top コラムTokyo Film Camera StyleTokyo Film Camera Style [Leica Film Walk 2023]

Tokyo Film Camera Style

Tokyo Film Camera Style [Leica Film Walk 2023]

John Sypal

On a warm autumn Sunday in early November I had the pleasure of leading the first Leica Film photowalk through Tokyo’s Yanaka district.  


Leica’s continued dedication to the manufacture of their film camera line is admirable- and with my involvement with the rerelease of the M6 in 2022 I’ve enjoyed a year of collaboration with Leica Japan through four exhibitions, two talks, and this recent film walk experience. This event was the idea of the manager of the Leica shop in the Daimaru Tokyo department store.


11月初旬の暖かな秋の日曜日、私は東京・谷中を巡る「第1回ライカフィルム フォトウォーク」の案内役を務めさせていただきました!




The attendees- a group comprised of previous customers from Leica’s mailing list- gathered at Nippori Station where rolls of Kodak Portra 400, generously supplied by Kodak Professional Japan, were distributed. 





We spent the afternoon wandering around Yanesen, sometimes sheltering under temple gateways or a tree during sudden, but intermittent (and photogenic) rain showers. I suppose it is a bit strange for an American to lead a group of Japanese photographers around Tokyo but sharing this cherished part of the city is always a nice experience.  

A few hours and a several kilometers later we concluded the day at Sansakizaka Cafe (さんさき坂カフェ) with some coffee.  The Leica shop staff and I took the exposed rolls of film to Yellow Jacket, a photo lab in Sendagi- the participants met back up the following Sunday to receive their prints (and film scans on CD)- and share with the group the photos they snapped.  







Here’s a look at a few of the cameras which were enjoyed on our walk:




Leica M4-MDA +  Summircon 35mm F2 2nd


This is a beautiful – and very rare- Leica M4-MDA, seen here with a 35mm f2 Summircon V2 lens. A camera as rare as this usually spends its life in display case- so it was great to see it out on the street being enjoyed like this.


ズミクロン35mm F2 2ndレンズを装着した、美しく、そして非常に珍しいライカM4-MDAです。通常、カメラコレクターはこのような珍しいものを特別なケースに入れておくものですよ。そんなライカが楽しそうに街で使われているところを見られたのは嬉しいことでした。カメラは使うものです!



Leica M7 + Summilux 50mm F1.4 


Speaking of black paint Ms, this is a Leica ala carte M7, paired here with a black paint 50mm f1.4 Summilux lens. I believe this lens was produced for the year 2000 M6TTL “Millenium” edition.  It’s a perfect match for this M7.


ブラックペイントのライカMといえば、このM7はすごくかっこよかったです。合わせられたブラックペイントのズミルックス 50mm F1.4は、2000年のM6TTL "Millenium "というエディションのために生産されたものだと思います。このM7に完璧にマッチしています。



Leica M3 + FOCA 5cm F1.9 Oplarex


While there were a few M6s and MPs in the group, this was the only M3. It’s fitted with an MR-Meter, a grip, and a French-made FOCA 5cm f1.9 Oplarex lens rehoused into an M-mount base. Amazing.


散歩グループにはM6やMPをそれぞれ2、3台見かけましたが、「M3」はこの1台だけでした。アクセサリーのメーターとグリップ、よし! そしてフランス製のFOCA 5cm F1.9 OplarexレンズをMマウントの台座に収め直しています。これはかなりすごい。



Leica M6 + Elmarit-M 28mm F2.8 Asph.


One participant brought her father’s Leica M6 Titanium- the lens was a rare chrome 28mm f2.8 Elmarit-M Asph. lens. She took the event as an opportunity to become familiar with the camera, having the Leica staff help her load it for the first time. It’s nice to see family cameras like this stay in the family. I hope that she enjoyed the experience and uses this M6 for years to come.


参加者の一人は、父親が使っていたというライカM6チタンを持参。レンズは珍しいシルバークロームメッキのエルマート M28mm F2.8 Asph.です。このようにカメラが家族を通じて家に残っているのは嬉しいことですね。彼女がこの体験を楽しみ、このM6を末永く使ってくれることを願っています。



Photography events like this are reminders that photography isn’t just about the final image. When it encompasses a shared experience, a shared interest in the gear, its overall pleasures and challenges, it becomes a medium of communication and friendship. 

I certainly had a good time- I hope to do more such events in the future. Many thanks to Leica Camera, Kodak, and all the kind people who joined.






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