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I am planning on being in Japan next week on business and was considering
purchasing some Zeiss ZM items as well as a Nikon D700. I am wondering with the state of the dollar will I find attractive prices on these products ?
Any thought would be appreciated.
I have generally found the US cheaper for most things, however if something is new, I think you'll have more chance of finding it in stock in Japan (well, at least Tokyo). A D700 from Yodobashi Camera (http://www.yodobashi.com) will probably not be cheaper than B&H, for example. They may have it in stock, however... (!! D700 is not released until July 25 according to Yodobashi web site for ~$3,092 USD).
Online shop price rankings can seen at kakaku.com (http://translate.google.com/translate?u=http://kakaku.com/item/00490711133/); which is a reasonable resource for comparisons.
"Used" goods there seem to be generally in far better condition than anywhere else I have seen; but you pay for it. Check Map Camera's (http://www.mapcamera.com) web site (it's all in Japanese, but if you search for a specific model, you should be able to get a feel for prices - they sell both new and used). You'll find more "rare" models in Japan (especially at the Leica dealers around Ginza), but unfortunately, most of the sellers are completely switched on and know exactly what they are selling! A crazy bargain will be just as rare as the camera...
Japan is a good place for second hand, they clearly specify the condition of the items and you can trust the shop staff. If you go to Tokio check map camera's shops, they have a lot of stuff, more than the one in their website. In that area there are a lot of camera shops for the collector too.. but as rogers says, there are no bargaings around.
yodobashi camera, biccamera (http://www.biccamera.com/) are like the comercial center for electronics, so you will rarely find second hand there. But they will have in stock almost everyting. For new items (and even for second-hand) the prices are mostly the same in all shops, so you don't need to look in different shops to compare prices..
You may look in here:
Don't forget to show your passport so you can have the 5% consumption tax discounted.
Very simply, your camera shopping in Japan will be better than anywhere else in the world. In Tokyo (you didn't mention where you go, I presume...), there is a lot of "all-in-one" store which has computer stuff, AV, and of course camera, lens and all the accessories. If you shoot Nikon or Canon, there is a heaven...even so, for all of us shoot rangefinder, you will also able to find some small store, I would recommend Ginza, I brought a Summicron 50mm month ago, its price is 10% less than in HK, which many foreigner consider is cheap for camera things already.
Last but not least, don't miss the Leica Official store in Ginza, you can try whatever model of current M that you want, and also lens...hope this help
Another well famed center there is Matsuiyastore on ebay... They have a lot of things but I have no direct experience with them. Mfogel has.
The best bet in my opinion is to contact Jiri Ecer (jiri.e.jp at gmail.com) and ask him to look for something for you. He's a fine, knowledgeable and 100% honest guy. You'll pay about the same or less as the shops and get the quality you desire/ pay for.
Lemon-sha's (in the Ginza) Zeiss Ikon page is here (http://www.lemonsha.com/camera/camera/Zeizz.html) (click on the four links on the page to access body, lens, and accessory prices).
MAP Camera's used Zeiss ZM lenses currently in stock are here (http://tinyurl.com/6h4stu).
Not sure how these prices compare to the US, especially with the exchange rate where it is, but hopefully you can get an idea.
Enjoy your camera shopping experience in Japan. There's nothing quite like it :)
With the exception of Lemon Sha, most of the other stores in Ginza does not seem to have Zeiss ZM gear in their shops.
In my brief walkabout in Tokyo, I would agree that Map Camera in Shinjuku and Lemon Sha in Ginza are probably the best places for both new and used ZM gear. If you can take a short side trip (15 mins from Shinjuku, Fujiya Cameras at Nakano is also good for ZM gear.
Nikon is available at most outlets all over Tokyo.
If you can take a short side trip (15 mins from Shinjuku, Fujiya Cameras at Nakano is also good for ZM gear.
I bought my Ikon along with a bunch of other stuff at Fujiya. I can't recommend this store enough. If memory serves, take the rapid on the Chuo line from Shinjuku and get off at the first stop (or second, cant quite remember now).
Some of the Ginza stores are really cool. The closer you get to Tsukiji, the better. The shops at that end tend to be a little more dingy and the staff friendlier. It seems, that some of the shops tend to cater to collectors more that photographers. You will be able to spot these easily. In my experience, the staff in these kinds of stores are not very warm, or receptive.
I would also check out Miyama camera. They have tons of used Nikon gear. Their Ginza store is good as are their Shinjuku and Ikebukuro locations.
Also, the first Bic Camera on Sunshine Road in Ikebukuro has a great film/darkroom dept. (well, it was in that building a year ago, but two years ago, it was in the second building off Sunshine Road). There you will find almost every kind of film. These two Bic Camera stores (of which there are three in Ikebukuro within a half mile), are better for camera equipment than the Yurakucho store, which is probably the largest overall.
Like the jim says above, Fujiya Camera in Nakano is the place. Best prices in Tokyo and they have a lot of gear, new and second hand. It's definitely worth the trip. Nakano is also great place to do some shooting.
Here is their site;
and a map;
and a list of camera stores in Japan
Enjoy your trip.
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