For the first time since launch, we have added a camera to the online catalog, the much-discussed and requested Fuji Natura S. The camera is on sale only in Japan since October 2004. With a 24mm wide angle lens and a maximum aperture of 1.9, this makes an inexpensive available-light shooter. Being able to choose your colour seems to be standard these days, Apple started it with the iMacs several years back, so this camera comes in the colours Aqua, Rose and Lavender. Take your pick!
Meanwhile, the shipping & returns policy has received a little update. No major changes, just a little more precise information.
The process of making credit card payments using PayPal is quite easy, but still troublesome for some customers. Customers who have trouble with credit card payments, please refer to this guide to complete your transaction successfully.
As a reminder, a transaction is only completed when you see the final confirmation screen. Incomplete transactions are unpaid purchases and cannot be fulfilled.
We wish everybody a happy new year. Our special prayers are with those who survived and those who perished in the South Asian earthquake disaster this week.
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!
Due to earlier unexpected popular demand, the immensely useful drying hanger for sheet film had to be taken out of the catalogue for a couple of weeks. Now it is back, although again in limited supplies and waiting periods may occur. If you want one of those under the Xmas tree, now is the time to put in the order.
In other news, a customer in Norway reported a delivery time of just over two days using trackable EMS service from Japan. This is almost equalling the speed of on-board courier service!
This web site accepts credit card payments via PayPal, an international payment service provider. Many people have reservations using PayPal, for a variety of reasons, which I accept and understand. However, PayPal is too convenient an option for payment processing to ignore.
On the PayPal web site instructions are given how to make the payers membership to the PayPal system optional, which is what I want to do. When trying to enable this option, I could not find the switch in my account settings and upon inquiry to PayPal’s customer service, I was disappointed to learn that […] at this time the PayPal account optional is not yet available to non US PayPal accounts. This means that a customer wanting to pay by credit card has to sign up for a PayPal account to complete credit card payment.
I am less than unhappy about this arrangement. However, it is possible to create this account even with minimal user information, and even without storing your credit card with them. The account can be closed immediately afterwards should you wish to do so. We apologise for the inconvenience that this causes and welcome your valued suggestions on how to better process credit card transactions over the Internet.
We often hear our countries’ leaders complain to each other about exchange rates and how they affect trade. Most of the time, it has little relevance to us. However, when buying products all over the world, as it was made possible by the Internet, we are all concerned.
The US Dollar has lost value tremendously in the past weeks again the Japanese yen. The Euro in turn, has appreciated considerably. Since prices on this site are all in yen, mostly fixed and currency exchange rates are updated daily, switching to your local currency may reveal some fluctuation in prices. Naturally, I have no influence over those values, so what may appear to you as an increase is actually global currency markets moving.
So what’s the message? If you pay in Euro or Pound, now is the time to buy and get more for your money. If you pay in US$, I recommend you keep an eye on the rates in the next few weeks. What’s gone down must go back up.
Even in Japan, the wonderland of photography, we can feel the impact of digital imaging on the film market. Many films, which we accepted as a given for many years, are becoming unavailable, especially niche products. The latest victim is the Konica range of 750nm infra-red emulsions. Announced as discontinued in April this year in the rest of the world, stocks are still widely available in 35mm format in Japan. The previously manufactured 120 format has already disappeared, however. Whether current 35mm stocks are remnants or are still manufactured I cannot say, but photographers who like IR photography should keep a close eye on developments and maybe stock up on films while they can.
But it is not all doom and gloom. The mighty Fujifilm has even released a new colour negative film recently, the Natura 1600. This ultra-high-speed film is based on what Fuji calls Nano-structured grain technology, which is supposed to provide smooth, natural colour reproduction and gradation, especially suited for photographing people. This could be particularly interesting for photographers who either cannot or do not like using flash indoors and like non-intrusive available-light photography, for example at weddings or under the Christmas tree. Currently available in a 135-36 3-pack, it is the ideal quantity to try out this newcomer.