front door to the train station
* 1.5 hours on a comfortable train. Take a nap.. read... listen to music
* Arrive to NY Penn, grab a bite to eat.
* Another 20 min walk to BH.

Simple as that... I'm still only there maybe a handful times per year. I much prefer the personal attention of local camera shops.

THen.. I head out into the subway to some nice place to relax and shoot a little... There is never a shortage of stuff to shoot in NYC. The only thing stopping me is that I have a young 1 year old at home who also needs attention.

I usually end the day at Union Square.. then off for the train ride back home.
I"m with the others that say no, they wouldn't be there all the time. To be quite honest, if I visited NYC, I probably wouldn't even step foot in B&H. Maybe it's me but I enjoy taking photographs much more than shopping for photo stuff. New York has soooooo many photo ops that I couldn't imagine wasting my time doing what I can do at home.

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