View Full Version : Hello from Tokyo

19-Jul-2009, 06:26
Hi, I've been progressing steadily from digital to film. I started with a D50 after many years without film or digital. I then inherited my grandmother's Rolleiflex 2.8c (purchased new Germany in 1953). Medium format manual has been good for me - it slowed me down. Now I'm ready to move to LF. I don't have equipment yet and am looking to put together an outfit now. I'm going to start with a 4X5 field camera and a normal lens.

My observations so far are:
- There does not seem to much advantage in buying a used camera body, they seem to hold their value pretty well, so I think I'm headed for a Shen Hao or something similar. Even used Tachiharas in Japan are not cheap - and new are at least double the US.
- Used lenses seem to be reasonably priced - even in Japan.
- Ebay is a pretty efficient marketplace, so deals are hard to come by.

The good thing about Japan is that sheet film and developing services are readily available and prices are sort of comparable to the US.

The bad thing about Japan is paying the shipping from the states.

So, anyway, I am hoping to be able to have an outfit together so I can start shooting in the next month or so. Then I might have something more meaningful to contribute.

Vick Vickery
19-Jul-2009, 06:51
Welcome to group therepy! In my experience, the used prices of LF cameras are alot less than new, but that may just be for the types I've bought...monorail and press cameras (I use a Speed or Super Graphic for a field camera when I know I'll need few movements...if I don't go to medium format...such shots as landscape, and my Cambo rail camera for architectural work where I expect to need full movements); but I don't have to worry about overseas shipping charges since I limit my purchases to the U.S. and Canada just to avoid the high shipping fees.

David Hedley
28-Jul-2009, 06:57
It was the secondhand shops in Tokyo where I bought most of my large format equipment, with some new equipment from Yodobashi in Shinjuku. Wide choice, and good value - although this was about 9 years ago. Things may well have changed a lot since then, but I'd be surprised if you weren't able to find something like a good quality Toyo body, and a selection of Fujinon and Nikkor lenses.

28-Jul-2009, 16:52
Well, I ended up buying a Nagaoka 4X5 with a Fujinon 135mm lens and a Fuji Quickload from a very generous fellow Japan resident. I basically have my starting kit and now just need to get shooting.

28-Jul-2009, 21:21
Hi there welcome too from another newbie to the forum.

Envious, that you guys have good selection of 2nd stuff to choose from.
I mainly search mine from online auction and postage from overseas is the real deterrant in many cases.