I’m sorry I haven’t posted for SOOOOOOOOO long. I’ve been keeping quite busy and doing well. I’ve traveled a bit and done some photography, but was taking a bit of a rest after shooting quite a bit over the last year. I have been exploring other forms of art which I will post about sometime in the future when I’m able to produce some work that I’m satisfied with!
Today my girlfriend and I went to a flea market. There are many flea markets and antique shops around my hometown in the U.S. and I used to go with my mom and grandma often as a child, so I really enjoy them.
This was my first one in Japan and it was quite a bit like ones back home in the US. Many old everyday items, quite a few pieces of junk, but a few gems here and there.
In general prices in Japan are bad and inflated compared to what I am used to in the United States. This is especially true for anything considered unusual, special, or “foreign.” Used cameras also go for much higher prices than you see in the U.S., despite an apparent healthy (and arguably higher) demand for them in the U.S. (as evidenced by large numbers of people on on-line forums who use film vintage cameras.) At the flea market I was seeing really horrible condition, beat up, and broken vintage cameras with prices of around 6,000 yen (around $60). Mediocre condition working low-middle end TLRs were easily 10,000-15,000 yen (around $100-$150).
So I was quite surprised when I found this OUTSTANDING condition 1954 Ricohflex Model VII for 4,000 yen ($40)!!!!! It is in outstanding shape. The shutter fires crisply, the aperture opens and closes smoothly, the lenses are clear, and the focus moves smoothly and easily through the entire range. I don’t think this guy had any clue what he had. While it seems that this camera would probably sell for ~$60 in the U.S., I would totally expect it to have a 15,000 yen ($150) price tag in Japan given what I have witnessed. I probably would have paid 2x what I did for it too.