See the World From a New Perspective with Telescopes, Binoculars and Cameras from Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions
Taking up an interest in photography, astronomy and wildlife viewing/birding is a great way to experience the world from an entirely different perspective, and developing a new hobby is a great way to open the door to new interests and activities.
At Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions in Stony Brook Village Center, owner Jeff Norwood said he works to help people find the right equipment and offers tips and education on the best way to optimize their experience.
“We help people to observe and capture the real world,” Norwood said. A world, he said, that can be invisible to the naked eye. He takes pride in helping people get started or enhancing their existing equipment and experience.
Telescopes, binoculars, spotting scopes and cameras make an excellent gift idea because they can introduce people to a new hobby, he said.
The assortment of telescopes in the shop is mind-boggling. In fact, at the higher end of the spectrum the shop has a unique, one-of-a-kind, custom-built, binocular telescope, which is actually two telescopes combined. And at the very highest end, a fantastic Dobsonian telescope built by the most well-respected company in the world, Obsession, is a feature in the shop, signed by John Dobson.
But, the shop has something for everyone, from the amateur just starting out, to the most adamant astronomy buff, with prices ranging from $60. to $60,000.
And for those just getting started, or those who want to increase their knowledge and skills, Norwood holds educational workshops on photography, telescopes and astro-photography (photographing the night sky). You can check the Cameras Concepts website for classes and lectures on all three topics.
“Some people think Long Island isn’t a good place to view the night sky, but we have several very active astronomy clubs,” he said. And, if you know where to go, for example, the south shore beaches or Montauk Point or even Southold, the sky can be quite amazing.
Norwood recommends that the person wanting to get a start in astronomy first invest in a pair of binoculars, a map of the night sky and a red flashlight. When they want to move up to buying a telescope he strongly recommends coming to the shop to discuss options, rather than just buying something online.
If you buy from the shop, you can receive a free two-hour class to learn how to use the equipment and to get answers to your questions.
“We have all levels of help,” he said.
Separately, the shop offers a unique one-on-one session available where customers can hire one of the shops pros to come to your house to spend the evening to use your equipment and learn different techniques.
Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions in Stony Brook also carries an impressive selection of cameras, lenses and photo equipment and accessories.
“A phone camera really can’t hold a candle to a good SLR (single lens reflex) camera,” he said. The shop carries Nikon, Canon, Sony and more, including the Nikon D5 and the Canon 5D Mark IV. They also carry lenses and accessories from Sigma and Tamron.
He said that there are a lot of photo clubs on Long Island, including those that focus on various subjects, from birding to landscapes.
“We can help guide customers with what they need,” he said. “Depending on their interest, you can spend $349 to $2,000 for a good SLR.”
The store also carries a full assortment of spotting scopes and binoculars, ideal for terrestrial viewing of birds and wildlife. Again, the range in pricing makes them an excellent gift idea.
In addition to the equipment available, Camera Concepts offers other services and has an optical repair shop for telescopes and cameras.
The shop also offers video transfer services to convert film or video to digital. It’s all done in-store. The shop is one of the few that still offers film developing for color and black and white prints and slides, as well as large format posters.
They even offer a unique process for transferring photos on to aluminum plates, which makes a great gift.
To get young ones interested in astronomy and other sciences, Camera Concepts now has children’s items including educational STEM kits. They have a collection of robotics and even a series of ‘coding’ products to teach toddlers up to teens how to do coding.
Jeff Norwood has been in the camera and optics business for over 32 years. His father had a chain of 60 stores and camera shops in department stores, so he fairly well grew up in the business. His degree was in another passion of his: Music History and Theory. He still teaches music appreciation in his spare time.
After his father passed, Jeff went into the family business with his father’s partner and then decided to branch out on his own in 1985. He moved from a smaller location to Stony Brook in 2017, and recently married his current business partner Grete earlier this year.
“My passion has always been in music, photography and astronomy,” he said.” It’s great to have a job you love going to every day.”
Camera Concepts & Telescope Solutions
85 Main Street
Stony Brook, NY 11790