New York: B&H Photo Video Superstore

I must confess. Although Suanne kind of suspects it, we had never really talked about it. It’s kind of awkward discussing these sort of things, you see. Suanne knows how badly I wanted just a little bit more lens for my camera but after already spent so much on what I had, I know she will frown on me spending more on photography.

I had this B&H Catalog below lying next to my bed for months already. That should be hint enough. Suanne knew the hint but she just refuse to acknowledge it … grrrrrr.


I know Suanne would not tell me not add anymore lens or that she gives me that disapproving look … but it is her not showing me the approving look itself kind of makes me worried. Anyway, I sort of told her that I will just go to B&H look-see … and if there is anything cheap … and only if it is something really-really cheap, I might just buy one … maybe two … maybe three? No … maybe two. 🙂

But … but … but then … I reasoned, the Canadian dollar is so strong against the US, right? Moreover, I am going to the US buying it direct which mean we do not need to pay for delivery and postage. Coincidentally too, B&H, the biggest photography store, in the world just happen to be in New York.

Oh well, I did go to B&H to look-see … and bought one thing … and another … and another. They are all pretty cheap stuff. No “L” lens this time.

For you photography buffs, going into B&H is just like a kid going into a candy store. I am not kidding. Geez, those guys have all the expensive cameras for people to play with, and mounted with expensive “L” lenses even. Why, their tripod section itself is bigger than all the tripod sections in all of Canada combined. Anything you want, they have it. I had a great time there.

Two stories high but it takes up a complete block … in here the entire purchasing process is automated. You just need to walk up to a counter, tell them what you are looking for and the conveyor belt brings the stuff to where you are. Fancy! And if you decide to buy it, the conveyor belt will move your stuff down to the ground floor waiting for you to pick it up and make your payment.


Here is what I bought … I got myself the Canon 50mm f/1.4 prime lens. This is one of the better lens in the Canon collection. Great for portraits. It also kind of fill the gap I have between 40mm and 70mm. I like this lens but it is not as versatile for taking pictures of food in a restaurant as the 17-40mm … I needed more focal distance while with the 17-40mm, I could put my lens as close as 3 inches.


I also bought a mini tripod small enough for the table top and which can hold the weight of the SLR and heavier lens. It was pretty sturdy and has a suction cup at the bottom for extra stability. I tried using it a few times in a restaurant but I must admit it does scare the restaurant! With the SLR plus the wide angle lens and the tripod, to the restaurant, it was like I am doing a photo shoot in a studio! I used that sparingly and only when there are low light.


I had also gotten the 1.4x extender for the 70-200mm lens. This makes the white lens behave like a 100-280mm. I love this … great extender for taking sports pictures and portraits too. I had always wanted to take pictures of the bald eagles in Brackendale (spelling correct?). I’ll do that next fall with this lens extender.


Oh, one thing I really notice about B&H … it is a Jewish establishment. Coming from where I came from, I had never seen so many visible Jews in one place. Almost every worker in B&H wears a skull cap.

Being Jewish as they are, they close for Sabbath. Well, they don’t only close their store on Sabbath, but even their website does not accept or process orders on Sabbath … go figure!


I love B&H. Now that I got this off my chest, it’s back to regular programming tomorrow. With my new lens, I headed next to the Rockefeller Center.

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  1. Chubbypanda

    Nice! I picked up the Canon 50mm f/1.8 a few months back and I love it. It’s a bit cheaper than the f/1.4, but the quality isn’t significantly less.

    I really want to buy the L-Series lenses.

  2. Peter

    Don’t you just hate it when the hint is never acknowledged?…lol
    Thanks for a very informative blog.
    Pete in New Zealand

  3. Keith

    I’ve got the 50 1.4 as well – hard to get a sharp shot at 1.4 but it’s the lens I use 95% of the time on my 1.6x crop body. Did you get a chance to check out the 50 1.2 as well?

    What body(ies) are you using?

  4. Ben

    Hi Keith: I did check out the 1.2 too but it is way off my league. I think if I bought that, I am going to make someone at home very very unhappy! I use the Rebel XT.

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