Posts Tagged ‘d90’
Yummmmmm. The dessert above is a mango sorbet, which was a perfect finish to the Sushi and Shabu Shabu dinner we had with friends at a restaurant in the Gion area of Kyoto, Japan. I never saw the bill for this meal, or any meal for that matter during our stay with our hosts. My friends never let me pay for anything when I was with them! If they ever visited me in the States, you can bet I’d return the favor. I can’t remember ever being treated so nicely by anyone…
You know what one of my favorite things about Japan is? Don’t laugh! The vending machines:
There are literally thousands upon thousands of vending machines like this one sprawled out all over Japan. You can’t hide from them! I even saw them standing alone, often on unpaved roads, in the more remote areas I stayed at, outside of any major city. When I first arrived in Japan on vacation this year, I didn’t pay much attention to them. I quickly discovered, however, that the machines serve up cans of cold AND hot drinks. Yeah!
It was an unusually cold spring in Japan during our visit, and so nearly every time I’d walk by these vending machines, I’d reach down in my pocket for my 120 yen and grab me a hot little can of coffee. My Japanese friends found this to be pretty amusing, and every time they’d see a machine, they’d say “Hey Jonathan, time for coffee!”
Of course, all this coffee drinking meant more trips to the restroom. No problem! Seems like the restrooms in Japan are as easy to find as these vending machines. They’re everywhere! Very convenient.
What really amazed me though, were the lack of public garbage cans. We have them all over the place in San Francisco, and they apparently don’t help much because there’s a ton of litter on the streets here (and in most US cities for that matter). When I was in Tokyo, however, every time I’d buy something and eat/drink it on the go, I’d have so much trouble finding a place to throw the trash away, and would usually end up carrying whatever it was with me until I got back to my hotel room. You’d think that the lack of public garbage cans would mean lots of trash on the street right? Wrong. At least in the places I visited, I saw little to no litter, especially compared to what I see on the streets where I live.
Kinda random, but I spotted the image above in my archives and wanted to post it. I love Japanese sports cars! This one was parked outside my friend’s house in Osaka. Honda sells a similar car in the US, but with a different front end design that, in my opinion, is not nearly as cool as this one. Do you see any trash in the gutter to the right? Me neither!
Found this little gem stashed away in a box of photographic studio equipment my father gave me recently. The Ansco Cadet, apparently manufactured in the late 1950s, features a switch on the front to move between color and black & white format film (127mm), a cool red shutter release on the front face, and ports on the side to attach a flash strobe. My sister also remembers shooting with this camera when she was growing up in the 60s. To me, this thing is seriously cool, but I can’t get the shutter to work. Such a shame…
My Dad used to tell me about how great the Sutro Baths were at Ocean Beach in San Francisco. Built in the late 1800’s, the Sutro Baths were a huge complex of pools, situated right on the waters of the Pacific Ocean underneath the famous Cliffhouse in San Francisco. The Baths were closed in the 1960’s, and all that are left are these ruins.
Just a little more about the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. Before I bought it I debated back and forth as to whether I should instead buy the Tokina 12-24 f/4, thinking I might miss the 16-24mm range. I think it’s safe to say now that I don’t miss that range one bit in a ultra wide, and will happily make the extra lens changes.
The bicycle is used extensively in Japan. These shots were taken in various neighborhoods throughout Osaka. 日本には自転車がたくさんありますね！
Ok, I wouldn’t do this while driving, but I couldn’t resist a quick shot of my dashboard while stuck in downtown traffic…..
Ran out in the evening after dinner to start getting a feel for the new Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8. It’s a blast shooting with this lens! The above image is slightly cropped. Taken at Yerba Buena Gardens in downtown San Francisco.
Well, after wanting an ultra wide angle zoom lens for months and months, I finally bought one today. I’ve been scouring around trying to find the sold-out-everywhere Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ATX PRO DX lens for some time now, and until today was considering just going for the highly praised 12-24 f/4 from Tokina as it is readily stocked by many dealers. I’ve been checking back at places like B&H every morning for a few weeks (that’s how I was able to snag my hard to get AFS 35mm 1.8G), with no success in finding the 11-16 in stock. This afternoon I did a search for Tokina dealers in the San Francisco bay area, and found that there’s only ONE in San Francisco. Not expecting much, I called and asked if they had any 11-16’s, and WHAT!? One Nikon mount left!
I rushed over and picked it up without hesitation. While I was there the guy at the shop (really cool staff there) let me try a bunch of lenses while he rang up the bill. I tried the Tokina 12-24, and while I liked that it extends out to 24mm, I was more swayed by the 1mm extra on the wide end of the 11-16 AND the 2.8 constant aperture, despite it’s very limited zoom range. I tried the very interesting (and very new) Tokina 16.5-135mm lens, as well as Nikon’s highly regarded consumer lens, the 16-85mm 3.5-5.6 VR, which I found of similar to size to the 18-70 I used to use on my D70, but it felt much heavier! I really liked the 16-85mm’s range and the fact that it has built in VR, and I may want to pick that lens up for travel when more money comes in.
But back to the important lens! My wife and I (and doggie) strolled around downtown after leaving the shop and I got to snap off a few shots before the sun went down (I really wanted to get some sunset and dusk shots but we hadn’t eaten dinner!). Initial impression is veeery favorable. I am absolutely floored at the sharpness of this Tokina, even at its widest aperture. The build quality is outstanding as well, and overall I am really excited about putting this thing to use. I’m going to bed with a huge grin on my face! More shooting tomorrow!