Last weekend I travelled to Yokohama to take in Japan’s annual premier camera event, the CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show (see photos at bottom of this post). According to their website, they managed 62,597 visitors over 4 days.
Really, I went with eyes only for Fujifilm X-Series cameras and inkjet paper offerings from various manufactures. Apart from the Cosina / Voigtlander booth, I didn’t really pay much attention to anything else.
While standing in line awaiting my chance to try out the new Fujifilm X 100s, I espied an elegantly and stylishly turned out fellow foreigner just ahead of me in the queue. As well as presenting to the world a well cut suit, nice floral shirt and complementary floral belt, he was also sporting a ‘press’ badge. As he rounded a bend and we became parallel, I promptly and vigorously accosted him and demanded to know his business (i.e. I said something like, “Hello. So, who do you report for then?”). Turns out he was Richard Butler, of Digital Photography Review fame. Digital Photography Review being of course, most commonly known as DP Review.
Richard also turned out to be a warm, friendly and enthusiastic person, willing to chat to a total stranger about things photographic. And this turned out to be great for me. If you’re going to talk to someone about cameras and such, then who better to talk to than someone genuinely knowledgeable and with real world experience of a large number of cameras? The way things turned out, by the time we reached the demo counter, I ended up being his impromptu interpreter. Good thing that the Fujifilm guy we got had English skills superior to my Japanese.*
The manual focus split screen thingy seemed to work remarkably well. At first I complained that the lens throw was quite long, but Richard discovered that the throw lessened if you sped up the turning action. Focus peaking is indicated with white only. It can’t be changed. This is a conscious choice, as Fujifilm feels any other colours would interfere with the experience of viewing the colour image on the LCD, colour after all being at the heart of the Fujifilm ethos.
There were some quite large prints on display from the various X-Series cameras. As with all large prints, while taking a squizz up close, of course things were a bit less than super finely detailed. However, at normal, close-ish viewing distances, they were impressively snappy.
The William Eggleston / fine art theme also reared its head again (see photo below).
After parting ways with Richard, I headed off to look at inkjet paper. As well as the usual international offerings and local offerings, there was a paper company new to me – Awagami Factory (see photo below). They had a range of truly lovely Japanese ‘washi’ style papers, called Awagami Inkjet Paper, aka A.I.J.P (both links to English sites). A little web hunting also shows that these papers are reasonably available outside of Japan.
So, all in all, it was a fun day out.
Right, time to rattle my dags & go to bed.
* when I recounted this story later that evening, to someone who is familiar with my abysmal Japanese language skills, they thought it was one of the funniest things they had ever heard: “You!?! Translator! Really? You!?! You translated!?! Really? You!?!” – repeat, while laughing, for about 2 1/2 minutes (it got quite tedious after the first 30 seconds).
Richard Butler of DP Review, trying out an X 100s
The Fujifilm X 100s & X 20 counter
William Eggleston again
How big can you print? Three panels actually, if I remember correctly
Large single panel prints from the X 20
Another three panel print, this from the X 100s
Tokyo Camera Club members using some kind of printing service Fujifilm offers to X-Series owners (“users”)
Two Awagami Factory InkJet Paper scrolls – in real life, these were exquisite