Roberts Camera – Happy 65th Anniversary

I moved to Indianapolis,  In 2002 after spending a number of years in the New York City area and living on Long Island.  It was quite a shock to move from the east coast to the Midwest.  One of the first things I did was look for a camera store that was going to be able to satisfy my lust for my never-ending GAS (gear acquisition syndrome).  There were a number of shopping center camera stores around at that time and then there was one stand-out camera store Roberts Camera.  

At that time Roberts was located in downtown Indianapolis with a classic old storefront location with big neon signs.  Soon, they added another location down the street from my home at the time in Carmel, IN.  

Roberts was like one of those old-time hardware stores where you could walk in and ask for something obscure or hard to get and, by some stroke of luck, they usually had it.  They were also famous for having in-stock cameras and lenses that were hard to find.  

Bruce Pallman

Bruce Pallman, the owner is one of that kind of hands-on guys that knows everything, and everybody and is always there interacting with the customers.  The store was cramped and if you were lucky enough to get a tour of the basement warehouse, you would be in awe of how they managed to squeeze so much into the space.  The cool thing was the staff knew where everything was.

Roberts Camera become the quiet go-to place if you needed something.  It wasn’t a big box store.  It was and is a place where you know the person answering the phone.  You talk about camera gear and chat about your favorite recipes, sports, and how the kids

Meredith Reinker

are doing.  Roberts knows their customers and they know how to make customers happy.  They work really hard to find what you need and, more than anything else, deliver it at a comparable price to the big box stores.

Over the years, I have become close friends with the team there.  I always sit down with Bruce and catch up on the latest gossip and trends in the industry.  He knows everyone in the business and is respected by all the manufacturers.

Recently Bruce, who is the second generation, has turned the reins over to his daughter Meredith Reinker,  Meredith is cut from the same cloth and in the last few years has transformed Roberts into an even better place to shop for your photo needs. 

They are now located in a new building with tons of space, a large retail floor, and a huge use camera division, UsedPhotoPro.  Ironically UsedPhotoPro is run by Meredith’s husband Cory Reinker and the volume of business that is done in used cameras is staggering.  I did a story, interview, and video with Cory a couple of years ago.  You can see it out a Get It Used -UsedPhotoPro.

The used department is always a busy place
The used department is always a busy place

On Saturday, August 20, 2022, Robert’s celebrated its 65th Anniversary as well as Bruce Pallman’s 70th birthday.  You might be thinking that Bruce started Roberts when he was 5 years old, but the store was started by his parents and I am sure at the age of 5 that Bruce was there learning the ropes.

Phil Gibson is one of the many go to folks at Roberts
Phil Gibson is one of the many go to folks at Roberts

Robert’s Camera is my camera store, it’s my go-to place and it’s just fun to stop in and hang out.  If you ever visit me at my studio or take part in our classroom workshops, there will always be a mandatory guided tour of Robert’s Camera included.

If you need gear, used cameras, advice, or just about anything photography associated please give them a call at 800-758-5544 and ask for Phil Gibson or Jeff Moore. You can visit their website at Robertscamera.com.

Please enjoy all the photos I snapped last Saturday when I visited the 65th Anniversary.

The Roberts Camera 65th Anniversary Gallery

Who doesn’t like looking at camera store photos?

 

The sales floor was very busy all day
The cash registers were busy as customers were making their purchases
The cash registers were busy as customers were making their purchases
The Canon rep was super busy showing off Canon's latest lenses and camera bodies
The Canon rep was super busy showing off Canon’s latest lenses and camera bodies
Sony had all its products on display. Do you know there are two a1's? One is for meals and one is for pictures.
Sony had all its products on display. Do you know there are two a1’s? One is for meals and one is for pictures.
Tamron has certainly received a lot of notoriety with their lenses and you can see just a few of them here
Tamron has certainly received a lot of notoriety with their lenses and you can see just a few of them here
There were a lot of visitors looking at Nikon cameras
There were a lot of visitors looking at Nikon cameras
Meredith Reinker helped out at the Fuji display
Meredith Reinker helped out at the Fuji display
Adapters, cables and just about any combination of accessories are available
Adapters, cables and just about any combination of accessories are available
Microphones galore
Microphones galore
Flashes, modifiers and more
Flashes, modifiers and more
Bargin boxes were everywhere
Bargain boxes were everywhere
Tripods and studio lighting
Tripods and studio lighting
Lighting for the Zoom callers and influencers
Lighting for the Zoom callers and influencers
Studio lighting of every kind
Studio lighting of every kind
Everyone needs a nice reflector
Everyone needs a nice reflector
As a photographer, you can never have enough backpacks. I speak out of experience. You should see my garage.
As a photographer, you can never have enough backpacks. I speak out of experience. You should see my garage.
All sorts of clamps, light adapters, and other hardware
All sorts of clamps, light adapters, and other hardware
The used department is always a busy place
The used department is always a busy place
From what I have been told there is big business for older view cameras like these.
From what I have been told there is big business for older view cameras like these.
Now this is a camera. Great panos with the G617. Great condition too. And, check out that Rolleiflex.
Now this is a camera. Great panos with the G617. Great condition too. And, check out that Rolleiflex.
No lack of medium format film cameras.
Point and shoot heaven
Point and shoot heaven
Boxes of lens shades
Boxes of lens shades
How about a digital Nikon? Plenty of them too.
How about a digital Nikon? Plenty of them too.
I owned this camera back in the day. It's a beauty and they have lots of Leica lenses too
I owned this camera back in the day. It’s a beauty and they have lots of Leica lenses too
Even more Lecias
Even more Lecias

 

 

Look at this, FILM
Look at this, FILM
Real photographic paper in case you want to make prints in the darkroom
Real photographic paper in case you want to make prints in the darkroom
Darkroom chemicals too. Analog is making a comeback
Darkroom chemicals too. Analog is making a comeback

 

The used department, bring your old cameras in for cash or trade it
In the used department, bring your old cameras in for cash or trade it
A tent in the parking lot had a ton of gear and special bargins
A tent in the parking lot had a ton of gear and special bargains
It's been a long time since I used one of these. It's an enlarger in case you didn't know.
It’s been a long time since I used one of these. It’s an enlarger in case you didn’t know.
Every tent sale has one of these guys. It's Bruce!
Every tent sale has one of these guys. It’s Bruce!
Film reels galore. I'll challenge anyone to a film reel loading contest
Film reels galore. I’ll challenge anyone to a film reel loading contest
So many batteries.
So many batteries.
I would have given my left arm at one time for lenses like these. How times have changed.
I would have given my left arm at one time for lenses like these. How times have changed.
Does anybody remember the Speedotron? Now it is no more than a door stop.
Does anybody remember the Speedotron? Now it is no more than a door stop.

I hope you enjoyed all the photos and once more congratulations to Roberts Camera for 65 years of continuous service and to Bruce Pallman for his 70th birthday.  Great job.  You are my camera store.


Kevin Raber
August 2022
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 47 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site as well as Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.

Article Type: News, Columns, MISC

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