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View Full Version : Camera West - Reliable Seller?


DanielDuarte
06-22-2016, 17:27
Any experience buying Leica through this dealer on eBay? Seems they move a nice variety of photo gear.

Any experiences will help.

WJJ3
06-22-2016, 17:35
I don't want to go into the details, but based on my experience with one of their stores (they have several including the S.F. Leica store) I would look elsewhere. I would either wait for what you want to come up in the classifieds here, or buy from Tamarkin.

DanielDuarte
06-22-2016, 17:43
I don't want to go into the details, but based on my experience with one of their stores (they have several including the S.F. Leica store) I would look elsewhere. I would either wait for what you want to come up in the classifieds here, or buy from Tamarkin.

It's why I asked here... I'm getting back into Leica and am not necessarily out of my element but I'm more used to the buying / selling circles for large format

Robert Lai
06-22-2016, 18:45
Whatever you want eventually shows up here, usually in better condition and at lower prices, than what you get on ebay.

x-ray
06-22-2016, 19:29
I bought several things while visiting when they had a Monterey store and felt I got a good deal and had a good experience with their service. Last year I bought a 21 f3.4 SUper Angulon and felt it was a bit over rated cosmetically and had a huge flake of dirt in the Merle of the lens. I should have done more research on prices and later felt I paid too much. My fault for not researching more.

I think they would have taken it back but they were a touch to liberal in grading.

I've had similar things with B&H one time, Setadel, B&H and Igors. B&H sent a Nikkor 20 f2.8 AIs rated 8 that was totally worn out with only about 20% of the finish remaining. Setadel sent 50 summicron V2 that was supposed to be optically ex with no separation. The lens had a very obvious ring of separation. Igor sent a beautiful M3 with supposed smooth wind and perfect mechanics but when I received it the wi d felt like it wAs slipping and skipping teeth. Keh has sent numerous lenses that wet supposed to be EX or better with obvious severe optical damage and mechanical issues and a couple of lenses had been dropped and damaged.

To the credit of each dealer they made or are making good on the deal. Igor had me send the body to Youxin Ye for repair. B&H refunded the money as did Setadel and shipping was reimbursed. KEH has been the most problematic. I've been stuck with the return shipping several times in defective goods.

B&H refunded the mines without a question and the manager called to apologize.

I would do my research and possibly call Camera West to get an evaluation on the phone.

I agree Stan Tamarkin is excellent to deal with. I just bought two lenses from them. I couldn't be happier with the price and service. Very professional.

Things happen even with the most reliable dealers. The test is how they deal with the problem.

aizan
06-22-2016, 19:35
if the item needs servicing, try to arrange an agreement where you can return something if the repairman determines that it's not serviceable. this will involve extending the return period. i got a hasselblad lens with a sticky shutter, and i immediately sent it to david odess. the focusing ring had a slight scraping sound which i figured was dry grease. several weeks later, mr. odess tells me that the focusing ring is out of round and can't be fixed, and camera west wouldn't accept a return since the return period had ended the week before. doh!

Rob-F
06-22-2016, 19:42
I will add Photo Village to the list of good sellers. When I have bought Leica gear--most recently an M9-- from them, it has been accurately described and arrived in good condition.

I have also bought from Igor (and have met and talked with him at the LHSA meeting in Louisville). He is also good to buy from.

asimplefarmer
06-23-2016, 23:39
My experience with camera west was good even though I had to return the camera. The RF mechanics was way off with 3 of my lenses.


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Ronald M
06-24-2016, 00:44
George Ury.com Tamarkin. Or visit a store.

I have simply started buying new.

Steve M.
06-24-2016, 03:39
Bought a Summar lens from them once. The guy pulled the lens off the shelf at my request and inspected it closely for haze and fungus w/ a flashlight before I decided to buy it. It arrived quickly and well packed, and was the cleanest Summar I have ever seen. No complaints. Igor is good too, but sometimes you have to deal w/ Igor, which I could do w/o. I had to return two Leica R 90 Elmarits due to inaccurate descriptions (his idea of light haze was heavy fungus), and the experience was less than pleasant. Other times, I bought a couple of Rolleiflex cameras from him and a Canon R 100 2 lens and found the gear better than his descriptions, so it's a mixed bag. National Camera is one of my favorites for prices and service. In any case, I would buy from Camera West any time.

noisycheese
06-24-2016, 15:48
Any experience buying Leica through this dealer on eBay? Seems they move a nice variety of photo gear.

Any experiences will help.
I have not bought from Camera West through their ebay listings, but I have bought a lot of gear from them by credit card transaction over the past 13 years and have never had a problem of any kind. Their return policy and used equipment warranty is straightforward and fair ( http://www.camerawest.com/ratings_and_policies/ ).

If C/W has a piece of gear on ebay that you want, I can't see why you could not call them and buy it directly rather than going through ebay.

I would suggest that you call their Walnut Creek store (925-935-1424) and deal directly with Dan Leto, their store manager. Dan is a personal friend of mine of 15 years and counting; he is a man of the highest integrity and has a ton of knowledge about Leica M gear (tell him Allan from Indiana recommended him to you).

Sean Cranor who owns the Camera West stores is also a great guy to work with. Both Dan and Sean are the real deal in my experience.

zauhar
06-24-2016, 16:07
I have bought a couple items by online/phone order, including a summicron 50dr some years ago - had only good experience with them .

Randy

davidnewtonguitars
06-24-2016, 16:22
One data point. I recently bought an Elmar from them, it was the best price I could find for the grade, and I have no complaint with the lens.

Dante_Stella
06-24-2016, 16:32
They are a great dealer for new Leica stuff. They also have the franchise for the Leica store in San Francisco.

zeitz
06-24-2016, 19:31
I have bought many items from them, both in the old Monterey store and in the new Rancho Mirage store. I have bought both new and used. I have also bought over the phone and on e-bay. (I have never been to the Walnut Creek store.) I have nothing but praise for Camerawest.

David Murphy
06-24-2016, 23:24
I bought a Topcon SLR body on eBay from them a few years ago and it was an excellent camera at an excellent price. I'd do business with them again!

DwF
06-30-2016, 11:47
I just two weeks ago had purchased a Leica lens off of ebay from Cameras West Walnut Creek. It arrived with a broken focus tab. While it did arrive damaged, they took care in packing it. Also worth noting, the lens was advertised as not including a front cap (much less one that said Leica on it :), but they threw in no-charge a classy Schneider cap as a nice gesture.

Nonetheless, with broken focus tab I called to start a claim knowing they had a no-refund policy. They said they would fix it and immediately issued a label for return shipment. I was away when the label arrived and in fact had hoped to have the lens with me on my trip but it was not to be.

When I returned the lens and spoke to them about my inconvenience they were responsive and resolved the problem quickly. They could not have handled this more professionally, or courteously. I have no hesitation recommending this Cameras West WC based on my experience.

David

srtiwari
06-30-2016, 15:11
I have had dealings with them, involving,both, the owner and one of the salesmen. I have bought a Monochrom from them and some lenses. I also later traded in a Monochrom. They have always been very professional. On one occasion I was charged for something that should have been credited from a trade. I did call and had to file a claim with Visa for an "Unauthorized charge", who then put a "Hold" on the money. The entire thing was eventually resolved to my satisfaction, but took a couple of long conversations with the owner Shawn (Sean ?). Ever since then, it has been smooth sailing, but I have not bought anything in over a year.
I always ask for Gary, one of the salesman, who is quite knowledgeable and interested in Black and White.
I do find their prices to be a bit higher than others, but that is just my opinion , based on a couple of searches for items when I needed them.

giganova
07-19-2016, 14:08
I purchased from Camera West's eBay store last week and it was a very positive experience. They answered email questions after just minutes with great detail, shipped very fast and protected the item very well. The price was very competitive, too, and they accepted my offer which was 10% less than the Buy It Now price.

I was just stunned when the receipt inside the box said "Leica Store San Francisco" because I didn't know the connection.

I later noticed that the same item was also listed on their Leica Store SF web site, but for $100 more than their eBay listing, so in the end I saved quite a lot (10% off plus $100 off).

sepiareverb
07-19-2016, 19:17
I've purchased several items used from Camera West both via eBay or them directly and have been very happy. I count them in the top ten of dealers.

Nokton48
07-20-2016, 15:25
I've purchased several items used from Camera West both via eBay or them directly and have been very happy. I count them in the top ten of dealers.

Me too. Just bought a Plaubel Makina IIIR from them (this week) and it was accurately described and quickly shipped. No problems at all.

eujin
07-20-2016, 15:58
I regularly visit the SF Leica store location because it's near my office. I've seldom bought anything major there, but wouldn't hesitate. They're all very professional and nice in there and the vibe is very pleasant. Highly recommended.

Analogue Student
10-06-2016, 04:12
Photo Village or Tamarkin for me. Rangefinder HK for new items works for me too.

airfrogusmc
10-06-2016, 07:12
Tamarkin for me to....