Tokyo TriX

Just got 5 rolls of Tri-X shot with Contax T2 back from ToyLab a great lab based in Kumamoto, with excellent service – I am super happy with the results, can’t wait to send them some xPan rolls!




Do dead fish dream of revenge?


I suffered a little for this photo… it doesn’t necessarily make the photo better, but it does make me a little better, to know I will suffer for a photo… As with recording I am not someone to leave a session thinking ‘maybe one more take might have nailed it….. ‘

While I love the idea of street photography and ‘happenstance’ some ideas require persistence, pushing past the immediate….. suffer a little… it may well make no difference, but at least you know you tried…



Well… I am now a very happy new owner of a new old Fujinon TX2 (aka Hasselblad xPan II) – I have been itching to get a medium format film camera and have been checking out Hasselblad 500c options while in Japan.. but I’ve had a nagging doubt about lugging *another* large camera & lenses around with me…

Getting used to shooting with the relatively tiny Sony a6300 has been welcome relief, and every time I pick up my 5D3 it feels like a weighty beast, which is both good & bad…. Good/great if you are in your own country and all the gear is within easy reach of the car.. Bad if the location/s are remote…

One of the definite downsides of the Sony a6300 is that the decent Zeiss lenses are all ‘focus by wire’ ie control of focus is based on software, and for me this is not a ‘feature’ I will ever get used to. I had doubts about ever being able to use manual focus (aka myopia paranoia) but this issue was resolved by using beautifully engineered lenses that were designed to be focused manually. And I don’t necessarily mean expensive lenses eg the old Takumar 50mm lens out performs many spendy Canon L lenses when it comes down to ‘feel’ and subtle tweaking of focus, but my Zeiss ZE full frame lenses are a joy to use. So while I love using my little Sony a6300 and can achieve good results with it, it feels like a toy and a compromise when it comes to manual control of lenses.

But wow this Fuji TX2 – it feels weighty compared with my Contax T2 (which I also love, but it doesnt really encourage my ideal style of shooting ie bulb mode long exposures via cable release) but the TX2 in use in panoramic mode feels a little like an invite to a Sergio Leone movie… You can switch it to ‘normal’ 35mm mode and shoot like a rangefinder, but in panoramic mode it is more than a little bit unreal and is very inspiring to shoot with….

After visiting Yodobashi Umeda to get a few essential bits (CR2 batteries, UV filters for the lenses, a camera strap etc) I jumped on the Chuo line and headed out to Osaka port and blew a roll of Ektar 100, shooting some side by side long exposures between the a6300 and the TX2, using the same settings, and then varying the exposure on the TX2 as a test…

As with any new tool, have got to use it enough to develop intuition… but lets wait until roll #1 is back from the lab!

In the meantime check some of these gorgeous xPan/TX photos: flickriver:xpan

ps: I did the frame count check and this TX2 has only done 250 exposures total since new, which is apparently what you can expect when new as they do a similar number of calibration test shoots… unreal to become best friends with a decade old camera of such extraordinary conception!



Drove past this building & just had to stop & shot a frame of a frame within a frame…



Mangetsu-ji is a beautiful temple near the city of Otsu & Lake Biwa, Ukimidō the “floating temple” hall above was especially beautiful to visit, although had to wait a while to get a shot with no people in it…





Shirahige Shrine

A long exposure from Lake Biwa trip:
the floating torii at Shirahige Shrine


Road trip!

Heading off for a 3 day road trip, circumnavigating Lake Biwa…. batteries charged & TriX loaded!


Daido Moriyama at Hyogo Art Gallery


So great to see so many of Daido Moriyama photos printed large & in such a beautiful (Tadao Ando) space… suspect next week I will catch a train to Nara to visit another exhibition of his work…





Kitashinchi in the rain

Caught the train to Umeda today and then walked through Kitashinchi area to Dojima River and did some recording, as the sky grew slowly more moody… After my second ambience recording, the humidity crossed over into light rain so I took a break at the nearby National Osaka Museum of Art, stashing my gear in a coin locker & relaxing in a nice quiet air conditioned space…

By the time the museum closed at 5pm the city felt very different, with the rain slowly clearing… but the Kitashinchi area I walked through earlier was transformed by both the rain on the streets and all of the bars coming to life….





A little like stumbling into a Wong Kar Wai film… I wandered across each narrow street, first shooting TriX with my Contax T2 and then shooting with my Sony a6300… sending 5 rolls of film off to the lab tomorrow – can’t wait to see this in monochrome!!