Shopping: Void Lens (Koenji)

Hello, everybody! Today, I am going to introduce to you a hip place for photographers. It is a small hole-in-the-wall type of shop called Void Lens. The shop is kind of new and they just started around a year ago in the trendy neighborhood of Koenji. It’s a great place for street photographers to hang-out and chill. They mostly cater to the point-and-shoot kind of cameras but they also have some TLR and SLR cameras, too. If you are in town, please visit Void Lens and I am sure that it’s going to be worth your time!

IMG_7323This is the storefront of Void Lens. It’s very easy to miss because it’s situated between the bars and restaurants and you will never think that there’s anything camera-related here. There’s no signboards to tell you what shop it is but the cameras caught my attention. More

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Repair: Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! I just had some old-style ramen with my family this afternoon. It’s not the same as what people are used to these days and its taste hark back to pre-war years. I enjoyed the simplicity of the taste and lightness of the soup. It showcased the bare-basics of ramen very well that you don’t need to add anything more to make it delicious. Today, I am going to show you a lens that’s not quite old but it has faded into obscurity for some of the younger photographers who prefer what’s “cutting-edge”. This lens will surely be a keeper if you know how to use it and I will teach you how in this article.

Introduction:

We are going to talk about the legendary Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 Ai-S and this is the final lens of the popular 105/2.5 family of lenses. This lens got its fame because this was supposedly used to capture the photo of The Afghan Girl. It’s the final and best version of a long line of lenses, I say it’s the best (optically) because it has the best coatings used and it has that very useful built-in lens shade. It is a very nice lens to hold because it feels dense despite it’s compact size, this thing is going to last you more than a lifetime if you take care of it.

IMG_2517The Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 AI-S lens gives you the impression of quality and reliability when you hold it in your hand. It inspires confidence with its very well-built barrel. It’s the real deal, a lens that was made for professionals to use in and out of the conflict zones.
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Shopping: Chuko Camera Box (Shinjuku)

Hello, everybody! Today, I will introduce to you one of Shinjuku’s secrets! It’s not a secret for local photographers but it is relatively unknown to many travelers and that is Chuko Camera Box (中古カメラBOX)! Chuko Camera Box can be difficult to find because of their location at the basement but once you have found it, you may never get out of the shop! I have been a customer for years because the shop always has something for me. If you’re visiting Tokyo, make sure that you go there and pay them a visit!

IMG_7300This is how the shop’s entrance look like from the street. It can be very hard to spot since it’s located at the basement and the tiny sign is the only thing that will tell you where the shop is located. Many people miss this shop because of this. More

Shopping: Sampo Camera (Meguro)

Hello, everybody! This is the first camera shopping article for 2018! I would like to start it by introducing you to Sampo Camera (三宝カメラ)! I used to visit their shop regularly but I now live a bit too far from their shop so I only go there if I’m in the mood. They are one of the best used camera shops in the business and they carry plenty of good stuff in their shop. Their inventory is also priced competitively by Japanese standards so their prices rival that of the shops in Shinjuku. If you are in the area or just visiting Tokyo then I will recommend that you drop by for a visit. A bonus for people who drive is that they have a parking area beside the shop and you can park there for free if you’re shopping.

IMG_7277This is the store front of Sampo Camera. They moved their shop from across the street. It is a very nice and spacious shop and they even have a space for smokers outside! Check the ashtray and the seats, this is my kind of shop! Pass me the lighter, please. More

Repair: Nikon SP 3/3

Hello, everybody! I’m glad that you have followed me in this series and this is the final part. I will only fix what I needed to do so I apologize if my article didn’t go deep enough but I am sure that this will still be welcome because there is a lack of information on the internet in all things Nikon rangefinder related. Sit back and be entertained by my post.

Introduction:

We’re at the last part of our Nikon SP repair series. Part 1 showed you how to take apart the front and do a quick clean and part 2 showed you how to remove the top panel. This part, we will be dealing with the rangefinder assembly. The Nikon SP can be vulnerable to dirt getting into its optics and this article will show you how to clean it properly.

IMG_4354What a beautiful machine. A clean rangefinder will help you focus properly because you can see the patch properly. The patch on the Nikon SP can be small and fuzzy and that is due to dirt fogging-up the mirrors and lenses of the Nikon SP. More

Repair: Nikkor-T 10.5cm f/4

Introduction:

Today, we are going to look at the Nikkor-T 10.5cm f4 lens! There is very little information on this lens outside of its history so I hope that I can shed some light into this lens and its characteristics when used in real-life applications. This lens was made when the Nikon F was rocking the charts in the very early ’60s. There’s a rumor that this lens was made for Nikon’s rangefinder cameras but it was also repurposed as an F-mount lens to cut cost. It can be hard to confirm this rumor but it’s easy to see where it came from. It looks goofy and is more in-line with ranegfinder design than a proper F-mount lens. it’s a preset-iris type lens like the Micro-Nikkor 5.5cm f/3.5 and the PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5 but unlike these lenses, this lens doesn’t have a real reason for being a preset-type lens. A preset-type lens is where you manually close the iris before shooting because the camera doesn’t do it for you automatically. This weird design and the preset-type aperture are the 2 features that define this lens but there is another thing and that’s “cheapness” and it’s something that many people overlook. You see, this lens was designed to be made as cheap as possible. It was a bad marketing decision because people buy Nikkors for their quality. This lens had a reputation of cheapness that it hurt its own sales and that lead to its very low numbers, making it rare. Fast-forward 50 years and its rarity has made it a collector’s item and the price of this lens has inflated so much that it became a rich man’s toy. Luckily, I was able to find one for cheap. It was sold at a much lower price because of the wear and the old owner made a terrible repair job. It was so bad that even the screws didn’t match! I had to replace the screws with the ones I have in my scraps box! Needless to say, it was a very expensive junk but it has been one of my dreams to introduce this lens to!

IMG_6416The Nikkor-T 10.5cm f4 looks very odd. It’s small and thin but it flares at its base so that it can accommodate the wider throat of the F-mount bayonet. Despite being short, the lens can extend almost 3cm when you focus it to its minimum focusing distance. If you want a lite setup for a leisurely stroll around town then this lens is the one to take with you. It also has a very nice nickname, “Mountain Nikkor”. It got that name because people were linking it to the “Mountain Elmar” of Leica which is an optic that shared a few attributes with this lens. Needless to say, they were both ugly lenses. More

Repair: Nikon SP 2/3

Hello, everybody! We’re now going to begin part 2 of our Nikon SP repair series. In part 1 we discussed how to open up the front part of the Nikon SP and also how to clean and do some minor calibration of the things that you can access there. In this part, we will go to the more gritty part and that’s the removal of the top panel. Our partial overhaul of the Nikon SP is not going to be complete without opening the top panel and any serious work has to involve removing the top panel. This article is not a complete overhaul article but it’s deep enough to cover general CLA for the Nikon SP. Remember, this article is just for your entertainment and education and if yours need attention, send it to a technician so that it can properly be repaired. This is not a DIY kind of thing for the beginner!

IMG_4019.JPGSuch a lovely machine with all those chrome, dials and engraving. Shooting with this can help you improve your photography skills because it slows you down and think. If you’re really into it and want to go even slower then consider shooting medium format film! More

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