CP+ 2024 Lede Image
A model at the Fujifilm Exhibit during the 2024 CP+ Expo in Yokohama, Japan

Notes from Japan: CP+ 2024

I awoke to snow this morning in Tokyo. Just a few flakes, but it was a far cry from the sunny, warm weather that we had for CP+ last year. Hopping on the train, I settled in across from a family with kids in matching raincoats and galoshes.

CP+ is perhaps the last of the major camera equipment expos in the world, following the demise of Photokina in Germany and PhotoPlus in New York, and it’s a great excuse to visit Japan.

J. Matthew Gore The gentlemen keeping watch over the new 500mm and 15mm fisheye lenses were friendly and helpful.

Slipping into the conference early through the Press entrance, I got to play around with some of the newest equipment on display. Sigma had their recently announced 500mm f/5.6 and 15mm f/1.4 Diagonal Fisheye lenses available for testing, and I was very impressed by how fast and smooth the 500mm focused: dramatically better than my old E-mount 150-600mm, which was not terrible, but neither was it “zippy”. The new lens is.

All, shot with the 500mm f/5.6 lens, the images above were taken indoors in modest light, at ISO 3200 and roughly 1/125th second.

I tested out the 15mm fisheye on a Sony and on a Sigma fp, and was happy to find that the lens performed beautifully on the Sony after rather slow and hunty focus on the Sigma body. I’m not a fan of fisheye lenses, so I’m probably not the best person to judge the image style, but I did find it to produce an intriguing shooting experience, so I’m sure some photographers will appreciate it.

J. Matthew Gore

Nikon was showing off their 135mm f/1.8 Plena lens with a model in an exhibit intended to accentuate bokeh, though this photo is from my Sony 70-200 lens. Of course, the Z8 and Z9 camera bodies were also front and center of their exhibits.

J. Matthew Gore The Nikon Zf in a variety of colors were on display, too.

My next goal was to try out the new Sony 24-50 f/2.8. The lens turned out to be a good, solid piece of equipment: nice and light, but with moderately fast autofocus and a well-built feel.

Tamron had a joint display with BMW Mini Racing, so they had a couple of racing Cooper Minis at their booth, which was pretty disappointing after last year’s impressive sculptures and models.

J. Matthew Gore
J. Matthew Gore

The new L 10mm ultra wide angle lens was on display, and I spent a couple of minutes getting accustomed to the unique feel of the lens’s all metal construction (including the focus ring), and the field of view was really remarkable. It’s not something that I would use much, but for the right job, it could be an amazing lens. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to save any images to a memory card.

One of the most exciting developments during my visit to Japan was the chance to pick up a new CreatorPad. The CreatorPad will be released for the US market in the next couple of months, but up until now, it has only been available in Japan, and after reviewing similar products from Tourbox, Loupedeck and others, the CreatorPad looks great. You’ll get a full review soon.

J. Matthew Gore

And finally, I waited in a long line to try out the new Fuji x100VI. It’s been a long time since I’ve used a true rangefinder camera, and it took a bit of adjustment to get past being able to see the camera’s lens in the bottom right corner of the viewfinder, and my framing was a little loose. The camera, however, was wonderfully compact and light, and I enjoyed the feel of most of the controls, though the shutter button felt a little small for my taste.

J. Matthew Gore The Fujifilm X100VI feels nice and compact in my hand.

After looking at my images, I was disappointed to discover that I didn’t get focus on the model’s face in any of my images. With most mirrorless cameras having such strong face recognition and eye-focus these days, this was a surprise, but considering my lack of familiarity with the camera, it may have simply been user error.

Perhaps it was the jetlag or gloomy weather, but I’ll admit to being underwhelmed with CP+ this year. It wasn’t because the show was in decline, though: it was just as packed with visitors as last year, and there were more exhibits than ever… I just didn’t find any of them particularly striking, visually. Last year, Sigma had an immersive experience room, and Tamron had a massive nebuta sculpture, while Canon had rows and rows of an egg-chair VR exhibit (see my article from last year for more details). In comparison, Tamron’s cars and Sigma’s library were a bit dull.

Still, the Expo was a wonderful experience and well worth the visit. It is always a joy to be around so many wonderful photographers and feel so much excitement around photography in general. Every presenter was speaking to a packed house, and the galleries and displays were beautiful. Will I make it back again next year? I certainly hope so.

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I love your commentary! Your attention to detail is remarkable. (It makes me want to pick up my old SLR again)