Category Archives: Shop News

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

Books Exotica — A Diary by Nobuyoshi Araki

Nobuyoshi Araki, A Diary -- CoverThe shelves here at Japan Exposures are literally crashing to the ground under the weight of all the various books we have. (Note to any budding photo book collectors — IKEA bookshelves will NOT cut it. Budget for quality bookshelving.) Given this situation, the Minister of Storage has started upping the volume on the perennial question (and I quote), “Do you really need all these &%#@-ing photo books?”, and has issued strict orders to clear some space that our books are occupying in the living room, the bedroom, the children’s room, the toilet, well you get the idea.

So, taking a page from Japan Exposures Exotica, where we sell different cameras and such that we pick up here and there, we’re going to start doing something similar with books. On a regular basis we’ll be putting up a book or two in the store. These books will be — as the saying goes — priced to sell. Think of them as “real books for real people at real prices” or something like that.

We’re starting off with one of Nobuyoshi Araki’s 450 (or whatever it’s up to now) photo books, published in 1995 and in very nice condition, the obi intact, etc.

“A” Diary (A日記), by Nobuyoshi Araki
Pub. by Libroport, 1995
ISBN: 484570997X
Original Cost: ¥4,944
Japan Exposures Price: ¥3,990  SOLD

Nobuyoshi Araki, A Nikki -- book spread

Description
A diaristic record of 1995, in chronological order — or so you would think (more on that in a moment). Photos are in panoramic format, and all are taken with date imprinting. Most pages feature two photos on a page, so this book is jam-packed with candid photos from just about every day of the year. All photos are in color, and every page is full bleed. Robert Frank and Nan Goldin put in appearances, as does Araki himself. And many, many models. Many of those models are, surprise, naked, but this is not one of those books. There is a short essay — Japanese only — by someone with the last name of Ito at the back of the book.

The book was published in March of 1995, leading quickly to the WTF? realization that your looking at a record of 1995 that was published at the beginning of 1995. The essay in the back explains that from 1981 to 1995, using a camera that had a date imprinting back, Araki would play with the dial while shooting, so that pictures even on the same roll might have wildly varying dates imprinted on them. (In his first book to feature photos with date imprinting, Pseudo Diary (1980), Araki used dates like April 1 (April Fools Day) and August 6 and 9 (the days the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, respectively) to highlight the pseudo-ness of the diary.)

According to the book’s essay, from the massive collection of date-imprinted photos, Araki and his editors assembled a seemingly chronological record of 1995, and that is what A Diary is. To be perfectly honest, it’s a great story but we’re not buying it. It has an apocryphal — or April Fools — ring to it. Was there a panoramic camera with date imprinting in the early 80’s?. We think it’s more likely the book was shot in 1994 — after all, that’s when Goldin was in Japan working on Tokyo Love, Spring Fever 1994 with Araki — with the concept already decided upon.

This is not a much sought after or rare Araki, as far as we know, so no need to rush to the Buy Now button just for collecting’s sake. And if you are more into the not-safe-for-work Araki, you may be disappointed. Nevertheless, we like it because it seems to have the right balance of “take a picture of anything that moves” and Sentimental Journey intimacy. We’re selling it because it’s chunky and stylistically overlaps other Araki books we have.

Condition
Some surface scratches and wear to obi and dust jacket, but very minimal.

Valuation
Haven’t searched this one on the web recently, but when I did I saw one copy for $80, and another for $350 (admittedly that one is signed, but still…).

Details
Hardcover, with obi. 26cm x 19cm. 1st printing, 1st edition. 200 pages, approx. 375 color photos. Available here. SOLD

Fujifilm to reorganize film lineup UPDATED

UPDATED 7 Mar 2010 (see below)

Fujifilm has announced some changes in their product line affecting the following film products:

  • Neopan 400 (Presto) 120 size is discontinued with immediate effect (does not affect availability in 135 format)
  • 12 and 24 exposure rolls for 35mm film will be gradually phased out
  • Acros 100 in 11×14 size (special order) discontinued
  • Provia 100 F 11×14 (special order) discontinued
  • Pro 160 NC 120 discontinued
  • T64 reversal 4×5 sheet film, T64 reversal 4×5 Quickload and T64 reversal 8×10 sheet film discontinued

There will be some gradual changes in the packaged quantities of some films, for example single packs will become 3 packs or 5 packs; in the case of 120 format the 20-packs will be withdrawn and only 5-packs remain. We will reflect these changes in our web shop over time as appropriate and where applicable.

In the meantime, the best way to ensure long-term availability of film is to continue shooting it!

Update 7 Mar 2010:

It appears that retailers in the US have received the following notice:

OK…here’s the official Fuji list:
The following are now gone, with no replacement:
Color 160s and160c in 35, 120, 220, 4×5, 8×10, and 4×5 quickload
Color 800z in 35mm 5pack, 120 and 220
Velvia 50 4×5 quickload
Velvia 100 4×5 quickload
Velvia 100F 4×5 quickload
Astia 100F 4×5 quickload
Provia 100F 4×5 quickload
T64 in all formats
Neopan 400 120
CDUII in all formats

The following have had package changes:
Velvia 50, 100, 100F 4×5 and 8×10 are now in 20 sheet boxes
Velvia 50, 100, 100F are now in 5-packs

Astia 100F 4×5 now in 20 sheet boxes, 120 now in 5-packs.
Provia 100F 4×5 and 8×10 now in 20 sheet boxes; 120 now in 5-packs

RXP 120 now in 5-packs

Arcos 100 120 now in 5-packs, 4×5 now in 20 sheet boxes.

MS Optical Micro Four-Thirds (M4/3) T mount/C mount lens connector S (Slim)

Cosmicar 12.5mm/1.4 Television lens adapted for Micro 4/3

We are pleased to announce the addition of Micro Four-Thirds (M4/3) T mount/C mount lens connector S in addition to last year’s Micro Four-Thirds (M4/3) T mount/C mount lens connector L, both made by MS Optical.

Using C mount lenses on Micro Four-Thirds digital camera bodies has become widespread and an enjoyable exploration of lens history. Adapters like these are widely available but MS Optical’s connector kit is somewhat unique – a smartly designed device, not just a piece of metal.

Not only is it made to usual MADE IN JAPAN precision, also unlike other cheaper adapters available it consists of two finely machined parts: an outer ring with a T-Mount (M42, 0.75) screw mount hole, and a smaller removable step-down ring to C-Mount.

The two-part design of this adapter is helpful in cases where, for some reason, a lens cannot be screwed into the adapter as-is or where the aperture or depth of field scales may end up in the place where you cannot see them. The screws can be loosened and the assembly turned to a position you like.

The new S version is a very slim adapter without a surrounding rim to accommodate lenses with larger diameter. However do take care not to overload this adapter. Click on the image to see side-by-side large. Price for each adapter is ¥10,900 plus shipping.

Please pay particular attention to the instructions and warnings accompanying this device as improper use may damage your lens or camera. As in the case of the Cosmicar above, we are happy to accept your C mount lens and have it fitted to the adapter professionally by Mr Miyazaki. Please contact us for details.

Important note: Note that no matter what adapter you use, the image circle of the large majority of C-mount lenses (including the Cosmicar shown here) isn’t large enough to cover the full micro Four-Thirds frame. Instead, there’ll be more or less vignetting.

Neither Japan Exposures nor MS Optical can give you advice on which lens to use. Please research this carefully on the web and note too that manufacturers often put out very different lenses with the same brand name, focal length and aperture; these may have different image circles.) (Thanks Peter)

Moriyama’s Record No. 13

Record No. 13, by Daido Moriyama
Record No. 13, by Daido Moriyama

The latest iteration of Daido Moriyama’s “Record”, number 13, arrived here at Japan Exposures a few weeks ago and upon diving into it’s black and white goodness, it was immediately apparent that there was something not quite the same with this issue. Could it be the number 13 working its unlucky magic? For starters, unlike previous issues and indeed 90% of Moriyama’s ouevre, the printing wasn’t full bleed, ie. there were actual white borders on the edges of the page. The design also didn’t exclusively feature the customary one photo per page layout of the other issues but had several spreads of smaller individual photos. But perhaps the most tell-tale sign that something different was afoot were the photos themselves, or more specifically, the texture — there was a noticeable lack of grain to the images. Unsettling indeed.

Returning to the cover we so hurriedly skipped past, we have the familiar Moriyama leitmotif of the reflected storefront window self-portrait. And herein lies the rub: Upon closer inspection, the camera obscuring Moriyama’s face seems a whole lot bigger than the Ricoh and Olympus point and shoots he normally carries — indeed, it’s big enough that Moriyama can be seen carrying using both of his hands to hold it. Wait a minute. That isn’t an old-school Polaroid Land camera he’s holding there, now is it? A flip to the afterword later, we get our confirmation:

The black-and-white shots featured in this issue were taken with FUJIFILM INSTANT B&W FP-400B film, using a POLAROID LAND CAMERA MODEL 180 that was given to me by a former student.

The 180 model is a Polaroid camera produced between 1965-1969 and accepts sub-4×5 in. size 100/660-Series Land Pack Films. Of course, Polaroid pack film is no longer with us, but it was long unknown outside of Japan that there is a substitute made by Fujifilm, in even greater variety (and arguably, quality) than the original Polaroid material. It is still readily available and offers may creative possibilities. How else otherwise would Moriyama have been able to impose his hallmark contrast and tonal range onto the photographs?

Instant B/W Film FP-400B Super
The Fujifilm instant pack films are the peel-apart type, which means you have control over the development time and with careful balancing of exposure and development there are endless creative possibilities. On top of that, these black and white instant films carry the suffix “Speedy” or “Super Speedy” which refers to the rapid development times which are around 15 to 30 seconds. Surely, anything longer would inhibit the creative process by slowing down the photographer. Now all you need to be careful about is to let their surface dry before stacking them together in your pocket.

It would seem that Bye Bye Polaroid was not the final farewell to Moriyama’s exploitation of instant films we thought it was.


Please see the Japan Exposures Stores for the film of the book — and vice versa.

Bookstore addition: Life in Philly

Life in Philly by Mao Ishikawa -- book coverMao Ishikawa is an Okinawan photographer who has been documenting her homeland and the contentious presence of the U.S. military there for over 36 years. Her uncompromising photography work looking at the lives of “Kin-Town Women” — that is, those women who “befriend” American marines in the Kin entertainment district that caters to them off-base, including at one point Ishikawa herself — led that other great documenter of the American military in Okinawa Shomei Tomatsu to write:

It’s hardly necessary to point out that as a photographer [Mao Ishikawa] lives at the polar opposite of the illusion of objectivity. Mao’s photography does not give a hoot for photography as a systematic structure. Rather, she views the whole world by becoming a totally committed part of it. She is a photographer, and also a Kin-Town woman. The distance between her and the subject, and her relationship with it, are completely different from that of the run-of-the-mill photographer.

In 1975, while shooting in Koza, another of the entertainment districts in Okinawa, Ishikawa became friends with Myron Carr, an American serviceman from Philadelphia. In 1986 Ishikawa left her young daughter in the care of her mother to visit Carr, who had returned home from Okinawa in 1977. Ishikawa stayed for two months with Myron and his twin brother Byron, and took photos of the two of them and the various other people who lived in the house and around their poor inner-city Philadelphia neighborhood.

Life in Philly, by Mao Ishikawa -- book spread

At the time, upon returning to Japan and looking over the prints, Ishikawa thought they were nothing special. Fortunately, upon relooking at them 23 years later, Ishikawa now realizes she captured something very special indeed. As she writes in the book’s introduction:

I don’t know how I managed to take photos of all the various scenes, which are all so very natural. In every one of them, everyone is unselfconsciously themselves and they are unabashed by my presence. You don’t get many photos like these. Even I was impressed!

This nearly 25 year old work has just been published for the first time in a book entitled Life in Philly, by Nara gallery OUT of PLACE in collaboration with Zen Foto Gallery of Tokyo, and Japan Exposures is very pleased to be able to offer it to our readership.

Hiroshi Watanabe’s Love Point

Hiroshi Watanabe is a photographer who was born and raised in Japan but is now a naturalized American citizen. Love Point is his most recent work, a lovingly printed edition published by Tosei-sha earlier this month, and available for sale now in the Japan Exposures bookstore.

Much of Watanabe’s work in the past has focused on an intersection of the real with artifice, as explored through such photo subjects as Noh masks, Bunraku puppets, and traditional Japanese performing monkeys. Even Watanabe’s book Ideology in Paradise, shot in North Korea, can be seen in a similar way.

Here Watanabe turns his attention to the silicone “love dolls” that seem to have enjoyed a “boom” in popularity over the last few years — or is that boom more of Westerners fascination with yet another entry into the “weird Japan” sweepstakes?

Be that as it may, Love Point is not meant to be about the phenomenona itself but rather is a measured, considered book of portraits of models and dolls (created by the Japanese company 4woods) where it becomes very difficult to tell who is who — or what is who, perhaps I should say. The pictures become an authentic look at the lack of authenticity.

The book includes an original short story by novelist and screenwriter Richard Curtis Hauschild (in English and Japanese translation), as well as afterword by Watanabe (in both English and Japanese).

You can see images from the book at the artist’s website.

Hardcover with dust jacket, 27cm x 26cm, 40 pages, 21 b/w photos.

Special Order Fujichrome Velvia 50 5×7 Sheet Film

Many people consider the 5×7 inch sheet film format as the ideal balance in large format photography. A film size large enough for contact printing or comfortable unmagnified viewing, a camera not too bulky, and perhaps best of all, a very pleasing aspect ratio of the image suitable for landscape and portrait orientation.

Nonetheless the 5×7 format has always been somewhat neglected in the choice of film formats, especially in colour. Japan Exposures is pleased to be able to take the initiative on commissioning a special order of the legendary king of colour transparency film in 5×7 inch format: Fujifilm Velvia RVP 50 colour reversal film.

Maggi Hambling’s sculpture Scallop to celebrate British composer Benjamin Britten on Aldeburgh beach, Suffolk/England, taken on Fujichrome Velvia 50 in 4x5in format

Current Status

The order window is now closed and we are no longer taking orders. The minimum quantity for special order has not been reached.

Overview

Since the reintroduction of Velvia 50, the 5×7 product size has been listed as “special order”, and we would like to coordinate and place such an order with Fujifilm Japan. For that to happen we will need to commit to a minimum batch order of 100 boxes of film. As with the ordinarily available Provia 100F, Velvia 100 and Velvia 100F versions, each box contains 20 loose sheets of film.

Pricing

The pricing structure is designed to encourage a higher ordering of units with the aim of reaching the minimum order size quickly. We rely on pricing by Fujifilm Japan. Prices include insured worldwide express shipping to a single destination. Prices and payment are in Japanese yen. There will be no dealer pricing or quantity discounts.

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Prices include insured worldwide express shipping! Included shipping is to a single destination per ordered item. When ordering multiple quantities you are allowed to split quantities to the same number of destinations. Example: you purchase 10 and 5 boxes each and wish to send 8 boxes to destination A and 7 boxes to destination B.

Please use the PayPal buttons to order (Paypal account is not required to make payment). Payments are in Japanese yen (for guidance only, currency conversion rates of your financial institution apply).

Conditions and Order Process

All orders need pre-payment to commit. There will be no reservations of any form except those accompanied with full payment.

We will take orders within an order window which will last until Sunday, March 14th, 2010 at the latest. In case we reach the minimum quantity earlier than that date, or in the event that Japan Exposures decides to close the gap between placed orders and minimum orders, the order window may close before the planned deadline.

One week before the order closure date we will make a go/no-go decision. We will send a notification to everyone with an active order. In case of no-go, all paid orders will be fully refunded.

Please be sure that your spam filters do not prevent any notifications reaching you. This page will also be updated with status accordingly so please check back periodically.

While the order window is open, placed orders can be cancelled free of charge. Once the order window closes, all cancellations will incur a 50% fee.

Once the order window is closed, a firm order will be placed with Fujifilm Japan to manufacture the film. The production will take approximately 2-3 months and we will start shipping to you as soon as we receive the goods. Should there be any delays in the process of manufacturing we will inform you. Such a delay or similar circumstances are not a valid reason to justify a cancellation or reduction in price. Cancellations after closure of the order window will incur a 50% fee without exception.

Upon shipment of your order we will send a notification to you with tracking details. Please be sure that your spam filters do not prevent this notification reaching you.

Once shipped, returns are not accepted under any circumstances.

Thank you

While this is obviously a commercial undertaking, Japan Exposures is taking a substantial financial risk to make this happen for the large format photography community. We kindly ask for your goodwill and cooperation during this initiative. If we are successful we might be able to repeat it, with this or other products.

Contact Us

If you have further questions, please contact us with your request using the form below and we will provide further details.

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