Shopping: 40th Used Camera Bazaar (ICS)

Hello, everybody! Join me on my trip to the 40th Used Camera Bazaar organized by I.C.S. (Import Camera Society). They have been holding these camera bazaars for a couple of years now and they have been very successful each time. I eagerly go to these bazaars to check for anything interesting to buy and my savings is always left with a big dent! The bazaar is a nice place to see the people that I always come in contact with on my camera and junk raids so I also use it as a means to catch up and say hello to the people and shop keepers that help make my camera adventure fun. Please read along an enjoy!

IMG_8040There are plenty of people this time around. It’s held in Matsuzakaya Ginza so there were many people who attended it because the location is accessible to everybody. The venue is also pretty big when you compare it to their venue in Tokyu Shibuya. More

Repair: NIkkor 135mm f/3.5 Ai

Hello everybody! I’m now busy with fixing Contax cameras for the coming series I’m preparing for you. Contax rangefinders are very nice cameras and they are cheap if you compare them to Leicas and Nikons. They’re cheap not because they are bad but it is all about market perception. If you want great value today for old rangefinders then it’s difficult to beat a Contax. They’re better-built than most cameras of the era but it also lacked some important features which ultimately became the last nail in its coffin. Despite that, they’re great cameras and they are very cheap now. Today, I will show you a lens that is also very cheap but performs admirably for every day use. Very much like the Contax rangefinder cameras, they offer great value for what you pay for and they’re also much simpler to service unlike the Contax which has a reputation for being difficult to service and very time-consuming so some repairers won’t even touch them. Read on.


The Nikkor 135mm f/3.5 Ai is the first major update of the excellent 135/3.5 family. It has remained almost unchanged optically since the Nikkor-Q.C 13.5cm f/3.5 RF debuted. While the optics were slightly tweaked over the decades that followed, the old optical design remained largely unchanged despite the move from S-mount to F-mount until the lens in this article appeared. The Nikkor 135mm f/3.5 Ai introduced a new optical design, it now has a 4-elements-in-4-groups design and it is no longer a Sonnar-type lens like all of its predecessors. I am not sure what the benefits are since all the older F-mount versions are great like the Nikkor-Q 135mm f/3.5 Auto. This is a tough act to follow so I am sure that this upgrade has something significant to offer. Sonnar-type lenses have their quirks despite being great performers and focus-shift is one them to name a few so this may be one of those things that were fixed with this version.

IMG_1510The Nikkor 135mm f/3.5 Ai lens is a good-looking lens and I like it because it’s a practical focal length for general use. It’s also small and light so it doesn’t take a lot of space in the bag. The styling is also in-tune with the Ai lenses’ styling. More

Repair: Nicca 3S (part 2)

Hello, everybody! We are going to finish our Nicca 3S repair article and I’m going show you how to change the shutter curtain the lazy way. This is a fundamental skill that we need to tackle before we get to do this with more expensive cameras and there really is not shortcuts here but to do it first with a Leica clone. In part 1, I showed you how to fix and open up the Nicca 3S for further work inside the camera and we will get into more advanced stuff here so I hope that you will enjoy this.

IMG_7597The Nicca 3S is such a wonderful camera to use. I am loving mine and I am shooting with it more these days. It’s very quirky but it’s fun to use, it’s kind of like a VW Beetle. It is for that relaxing Sunday drive where you can take things slow. More

Shopping: Sankyo Camera (Ginza)

Hello, everybody! I will start my tour of Ginza for you with my favorite shop here and it’s no other than Sankyo Camera! They have been in business since 1957 and I will say that they are one of the better shops here in Tokyo. The shop is a bit far from where I live but I always make it a point that I visit them at least once a month. The staff here are lovely and I have formed a nice relationship with the people here. Check out what they have in this article that I have made about them.

IMG_7853 Sankyo Camera shopfront is hard to miss, they have their own building where you can see the names of camera companies shown at the facade. The building itself is old but I love coming to this shop because they have one of the best inventories here in Tokyo. What you see at the shop is just a very small fraction of that they really have. It is a real goldmine of goodies for the photography enthusiast and I have found many amazing deals here. I can say that they are the best in the Ginza area when it comes to the overall quality (and quantity) of inventory. While some shops here specialize on one brand, Sakyo Camera’s inventory is more diverse. It’s worth visiting when you’re in town. More

Repair: Nicca 3S (part 1)

Hello, everybody! I hope that you enjoyed my article on the bootleg Nikon MH-25. I really don’t tolerate bootlegs because it takes away business from company that made the real ones. Clones are more acceptable because they’re not marketed as the real thing. Some of the clones are even better than the original because they have more freedom to improve on the original design while the bootlegs are just there to cheat you out of your money. It is amazing how such “culture” is being tolerated in China (mainland). Today, I am going to show you a clone of a legendary camera and while it’s not as good as the original, it is almost every bit as good and the succeeding models are in fact, better.


Today, we are going to tackle the Nicca 3S! The Nicca 3S was made by the Nicca Camera Co. Ltd. in the post-war years. It was based on the Leica IIIa/c model and is one of their early efforts in producing Leica clones. These clones became possible because Germany had to give up many things as war reparations and the patents for these cameras are part of it. I don’t know how it got to Japanese hands because Japan was also part of the Axis powers but rumor as it that America gave it to Japan because she has the production capability and the price was also right. Capitalism was clearly at play here and this partly explained how this happened. Now, I am sure that you are wondering why a Leica clone is here in a Nikon site. Well, these clones were the basis of much of Japan’s early 35mm cameras. The pre-war Kwanon (Canon) was also a clone so this says a lot. I can’t begin to talk about the Nikon S with mentioning these clones so it can’t be helped. Besides, Nikon began with the consumer side of things with screw-mount lenses for these clones.

IMG_7299I got this Nicca 3S in a junk box at Alps-do Camera for ¥5000. This is a great deal because I got it for more than 2x less than the going rate for these. Niccas tend to cost more due to their reputation here amongst Japanese camera enthusiasts. The exterior of the camera’s in OK shape but I had to deal with the gunk and crunchy rear curtain. It was just waiting for me to discover it and restore it back to working condition, it’s like “The Sword in the Stone” with me as the boy Arthur and this camera as Excalibur. More

Repair: Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S

Hello, everybody! I am currently not feeling well today because of hay fever or the cold. I hate Winter but it’s something that I need to put-up with every year. Good thing we’re using a fancy heater that I bought last week. It’s very good despite being cheap and compact. I can now warm the room and work on repairing my junk gear comfortably. Nikon made plenty of classic lenses that can be had for cheap lately and most of them are small but capable. I’ll show you one such lens today, it is really popular and is considered to be a real classic.


The Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S has acquired a legendary status and many claim it to be Nikon’s best 28/2.8 lens. I’m not sure how good this lens fares against the newer one with the ultrasonic motor but I can say that this does live-up to the hype. It’s so good that it’s still being made and sold new at the present in 2018! That’s almost four decades of production and not many lenses can boast this. Just imagine this, a lens that was introduced in 1981 is still being sold new at the present. Who are buying these? Scientists or collectors apart from photographers. This is excellent when mounted in-reverse for extreme macrophotography as the aperture ring is essential for this kind of job. This lens can be considered as one of Nikon’s hall-of-famers due to its longevity and design. Its optical quality is excellent despite being an older design and is still relevant today specially for videography once the detent spring has been removed.


The Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S is a compact lens. It looks deceptively simple but it’s one of Nikon’s most advanced lenses when it came out in 1981. This lens uses CRC so this can focus very close while maintain its sharpness at closer distances. This is one of the reasons it’s popular for videographers because 28mm is a handy focal length and the ability to focus really close at 0.2m is very useful. You can shoot small bugs at this distance.