Leica Camera Heaven in Shinjuku, Tokyo, Japan

M. Valdemar

Veteran
Aug 5, 2013
New York City
I was watching my son and his friend and took them out for a walk in Shinjuku. Home of dozens of camera stores.

I couldn't do too much shopping because the kids were making too much trouble and touching everything, but I managed to find an original 21mm finder for my Avenon (Kobalux) 21mm lens. About $70.

In one store I almost caused a ruckus when they saw my Hansa Canon 50cm f2 Nikkor circa 1938. I brought it on the off chance I might find a matching body for a reasonable price. They had never seen that lens in the store before in the flesh.

The kids wasted about $20 playing games and then they wanted some very Japanese food.....KFC.

Anyway, I have two weeks to go and lots of shopping and camera geekery ahead.

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M. Valdemar

Veteran
Aug 5, 2013
New York City
Some more pix:
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M. Valdemar

Veteran
Aug 5, 2013
New York City
Yes, I have it and I'm going to shoot with it.

You would not believe some of the stores I found. Some did not allow photos. One store looked like a hoarders basement with literally hundreds of crates filled with unsorted camera stuff just stacked up against the walls. I could spend the whole trip rooting through them. Many eccentrics here and some of them own camera shops.

I'll make it to the Tokyo Nikon Museum next week.
 
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M. Valdemar

Veteran
Aug 5, 2013
New York City
A little preview of the Nikon Museum in Shinigawa. I ended up going earlier than I planned.

There is my shot of my son holding my Hansa Canon mount 5cm f/2 Nikkor in front of the correct bodies. The director of the museum had a look at my Nikkor and told me that he believes my lens was made in 1938, for a military Hansa Canon body, probably Navy.

My 5cm f/1.5 Nikkor is in better condition than the one in the museum. There is an exhibit of many Nikon 1 prototypes, including ones with Leica screw mounts.

I took a lot of photos, I'll post more later.

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M. Valdemar

Veteran
Aug 5, 2013
New York City
I decided to use the Lumix GX85 for shooting inside the museum, for various reasons, mostly because it was too dark and difficult to focus with the Leica M9 inside the museum, and I needed more depth of field.

But these four shots were taken right outside the museum with the Leica M9 and the 5cm f/1.5 Nikkor. In one the kids were making funny faces:
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BrianS

Hall of Famer
Apr 3, 2013
Their Nikkor 5cm F1.5 is from the Second Batch!

If I ever make it there- will bring the Collapsible 5cm F2, 3.5cm F3.5, 5cm F1.5, 8.5cm F2, and 13.5cm F4 with the finder- all from 1948/1949.
 

carlb

All-Pro
Feb 6, 2013
What a blast to have that time there with your kids! Of course that means lot's of time doing their things, with a bit here and there for camera geeking. :)
 

M. Valdemar

Veteran
Aug 5, 2013
New York City
The number of camera stores is insane. They remind me of the old camera show days in NYC, but with 100 times more cameras. The big problem is that everything is in cases and covered with labels in Japanese. Very hard to shop.

Some prices are silly high, but there are many bargains to be found. I don't want to torture my poor kids who have to tag along while their father looks at all "the old junk". I need a day or two to myself to geek out.

I had never seen a "Nikkenflex" in the flesh. It turns out they were originally called "Nikkoflex" but a dispute from Nikon made them change the name.

I wish I could speak more than just a few words in Japanese because the stores are full of really smart old guys who just want to talk about cameras and have a vast amount of knowledge. I mostly rely on my son for translation, but it is hard for him to translate camera names and technical terms. Poor kid just wants to play Nintendo.

I feel like a kid in a candy store, but the amount of things to look at is just overwhelming. Hard to process everything, but I spotted some good stuff for later. I try to buy something in each store, even just a roll of film because I don't want them to think I am just there to look. Bargaining, however, is basically out of the question. The price is the price. I tried. Maybe if I was fluent in Japanese I would have better odds.



 
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BrianS

Hall of Famer
Apr 3, 2013
You owe your son Big-Time!

My daughter would go to the camera store with me -years ago- and announce loudly that her favorite camera was Polaroid because you get the picture on the spot.
 

carlb

All-Pro
Feb 6, 2013
Great trip! Japanese food plate presentation can be just beautiful. These are no exceptions.

(I'd have to find vegetarian options though, heh!)
 

M. Valdemar

Veteran
Aug 5, 2013
New York City
Owner of Lemon Camera, Shinjuku. I took this shot with the Leica M9 and the 5cm F/1.5 Nikkor.

I had examined a used Sony A7 II and told him I wanted to buy it. It was under $1000. I already took out the cash and was about to hand it over when I found out that the Japanese version of the camera did not have an English menu. I was embarassed but had to tell him I could not complete the sale, the camera was unusable to me.

He did not get angry, he was very gracious. I bought a $70 adapter instead so I could at least buy something. I felt bad for the guy.

 

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