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!

Getting there is easy, just follow the treasure map that I have linked above. I imagine that some pirate named “Google” made this for our convenience. The nearest train station is Yurakucho Station but you can also get there via Ginza Station. If you don’t have a smart device to help you navigate through Tokyo then just show their address below to a police officer and they can give you directions. Just print the address out on a piece of paper.

〒100-0006 東京都千代田区有楽町1-7-1 有楽町電気ビルB1

Once you get to the building, enter it and head to B1, it can be hard to find because they are situated at a corner of basement just beside the toilet and a Chinese restaurant. They had lovely neighbours next-door that blocks their shop from view. The first time I went there, I had to get the assistance of the security guard to help find my way. Just like most shops at the Ginza area, they are only open on weekdays. The business is closed during Saturdays and Japanese holidays and they’re open from 11:00-18:00 so please keep this in mind and you should be OK. You can also give them a call at 03-3287-2866 just in case, it’s always a good idea to see if a shop is open first before giving them a visit. Lucky for you, they have an online shop (http://shop.diamondcamera.net) and you can browse the rest of their inventory there. If I’m not mistaken, some of the things at the website aren’t shown at the shop and is either stocked off-site or stored behind the counter. I remember that I helped somebody from Hong Kong find a rare wide Nikkor and he purchased it through the website. I am not sure if they speak English but it’s safe to assume that they don’t but I will try and ask first if I were you.

IMG_9093The shop can be hard to locate if you’re not familiar with the place because the entrance is being covered by the kitchen door of the Chinese restaurant next-door. These Chinese Mainlanders are really something, it has been going on for years. You can see 2 of them doing their thing at the corridor without any consideration for the shop beside them. I’m not sure why the building management is tolerating this kind of behavior. They will hear something from me if they did this to my business!

 

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Here is what’s inside the display case at the front of the shop! It’s filled with things from Europe (mostly) and this will give you a good idea of what’s inside. They have plenty of stuff from Europe and America but they also carry some Japanese brands as usual. They sometimes have rare or unusual things in the shop so it’s always worth visiting.

IMG_9082Walk inside the door and you will see this scene. The shop is no bigger that our room and it’s packed with photography gear that you can hardly move without bumping something with your bag so I advice that you leave your stuff at the door. Please don’t bring luggage or any bulky things inside, I sometimes see tourists do this and it’s an easy way to annoy people. I am sure you know which group I am talking about.

IMG_9088As usual, they have the usual bargain boxes at the shop. I have found a couple of nice or rare things here. It’s safe to say that their inventory has more accessories than any other things combined. If you have sharp-eyes you can see some vintage lenses inside the case.

IMG_9084Here’s what’s at the far-end of the shop. The things here rarely interest me but I check it at times just to be sure that I don’t skip anything by accident and regret it later.

IMG_9083The bigger items are placed here at the counter. If I am not mistaken, I have been seeing this view camera here for months or even years. I guess there’s not much of a market for that even here in Japan. That Petri SLR seems reasonable and it comes with a lens, too.

 

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Here’s some pictures of the things inside one of the display cases. I am only interested in the Nikkors and Nikon accessories here so I don’t know what’s going to be valuable here. I do see some spools here being sold for a nice price. I was looking for some a year ago, I wish I saw these! The shop has a characteristic “old camera smell” so if you love how that smells like then this will be like a cheese-smelling contest for you! By the way, can see the Zeiss Contax 3 here? I don’t know what’s up with the price so maybe you guys can tell me what’s going on here.

 

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More filters and accessories here. If you’re looking for a lens cap for your TLR camera I’ll suggest that you try and contact them and see if they have them. I spend plenty of time at this display case because I don’t want to miss anything. They’re neatly arranged but not a bit organized to be honest and that can make hunting for a great deal more “exciting”. It can also work to your favor because your competitors can miss-out on something great.

 

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There are some rangefinder cameras and folders here if you’re interested. There are also some interesting things here like goggles and books. I don’t know anything about these so don’t ask me what these things are for.

 

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I got this mechanical pencil and pen set for a friend, it’s plated with 14K gold. Engraved with Nikon’s logo, it was probably given to special clients and friends. They’re both made by Cross so I will say that this is a good price.

IMG_9311I got myself a rare Nikkor-Q 20cm f/4 Auto, this time it’s in meters. My 200/4 collection is now complete. What makes these rare? These are the first versions of the lens and they were only made in no more than 700 samples for a very short time before the upgraded version came out. They look similar to these except they have a silver cap at the hood so the hood can “click” into place as you slide it. The silver cap houses the mechanism that allows the clicks to happen via a small bead and a spring. Not many people know about it so these are usually priced very low just like usual Nikkor-Q 20cm f/4 Auto and I got these for no more than $25.00 each. The next time I find another one I will give it to a friend, it doesn’t make any sense to own more than 1 copy of a single item since I am not hoarding anything and I don’t have the space for these.

That’s it for Diamond Camera. Did you enjoy it? I rarely go to this place because I live at the other end of Tokyo so it can be tiring to get there even if it’s just a single train ride for me. I rarely leave the shop without buying anything since they always seem to sell some small trinkets that I need and this alone makes it worth the visit each time I am in Ginza. If you’re visiting Tokyo, please look for this place and I assure you that you won’t waste your time here. The owner is friendly and I always enjoy chatting with him. See you guys again for another shopping article! Ric.

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Maintaining this blog requires money to operate. If you think that this site has helped you or you want to show your support by helping with the upkeep of this site, you can simple make a small donation to my paypal.com account (richardHaw888@gmail.com). Money is not my prime motivation for this blog and I believe that I have enough to run this but you can help me make this site (and the companion facebook page) grow.

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Helping support this site will ensure that this will be kept going as long as I have the time and energy for this. I would appreciate it if you just leave out your name or details like your country and other information so that the donations will totally be anonymous it is at all possible. This is a labor of love and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. Ric.

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