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surfs

Ritz Camera

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I just wanted to know some of your opinions regading Ritz. How has the customer service been when buying from them and would you buy from them again? Do you prefer another business instead when spending over 1000 dollars on camera equipment?

Thanks.

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With Ritz, as with other big camera chain stores, you have a lot of inexperienced salespeople who are directed to push specific products that make the store the most profit.

Sometimes you get lucky and land a clerk in one of those stores who knows what they are talking about, but often not.

If you really, really want an actual store location (a good idea when comparing brands and testing which brand feels best in your hand), try First Camera in Duluth or National Camera in the Twin Cities. Those folks really know what they're up to.

I do all my business online with Canoga Camera. Have for the last four years, and they are excellent. Big names like B&H and Adorama also have reliable online stores.

Beware any type of deal that's significantly under the going rate, especially online. It may be gray market equipment, which may not be warrantied, or some of the less-known online vendors give you a total runaround.

What are you looking at buying?

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I was the guy that asked questions regarding the Nikon D80 vs the D60. They have the D80 with the 18-55 vr and 55-200mm G for 999.98. Is that a good deal? I can swamp out the 55-200 for the 70-300vr. That lens alone is priced at 549.99 and I will negotiate a deal on that since I know it's an open discussion per the discussion I had with the sales person. If you have a better experience or thought, I'd love to here it. Also, let me know what you think of the pricing too.

Thanks.

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I'm not sure on the prices. You can log onto Canoga Camera and check against their prices to compare. It's just the www in front of the business name with the usual stuff at the end.

I'd substitute and take the 70-300. The gap between 55 and 70mm is really no gap at all, and the extra reach of the 300mm will be a big plus for a lot of different types of photography.

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Surfs,

That sounds like a good price for the combo. If you know what you want and know how the prices compare I'd say go to Ritz. I wouldn't count on them for accurate information always but for buying I would do it.

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I looked at the Canoga site and the only thing close to what I have an option of getting, is the D80 body with the 18-200VR for 1,389.94. The other options are with lens from sigma and Tamron. The Ritz deal is with both lens being from Nikon or Nikkor with VR. I just hope that this is good deal since I'm new to this and most places I'm seeing don't have this type of offer right now. I'm still searching the web like mad thinking I might come across something different but I'm not. I just hope this is the right decision...it's not chump change getting started.

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You might want to take a look at B&H. They have the D80 with the 18-55 and the 70-300 VR for 1279.00 after a $100.00 rebate.

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I have done some minor buisness with Ritz over the years as they are one of only 2 major camera shops in the Red River Valley. needless to say most people there do not know much. They never have what I am looking for and about the only thing they are good for is 1 hour photo, or point and shoot cameras. But that being said if the equipment is what you want a price you can afford so be it. They are a national chain with good exposure to the market place.

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Jim..thank for the info on B&H, I've also heard good things about them too plus the price is dead on, so thank you!!

Also, Paul, thanks as well for the advise. The biggest thing that I've been turned off by is going into a Best Buy, Minnetonka location, all I'm allowed to deal with is teenagers in that department(at least when I've been in). The gentleman at Ritz...Lee, also the Minnetonka location, was actually very informative. He also stated that he has a couple of Nikon's and was also pretty detailed when going through the functions of the Nikon body and lens.

But it I think Jim found what I was looking for so I will look into this a little further. I'm cutting it close to when I would like to have since I leave for a trip on July 4th for three weeks so I would like to get it soon to start learning the functions.

Thanks for all the info!! You guys are the best!! gringrin

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I need to proof read....oh the run on's...my English teacher would be very disappointed!!

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Surf it is always way more fun to spend other peoples money. grin

You never have to worry about spelling and grammar on this HSOforum cause no one will ever grade you but they might wonder if you ever payed attention to the teacher or just daydreamed about fishing and hunting grin

You will not regent your purchase but will find that you have the makings of a new and if you let it get to you a expensive hobby grin

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I am not a big fan of Ritz, but they have a sweet deal on the Canon EOS Rebel XSi Digital SLR Camera w/EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Image Stabilizer Lens. All that for 799.99. I would say that is one of the better deals I have seen for this camera and lens package.

I am thinking of heading down that and getting the wife a new gift. I already got her bird houses, bird seed, and a new bird book. Now to replace the old film camera for this one. I am not a pro when it comes to cameras, but I believe this would suit us just fine.

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For the most part, my experiences with Ritz has been negative. I bought my first SLR film camera from them and being a novice, I was talked into buying a set of junk Quantaray lenses instead of the Canon lenses that I set out for. Must have been one great salesman or maybe I was just a sucker to believe that a brand I never heard of was as good as the canon lenses. Fast forward to a couple years ago when I was looking to purchase my Canon 70-200L f/2.8 lens. I went to the local Ritz to get a price quote and the salesman told me that Canon does not make such a lens and then proceeded to give me prices on the Quantaray lenses they offered. I never did get a price from Ritz on the 70-200. Even if they were the lowest price, I would not have given them my business after that. Maybe other Ritz stores are run better, but the store in Rochester is worthless. All of my digital gear has been purchased from B&H or Canoga. Both have top notch customer service and competitive prices. Go with the one that has the best price for what you want. Lately it seems that Canoga edges B&H by a few bucks.

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WCS, that echoes much that I've heard about Ritz. The clerk lying about the Canon 70-200 is hilarious.

It depends very much on which store one goes into as far as experience and sales tactics of the clerks, but Quantaray is Ritz' house brand of lenses, and the salespeople are told to push them hard because they make the most money for Ritz. And if anyone's considering buying Quantaray, they are among the poorest of the consumer grade lenses on the market.

That's not to say folks won't have positive experiences at Ritz. As a nationwide chain, plenty of room for good and bad individual stores.

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Here's a question regarding ordering online. How does the package arrive....has there ever been any damage to the product, i.e. camera body, lens, ect?? It seems to be known that most of you tend to go with B&H and Canoga.

Thanks!

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I have never had a package damaged during shipping. I've used B&H for most of my on line purchases, but always check with Canoga on prices and stock. I have no problem using either one. I've not heard of any negatives with Adorama either.

I also purchase a lot of my equipment through National Camera. I deal with only one person and we go straight to the best price they can sell to me. West photo is also excellent if you are looking at other local based stores. Who ever has it in stock, along with price and shipping costs usually gets my business.

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Most online vendors use UPS or FedEx. I've only ever done my camera equipment shopping online for the last five years, as in a small remote town there's little chance a store will have what I've needed.

While Canoga is my preference, if they are out of stock I'll go with B&H or Adorama. In every single case my gear has come well packaged and with absolutely no damage. This has amounted to many thousands of dollars and probably at least 50 shipments.

Your only increase in hassle doing business online compared with having an actual camera store down the street is that if you decide to return the product or there is a defect, you can't drive downtown and exchange it at the store but have to ship it back.

And surfs, I'm not trying to talk you out of Ritz. If you're dealing with a knowledgeable clerk who will make you a better price on the gear you want instead of what they want to sell you, I'd scoop it up.

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stfcatfish, I agree with you 100%...the best price for what I'm looking for is through B&H at 1,279.95 plus shipping. So I will see if any of the local places will match it and if not, then I will be ordering this today through B&H. The funny part is that I was just in NY on Monday for work...if I would of known what I know now, I would already have my camera, lol!! Funny how things work sometimes.

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Dbl, ever had any local shops match B&H or Canoga pricing? As you mentioned, I would like to keep it local but it is what is too.

Thanks!

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surfs, when you ask them to match it, be aware that you'll have a shipping charge from B&H to add into the mix. Not that I'd tell the local store that. Let THEM bring it up. gringrin

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Yeah, I've thought of that, however for me, my Corporate office is located in NY, so shipping would actually be free for me. I would just have someone from corporate pick it up instead of having B&H shipping it. Now I wouldn't use this in all my future purchases, but I defiantly would like this one sent to me asap. I typed in my location for shipping and it looks like an additional 30-40 dollars to get it here in a few days...so we'll see how it goes locally...fingures crossed!

Thanks again stfcatfish...appreciate all the feedback!!

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And if anyone's considering buying Quantaray, they are among the poorest of the consumer grade lenses on the market.

So thats why they throw them "free" as part of the package!

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Dbl, ever had any local shops match B&H or Canoga pricing? As you mentioned, I would like to keep it local but it is what is too.

Thanks!

My guy at National has come very close or matched, close enough that shipping charges and sales tax considerations were about a wash. On certain items I don't mind paying a little more for locally because I have no hassles when I need to return an item (not often).

When I purchased a 300/2.8 I purchased through B&H because there was no way that could be matched here. Almost every other lens, flashes, cables, Pocket Wizards, stands, filters and on and on were purchased locally. I've had to return a few lenses over the years and the ones that were purchased on line were a bit of a hassle to deal with RMA's and such. The locally returned, no problem.

Certain lenses I will only purchase if I get to test the copy out before I leave the store. I bring my camera bodies in and test them on the spot. I've gone through a couple of lens boxes to find a good copy right in the store.

I just prefer to keep my business local for service reasons, if the price is close enough to on line. Some stuff you just can't get locally so the on line retailer gets the business. Which ever way you go stick with the known names and you will have a good experience. Oh and the next time you are in NY for business take a side trip to B&H. I get to their store about once a year, its something you will not regret...but your wallet might.

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Well, I'm going to pull the trigger and go with the Ritz Package ($1,449.99). Between them and B&H (1,279.95), it's less then 200 dollars difference for the D80 body and both lens, 18-55VR and 70-300VR Nikkor. As Dan has mentioned, I'd like this piece to be local in case if something happens or anything in the near future. Although with future purchases, defiantly, B&H...I really like there site and the prices are great too!! I can't thank you guys enough for the feedback, advice and just general knowledge. It is extremely overwhelming starting out, so thank you for all the help!! I can't wait to start shooting, learning and posting here. I'm a huge outdoor nut, so this is going to be great!! I have wedding stuff for a buddy of mine starting today through Saturday...so Sunday will be the big day and a wallet buster!! The long term benefits are priceless and it's only money...I just will have to make more, hahaha!

Thanks again!!

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      Water levels at Bellevue are 10.3 feet and rising. Both Bellevue City ramp and the DNR ramp are open, but no courtesy dock is available yet at the DNR ramp. Paddlefish season is over for the year. The channel water temperature is around 40 degrees. Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger - Slow: Hit or miss. Some reports of sauger being caught. Most are being taken on minnow rigs. Walleye – Slow: Nice slot fish are still being reported, but fishing is slow. Minnow with a jig or pulling crank baits are the most popular strategies.  Mississippi River Pool 14
      Water levels are rising and are 9.7 feet at Fulton, 12.6 feet at Camanche and 7.3 feet at LeClaire. The water temperature is around 41 degrees. Paddlefish season is now closed for the year. Paddlefish - No Report: Paddlefish season is closed for the year. Sauger - Slow: Just not many people out walleye or sauger fishing in the cold weather. Both species are still spawning due to the extended cold water season.  Mississippi River Pool 15
      Water levels are 9.8 feet at Rock Island. Water levels are up from last week and will be on a steady rise this upcoming week. Conditions are still favorable for angling.  The River levels will be rising this upcoming week. Water conditions are conducive to angling, but the weather has not been. Paddlefish season is closed for the year.  If you have any angling questions, please contact the Bellevue Fisheries Station 563-872-4976.  Mississippi River Pool 16
      Tailwater stage is 9.85 feet at Lock and Dam 15 in the Quad Cities and has been rising the past few days. There has been some walleye and sauger fishing in Sylvan Slough. Sauger - Slow:Some saugers are being caught in Sylvan Slough. Try fishing with jigs and minnows or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits. Mississippi River Pool 17
      Tailwater stage is 8.29 feet at Lock and Dam 16 in Muscatine and has been rising the past few days. Tailwater fishing for walleyes and saugers has been slow. Sauger - Slow: Try fishing fishing in the tailwaters with jigs and minnows or pulling three-way rigs and stick baits. Walleye - Slow: Look for walleyes in the tailwaters or down by GPC. Try vertical jigging with minnows or trolling three-way rigs with stick baits.  Mississippi River Pool 18
      Tailwater stage is 9.98 feet at Lock and Dam 17 at New Boston and is rising. The gates are out of the water at the dam. River stage is forecasted to reach 11.9 feet over the weekend. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  Mississippi River Pool 19
      Tailwater stage is 6.39 feet at Lock and Dam 19 above Burlington and is rising. River stage is forecasted to reach 8.2 feet over the weekend. Flood stage at Lock and Dam 18 is 10 feet. We have not received any fishing reports for this pool this week.  River stages have been on the rise the past few days. Main channel water temperature dropped to 41 degrees; water clarity has been fair. We have not received much for fishing reports this week. If you have questions on fishing Pools 16-19, contact the Fairport Fish Hatchery at 563-263-5062.