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

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.

Introduction:

We’re going to look at the Nikkor-T 10.5cm f4! There is 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 early 1960s. There’s a rumor that this lens was made for Nikon’s rangefinder cameras but it was also re-purposed as an F-mount lens to cut cost. It’s hard to confirm this but it’s easy to see where it came from. It looks goofy and is more in-line older rangefinder designs 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 those lenses, this 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 since the camera does not do it for you automatically. This weird design and the preset-type aperture are the 2 features that define this 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 you.

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. 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. 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_4327.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

Repair: Nikon SP 1/3

Hello, everybody! It’s getting really cold here in Tokyo and I have a whole week’s worth of vacation so I decided to write this! There aren’t many things on the internet about this topic so I hope that I can help shed some light on this. Please enjoy this new series.

Introduction:

We’re going to talk about the awesome Nikon SP! This is Nikon’s best rangefinder camera and it represented the ultimate development in Nikon’s rangefinder camera system. The Nikon S4 came after this but it was a derivative of the Nikon S3 and it was made with cost in mind so a few things were omitted. There were prototypes made that will surpass the Nikon SP but none went into production so we can consider this to be the last of its kind. The rangefinder camera system (35mm format) that had so far dominated the market in the years leading to 1960 was met with a big challenge in the form of the Nikon F and the SLR system quickly overtook rangefinder camera sales until it became the the dominant system in 35mm photography. This spelled the end for the Nikon SP but many people still use them well into the ’80s and up til today because of its nice handling and reliability. It was then reissued in 2005 together with the W-Nikkor.C 3.5cm f/1.8 as a kit for a limited time. You can still find the original and reissued ones for sale online and these are never sold cheap and will appreciate in price in the coming decades. The Nikon SP came out in 1957 when Elvis Presley was topping the charts and the Beatles weren’t even a thing!

IMG_4193The Nikon SP is a very handsome camera and many photographers consider it to be the Cadillac of Nikon’s rangefinder system. It’s truly a fine machine but acquiring one in nice shape can be a bit difficult these days but you can get lucky. They do not cost as much as Leicas so their prices are still realistic and within-reach for most photographers. More

Repair: W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5

Hello, everybody! Today is the first day of 2018! I wish everybody a great and prosperous 2018 and I hope that all of the past year’s misfortunes will be rewarded with prosperity this year and everything will be balanced out perfectly. Speaking of balance, we will talk about a good and balanced lens from a long time ago. It was a very important lens in the world of 35mm rangefinder photography. Stay and read the rest of the article to find out.

Introduction:

The W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 debuted in 1952 and was considered to be the fastest lens of its class when it came out. At a time when wide-angle lenses for the 135mm film format were as slow as f/6.3 or less, this lens surely made things more interesting. It was based on an old aerial photography lens made by Nikon for the Imperial Japanese military and it had low distortion and good resolving power. It was then miniaturized so end up with the W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 lens. This is a very compact lens and its simple 6-element lens construction is small and delicate. I’m sure that Nikon could have made this even faster but I don’t know what’s keeping them from doing it since there’s enough space in the lens barrel for a bigger objective, your guess is as good as mine.

IMG_4562The W-Nikkor•C 2.8cm f/3.5 is a very compact lens. If you think that this lens looks similar to the W-Nikkor•C 3.5cm f/3.5 then you’re guess is correct. This lens’ barrel was based on the W-Nikkor.C 3.5cm f/3.5 and handling is very similar between these 2 lens. More

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