Brief hist of B&H

Monticello Avenue-3

A
Monticello Avenue-3

  • 0
  • 0
  • 15
surprise!

A
surprise!

  • Tel
  • Feb 7, 2023
  • 2
  • 3
  • 157
Anatomy

A
Anatomy

  • 1
  • 4
  • 177
Morning

D
Morning

  • 0
  • 0
  • 107
BD2023-1.jpg

D
BD2023-1.jpg

  • 0
  • 1
  • 133

Forum statistics

Threads
182,041
Messages
2,519,222
Members
95,480
Latest member
stngoldberg
Recent bookmarks
0

Kodachromeguy

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 3, 2016
Messages
1,556
Location
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Shooter
Multi Format
Neat! I remember buying an inexpensive flash and then a Luna Pro light meter from B&H around 1977. At that time, I sent them a check because I was a student and did not have a credit card of any sort (how did we live without plastic???).
 

Sirius Glass

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
43,875
Location
Southern California
Shooter
Multi Format
Thank you. Interesting.
 

AgX

Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2007
Messages
30,010
Location
Germany
Shooter
Multi Format
The german equivalant would be Photo Porst. Started too as a tiny store. But actually much older, much bigger.
But failed....
 

guangong

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
2,861
Shooter
Medium Format
I first shopped at store when located on W 17th Street. Very good prices but employees not very knowledgeable. When new store opened on 9th Ave, management was very smart and hired folks with real expertise in their areas I of specialization.
Once returned three defective Contax T3s before got a perfect camera. One was way after stated return policy.
My go to place.
 

Sirius Glass

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 18, 2007
Messages
43,875
Location
Southern California
Shooter
Multi Format
The german equivalant would be Photo Porst. Started too as a tiny store. But actually much older, much bigger.
But failed....

Thus making B&H the largest.
 

ic-racer

Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Messages
13,115
Location
USA
Shooter
Multi Format
I never heard of them until I ordered some stuff around 1998.

Looking through a 1974 Modern Photography magazine, I don't see them listed. Who else remembers ordering from these names:
Cambridge Camera Exchange
Olden Camera
Classic Camera
Executive Photo
Wall St. Camera Exchange
47th Streed Photo Inc.
Ritz Camera
 
OP
OP

chip j

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Messages
2,195
Location
NE Ohio
Shooter
35mm
Yes, I ordered a lot from Executive, incl. a new Focotar 2 enlarging lens ($430 + ship!).
 

Dennis-B

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
477
Location
Southeast Michigan
Shooter
35mm
Been a customer since the mid-70's. Have always been treated well, even in the days when it wasn't fashionable for discounters to do it. Not always big ticket purchases, but you could never tell by the folks' attitude there; always helpful and courteous.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
806
Location
L.A. - NYC - Rustbelt
Shooter
Multi Format
Did BH had a film freezer? What did it look like?

film freezer D.D. Teoli Jr. A.C..jpg


...I wish I had took some photos of the old cam shops in L.A.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2017
Messages
806
Location
L.A. - NYC - Rustbelt
Shooter
Multi Format
I never heard of them until I ordered some stuff around 1998.

Looking through a 1974 Modern Photography magazine, I don't see them listed. Who else remembers ordering from these names:
Cambridge Camera Exchange
Olden Camera

Classic Camera
Executive Photo
Wall St. Camera Exchange
47th Street Photo Inc.
Ritz Camera
 

Chrismat

Subscriber
Joined
May 28, 2011
Messages
1,162
Location
Brewer, Maine
Shooter
Multi Format
I ordered a Vivitar 28mm Pentax mount lens from 47th St. Photo in 1982. Called them up, got a quote with shipping, then mailed a letter with a postal money order enclosed. Can't remember if I ever ordered anything else from them.
 

Cholentpot

Subscriber
Joined
Oct 26, 2015
Messages
5,656
Shooter
35mm
My cousin works there. And my other cousin, and the one from my mothers side of the family. And his cousin, and my other cousin works in accounting and the other one I don't talk to any more works in pensions. Also my cousins cousin twice removed used to work there.

I get all my used pro kit from B&H.
 

Dennis-B

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
477
Location
Southeast Michigan
Shooter
35mm
I never heard of them until I ordered some stuff around 1998.

Looking through a 1974 Modern Photography magazine, I don't see them listed. Who else remembers ordering from these names:
Cambridge Camera Exchange
Olden Camera
Classic Camera
Executive Photo
Wall St. Camera Exchange
47th Streed Photo Inc.
Ritz Camera
I bought from Cambridge and 47th Street in the 70's. Both were far less costly than local dealers. Ritz had local presences in Malls, first in kiosks, then store fronts.

With all the aforementioned, you could only use the 800 numbers for ordering. If you wanted to discuss a potential purchase, you had to call their 212 numbers. In the days when they footed the 800 numbers, they limited their costs by minimal use of 800 by "cash" customers. And shipping was primarily by surface. Air was very expensive, and I only used it when it "absolutely, positively..."

B&H was in its infancy, and I don't believe they showed up in the monthly mags until around 1977, or so.
 

mgb74

Subscriber
Joined
Jan 24, 2005
Messages
4,633
Location
MN and MA US
Shooter
Multi Format
I never heard of them until I ordered some stuff around 1998.

Looking through a 1974 Modern Photography magazine, I don't see them listed. Who else remembers ordering from these names:
Cambridge Camera Exchange
Olden Camera
Classic Camera
Executive Photo
Wall St. Camera Exchange
47th Streed Photo Inc.
Ritz Camera

I remember visiting Cambridge, Olden, Wall St Photo and 47th St Photo when visiting NY in the 70s.
 

mshchem

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
9,559
Location
Iowa City, Iowa USA
Shooter
Medium Format
First time I made a trip to B&H was in the early 90's they still had the overhead trolley, little gondola cars. When it was mostly all analog photography, it was beyond belief . I really enjoy visiting. I can't imagine how much money I've spent over the years. Starting this year they are collecting Iowa state sales tax. That free ride is done.
 

Theo Sulphate

Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
6,492
Location
Gig Harbor
Shooter
Multi Format
First time I made a trip to B&H was in the early 90's they still had the overhead trolley, little gondola cars. When it was mostly all analog photography, it was beyond belief . ...

They had an overhead transportation system in the store? B&H must've been bigger than I thought...
 

mshchem

Subscriber
Joined
Nov 26, 2007
Messages
9,559
Location
Iowa City, Iowa USA
Shooter
Medium Format
They had an overhead transportation system in the store? B&H must've been bigger than I thought...
Little gondolas for product not people :smile: This was replaced with the current conveyor system that would carry bigger bins. The idea was great, you would work with a very knowledgeable salesperson, choose what you wanted. It is sent to the front, I would wander from department to department. The little overhead cars would deliver from each department to the check out area. It was like going through security at the airport, except at the end of the line you got bags of wonderful stuff. The used department was awesome too.
 

patois

Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
94
Shooter
35mm
On my first trip to NYC I inadvertently stayed across the street from B&H. Super fun to visit for five minutes but after that I got annoyed and left.
 

guangong

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
2,861
Shooter
Medium Format
Living in NYC and nearby Nj, I always bought in person at stores. The big store at the time was Willoughbys, the anchor for all stores on camera row on 32nd St. one smaller camera store after another for one block. The other big store was Olden, and, around the corner, on Broadway was Camera Barn. Willoughbys and Camera Barn had numerous stores scattered about the city. My favorite store was Fotoview Central near Grand Central Station. A little later arrived Ken Hansen, the premier shop of shops, and my go to shop.
Unlike most camera stores, BH and Hansen do/did hire knowledgeable staff, nor base saleries on sales, so salesmen free to honestly advise buyers.
47th St Photo was somewhat deceptive in prices. Separated manufactures package into parts...advertised camera at very low price and then customer paid separately for strap, case, etc so price ended up same as other dealers.
And suddenly there were almost none!
There was also a large building with stores devoted to cinematography with several other stores on the block. Most are gone.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab Blue Moon Camera & Machine
Top Bottom