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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

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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”.

Introduction:

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.

IMG_2297It’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. More

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 RF

Hello, everybody! It’s a very cold evening now in Tokyo 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 isn’t a problem here. Speaking of tough oldies, I will show you one tough old 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)!

Introduction:

The topic of this post is the amazing Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm f/3.5 lens! This lens was popular back in the days because it’s Nikon’s longest lens for their rangefinder cameras. 135mm is the upper-limit for many rangefinder cameras because focusing a longer lens is not only an exercise if 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 it 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, being replaced shortly by this lens after only a few years of production. The Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm f/3.5 improved upon its predecessor’s design by giving it a slightly faster maximum aperture. It came in different versions and mounts and it can be very difficult to near-impossible to acquire every one of them. I will 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.

IMG_3978These are lovely lenses. and they’re very well-made from solid brass. The chrome one on the top came in the Leica L39 mount. Many photographers preferred Nikkors over their Leicas because they had better contrast, harder coatings and 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 harsh winters of the Korean peninsula and this gave Nikon its reputation for reliability and toughness. More

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-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.
More

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

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