Tag Archives: fujifilm

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.

Rayqual releases Fujifilm X-Pro 1 lens adapters

Premier quality lens adapter manufacturer Rayqual have today released the manual focus lens to Fujifilm X-Pro 1 mount adapter. The following lens mounts are available:

  • Leica M
  • Nikon F
  • Contax/Yashica
  • Canon FD
  • Pentax K
  • Olympus OM
  • M42
  • Leica R
  • Exakta

Adapters for autofocus lenses (Nikon FG, Pentax DA) including an aperture control ring will following in due course.

The new Fujifilm X-Pro 1 is the latest exciting addition to the growing variety of small mirrorless SLR cameras allowing flexible use of contemporary and classic lenses. While there are a wide variety of adapters on the market, Rayqual adapters are MADE IN JAPAN to the highest quality standards allowing photographers and cinematographers to reliably and precisely mount alternative lenses on their cameras.

A customer in the video/motion picture industry who tried their luck with the cheaper alternatives comments: “We already have adaptors for all our Nikon lenses and they work, it’s just that the tolerances are no good resulting in the lenses rotating which is a problem when trying use a follow focus shooting video.” The issues were resolved after switching to the equivalent Rayqual products.

You can find the Rayqual Fujifilm X-Pro 1 mount lens adapter and other Rayqual products in our web shop.

Not a bad picture on show

Report from Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2011, Yokohama

At the risk of stating an utterly obvious and absolutely not new realization: it has become extremely difficult, perhaps impossible, to take a bad photograph with contemporary cameras. At least technically speaking, there is very little that can still go wrong nowadays. Exposure metering is accurate, focus is on target, no excessive lags where you wait for the camera, popping colors, lenses for great image quality, cameras are small enough to not burden even a child and superb looking prints. We are privileged to have all this power available to. Nonetheless, in the context of making photographs, this is meaningless. We, the people behind the camera, are still in charge of picking things from the reality that surrounds us and no camera, sensor or printing paper will help you doing that.

Enough of the philosophizing, since a lot of people will just be interested in the gear, so here you have it.

Fujifilm X100

Everything you heard about it is true. It looks great, the image quality on the display prints is frighteningly good and the EVF overlay is a marvel. The camera is an attractive package and feels good in the hands. Now, I don’t want to be critical on something I have barely seen, let alone used extensively, but I have said that at the end of the day, this camera is just a compact point and shoot with a cool finder. I still think so, even though it is a very good one, perhaps the best one we have ever seen and may see for a while. Is it a game changer? Probably not and a lot of things will depend on how this camera behaves in constant use. The lens is surely brilliant and I doubt that the image quality of the sensor will be disappointing either.

Still, in the few minutes that I handled the camera I noticed some minor niggles: one, there are many controls and buttons, perhaps too many, especially on the back. The camera is not as small like most compacts, but it isn’t large either so the room to put these things is tight. You have a very generously sized screen and on the right several buttons and dial wheel. Only continuous use would tell whether these buttons could be accidentally pressed by handling the camera, large fingers or not, especially with one hand only. Bear it in mind.

The finder — yes, it is a revelation. That EVF overlay in an optical image is absolutely brilliant. A strange thing that I noticed, and I don’t know whether this will disappear in the production version or is something you can set in the options, when you half press the shutter the whole EVF display, lines and parameters, briefly disappear for a split moment (presumably focussing and metering). Personally I would find this a little irritating, because the frame lines are essential for composition and having them disappear or flicker in some way is a distraction, for me anyway. Lastly, and I am sure this can be turned off in the option, you’re composing and shooting while looking at a beautiful optical finder image with the great overlay and, bang, then you are presented with the image you just took displayed full size by means of the electronic finder. That’s an anti-climax.

The camera is slated for release on 5 March 2011 and the price is around ¥130.000 (almost $1600) and you do know that you can get used Leica M8 camera for little more, don’t you? Want it anyway?

Fujifilm GF670W

This wide angle version of the previously released GF670 will not genuinely surprise you. It has a very solid feel and is well-balanced, so comfortable to hold. In fact, the body is identical to the GF670, except where you previously found the bellows, there is now a lens bolted on which gives it a much more rigid feel. What surprised (and actually bothered) me, is that the lens’ focussing ribs that you are supposed to grab to turn the ring are not applied all the way around the lens barrel, only in two opposite positions as if you are supposed to turn this with two fingers and your hands should travel with the rings movement. That is impossible though and the rest of the ring is smooth and does not offer any grip so your fingers may slip. The booth attendant (funnily enough, the same gent as two years ago) pointed out to me that one is supposed to grab the lens from above with two fingers, but then I saw my own hand in the finder. An odd design decision.

Ricoh GXR Leica M mount module

Yes, you will be able to buy this after all and it should be fun. But then, it won’t turn your Ricoh into a Leica M. Still, great to have it of course and now on a par with the Micro-Four-Thirds and Sony E-Mount systems that let you use Leica M mount lenses via an adapter. You can feel that Ricoh loves photography, despite being a big Japanese conglomerate (that even makes gas meter for homes, as I have seen last week).

Cosina/Voigtländer

Wait a minute, could this whole show by Canon, Nikon and all have just been arranged to accompany a photo exhibition by Tom A?

Two of Tom’s prints are on display, amongst photos by others. Well done, Tom.

Of course, all of Cosina and Zeiss’ wares are out for display but I could not detect anything new or noteworthy. A little quiet there actually and none of the attractive show hostesses ubiquitous at other booths to photograph either.

Kenko C Mount digital camera

Not sure what to make of this, but it looks like a fun niche product: a digital camera with a native C mount (small format cine lenses) so you can use a wide range of legacy lenses without adapters or other fuss. If the image quality is OK and the price is right, I think this will do well and be very enjoyable. Ironically the camera is said not to offer any movie mode.

Pentax

Some fantastic prints on the wall at Pentax. A few years ago I remember feeling slightly underwhelmed with large prints from the 645D, but perhaps it is that printing technology has caught up with bringing out all the information that the images contain. The large panels, some so large that they are made up by a mosaic of four or more. Impressive.

Pentax have established themselves as the individualisable camera manufacturer, there does not seem an end to their ability to make non-standard versions of their cameras. A true logistical and manufacturing feat.

And yes, there will be a K-5 Silver Limited!

Shibakawa LED flash

Shibakawa are a OEM/ODM manufacturer of in- and off-camera flash units for most of the Japanese camera makers. What they are trying to do now is develop an LED light/strobe unit. Only a prototype was presented. What’s interesting is that you can daisy-chain small module units, for example to wrap around a lens or hood with velcro and then build your own ring flash — or a strip light if needed. Any shape is possible. At the moment the modules are still a little “large”, the rep says (not to me), but they should get smaller. A limitation is the low power, only a guide number of four so it is targeted at still life and macro setups where this should not be an issue or low power is even desirable. Also there is no wireless transmitter facility, but again this is not a problem in small setups. What’s very interesting is that you can address any single LED in the array and regulate its output depending on the situation, so you can have less light on one side closer to the subject (an issue in macro where you are very close to the subject, creating lighting imbalances) or create deliberate accents. The LEDs can emit strobe and also continuous light, so you can have a modelling light and use it for video too.

An interesting development to watch. It may come to market either under their own brand or via another maker’s name.

Hey, and I receive my first freebie, a pen, from a very friendly English speaking gentleman. Thank you and good luck to the project!

Canon, On-demand photo books

When I wrote my previous report two years ago, I lamented the lack of choice in domestic (Japanese) options to print on demand photo books and other things like calendars. Well, things have changed and we went from few choices to no choices at all. At least nothing was on display today, not even wedding albums, and this may not be the target audience here. Perhaps it is also that nobody is daring to take on the mighty Blurb, Lulu, MyPublisher etc. who have cornered the market. To compete with them you’d have to do what Japan isn’t generally too good at: create a user-friendly web site which is usable by anyone in the world (read: not cluttered in design and not only in Japanese language). Of course Canon would be the perfect candidate, as they have a powerful printing technology division. That’s not just your office photocopiers, but high-end image processing and on-demand printing lines that should be more than able to do what HP does for the others. However, what we get is a little of something: small-ish, single sized on-demand books for photos and text for 20 to 204 pages, accessible via Canon’s consumer portal Image Gateway, which also offers other post-capture services like image sharing. Of course that’s only in Japanese language, but to their credit not too bad an interface the last time I used it. I know Canon is very keen on expanding printing and trying out many ideas. The book looks decent enough quality, even the images, but it is not really a photo book in size and appearance. It would be ideal to print a diary-like affair, or even one’s blog with photos thrown in. In my opinion it is really more a text format book in terms of size and paper.

Best of the rest

Free lens cleaning at Tamron (thanks)


Large lenses at Sigma put any bazooka or other grenade launcher to shame. Try using those in front of the White House and get a free ride in a military or police vehicle!


Casio think that HDR should be elevated to HDR Art and devotes a large section of their booth to displaying, shall we say, unattractive prints created with the in-camera mode HDR Art.

That’s all folks, thanks for reading and until next time! And in case anyone sees Hans, please send him over to the camera bag section!

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.

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.

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.

Order Placement

Number of boxes Price per box Total price Purchase Cart
2 (40 Sheets) ¥19,000 ¥38,000
 
5 (100 Sheets) ¥17,000 ¥85,000
 
10 (200 Sheets) ¥16,000 ¥160,000
 
       

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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Sayonara 110 – Fujifilm discontinues 110 colour negative film

Sayonara 110 – Fujifilm discontinues 110 colour negative filmAfter 32 years in production Fujifilm has discontinued production of the Fujicolor 110 format (aka “pocket”) colour negative film. 110 is a cartridge-based film format used in still photography. It was introduced by Kodak in 1972. 110 is a miniaturised version of Kodak’s earlier 126 film format. The image is 13×17 millimeters, with one registration hole. (Wikipedia)

The last batch has been produced in September 2009 so it will be only available while stocks last.

We are trying to maintain stocks of this film as much as we can (available in 12 and 24 exposure versions in the web shop), but of course there are limits to what is available to us. All film has expiry dates well into 2011 so now would be a good time to stockpile it if you like this film stock and format.

For samples please visit this Flickr group.