Today is my last day in Japan, in the last five days i been visiting most of the popular places where film cameras could be found. I did arrive to a surprising result of which i think is the best camera shop. For directions please download the offical subway app by the Japanese gov so you don’t need to ask anyone how to get from A->B.
Now without any order, here are some of the shops i visited and read the end for the best one and my reasons behind it. I did not take all the photos of each shop but i will mention each one here.
This shop is located at the Church of united christ, Ginza. It has a good collection of Leica and Nikons. The prices are somewhat pricier than those you can find in Map Camera and Kitamura. No photography allowed inside. Google Map will show you exactly how to get there when you type “lemon camera”.
This is one of the best shop for price. Its located at Nakano just next to the Nakano Station. Its has a mix selection of film cameras and some Contax lens and good conditioned RTSs. On my visit i saw a beautiful set of Pentax 645NII with lens. This is definitely a must visit if price is the main criteria.
You can easily find this in google map.
There are 2 floors that have vintage and film cameras. The nikons here are in very good shape. Overall selection is as big as Lemon’s Camera but it does have friendlier prices for some of the used items. There are 3-4 Leitz CLE around.
I would say that if price is so so and you want to try your luck this would be a good place.
This is located just “in your face” shop facing MapCamera. Basically just facing MapCamera in Shinjuku.
Mix bag assortments of cameras and pricing. Its a very interesting place to find what you want.
Bic Camera and Yodobashi camera
These two are the giants for new cameras. I used them for fast processing + scanning of my negative film. Although i think the best overall lab is in my country Malaysia, Bang Bang Geng which does 5xxx x 3xxxx mps scan by default at half the cost of whatever i am paying in japan.
You can find some gems here in these stores. You see some of the old stocks could be here. I saw Bessa R4m, R3a, R3m at prices that are even cheaper than ebay. Each store however, could be listing the price differently :-).
So did i buy anything after visiting all over the place and which store?
I wanted a Zeiss Ikon because my current main lens is the f1 noctilux. Although my current Bessa r3m is just solid good, the EBL (effective base length). In short, focusing at F1, i will need more EBL and Zeiss Ikon is definitely at the top end. You can read more about EBL here
I couldn’t find the zeiss ikon. The M3 is out of question because it only support a shutter speed up till 1/1000. Lets face its, M3 is super dated and finding a good copy is hard. If you are using f1.4 or f1, 1/1000 is just asking for trouble.
I saw this shop at Ginza and took a tour inside, i notice that the prices are slightly more expensive that the other shops mentioned above but they do offer direct tax free deduction. But i also notice something peculiar about this shop, the items doesn’t list the normal “condition A, B, C” but they look very pristine. In fact i thought they somehow selling brand new vintage cameras like m3, m5.
Then something caught my eye. A limited edition of Hexar RF. The condition is so beautiful that i begin to realize why the other items in the shop are selling at a slightly higher price. It whats you pay what you get here and this shop only carries the best conditioned ones. I had a chat with the owner Mr Yasuhiro Fujimoto and i realized he doesn’t really have the burden of rent because that place belongs to his grandfather who have been selling cameras since 1940.
I bought it and although it doesn’t have the box, they carefully wrapped the purchased with a customed micro fibre cloth.
You can see the condition here, unedited straight from my phone. I don’t sell products so i just gonna show you some casual shot of the Hexar.
In short, if you really want a very good film camera and you don’t mind paying a little, you get the best conditioned cameras here and saved from buying new. The shop name is Katsumido Camera at 9-1,5-Chrome Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. I had to list this address here cause you won’t be able to easily find it in Google map or google, it shows up in japanese. This shop is facing some prominent Ginza road and just few minutes “straight” walk. They can be reached at (81)03-35710468.
I shot a roll of Velvia color film and its and hope to share the results soon.