In your bag No: 1291 – Edward Lakeman


by Bellamy /

4 min read
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In your bag No: 1291, Edward Lakeman
Edward has some stunning gear, and he is based in Tokyo too, so he is my neighbour (kind of). This kind of bag definitely looks familiar to me, with the Suica card and the Bufferin. But careful with that huge and clearly dangerous blade.

My name`s Edward Lakeman, a Tokyo-based freelance photographer originally from the UK. I first started dabbling with a Pentax ME and 50mm f1.7, HP5, Paterson tanks and reels and Ilford Multigrade when I was about 14. Aside from a brief hiatus, I havent`t really stopped since and I shoulder a full blown camera addiction that needs regular feeding. Japan is the best (worst?) place for this, with the only sign of restraint being that I very rarely buy anything new. I`ve acquired, used and sometimes traded all sorts, both film and digital – Olympus XA, various Ricoh GRs, Nikon F3HPs, F4s, D200, D700, Contax G2 (infuriating auto focus but simply gorgeous, gorgeous Zeiss lenses), Leica M6 (with which I could never manage to `bond` for some reason), Mamiya C330, Mamiya 6 (regret selling that one – major mistake), Pentax MX (compact, beautifully simple, wonderful finder), Pentax K2 (just the right size, smooth, again a lovely finder but mind-bendingly irritating film speed setting dial around the lens mount throat – what were they thinking?), Panasonic GF1, Fuji X Pro-1 and X100s……..

Having enjoyed Japan Camera Hunter for a while I thought it about time I offered something back. So, here`s a version of my `off-duty` bag:

Nikon F3 (non-HP finder)

Bought over a decade ago for peanuts ($50 if I remember) from KEH looking cosmetically very sorry for itself, but working fine. Sent off to Nikon for a flat-rate fee full overhaul more or less as soon as I got the camera and it`s been working beautifully ever since.

Nikon F2AS

Picked up in Tokyo for a very reasonable price and virtually pristine.I suspect this had spent its life sitting in someone`s cabinet.

Nikon Coolpix A

Another secondhand find (who`d pay what Nikon are asking new?!). Fits in my back pocket; wonderfully sharp lens. Toss up between this and the Ricoh GR.

Voigtlander 28mm finder

Clear, very solid metal (brass?) and glass construction. Priced rather more reasonably than the crazily over-priced Nikon version

Manfrotto 709B

Small, solid (all-metal), simple and very handy.

Lenses – Nikkor Ai/AiS:

Nikkor 85mm f1.8

Great for portraits of course; works well on the D700 too.

Nikkor 35mm f2

Great build quaility like all Ai/AiS lenses. Lovely smooth focus. Not the sharpest, but gives nice smooth renditions

Nikkor 20mm f3.5

Compact, sharp. Not particularly fast – but doesn`t need to be.

Nikkor 50mm f1.8

Pancake. Nice build, very sharp. Perfect. Use it all the time.

The bag is a (ladies`!) shoulder bag from Muji. Cheap, light, waterproof, ideal size, with internal pocket and pouch at the back. Added a 3 partition generic insert and bingo, perfect day bag for not much money.

Add some essential odds and ends – lens cleaning cloth; cable release; SUICA travel card to get around Tokyo; Swiss Army penknife and some painkillers – and I`m almost set for a day out shooting (er, just need to add some film).

If anyone`s interested you can see some of my work here: And for anyone living in Japan, if you`ve seen `The Rake`, `Men`s Precious`, `Men`s Ex` or some of the JAL and ANA magazines you may have seen some of my pictures (often shot with the cheapest and oldest of lenses / cameras – but shhhh……..don`t tell the editors or publishers……).

Thanks for sharing your bag with us, Edward. Lovely to see those classic Nikons getting used.
Keep them coming folks, we need more submissions, so get your bag on

Send me a hi resolution image of the bag. Optimum size is 1500 across. Please ensure there is a bag in the shot, unless you don’t use one. The more you can write about yourself the better, make it appealing and tell us a story.

Oh and don’t forget your contact details (twitter, flickr, tumbler et al). Send the bag shots here. Please understand that there is a long wait now as there is a backlog of submissions. Not all make the cut, so make sure yours is funny/interesting/quirky. And please make sure the shot is of good quality, as the ones that are not do not go up.


17 comments on “In your bag No: 1291 – Edward Lakeman”

    lewy November 7, 2015 at 3:23 pm / Reply

    Hey now very nice shots!!
    yes very nice:)

    june Lopez November 10, 2015 at 11:33 am / Reply

    Your work is incredible! Thank you for sharing…

    Edward Lakeman November 10, 2015 at 9:01 pm / Reply

    Lewy, June,

    Thanks for the kind words. Always nice to receive a complement – but it means the most when it comes from fellow shooters.


    John Lockwood November 11, 2015 at 6:30 am / Reply

    Crackin’ setup! Love my Coolpix A. Great images, with a lovely feel. Very vintage.

    Willi Schmidt November 20, 2015 at 3:44 pm / Reply

    This is mostly fantastic work, Edward!
    How much of it is scanned film?

    Regards from Germany

    Devlin Cook November 22, 2015 at 4:54 pm / Reply

    Hi Ed, loved your website! Made me want get fitted for a bespoke suit! I’d also like to ask if the latest few portraits were shot on film?

    Edward Lakeman November 29, 2015 at 10:13 am / Reply


    Many thanks. The Africa, Instanbul, Vietnam, and b&w Japan photos (except the two b&w portraits) and two of the Japan colour images are scanned film, with a bit of messing around in Nik Analog Efex Pro 2 for some. The rest are digital (mix of Nikon D700, D200, Ricoh GR, Fuji X100s, X Pro1, XT1, Panasonic GF1, Nikon Coolpix A), processed through Photoshop Elements / Lightroom and a mix of Nik Analog Efex Pro2 (biggest phtographic return on investment I`ve ever made) and / or Color Efex Pro 4 and / or Silver Efex Pro.

    The latest uploads, which I did last night, were from wandering through Ginza in Tokyo with a filthy old Helios 44-2 58mm f2 (you can see plenty of internal grime plus maybe the odd bubble) attached to a Fuji XT1. No colour adjustments in processesing, these were more or less out of camera (RAW images run through Photoshop Elements simply to convert to low res JPEGS).



    Edward Lakeman November 29, 2015 at 10:14 am / Reply


    Cheers! Splurged on a second (er, `spare`) Coolpix A the other day. Naughty.



    Edward Lakeman November 29, 2015 at 10:27 am / Reply


    Thanks! The tailors and shoemakers I met were absolutely the lovliest people you could imagine. Real gents (and ladies too), humble as anything and amongst the best at what they do anywhere in the world.

    All the portraits were shot digital, available light. The chefs (Jason Atherton, Marcus Wareing and Anthony Demetre) using a Nikon D700 and the ancient 50mm pancake in the `in my bag` shot. Most of the others on a Fuji X100s, except that of the shirtmaker (chap in the waistcoat), which was done with a borrowed Panasonic G3 (I think) with a kit zoom.



    Edward Lakeman November 29, 2015 at 10:34 am / Reply

    ……..and a PS: I was in Photo Art Book Komiyama yestrday afternoon (great shop for anyone coming to Tokyo), which was notable for me for two reasons. 1. I picked up a copy of `Inge Morath Photografien 1952 – 1992`and 2. I overheard a gentleman talking to one of the shop staff about Japan Camera Hunter and Bellamy………

    Willi Schmidt December 1, 2015 at 5:51 am / Reply

    Edward, I’d like to ask about those two chef portraits – they are stunning!
    You said, you used available light. Could you give me a few hints as to what to look for to get similar results?


    Edward Lakeman December 2, 2015 at 8:50 pm / Reply


    Sure (and thanks again). I`ve never been any good at using flash / artificial light and so am always on the lookout for good natural light.

    These two pictures were taken several days apart and in very different locations / types of room. One was an enormous space with very high ceilings in a gothic revival Victorian building. The other was in a very small, modern building with minimal room. But for each I was lucky because there was some natural light on hand coming through windows. I asked the subjects to move towards the natural light and aimed to position them so I had a slightly darker background – but not plain, as I wanted to keep a sense of the environment they were in (a restaurant) – and avoid a feeling of anything being too staged. This also helped with creating a bit of separation, so as to accentuate the subject (also making sure that I shot wide open). Both were shot very quickly, in a couple of seconds, each subject just 2 frames.

    I think the best tip I can give (if you`re shooting inside) is simply look for the nearest window and use a 50mm (or equiv. if not using full frame). If it`s grey and overcast outside (as is often the case in London, where these were shot) that`s a bonus as this helps keep the lighting soft and even, which is a real help. If the sunlight is harsh, look for a simple net curtain and draw that across the window. This will soften the light nicely. Using a 50mm lens means you can: get in close to your subject and shoot wide open giving minimal depth of field and so nice separation, keep shutter speeds up / ISO reasonable, work fast, and directly communicate with your subject as you`re up close (I find that really helpful). It`s also a focal length that is long enough to easily achieve a flattering perspective. And if we remember that most rooms are actually quite small, there`s often not really enough room to use a `traditional` portrait focal length – I find they end up being just a bit too long. Position yourself with your back to the window, or have the window over your shoulder. You`ll also find that if you`re shooting like this it`s easy to combine nice soft even lighting with smooth but rapid drop off of light into the background, which can be useful.

    Back to the specific 2 pictures, camera settings was aperture priority, with the various in-camera parameters (sharpness, saturation etc) set to 0. Shot raw and then processed in Photoshop Elements and Analog Efex Pro 2 – some desaturation, adjusted contrast and brightness and sharpening of just the eyes and the beard, to help things `pop` in hopefully a reasonably natural way. I tend to like slightly warm hues and so will often tweak the temp. a little. But in these there was no need, as in each of the rooms there was enough artificial light to generate a bit of warmth.

    Having said all that – maybe the most important element (as ever) was bit of luck.

    Hope this helps, good luck and thanks for asking


    Willi December 4, 2015 at 12:37 am / Reply

    This was a really helpful answer. Thank you, Edward.
    I was surprised, though. At first sight I thought this was shot outside in a dark street with artificial light shining on their faces – but the result looked too good for this to be true.
    Great advice with the window and getting close up with a wide open lens.
    I will definitely follow it!


    Willi December 4, 2015 at 10:48 pm / Reply

    Today I did it, I ‘portraited’ my aunt and her husband who came from Moscow for a visit. Natural light, cloudy day, background was darker, got up close with my Minolta XD-7, 50mm lens and took two shots of each wide open. Can’t wait to see the results when the film is developed and printed.

    Regards from Germany

    Edward Lakeman December 5, 2015 at 5:23 am / Reply


    Glad you had a chance to try it – let us know how things turned out.



    Willi December 11, 2015 at 5:44 pm / Reply

    Here they are from a film scan. Shot on the second roll of film with my Minolta XD-7, 50mm lens. This is my aunt from Moscow and her husband.

    Edward Lakeman December 12, 2015 at 9:47 am / Reply


    Really excellent work; these have turned out very well indeed. Congratulations – and make sure you keep on shooting!



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