View Full Version : Second-hand Cameras from Japan

Naughty Nigel
14th September 2015, 10:59 AM
Has anyone here bought second-hand cameras or equipment from Japan, and if so, did you have any problems?

I have long hankered after a large format camera, but as a compromise I am keen to try using a Mamiya RZ (6 x 7) for a while, especially as I have plenty of roll film to put through one.

The RZs' seem to be in short supply in the UK at present, but there are plenty on sale in Japan, and a few more in the USA. The prices are attractive and the photographs (if they are to be believed) show that the equipment has been well looked after and is in good cosmetic condition at least.

It seems almost too good to be true to so I thought I would ask here whether anyone had bought a bargain, or a lemon from the 'Land of the Rising Sun'?

14th September 2015, 11:08 AM
I buy a lot of things from China/Hong Kong & Japan and so far had no problems apart from sometimes very slow delivery.

Be aware of customs and import duties that you may get caught for on larger items.

14th September 2015, 12:18 PM
If using 'the Bay', then everything is down to honest sellers. Over the years, like Graham, I've bought from the Orient and the US all without problems. Customs is a bit hit and miss... usually more hit than miss. The goods have always been as advertised.

Some years back I had a major problem with an UK seller, as indeed did many others who basically stole just under 500,000 from a large group. One buyer/sucker, manage to contact almost everyone involved and formed a pressure group. Happy to say it worked, and most, if not all were refunded. What transpired was that the rogue seller had done the same stunt previously and had got back into the bay under another name. His 100% feedback was also a con. After being bitten, I've never used that site since.

14th September 2015, 12:38 PM
Had my first dealing with Aliexpress recently. Other than taking about a month to arrive (expected and communicated up front) I've very happy now said item has arrived (this morning!). Slow post and sketchy tracking information aside, in future I'd use DHL etc, its been good.

Ross the fiddler
14th September 2015, 01:07 PM
I bought my 50-200 SWD lens from Japan & through ebay, but.... make sure the rating is high (100% in this case) & read any negative & neutral feedback comments to understand any issues this seller may have. The lens I got was exceptionally clean & all in great condition & came quickly too. I think a good seller in Japan is a good way to go, but just make sure it is one of the good sellers. *yes


Naughty Nigel
14th September 2015, 01:39 PM
Thank you all for your comments, which all seem fairly positive.

At least one of Japanese sellers appears to be a fairly well organised business, which is comforting.

Quoted delivery times do seem rather slow all things considered, but perhaps the Japanese don't do 'urgent' in the way that we do. :)

But at least if the shipment arrives in good order and as described that is a good start.

Naughty Nigel
21st September 2015, 02:18 PM
To give you all an update on the above, I took the plunge last Wednesday (16th September). It is now Monday 21st and I have a near-mint Mamiya RZ67 II with 110 mm f2.8 ('standard' lens) sitting on my desk!

The camera looks barely used, and was very well packed, so all in all it was a good deal.

I had expected to pay some customs charges, but my parcel must have been waved through the 'green channel'. I often wonder whether import duties on second-hand goods are more a matter of luck than anything else as I have often been charged duties on very low value items whilst more valuable items have got through unscathed!

Anyhow, I have a wide-angle lens (65 mm) and an AE Prism finder following from Japan so I look forward to running some Velvia and FP4+ through my new camera very soon! *yes