Seawood Photo - 10 Reviews - Photography Stores & Services - 1601 4th St, San Rafael, CA


This is THE place for all your photography needs! Great selections of photo equipments and accessories. They also do repair as well. great customer service and they have a semi celebrity working there as well :)


They are an institution in Marin. If your interest is digital or film, these are the guys. They offer all the high tech help and equipment and have one of the best used "FILM" camera selections outside of San Fran. The Vanessa in the front is very courteous and their new location in San Rafael is actually easier for parking. This should be your first stop whether a beginner or a pro. I started with them, and still use them.


I've shopped here for a camera and passport photos, and I've found the staff to be helpful and knowledgable. I recently needed children's photos taken for a foreign passport, and the person who helped me was meticulous with the measurements and patient with the kids. It's great to still have a local photo shop nearby, and a top notch one at that!


Front staff is confused and gives the wrong information. Technician nice guy by the way stated a day or two to give an update or estimate. Front staff girl whom seems to know nothing states a week for an update. You call her and she seems confused. Long story but going elsewhere. Need to be more organized. That's all.


One of the best camera stores around, but why on earth would they close for an entire day on Sunday? I work Monday trough Friday ( like most people ) and can't get to the shop, especially since I live about 40 miles from it. So the fact that they are closed one of the two days I can possibly visit pisses me off. If you need to close one day a week... Why not make it Monday? That makes way more sense. I don't understand why they would limit their business to only one of the major shopping days a week. Great service and knowledgable staff, but horrible business sense.


If you're a seasoned photographer- go to Seawood. If you're picking up a SLR camera for the first time, go to Seawood! I mentioned this to the staff last time I was there, but what I appreciate most about their store is that they are both incredibly knowledgable AND incredibly friendly and helpful. So many of the well established camera stores in the Bay Area haven't figured out the customer service piece. There's a way to demonstrate your knowledge without talking down to people. Seawood gets it right.Their pricing seems average. I went in looking for a Nikon F100 and found one for the same price as they were listed on Amazon.


Seawood itself is an amazing store. The staff however, is not. My biggest issue with the staff is the communication from the front desk to the technician and vice versa. For example, my girlfriend took her Leica CL in to get serviced a few weeks ago, and the lady at the front desk told her that it would be ready in about a week. Two weeks pass by and she hadn't even received a call. We assumed that they had just forgotten (which they had) and gave them a call and they said that it was ready to be picked up. When we tried to pick it up however, we were told that there was another issue with the light meter on the camera. Disappointing, but okay by us as mistakes happen from time to time. We were told once again that it would be done early next week (3-4 days). Another two weeks passed by with no contact and we were left wondering just what was going on. We decide to just show up and find out what's wrong and are simply told that the problem is "unfixable". Again, extremely disappointing, and this time we started to notice a pattern.This was my first time experiencing issues at the store. The next problem arose when I went to go buy my first Leica (A used M3). I went in and bought the camera without a problem, only to be bummed out that the person who sold me it didn't inform me that it didn't come with a take-up spool. I had to shell out another $60 on eBay to get one. Bummer, but my fault in the long run. Here's where things get upsetting for me. I purchased three rolls of Tri-X from Seawood and a Summicron 50mm from eBay and got to shooting. After shooting all three rolls plus one that I had leftover, I got them all developed. I was upset and disappointed to find out that the M3 that they had sold to me was broken. It had a well known issue with shutter capping (as most Leica's eventually do) but I was puzzled as to why the camera hadn't been serviced before it was sold to me. Unfortunately the owner was out of town for the week on vacation, leaving me with only the front desk workers.I brought the camera back in to be serviced and asked to have it done as fast as possible. They came back with an estimate of 3 days which was fine for me, and lo and behold on Friday afternoon I still had received no call. I went into the shop and asked about the status of my camera. It still wasn't ready at one in the afternoon, and apparently needed "a lot more work" than originally expected when the tech looked at it on Tuesday. I left to wait out the remaining hours as he promised me it would be finished by the end of the day. No more than 30 minutes later, they called me telling me that it was unrepairable! They did nicely offer a replacement, but it begs the question how did they not realize this for three days, or while it was on sale at the shop? I receive the replacement and decide to test it out before I leave the shop this time. At first I couldn't believe my eyes! The M3 was in immaculate condition and my first thought was why I was being given this instead of one in equal condition, and immediately after trying to put the viewfinder up to my eye I found out why. The rangefinder focusing patch was so dim it was unusable! They even admit to this on the Craigslist ad for the camera. I wanted this to be a user camera, not a collectible so to say I was disappointed is an understatement. I immediately went back and asked if there were any other options. I was given a few; take a Leica M2, which are nice, but not the M3 I wanted nor purchased in the beginning, or wait until Tuesday and talk to the owner (Graham) to get this situation sorted out. I opted for the latter. I was super bummed as I planned to use this camera on my trip over the weekend (which was why I requested an expedited repair to begin with). On Tuesday I returned to the store to get this fiasco sorted out. I immediately asked to speak with Graham and was disappointed to find out that my only option was to pay $175 (only $25 less than their asking price) and get another nicer camera. I talked him down to $100, purchased it, and am not disappointed with the final product, but I am disappointed with how the whole situation was handled. Overall, for 3 weeks worth of struggle to get to a decent solution this store failed immensely in their customer service, and tried to hang me out to dry quite a few times. Don't think I'll shop here again.


The best film camera shop in the Bay Area. Seriously there's no competition here. The camera and equipment selection is seemingly endless. I was even able to find a couple of really hard to find items. If you stop by, do yourself a favor and chat with the staff. They are extremely knowledgable and extremely friendly and helpful. Seriously one of the best experiences Ive ever had in a small shop. They also have an impressive array of large formate cameras to salivate over. I went over the paste weekend and the friendly staff helped me get set up with some great darkroom supplies and even showed me a few of their specialty collectable cameras. They could open a museum with all of the amazing cameras they have. I could go here every day, my only complaint is that I can't.


Same Seawood that was in San Anselmo, and that is a good thing for Northbay Photographers. Seawood is a classic camera store in a photography world that has been consumed by the big box retailers, Seawood refuses to submit and instead thrives as a place to go when you really need that special item and service from a crew that knows their stuff. This store is filled with photographers that enjoy the art with a passion. Even the owner is a darn good photographer! Seawood will buy your used equipment, they can offer you amazing gear both vintage and modern and they know how to show you the ropes. This new store is bigger and has a great layout plus the parking is way better!


This place is absolutely fantastic for film photography. We went for the first time this weekend just to have a quick rummage about, and ending up bringing home an enlarger, a half-frame Olympus Pen S, close up lenses for a Yashica mat ("you wouldn't happen to have...." "why certainly, here") and everything we needed to set up our darkroom from scratch. The guys were brilliant - super friendly and could help us with even the most strange requests. They helped us make decisions about even the most inexpensive of our purchases and one guy brought out an original Brownie camera he'd been cleaning up to sell, just to show us how it worked. We weren't planning on it, but we spent 2 hours in the store. They talked to us about large format photography, what cameras we had and what were the best chemicals we could buy, troubleshooted some of our developing issues we'd been having. If you're in San Francisco like we are, Seawood Photo is definitely worth the trip across the bridge, and with none of the superior attitude of some of the other film camera shops we experience here in the city.10/10 would return. Can't rate this place highly enough.If you want to see our progress, we are analog_photo_ on instagram.

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