places

Analog Vibes: Bangkok Trading Company

Don’t confuse this nondescript camera shop with the brunch spot Bangkok Trading Post in swanky Phrom Phong, this old shophouse sits in the most unlikely place in Bangkok you would find camera gear—Ramkhamhaeng.

Bangkok Trading has a look and feel of an old Chinese home business, but instead of selling Chinese medicine or pork products, it’s cameras!

Lots and lots of cameras. Most of them Japanese. You name it: Pentax, Canon, Nikon. There are a few Voigtlanders and Contaxes but Nikon and Canon reign.

I am still not sure if they’re old stock or secondhand, I tried asking the owner but he never got to the point. Warning: he talks a lot! He didn’t not even open a gap during his stream of consciousness for me to interject and ask him relevant questions.

But out of his babbling came a bit of history of the place. They have basically been here since the days film photography was not a niche, and surprisingly, most of his customers these days are art students looking for their first film cameras. Besides camera equipment, he also has in his shop some medical and industrial optics, which I am guessing is the kind of goods that have helped keep the shop open all these years.

The film cameras are in great condition—but of course with the price to match. It’s a bit above secondhand market price here in Bangkok but they all look like new, with no dust, dings or scratches. Some of the vintage folding cameras and the vintage movies cameras do have rusts and marks but those would be for collectors anyway and not users.

I went in there looking for some Leica but this is more of a trove for Japanese made gears. So if you’re a Pentax/Canon/Nikon shooters, and don’t mind going to one of Bangkok’s most congested neighborhood, then I suggest giving this place ago! And be prepared to talk, or listen! The uncle that runs the shop probably doesn’t get many visitors these days…

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Bangkok Trading

Mon-Sat 10am-7pm

In front of Ramkhamhaeng Soi 52 [Map]