Report: The 10th Shinjuku Classic Camera Bazaar

It’s that time of the year again! This year’s Shinjuku Classic Camera Bazaar was a held at the usual Takashimaya department store in Shinjuku and lasted from 8/15 to 8/21. It was a week of chaos and shopping and I have found a few good deals here. Read my article to see what this is all about and I hope that I can inspire you to come to Tokyo next year to shop in next year’s Shinjuku Classic Camera Bazaar!

shinjukuThis is the poster for this year’s bazaar! If you haven’t seen my report on last year’s event then please read my article for the 9th Shinjuku Classic Camera BazaarPeople come here from all of Japan and beyond to shop in Tokyo’s biggest used photgraphy equipment and accessories bazaar. It has been going on for years now and it looks like it won’t go out of supporters any time soon.


Shopping: Diamond Camera (Ginza)

Hello, everybody! Some things aren’t easy to find and you must take the time to look for them. They can be buried beneath the earth or under the sea and looking for them takes a lot of time and effort. Things such as diamonds are extracted in this manner and this is what makes them valuable. Today, I am going to introduce to you a hidden treasure mine located underneath the bowels of Ginza near Yurakucho and it’s called Diamond Camera (ダイヤモンドカメラ)! It’s located at the basement of an office block so many people don’t know about it but it’s worth finding the shop if you are looking for some rare things like that little accessory that you have been hunting for years, you can try your luck and see if you can find that here. Even if you don’t you will enjoy the trip to this little shop.

IMG_9092This is the entrance of Diamond Camera. You can see through the glass that it’s packed to the ceiling with good stuff. Their inventory isn’t as big as most of the shops in Tokyo but I do find treasures here at times, some of them are quite rare! More

Repair: New-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 v2

Hello, everybody! It’s still hot here in Tokyo and the humidity is too high for me to work on cameras and lenses so I have a couple of weeks’ worth of backlog that I have to work on once the weather gets cooler. The heat makes me want to cut my hair short, that will also make me look more presentable so I can attract the attention of the opposite sex. I’m married but that isn’t an excuse for me to neglect my grooming. I need a new look so that I will have a fresh feeling each time I go out of the house and head to work. We all need a make-over some time. Speaking of make-overs, I will show you something that had a big revision and it turned out to be a big success for Nikon!


The New-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 v2 is Nikon’s 2nd 50/1.4 lens design for the Nikon F-mount. Its predecessor is the New-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 v1 which is simply a Nikkor-S 50mm f/1.4 with a new barrel design and some small improvements. The new optical design is compact, it is roughly 20% smaller but the bigger news is it out-performed the older design. The new design was so good that Nikon ended up using it up until the AF-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D with new coatings and undoubtedly very minor adjustments to its lens formula. This is quite a big feat because the AF-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4D is still being made and sold as new today! It debuted in 1976 so the design is still being used 42 years after it was introduced! I don’t know when will Nikon stop producing it but there’s still demand for it because there will always be people who will want to use a lens with a proper aperture ring. This lens looks a lot like its successor, the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai and as a consequence many people think that they’re the same lens. You can think of it that way but there are small variations that make them different and these differences will only matter to collectors.

Before I forget and if it didn’t seem obvious to you, I am calling this lens the v2 because it shares the same name with the older one which I am calling the v1, people get confused when talking about this lens because they’re both called New-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 or some people call them Nikkor 50mm f/1.4K. This confuses people and even a few collectors, too! It can get so confusing that some people aren’t even aware that either version existed. It’s common to get into a discussion where people will call the New-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 v2 as the Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 Ai. Some people will even get into arguements about which lens is the topic of their conversation and realizing that they’re talking about the same lens.

IMG_2885The New-Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 v2 is a fine lens. I got this one as a junk with seized helicoids, the optics were also dirty as you can see from the picture above. The good news was the coating is intact and you can see its beautiful blue tint clearly. Nikon’s coatings are tough, the technology was developed during the war to coat periscopes for submarines.


Repair: Nikon S (Part 3)

Here we are at the last part of our Nikon S series. In part 1 and part 2, I showed you how to take this camera apart and put it back together and I will show you how to replace the shutter fabrics in this part. By this time, there are many Nikon S camera with bad shutter curtains that needs to be replaced. Age and wear have turned their shutters to brittle and useless strips of fabric so it’s only fitting that we do a proper shutter replacement so they will still function properly for the years to come. These cameras will keep on shooting by the day we have breath our last because they are simple and that’s just part of the appeal of using a classic camera. Despite its cheap reputation when it came out, there is nothing cheap about the Nikon S because it earned its name in the Korean War which was one of the harshest conflicts in modern times. Its rivals froze and stopped working while these kept shooting in the brutal Korean winter. The toughness of these cameras allow them to survive to this day in various states of decay but don’t worry, they can be restored so long as the they can be cleaned and maintained. This is the beauty of simplicity!

IMG_8649The best feeling you can get is when you have restored a camera back to working order. I sometimes feel like crying each time I see the first developed roll showing that the work I did is correct. Not only have I saved a camera from being a junk but I also saved a part of photographic history and keep it working for more decades to come. Needless to say, this camera may out-live us all if it was kept in perfect working order. More