My Photography Equipment and Set-Up

I occasionally receive questions asking me what equipment I use for the photos on my blog and the set-up I use. So this post won’t contain any food related content but will briefly cover this.

The bamboo colanders upon which all ingredients are placed on are traditional japanese strainers called zaru (笊/ざる). They come in circular and rectangular shapes of various sizes and the majority of mine are made by Taketora (竹虎), a company specialized in making bamboo products since 1894 in Kochi Prefecture (高知県) who were also kind enough to hand make the warabitsu (藁櫃) I use to keep rice warm. 

All the photographs on this blog are shot with natural light in the morning or early afternoon. I find that the light from the mid-afternoons can be rather harsh with a strong yellow hue that tends to disrupt the overall white balance. I have attempted to use artificial lighting in the past but as a personal preference, disliked the look and feel of the resulting photos. The light tended to be too harsh and the shadows very sharp. As my knowledge and experience in light diffusers and reflectors were rusty at best, I ultimately just went with natural light which I felt was the most aesthetically appealing. 

The background on most straight-on photos on this site is a plain white wall, whilst the background on most top down photos on this blog is a large sheet of white cardboard with a foam backing. This allows for easy cleaning and also replacement of the cardboard in the event that it gets stained with food or even scorched from the heat of the pots. 

The camera I’ve been using since 2013 has been a Canon 60D with a 50mm 1.4 lens which I then slowly transitioned to a Leica M10 with a Carl Zeiss Distagon 35mm F1.4 in 2018. The Zeiss lens alone was not sufficient to cover all my photography needs alone due to the minimum focus distance which was inadequate for close up food shots and thus this is supplemented with an unusual choice, the MS Optics Sonnetar 73mm f1.5 FMC.

For those unfamiliar with the M-mount camera world, MS Optics, previously, MS Optical (宮崎光学), is the brand created by Sadayasu Miyazaki (宮崎貞安), who is famed for hand-making Leica lenses in his home in Chiba prefecture. He has cult status amongst photographers and lens collectors, but I am no expert on this topic and would recommend you to do a quick google search if you’d want to find out more. As of 2019, I have retired my Canon 60D.

The two non-photography related pictures in this article are taken by the MS Optics Sonnetar 73mm f1.5 FMC lens.

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