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What camera shops to trust in Tokyo
Old 06-23-2018   #1
itosanico
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What camera shops to trust in Tokyo

Hello,

I am new to this forum and I hope to gain more knowledge about rangefinders. I have been taking pictures since I was little. Starting with a point and shoot; moving to a SLR and now I am using a mirrorless system and film SLRs. I am now looking to get my first rangefinder, and leaning towards an M5. I am visiting Tokyo in the near future and did my research about shops around Tokyo which will carry Leicas. My question is:

what will be a good price for it?

I am aiming for a fully working Leica M5 (I don't mind a non-working meter.)

And what shops do you recommend? I might miss some.

Thank you so much
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Old 06-23-2018   #2
lynnb
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Here's one reputable store - MAP Camera (you can also buy online from them).
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Old 06-23-2018   #3
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Start with this ...

https://www.japancamerahunter.com/20...hopping-guide/

I like Alps-do camera and Syuukou. I bought my BP M4 at Syuukou.

Prices in Japan are not cheap, but fair. The selection of rare and excellent condition cameras is incredible. If you can’t find a perfectly functioning M5 in mint cosmetic condition in Tokyo, you won’t find one anywhere else in the same period of time.

Cheers

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Old 06-23-2018   #4
Deardorff38
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You'll find unparalleled selection for Leica gear in Tokyo. We are talking high rent downtown though, & you'll definitely have more choice of M5s than anywhere else. I found all the shops i've visited to be very knowledgeable and professional. Without a doubt you'll be able to find a mint-in-box or a 50th anniversary version. They tend to price very much according to condition. I think you'll find prices comparable to European specialist Leica dealers. Roughly $600 for a early version with a non-working meter to perhaps $1700 for a mint in box later version
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Old 06-23-2018   #5
itosanico
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Will the dealers carry cameras that have been checked and maybe even tuned? For a fully functional M5, should I be wanting one that has been adjusted?
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Old 06-24-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itosanico View Post
Will the dealers carry cameras that have been checked and maybe even tuned?
Case by case. You're going to have to ask and confirm with the shop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by itosanico View Post
For a fully functional M5, should I be wanting one that has been adjusted?
Do you know how to check a camera by yourself? If you do, great. You may find a decent deal with a bit of luck. If you don't, you're probably better off buying one that's been overhauled, but you'll likely have to pay more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
You'll find unparalleled selection for Leica gear in Tokyo.
Perhaps compared to elsewhere, but there's never many (or any) when you actually go looking for something

Map Camera (as suggested above) is a very reliable store, but they have no Leica M5s for sale at the moment (link).
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Old 06-24-2018   #7
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For example ...

http://www.syuukou.com/camera/leica/post_8.html

J
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Old 06-24-2018   #8
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.... and a few more to ponder

http://camerafan.jp/itemlist.php?m=L...965952617&md=1
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Old 06-24-2018   #9
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Just out of interest, what made you decide on an M5? Although they have a group of avid admirers, they're a big handful compared to the classic M? Fewer repair parts in the long run....lens restrictions because of the swing out meter arm? Have you considered an older M6 (still has the meter) or an M4-2 (perhaps the least expensive).
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Old 06-24-2018   #10
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I would find an M5 with working meter (and check to see if it has been updated to use modern batteries). Because one of the reasons to get an M5 is the fantastic spot metering system.
The post above that mentions lens restrictions.. Just avoid collapsing lenses that can collapse (the ones I have I never collapse anyway) and 4/21mm and 3.4/21mm Super Angulons, early pre - 2 314 928 serial no.2.8/28mm Elmarit.

I use all the film Ms, and the M5 is my favourite. Ok, one of my favourites..

What I have noticed about the M5 is that it is used by photographers, not as a necklace like many other M owners do with their non-M5 Leicas. i.e. they have them to show, not use.
You can tell who those are - they are the ones that just focus on how the M5 looks, not what it can do.
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Old 06-24-2018   #11
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Huss, I've used M cameras since 1968 & to some degree i think they're like cars or other tools.... you prefer the way one handles over another. The M5 was an outlier. Yes it has its advantages....things one person might prefer. I never took to the size or the way it was a handful compared to M2 - 4 et al. That's my preference & opinion. And you're entitled to yours. As far as your necklace comment...that's a load of bull. I'm sure you look much more like a photographer on Venice Beach....
& the question was asked to the OP regarding what made him think about buying an M5....
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Old 06-24-2018   #12
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Helen Hill's significant part of photography was done with M5. And some of it was under difficult light.

If I wouldn't be so patriotically and sentimentally attached to ELC gear, I would take M5 over M6. I have seen M6 and was miss taken it with Zeiss Ikon. .
Technically and artsy M5 with 5A 50 1.1 is better kit comparing my ELC 50 Cron and M4-2. And if it is good for Helen, it is good for me.
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Old 06-24-2018   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
Huss, I've used M cameras since 1968 & to some degree i think they're like cars or other tools.... you prefer the way one handles over another. The M5 was an outlier. Yes it has its advantages....things one person might prefer. I never took to the size or the way it was a handful compared to M2 - 4 et al. That's my preference & opinion. And you're entitled to yours. As far as your necklace comment...that's a load of bull. I'm sure you look much more like a photographer on Venice Beach....
& the question was asked to the OP regarding what made him think about buying an M5....
Sorry you thought the necklace comment was directed at you. Must have struck a nerve.
But I do appreciate the Venice Beach comment directed at me...

It's directed to the Leica necklace wearers out there. We know who they are. The ones that like having a Leica but don't actually take pics. And obviously that is the majority of owners, if it wasn't Leica would not be able to get away w/ its atrocious customer service (6 months for a repair! Cool!)

Currently I use M3s, M4-2, M-A, M7, M5, MdA... The M5 is freakin' awesome but I would not bother with one if the meter did not work. As then most of the point of having one disappears.
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Old 06-24-2018   #14
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Huss, I've owned an M5, more than a few CLs & CLEs (back when they were 5-10 yrs old). Personally I wouldn't buy an expensive 43 yr old camera with electronics, battery compatibility issues or Cds selenium cells on a moving arm. Nor would I recommend one to to a prospective new rangefinder user. I'm with you on the Leica authorized service....let's not start talking new very expensive digital cameras. I think it's laughable. In the last 6 months in looking for a small camera, I pondered a CL (film) again...& ended up buying a Leica iii instead (& happy with the choice). I'm a huge fan of old mechanical cameras. I just see an M5 as an expensive niche camera,(albeit a finely made one) that's 43 yrs old & sooner or later bound to have parts supply problems. I was just wondering how someone who hasn't used a rangefinder camera arrives at the odd (to me) decision of buying an M5 in Tokyo. If someone asked me about how to experience the quintessential Leica experience, i'd most definitely suggest an M2,M3,M4 (& variants) M6 (inexpensive by Leica standards used, w/meter & still lots of parts) or an MP (high $ choice). If you buy a clean M5 at Tokyo or Vienna prices and change your mind you may have long wait to re-sell it...or low-ball offers. & to Ko Fe's comment I'd be more in the Jim Marshall/Paul Fusco/Wm Allard vein than Helen Hil (in my choice of working tools) :-)
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Old 06-24-2018   #15
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When I went to Tokyo, I hired a westerner expat in Japan to take me around the stores. This was enormously helpful. If I were trying to buy an M5 on a short trip, I might well do this again.

That said, from Tokyo take the short train ride to Nakano to visit Fujiya. (Note, there have several store-fronts in town, specializing in different types of gear.)
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Old 06-24-2018   #16
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Tokyo is a very cosmopolitan city, & shop owners deal with Westerners all the time. I had no problems buying cameras back when i was a student and didn't speak Japanese. Prices are clearly marked & items are well displayed. Common courtesy goes a long way with or without language knowledge. Looking for a specific item (like an M5) may entail doing the round of shops & comparing. Japanese business people have studied at least some English though they may be reticent to speak. Camera 'nerdism' crosses language boundaries.
When I was in Japan in February, one shop I particularly enjoyed even though I didn't buy anything there...was Lemonsha upstairs (8 floor) at the edge of the Ginza area.
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Old 06-24-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deardorff38 View Post
Just out of interest, what made you decide on an M5? Although they have a group of avid admirers, they're a big handful compared to the classic M? Fewer repair parts in the long run....lens restrictions because of the swing out meter arm? Have you considered an older M6 (still has the meter) or an M4-2 (perhaps the least expensive).
I have handled other leica Ms, except an M5. M5 is the one I find most interesting and I heard that it is really usable. One of my concerns is the long run usability and repair jobs. Hence, will other Ms be more reliable in the future in terms of fixing?

I want something I can use reliably and enjoyably over a long period of time. Hopefully, an M5 can be it.
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Old 06-24-2018   #18
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I don't understand why you would want to buy a camera in Tokyo. If you lived in Japan, then I think it would be worth the effort because you could return it if had problems. However, if you take it out of the country the hassle of returning it would be a nightmare.


If you live in Europe won't you have to claim it to customs and pay VAT.



I used to live in Japan. I now live in Canada and I wouldn't buy camera from Japan, if I were on vacation because of the potential nightmare trying to return it.


Just buy one local that has had a CLA.
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Old 06-24-2018   #19
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I like Chikuma camera in Ueno, Tokyo. A few minutes walk from Ueno Station. Established in 1946 by t present owner's father. A lot of respect for leica, Zeiss, and Hasselblad there. A lot of Leica cameras, lenses, and accessories.

But if you want bang of the buck, go to one of the three ICS camera shows in Tokyo, held in February, May, and September. Many of the vintage camera dealers are there with a lot of inventory. The shows are held on one, usually top, floor of a department store (at Matsuya department store in the Ginza in February, of example). You will see a LOT of quality items at these shows. Try Google "ICS Japan" for more information on dates and locations.
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Old 06-24-2018   #20
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I travel to Tokyo once or twice a year and always do the camera shop tour. Map and Fujiya are my favourites. All you need to do is pick up one of the photo magazines and the shops often with maps and directions are listed in the back pages. My impression is that prices for Leica in Japan are around 50% higher than US prices whereas bargains abound for Japanese gear. There is a Nikon shop at the Ginza my local friend calls it the Nikon grave yard. I have seen decent condition F6 for under $400.
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Old 06-24-2018   #21
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Word on the street is that Sherry Krauter http://www.sherrykrauter.com/store/, is the person for M5 repairs. She has one for sale on her site at present. If I were sold on an M5, I'd buy one directly from her (you can then check what service has been done to it). $1050.
Otherwise you can google and find lots of discussions & opinions based on experience. about the M5.
As far as parts go, the M5 has many unique parts, & was only made from 1971-75.
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Old 06-25-2018   #22
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Is Tokyo not a great place to look for a Leica, if I do not live in Japan? I take into account all opinions. I study in Melbourne and I can't seem to find a decently priced Leica M.
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Old 06-25-2018   #23
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Itosanico, Japan is a great place to shop for Leica. Compared to online shopping, I think many will agree that nothing beats having the camera in your hands. There are many shops in Tokyo. If you have not already seen it...check Bellamy Hunt's guide to Japanese camera shops https://www.japancamerahunter.com/20...hopping-guide/
In the span of 45minutes I was able to walk around half a dozen shops in the Ginza area. I was looking for either a iiig or an earlier black paint iii. I was able to see & compare a handful of them in varying condition. I didn't want the cheapest one & i didn't want to have to send it away for a CLA. Nowhere i've ever been in Europe had that kind of concentration of Leicas. In the end i found a very clean & pretty iiiF black that works flawlessly.
In the big picture non-digital Leicas are sturdy machines. Over 30 years I probably owned a dozen of them & a recently acquired '68 black paint M4 is the only one I've ever had serviced & they worked flawlessly on high mountains and cold temperatures. That includes an M5, a CLE and maybe 3 CLs (when they were young). I think that's a pretty good batting average.
I do have one suggestion for you though, & that is to phone a Leica repair place in Australia and ask which cameras they service & have parts for. Since you mentioned that your in Melbourne, having to send a camera overseas for service would be a big cost and an even bigger inconvience. Best of luck with your search.
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Old 06-25-2018   #24
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I don't know anything about buying in Tokyo but I purchased an M5 from Sherry two years ago and it has become my favorite film camera. I have been owning and using Leica's since 1974 and had always wanted an M5 since it was THE Leica to own while I was shooting Nikons in college. Well, I have owned all the other film M's except the most recent M7, MP and MA.

Talking to Sherry is always a hoot and when I found out she had a recently serviced M5 for sale, I had her stick a third lug on it and recover it. Then I had her send it. It is presently my only film Leica as I just sold a nice M2 I had purchased from her about the same time. If she has serviced it, it will last another 50 years. And just for information, I sold the M2 to a gentleman in Sydney and shipping and tracking from the US was $80 via USPS but delivered in five days from here in Texas with tracking info enroute.

As I explained over on LUF, the M5 just works for me being the last Leica M made to classic standard before the M4-2, having a TTL light meter like I was similar with back in the 1970's, modern film loading and a viewfinder whose clutter is more then the M2 but less then anything since the M4-P. As the head bartender says on his site, Leica spent years designing the M5 to correct shortcomings in the M2-M4 but they misjudged the market. And I recently acquired an MP240 and the M5 is not any larger. And with the 50f1.1 or 35f1.2 Nokton on the front, it is a formidable outfit both in weight and capabilities.

So, if you want an M5 I say go for it. If you don't need to purchase in Tokyo, I strongly recommended Sherry Krauter at Golden Touch Leica! Or have fun on your hunt for an M5 in Tokyo.
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Old 06-25-2018   #25
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And if Sherry has serviced the camera, it has been returned to Leica specs. Also, she adjusts the battery to use the modern equivalent of the old mercury one's. I have been using my M5 about two years and have yet to replace the batteries.

The M5 is her favorite camera. I just wished I had not waited 40 years to get one. I think it will last as long as any other Leica. But it is not for everyone (actually what Leica is?) I ended up with a black chrome but I wish now I had purchased one in chrome. May have to sell this one for a chrome finish. I think I paid about $1100 for the M5 which had just been CLA'ed by her. Again, you can find them cheaper but if she has serviced it, it will be a good as new camera with a bit of character built in.
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Old 06-25-2018   #26
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Maybe a better question could be are there camera stores you shouldn`t trust in Tokyo?
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Old 06-25-2018   #27
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Ohnuki in Yokohama City has some M5s
大貫カメラ Store in 横浜市

http://www.camera-ohnuki.com/netshop...sort=2a&page=8
(they advertised in Nihon Camera Magazine too, get a copy of Nihon and Asahi Camera b4 you go)

All of Tokyo camera stores are to be trusted... It's the Gaijin buyers are not to be trusted...

If in Australia, i'll buy Rode video mics, and not Senheiser...
Just reporting
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Old 06-25-2018   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taipei-metro View Post
All of Tokyo camera stores are to be trusted... It's the Gaijin buyers are not to be trusted...
Hahaha... Some stores sell on consignment and don't confirm the status... buyer beware is always the best approach. +1 for Bellamy Hunt's (JCH) guide to Japanese camera shops. The camera shows in Tokyo are historically good to check out because of the quantity, but in most cases the prices are higher than if you approach the shop directly.
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Old 06-25-2018   #29
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"All of Tokyo camera stores are to be trusted"...
Definitely not the case. Been living in Yokohama for 8 years now, I've had and heard good and "not so good" buying stories coming from pretty much all the shops, including some of the reputable ones mentioned here.

To the OP...do you speak Japanese? Can you read at least the most important terms about camera conditions? In many of the shops the items will have tags with price and condition well stated but it's up to you to understand what you are buying. I don't mean to scare you: of course you can enter the shop with money and go out with a camera even if you don't speak the language but be sure to check everything you can.
From personal shopping experience in Tokyo and Yokohama and local M5 prices I'd suggest to stay away from anything below the 70-80k yen threshold just to be on the safe side but even then...check, check, check.

In my opinion camera shops in Shinjuku nowadays are always crowded and best avoided in favour of Ginza shops where perhaps the stream of camera shop tourists is a little thinner.
Camera Ohnuki in Yokohama is a great choice in that respect as well, on a weekday (and even week-ends) there are less visitors compared to central Tokyo area, the staff is great and they have good stuff.

Good luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Taipei-metro View Post
Ohnuki in Yokohama City has some M5s
大貫カメラ Store in 横浜市

http://www.camera-ohnuki.com/netshop...sort=2a&page=8
(they advertised in Nihon Camera Magazine too, get a copy of Nihon and Asahi Camera b4 you go)

All of Tokyo camera stores are to be trusted... It's the Gaijin buyers are not to be trusted...

If in Australia, i'll buy Rode video mics, and not Senheiser...
Just reporting
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Old 06-26-2018   #30
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thanks for all the replies. These are really helpful! I do not speak Japanese, but will be joined by a friend who does. Hopefully, I would find one at a great price. Another alternative that I will be looking at too is the CL. Not quite an M, but seems like a great camera.
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