Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Posts Tagged ‘Tokyo

Random scenes of trains in Japan.

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Shinkansen train at Shinagawa Station.

Shinkansen train at Shinagawa Station.

One thing about Japan, there are plenty of trains to look at.  From quaint narrow gauge systems that take you up into the mountains to the very latest “Bullet Trains”, one is never bored looking at and shooting trains.  And people that are naturally found around train stations.  These photos were taken earlier this year and are good examples of addressing perspective.  By virtue of their length and narrow footprint, trains naturally draw your attention to the subject of your photos.  When shooting trains, quickly figure out the subject of the shot and use the train’s vanishing point to focus attention on the subject.  Of course, the same goes for any scene with strong bold lines.

All photos were shot with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor AFS 24mm f/1.4 lens or Nikkor AFS 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

Osaka train station with waiting woman.

Osaka train station with waiting woman.

Works with bold lines.

Works with bold lines.

Trains, lines, columns and rafters.

Trains, lines, columns and rafters.

All aboard.

All aboard.

Written by leolaksi

August 8, 2010 at 9:09 pm

Memory Lane for great yakitori in West Shinjuku

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Omoide Yokochō

Omoide Yokochō

Omoide Yokocho (or Memory Lane) is an old neighborhood of small yakitori joints that harkens back to days long past. It is located within the neon-lit skyscrapers of West Shinjuku.  Adjacent to the Uniqlo store near the Lumine Department Store, Omoide Yokocho’s days are numbered as it is beyond its shelf-life.  The area is ramshackle and its only of matter of time before it is torn down in the name of progress.  The option is to rehabilitate the area however no one except for some of the tenants is in favor of this.  Some of the Yakitori is quite good as the numbers of patrons indicate.

This area dates back to the US Occupation post World War II and has always been a favorite for good relatively well-priced food.

All photos taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor AFS 24mm f/.4 lens.

Crowded and friendly.

Crowded and friendly.

Red lanterns everywhere.

Red lanterns everywhere.

Tight confines.

Tight confines.

Another joint.

Another joint.

Written by leolaksi

May 30, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Nikon D700 with 15 year old Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 lens

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Waiting for the train in Tokyo

Waiting for the train in Tokyo

I’m normally don’t shoot with telephoto lenses.  Most of the time I use wide angle lenses with an occasional long normal lens thrown in. There are occasions when I have needed longer lenses and have been satisfied with the Nikkor DC 135mm f/2 lens.  Recently I purchased a 15 year old AF Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 ED lens for $300 in Japan.  The condition, both cosmetically and performance-wise is stellar.  Sure, the lens does not have VR (image stabilization) and is somewhat heavy since it’s body is metal.  Still, it’s a very capable lens and more than matches up with the D700 since this camera is exceptional at higher ISO’s.  This latitude allows one to crank up the ISO to compensate for the lack of image stabilization.  I have been tempted to purchase the latest AF-S VR Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 IF ED but will postpone this until Nikon improves this lens so its performance on a FX body is better.   With the performance of the 80-200mm, there’s no reason to buy right now.

Photos were taken in Tokyo and Bangkok with the Nikon D700 and an AF Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 ED lens.  Post processing is minimal (or none).  All photos shot at or near f/2.8.

Incoming call

Incoming call

Atagaw market prawns

Atagaw market prawns

Veggie vendor

Veggie vendor

Red camera

Red camera

Written by leolaksi

July 6, 2009 at 7:00 am

Dining at the Ambassador Hotel, Tokyo Disneyland

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I’ve stayed at several of the Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea hotels, including the Ambassador, the MiraCosta and the Hilton.  Of the three, I prefer the Ambassador.  Although it’s the oldest, you never get the impression that its anything but top drawer.  The public areas, including the restaurants and the lobby, and the rooms are first-rate.  I have no complaints at all.

Although the MiraCosta is impressive with its faux-Italian decor and its direct private access to DisneySea, the Ambassador has a more impressive array of eating establishments.  Not only are there several on-premises restaurants, you’re just a 5 minute walk away from the Ikspiari Complex, what with its numerous restaurants including a fast food court.  Oh yeah, there’s also a supermarket.

From the MiraCosta and the Hilton, the Ikspiari is a train ride away.  Not all that inconvenient but nevertheless slightly more work.

FYI, you can also make your reservation at the Disneyland Resort Hotels online.

Photos taken with a Leica M8 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lens.

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Written by leolaksi

May 11, 2009 at 6:50 am

Couples at DisneySea with the Panasonic G1

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If you’ve followed my blog, you know that I’ve been “playing” with a Panasonic G1 for four months.  I bought the G1 and the Leica M-mount adapter to use with my Leica lenses.  The results with the Leica lenses, at least the wide angles, have been less than stellar, what with poor resolution away from the center of the image.  And with the 2X crop factor, wide angles lenses became less than wide angle.  Check out my other postings for impressions and photos taken with the Leica M-mount lenses.

However, the Lumix 14-45mm and 45-200mm zoom lenses on the G1 have performed in good fashion.  In color images, I found the sensor (and lenses) to produce rich color images although the lenses were not the sharpest at the wider apertures.  I also found the focus lock to be quick and accurate.  When you combine that with a compact design that’s easy to carry, you have a winner.

This series of photos were taken in a span of one hour.  They were converted to black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro and Aperture 2.

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Written by leolaksi

May 8, 2009 at 7:01 am

Tokyo Disneyland walkabout

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Tokyo Disneyland, with its parklike setting and large “public” areas, makes a visit very leisurely and relaxed.  Compared to some amusement parks that cram attractions in every square inch of land with the predictable congestion and confusion, Tokyo Disneyland is wide open, resulting in an quick and efficient transition from one theme to another.    You can orient yourself to the castle and always shortcut across the park to another area.  Although sometimes it can be congested, the spacious central “mall” area gives one the impression of more space than there really is.

Photos taken with a Leica M8 and Carl Zeiss Biogon 21mm f/2.8 lens.

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Written by leolaksi

May 4, 2009 at 6:34 am

More photos from Tokyo DisneySea

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I’m finally getting to the bottom of my DisneySea photos.  It’s such a picturesque venue with lots of opportunities for photographs.  Between the attention to detail of the various themes to people watching, you would be hard-pressed not to have your camera out.

Photos taken with Panasonic Lumix G1 with Lumix 45-200mm f/4-5.6 zoom lens and Leica M8 with Summicron 35mm f/2 lens.

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Written by leolaksi

May 1, 2009 at 7:36 pm