Unboxing the Nikon 35TI I Ordered from Japan

Blog author Alex Cook's photo

By Alex Cook

Thanks to a few cameras my grandma left me, I decided to buy one of the best point-and-shoot cameras ever made — the Nikon 35TI — on eBay, directly from Japan. 

I ordered my camera on eBay on Monday afternoon. On Thursday, I went for a bike ride at the beach with my dog and when I got home there was a Fedex slip on my door saying “final attempt” with a notice about how they’d routed the package to a nearby Walgreens. At first I had no idea what it was, but then realized it was the camera. It came from Japan shockingly fast!

At Walgreens, I opened the package before signing for it. The photo lab tech at the counter, where they handle Fedex packages, was probably 20. I asked if she knew if Walgreens had 35mm film. She looked at me like like I was an alien saying they don’t carry it (I honestly don’t think she knew what 35mm film was) but pointed to a wall nearby saying “that type of stuff is over there.” Sure enough, Walgreens does carry one type of 35mm film; Kodak UltraMax 400 at $20.99 per 3X 24-exposure rolls or $0.29 per photo. 

Most of the film section these days, at Walgreens at least, is dedicated to modern instant print cameras.

Back at home, I go inside and sit down on our living room rug to get a closer look at the camera. The camera was packaged carefully with Japenese newspaper. The camera itself is as described, in mint condition. 

My dog Yoda (a black lab) was just about excited as me!

Being the film newb I am, I excitedly walked over to our battery drawer with the full intention of popping a AA battery in, only realizing this camera does not take standard batteries. It turns out it takes a camera battery #CR123A. I nearly bought a 4-pack of rechargeable CR123A batteries but decided against it as these are 3.7 volts, not 3 volts. I went with a 12-pack for $21.74 or $1.81 per battery. 

It’s here!

Even though I didn’t have batteries, I still explored the camera as much as possible. Something I noticed about it was unexpected; the sounds. Popping the back door open is just so… satisfying.

This weekend my wife and I are headed on a trip. The batteries and film I ordered from Amazon should arrive before we leave. I’ll give this camera its maiden USA voyage in New Hampshire while enjoying some winter hiking and wood-fired sauna.

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