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  1. #1

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    Is Japan the best place to buy classy and hard-to-find film equipment?

    I don't have a prayer of ever going there, just curious.

  2. #2

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    Euro cameras and lenses are pretty expensive there. On the other hand Japanese equipment is a great buy. Go to japan hunter website for more info.

  3. #3
    Dr Croubie's Avatar
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    I see great deals coming out of Japan on fleabay, especially for things like Toyo/Omega and Fuji stuff. Possibly a bit more expensive to buy it there in person because of shop rents and things, but then again it might be a bit cheaper without shipping, with the bonus of getting to inspect it beforehand...
    An awful lot of electrons were terribly inconvenienced in the making of this post.

    f/64 and be there.

  4. #4
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    I suspect there is a bit of gouging and collusion going on among the retailers of particularly second hand equipment. I've noted a lot of Pentax 67 equipment is very, very expensive for what it is. It probably pays to know a local who can do some footwork for you rather than wing it to the blinding bright lights and splash just about anywhere. My niece has a teacher friend in Tokyo who enjoys photography as a fairly serious hobby and he confirms that a lot of equipment, old or new, is "a bit on the expensive end". The Yen makes travel from Australia to Japan a very favourable proposition at the moment, but hardly worth the airfare just to shop. The scenery, remember!
    “The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
    Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
    the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see."
    ~Edward Weston, 1922.

  5. #5

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    A few years ago I looked around the photo shops of Tokyo, and found that the prices on Japanese gear were definitely good but not mind-blowing. What was mind-blowing was the selection; basically anything ever made by Fuji, Mamiya, Pentax, etc., all the usual suspects, was on a shelf somewhere in Shinjuku. Definitely a worthwhile pilgrimage.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  6. #6
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    When $AU1.00 was buying Y99, the bargains were fantastic - especially on items that were hard to find in Au (at the time). I travelled to Japan several times for work, and the team were thrilled when the exchange rate hit that high.

    Picked up a truckload of gear, film and the like (MAP Camera in Shinjuku was fantastic for used gear), and we were really sorry we couldn't bring home a lot more.

    Fast forward about 4 years, and the shine had left the price of the gear - it was more in line with AU. I didn't buy much at all that time, although if I could have grabbed some LPL spare parts, I would have been thrilled to bits! The cost of those is stupid in AU - I'm seriously considering buying it direct from LPL in Japan and paying the FedEx fee; still works out cheaper and their customer service is outstanding. (Such a pity their supplier in AU is so useless. . . . . )

  7. #7

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    In my experience, and from having been there the prices aren't bargain prices but you can find just about everything in excellent condition or new. What they have is the availability and abundance of equipment.

  8. #8

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    Over there

    When I was in Japan I found everything to be expensive. It was not hard to find an $18 bowl of noodles or overpriced old cameras.Years ago photogs would buy Japanese camera in Hong Kong, they were cheaper there than in Japan.You have to really look around. And the prices can shift quickly due to the monetary exchange rate.

  9. #9
    AgX
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    Quote Originally Posted by ozphoto View Post
    I'm seriously considering buying it direct from LPL in Japan and paying the FedEx fee; still works out cheaper and their customer service is outstanding.

    LPL state at there website not to accept orders from outside Japan and not to ship abroad.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by snapguy View Post
    When I was in Japan I found everything to be expensive. It was not hard to find an $18 bowl of noodles or overpriced old cameras.Years ago photogs would buy Japanese camera in Hong Kong, they were cheaper there than in Japan.You have to really look around. And the prices can shift quickly due to the monetary exchange rate.
    Our world must be different. When I go to Japan everything is cheap. If I want $20 noodles, I shop in Sydney. Japan it's usually around $5 to $10. $15 for some classy restaurant with great atmosphere which we do not have in australia. I guess it depends where you shop.

    Even at 91yen to AUD Japan is a bargain. Not to mention if I would have to buy the same equipment from lets say USA or Japan for the same price. Get it from Japan, since on average it will be better quality. I still wouldn't buy Euro cameras there. Even if some people think that Leicas etc are expensive over there, they are still a lot cheaper than here in Australia. Not to mention the huge choice and range.

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