This post is going to be the first of a series, as I took quite a few shots over the weekend. I was armed with the newest addition to my camera stable - the Sony A7R. It's a "full-frame" camera, so the field of view with "full-frame lenses" is larger. More on that another time. It did mean that on our trip to Hama-rikyū Onshi Teien (浜離宮恩賜庭園 - more casually known as hamarikyu gardens), I was able to stretch the legs of a few lenses I've been using thus far on my 1.5x (APS-C) crop sensor NEX-7.
Firstly, I'll say that I had underestimated the Zeiss lens (FE 55/1,8) I've been using since the beginning of this year. On my NEX-7, it was pretty sharp. On the 36 megapixel A7R full-frame sensor, it's quite phenomenal. I now understand the hype around this lens.
Hamarikyu Gardens is a public park in Chūō ward, in central Tokyo. Located at the mouth of the Sumida River, it was opened April 1, 1946. The park is a 250,165 m² landscaped garden surrounding Shioiri Pond, the park itself surrounded by a seawater moat filled by Tokyo Bay. It was remodelled as a public garden park on the site of a villa of the Shogun Tokugawa family in the 17th century.
There were dozens of birds feeding in the huge expanses of oilseed rape (ナタネ - "natane" in Japanese). They were stripping the centre of the field from its yellow; safe from the numerous people & their lenses.
We've been lucky with the weather this weekend. There was lots of rain at the end of last week, but we've only had to contend with gusty winds and patchy cloud cover. The skies were sometimes quite a brilliant blue.
The garden's not just famous for the bright yellow oilseed; there's flora for all the family.
In order to take the above shot, I had to almost climb inside the bush seen in the foreground. The light was coming from the top left area, and illuminated the purple flowers in such a way as to make them look like a million little lanterns.
I'd recommend a trip to hamarikyu gardens. Though it's more expensive than Shinjuku Gyoen, it has a completely different atmosphere. In hamarikyu, it just takes one look at the horizon to remember that you're right in the middle of Tokyo - and that's quite cool. The gardens were far larger than we imagined, and were relatively peaceful, considering.