View Full Version : Is Oly well represented in your local camera shop?

25th February 2008, 10:02 AM
Hi there folks,

Here’s an “odd” post for you, I have been thinking about the distribution of Oly kit recently and I'm starting to wonder if the South East is getting pushed aside.

Where I live (Tonbridge, Kent) there are about 5 cameras shops within a reasonable distance to me (1 Jessop’s on the high street, another Jessop’s in Tunbridge Wells, 2 “independents” in the Wells along with a couple more independents in Sevenoaks). Now all of them (with the exception of one of the Tunbridge Wells independents) have very little Oly kit, the most I have found at any of these places is a 410 and a few E510’s whilst the rest of the shop is pretty much covered in Canikon gear. :eek:

Now I can't surely be the only Oly user in Kent (just having seen my “intro post” I can see that I'm not) and this does get to me sometimes as all I want to do is try out a lens or perhaps a new camera body. The only place that seems to have a comprehensive range of E system kit is the LCE at Norwich which is a little out of the way for me to get to on a regular basis. :(

Now I would guess this come down to supply and demand but I can't for the life of me figure out why Oly is almost neglected in these shops.
Back when I first bought my E300 I was lucky enough to see it in the window of one of the “independents” at the Wells and sure enough fell in love with it, now though that shop has got a very limited range of Oly gear and I can't help but feel a little distressed that without the support of these independents, Oly won’t be able to get anything much more than its foot in the door when it comes to competing with the other brands.

What are your thoughts on this… is Oly well represented in your area? How do you feel when you see a shop full of Canikon gear and a solitary E510 sitting in the corner almost forgotten? Do you ask your local shop to order in Oly kit for you or do you get lenses / bodies online nowadays?

Look forward to your replies


Harv :)

p.s. Apologies if this is in the wrong area, just thought it was more than a little OT for the other forums :o

25th February 2008, 02:47 PM
Well Olympus is the only DSLR on show in the window at my local camera shop:D

25th February 2008, 03:05 PM
This retailer is based in Watford Herts. I would think it carries the complete range of Olympus including accessories plus other 4/3rds brands. Competively priced too.

We bought our E-510's, lenses and flash from them. If it is of some help here is their telephone No. 01923 226 602/ 01923 220 558

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/srs.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1961)

Regards. Barr1e

25th February 2008, 03:07 PM
Great Western Cameras in Swindon have a small selection of 4/3rds lenses and Olympus cameras.

In fact I purchased my E400 from them last year.

Not cheap, but you can haggle.

25th February 2008, 03:10 PM
Last time I looked…

The shops in central Manchester do have some Olympus gear, but not much and nothing beyond the basic kit lenses.

I'd sooner buy from a shop than on-line, but not if I have to order stuff in.

I wonder do other brands have dealer incentives to stock stuff?

25th February 2008, 03:18 PM
Should have added this pic to the one above above - Olympus point and shoot to E-3 plus the range of lenses.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/srs-win.jpg (http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=1960)

Regards. Barr1e

Nick Temple-Fry
25th February 2008, 03:33 PM
Great Western Cameras in Swindon have a small selection of 4/3rds lenses and Olympus cameras.

In fact I purchased my E400 from them last year.

Not cheap, but you can haggle.

For most of last year they had a display of various sensor cleaning products directly in front of the blue Olympus sign - couldn't work out if it was clever marketing or......?

Only Oly 4/3'rd lenses, they are a sigma stockist but not for 4/3'rd


25th February 2008, 04:40 PM
When I was last in the shop, they had the 30mm F1.4.

They had a few different lenses to try.

25th February 2008, 04:50 PM
At the moment the Oly digi reflex range is just three cameras plus lenses and bits so I don't think your average independant is going to make a huge display with them when there is so much of everything else.

the most I have found at any of these places is a 410 and a few E510’s whilst the rest of the shop is pretty much covered in Canikon gear

They probably, quite rightly, think that these are what they're likely to sell. The days of the well stocked local camera shop are, sadly, numbered in these days when everything is so centralised. I wonder what level of stock Olympus allows it's retailers before they have to pay for it? I bet it isn't as much as 'Canikon'.

25th February 2008, 06:31 PM
Cardiff seems quite well supported in an Olympus manner

Camerland Hosted an Olympus day recently (I tested the 70-300)
Camera Centre has kit in the window ( I bought the 70-300)
Jacobs has Olympus promotional material on the DSLR desk - I saw it today

Sorry that the South East is not so well supported - Another reason for living over here ;)


25th February 2008, 07:01 PM
all we have in yeovil is jessops :( the last time i looked i think the only had the e400, no lense's to fit them but they are coming the sales man said.

i think currys digital may stock the e400 and e510 though i try not to go any where near that type of store ;).

25th February 2008, 07:07 PM
Camera World in Chelmsford is pretty good. Usually have some stock... But Jessops.... LMAO! They were rubbish before the rest of the Jessop's empire learned the trick.

We also have a small local independent in Great Dunmow (nearest small town) who can be relied on for filters, batteries, lens hoods and so on, but the only Oly cameras I've ever seen him stock are PX'd OMs or compacts. I still try and use him as often as possible on the "use it or lose it" principle.

I'm not sure Campkins in Cambridge know what an Olympus is... It's one of those stores where you have to wait for the staff to finish their conversation before deigning to notice you.

I keep meaning to go to Digital Depot in Stevenage and try them, as they aren't that far away and claim to have a good range of kit.

25th February 2008, 07:38 PM
I bought nearly all my didgital kit from digital depot, they have almost everything and at keen prices.
I'm not sure Campkins in Cambridge know what an Olympus is... .
I suppose they won't be reading this then.... :)

25th February 2008, 09:52 PM
Here in Hereford we have Melgray:
who not only have Olympus digital in their window, including an E3, but also an interesting second-hand collection of OM cameras and lenses. Must be one of the few interesting camera shops left!

28th February 2008, 09:11 AM
Hi there folks,

Many thanks for the replies so far, nice to see some places still stock Oly!

I must admit I have been quite surprised by the amount of “canikon” kit my local camera shops stock, one has even started loaning out equipment as they have so much!

Sometimes I do get an urge to go to the “dark side” and just go for a Nikon or similar just because there seems to be a never ending supply of lenses pretty much stocked everywhere! I have yet to find a camera shop locally which has anything but the standard Oly kit lenses, I remember I had to special order the EX-25, EC-14, HLD-3, BLM-1, 50-200 and even a neck strap to lug it around with!

It is almost like if it doesn't begin with “C” or “N” they won’t stock it, its sad really as I love using my Oly kit as it is truly intuitive, none of these 1.5x conversion rates just straight 2x! 100% viewfinder (I believe Nikon offers 100% with the D300 now), fully working Dust Buster, superb “Oly” colours, great ergonomics and loads of other things! Maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way… perhaps they never have any Oly kit because it sells so well!

The stores that have been featured look really fantastic, I’ll have to arrange trips up to them soon! I would be interested to know though what lenses they stocked? Do they just carry the “standard” and “pro” (’54, 50-200, etc.) grade lenses or do they have some of the “top pro” glass?

Look forward to reading your thoughts on this,


Harv :)

29th February 2008, 11:59 AM
Slightly off-topic, but I think my experience on Wednesday illuminates Jessop's malaise in particular.

I have just bought a used Benbo Trekker to supplement my other tripods (Manfrotto and Slik) because of it's low angle abilities. My other tripods have Calumet Manfrotto clone ball heads, and my Manfrotto monopod has a MF top. All use the same quick release plate. My camera bodies and longer lenses have QR plates fitted all the time, so it cuts down on fiddling about. So, obviously, I wanted to use an existing head on my new Benbo. Problem: the Trekker has a 1/4" thread, my existing heads are 3/8". So I needed an adaptor.

Went into to Camera World in Chelmsford. Had to wait because the only assistant on duty was trying to sell someone a Nikon... No problem with that. When he was free, he instantly understood what I wanted, apologized that they didn't have it in stock but could order it in. Unfortunately, it would have taken too long to arrive as I need it midweek next week.

Try Jessops, I think (remembering the wise words of a former boss: "Blessed be he who expects nothing, for he shall not be disappointed."). Walk in. Photographic section is deserted (well, it was about 3pm). No customers in shop. Couple of people fiddling with the minilab. Young person eventually comes over when I'd been standing at the counter for a full minute. I explain my request. She looks at me as though I'd spoken to her in Serbo-Croat, and says she'll have to ask. Goes into back room. Comes back and asks me if I mean a quick release plate. I explain again. She goes back into the back room... for some time. Eventually she comes out and says they don't stock the item. I still don't think she knew what it was I wanted, and had simply been told to say that to get rid of me. She was perfectly pleasant, but had obviously not had much training... so I don't blame her personally!

It seems to me that this typifies Jessop's attitude and current problems. I can remember when even my more obscure and incoherent requests were understood by a knowledgeable staff who were actually interested in photography!

To return to the topic: Camera World had an E410 and E510 on display inside the shop, together with a boxed 70-300mm. No sign of an E3. Jessops had just an E510 with an empty space for an E410.

29th February 2008, 01:48 PM
I suppose I am quite lucky, I have Park Cameras about a five minute stroll away from my front door with a second branch near by if needs be, I think most members here are familier with their stock and service levels, enough said:)
However at the other end of the spectrum I have a branch of Jessops over the road from where I work, my experience of the couple of times I have been in there is that I really don't think the staff know one end of a lens from the other, seemingly the 'normal' way to make a purchase is to point at the desired item and say "I'll take one of those please", just don't even think of asking a question:(