View Full Version : New Supplies in Hong Kong

5-May-2011, 22:45
I've searched and found a few threads on where to buy Large Format supplies in Hong Kong. However most are a few years old. I know there is a community there that shoot large format, and basically I am looking for more up-to-date information. Even the information I can find online outside of the forum is a few years old.

I will be in Hong Kong on the 17th and am looking to start a 4x5 kit. I'm looking for wide, normal and tele lenses.

Something like a 90mm, 150mm and possibly a 300mm or there abouts.

I've found a shop off Ebay and their feedback seems good. Although any first hand accounts would be appreciated. They go by afgcamera which I believe is All Good Friends Camera located at 42 Carnarvon Rd, Kowloon.

It really doesn't matter to me where the shop is, as I will be in town a few days. I currently live in China and as far as I know China doesn't have much in the way of lenses. Although if anyone has a line on where to go in China for large format supplies by all means let me know.

I haven't shot 4x5 since college, and to be honest have always wanted to. So, now is as good as time as any.

Thank in advance for the info.

5-May-2011, 23:29
You may want to specify a city or a region in China. Every map I've seen shows a lot more dirt than I care to search for LF gear.

6-May-2011, 05:47
I live near Hangzhou which is near Shanghai for those who would like to know.

Michael N. Meyer
6-May-2011, 05:52
I was just in Hong Kong in February. While wandering about I came across a number of camera shops in an arcade with tons of 35mm, MF and LF stuff in them. Each seemed to have slightly different specialties. I only grabbed the card of one, but there were nearly a dozen stores within this arcade. Find this store, find them all. I only looked quickly at prices, but they seemed reasonable enough--especially given some of the rarities on display (mostly 35mm). Also, I imagine they're open to haggling.

David Chan Company
Modern and Antique Cameras
Specialist Dealer

Shop 15, Champagne Court
16 Kimberley Rd. (next to Mirama Hotel)
Kowloon, Hong Kong

t 852 2723 3886
f 852 2311 2025

Also, while you're there, don't forget to check out AO Books. They have a shop in the IFC Mall as well as a flagship store in Chai Wan--though it isn't the easiest flagship store to find. Worth it though. Don't bring your wallet... www.aophotobook.com (http://www.aophotobook.com" target="blank)

7-May-2011, 20:00
Am looking to visit HK for the same reason, although will be looking for Arca Swiss.

Found this link to a PDF of shops. Anyone know which are good/reputable?


7-May-2011, 22:31

Thanks for the reply. I'll check it out.

I know whenever I'm in Hong Kong I see also see a ton of shops, I just never stop.

I'll be in Shanghai tomorrow to check out that big camera mall with used items. I'll let everyone know how that is.

8-May-2011, 20:01
I've lived in Hong Kong since 1996. In my experience, LF equipment here is overpriced. I can usually purchase something on eBay and spent much less than buying it here, including shipping. I don't understand this, and have asked store owners why their prices are so high, and how they manage to exist in the light of online competition, but I've never received a reasonable answer. Usually, the reply is something like, "If you don't like my prices buy it from eBay." Of course, that's exactly what I do. I have heard that there are stores in Guangzhou that have more reasonable prices but I've not been.

8-May-2011, 21:53
I've seen some pretty reasonable priced items on EBay. My only issue is getting things shipped to China and having it not get "lost" while it enters customs. Usually it's not a problem but as my luck goes I'll buy a 600$ lens only to have it come up missing.

I'll look into this a little more.

As far as being over priced, yeah, I've noticed that. But everything seems to be mint or like new. I got nothing to do for a day or so while I'm there. Might as well check it out anyway.

Thanks for the info.

8-May-2011, 22:10
I bought nearly all my LF gear from Badger, Robert White, KEH and ebay. HK is not a good place for gear except for new digital cameras. If you must buy here then go to Shogun Camera on Lock Road in TST. Shogun is a Linhof dealer and carries Schneider for less than most places including B&H. Shop elsewhere at your own risk. I certainly would avoid that antique dealer mentioned in an earlier post.

matthew blais
8-May-2011, 22:25
When we were in Shanghai a couple years ago, we went to a seven floor all camera mart...tons of stuff from new to used.
There were quite a few of the vendors that had some large format lenses.
If you're interested I will try and get the email for our friend who took us there...I have no idea where it was...

9-May-2011, 00:17
You may be lucky to find this or that piece of equipment in Hong Kong, but I would not count on real LF shopping experience here. There is no real variety and prices are quite high more often than not.
All addresses worth mentioning are in this thread already I guess. I suggest to walk down Stanley Street as well and that's all.
I am not that involved in HK LF life, but the few people I know buy from ebay and similar sources.

To give you an idea I saw 200mm Imagon on display for 1'800 USD (new though) and 4x5 film holders at 50 USD each (used!)

Michael N. Meyer
9-May-2011, 05:46
As a follow-up to my earlier post and in response to Rayt's comment, I should have noted that I didn't purchase anything from the shop I gave the address to or its neighbors and only took the briefest of glances at a couple of prices. I'm only pointing out that they might have items of interest.

My recommendation of AO Books is spot on, though. You'd be remiss if you don't visit it.


9-May-2011, 06:49
There are two large photography markets in Shanghai with LF gear, including lenses. One is across the street from the Shanghai Railway Station (begins on the third floor of a department store-like market). The other is at the corner of Xietu Lu and Luban Lu. Both markets have a very large selection of fine lenses, but the sellers seem to want about 1.5 to 3 times the prices that you might pay in the USA from private sellers. It seemed to me that sellers were a bit more reasonable last year after receiving a plain rejection of an inflated price. Still, neither place is the best source of fairly priced items other than Ilford roll film.

9-May-2011, 07:07
I just got back from a market in Shanghai. The one on the corner of Xietu Lu and Luban Lu, called Huan Long Camera Market.

The good: There are Chamonix and Shen-hao there to look at. The prices I saw for the Chamonix 045N-1 are around 813 USD. Up from the 778 USD on their website. Not bad I suppose. The 045N-2 is 902 USD with a ten day wait.

They had 4x5 film. I was mostly interested in B&W which they had in the "shanghai film" something to practice and burn up with out losing an arm and a leg.

They also had a fair amount of 4x5 lenses.

The bad: Whatever lenses it is, it's probably around 900-1100 USD. Easy to spot that trend. They all have price tags of around 6000-7000RMB and if they don't the sellers always say 7000RMB.

I wrote some prices down. It's hard to get information from these guys sometimes. Lot's of people shop around and never buy. Suppose that makes them not want to advertise prices.

Scheinder 90mm 700RMB 65mm 7000RMB 1077USD
Scheinder 65mm f4 and f5.6 both around 7000RMB 1077USD

Nikkor 65mm f4 6800RMB 1047USD
Nikkor 90mm f8 5800 RMB 893USD
Nikkor 210mm f5.6 3800 RMB 585USD

Fujinon 65mm f5.6 6000RMB 923USD

Sorry it was hard to see what types some of these were. So take it with a grain of salt.

Like most things here in China, there is a problem with me shopping at one of these places. Actually two problems. One: I'm white, I probably got the quote with the white tax included. Two: There are a lot of rich people in Shanghai that will pay these prices or somewhere close without a flinch. Thus keeping the price high for the people who actually know what the true value is.

I suppose that I might of been able to bring them down a bit.

All were second hand lenses.

So I suppose that the only thing I would consider buying there is the Chamonix or a Shen-hao. There is a Shen-hao store there that is pretty awesome. The Chamonix was a hit or miss. I think I'll try to contact the Chamonix factory first to see if I can buy direct. They are only an hour away at any rate.

Thanks for the info. We'll see what I find in Hong Kong.

9-May-2011, 21:23
If you are looking for gear at reasonable prices then sign on to the local Hong Kong photo forums and do a WTB at the trading section. Most people post in English.

11-May-2011, 09:08
I live in Hong Kong and think I know pretty much all the camera places but to be honest, we're pretty starved of LF gear here. When you do find it, it's no cheaper than KEH and quite frequently much higher (David Chan's stuff is always, always beautiful but you will always pay top dollar for it).

On a slight side note, here are some suggestions for people looking for 35mm / MF stuff in HK:

-Champagne Court, Tsim Sha Tsui (All Good Friend, David Chan, and about 4-5 other camera stores are located on the G/F and 1/F of this very famous arcade from the 70s. The aforementioned David Chan has Hong Kong's greatest selection, but at its highest price. All Good Friend (Jimmy) has a decent selection, with decent / high prices. Bargaining is allowed here)

-Star City, Mongkok: 3 floors of 35mm, MF and digital gear. Decent to good prices, some new stuff as well.

-188 Oriental Shopping Arcade, Wanchai: Mish-mash of second hand gear but the main thing here is the selection of video game stores.

-298 Computer Centre, Wanchai (round the block from 188 Oriental): Mostly computer hardware at cheap prices (but not as cheap as Golden Arcade in Shamshuipo) but lately quite a few second hand camera stores have opened. Some occasional finds, some decent prices, but you need to look hard.

-Xuan Guang (I think this is the name) Cameras, used to be on the ground floor of the Kimberley Hotel but this store has now moved directly across the road and up on the 7th floor or something - check the building directory in the elevator lobby to make sure. They stock some LF, both old and new, here, and most of the guys really know their stuff.

-Tin Cheung Cameras (Stanley Street, Central and Tsim Sha Tsui) everyone talks about this place, I have yet to find a bargain. Good for new stuff and expensive Leica / Hasselblad, etc.

-Stanley Street, Central: Mirama Cameras, Kinefoto, Chung Pui, Photo Scientific and Tin Cheung are all on this street selling a random assortment of 35mm, MF and the occasional LF camera. Prices and quality vary according to the time of day and who you know. Good place to stock up on film though and very central, no pun intended...

11-May-2011, 09:36
I would like to add to pixelatedscraps.

David Chan does have a great selection. There is another shop next to David Chan (All good friends) that have a wide selection of used large format lenses. It has a good selection.

The place being refered to in Mong Kok should be "Sim City" on Shantung Street.
Has some film stuff not a lot though. Most of it is digital.
You'll find some decent leica gear on the top floor, as you exit the escelator.

I haven't checked out the place at Kimberly Hotel, but I may take a look some time soon.

Tin Cheung has a complete set of everything. And by far the only place that has a decent understandable website. It is an average price. Nothing to write home about. Out of all the chains, it does appear the best kept. But not always the best deal. (FYI, in my opinion, they sell a lot of large format gear when they were priced at their peak. They never dropped in price)

Where to buy film:
- Photo Scientific on Stanley Street in Central
- Kowloon Photo Service (5 woosung Street in Yau Mai Tei)
- Wing Shing in Mong Kok (They only have Provia 100 in 4x5 format. Everything else is 120 or 35mm)

11-May-2011, 17:22
Hey thanks for the updated info. If anything I am going to stock up on film in anticipation of buying the rest of my gear. There wasn't much film in Shanghai and most was a little expensive.

I did see that All Good Friends has things on Ebay for prices that are sometimes what I could find other places and sometimes a tad high. In anycase we will see.

I'll be checking a lot of these places out time permitting.

Thanks again.

11-May-2011, 19:05
I would like to add to pixelatedscraps.

The place being refered to in Mong Kok should be "Sim City" on Shantung Street.
Has some film stuff not a lot though. Most of it is digital.
You'll find some decent leica gear on the top floor, as you exit the escelator.

My mistake - yes, Sim City!

I did see a Carl Zeiss 100mm f/2.8 4x5 barrel lens the other day but the coating was pretty much non-existent on the rear element. Looked in pretty poor shape. I think it was HK$2300

18-May-2011, 05:44
Today I went to pretty much all the shops that I heard were worth anything. I have to say, uh yeah, I will be buying LF stuff from the Internet. All the lenses I found here were over priced, and they would come down to anything close to what I had found other places. So that answers that question.

I couldn't find AO Books. Is it in Sim City? I found an address there but it turned out to be wrong or they recently moved because it was for sure not a book store.

Anyway if I can get there tomorrow morning I will check them out.

*Never mind I found the address for the actual AO Book store in central.

18-May-2011, 06:40
Just another quick question. What would a mint 65mm f5.6 fujinon go for? What about any other 65mm? From what I can find online they are all about 500USD or more. If that's thhe case then 600 with a lens board might not be bad..

20-May-2011, 13:42
Hong Kong is only good for new stuff, you would have little luck finding bargain even in local forum. Mainland China (Guangzhou/Shanghai/Beijing ) would have a wider and more resonable offer.

BTW, would you be shooting your LF in Hong Kong?

20-May-2011, 22:57
I live in Shanghai and I bought most of LF gears from Ebay and I avoid buying from HongKong sellers. 2nd hand LF are overpriced in China and Hongkong and usually are overrated by sellers. I never lost any stuffs, but sometimes I have to pay tax to custom. I usually shipped my gears to my US friend address and brought back to China when I did business trip to US. If you want to ship those items to China, you may avoid UPS (they almost automatically collect tax for costom), please use USPS express mail or Fedex express mail.

20-May-2011, 23:10
Thanks for the info. All my research points to this. Buy on EBay or some other place and either ship to China or my parents address and have some carry it over or something similar.

Thanks for all the help. Can't wait to start burning film again.

13-Jun-2011, 09:48
If you are looking for gear at reasonable prices then sign on to the local Hong Kong photo forums and do a WTB at the trading section. Most people post in English.

Hi, can I ask what those photo forums are?