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 5000JPY. It’s a steal because I got it for more than 2x less the going rate for these cameras here. Niccas tend to cost more due to their reputation here amongst Japanese camera enthusiasts. It was in great shape but I have to deal with the gunk and crunchy rear curtain. This is a camera just waiting for me to discover it and restore it back to working condition, it’s like “The Sword in the Stone”. 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 that I am using a nice heater that I bought last week. It’s very good despite being inexpensive and small. I can now heat my room and work on repairing my junk gear. Nikon made plenty of great lenses that can be had for cheap lately and most of them are small but capable. I will show you one such lens today, it’s very popular and is considered to be a classic.


The Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S has acquired a legendary status and many people claim it to be Nikon’s best 28/2.8 lens. I am not sure how good this lens fares against the modern one with the ultrasonic motor but I can say that this lens 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 4 decades and not many lenses can challenge this. Just imagine this, a lens that was introduced in 1981 is still being sold new at the present, that says a lot. Who are buying them? Scientists and collectors apart from photographers. This lens is excellent when mounted in reverse for extreme macrophotography and the aperture ring is essential for this kind of work. 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.

IMG_0386The Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S is a very 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 that it’ll focus really close and maintain its sharpness at this distance. This is one of the reasons it is being used by videographers because 28mm is a handy focal length and the ability to focus really close at 0.2m is even handier. You can shoot small bugs at this distance! More

Shopping: Fujiya Camera (Nakano)

Hello, everybody! I am going to introduce to you one of my favorite shops here in Tokyo and it’s no other than Fujiya Camera! We moved to this neighborhood just because I want to be able to come here often. Fujiya Camera is considered by many to be the best camera shop here in Tokyo when it comes to used equipment and service. They are only rivaled by another shop but Fujiya Camera is always ahead because their prices are cheaper. For travelers, you can avail of the 8% discount because you don’t have to pay VAT, just show your passport at the counter and they will know what to do. They also accept credit cards and installments. I was tempted to buy a Nikon D850 here because they have a 72-month 0% installment plan! Good thing I got cheap and skipped.

IMG_7550This is the storefront of Fujiya Camera’s main shop (本店). The ground level has cameras and gear from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Canon, Pentax, Panasonic, etc. They sell both used and new gear here. They are very well-stocked so I’m sure you can find something nice. More

Repair: Nikkormat EL

Hello, everybody! Today, I found some nice things at the “¥100 shop”. I found some good rubber bands and some naphtha for my camera repair. I usually buy tools, solvents and other small things there. Their quality isn’t great but they’re fine for my purpose. I have to save money because I am getting taxed more in my current job and penny-pinching is going to be normal for me from now on. Speaking of ¥100, I’ll show you one thing that I got for ¥100 and it’s something that I will consider to be a real “junkpot”.


Today, I am going to introduce to you the Nikkormat EL! This is going to be the first in my new Nikkormat series (Nikomat in Japan) and I’ll aim to cover every production model so long as it’s financially possible because running this blog isn’t cheap. The Nikkormat EL is Nikon’s first true electronic camera and it has Aperture Priority as its automatic mode. It was introduced around 1972 and it quickly become the backup camera of professionals. I would like to point out that this is very typical of the Nikkormat series of cameras, they’re so tough that pros love using them as backup cameras. One of our readers (Jerry) told me a story about a pro who somehow shorted his Nikon F3 while shooting at Hong Kong but he had a backup camera, one that will not short easily and that is a Nikkormat FT3. They are legendary for their toughness and the key to this is their solid build and the reliable and tough shutter by Copal, the Copal Square shutter. Despite being made and marketed to amateurs and prosumers, the Nikkormat is every bit as tough as the F-series and I will even go further by saying that the Nikkormats are even tougher because it has less parts to go wrong. “Simple is best”, that is my motto in life.

IMG_2297It’s pretty shabby but still presentable in some way. The most important thing is all of its functions still work properly. It’s an electronic camera so the shutter is less likely to give the wrong speed since there’s less mechanical parts and the timing is governed by a tiny quartz crystal (I suppose) within it. More

Warning: Fake Nikon MH-25

Hello, everybody! Today, I am going to warn you about the fake Nikon MH-25 chargers in the market today. Nikon repair expert David Hilos shared some images from one that he had taken apart and we will visually compare what’s different between the real deal and the fake mainland Chinese knock-off. Thanks to David for letting us share his pictures!

mh25aYou can easily see what’s different between the real one and the knock-off. The real one has a slide-lock on one end but the cheap knock-off doesn’t. The shape is also different, it is also evident that the real one appears to be made from better materials. You can tell by simply looking at the LED, print and finish that the fake one is inferior. More

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