Category Archives: Shop News

Bulletins on new products, special offers and other news in our web shops

New Arrivals in the Bookstore

Another Country in New York Fascimile Edition, by Daido Moriyama Page Spread
Another Country in New York Fascimile Edition, by Daido Moriyama Page Spread

Over the last few days we’ve been adding quite a few new titles to the bookstore, and I wanted to highlight a few of them for you:

Another Country in New York Fascimile Edition (Signed)
Daido Moriyama

Another Country in New York Fascimile Edition, by Daido MoriyamaThis is a complete facsimile reprint of Daido Moriyama’s 1974 self-published photocopied book of the same name which originated out of his famed “printing show” exhibitions (which in the last couple of years he has reprised in New York, London, and elsewhere). At the time they were issued, only around 100 versions — no two exactly alike — were issued. These facsimile reprints are available in two cover versions — “Stars and Stripes” (pictured), and “Airplane” — and while certainly not cheap, they are an order of magnitude cheaper than what some booksellers would like you to pay for one of the 1974 originals. Available here.

Ever After
Asako Narahashi

Ever After, by Asako NarahashiAsako Narahashi has released several small print books since her breakthrough 2007 half awake and half asleep in the water (Nazraeli Press), but this can be considered her first major book since that release, and it sees her continuing to explore the relationship between water and land, or put another way, between a floating indeterminateness and the grounded elements which dominate the landscape. The images in Ever After were shot in Japan, Dubai, Amsterdam, the suburbs of Paris, Santa Monica, Taipei, and elsewhere, between 2002 and 2011. Narahashi explains at the beginning of the interview that accompanies the book (included separately as a booklet), “I think I’ve always had an interest in things which lack a stable state, at least unconsciously perhaps. Although I’m not particularly aware of other people’s shore photography, most seem to be images taken of water as something beautiful. […] In my case, I took these because I wanted to capture something that gives a sense of scale, or artificiality, somewhere in the image, not because I wanted to get closer to nature.” This is a nice large-size book complete with slipcase and the aforementioned interview booklet (bilingual). Available here.

Standard Temperature
Masayo Ito

Standard Temperature, by Masayo ItoMasayo Ito’s Standard Temperature, a collection of family portraits taken between 1979-1981, began its life as a student project for Ito when she was a BFA student at Musashino Art University’s Department of Visual Communication Design in Tokyo. In fact, it was her graduation thesis and garnered her the Department’s “Laboratory Prize”. Her biography characterizes Standard Temperature as “photos from random visits with Tokyo families”, which would imply she just pounded on apartment flats randomly until she found subjects willing to sit for portraits. The results, however, belie such arbitrariness, and without any background knowledge — Ito’s own afterword is itself ambiguous about who these people are — one feels sure that even if not Ito’s own friends and family, Ito must have known these people fairly well to capture them as intimately as she has done. Available here.

Berlin
Hiromi Tsuchida

Berlin, by Hiromi TsuchidaHiromi Tsuchida is best known for his exploration of the effects of Japan’s postwar economic boom in Zokushin and Counting Grains of Sand. However, he has also devoted a considerable body of work exploring the WWII-scarred cities of Hiroshima and Berlin, producing at least three books on the former, and two on the latter. These works often feature photos taken over different periods which are then juxtaposed, or as in the case of his first Berlin book The Berlin Wall, by digitally superimposing the words “East” and “West” to note which part of the wall was which. The 2011 book entitled simply Berlin brings together photographs of Berlin shot at three different points of his career, and critically, three different and distinct periods in Berlin’s post-WWII history — 1983, 1999-2000, and 2009. As Rei Masuda writes in one of the book’s two accompanying essays, “The three periods at which Tsuchida was shooting in Berlin correspond to three phases in the history of the Berlin Wall: existence, disappearance, and memory.” Available here.

In addition to the new titles in the store, we’ve recently added some book spread photos for the following titles:

Record No. 23 (Signed), by Daido Moriyama

Tokoyo no Mushi, by Yoshiichi Hara

Soul Blue, by Keiko Nomura

Itasha-Z (signed), by Tomoyuki Sakaguchi

Fuji’s New Retro Instant Camera Now In Stock

Fuji Mini 90 Instax Neo Classic camera
Fuji Mini 90 Instax Neo Classic camera

In recent years Fuji has released some well-received film cameras, both for their functionality as well as for their looks. Their latest — the Instax Mini 90 Neo Classic instant film camera that hit the streets on September 20th — looks to continue this trend.

No matter if it is just looks or function, the level of interest in this camera is enormous, as seen in this post on John Sypal’s Tokyo Camera Style.

One nice and very contemporary thing about this camera is that it features a rechargeable Lithium battery as opposed to the throw-away alkaline batteries that Fuji’s other instant film cameras take. What’s more, Japan Exposures is pleased to confirm that unlike a lot of Lithium batteries, this particular battery can be shipped with the camera (provided that certain transport conditions are met, which Japan Exposures will comply with). We can also confirm that the instruction sheets included with the camera have English sections (in addition to several other languages, and Japanese of course). Funnily enough, early commenters on Japanese user sites have complained that there are too many instructions for the camera — go figure!

Some other features worth noting over previous Instax models are various shooting modes, such as macro mode, double exposure mode, a bulb mode (for up to 10 second long exposures), kids mode (freezing fast action), party mode (slow synch flash to balance fore- and background), landscape mode (high depth of field) and flash fine tune facility.

As of right now, no release date has been mentioned for the camera outside of Japan, so the time is now if you want to get one — perhaps to make sure you are covered early with a Xmas present to yourself, or a Instax person near you.

Fuji has understandably been laying on the “retro” vibe thick in its promotional material for the camera, as can be seen in this jazzy promotional video:

We have the camera in stock and ready to ship.

MS Optical Lens News 2013

 

The MS Optical lens MS Optical 50/1.13 Sonnetar continues to be popular, in fact so popular that the complete initial batch of 200 Sonnetar lenses is now sold out.

The following lenses are on the horizon for later this year and early 2014 and beyond:

We hope you find these MS Optical lens news of interest and welcome questions or comments.

For those wishing to be placed on a notification list, please comment below in this post and we will notify you accordingly.

Japan Exposures on summer holidays

Japan Exposures including our Web and Book Stores will take a holiday starting July 11th until the end of July. The cut-off for Hirano hand-made camera cases will be late June. Orders placed on or after these dates will be processed and shipped upon our return in August.

Orders for products that are currently backordered might also be shipped in August. We will make every effort to inform customers with pending order accordingly to manage expectations.

Please note that replies to email inquiries might also be delayed accordingly. We apologise for any inconvenience.

The holiday will affect the web and book stores and the following products and services, which will resume from early August:


Thank you for your understanding and we wish you a pleasant summer with many photographs to take and to look at.

MS Optical Sonnetar 50/1.1

MS Optical Sonnetar 50/1.1 @ f1.4, Leica M9 JPG, photo by Ming

We are pleased to announce the release of the MS Optical Sonnetar 50/1.1 lens in Leica M mount.

The lens is available for order now in our web shop. Orders will be served in the order received. Please note that as usual there might be a waiting period between receiving your order and fulfilment, due to the nature of the lens and its production. Shipping is scheduled to commence on or around 10 Oct 2012.


Japan Exposures has over seven years of experience of selling MS Optical products, including several hundred of Super Triplets 35mm and 28mm. This includes efficient and cost-effective shipping, handling of after-sale warranty and repairs and even intra-EU shipping to save on import duty. Thank you for your continued support.


The Sonnar type is a photographic lens originally designed by Dr. Ludwig Bertele in 1924 and patented by Zeiss Ikon. It was notable for its relatively light weight, simple design and fast aperture.

The name “Sonnar” is derived from the German word “Sonne”, meaning sun. It was given this name because its large aperture was much greater than many other lenses available at the time.

Compared to Planar designs the Sonnars had more aberrations, but with fewer glass-to-air surfaces it had better contrast and less flare. Though compared to the earlier Tessar design, its faster aperture and lower chromatic aberration was a significant improvement.

Source: Wikipedia

Here are its key features:

  • 5 elements in 4 groups Sonnar formula lens
  • Compact design, weight 190g, 220g with hood (36mm long, 55mm diameter filter thread)
  • Premium quality Tantalum glass, superior to Trium and Lanthanum glass with best refractive qualities
  • 14 blade aperture for smooth and pleasing bokeh (Made in Germany by Otto Niemann Feinmechanik GmbH, Berlin)
  • Minimum focus distance 0.8m
  • ALL six glass surfaces multicoated, 97% light transmission
  • Initial lot of 300 lenses, designed, manufactured and hand-assembled in Japan by Mr Sadayasu Miyazaki
  • Native Leica M mount

The MS Optical Sonnetar 50/1.1 is available now in our web shop.

Mr Miyazaki of MS Optical, a small independent manufacturer of lenses and camera accessories, has also added a world first: positioned with the rear element of the lens is a “coma adjustment ring”. Coma (aka comatic aberration) in an optical system refers to aberration inherent to certain optical designs or due to imperfection in the lens or other components which results in off-axis point sources such as stars appearing distorted, appearing to have a tail (coma) like a comet (Wikipedia). The coma control has the distance settings infinity, 4m, 2m and 1m (up to 1m setting should only be used with mirror less cameras or cameras with live view). As it is well known, early Sonnar lenses encountered issues with aberration when used wide open. The coma adjustment control allows to select the subject distance and slightly repositions the rear element to compensate for the selected focus distance by reducing spherical aberration. This also changes the focal length very slightly (only by fractions of a millimetre). Alternatively one can set it into the opposite of optimum direction for a soft focus look that makes Sonnar portraits so attractive.

Spherical aberration is also often dubbed as a “friend of bokeh” as the very soft rendering will pronounce out of focus areas even more. The famous Voigtländer Universal-Heliar, introduced in 1926, incorporated the ability of the central lens element to be adjusted by the photographer, thereby introducing varying amount of spherical aberrations. Its images are legendary.

This is what Carl Zeiss say themselves about their C-Sonnar T* 1,5/50 ZM, similar can be expected for the Sonnetar 50/1.1:

This lens design helps to achieve pictures with a special artistic touch. This lens ‘draws’ your subject in a fine, flattering manner and is therefore ideally suited for portraiture. It renders a sharpness that is slightly rounded, being less aggressive than in contemporary lens designs, but at the same time not soft in its rendition.

Many famous portraits of glamorous and prominent people during the 1930s used this technique to great effect. These images are characterized by portraying the person in a shining, nearly celestial way. This effect is very well balanced and not exaggerated; therefore many viewers see it in a subconscious way. The trained observer, however, understands the underlining technique and enjoys the results.

This lens design exhibits some additional effects, which should be understood to achieve the maximum benefit from the C-Sonnar T* 1.5/50 ZM:

Because of the above mentioned classical characteristic of the lens the best focus position in the object space can not be kept exactly constant for all f-stop settings. The passionate photographer might notice a slightly closer best focus in his pictures than expected. When stopping down the lens to f/2.8 or smaller this effect is minimized, so the focus position will be as expected. In order to balance the performance at full speed and other f-stop settings the lens is adjusted with above described characteristic.

Just like MS Optical’s lens conversions, please be aware that this lens is slightly different in operation from “normal” mass-manufactured lenses. For example, the aperture scale rotates with the whole lens barrel when the lens is focussed and there are no aperture click stops. This is not a lens for photographers who want all their lenses to function in the same way and cannot adjust to a different way of working. This is a design for the connoisseur with an appreciation for optics and their history.

There is no other independent maker of Leica M mount lenses that offers the same level of quality and creativity as MS Optical in the world today. This is not just a lens, it is a celebration of the spirit of photography.

MS Optical Lens News

MS Optical Perar Super Triplet 35/3.5 Silver

The MS Optical lens Super Triplet Perar 4/28 continues to be popular, in fact so popular that the complete batch of 28mm Perar is close to being sold out and there are currently no plans for another production run.

Stocks for the long-selling Super Triplet Perar 3.5/35 Mark II are also depleting and while there are plans for another run, it will not happen this year.

We have a limited supply of both lenses, to be considered “final stocks” for the above reasons.

For a limited period we are in the privileged position to be able to offer either lens with EU shipping at a small additional cost, therefore bypassing any customs obligations. Please select the EU shipping option when ordering.

At the risk of overusing the word limited in this post, the above photo shows the silver version of the 35mm Super Triplet, originally only available in Hong Kong. Only two lenses are available. SOLD OUT

Lastly, a new lens by Mr Miyazaki is on the horizon, the MS Optical 50/1.13 Sonnetar. The lens offers a very wide aperture and is a Sonnar design. Ten copies will be assembled in early September and details published at that time. These are not prototypes, and to use Mr Miyazaki’s own words “I do not make enough mistakes to justify building that many prototypes” — these are full production spec lenses. After that more lenses are made to produce 300 in total. The lens will be available via various outlets and is priced at Y109.000. We are aiming to offer a EU shipping option for this lens as we are doing for the Perars. More info on this item will follow shortly.

UPDATE: some photos of the lens can be seen here.

UPDATE2: buyers in Hong Kong can buy this lens at Leitzian Limited in Tsim Sha Tsui. Ming Wong will have priority stock and in the beautiful store you can try before buy, and of course meet other Leica people.

MING YUEN WONG
Leitzian LTD

Room 1302, Lee Wai Comm Blvd
Yin Chong street
1-3A Hart Ave, Tsim Sha Tsui
HONG KONG
Tel:+85292221013

We hope you find these MS Optical lens news of interest and welcome questions or comments.

Japan Exposures on summer holidays

Japan Exposures including our Web and Book Stores will take a holiday starting July 9th until the end of July. The cut-off for Hirano hand-made camera cases was Friday, June 29th. Orders placed on or after these dates will be processed and shipped upon our return in August.

Orders for products that are currently backordered might also be shipped in August. We will make every effort to inform customers with pending order accordingly to manage expectations.

Please note that replies to email inquiries might also be delayed accordingly. We apologise for any inconvenience.

The holiday will affect the web and book stores and the following products and services, which will resume from early August:


Thank you for your understanding and we wish you a pleasant summer with many photographs to take and to look at.