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Camera stores in Hong Kong

Raymond Lee , Sep 30, 1998; 10:29 p.m.

I'm going to Hong Kong in November and hope to take advantage of the struggling economy at the camera shops over there. Does anyone know of any trustworthy stores with decent prices there? I'm looking for Nikkor AF lenses in particular.

Thanks, Ray

Responses


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Sheldon Hambrick , Oct 01, 1998; 12:55 a.m.

There are at least two threads on this topic in the archives.

Hoyin Lee , Oct 01, 1998; 04:25 a.m.

Hi Raymond,

Do your camera shopping at Stanley Street in Central district on Hong Kong Island (in case you don't know, Hong Kong is made up of Hong Kong Island, Kowloon peninsula and the rural New Territories). Almost all of Hong Kong Island's camera shops can be found there. Go from shop to shop to check prices first before buying. If you're tired of bargaining and shopping around, go to the nearby Queen Victoria Street, and look for a very large shop called Cheer Power Camera and Audio (that's the shop's name, I kid you not!), which is opposite the Central Market and close to the junction of Des Voeux Road Central. Everything there is fixed and reasonably priced, and they only sell waranteed products not grey imports -- I usually buy my equipment from there.

I'm not familar with camera shops on the Kowloon peninsular side (since I live on Hong Kong Island), so can't help you there. Generally, it's not a good idea to buy new gear from shops located in the tourist district of Tsim Sha Tsui. They're almost always way over-priced.

You might want to look up some second-hand gear. Go to the ground floor of this building called Champagne Court, which is located at the junction of Kimberly Road and Carnarvon Road in the district of Tsim Sha Tsui; it's jammed packed with second-hand camera shops. I recommend two of the shops there. The first is David Chan Co., which is about the most reputable 2nd-hand camera shop in Hong Kong. They're very scrupulous with their merchandise, so you can buy with confidence. The bad news is that they're also more expensive! My advice is, go to David's when you're buying expensive collectibles. The second shop is All Good Friend Camera Co. (I know, camera shops here seem to have strange names), they're cheaper than David Chan, but the people there, although honest, don't seem to be as professional as the people at David's. But if you're not buying working equipment and not valuable collectibles, that shouldn't be a problem as long as you check the stuff you want to buy carefully first. I have recommended friends to shop in this shop and I brought my Nikon FE2 and Nikkor 24-50mm zoom there with no problem. I much prefer the people at All Good Friend, who are friendlier and less snobbish than David Chan's. While you're in Hong Kong, get hold of the contact number for the local Consumer Council (you'll get that in in the tourist info booklet at the airport or your hotel, or pick one up at the Tourist Promotion Office at the Star Ferry pier at Tsim Sha Tsui. In case you got conned or over-charged, they are the people who can really help you. Hope the info helps, and have fun in Hong Kong!

E.Ung -- , Oct 01, 1998; 07:18 a.m.

Hello Raymond, smart move for deciding to buy camera in H.K. To me,the shops mentioned above are good except the XXX power shop in Central. I personally had a very bad experience with the good gentleman shopkeeper there. There are two other "good" camera shops in Mongkok (just these two). Ther are: Wing Shing camera shop(57, Sai Yeung Choi Street Mong Kok) Mong Kok Camera Centre (Fa Yuen Street, Mong Kok), another known as Man Shing camera shop is now under decoration work. Sorry, I don`t know the exact address of Mong Kok camera centre. Don`t try to buy camera or even enter other camera shop in Sai Yeung Choi Street, they are pirate. I will also send a official Nikon AF lenses price list to you, beware that the retail price should be 20- 30% less than that offical prices. Just for your reference.

Hoyin Lee , Oct 01, 1998; 12:48 p.m.

Hi Eric, thanks for filling in the Kowloon part of my mini camera shopping guide. Now Raymond has the complete list! Your Kowloon info is actually very useful for me, since I never knew where to go for camera gear when in Kowloon, except for second-hand ones. I didn't know there's a Mong Kok Camera Centre; is that a shopping mall filled with camera shops (like that notorious computer mall in Shum Shui Po) or just one shop by that name?

Achtung Mr. Wee Kheng Hor (you must be a Singaporean), If you're reading this: I have received your request for the grey-import price of the Canon 300mm. I'll try to find out for you; give me a couple of days. Did you saw my input in this forum? I don't have your e-mail address and I assume that you want me to post the answer here (I've post my comments all over the place, I'm assuming that you found me here since this is the only place I mention grey-import). Let me know your preferred way of communication.

E.Ung -- , Oct 01, 1998; 01:37 p.m.

Hello everybody! I am sorry it should be "Mong Kok photo supply co." rather than "Mong Kok Camera centre". It is not a shopping mall, just a big video and audio shop. It should be noted that there may be other good camera shops present in H.K. apart from the above, simply I/we have not yet come across. However, the general rule of thumb for camera shopping should be: (1)ask and compare prices in more than one shop if you have time. (2)should be familiar with the stuff you are interested.e.g. what accessories are included. (3)if the camera shop don`t has the stuff you wanted, leave. Don`t allow cross selling. (4)you should have a expected range of price for the thing you wanted (usually the prices there are 20-30% off from your countries if the price lists printed on the amature photography and the photographic magazines are correct as I never come to UK or US and I just used these price lists as reference). (5)better to buy from authorised dealer, the price difference between grey and authorised markets are usually minimal. Hope these can help!!

jessica -- , Oct 01, 1998; 01:43 p.m.

Regarding Mr. Hoyen Lee's advice on purchasing used equipment in Hong Kong, as a long time photo junkie and resident of Hong Kong, I have two simple rules for buying used equipment in HK: 1) buy mail order from the States; 2) but if you must buy it in HK, for the love of god stay the heck away from David Chan.

To answer Raymond's question regarding Nikkor AF lenses, get them from B&H. Consumer lenses are not that much cheaper in HK. You save 15% at the most and no warranty in the US. Come to HK to shop for high end equipment such as Leica, top of the line Nikon, Canon L, medium format, etc., but for regular stuff, shop at home and enjoy the warranty.

Michael -- , Oct 01, 1998; 10:15 p.m.

Ray,

Don't get too excited about Hong Kong photo equipment prices. The HK$ is pegged against the the US, so it has not dropped as much as the Thai Baht, etc. I was there in May and walked all over Hong Kong island shopping for equipment. For the most part it was the same or slightly higher than B&H.

Also consider that you still only get a $400 duty free deduction on items brought back into the US. After that you pay a 10% duty. (I have written Mr. Bill in the oral office several times to try to get him to support legislation to increase the deduction to $1,000. Anway, that is another story.) The point is that you can spend a lot of time shopping for something that you will pay the same price for after duty that you can get delivered directly to your door.

Better yet, that the ferry to Lantau island and seen the Buddah, spend the time up on Victoria Peak, shop for junk on Cat Street, or take the Star Ferry across to the jade market and get a deal that you will never see in your life time in the US. All while you are taking great photos.

Robert Biddle , Oct 01, 1998; 11:11 p.m.

Raymond: Currently you can save some money here in Hong Kong on photo gear(as compared to the US).You will save more on the higher-end stuff (i.e. don't expect to save anything on a low end point-shoot).

The key is to find a shop that is not going to rip you off.

For more info, take a look at:

http://www.bubbachan.com/photoshopHK/shophk.htm

Good luck.

Jeff Lam , Oct 01, 1998; 11:46 p.m.

Raymond,

As mentioned before, the HKD is pegged against the USD, and has not depreciated at all.

I'm not sure what country you are in, but if it is the US then I have lived in both HK and New York and bought camera gear in both places. Buying a camera in HK can be a real pain (finding a trustworthy sales person and store) and doesn't really save you much money. Now if you were in the UK or Australia that would be a different story...

I'd second Michael's suggestion- just see the place and enjoy it. If you have time and are into landscapes, you could even take a trip to Guilin/Yangshou in China.


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