Where can I find photography shops in Taipei?

Attention photography experts!!!

I am looking for excellent photographic equipment stores in Taipei.

I have a manual Vivitar camera with a 52mm capability. I am looking for manual focus lens for this camera, are they even possible to find in Taiwan?

What are your general experiences/feelings about the prices of photo goods in Taipei? More expensive, cheaper, about the same? Or if I go outside Taipei will they be cheaper? I am specifically looking for a telephoto lens and a wide angle lens. Must be manual because my camera will only accept manual lens.

I am also looking for lots of good filters. What are the best filters to use in Taiwan? Currently I have a skylight filter on it that I used in the States.
I also need a filter that reduces glare, I want to take some pictures between Ilan and Huallien the next time I go, the scenery is just outstanding!! But from a train window I worry.

I haven’t used this thing in about three years it needs to be cleaned, are there any places that you would trust with your camera to clean it? I suppose I could do most of it myself and probably can find cleaning stuff almost everywhere.

Okay so back to my original question, where are the best places to buy camera equipment?


[color=green]Mod note – title modified to cover merged topics – DB Mod[/color]

just from passing by jeff, there are a lot of camera stores on bo ai rd. south of zhongxiao w rd. i feel like i’m getting deja vu here, do you read me? good, bad? I don’t know–I’m buying a point-and-shoot from daiichi tomorrow–but if all else fails, they are there.

HanKo St and BoAi Rd (near the train staion) is the best place for cameras. Your Vivitar should use Pentax “K” mount lenses. The 52mm you refer to is the filter size. Many companies make Pentax mount lenses. What do you want the lens for? Portrait, landscape???

Thanks daltongang! I have a point and shoot and frankly I am sick of it, I never used one before I came to Taiwan, figured it would be easier, and I am finding out I am missing awsome shots because the range and trickery on it sucks. I have much more control with my SLR.

Blue, I know that my filter size is 52mm, but I cannot put anything bigger on it without using a converter. I’m not a camera moron, though it may seem it because I’ve been out of the whole picture for years. I worked for two newspapers and developed my own film prior to coming to Taiwan, but I think I’ve lost my ability to remember all the technical stuff.

I will mostly be using my camera for landscape. Thats why I need a range say 24-310mm would be great!

Well, if I were you, I’d buy 2 lenses…a 24mm 2.8 Vivitar and a 75-300mm 4.5-5.6 Vivitar. Personally, I’ve never been too wild about zooms.

This is what I was thinking too blueface. But I was trying to save a bit of money. And if I bought two lenes I would probably go with something like an 18-24mm and a 75-300mm as you mentioned. But I am hoping for a wider range in f-stops, but there again the price goes up. Why are you not too wild about zooms?

Do any of the stores on HanKo St and BoAi Rd sell used camera equipment? Do any stores anywhere in Taiwan sell used?

I would love to buy some higher quality manual and point & shoot cameras but my lack of photographic skills make the investment in something new impractical.

Some “advice” from a self confessed SLR freak.

Once you go below 20mm or above 200mm, the prices shoot up considerably for good lenses. There are cheaper ones, but the quality is poor. I’m not familiar with Vivitar equipment, but a zoom in the 24-50 range is always a good buy: it’s wide enough for indoors and landscapes while also long enough for standard photos (50mm equates to the eyes natural view). The minimum f-stop for these lenses is typically f3.3 or f2.4 (at 24 mm). Remember the lower the f-stop, the better the lens quality since it indicates how much light it can “use”.

For longer work, a 70/80 to 200/210 is all you’ll need. Cheaper versions run f4/5.6-f8. If you go for a 70-300 then you’ll only get f12/16 at 300mm which is half as much light as f8. Lens speed, or lower f-stops is essential for telephotos to avoid blur and particularly to capture movement. If you really need to go longer, then you could always buy an inexpensive teleconvertor. Remember also that you can take fabulous portraits at around 100mm, but you’ll need a fast lens to get that. In my experience, the wide zoom range lenses just don’t cut it.

Overall, don’t buy very wide range zooms because the quality is poor. The need to pack all those glass elements inside the lens results in distortion and poor f-stops, plus one big, heavy and clumsy lens.

Also, consider what you will be photographing. I’ve bought all sorts of lenses in the past, including an outrageously expensive 80-210 mm f2.8 weighing over a kilo, but still find that 35-70 or preferably 24-50 is all you need most of the time. If you can, I’d suggest investing in a reallly good quality one of these as it will last you a lifetime.

Good luck :smiley:


Thanks, I already know this, but you may have pushed me to change my mind a bit. I already have a 35-70mm, that is what came with the camera.

I have another camera back home that has a very old Sigma 70-260mm or something like that, it is a very heavy lens but it does the job. I used to take college basket ball pictures with it for our newspaper and it was great! The only draw back was that it too was all manual. I didn’t bring it to Taiwan and I regret it.

Anyway, I may end up going with what you said Soddom, I am considering this because of the lens speed.

I am still looking for anwers to my filter question! I need to reduce glare!! And want to know what filters are best for Taiwan. Thanks!

Oh yes the glare!

Good lenses have a coating which will help, and if your lens has a lens hood then you should also attach it, and of course follow the old rules about keeping the sun behind you. Glare because of the extreme brightness of the sun in this part of the world is hard to deal with and it’s far better to shoot early morning and late afternoon.

As you say, a skylight filter is useful, if not essential - you should always put a skylight filter on all your lenses if only to protect them. It doesn’t deal with glare specifically, but it will sharpen up the image slightly.

The most useful is a polarising filter which you can buy in different strengths, or buy the circular type which you can adjust for a range of strengths on the camera. These have a similar effect to sun glasses - they reduce glare significantly and deepen the colours. The downside is you will lose up to one f stop of speed. I wouldn’t consider shooting in bright light without one.

Another I quite like is a warm up filter which come in different strengths. These are not “glare filters” and increase the orange and red spectrum to give a warm picture. However they can improve the colour when shooting in bright light and will prevent the otherwise white burned out appearance. Unlike the polarizer though, it will probably be noticeable that a filter was used.

Once again, invest in the best you can afford.

Another trick is to underexpose your picture as the glare may confuse your meter. If your camera has an auto bracketing feature it can do this for you automatically. Taking a light reading off a neutral tone like skin is another old trick for dealing with confused meters.

You might want to experiment with films, too. For colour print film, Fuji Realia can’t be beaten in my opinion. The colours are incredibly vivid.

Well I always use a filter even if the lens has a coating, I do so to protect the lens from dirt and scratching it. And believe it or not if you drop the lens there will be much less damage, you’ll still probably need to fix it but it won’t be so bad. I did that once and only once with my Sigma, it cost me over $100 bucks to get it fixed and I was lucky as the lens was like 25 years old, I was lucky to find a place that had parts for it, but it never cracked the lens, only my filter. Lucky me! The skylight filter has worked well for me for over 15 years, I have never had to buy a new one for my current camera and I love it, it does sharpen the images considerably.

I have tired adjusting my f-stops for better pictures, the technique you mention I learned many many years ago and still use it. But for glare on trains it’s almost impossible to get rid of it. It’s not only glare that I am getting, I also get reflections which are impossible to get rid of or are they?

Can you buy Fuji Realia in Taiwan?

On a side note, I have had a roll of film in my camera for over 3 years, I know I know that’s bad. I took it out and noticed it’s Super HGII Fuji. Can I even get this developed now? And should I tell the developing store to do anything different with it being it’s not only an old film but also it’s been sitting in my camera for three years. I am guessing the quality won’t change too much, but I am positive the film has broken down quite a bit, I have put it in the fridge since taking it out of my camera, and considering what to do with it.

Well upon venturing out near Bo Ai Road today I found several camera shops, however manual focuses lenes are very difficult to find. 98% of what I saw were Auto Focus. The stores neither could order one for me or tell me where in Taipei to find a store that sold them. So I may get stuck with ordering one and having it shipped to Taiwan.

On a side note I did not notice any used equipment there as cmacleod asked about, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any.

Well upon looking further up on Bo-Ai Road, there are many more photo shops that sell manual focus lenes, however I am not getting much of a better price. But I will say this, the camera stores on Bo-Ai Road are much more well mannered and helpful than those on HanKo St. I will never go back, the staff were either rude or unhelpfull. Just my two cents though…

By far the best shop for all things second hand in the photographic world is Jacky Wu’s shop - www.js-foto.com.tw

His stock changes regularly, is well priced and he is super super helpful. His stock of manual lenses for Nikon, Canon etc is enough to keep you happy.

I have found that second hand gear in Taipei is plentiful and because there are so many photographers the prices are competitive with room for bargainning. That said, you arent able to find any real humdinger bargains as these shops know their stuff.

Newer equipment however is far cheaper than Australia.

Hi to anybody out there who is listening, can you please tell me how or where to find stores that sell film or digital slr camera. Preferably in Taoyuan or Taipe coz I lived in Taoyuan.
Thank and God Bless. :o

Don’t waste your time in Taoyuan. Jump on up to Taipei to Bo-ai Rd. It’s near the Train Station and not too hard to find. They probably have the best selection and lowest prices you’ll find anywhere in Taiwan.

Conversely, if you are interested in used stuff, there are two or three excellent used camera shops in Taipei. I think their stock would all be film format though. I bought a really clean (used) Nikon 85mm F1.4 lens last year for 15,000NT, which I thought was quite reasonable.

If you need directions please post back.

Good luck!

Hi Michael,

 I think I need directions for the one on Bo-ai rd. I'm not very good in Taipe, the only thing I know there is the St. Christopher church and the Taipe Main train station. If i put one more step outside those premises you could consider myself "LOST". So please tell me what to do and which bus to ride starting from the MAIN TAIPE TRAIN STATION.

 I need to know how much is the exact price of the nikon d100 first here in taiwan coz in the states the lowest prize I've seen is $1249. I've contacted nikon taiwan and they are still selling it for $1999 for individual person ofcourse. Anyway thanks and God Bless... see yah.

It’s very close, no need to take a bus. In fact it’s that close I think there isn’t any stop/bus anyhow. :slight_smile:

BoAi road runs to the south, directly off ChungHsiao Rd. - which is that big road between the Main Station and Shinkong Life Tower - near the old North Gate (PeiMen).
When you arrive at the main station walk over to the Shinkong Life Tower (can’t miss that one) and, standing in front - looking at it - turn right (west), passing some computer stores and a small fire station, then the main post office. Then you should see PeiMen in front and BoAi Road on the left already.
Don’t walk too far on BoAi Road, instead turn left or right at the next junction into HanKou Road (I think), there are many camera and electronic shops all around.

Thanks Rascal, I owe you one. I never thought that Boai rd is right under my nose, but I really never gone there thats why I hate going to Taipe.

See yah!