Real Camera Stores - Seawood Photo

Seawood Photo, San Rafael, CA - Photographed by Derrick Story with a Pentax ZX-M and a 50mm f/2.0 SMC Pentax-A lens. I used Kodak Gold 200 film, expired in March 2005.

The first time I walked into Seawood Photo, I had a Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens in my hand with a broken aperture. I'd bought this lens used in 1986, and it has sentimental value as well as being a darn good optic. But the aperture ring no longer changed the diaphragm.

I had a repair quote on in a month earlier, and they wanted $200 to fix it. "I think it's just the linkage," I said. But that didn't seem to make any difference. So I thought I would give Seawood a try.

Carl handles the repairs there, and he quoted me $40. "I think it's just the linkage," he said. I smiled. About 10 days later, I picked up the lens, as good as new, and paid the bill. This is a real camera store.

Seawood Photo has been in business in Northern CA for a long time. But they moved to San Rafael not long ago. They're located on a fun stretch of 4th Street that has interesting shops and Johnny's Doughnuts. Seawood even has a little parking lot in the back that you can use for free.

Their used gear inventory is out on shelves where you can pick up and inspect anything you want without assistance. They have tons of Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Minolta, Yashica, and more. They also stock new stuff, darkroom supplies, bags, inkjet paper, lighting, and things I haven't seen for years. And yes, they process film too.

The shop is managed under the careful eye of a black and white cat who lives there. She is quite active and likes to talk. They also have regular camera people on hand for technical questions that the cat can't field.

If you're ever North of the Golden Gate, give yourself a treat and visit Seawood Photo. Then stroll a few doors down to Johnny's Doughnuts for a coffee and a sweet break. The doughnuts are baked fresh right there in the shop. There's also a terrific used book store with a supply of old photo books.  It's a heck of a great way to spend a morning.

-Derrick

 

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