Come one, come all. Lomography has partners all over the world to help serve your analogue needs. If you're from Japan then it's your lucky day! We're featuring our Tokyo-based stockist Kunihiko Miyamoto of Photo Depot Saisyokukenbi in today's installment of Lomography Partners.
Can you introduce yourself to the Lomography community?
I'm Kunihiko Miyamoto of Photo Depot Saishoku Kenbi. We are a small photo lab in Nerima, Tokyo. I love film photography and film cameras and I run this shop with the hope of preserving photographic culture for the future.
As a laboratory, we offer film development, data scanning, and photo printing. In addition, we sell film, photographic supplies, new cameras, and used cameras in our store. Over-the-counter sales are currently by reservation only.
We do as much as we can to help you with your photography needs. Some of the activities are currently suspended due to CoVid, but we usually do the following as well:
- Photography workshops
- Studio photography
- Proof photography
- Business trip photography
- Rental darkroom
- Camera repair
- Professional photo printing, etc.
What does analogue mean to you?
With analogue, it is difficult to correct the time because it is affected by physical temperature and noise. It enables intuitive information processing and it's easy to grasp the whole picture as soon as you see it. It takes a lot of time and effort to do everything in analogue. But the more time and effort you put into it, the more you can put your heart and passion into your work.
What does Lomography mean to you?
I see Lomography as a maker that sells new film cameras at a relatively affordable price. Lomography has the spirit that enjoys film camera culture.
Film cameras are super fun! You too should try it! I love that kind of happy atmosphere. I also find it interesting that they find little accidents such as light leaks and scratches wonderful, and that they are curious about experimental photography.
Why do you choose to work with Lomography?
I'm deeply impressed by their stance to challenge people with films and analogue cameras in the digital age. It is like a lone warrior. "Just do it", that kind of thinking. They keep releasing new products which make us want to use them. I’m excited to see what they have in store for us in the future.
What is your favorite Lomography product and why?
The Horizon series. I fell in love with the unique panoramic photo format which can be taken only with film. The Lomokino, too! You can play with it like a movie camera or take shots like a still camera—it’s up to you. The clattering hand-lever is quite interesting.
Are you doing any creative projects right now in the store or personally? Please tell us more about them.
We are offering a special film development course. We scan films with their perforations and call those scanned films a cute name: “Filmimi”. It became popular with film users through SNS because they can see at once that those photos are time-consuming works.
Recently, we also began a new development course for 110 films called “Filmimi 110”. Printed icons on 110 films of Lomography like Tiger, Orca, and Lobster make good accents and gained overwhelming popularity. We are planning to do camera workshops and create a darkroom for a developing machine after the pandemic is over.
What does the future of analogue photography look like to you? How will this impact your shop in the next ten years?
We should be flexible with the following technologies which are made every day. But at the same time, we should not miss the important parts and we should make an effort to pass it down to our next generations.
What difficulties did your shop/lab have to face during the lockdowns and what kept you going through these trying times?
We couldn’t hold store events as well as studio shoots and workshops. We ran our store only with online shop and mail development.
During the lockdown and the pandemic, my savings helped me get through the hard times and saved me from the fun memories of the past, such as wanting to take pictures and go out to eat delicious sweets.
What's the most annoying thing about running an analogue lab?
Things like reloaded film or broken perforations—films that could not be developed in a normal process.
What's your favorite memory from the lab so far?
We had developed more than 150 rolls in a day before. The film demand was still strong then. Those were the good old days.
What's the weirdest thing you have received when developing films?
What would you do if you didn’t run a photo lab?
I would have managed a photo museum that preserves photography culture for posterity. Or I would have run a Tai-Yaki-Ya (sweets stand) for children.
Official Name: Photo Depot Saisyokukenbi
Began Accepting Film for Developing: 1998
Address: 4-15-4 Takamatsu, Nerima-ku, Tokyo 179-0075
Services offered: 35 mm, 120, 110，APS, C41, B&W, machine development for C-41 (Color Negative), darkroom development for B&W (Monochrome Negative)
Film lab staff: 2
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