Tag Archives: fujifilm

Update on release of Fujifilm GF670 Professional

We have just been informed by Fujifilm that the release of the Fujifilm GF670 Professional, initially scheduled for mid-March, and subsequently postponed to late April is imminent, although no exact date has been set.

The amount of pre-orders is continuing to exceed expectations. As a consequence Fujifilm are unable to fulfill all pre-orders at once right upon release. Sellers will be allocated a number of units as they become available and exact number of the initial and subsequent batches are at this point in time unknown. What is certain though is that orders are fulfilled on a first ordered, first served basis.

Unfortunately we are unable to tell what our and the position of our customer who ordered this camera from us is right now, so we kindly ask for more of your patience — it will come and it will come soon. Once you have it in your hands it may well have become an instant classic already.


PIE 2009

I have missed it last year, for some reason, so wanted to make a special effort to see it this year: the Tokyo Photo Imaging Expo 2009, a consumer-oriented photo trade fair held in the Tokyo Big Sight complex on the Odaiba artificial island, a little off the centre of town.

Here are some impressions and very personal subjective highlights:

When you walk into the large halls you are greeted by the noisy and shiny big booths of the large players. Apart from the numerous booth hostesses with their uninterrupted smiles for the even more numerous unshaven, persistent male photographers, if that’s the right term for them, it almost seems like visiting a superlative branch of electronic mega-retailers Yodobashi or Bic Camera with their “maker corners”. Very, very unsurprisingly virtually everything is about showcasing the world of digital photo to the masses, some of which is useful, and quite a lot seeming totally useless or a desperate attempt to differentiate (Casio’s virtual studio where you can create digital composites in-camera is a main contender, unless combining photos of your family with a man in a spacesuit on the moon is high up on your feature list for a point and shoot camera).


PIE 2009

I always look forward to the Fuji booth because it has a variety of things on display, not just endless rows of camera bodies. There is usually a good amount of space devoted to film and film cameras, and this year was no exception. I was hoping to get a hands-on impression of the GF670 — I was not disappointed.

PIE 2009

Greeted by a jolly bunch of three middle aged oji-san, I showed my Contax G1 and asked “fancy a swap?” to which he responded “sure, of course” and we laughed. The camera itself is very nice. My first impression was how light it is. The finder is quasi identical to that of a 35mm rangefinder camera, large and bright with a good RF patch. On the right you see the shutter speeds displayed top to bottom (similar to the Zeiss Ikon, but on the right side not left), and on top when AE is used an A is shown.

The shutter is very quiet. I had to shoot it twice as I was not sure it happened the first time round. The whole thing holds very well in the hands, with your left you can focus and control aperture on the front, the right presses the shutter and winds. The three gentlemen seemed very pleased with the interest that the camera is getting. Obviously I am not familiar with the company internals at Fujifilm, but I would not be at all surprised if the analog division consists of a lot more of these kind of film nuts, who — I fantasize here — in the shadows of the workings of an enormous industrial corporation continue to enjoy making these products, even if it is at a much smaller scale than in the past.

Epson R-D1x

For me the R-D1 has always been an unfulfilled wishful dream. When I looked at it years ago I was not too excited, and nor I was today. It still seems big, and surprisingly heavy, almost heavier than the much larger dimensioned GF670, but above all somehow greatly lacking elegance. The chunky body with the tiny lens in front, it just does not appeal to me, but of course many others will like it just fine. But unless there is ever an alternative to it or the Leica M8, the dream will continue.

Custom photo books

Why, after years and years of print on demand photo books, isn’t there any decent domestic Japanese offering that at least comes close to the likes of Blurb and MyPublisher or even iPhoto books? It is a total mystery. Most of the books are obviously targeted at the wedding or family album market. For a start, there is no book in landcape orientation, but plenty of squares and portait formats. The paper is glossy and shiny, and either very thin or very thick. The images look not of great print quality. The typesetting, I assume not customisable, looks beyond terrible. Spiral ring binding etc., you get the idea. On the plus side, some of them can be made while you wait. Forgettable.


Good to see Mamiya active digitally. A small, but very focussed booth. It would be a shame to see cameras like the RZ67 become history. The digital back for it, not sure who makes it, appears to breath new life into it. Don’t dump your RBs and RZs for cheap yet!


PIE 2009

I was impressed by a very large print of a blossoming cherry tree (what else) made from the Pentax 645 Digital. One general gripe about digital prints on the show: they are all just too damn sharp! It looks great from a distance — go closer, as you naturally do with a fine print, and it all falls apart pretty quickly. Still sharp at close distance, but not pretty.

The Japanese Photographic Pinhole Society

PIE 2009

Not sure who they are, but they are funded well enough to afford a fairly large booth in the center of the hall.


PIE 2009

Away game for the yellow team. Nothing too exciting on display for me in the paper and finishing area, but some very good prints outside next to the Ektar promotion, taken on Portra, Tmax and Ultra. “Love Film, Love Camera” the booth says.


PIE 2009

In a Micro Four Thirds display the well known prototype with the byline “On Sale Summer 2009”. Next to it a product covered by a blue cloth… and next to that a window celebrating 50 years of Olympus Pen — coincidence?
PIE 2009

And lastly…

PIE 2009

There are plenty of small booths with all sorts of things on display. Take for example the “Japan Photo and Video Small Accessory Industrial Association”, or “Japan Photo-sensitized Materials Manufacturers Association” advertising themselves. I noted an interesting booth by a small company making steps or “scaffolding” for group photographs, which are very common to do here (see also our review on Tomoko Sawada’s School Days). They had a sample photo with a huge group of people on it, perhaps a graduation. I asked them how many people were on the steps. The answer was three hundred!

Negative News

DNP Centuria 200Shinagawa, Tokyo, Contax G1 on DNP Centuria 200
We have been notified of a price increase of the popular Fujifilm Natura 1600 colour negative film. This film has been our best selling film for several years now and its popularity is founded on its great performance under low light conditions where it really excels. And you don’t need a Natura camera to enjoy it. The price hike is about 10%, but we have managed to secure a decent amount of stock at the old price and will continue to sell at this price while stocks last. So if you like Natura 1600 and want to stock up on it, now is a good time to do so.

More negativity is in a forthcoming technical mini-review by Christoph Hammann for Japan Exposures where he checks out the new Kodak Ektar 100 Professional. For now meet its antipode, the Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) Centuria 100.

DNP inherited the Centuria brand from the now defunct Konica Minolta photography business. The Centuria films are low budget films with very decent performance, in fact if you ask top league Japanese photographer Koji Onaka, he would probably tell you that this stuff is all you should be using. We are offering very competitively priced 10 and 100 packs — treat yourself to shooting without the worries of cost. Three to four rolls of of Centuria versus a single roll of Ektar…

Release of Fujifilm GF670 Professional delayed until end of April

We have just been informed by Fujifilm that release of this camera, initially scheduled for mid-March, has been postponed to end of April.

The reason stated is an excessive number of pre-orders causing production constraints, as some parts are handmade.

While this is surely disappointing from for those who have placed an order with us, we hope you share some positive feeling about the fact that a film camera can still generate a lot of interest.

Fujifilm release (in Japanese)

We apologise for the delay and inconvenience.

Yukio Ohyama – Diamond

Image courtesy of Lumobox/Fujifilm (Switzerland) AG

Yukio Ohyama was born in 1952 in Kanagawa Prefecture. He is living in Fujisanroku and has been pursuing a career in photography there since 1990.

His works appeared in full-page color in a weekly magazine over a six-months period in 1999. Has documented the wildlife and seasons in the woodlands of the Susono area near Mt. Fuji over the last ten years and continues to pursue new avenues in photography. Ohyama is featured in the Fujifilm Web Gallery & Shop in Japan and Europe/Switzerland.

The Fujifilm Web Museum and Lumobox feature photographs by renowned photographers with a wide range of styles. Some photographs can also be purchased online at an affordable price. Lumobox also maintains a physical gallery in the centre of Zurich showcasing contemporary photography. Both websites are available in English, although we recommend visiting the Japanese version for the best multimedia experience and broadest selection of artists including Domon Ken, Nobuyoshi Araki, Daido Moriyama and Kenzo Yamamoto (note that not all images are available for purchase).

Fujifilm 利根 WP/Gaslight Paper


Finally I found the Fuji TONE WP printing paper for contact printing. I have to add that I have not wet printed for a long time and especially never with the Fuji materials (paper developer today was Fuji Super-Korectol-L). 

First things first: it is an RC paper, medium weight and it is glossy. That probably violates several commandments of the fine art photography world. This is probably a disappointment for some people, but not for me. Here’s why:

Like meeting a rude person, what first strikes you is the lack of sensitivity of this paper. My other stock (Fuji Bromide, RC, graded) had exposures between 1-2s with my setup, which is why I have a darkroom timer hooked up to the bulb. With this paper I exposed for 100-150 seconds! Yes, that is very long but I found it gives me amazing precision for exposure (no fractions of seconds to worry about) and even a kitchen timer will do. The lack of sensitivity should also be beneficial for people with makeshift darkrooms that are not totally light tight (within reason).


So for me this paper will become my new standard stock at least for work prints and proofing. It helped me already making better prints because of the longer exposures. You can dodge as much as you want in that time period and really look at the negative in the contact printer while thinking what to do with it.

The prints themselves show a very pleasant tonality as far as I am concerned. Contrast just right for me at grade 3 (a matter of taste and how your negatives look like; I have seen last stocks of grade 2 version, but going forward it will only be made in 3). The image is crisp and blacks are rich and deep where you want them. Overall the grey is nice and neutral. This is a very user-friendly paper for contact printing and I am very pleased with it. Unfortunately I was told earlier this week that Fuji paper prices will go up by 10-20% in summer so I will stock up a bit.

As always, this Japan-only product is on sale in the Japan Exposures Webshop.