Shopping: 2nd Base (Akihabara)

Hello, everybody! Most of you have noticed that I have been buying some Pentax gear lately. That is because I love the brand, second only to Nikon, of course. For others who love Pentax, I will introduce to you a new shop that has a lot of Takumars, probably the most number of them in a single shop. Not only that but it’s also what I’d call a “concept shop” because it’s a maverick in terms of presentation, it’s not your usual moldy and dank camera shop manned by greying gentlemen.

Introduction:

2nd Base is a shop under the Sanpou Camera group which I have previously introduced to you. It’s their trendy shop at this part of town. They haven’t been open for a long time but they do have lots of customers because they have all the amazing things a film-lover would like, from used gear, film and even chemistry. This is a small corner of film-paradise, a great place to kill your time and get what you need.

This is a well-stocked shop. It looks more like a boutique than a used camera shop. The interior looks trendy with all of the industrial-theme-inspired shelves and displays. It’s probably been in business for less than 2 or so years.

Their website 2ndbase.jp appears to be maintained regularly, look at their inventory to see what they have and how to order what you want. Their website also informs you about their hours, they’re open from 11:00 to 20:00, quite late for a camera shop if you ask me. They’re closed every Wednesdays and at the end of the year. Due to the pandemic their hours can be irregular so please contact them first or check their Twitter account for more information.

Their address is 〒101-0022 Tokyo, Chiyoda City, Kanda Neribeicho, 13−1 or just look for “SEEKBASE” in the map. That map I shared above should help you find them easily. The location is directly underneath the tracks so it should not be difficult to find and it’s directly across the UDX building, a famous landmark.

The shop is located inside a complex selling vinyl records, toys and other collectibles. There’s a small map outside, that should help you find your way to the amazing shop inside.

Look for the shop inside the complex and you will arrive here. It’s beside a model railroad shop, located at the corner. I didn’t see it the first time since it’s obstructed.

This is the counter where you pay for your stuff. Service appears to be great, while I was there the guy in-charge of the shop went out of his way to entertain a would-be film photographer. The customer was curious about using old lenses with her DSLR and the person explained everything to her despite being busy.

This is the coveted junk-corner, there’s plenty of good stuff here. Some of the cameras here are still fine and they could be revived with a decent CLA from a competent repairer.

Lots of nice used glass, from European brands to the usual Japanese names.

What is impressive about this shop is the presentation looks nice, not your typical used camera shop, it’s clean, trendy and organized.

Another impressive thing about this shop is how they take the extra effort to add photos that were shot with the lenses on the display. This helps people who are wondering what kind of photos these little treasures create. This is surely not a small feat and requires money and time to prepare. The presentation is both beautiful and informative, it shows that the shopkeeper really cares about promoting this lifestyle.

The isle also has lots of things in display. Trendy accessories for people who don’t own dozens of cameras are found in this area. I made that statement because people like me won’t be able to dress all of my cameras with the best leather straps and trinkets, I am not His Royal Highness, the Sultan of Brunei.

Of course, everything is presented beautifully. Who would’ve thought that a used camera shop could be so trendy?

There are plenty of Takumars here along with other familiar names.

Here’s the other side of the display. Most, if not all of what’s shown here appear to be in decent shape. You could play with these as soon as you brought them out of the shop if you’re not picky. I overhaul everything that I buy as a rule so I am not as fussy.

Here are more Takumars and some cameras.

Here’s a closer look at the top-shelf. There’s a nice Asahiflex here, a legendary camera. It has an instant-return-mirror, a feature that many people take for granted today but it was an advanced feature at that time, more so for the Japanese camera industry because it was still trailing-behind the German camera industry at that time.

This is what’s at the lower-shelf. The prices appear to be reasonable and the condition of the lenses look decent.

Most of the more-valuable goods are stored in this glass cabinet. I can see adapters at the bottom and some beautiful shiny things at the top.

Well, now we know why these are kept in a locked shelf. Members of the Church of Leica will have plenty to look at. It’s a nice collection and the Barnacks are priced reasonably given their condition.

Here are some medium format cmaeras and lenses. The bottom has some lenses that are in nice-shape.

And here we have our lovely Nikons along with other cameras. Many people thought that I started with a Nikon, I had a Canon T90 back then and that was my first SLR. I had a Chinon even longer than that.

Most of the valuable stuff are encased in a secure glass box, like Lenin and Mao. Rare, beautiful and valuable examples can be found here such as the black Nikon Fs. I’ve always wanted to own a Nikon F3P, maybe I’ll get to own one in the near future.

Now you know why they’re encased in a safe place, some of the cameras here costs a small fortune!

Here’s the rest of the mini-collection.

There are a few oddballs here such as the mirrorless cameras at the top. Cine-lenses and other things can be seen here as well.

There are some cleaning equipment sold here along with some plastic cameras for the hip-crowd.

Of course, this shop won’t be complete without a film-corner. The prices are similar to what you’d find in other shops, I call this strategy the “film union” since every shop will sell these at roughly the same price, this is rigged like the hand-of-god for those who are old enough to remember that.

Let’s support this shop, not only are they helping promote the use of film they’re also increasing awareness about the joys of shooting with old equipment to a new generation of film users by educating the novice. This is a great shop, it is a trendsetter in the industry and I wish that more shops will follow their example.

Thanks for following my work, if you liked this article please share this with your friends so it will get more views. This site earns around $0.40 a day, we are totally reliant on views. You could also support this site, it helps me offset the cost of maintenance and hosting. You are also helping me purchase, process and scan film. This site promotes the use of film so we are all in this together. See you again in the next article, Ric.

Help Support this Blog:

Maintaining this requires resources and a lot of time. If you think that it has helped you or you want to show your support by helping with the site’s upkeep, you can make a small donation to my paypal.com at richardHaw888@gmail.com. Money isn’t 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.

Buy me a roll of film or a burger?

Thank you very much for your continued support!

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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’s name or other information so that the donations will totally be anonymous. This is a labor of love and I intend to keep it that way for as long as I can. Ric.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. naturaox2
    May 25, 2021 @ 15:30:25

    How dare you ask me for a money donation!
    You have cost me so much money over the past several years and now you want me to spend more !
    All kidding aside Mr. Haw , thanks for the informative articles you write . They have helped me and many times motivated me towards the purchase of a certain Nikon lens .
    Nikon also was not my first camera it was a Mamyia msx 1000 . I saw it in a catalog as a boy and wanted it so bad . I was about 11 or 12 I think and had a paper route and saved and save until I saved up $125 for that camera . Which I found out much later was made by Pentax.

    Reply

  2. sheepeck
    May 25, 2021 @ 18:45:06

    Oh, what a nice camera shop.
    That display of the photos taken by given lenses is just brilliant.

    I just find seeing valuable things being locked in boxes a bit sad. I feel like things got worse in Japan. Who would think that stealing things could happen in Japan.
    I remember walking in one pottery shop and I just could lift up and admire in my own hands tenmoku bowl with million yen price-tag. It was just laid out on the table. (But still, Japan is ahead of many countries. 🙂

    I love Japan and hope to get back soon. 🙂

    Reply

  3. Matt
    May 25, 2021 @ 20:21:27

    Hey Ric, thanks for another great article. I will check this place out once we’re allowed to travel freely and visit Japan again.

    BTW, I know you like to spot vintage Nikons in movies and TV shows. I was watching Godfather of Harlem recently and a press photographer was using a Nikon F.

    Reply

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