Yes, it’s that time of year again. Hopefully you have all finished your holiday shopping, naturally in the Japan Exposures Web and Book stores we hope, and are getting ready for some quiet time around Christmas and New Year. We are well into the year-end season and Japan is abuzz with people celebrating the closing year, including Japan Exposures as we held our one-year anniversary and year end “bonenkai” earlier this month. Here are some photos of the night showing many of our cover artists, some classic and soon to be classic photobooks, and of course our passionate companion, Tokyo Camera Style’s John Sypal:
We would like to wish all readers, friends, contributors and customers of Japan Exposures a happy year end season. Christmas will mostly be over in Japan on the 25th of December with decorations being removed preparing for the real holiday which is Japanese New Year. Like Christmas in the West, the country will come to a stand-still next week while we join with our families for some quiet and festive time together. If you place an order between Christmas and January 4th, please expect that processing might be slightly slower than normal as our suppliers and the post office will be closed.
The JE team wishes everyone happy holidays and all the best for 2010, photographic and otherwise.
I hear repeated messages that large format is booming. Film and camera sales are up all over the place, despite rising costs.
It is no wonder that we see new players on the market, especially in the new New World. Chamonix is a new camera manufacturer in Zhejiang province in China. They have several standard camera sizes on sale but seem to be able to build anything you like with a six months waiting period. One of their standard cameras is this 4×5, but it is currently out of stock and there is also a six months waiting period. I have put in a tentative order and think it over. The camera looks beautiful and reports seem positive. At $699 it seems priced very well too. Above all is its weight: only 1400g! Let’s see.
UPDATE: the waiting period for those on the waiting list has been shortened to 100 days – ready for Christmas!
Dining table at Christmas – there is something for everyone. Oh wait, there is a another Leica! Yeah, I just could not resist when this M6 TTL came up for a good price. I had always been a little envious about the 0.58 viewfinder magnification of Higashimori’s Leica, so I jumped. Besides, since the funds generated by the webshop are all in US$, it does not present a exchange rate problem.
Took it out for a quick spin on Sunday. Very surprised to get back on the rangefinder after 2-3 months of Canon DSLR. The feel remains just exactly what I am comfortable with. I am still not sure whether I like the rangefinder properties over the SLR properties, or whether it is an issue of digital versus film. I suppose it is a combination of things.
auto-focus is not really faster than manual focus. I find myself refocussing all the time with the Kiss, and good manual focussing is at least as fast. MF on the Kiss is very difficult, however, better than the seriously maddening PowerShot G2, but still difficult
the Leica is a very small package indeed, although heavy
I cannot get used to doing black and white with digital, and have not had the patience to do it well
the Kiss rules for quick snaps and all family stuff
digital is great in low light
returning to disliking buttons and wheels and menus, especially for shooting parameters, preferring manual controls, or having to choose between modes like Av, Tv, P etc.
the flexibility of changing ISO on demand is really neat, having a 1600 film on frame 10 in bright daylight or 100 at night is problematic and probably leading to lost shots
the instant image review on digital is a curse and blessing at the same time, but probably detrimental to staying on
So there you have it, my state of mind on cameras for now.
The year 2005 is drawing to an end and life gets quiet. Approaching the end of the year is always a special time in Japan. The Christmas decorations were thrown out on the 25th and the year end cleaning is starting. Then a week of quiet celebrations with family and friends.
We have done some housekeeping and updated EMS shipping options. Due to a rise in orders from these regions, Asia, Oceania (AUS, NZ), Africa and South America have now their dedicated prices. This should make your shopping more concvenient and you will know the exact cost, wherever you are. Please choose accordingly on checkout.
Due to the public holidays, all orders placed on or after Dec 29th, 2005 will be processed from Jan 10th, 2006.
Megaperls Webshop wishes everyone happy holidays and a prosperous 2006.
As you can see I am already preparing for the new year with a slightly changed site. I grew a little tired of Movable Type, never bothered upgrading to version 3, so I thought I should try switching altogether. So far so good, it was very easy to switch it over, just need to work on the looks of it now.
Meanwhile, it is time and there is time for some film processing at Christmas. As I have mentioned before, I bought a Jobo 2500 series drum for processing sheet film a while back. When I got it, they included two Duo Set 2502 reels for 35mm and 120 size film. The whole drum takes five reels in 35mm setting, but in Japan these reels are prohibitively expensive (about ¥6000 ea.). So while in Germany I managed to buy three more of them and I will try for the first time processing with this setup. I have never tried processing 35mm in a rotary processor, so let’s see how it goes. With five at a time, I may be able to clear my backlog soon – if it all works out.
Canadian Dollars is now available as a currency for browsing the web shop. Please select it from the menu on the bottom right.
Approaching the year end, things are rather quiet in Japan. We spend our time tidying and cleaning up the home, office and of course photographic equipment. Shops and post offices will close for a few days soon, so please expect a slower-than-usual turnaround of your orders.
We wish everybody a happy Christmas and a peaceful new year 2005!