Ritz Camera, while providing useful and satisfying services to some, has long been the target of my criticism. I find it laughable that free-minded individuals would pay Ritz's extortionate prices for equipment and gain nothing but instant gratification from the ordeal. Their warranty leaves much to be desired, and though Ritz employees can sometimes be knowledgeable, there is definitely no guarantee of that.

Someone who would walk into a Ritz Camera (or their other brands, like Wolf Camera) and purchase a softbox made by some second-string manufacturer solely on the recommendation of an AP stringer who got the job at Ritz because the AP doesn't even like them that much (no offense to AP stringers in general, here), is a fool. Plain and simple.

When the hardened, seasoned advice of a B&H sales associate is only a phone call away, and when that advice is backed by an enormous inventory of equipment available, usually immediately, from their warehouse, it seems a ridiculous proposition to even set foot into a Ritz Camera except in times of utter and complete desperation.

It surprises me to see customers milling about in Ritz without beads of near-boiling sweat rolling down their faces, because I can't imagine a world where trusting my needs to a place like Ritz could be anything less than forced on me by dire circumstance.

That said, Ritz Camera has filed for Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy protection.

The reign of terror is almost at its end.