Tag Archives: fujifilm

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Introducing the ‘bikkuri case’

The Bikkuri film case
Yes, that is right, we have a new film case for you. In light of popular request I have decided to release the Bikkuri film case. Bikkuri means surprise in Japanese, and each one of these cases is a surprise, you don’t quite know what you are going to get. These are the same fujifilm cases that were on offer previously, except for one difference, these ones come full to the brim with 10 rolls of film! But as these are the Bikkuri cases, you are going to be in for a surprise, as you will not know what is inside until you open the case. But don’t worry, you are not going to open the case to find a bunch of cheap, expired film. These cases will have a selection of interesting, unusual, regular and fun films inside them. Some of the films that you might find in your case are going to be unique or soon to be discontinued films, which makes them all the more special.

Initially there are going to be 4 different cases available:
The Mono Bikkuri case
Exactly what you think it is. Only monochrome films inside this little beauty. So who knows what it will be? Acros? Neopan? Fomapan? This is it, you just don’t know. But trust me, there will be an interesting enough selection to put a smile on your face.
Price: 6500 Yen plus shipping
The Color Bikkuri case
Does what is says on the tin, and interesting selection of colour films for you, ranging from Agfa Vista and Solaris, through Fuji Premium, Astia, Venus and Natura, right up to Pro H and Portra. Only the lords of film know what is inside each case.
Price: 7500 yen plus shipping
The Reversal Bikkuri case
Provia, Velvia, EliteChrome…good golly, there could even be some T64 in there, you just don’t know. But know this, it will only have slide film inside.
Price: 8000 yen plus shipping
The Premium Bikkuri case
The premium Bikkuri case for the discerning customer. A classic selection of the very best of the best. Only the high end films in this case, no Kodak Gold for you, oh no. This case will have a selection of Mono, color neg and positive films of the very highest level. The Rolls Royce of film cases.
Price: 10,000 yen plus shipping

All films supplied will be 36exp rolls, so you know you are getting the value for your cash, no 24 exp rolls quietly tucked inside to sour the deal.
I am open to requests, if you want a case personalized to your requirements please let me know, and we can arrange that for you too.
For details on payment and ordering please contact me here through this contact form.


fuji x10

Fujifilm Finepix X10

Now I am not really sure about this camera. I posted the promo video for it a few months back, which generated some interest, but since then there has not been a lot going on. But now we are getting the adverts on the tv in Japan and the big stores have got shelves full of them. So in light of this I thought it would be prudent to show a review of the camera. Now seeing as I am a fan of Kai and the guys at DigitalRev I thought the best review to share with you would be theirs.
Although is is expensive and it lacks certain key features, it is still an interesting little camera that is clearly going to be very popular with people who love the retro styling and the rangefinder look. Honestly, if it wasn’t so bloody expensive I would probably pick one up myself.

Still, I am going to give it a go, so I might get one anyway. If you want to get one from Japan, drop me a line. The stocks are abundant and the Japanese versions often come with extras.



Fuji Natura S – Limited Edition

The amazing Fujifilm Natura S, faster than the speed of light
Well, I was out shopping the other day and I came across this little gem. The Fuji Natura S. This camera hold a special place in the hearts of camera collectors as it boasts possibly the fastest wide angle lens on a compact film camera. The 24mm f1.9 fujinon lens is something to behold as it is rare to find anything faster than 2.8 on most compacts.

Fuji never released this camera outside of Japan, and they did not produce for a great deal of time either, so there are not many of them about. If you do find one, they are expensive, so it is best to get them when you see them.
Officially there were three colours available; Aqua, Rose and Lavender, but in actuality there were also matt black, piano black and piano white cameras. Plus a couple of different limited edition cameras….like this one

This is the Garcia Marquez special piano black Fuji Natura S, a very limited edition camera that came with an original special case and presentation box.

The Fuji Natura s no slouch on the specs either, featuring an electronic leaf shutter, super quiet operation, fast autofocus, meter from iso 50 to 3200, built in flash, close up parallax lines. This thing is a might big camera, stuffed into a tiny frame, it only weighs 195grams!

There is only one problem….as the camera was only released in Japan, the menu and operations are all in Japanese! Fortunately they are not complicated, and after a short while you would be able to figure them out, but it can be a bit daunting.

This is a very cool camera, and it has gone….as soon as I got it it was sold. But I can get more, there are some around. If you would like a Natura S please let me know and I will get one for you. Then you can have the super fast, super light camera that nobody knows about.



Fujica GL690 aka: The Beast

A hulk of a camera, born from neccessity
Check this out…A whopper of a camera. I picked this up this week for a customer, whom I think is going to be very very happy with it. Although I don’t think the postman will be when he throws his back out delivering the damn thing.

This is the legendary Fujica GL690 Professional, a camera that was developed by Fuji in the late sixties to meet the needs of photographers who wanted the ease of use of a 35mm rangefinder style camera, with the quality and stability of a medium format film base.
At the time, Japanese commercial photographers were taking a lot of group shots (still a popular line of work in Japan), they needed a camera that was tough, easy to use, gave great quality images and didn’t cost the earth….which is where the Fujica series of rangefinders came in.
The GL690 Pro came as an evolution from earlier G690 models, being released in early 1974. The camera was given an additional release butter for vertical shots, a larger 0.92 viewfinder and the capacity to use 120 roll films instead of sheet film. There were other significant upgrades, including rubberized grips on the lenses, larger viewfinder and strengthened lugs to carry the camera (though who would want to is beyond me).

This monster weighs in at 1745g without the bloody lens! And this particular one comes with two lenses, so I am not looking forward to going to the post office.

This camera was found as part of my equipment sourcing service. You name the camera you want and I shall find it for you (within limits, some things cannot be bought for love nor money). If you need anything, contact me and I can make your camera dreams come true.



The Kodak collection

This could be the ultimate kodak collection
Well, I went to the camera show yesterday, and this is what I found. Quite possibly one of the best collections of Kodak film and memorabilia around. This is the personal collection of a very good friend of mine, which spans over 30 years of collecting from all over the world. The owner is a passionate cameraman and has been at the helm of one most famous camera stores in Japan for over 50 years, giving him unique access to many of the items that cannot be found anywhere else.

When you look at the collection you realize that it just keeps on going, on and on. There are original tokens, measuring jugs, oil lamp projectors, unopened cans of developer…..the list just goes on and on. There was a whole glass case just filled with this stuff. Even books, super 8 film mascots, patches everything that you can imagine. This is a film collectors dream come true.

If you look closely you can even see a kodak pill case to keep your medicine in, how cool is that? Oh, and that red thing? That is an original unopened darkroom lamp in the paper case from over 40 years ago! I doubt even Kodak has one of these.

All of the film is completely unused, never been opened, there is even compass camera film and sheet ektachrome. This is the collection to end all collections. And now he is selling it! Yup, it is all going. The thing is, how do you sell a collection like this? Where do you sell a collection like this? Well, if you are interested in it you can contact me and I can help you get hold of it. But be warned, this is not cheap, not even slightly, this is a lifetime collection which is worthy of a museum.

I am really proud to know people like this, who collect and love film and cameras as much as this, you can really see the passion that has gone into this collection. Seeing this really was a highlight for me.



Fujifilm announcement – The future of film

*EDIT* Perhaps I should have been more clear. Neopan SS 36 has been cut, not the 24 which is still available. Though past cuts from Fuji show that once the 36 has gone, the 24 is not far behind.

Well, Fujifilm made another announcement, which is never a good thing anymore
That would be because the announcement that Fujifilm made is that they will be cutting a shedload more films from production….yet again.
You can see the original article on the Fujifilm webpage, but it is in Japanese only. There has been no official announcement from other Fujifilm groups as of yet. Which is why I decided to translate the page for you lovely people to let you know what you are going to be losing.

In the article Fujifilm states that due to a falling market for silver halide films they will be cutting some films, but they also state that they will increase efficiency and continue to work on a system to ensure that there will be a continuous supply of Silver Halide film in the future. Unfortunately they don’t tell us what films these will be.

The following films have ceased production and will not be re-produced. Once the remaining inventory has gone that will be it. So if you use any of the following films I suggest you get yourself as much as you can now, because this will be the last chance.

Professional films

Negative Film:
Sheet film (cut size)
FujiColor Pro 160NC 4×5 20 sheet pack.
Fujicolor Pro 160NC 4×5 Quick load type 20 sheet pack.

Reversal film:
135 (35mm size)
Fuji Sensia III 100 24 exp roll.
Fuji Sensia III 100 36 exp roll.
Tungsten T64 36 exop roll.

Medium format
120 size
Astia 100F 12 exp 5 pack.
220 size
Astia 100F 24 exp 5 pack.
Sheet film (cut size)
Astia 100F 4×5 20 sheet pack.
Astia 100F 8×10 20 sheet pack.
Astia 100F 4×5 quick load 20 sheet pack.

Black and white negative film
135 (35mm size)
Neopan SS 36 exp roll.

So, there you go. As you can see the biggest cuts have been in the slide film areas, something that I warned people about a while ago. It is too expensive to produce these films and people are not using them any more. Thankfully there was only one cut on the monochrome film, but it was a major one…Neopan SS 36exp (24 still available for now)!
The Fuji site says that it has stopped production of all of these and will ship them until stocks run out, which according to the website will be within this year for most of the films and early next year for the Neopan and the Astia. Bummer.

This is not the first time in recent memory that Fujifilm have cut a load of film, and it is not going to be the last. I have heard through the rumour mill that they have privately said they will continue to produce monochrome film for at least the next 10 years. Lets hope it is more like 20.

If you need any of this film or want to get as much as you can, drop me a line and I can see if I can help you.


fujifilm x10

Fujifilm X10 Promotional Video

I managed to find a promotional video for the x10, though I would have hoped that Japan would have produced another one of the frankly disturbing video’s, like the did for the x100.
This camera is certainly going to be popular, just as long as Fuji can price it correctly. It really doesn’t matter about performance for a lot of people, just as long as it looks good and takes nice pictures, and that is the market this camera is aimed at. So us purists can whinge and gripe as much as we like, but we are not the core market for Fuji, and have not been for a very long time.



The darkness that drives me

A personal collection of pieces that I am considering to exhibit this year
There is not really a great deal to say about all of these, I would really like the images to speak for themselves. I have been studying the work of different photographers over the summer and have been trying to give my style a definition that I feel it has been missing.
Nobody could ever accuse me of being a bright and breezy person, especially not my wife. I tend to view life not from the ‘glass half empty’ point of view, rather the ‘my drink needs topping up’ point of view.
These images were all taken during the beginning of the summer, which proved to be a testing time for me. I hope that my feeling and my attitude at the time has come out in these pictures.
There is no particular sequence to these images or timeline, but that may be a problem for me to ponder over rather than for you to question. These are all taken in Tokyo over the last month or so with a Leica M6 and Neopan 400 film.
festival in japan
More than anything these are just a sample of what I have been doing lately and what I may consider to put into a show at the end of this year.
As always input is greatly appreciated, as long as it is not unpleasant and rude. Let me know what you think.



The future of film?

Does film have a future? And if it does, how long have we got?
Now then, before you all just down my throat about film vs digital and all that malarkey, this is not a debate about that. They both have their merits and demerits, so let us just leave it at that.
This is about film, that lovely tactile unpredictable wonder that captures moments on something that you can feel. For years and years we took film for granted, barely even giving it a thought. Until the advent of digital, and then everything changed. Digital was faster, easier, cheaper and could make you into a ‘pro’ overnight if you were that way inclined. Many thought that this was the death knell for film…I mean, who needed that outdated-horse and cart-style fiddly cartridge that only took 36 shots?
For a while it seemed that nobody did, and it could be the end for film. But then we had the toy camera resurgence, trendy young types and new photographic ‘artistes’ came in their droves to film, partly because it was no longer mainstream and partly because of the effects that you could produce.

This gave rise to to things like the impossible project, the re-release of polaroid films by a bunch of passionate film nerds. After a wobbly start their films found their feet and are now immensely popular with the artistic photographers among us. There has also been a strong following for the classic camera shooters, which shows no signs of waning, at least for the time being. Along with Lomography and the lo-fi market it would seem that film has not been in such a strong position for a long time. But is it?
As passionate as I am about using film, I cannot help feel that is is a house of cards.
This is not just a statement based on guesswork, but based on evidence. In the last few years we have seen the creation of a number of new films, most noticeably Ektar and Portra from Kodak, but at the same time we have seen a reduction in a number of films including some of the greats like Ektachrome and Neopan 1600. Fujifilm has been cutting their range little by little every year. So it makes you wonder, what is next?

Well, it seems not much. Fujifilm and Kodak have both pledged to continue making (monochrome) film for at least the next ten years. But what about colour film? I hear you bleat softly.
Well, that is the trouble. The colour film market has been shrinking rapidly for years now and both companies have stated (not publicly, the walls have ears) that is too expensive and not economically viable to continue producing colour film. The main problem being the developing of the films, the chemicals being expensive to produce.
What we are likely to see over the next couple of years is the step by step reduction of the colour film ranges, leaving only the very specialist films that have commercial applications. And the consolidation of the monochrome ranges into something simpler.
So, if you like your slide films, now would be the time to go shooting crazy, because you might not have much time left. But is you are a black and white maniac, then rest easy, you have a while yet before you have to put that film camera in the cupboard.

Over all the prognosis is not all that bad. Don’t listen to all of the doom and gloom types, there is still life in the old dog yet. I mean, Fujifilm, Nikon and Leica are still producing film cameras, so there must be something in it if they are happy to keep on knocking them out. We will be able to use film in some capacity or another for at least the next couple of decades, although we may need to have a healthy bank balance to do so.
Donations welcome:)



Fuji X100 video. Wow! Just…wow.

This is one of the Japanese videos released by Fujifilm for the X100.

Words fail me.


Fujifilm, you have got some balls.