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Great deal in HK, Vietnam or Singapore ?

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by jpplenissart, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. jpplenissart

    jpplenissart Mu-43 Regular

    Hi everyone,

    I'm about to leave Europe for family holliday in Asia. I will be successively in Hong Kong, Vietnam (HC City) and Singapore. I will also land to Dubai because I'm flying through Emirates.

    I am actually looking for native µ4/3 lenses:
    - the Oly 45/1.8
    - A wide prime: Oly 12mm or Pany 14mm
    - maybe a second body (GF2/3 or EPM1/EPL2) if it's worth

    For people living in these cities, are these lenses in stock in local supplier ? Regarding ebay prices, is it worth buying in Asia ?
    Where are your favorite local shop ?

    I'm asking because my wife doesn't want to spend much time in camera shop (me neither after all :D )

    Cheers ;) 
  2. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    In my travels, I haven't found the prices significantly cheaper, but that's compared to the USD, not the CHF
  3. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    I have never bought camera kit in these countries but I'm currently living in KL (Malaysia) and have found that kit is certainly cheaper here than in Europe, mainly due to no tax on camera equipment. However I still order most of my kit online from either Hong Kong or from BHPhotovideo.com. If I import from the US there is no tax so I get US prices.

    However I have just bought an Oly 12mm and 45mm from eBay from DZone2 who are listed as being in Hong Kong and they had the best prices I could find. US$705 for the 12mm and US$386 for the 45mm. I think they may be online orders through eBay only though.

    Lastly remember that in all these countries you should not expect to pay the price shown. I always negotiate for the "best price" which in Malaysia is usually about 10-15% less than listed.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. dayou14

    dayou14 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011
    I think the best places for deals are still second hand sellers direct from Ebay, but if you're in Singapore, you can try:

    Alan Photo, at Sim Lim Square, 1st floor. Google it, you'll find. Trustworthy knowledgeable people with well-stocked M43 stuff. Everything you can't find in Conus, you can find there. 45 1.8, 25 1.4, 12 2.0, even the new GX lenses I think you can find.

    The asking price is fair. If new stuff, negotiate down 10-15%. If you buy as a bundle you get better discounts.

    I bought my GH2, 45 1.8, C-lenses, there.

    • Like Like x 1
  5. wattseee

    wattseee Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 14, 2011
    HK is pretty good for camera gear. it looks like it's your first port of call so you can get the new stuff early and start using it. i can't offer specific advice about stores or stocks though.

    I was in dubai a couple of months ago and the selection and price of m43 gear wasn't great. don't bother.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. darrenleow

    darrenleow Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    Hong Kong has a shop called Tin Cheung that's at the top floor of K11 Shopping Mall at Tsim Sha Tsui. Staff there speak good English, prices are fixed and very competitive (no bargaining needed) and they have a lot of shelf space dedicated to M4/3 stuff.

    I wasn't interested in M4/3 during my trip there (although I became interested toward the end of the trip) so I can't comment with certainty, but I remember seeing some nicely displayed M4/3 equipment and accessories (cases, straps, etc) in a glass cabinet.

    Prices for Billingham bags are really good as well (possibly among the lowest in the world?) if you're interested in those.

    Here's a photo of Tin Cheung

    As for Singapore (I'm Singaporean but based in US presently) - there are lots of reputable shops in the city area - Cathay Photo (at Marina Square, Peninsula Plaza), Alan Photo, SLR Revolution (both at Funan Center), Orient Photo (at Sim Lim Square). Avoid all camera shops at street level along Orchard Road (and in Hong Kong for that matter) as they're well known for high markups, bait and switch tricks, and all sorts of dirty moves especially against unsuspecting tourists.

    Oly 45/1.8 is going for a really good price in SG (around US$320+) but I just ordered one from dzone2 on ebay for US$345 and it arrived within 2 days from Hong Kong.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    In HK, most m4/3 products are priced competitively when compared to the US, but there is one item I find quite a bit cheaper in HK, and that is the Oly 45mm f/1.8 lens, retailing at around US$340 if you just walk into any large electronic chain stores, like Broadway or Fortress. The store mentioned by "darrenleow" above is good, too, and might have more of the products in stock!
    • Like Like x 2
  8. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Man ... I love the internet.
  9. cannedpineapples

    cannedpineapples New to Mu-43

    Aug 9, 2011
    in Singapore the 45/1.8 is retailing for around USD$310-$330. No bargaining necessary. Just email the camera store in question for an equote, then walk in and ask for it.

    The ones that allow bargaining typically are out to fleece you.

    Good shops include SLR Revolution (Funan Center), TK Foto (Funan Center), others. Just google them and ask for an e-quote. They all require paying in cash, local currency. The price I've quoted are all after tax. (Some shops will quote a lower before-tax price, but after you add in the 7% sales tax they're all quite similar)
    • Like Like x 2
  10. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I've traveled extensively, and for new gear, no place beats the US. Asia, isn't particularly cheap. I can do better, most times much better, in the US. The only exception to that is used gear in Japan. That's cheap. And Japanese used is pretty much new for the most part. Most camera stores won't sell things that aren't in mint condition except in the "junk" bin. Places like Vietnam are not cheap at all. Cameras like this there are high end. The high end consumer in Vietnam doesn't need it to be cheap.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. locus000

    locus000 Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 10, 2011
    I was in HCMC, Vietnam in June, checked out one of the mall there. The camera prices (Mu4/3) were about the same as US even a bit more expensive. I didnt get to see any lenses as the 45mm, 12mm werent out yet.

    Interesting tip, I was talking to my cousin there, he said that most people including him buy electronic stuff from Aus, US and ship them there because it is cheaper in US and Aus, especially during sale season.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. jpplenissart

    jpplenissart Mu-43 Regular

    Wow Guys! Thank you so much for these great and smart advices and references ;) 

    It is really kind that you take time to answer my request 

    Yeah prices are outrageous in Switzerland, but it is the same for any goods… Ebay is barely an option because Swiss customs officer are very efficient 
    But I also live in France, I can access to better price… anywhere, Asia trips are legendary to bring back some bargain camera equipment… Let me dream :) 

    Wow, 705USD for the Oly 12mm is a great price! Now Dzone2 lists it for at least 769$... Gouch, I hope I will find some better price in local shop.
    Thanks Richard also for the advices concerning the negotiation, noticed ;) 

    Thanks Bian. Alan Photo has been cited several times, it sounds good ;) 

    True I will be in HK first (except 3h between flights in Dubai airport). I was wondering if Dubai could meet my expectations but if they don’t have much m4/3 stuff, forget it ;) 

    Concerning Tin Cheung, I saw this name a couple of time during my google search, seems pretty safe and serious ;) 
    I have already a good medium bag (artisan & artist GCAM 7200, really nice brand !) but a small bag (1 camera + 1 extra lens) might be interesting

    320$ is a great deal ;) 

    And one more vote for Tin Cheung :)  Thanks, I heard that Tsim Sha Tsui, except for this specific shop, is not a great place for buying camera stuff, with a higher scam rate. People on google recommend shopping near Central, on Stanley Street if I remember well…
    I will check also Broadway and Fortress ;) 

    :rofl: I agree, this is fantastic!

    Thanks, one topic where everyone say similar thing with no controversy, this is also great :) 

    I agree, one friend living in massachussets send me the 40-150 mm for 150$!! But it works if you have people in the place or if you visit US. Purchasing through internet is not interesting because of tax added and prohibitive shipping cost.

    Thanks for the informations about Japan and Vietnam too ;) 

    I wasn’t thinking about Vietnam since 2 Swiss friends told me that they bought their gears there and that it was really cheap… but compare to Switzerland I think, where it is just another world concerning living cost…
    I noticed that there was really good prices in Australia but I thought I could get better price in holidays, I hope !

    Again, thanks people, you make my day !
  13. darrenleow

    darrenleow Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 30, 2011
    If you haven't seen this page yet, do check it out!
    Hong Kong Camera Gears Shopping Guide

    I did chance upon a recommended camera shop in Mongkok (Man Shing/Wing Shing) I think, but it was super crowded in there, so I didn't enquire about anything or stay very long.

    Good luck and enjoy your travels!
    • Like Like x 1
  14. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    This is a great link! I live in HK and don't know all the shops!
  16. darrenleow

    darrenleow Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 30, 2011
  17. David Tait

    David Tait Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 29, 2011
    Hong Kong

    I found Wing Shing to be a well stocked and fair deal shop when in Hong Kong. It was the only place in China where I could buy a Voigtlander 25mm when it came out.

    I would suggest you avoid the Nathan rd area though. Thats where most of the scams are carried out. A good tip is to see how busy the shop is. Lots of assistants sitting around doing nothing are to me indicators of scams waiting to happen in bad rep shops. Fortress and Broadway I found to be pricey.

    Attached Files:

  18. jpplenissart

    jpplenissart Mu-43 Regular

    Really usefull link, thanks again ! I am pretty ready now for the wild world of HK camera shop :p 
  19. jpplenissart

    jpplenissart Mu-43 Regular

    This store has been cited many times, seems trusty ! Thank you ;) 
  20. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    For stuff like $150, it isn't worth it. For stuff costing a few hundred dollars it is. I tell Europeans this all the time. Most ignore me, a few listen and send me thank you emails. There are companies in the US that will rent you a US mailing address. The last time I looked it was like $40/year. Most internet places in the US will not ship internationally. You can use this address to purchase things from US websites. These companies will then trans-ship them anywhere in the world at low cost. I told a German about this in Malaysia. He was going to buy a laptop back in Germany for 1000 euro or about $1500 at the time. I told him about all this and walked him through the process. I got an email from him a month later saying that he received his laptop from the US. Including shipping, taxes et al. It ended up costing about $800. I showed him how to get the laptop for less than $600 in the US. Sale, coupons, etc, etc. So he roughly saved 50%. The downside is the warranty. It will be US only. For half price, it might be worth the gamble. Actually, you can buy "grey market" goods off of many websites for even cheaper. This are cheaper in the US because they come with internationally warranties which are not valid in the US. Thus the lower price in the US. But for someone buying to have it shipped overseas, it's a win. Lower price and a usable warranty.
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