Shopping: Fujiya Camera (Nakano)

Hello, everybody! I am going to introduce to you one of my favorite shops here in Tokyo and it’s no other than Fujiya Camera! We moved to this neighborhood just because I want to be able to come here often. Fujiya Camera is considered by many to be the best camera shop here in Tokyo when it comes to used equipment and service. They are only rivaled by another shop but Fujiya Camera is always ahead because their prices are cheaper. For travelers, you can avail of the 8% discount because you don’t have to pay VAT, just show your passport at the counter and they will know what to do. They also accept credit cards and installments. I was tempted to buy a Nikon D850 here because they have a 72-month 0% installment plan! Good thing I got cheap and skipped.

IMG_7550This is the storefront of Fujiya Camera’s main shop (本店). The ground level has cameras and gear from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic, etc. They sell both used and new gear here. They are very well-stocked so I’m sure you can find something nice. More

Repair: Nikkormat EL

Hello, everybody! Today, I found some nice things at the “¥100 shop”. I found some good rubber bands and some naphtha for my camera repair. I usually buy tools, solvents and other small things there. Their quality isn’t great but they’re fine for my purpose. I have to save money because I am getting taxed more in my current job and penny-pinching is going to be normal for me from now on. Speaking of ¥100, I’ll show you one thing that I got for ¥100 and it’s something that I will consider to be a real “junkpot”.


Today, I am going to introduce to you the Nikkormat EL! This is going to be the first in my new Nikkormat series (Nikomat in Japan) and I’ll aim to cover every production model so long as it’s financially possible because running this blog isn’t cheap. The Nikkormat EL is Nikon’s first true electronic camera and it has Aperture Priority as its automatic mode. It was introduced around 1972 and it quickly become the backup camera of professionals. I would like to point out that this is very typical of the Nikkormat series of cameras, they’re so tough that pros love using them as backup cameras. One of our readers (Jerry) told me a story about a pro who somehow shorted his Nikon F3 while shooting at Hong Kong but he had a backup camera, one that will not short easily and that is a Nikkormat FT3. They are legendary for their toughness and the key to this is their solid build and the reliable and tough shutter by Copal, the Copal Square shutter. Despite being made and marketed to amateurs and prosumers, the Nikkormat is every bit as tough as the F-series and I will even go further by saying that the Nikkormats are even tougher because it has less parts to go wrong. “Simple is best”, that is my motto in life.


It’s pretty shabby but still presentable in some way. The most important thing is all of its functions still work properly. It’s an electronic camera so the shutter is less likely to give the wrong speed since there’s less mechanical parts and the timing is governed by a tiny quartz crystal (I suppose) within it.


Warning: Fake Nikon MH-25

Hello, everybody! Today, I am going to warn you about the fake Nikon MH-25 chargers in the market today. Nikon repair expert David Hilos shared some images from one that he had taken apart and we will visually compare what’s different between the real deal and the fake mainland Chinese knock-off. Thanks to David for letting us share his pictures!

mh25aYou can easily see what’s different between the real one and the knock-off. The real one has a slide-lock on one end but the cheap knock-off doesn’t. The shape is also different, it is also evident that the real one appears to be made from better materials. You can tell by simply looking at the LED, print and finish that the fake one is inferior. More

Repair: Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm f3.5

Hello, everybody! It’s a very cold evening now and it’s forecasted to snow in the coming hours. I hope that you keep yourselves warm this weekend and drink plenty of fluids and vitamin C. I used to be resistant to minor illnesses but age has caught on to me and I easily get sick. Some old people are tough despite living for more than 7 decades so age clearly is not a problem here. Speaking of tough oldies, I’ll show you one tough lens that can still deliver despite being around 70 years old. Sit back and enjoy, this is the Mick Jagger of telephoto Nikkors (who will outlive us all and never seem to die)!


The topic of this post is the amazing Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm f/3.5! This was really popular back in the days because it’s Nikon’s longest for their rangefinder cameras. 135mm is the upper-limit for many rangefinder cameras because focusing a longer lens is not only an exercise in futility but it’s also going to be too big for the smallish lens mounts of most 35mm camera systems back in the day. Its predecessor is the Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm f/4 and that is one of the original Nikkors made for consumer photography right after the war. It was heavily-based on the Zeiss original but it was short-lived, that was replaced shortly by this after only a few years. The Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm f/3.5 improved upon its predecessor’s design by giving it a slightly faster maximum speed. It came in different versions and mounts and it can be very difficult to near-impossible to acquire every one of them. I’ll show you some of them in this post and on a succeeding post showcasing a different, earlier version of this lens. This lens is the first in a long line of 135/3.5 lenses that was made until recently with the Nikkor 135mm f/3.5 Ai-S being the last model.


These are lovely lenses. and they are very well-made from solid brass. The chrome one came in the Leica L39 mount. Many people preferred Nikkors over their Leicas because they had better contrast, harder coatings and the Nikkors were cheaper. The people at TIME magazine brought Nikon to the limelight by using them to cover the Korean War. It gave Nikon a very good reputation because their gear didn’t freeze in the bad winters of the Korean peninsula and this gave Nikon her reputation for reliability and toughness.


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

Repair: Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 Ai-S

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


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 lens line. This lens got its fame because this was supposedly used to shoot the photo of The Afghan Girl. It is 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 nice lens to hold because it feels dense despite being compact, 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 reliability and quality when you hold it in your hands. 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.

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.


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 (F-Mount)

Hello, everybody. I was listening to the Rolling Stones as I’m a big fan of the band. Their music still sounds great today, the grit and the sound never gets old. Mick is literally a geriatric now but boy can he still perform. He has the groove and Keith still has it in him. People call him a “living fossil” because he is still going and there seems to be not end to his energy. I would love to have his vitality at that age. Speaking of living fossils, I will show you a lens today that’s both archaic and old even when it debuted in the early 1960s. It is considered an oddity by many Nikon collectors and some find it obscure. I will walk you through this detailed article, please enjoy this.


We are going to look at the Nikkor-T 10.5cm f4. There is little information on this outside of its history so I hope I can shed some light into this weird lens and its characteristics when used in real-life scenarios. It debuted when the Nikon F was rocking the charts in the early 1960s. There is a rumor that this lens was made for Nikon’s rangefinder cameras but was also repurposed as an F-mount lens to cut cost. It’s hard to confirm it but it is easy to see where that came from. It looks goofy and is more in-line older rangefinder designs than a proper F-mount lens. it is a preset-iris type lens like the Micro-Nikkor 5.5cm f/3.5 and the PC-Nikkor 35mm f/3.5 but unlike those, this doesn’t have a real reason for being a preset-type design. A preset-type lens is where you manually close the iris before shooting since the camera won’t do it for you automatically. Its weird look and the preset-type aperture are the 2 features that define it but there’s another thing and that’s “cheapness”, it’s something that many people overlook. You see, this was designed to be made as cheap as possible. It was a bad marketing decision because people buy Nikkors for their quality. It had a reputation for cheapness that it hurt its own sales and that lead to its very low numbers, making it rare. Fast-forward 60 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 purchase 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 did not match. I had to replace them with the ones from my scraps box. Needless to say, it was an expensive junk but it has been one of my dreams to showcase this lens to you.


The 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. Despite it being short, the lens can extend almost 3cm when you focus it to its closest focus distance. If you want a small setup for a leisurely stroll around town then this lens is the one to take with you. It also has a weird nickname, the “Mountain Nikkor”. It got that name because people were linking this to the “Mountain Elmar” of Leica which is a lens that shares a few attributes with this one, they are both ugly lenses. It only has 3 elements, it was popular for lens makers to make 3-element lenses (triplets) for the low-end market and these lenses are usually cheap because they only have 3 elements and their construction usually revolved around cost-cutting. This was at a time when Nikon was already known for its quality and performance so this was really a misfit. It hurt Nikon’s reputation so much that they stopped this economy-driven non-sense and only did it again in the 1980s with the Series-E lenses but they never used the “Nikkor” brand this time around. There was even a magazine article with the title “Why Can’t We Sell This Lens” in a Japanese Nikon magazine back then, it detailed its unfortunate sales history and why nobody wanted it back then. The answer was very simple, it had the overall impression of “cheapness”. It felt like it was made by another company and people would just save-up to buy the legendary Nikkor-P 105mm f/2.5 Auto that’s a lot better and more popular with everybody back then. Needless to say, this poor thing was only sold for a short time. Branding is so important and this is just one example.


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