If you’re a serious photographer in Chicago, whether by trade or just on the side, you’ll undoubtedly need a go to shop for camera essentials. Chicago has no shortage of photography stores, but each one offers something different. Here are a few of the best.
(Photo Credit: calumetphoto.com)

(Photo Credit: calumetphoto.com)


Calumet Photographic
819 W. Eastman St.
Chicago, IL 60642
(312) 440-4920
www.calumetphoto.com

Looking for a place that not only does retail and professional equipment rental but also produces high quality ink jet printing and custom applications? Try Calumet Photo which has newly reopened in Chicago. Calumet Photo also hosts events where pro photographers speak and give advice as well as offering classes for both new photographers and veterans who want to refine their craft. If they don’t have what you need at their location, they’re happy to tell you where to find it.

Alpine Camera Company
686 Lee St.
Des Plaines, IL 60016
(847) 299-6181
www.alpinecameracompany.com

Alpine Camera has a large selection of obscure equipment in addition to new retail products. It’s the place to go for used equipment and swap-outs. They have their own in house film processor and quality scanner. They provide quality work at reasonable rates. They have most film and photo paper in stock and are able to order any item. The staff are very attentive and able to answer any questions about their in stock items.

Dodd Camera
2840 W. Armitage Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(773) 227-3633
www.doddpro.com

Dodd Camera is reputed for fast and friendly service, often going out of the way for their customers. If you’re new to photography, the staff are all photographers themselves and will be happy to point you in the right direction and give advice. If you’re a veteran, they have all of the professional equipment you could want and knowledgeable employees. From rental equipment to retail, Dodd has what you need and will help try out what is in stock if you’re not sure.

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Tamarkin Camera
300 W. Superior St.
Chicago, IL 60654
(312) 642-2255
www.tamarkin.com

If you’re a photographer who swears by Leica gear, Tamarkin Camera is the store you want to go to for all of your equipment needs. There is a good selection of both new and used equipment and the staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. They also have a photography gallery on display to check out as you’re browsing. Parking is easy on the street or the nearby parking lot. Check their website for information on the current photography in their gallery and for occasional coupons for great deals on equipment.

ProGear
1740 W Carroll Ave.
Chicago, IL 60612
(312) 376-3770
www.progearrental.com

If you’re looking for five star friendly service, ProGear has an amazing reputation for being knowledgeable and friendly. They sell everything from the standard lenses and photo paper to manuals, software and firmware. They have a punch card program for sensor cleaning. If you’re looking for light or sound equipment, they have everything you need for a basic film set rental and are great in a pinch.

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Meredith Lyons is an actor, competitive fighter and fitness instructor in Chicago who also owns an amazing cat named Jake. Meredith has been writing on Examiner as the Chicago Martial Arts Examiner since 2008. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.