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Going to japan - buy a 70mm 2.4 now or when i get there?

Posted 15/10/2012 - 21:16 Link
Heading to Japan in a couple of weeks, and wondering whether it's worth waiting til I get there before plumping for a new lens.

I know Japan is a panorama paradise, and i've already picked up an 8-16 (almost too wide, but I'll reserve judgement), but it's my honeymoon and some portrait photos will be in order!

I've got my 50mm 1.4 up for sale over on the bay(I prefer my 1.7 manual - although I can't say why!), and with a bit of extra cash aim to pick up a 70mmm 2.4.

Now - I'm wondering whether I should buy before I go, or wait til I get there.

Older forum articles seem to indicate a few years ago that Japan was more expensive than here, but I have also seen articles that it's a buyers paradise.

Anyone any recent experience of Japan as a buyer? Obviously I will compare prices, bu once I'm there it's too late!
Posted 15/10/2012 - 22:36 Link
Japan is a lot more expensive than here.

I haven't been for ten years but I don't expect will have changed much.
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Posted 15/10/2012 - 22:54 Link
If you buy in Japan, It will most likely be more expensive, even if you purchase using the TAXFREE FOR TOURISTS scheme. Note also, that if you do purchase under this scheme, and reclaim the tax at the port of exit, you are then duty-bound to declare it to HMRC upon arrival into the UK. They will then impose VAT on the lens, PLUS 4-7% import tax too, as well as an admin charge. In short, unless the lens is about 33-50% cheaper there, buy the lens in the UK. It keeps the audit trail simple.
Edited by steven9761: 15/10/2012 - 22:55
Posted 16/10/2012 - 10:37 Link
Last time I was there 5 years ago, some electronic things, tv camera etc. were marginally cheaper. But not worth the possible hassle if it were something where a warranty was needed.
That was when Japan was a cheap holiday, 290 Yen to the pound. Now it's 140!

Posted 16/10/2012 - 15:09 Link
You could always to get an idea of the street price in Japan.

I just looked at a single online store, - because it's easily comparable to

They sell the DA70 for JPY37,800. The current ex rate is 127, so that's 300 near enough. Or about 100 cheaper than here

If you search for a while you may should find prices at some bricks-and-mortar stores.

You won't have to pay duty when bringing it back into the UK, as long as you don't buy much else. The tax and duty free allowance limit for scheduled airline passengers arriving from outside the EU is currently 390. see HMCE site.

It could be a hassle to return if it needed warranty attention after you get home though. But you pays yer money....
Edited by elfer: 16/10/2012 - 15:11
Posted 17/10/2012 - 03:23 Link
There are several big camera chain stores around Tokyo that carry Pentax kit, some also have big 2nd hand sections - Yodobashi, Bic Camera and Map Camera.

Yodobashi main store is at Shinjuku station west exit

Bic Camera main store is at Ikebukuro -

Map Camera is at Shinjuku station west exit -

Yodobashi's and Bic Camera's websites list the DA70 at ¥42,800

Most salespersons there don't speak English but they usually have dedicated English-speaking sales person.

Remember to bring your passport when buying. You will get ex sales tax prices but they will need to staple the receipt onto your passport, which Customs will remove when you depart Japan.
Edited by Mike_L_76: 17/10/2012 - 03:25
Posted 17/10/2012 - 11:05 Link
My FA 77 and D-FA 100 were bought in Japan...I really had to stop myself going mental in the shops as they are wonderful..

Fujiya Camera in Nakano, a Tokyo district, is where I got my 77, and had a great choice of used gear.....
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Posted 17/10/2012 - 14:41 Link
I have a near-mint condition DA70 that I will be selling shortly, but I was expecting to get around 320 for it - it looks like the Japnese Street Price of around 300 is a better bet for you!
Posted 22/10/2012 - 01:13 Link
Hi Lenny,

As I've not been able to sell the 50mm as quick as I'd hoped, I'll probably be sticking with that for the trip. If I see a great deal on the 70mm then all well and good, but if not then I might send you a PM to see if you've still got it to sell when I return.

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