Tokyo, Japan

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Karl A, Sep 23, 2013.

  1. Karl A

    Karl A Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I will be travelling to Tokyo in two weeks, what are the best places to look at film cameras, and where is the best film selection? Are there labs that can process film while I am there? I'm only going for a week, so most likely I will bring any film back with me for processing back home, but just curious what the options are.

    I'm also interested in any recommendations for locations to visit.

    Thanks!
     
  2. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,187
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ 'ɐıɹoʇɔıʌ
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Shinjuku has a veritable city of cameras, just to the west of the (Shinjuku) station. Yodabashi Camera has SEVERAL buildings devoted to photography - one is just film and processing (I didn't use it, but you could), and an entire floor of another is Large & Medium format cameras (for example). Nearby is BIC camera, with a similarly large offering. Film prices err on the expensive side, and cameras aren't really cheaper than the US, but the sheer range will fill you with geeky joy!

    Some more thoughts here: http://mrmarcmorel.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/stomping-around-japan-with-cameras/

    Marc!
     
  3. Karl A

    Karl A Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thanks for the insights Marc! I quite liked your article as well. I don't necessarily expect to find deals there, but I'm sure I will appreciate the extensive selection I'm hearing about!

    I am planning to take a Fuji GF670 medium format camera, my 4x5 is a Sinar, and I don't feel comfortable travelling with it. I thought of using up some of my stash of Kodak E100VS in 120 over there. Especially if there are any fall colours to be seen.

    On the other hand, I might want to shoot some black and white as well. Play it by ear I guess. Might bring the Pentax K1000 too just in case, since I have different lenses for it.

    Karl
     
  4. munz6869

    munz6869 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,187
    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Location:
    ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ 'ɐıɹoʇɔıʌ
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Thanks Karl - I used my Fuji 6x8 rangefinder a heap more than the 5x4"... Your Fuji will be perfect for travels, I reckon. Tokyo is a colour riot - E100VS is a great match :smile:

    Marc!
     
  5. Karl A

    Karl A Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Excellent! I'm really looking forward to this trip!
     
  6. alohakeith

    alohakeith Member

    Messages:
    23
    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Location:
    Honolulu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I visited Tokyo in April and purchased a camera from MAP camera in the Shinjuku district. They have a very nice selection.
     
  7. adelorenzo

    adelorenzo Subscriber

    Messages:
    792
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2012
    Location:
    Whitehorse, Yukon
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
  8. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

    Messages:
    630
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I got some notes and links to maps and stuff on my blog here:
    http://helino-photo.blogspot.no/2013/01/rolling-with-rolleiflex.html

    If you haven't been in Tokyo before, prepare to get stressed out in the Shinjuku-area, just getting out of the train/subway station can be a challenge, after that, the real challenge navigating the area begins....so take your time, smile and laugh about how often you get lost :smile:
    The Ginza-strip is imo the best place to start, it's just one main-street and all the camera-shops lies there, or in one of the side-streets, very easy to navigate.
     
  9. Nuff

    Nuff Member

    Messages:
    550
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Like mentioned above, checkout http://www.yodobashi.com/ and http://www.mapcamera.com/
    I'm going there this Thursday and I'm going to be shopping around for a deal on Pentax 67 + few lens. Also maybe a Hasselblad 60mm lens.
    Also lots of film, since it's a lot cheaper than Australia. Here are some prices of film at Yodobashi:
    http://www.yodobashi.com/%E3%83%96%E3%83%AD%E3%83%BC%E3%83%8B%E3%83%BC%E3%83%95%E3%82%A3%E3%83%AB%E3%83%A0/ct/53216_500000000000000301/index.html?query=count%3D24%26disptyp%3D02%26sorttyp%3DCOINCIDENCE_RANKING&ginput=&discontinued=false
     
  10. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

    Messages:
    4,574
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    İstanbul
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Karl , check Fuji camera prices at US before investing %40 more in japan. If I am not wrong Rattymouse or someoneelse did needed advise and I checked the camera prices at japan and was 600 dollars more expensive. Be aware.
     
  11. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

    Messages:
    630
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Rolleiflexes and Leicas seem to be pretty damn expensive there at least.
    I did get a 50mm for my Hasselblad pretty reasonable though.

    Generally, it seems that Japanese brands are the most reasonable priced items over there, but it may vary a lot with the currency exchange-rate I suppose.
     
  12. tnabbott

    tnabbott Member

    Messages:
    614
    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    For film, it may be worthwhile buying in japan if you favor 220 slide film.

    For cameras, the prices are generally no cheaper than here. However, because there are so many places selling used film gear over there, you may be able to find the odd good deal.
     
  13. Karl A

    Karl A Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I don't plan to buy a new camera there, but it is always fun to look. I might buy some film there, especially if there are things one can't get in North America, e.g. large format
     
  14. Karl A

    Karl A Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    220 films would be interesting, the only ones available in North America are Portra 160 & 400.
     
  15. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

    Messages:
    4,574
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    İstanbul
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I think tax rates makes local products more expensive than US. Your best bet is to find pn55 polaroid film ,AGFA Scala and AGFA Brovira Portriga papers. Otherwise all Kodak Films are better than fuji IMO.
     
  16. Karl A

    Karl A Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I see at Yobodashi carries Velvia 50 4x5 (8x10 too) - not easy to get at any price in North America

    Also what about these Oriental papers? I might have to bring some back to try...

    But beyond shopping, are there any locations people recommend with great architecture or nature?

    Thanks again
     
  17. Ghostman

    Ghostman Subscriber

    Messages:
    504
    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Oh man, i found places in Tokyo that will blow your mind. There are camera dealers in what look like normal apartment blocks, off the street with no street view shop window. Row upon row, cabinet upon cabinet of every film camera you have ever seen, every accessory or lens you could ever imagine.

    I bumped into a guy (Dave) in the Leica store in Ginza (the guy who runs the shoottokyo blog) - he took me to camera shops on Harumi Dori in Ginza that will leave you peeing in your pants. Look him up, he's a nice guy and ask him for some directions. I bought by Leica M7 there.

    Otherwise go to BIC Camera in Ikebukoro, it'll also blow your mind. There is still a lot of film equipment to be had (new mamiya's, all manner of lenses and filter systems) - basically anything you could ever want AND MORE.
     
  18. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

    Messages:
    630
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    Location:
    Norway
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    There are a multitudes of Japanese gardens in Tokyo that you can stroll and enjoy.
    The new "Sky-tree" is a very impressive structure, much much bigger than the Eiffel-copy they have in the center of Tokyo.

    Google a bit to find the locations (like "temples tokyo", "gardens tokyo" etc).
    You can get a pretty good skyline view of tokyo from Odaiba ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Odaiba ), which has a ferris wheel and a few strange buildings and stuff.
    If you are there on a Sunday, go up to yoyogi-park to watch Elvis-people and young girls dressing up in cosplay-costumes.

    IMO, the people and styles of Tokyo is one of the coolest things to photograph there ^^
     
  19. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

    Messages:
    4,574
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2006
    Location:
    İstanbul
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I think my best advise to you to own a radiation dosimeter , especially for sea foods , rice and meat.
     
  20. Nuff

    Nuff Member

    Messages:
    550
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2013
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Lets not get carried away in paranoia. I come here 2 times a year for the past 4 years and it's all fine. I've came here right after the tsunami when all the other foreigners ran away too.

    I just arrived here this morning and did my rounds around shops. It's a toy wonderland. For now I bought 35 rolls of 120 film and maybe more to come.

    As for places to shoot, everything. People, buildings etc, it's all unique. For first timer I would recommend Asakusa.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. ntenny

    ntenny Member

    Messages:
    2,283
    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Diego, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I bought one, almost two, at MAP Camera a few years ago. At the time the exchange rate was about the same as it is now, but I don't know how much other factors may have affected prices---they seemed pretty good on used *Japanese* gear then. European-made cameras are thinner on the ground and more expensive, of course. I don't remember what film prices were like, though I did wander through Yodobashi and boggle at the selection.

    It's a really photogenic city and you kind of can't miss. Shinjuku is the traditional district for interesting street fauna; Akihabara is worthwhile as well, though the back alleys of little electronics shops apparently have *much* less character than they used to. (I think you're not supposed to photograph the store greeters in the French maid outfits.) The bay front is quite scenic in an urban-bay way; the best views might be from Odaiba. But basically, just get out and wander. Get off the main streets and into the residential districts and the city changes very, very quickly---it has a reputation as a bright-neon never-sleeps megalopolis, but you wouldn't know it even from some of the places within a couple of blocks of the major thoroughfares.

    As a random sidelight, I really recommend the Ramen Museum in Shin-Yokohama! It's not a big photo attraction, but it's well worth while.

    -NT
     
  22. Karl A

    Karl A Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    Back home, and getting over the jet lag...12 hours time difference!

    Visited many different areas in Tokyo. Loved the country. Got a chance to visit Narita before leaving, it is a nice town!

    Didn't spend too much time taking pictures, it was too hectic a trip. Will have to go back again.

    I did purchase some Velvia 50 in 4x5 and 8x10, which many people in North America would be surprised to know still exists! Picked that up at Yodabashi Camera. Decided not to buy anything else, just from the perspective of carrying it back.

    Overall, I highly recommend visiting Japan. I can't articulate everything right now, but for starters I would say it has some of the best food of any place I've been. And that is important in my book.

    Thanks again for all your suggestions and insights, it was very helpful. Cheers!
     
  23. mrsmiggins

    mrsmiggins Member

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Shooter:
    Holga
    I'm curious as to how much you paid for the 8x10 velvia....
    /Frank
     
  24. Karl A

    Karl A Member

    Messages:
    74
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    8x10 Velvia 50 is 29,600 yen

    4x5 Velvia 50 is 8,680 yen

    Both are 20 sheet boxes

    That works out to about $15 USD per sheet for 8x10. Not a cheap film by any definition, but if you want to try it, it's there (for now).