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Archive 2023 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?

  
 
Wolfgang1756
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


Hi,

I will be in Tokyo soon and I am hoping to buy a lens or two from Voigtlander and/or Zeiss (ZM).

Any recommendations on a good camera store? Are the prices fixed or somewhat negotiable (i.e. haggling)? Any extra charge for paying with credit card?

Also, I understand that the prices include 8% tax. Is there an easy way for foreigners to get this tax back?

Thank in advance!



Apr 22, 2023 at 05:47 AM
Juha Kannisto
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


Map Camera (Shinjuku) and Fujiya Camera (Nakano) have good selection of Voigtländer and Zeiss M-mount lenses, new and used. There's no extra charge for paying with credit card. You can get tax free pricing in both stores when you are a tourist from abroad and show your passport. The Tax will be removed right there at the store but you probably get some receipt stabled on your passport and have to show the goods at the airport when leaving the country. Tax is 10% nowadays. There's no price-negotiation at all in those stores and the regular staff wouldn't be able to offer any ad hoc discounts.


Apr 22, 2023 at 06:26 AM
Wolfgang1756
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


Thanks Juha! I will be visiting them both!



Apr 22, 2023 at 06:37 AM
johnvanr
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


I actually got a discount at one store because I showed them that another store had the same item listed for less on their website. They matched the lower price.


Apr 22, 2023 at 06:47 AM
Juha Kannisto
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


It's rather unusual to find any price-matching in major Japanese stores (but when buying more expensive things like TVs and expensive house appliances there can be some room for price-negotiation). Small discount stores that could discount more wouldn't do tax free sales. Most stores actually have very similar prices for new camera gear, e.g. Map and Fujiya prices are typically identical for new lenses but used lens prices can have much more variation. Other major chain stores like Bic Camera, Yodobashi Camera etc. typically have 10% higher prices than Map & Fujiya but they grant 10% value in store points to buyers who have their bonus points card instead and those points can be used for future purchases.


Apr 22, 2023 at 07:41 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


My last visit to Japan was about 8 years ago and definitely go by what Juha has already mentioned, though I believe you'll no longer have purchase receipts stapled to your passport for inspection on departure. Instead, it will be processed electronically. If you haven't already checked, there's good general info about the process here.

Regarding lens purchases: I'll add that when I bought a VM lens from Map, there was no ability to 'try before you buy' in respect to determining if there were any performance problems that could be determined in-camera (such as obvious RF mis-calibration, tilted plane of focus, etc). Staff will politely ask you to pay first before you're allowed to open the box. Pretty much forget about trying a few copies in-store and picking the best one.

Regarding credit card payment: when I was there, I recall one of the bigger stores (perhaps Yodobashi) had a Visa card promo that gave you a certain percentage additional discount. Not sure if it was a unique thing or if these pop up fairly frequently in Japan...

My impression was that English language support was minimal. There should be some staff with passable English to process the purchase but likely won't be able to assist with complex questions. This will probably be a situation where you have already done all your research, know exactly what you want and simply want to make a purchase.

You'll be able to use your new lenses while you're in Japan, but consumables must be exported before use. For example, I travelled with my partner and she purchased some cosmetics and over the counter medicine. These were packed by the store into a sealed clear bag similar to those you get at the airport when you make a duty-free purchase.



Apr 22, 2023 at 09:51 AM
Ming-Tzu
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


Going to Japan in July. Are the prices similar to what we'd find new elsewhere in the world? Wondering if there's a financial benefit for me to buy a Zeiss lens in Japan versus used on these forums or new in the US.


Apr 22, 2023 at 12:02 PM
BastianK
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


Ming-Tzu wrote:
Going to Japan in July. Are the prices similar to what we'd find new elsewhere in the world? Wondering if there's a financial benefit for me to buy a Zeiss lens in Japan versus used on these forums or new in the US.

There are a few notable exceptions where certain lenses are simply priced lower in Japan, but in most cases I didn't find the offerings very appealing in Tokyo and I have been to a lot of stores over the past 3 weeks.



Apr 22, 2023 at 12:59 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


Ming-Tzu wrote:
Going to Japan in July. Are the prices similar to what we'd find new elsewhere in the world? Wondering if there's a financial benefit for me to buy a Zeiss lens in Japan versus used on these forums or new in the US.


Check Zeiss/Voigtlander prices at Map Camera and compare to wherever you are. I have checked this from time to time and there have been many Zeiss and Voigtlander lenses that were considerably less than US retail prices. It's a reason I bought the VM lens I did when I visited and was tempted to buy even more. Of course this is based on buying new. If buying used on the board here, you're not likely to see much savings. Map Camera's site will list a given product both as new and used (if they have inventory). You'll notice that used prices are not significantly discounted from new, so likely not as attractive an option unless there is a backorder on new inventory. But for other popular photo brands, I've noticed prices in Japan are close to major global markets. In the case of Leica, last I checked prices were higher in Japan.

Also check accessories you might be interested in buying. For example, I found that the price of OEM batteries was a fair amount less in Japan than if purchased in my market.

Due to the Yen's weakness, I believe some brands have recently raised prices for the domestic Japanese market, so it's worth doing research to determine if there are still savings available.




Apr 22, 2023 at 02:33 PM
nikonos6
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


Bastian are you really sure about this ?
I mean just looking at Mapcameras website and calculating the expanses one can clearly see that the prizes are substantially lower in many cases, sometimes 30 -35% .
The low Yapanese Yen plays quite a big role as well here !
So - I would carefully look for whatever one is interested in and make up ones mind -
2 examples :
The Nikon 100-400 Z is almost 50 % more expansive !!! over here in Germany when subtracting the 10% in Tokyo !!
The Nikon 400 4.5 Z is only ( ! ) about 20 % cheaper ( with this 10% taxes off) than in Germany .

I would say many things ( Leica being an exception ! ) are cheaper there in these stores ( Mapcamera , Fujiya ...) than in most other stores around the world probably - of course in relation to the taxes.
But anyway - sometimes really worth it !



Apr 22, 2023 at 05:50 PM
johnvanr
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


Ming-Tzu wrote:
Going to Japan in July. Are the prices similar to what we'd find new elsewhere in the world? Wondering if there's a financial benefit for me to buy a Zeiss lens in Japan versus used on these forums or new in the US.


Depends a lot on the brand. Just do an internet search. I was there over the holidays. Olympus was cheaper, but other brands were the same as in the US or more. If buying cameras, make sure it has the full global language options. Used to be that Japanese cameras only had the menu in Japanese.



Apr 22, 2023 at 07:21 PM
BastianK
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


nikonos6 wrote:
Bastian are you really sure about this ?
I mean just looking at Mapcameras website and calculating the expanses one can clearly see that the prizes are substantially lower in many cases, sometimes 30 -35% .
The low Yapanese Yen plays quite a big role as well here !
So - I would carefully look for whatever one is interested in and make up ones mind -
2 examples :
The Nikon 100-400 Z is almost 50 % more expansive !!! over here in Germany when subtracting the 10% in Tokyo !!
The Nikon 400 4.5 Z is only ( ! ) about 20
...Show more
I was talking about the brands in question (M-Mount lenses) and yes, I am sure about it.



Apr 23, 2023 at 01:49 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


It is specifically Voigtlander and Zeiss M-mount lenses that are a great deal in Japan.

A lens I am specifically interested in, the VM 28 Ultron v2 is listed by Map at ~$520 USD whereas B&H has it listed at $899.

Here's another one: ZM 50/2 Planar at ~$440 USD at Map is less than half the $1000 price at B&H.

Zeiss ZE Otus 55/1.4 $2450 USD at Map and $3190 at B&H with a current $800 discount.

How about this one: ZM35/1.4 Distagon ~$1290 at Map, a whopping nearly 2x more, $2390 at B&H.

There might be a gray market opportunity here to make a few hundred dollars importing this lens and selling it below US retail. Import a bunch to cover your flight to Japan.

This was the one of the lenses I wanted to buy in Japan. When it was announced I was given a price by my Zeiss dealer. Then later he informed me that Zeiss USA had increased the launch price a considerable amount. In turn I cancelled my order, in part in protest. Unfortunately for some reason the ZM35/1.4's Japan launch was delayed ~6 months IIRC and I missed the opportunity to buy it when I was there (for a considerably lower price). A few months later, I instead bought the VM35/1.7 from the Leica Shop in Austria (back when they were not owned by Leica and sold Voigtlander products) for only 540 Euro pre-VAT (~$610 USD in 2015) when the lens in the US market was selling for considerably more. As you know, it's a great lens and I lost pretty much all interest in the ZM (and saved a lot of money).



Apr 23, 2023 at 02:58 AM
Juha Kannisto
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


These are search links for checking the prices at Map Camera and Fujiya Camera. I suppose it's easy to compare those prices to other countries prices by looking at the listings.

CV VM lenses at Map (includes new 新品 and used 中古 ) :
https://www.mapcamera.com/search?keyword=Voigtlander%20VM&igngkeyword=1

CV VM lenses at Fujiya Camera (includes new 新品 and used 中古, copy link to browser to make it work right) :
https://www.fujiya-camera.co.jp/shop/goods/search.aspx?search=x&keyword=Voigtlander+VM&search=search

Zeiss ZM lenses at Map (includes new 新品 and used 中古 ) :
https://www.mapcamera.com/search?keyword=Zeiss%20ZM&igngkeyword=1

Zeiss ZM lenses at Fujiya Camera (includes new 新品 and used 中古, copy link to browser to make it work right) :
https://www.fujiya-camera.co.jp/shop/goods/search.aspx?search=x&keyword=Zeiss+ZM&search=search

For used lenses, Fujiya Camera is usually cheaper than Map Camera. I've bought several used CV VM lenses from Fujiya at more attractive prices. New ones I mostly bought from Map Camera. With new ones, they are periodically out of stock at either store and then it's good to cross-check if the other one has stock...



Apr 23, 2023 at 05:18 AM
Humihiro
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


In this store, you may be able to buy a brand new Voigtlander or Zeiss lens for a price similar to Fujiya Camera, for less than the lowest price listed on Kakaku.com. I've purchased from here before and it's fine. Located in Ogikubo, Tokyo. Prices are probably non-negotiable.
https://www.ogisaku.com/



Apr 23, 2023 at 08:22 AM
Wolfgang1756
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


Humihiro wrote:
In this store, you may be able to buy a brand new Voigtlander or Zeiss lens for a price similar to Fujiya Camera, for less than the lowest price listed on Kakaku.com. I've purchased from here before and it's fine. Located in Ogikubo, Tokyo. Prices are probably non-negotiable.
https://www.ogisaku.com/


Thanks. Another one to consider. Do you know if they offer tax free shopping?




Apr 26, 2023 at 08:59 AM
Juha Kannisto
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Best Camera Shop in Tokyo for Voigtlander / Zeiss Lenses?


Wolfgang1756 wrote:
Thanks. Another one to consider. Do you know if they offer tax free shopping?


Their website says they offer Japan Tax Free ahopping. I've never been to that store myself, but when searching for Voigtlander and for Zeiss on the website, the available selections seem smaller. Just a few CV lenses and no ZM. However, I'm not sure if the have more selection in the physical store. I need to visit them sometime and check the physical store too...



Apr 26, 2023 at 10:50 PM





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