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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Calumet goes under
Scott Morgan, Photographer
Des Moines | IA | United States | Posted: 10:11 AM on 03.13.14
->> From their Facebook page:
"After 75 years of business it is with a heavy heart that we announce our immediate closing in the United States (our European stores will continue). It has been a joy to share our passion for photography with you all of these years. We'll miss each other and we'll miss all of our customers. Thank you for everything."
 This post is:  Informative (3) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Al Diaz, Photographer
Miami | Fl | USA | Posted: 11:04 AM on 03.13.14
->> A Calumet employee just told me he was called by phone late last night and told not to come in. Say's it is very strange and heard no rumblings that it was coming. Website appears to be down and no one answers the phones.
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Erik Markov, Photographer, Assistant
Indianapolis | IN | | Posted: 12:27 PM on 03.13.14
->> http://petapixel.com/2014/03/13/calumetphoto-us-declared-bankruptcy-gave-em.../

What. The.......? This is just weird. They seem to be going along so smoothly only to pull the rug out. It's like Madoff's elaborate ponzi scheme, no one sees it happening and it just lays waste to everything.
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John J Coleman, Photographer, Photo Editor
Milford | Ct | United States | Posted: 1:35 PM on 03.13.14
->> Dam Shame. Didn't they just open a store in New York?
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Paul W Gillespie, Photographer
Annapolis | MD | USA | Posted: 1:53 PM on 03.13.14
->> Wonder what happens to all the orders that came in the last few days. Are they being filled, refunded? Always sad to see another camera store close up. First the big mail order places put all the local mom and pops out of business and now the big boys are going down.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 1:58 PM on 03.13.14
->> How is Samy's doing?
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Tony Leon, Photographer
Whittier | CA | United States | Posted: 2:19 PM on 03.13.14
->> I knew I should have rented from Calumet..................
"rented gear still out to customers" wonder what happens now? Rental customers make good faith attempts to return gear, stores closed, no one answers phones.
Hate to see them close, but the writing was on the wall at the store I used in Santa Ana, CA. Usually pretty slow, very little stock on hand.
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 2:32 PM on 03.13.14
->> --rented gear still out to customers--

Someone got lucky with an extra long rental.

Plus it saddens me that they closed and the manor they closed. I really don't have a go to place now considering I used them because I could order something today and have it tomorrow.
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Josh Merwin, Photographer
New York | NY | | Posted: 2:46 PM on 03.13.14
->> How about Roberts, they are in Indy
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 3:38 PM on 03.13.14
->> Roberts is 2.5 hours away unfortunately...
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Guy Rhodes, Photographer
East Chicago | IN | USA | Posted: 4:18 PM on 03.13.14
->> While I've never dealt with any of these houses personally, I figured I'd share two photo rental outlets in Chicago in case anyone is scrambling:

‪www.progearrental.com/‬

www.doddpro.com
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Scott Serio, Photo Editor, Photographer
Colora | MD | USA | Posted: 4:20 PM on 03.13.14
->> You guys read my mind, but that can go both ways. If they took in money for a D4s and shut down, the person ordering could be out the cash. Great if you are "stuck" with the 400/2.8 rental, pretty horrible if you paid for something you will never receive.
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 4:30 PM on 03.13.14
->> ProGear, Steve LaMonica is an ex-Calumet sales person and great to work with, I went to their grand opening, all the folks there are good. Haven't done any business with them...
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 4:46 PM on 03.13.14
->> If you rented gear from them, would they not have your credit card number? Your phone numbers? Your address? If a guy named "Bronco" knocks on your door with a Calumet collections letter asking for the 400/2.8, just give that hunk of glass up. Handing it to Bronco will hurt a lot less than the alternative collection method.
When I started out in the late 1990's, WV had 6 or 7 family owned camera shops, plus the usual Ritz Camera in each Mall. Now no more mall camera stores of any kind and just one family run store. Luckily, Superior Photo in Morgantown, WV is just an hour away, and very awesome staff.
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 10:38 PM on 03.13.14
->> I only have to wonder if their massive store expansion hurt them. Why they needed a store downtown Chicago when Goose Island isn't that far away. Add that to locations all over the country and I think in a way, unless they had great numbers to back it, was not very good.

Oakbrook was hit or miss. Sometimes very busy, sometimes dead. I find it amusing I got a "lighting" class announcement from B&H today and the local sponsor for the April 13th seminar (pretty sure on the date) was Calumet Photo.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 1:02 AM on 03.14.14
->> I'll throw this out here too. For those who rented from the Cambridge store Jim Staples partnered up and opened http://www.bostonphotorental.com/ not too long ago (maybe he saw the writing on the wall). Jim is good people, a former Calumet guy. The company is still growing but close enough to Cambridge that you shouldn't feel the pain.

For those north of Boston Cory is still cranking out rentals at
http://www.eplevine.com/ Cory is ALSO a former Calumet guy who moved on.

You can't go wrong with either. And in my experience you can't have too many friends when it comes to rental houses. Sooner or later your 'regular' place won't have something and it's always nice to have more than one friend to fall back on. I'll vouch for both although I'm sure anyone around here knows Levine's and I'd recommend getting to know Jim and his new company too.

Tell Jim Eric sent you.... you won't get a discount but I might get a cup of coffee ;)
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Jim Colburn, Photographer
Omaha | NE | USA | Posted: 11:22 AM on 03.14.14
->> http://petapixel.com/2014/03/13/exclusive-calumet-employee-reveals-happenin.../
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Victor Biro, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 8:24 PM on 03.14.14
->> If anyone has paid for something, and if they used a credit card, they should be able to call the CC company and have the charge reversed.
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Darren Whitley, Photographer
Northwest Missouri | MO | USA | Posted: 10:33 PM on 03.14.14
->> I'm so glad I got that part for my Balcar lights before there was no one to help at all!
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Vincent Ivicevic, Photographer
Garden Grove | CA | USA | Posted: 5:39 PM on 03.20.14
->> I have equipment in for repair. Guess I am out of luck.
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 12:43 PM on 03.21.14
->> From the petapixel article from Jim's link above:
" doubt Calumet will offer any severance packages. After reading some articles on Chapter 7 it looks like they owe us for hours we’ve worked and sick time. That’s if they can find that money in the liquidation process."
Employees are NOT secured creditors. That means Nikon, Canon, etc., get their money first. Landlords, government entities, and utilities are on that secured list as well. Employees are pretty much SOL.
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Travis Blake, Photographer, Assistant
West Boylston | MA | USA | Posted: 1:37 PM on 03.21.14
->> +1 for Cory and EP Levine's in Massachusetts. They have helped me out of a jam on more than one occasion.
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Shaun Sartin, Photographer
Glenview | IL | | Posted: 5:51 PM on 03.21.14
->> I had a brand new Canon 300 f/2.8 that I'd rented the night before (Oak Brook). I was called late in the afternoon on Thursday (day of closure) to return the lens. I took it in last Friday, so not really extended.

I also have a Profoto head in for repairs (was finished) but had been away at a funeral and unable to pick up. The cost of retaining a lawyer or turning it in on insurance outweighs the value of the head.

So no extended rental and will probably not get my profoto back. There was a lawyer listed on Facebook earlier. That information is below if you have equipment or a transaction that you need to address, I would start here. My attempts to contact the store manager at Cherry Ave have gone unanswered, even though I have a non-work e-mail.

Melissa Root
Attorney- Jenner & Block
(312) 840-7255
mroot@jenner.com

Hope that helps.
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Phil Hawkins, Photographer
Fresno | ca | usa | Posted: 5:59 PM on 03.22.14
->> Interesting thread. I recall going into Calumet in San Francisco about 3 years ago thinking "What a mess" of a store, and how little inventory they had. Very poor service, with a slight attitude. I'm not surprised they went under based on what I saw last time I was in.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 11:10 PM on 03.22.14
->> Shaun...

You should have traded -- the return of the lens for the return of your repaired Profoto head.
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Juerg Schreiter, Photographer
Fort Lauderdale | FL | USA | Posted: 11:59 AM on 03.23.14
->> No too long ago they took over the Wolf Camera store in Fort Lauderdale.
I needed a 82mm filter short notice... Bought it at Calumet,
$79.00, online available (same brand, same filter) $14.00 with free shipping. I understand stores have a bigger overhead, but $65.00 difference. Is anybody surprised they are going out of business?
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Mike Isler, Photographer
New York | NY | US | Posted: 12:04 PM on 03.23.14
->> Juerg - That's not unusual though. I worked in camera sales for a few years, years ago. Our profit centers were batteries, filters, and bags. The markup on these is astronomical in comparison to cameras and lenses.
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Shaun Sartin, Photographer
Glenview | IL | | Posted: 1:00 PM on 03.23.14
->> Doug,

I probably should have. I was being a bit optimistic that the fast call for rental return would equate out to a return of the repair item. I had talked to a couple attorney friends and there were two basic themes. If they don't call for the 300 back… don't return it, it's abandoned property. But they did. Since they still technically had my CC on file, I'd have probably been charged had I not. Didn't really want to deal with that.

I asked about my repair (different location) and you could tell they just didn't know, after all, they'd technically just lost their jobs.

The head is a twisty story in of it's own. Purchased from Adorama, it was delivered to me in "ill-repair" after a fight with them that I lost, American Express stood up and took the hit and refunded me the money, let me side track and say how impressed I am with Amex! So my plan was to fix it, b/c I wasn't going to stick someone with a broken head. The head owes me nothing and I technically owe Calumet $200, so in a way, since I don't have the pack that powers the head, it's not mission critical.

I'll e-mail the lawyer I noted and see what happens, but I'm not going to let it eat away at me. Had I just dropped off two 1Dx's for cleaning, I'd probably be calling a glass company to come clean up my mess after I made entry! :)
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Jim Karczewski, Photographer, Assistant
Hammond | IN | USA | Posted: 1:01 AM on 04.10.14
->> http://blogs.wsj.com/bankruptcy/2014/04/08/calumet-photographic-finds-a-buy.../
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 8:53 AM on 04.10.14
->> "a new company formed by Calumet’s former principals—is offering $2.825 million"
So where do former bosses get $2,852,000????
Hopefully a chunk of that gets to the employees who are owed money.
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Mark Loundy, Photo Editor, Photographer
San Jose | CA | USA | Posted: 6:39 PM on 04.10.14
->> Sam, It's probably financed.

--Mark
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Al Diaz, Photographer
Miami | Fl | USA | Posted: 11:40 PM on 04.15.14
->> Calumet Photographic Court Approved Store Closing Sale. Posted a photo of the ad on my facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152359829607673&set=a.10150802853...
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David A. Cantor, Photographer, Photo Editor
Toledo | OH | USA | Posted: 10:28 AM on 04.22.14
->> For folks needing Travelite Repairs the MAC Group in White Plains NY is handling them at the moment as a courtesy since they are the USA distributor for Bowens who manufactures the unit.
The foner is 914-347-330, hit 1 for repairs.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 2:27 PM on 05.12.14
->> http://www.dpreview.com/news/2014/05/09/calumet-oak-brook-illinois-store-re...
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Sam Santilli, Photographer, Photo Editor
Philippi | WV | USA | Posted: 9:47 PM on 05.12.14
->> Maybe someone should call them about being a sponsor here?
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Thread Title: Calumet goes under
Thread Started By: Scott Morgan
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