Cameras in Ginza

To top off a week of photos, I just went to an audition for a Pentax Camera poster-advertisement in Ginza yesterday. Aside from anything else there were some stunning Russian models there, who seem to be all the rage in Japan, most of them about twice as tall as I am! It’s too bad I didn’t have my camera ready for meeting them. It turns out I didn’t get the job but, well, ‘shoga-nai’- that’s life.
Ginza is famous for the second-hand camera shops in the area and while I was there I picked up a couple of lenses from one of my favourite ones.  ‘Miyama’ is a small shop, by the quiet canal, and where I bought my D70 from just before I went to Bali last summer. They have a real feel for cameras, with a ‘spirit of photography’ about the place, located as they are a stone’s throw from the Nikkon Plaza. I was happy to show them a D70 photo that I have downsized for my mobile phone- and also to point them towards this website. I like the idea that they can enjoy the pictures I’ve taken with the equipment I got from them.
Now for some camera-lens talk, so if this just isn’t your ‘bag’ please stop reading right now… you’ve been warned! Otherwise, please read on… you might even learn something!
Like I said, I got a couple of lenses from the shop. I now have the ‘ultra-wide zoom’ Tokina 12-24mm F4 DX lens, which will let me shoot digital pictures at the 35mm equivalent of 18-36mm. I have been wanting this for some time but was waiting to find one second-hand. Luckily for me, this one had just arrived in the shop the day before, the first for many months. With landscape shots I want to have as much in focus as possible- otherwise known as having a ‘high depth of field’. With a wide-angle lens, this is much easier to achieve. So far I have been very limited in terms of wide-angles on my digital SLR, which (as is usually the case, except for some very expensive ‘full-frame’ cameras) multiplies whatever lens you are using by about 1.5x. Now I will have access to something wider than I have ever used before!
I also got the venerable AF Nikkor 35-70 F2.8, which I have heard is wonderful for portraits, especially on digital, where it becomes a 52-105mm equivalant. People using it say they love the sharpness, contrast and rich colour- contributing to the unique quality this lens has, it being considered a classic. I especially like ‘bright’ lenses like this, which have small apartures- measured by the ‘F-number’ you see in the lens name. The lower the number, the ‘brighter’ the lens. Brighter lenses allow me to ‘reduce the depth of field’, which basically means I can produce a soft, creamy background to whatever I am shooting.
You can see this to some extent in my pictures of ume in this gallery, which were generally taken at about F3.2 and from as close to the flowers as possible (which also ‘reduces the depth of field’). I often like to blur the background behind portraits as well- though it was hard in this case as the ume-trees were so nearby the girls in kimonos. If you want to know more about this subject, why not try this link? (Depth of Field Explained)
All this variety is what makes lugging around a DSLR (Digital SLR) and various lenses pretty much the only way of taking pictures for me, as I can chose exactly how I’m taking the picture; what will be in or out of focus, how much will be in or out of the frame. Since yesterday my creative options just dramatically increased, so expect to see some pictures taken with these new lens-babies soon!
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