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4 Cool and Unusual Used Cameras Found in Tokyo

Japanese camera manufacturers dominate the digital photography landscape, so it might come as a surprise that the used film camera market is also thriving in Tokyo.

Japan Camera Hunter has scoured the city for years, but I thought I would take a look for myself by visiting both the CP+ expo in Yokohama and one of the annual fairs held by I.C.S., a trade organization of used camera shops, at the Matsuya department store in Ginza.

Amongst the crowd of vintage Leicas, Hasselblads, Nikons, Canons, and Rolleis, were a few wacky cameras that I never knew about.

Compass Camera

The Swiss company LeCoultre, now known worldwide as high-end watch brand Jaeger-LeCoultre, was tapped by London-based Compass Camera Ltd to manufacture this all aluminum 35mm camera – one of the smallest. But don’t think you’ll be loading a roll of Tri-X in this bad boy because it uses sheet film!

Only about 5,000 of these cameras were made between 1937 – 1941, and they are definitely a collectors item.

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