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Tokyo Used camera shop recommendations?

Can anyone recommend good used camera shops in Tokyo to check out? I’m looking for Mamiya and Hexar.
Thanks a bunch in advance.

by Andrew Stanbridge at 2007-05-01 16:44:41 UTC (ed. Mar 12 2008 ) boston , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

I bought a Bronica in a really cool little shop in Tokyo but I don’t remember the name. I think it was in Ginza, somewhere in this big Ginza street (I’m not sure if this street has this name because mostly the streets in Tokyo don’t have names).

I hope I could help you at least a little bit.

by Hanna Silbermayr | 01 May 2007 17:05 | Vienna, Austria | | Report spam→
Andrew,

Are you going to be in Tokyo in the near future to look for Mamiya and Hexar or are you hoping for Internet shopping?

If you are going to be in Tokyo, it really depends on whether you would like to buy your cameras at a bargain price or at a higher price for good quality. I have not shopped much in Ginza because they tended to be more expensive although it is easier for tourists to go to. Two stores I have shopped more than once are Fujiya in Nakano (easier to get to because it is short walking distance of Nakano Station on Chuo Line) and Sanpou in Meguro (you have to walk a lot longer although some people who can drive would like it because of parking). In either way, you need to watch out the condition of your purchase. They give you a long warranty period which is good for Japanese shoppers. I don’t think that the stores do very thorough checking. You can go to the camera service center in Tokyo to have them test your purchase, though, which I have done myself.

For the most part, Internet shopping is not possible from outside of Japan. The stores do not export any photo gear. Those who deal with abroad appear to be interested in buying rather than selling.

You need a Japanese friend or a LS in Tokyo for this if you are not planning on visiting Japan.

Tomoko

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 01 May 2007 18:05 (ed. May 1 2007) | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
“Map Camera” in Shinjuku and “Gin-ichi Camera” in Ginza also sell many used cameras, though I think Internet shopping for abroad is not available…

by Masato Kubo | 02 May 2007 12:05 | tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
Doesn’t Map Camera have a varying reputation among Japanese who have shopped there? I did buy an Olympus accessory there, but I had to have it serviced later.

There is a book of used camera shops in Tokyo and perhaps all over Japan. My copy is located in my parents’ house, but I’ve shopped at several small shops successfully, but for tourists, this might be difficult. There are shops which specializes some brands like Leica. You’ll find a lot of Leica in Tokyo.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 02 May 2007 12:05 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Fujiya in Nakano and Sanpou Camera way off the track near(ish) Gakuedaigaku station on the Tokyo line. Map Camera is expencive for most things but you can find a bargin now and then. Don’t expect a big difference between NY and Tokyo prices. NY is still probably cheaper in my opinion.

by [former member] | 02 May 2007 12:05 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
Sanpou Camera is here.

According to the store, it is only 10-12 minutes from Gakugeidaigaku Station on the Tokyu (not o) Toyoko Line. I once spotted an Olympus 90mm/2 lens at a store on my way to Sanpou. It was an old price for a store-displayed new lens. The lens had some fungus and I had it replaced with a new one at the Olympus service center on the lens warranty.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 02 May 2007 15:05 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Lemon Sha in Japanese has been an importer/rep of Leica for many years. They specialize in Leica, Hasselblad, Linhof, Rollei, etc. Their offering of Leica is the best.

But the original poster, Andrew Stanbridge, is interested in Mamiya and Hexar. Where in Tokyo should he go?

Which Mamiya bodies or lenses are you interested in, Andrew?

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 02 May 2007 19:05 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
I skip the places in Ginza, some simply won’t serve foreigners. Check out around Shimbashi station, both Ohba Camera and Shimbashi Camera are friendly, better service, better prices.

by [former member] | 02 May 2007 21:05 | Seattle, United States | | Report spam→
Ohba Shokai and Shimbashi Camera are two stores near Shimbashi Station as Stuart says. Their pricing might be between Ginza prices and those big stores like Fujiya and Sanpou. They like to deal with almost new cameras and lenses, so their prices are higher.

I have copies of several back issues of “Asahi Camera,” one of two major photography magazines in Japan. They advertize at the end of each issue. I purchased my Olympus 180mm F2.8 lens at Ohba several years ago.

I note that Ohba is the one which carries Konica Hexars and a lot of medium format Mamiya’s, RB, RZ, 645, 6, presumably more new stuff now.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 02 May 2007 21:05 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
I am also looking for a used Mamiya 6 with a 50mm/f4 lens from retailers in Tokyo. I am based in Beijing but have friends in Japan who would ship it for me. Does anybody have any useful links to retailers selling the above!??

Many thanks

Adam

by Adam Dean | 03 May 2007 05:05 | Beijing, China | | Report spam→
Adam,
Sanpoh is cheap. http://www.sanpou.ne.jp/itemsearch.cfm
On the left hand side is a scroll box go to マミヤ then hit the blue button to search. The mamiya 6 with a 75mm are around 115000 yen

Heres a link to the Mamiya page at Map camera.
http://www.mapcamera.com/sho/search.php?reset=1&maker_id=Mamiya&genre_id=1&MODE=M_VIEW&ACT=A_THUM

I think Sanpoh is better than Map. Map service can be pretty slack.

by Bruce Meyer | 03 May 2007 06:05 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
Sanpou’s Mamiya 6’s are all ranked as B, and as such may not be in good cosmetic condition.

I don’t know when Stuart was at Shimbashi Camera, but they have moved out of its Shimbashi location. They have a web presence.
http://www.shinbashi-camera.com

Also Ohba has their website:
http://www.ohbacamera.com

Their prices of the Mamiya 6Mf are considerably higher, but they stock those in like-new condition. Both Ohba and Shinbashi-Ichi Camera (changed from Shinbashi Camera) have Konica Hexar RF in stock, which are about 89,000 Yen.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 03 May 2007 10:05 (ed. May 3 2007) | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks both of you for the links and advice…

Adam

by Adam Dean | 03 May 2007 10:05 | Beijing, China | | Report spam→
Hi All,

I thought I would chime in. Someone mentioned Map Camera
in Nishi Shinjuku. I can recommend that. Another, Tomoko
maybe, mention Lemon Camera or Lemon Sha in Ginza. I have
done business with them. They are very good.

Lemon may have slightly better quality equipment but Map
has more equipment.

Those two are a good start. In Ginza there is also a
small shop I think called Shimizu, I think. They are
not bad.

Stay away from Lucky Camera on the east side of Shinjuku
Station, not far from Gap.

Best,

James.

by [former member] | 03 May 2007 15:05 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
I’ve bought some second hand cameras at Map Camera in Shinjuku and everything has worked well. No problem at all. As James writes, there are also some good small shops in Ginza. But Map Camera has almost everything you could look for. abrazos,

by [former member] | 03 May 2007 15:05 | Madrid, Spain | | Report spam→
James,

Did you have a bad experience with Lucky Camera? I had a positive experience with the store. I spotted an Olympus 35-80mm/2.8 in very good condition although Lucky Camera mainly deals with Leica.

Tomoko

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 03 May 2007 15:05 (ed. May 3 2007) | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
I bought a M6, a M4P and a variety of lenses from Lucky in Shinjuku and never had a problem with them. They also gave me a very good deal on when I sold them a Nikon F3T, curious as to what the problem was with them…

by [former member] | 03 May 2007 16:05 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
Tomoko

As you know I am also looking for a Mamiya 6. You say that the gear Sanpou has is battered.

Can you let me know which is the best place to look for Mamiya 6 out of all the above. I have a friend in Tokyo who is prepared to purchase the gear for me but I would be good to know where to direct him.

Adam I hope we both find good equipment. You won’t be disapointed with the 6. Assuming you have not already used one. The lens are crisp and the camera has a bright viewfinder which makes focussing quick.

Take a look at these images….all shot on a Mamiya 6 with a wide angle lens. http://www.markseager.com/lebanon_destruction.htm

by [former member] | 03 May 2007 16:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Mark,

I would not call the condition of Sanpou’s Mamiya 6’s as battered. I am only saying that right now Sanpou’s stock with respect to the Mamiya 6 is being ranked as B. According to the website description, the B ranking does indicate more use, and the store would not recommend selling with sights unseen. It has been several years since I bought my Mamiya 6 from Sanpou, so I don’t remember how mine was ranked. I bought mine at the store.

I note that Sanpou’s Mamiya 6’s are all Mamiya 6MF. MF means multiformat and the exposure dial has been updated. It is better to buy a 6MF rather than the plain 6. Even if you don’t want the multiformat function it is better to have a newer camera. The viewfinder is a bit crowded, though, because of the marking of three formats.

My experience of buying the Mamiya 6/6MF is limited to only two bodies at Sanpou and Fujiya. Sanpou’s advantage is a longer warranty period of 12 months. Most stores give only 90 days to 6 months. Ohba gives 90 days.

Since you are willing to buy the MF with the standard lens, you can ask your friend to test-drive the camera. As I said before in another thread, it is also possible to have it evaluated at the Mamiya Service center. They will do this free. The mechanically good condition is a key to getting a used camera, I think.

It is really up to your budget and your Japanese friend’s expertise in buying cameras in Tokyo.

I might add a little to the above. With both of my Mamiy 6/6MF, I had the cameras repaired through the store’s warranty coverage. With my purchase at Fujiya, the cosmetic condition was not bad, but there was a mechanical problem with my first purchase and I got it replaced with another body. This second body had a problem when I was using it here in the US.

My purchase at Ohba included a motordrive for the OM. I have a record of repair of this item at Olympus in Tokyo, but I cannot recall whether I managed to get it repaired under warranty. I also had a problem with a macro lens or a macro adapter once which I purchased at one of Shinjuku used camera stores. By the time I realized it was a mechanical problem with the adapter, the warranty period was over.

Therefore you always take a chance in purchasing used camera/accessories. The store cannot test each camera with film, so therefore they give warranties to customers. In Tokyo used camera stores have a contract through their used camera store association to get a discount in repair with camera manufacturers. I was told about this at Lucky Camera if I I remember correctly.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 03 May 2007 16:05 (ed. May 3 2007) | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Mark,
Generally the gear here is pretty good. In general a lot better than the gear I have seen in the UK or NZ. Some hobbists buy gear for a while then ditch it for more up to date gear quite quickly. Check out the links posted above if you have a friend overhere then they can check the used gear out for you. But in general I have been shocked by the quality of used gear overhere compared to gear I have seen in other places (touchwood some of it is like new ). So in general I think you can safely purchase reasonable gear at a good price. Of course have a friend check it out for you as there are a few rip-off merchants overhere sometimes. Good luck.

by Bruce Meyer | 03 May 2007 18:05 (ed. May 3 2007) | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→
Mark,

If I were in your boat, I would be patient, and wait for a Mamiya 6MF in better cosmetic condition to show up at Sanpou. They do have a 12-month warranty, and that helps if your purchase develops problems after all the checks. I had a another purchase at Sanpou (Actually a few more lenses including a G4/50L for the Mamiya 6/6MF). This was only a flash, but twin macro flash so it has more electronics to go with it. The cosmetic condition was very good. I had the flash checked over at Olympus (free check does not carry any warranty, and it is just their service), and I have never had any problems with the flash.

Sanpou can have camera bodies/lenses in better cosmetic condition at a competitive price. If you can wait, you might find a better deal.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 03 May 2007 21:05 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks guys.

Tomoko I am going to send a link from this thread to my friend in Tokyo.

I am not so bothered about the cosmetic condition as long as the camera functions well and the lens is in good order.
I do try and stay away from very worn looking kit as it usually suggests it has been slogged without much care.
My father was a carpenter. He always used to say look after your tools and they will look after you.
As you know not much can go wrong with a Mamiya 6. Very simple camera.

by [former member] | 03 May 2007 22:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
With both of my Mamiya 6, 6 and 6MF, I had minor, but annoying problems.

I had them repaired on the store warranties with my purchases, which were payed by the stores, which amounted to 25,000 Yen with the M6 and 11,500 Yen with the M6MF. Then I still had problems, and took the cameras back to the store for further repairs under the repair warranty by Mamiya. I have to admit, however, it was partially due to the fact that I was not familiar with the camera then, and I used the 35mm panorama adapter with the 6MF, which might have put the stress on the film-winding mechanism.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 03 May 2007 23:05 | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
There is a similar issue with the Mamiya 6. If you engage the shutter curtain to blind to change len’s it also puts stress on the shutter. Sometimes the wind on would lock. I discovered the little pen button near the winder. If you press this little button with a pen nib it releases the shutter. It happened to me several times and eventually it dislodged the mechanism on the lens. I had to get the lens repaired and calibrated. This is why I want another Mamiya 6 so I don’t have to change the lens when it’s loaded.

It’s not a regular problem but it does happen.

by [former member] | 03 May 2007 23:05 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
With my Mamiya 6, the problem was the slipping film forwarding mechanism. Mamiya replaced a clutch spring, whatever that is. Then with the same Mamiya 6, I had a problem of not being able to release the shutter. The shutter unit was replaced.

With the Mamiya 6MF, the problem was not being able to wind forward after the film was all exposed. Mamiya replaced several small parts including a clutch spring. The second repair on the same body included some base plate replacement.

I forgot to mention that a costly repair (to the store) was the camera back, which was replaced and the LED display, which indicates out of range over exposure values when it is not the case. It turned out that the TV PC unit has a problem and either was replaced or cleaned up. The camera was behaving like this sometimes when I first got it, but I did not know at first its erratic behavior had something to do with the camera, not by my exposure settings.

In Japan you cannot return your purchase when you change your mind because of the cosmetics, etc. You can return your purchase only when the camera was not working within the first ten days for a full refund. After ten days, you have to have your purchase repaired on the store warranty.

You can opt to have it repaired on warranty even within the ten day period, but you have a choice to return the camera to get your money back and go to another store. There are enough stores around in Tokyo. Competitions among the stores might make some stores to offer a longer warranty period to retain that customer.

by Tomoko Yamamoto | 04 May 2007 00:05 (ed. Jun 14 2007) | Baltimore, MD, United States | | Report spam→
I will put up Fujiya in Nakano for second hand and Sanpou Camera http://www.sanpou.ne.jp/ for new

by Geoff Johnson | 07 May 2007 14:05 | Tokyo, Japan | | Report spam→

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Participants

Andrew Stanbridge, Photographer Andrew Stanbridge
Photographer
Addis Ababa , Ethiopia
Hanna Silbermayr, Journalist Hanna Silbermayr
Journalist
Vienna , Austria
Tomoko Yamamoto, Multimedia Artist Tomoko Yamamoto
Multimedia Artist
Vienna , Austria ( VIE )
Masato Kubo, documentary photographer Masato Kubo
documentary photographer
Tokyo , Japan ( NRT )
Adam Dean, Freelance Photographer Adam Dean
Freelance Photographer
(Panos Pictures)
Beijing , China
Bruce Meyer, Photog/teacher Bruce Meyer
Photog/teacher
Tokyo , Japan
Geoff Johnson, Photographer Geoff Johnson
Photographer
(Tokyo Japan)
Tokyo , Japan ( NRT )


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