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eBay’ing from Japan

Having spent an embarrassing amount of money lately on a film camera, lenses, and other stuff necessary for film photography, I certainly had noticed on eBay that some of the best deals and best prices were from Japanese dealers. I came across a portrait lens that looked so perfect and was so reasonably priced that I bought it in spite of my concerns about doing business outside the country. I figured that delivery would take forever, but I was willing to wait for a lens like that.

Much to my surprise, six days after I ordered the lens on eBay, it was delivered to my door — special delivery — by the U.S. Postal Service. I have never received an eBay item that was so carefully and neatly packed. Best of all, there was a little bird in the package, made of folded green paper.

Now I feel ashamed for not seeing that America does not have a patent on good business. We Americans may even be slipping, since my expectations are so low, which makes me wonder if the rest of the world is wary of doing business with us.

The package was sent from the Japanese post office to the U.S. Postal Service, using a service called Express Mail Service. It’s trackable and insured, and there seemed to be no delay in customs.

I’m still in the testing and learning state with the new camera, but I should have some film photos before long.


  1. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    Very complicated looking…I hope you enjoy it. What do you use it for? I have a Sony point & shoot, with many features…that I haven’t even begun to learn.

    Re your mentioning handling by American shippers. I ordered a book that I figured I would get in 2-3 weeks because it was stated back ordered. And I got it in 4-5 days. Beautifully packed, protected by a card board sandwich then shrunk wrapped, then bubble wrapped, then a protective envelope. I was so impressed I emailed the shop right away and thanked them. Customer service was always my gig before,and during my Chronicle days.

    Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 11:44 pm | Permalink
  2. daltoni wrote:

    Hi Henry … The camera is not so much complicated as big. It’s completely mechanical, no batteries, no electronics. So everything has to be set manually. My main interest is portraiture, but I also want to do some landscape photography. The main thing about this camera is that the lenses are superb. Because most commercial photographers no longer use film and have sold off these cameras, superb lenses that cost $2,500 new can be had for less than $200 now.

    Did the book you ordered come from Japan?

    Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink
  3. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    No, an American shipper. A young lady who stated her goal was to be “exceptional” in service provided. I think she did a great job.

    Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 1:22 am | Permalink
  4. Henry Sandigo wrote:

    No, an American shipper. A young lady who stated her goal was to be “exceptional” in service provided. I think she did a great job.

    Where do you get large format film? I just had my wife’s Nikon cleaned and tuned (35MM film) bought some B&W film to test my skills with various steps (depth of field, etc)

    Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 1:24 am | Permalink
  5. daltoni wrote:

    Henry, I have been getting film from Amazon. They should have a number of options for 35mm film. You might also Google for FreeStyle Photography Supplies.

    Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink
  6. Micah Henry wrote:

    Glad to see someone else is a fan of the RB67! Nice collapsible lens hood, too! I lug my RB around in the field sometimes–used it to take photos this month of a local orchardist whom I was interviewing for a newspaper article. (The Taylorsville Times) I had my digital camera along, too, but I really hope to use the film shot.

    I like B&H Photo in NY, Freestyle Photo in CA, and have even ordered from the new(ish) shop, Film Photography Project Store. FPP has some interesting/repurposed/expired emulsions you are unlikely to see elsewhere.

    I hope to check out more of your blog posts very soon.

    Wednesday, March 14, 2018 at 1:03 am | Permalink

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