The worlds largest fish market, Tokyo, October 2016
Most visitors to Tokyo are aware of the Tsukiji fish market, particularly since it is the largest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world, as well as being one of the largest wholesale food markets. It is also a very popular tourist destination, and while access to the inner wholesale tuna auctions are restricted to a few hundred tickets per day (and held very early in the morning), the outer market offers a wonderful opportunity for photographers.
On the late October morning that we visited it was cold and raining, but certainly no less fascinating inside. All visitors are reminded that this is very much a working market, and constant vigilance is necessary in order to avoid being run over by one of the many motorised carts zigzagging throughout the narrow aromatic lane ways.
With the ISO on my 5DSR set to a starting base of 1600, I decided against using the 17mm TS-E, instead opting for the 16-35 f4 L which would give me that little bit more versatility as well as autofocus. I still own the 16-35 f2.8 L version II, but have never found it to be sharp enough for my requirements. Perhaps it is simply my copy of the lens, although I did have it checked by Canon who assured me it was within tolerance, but I have always found the corners (particularly the bottom left corner) to be ‘mush’ on the f2.8 version. I certainly have a far better experience with my f4, which although it does not offer me the lovely f2.8 aperture option, does give me image stabilisation and clean crisp corners.
The former Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara has for some time been calling for the market to be moved to Toyosu in the Koto area, particularly since it currently occupies some prime Tokyo real estate bordering the fashionable Ginza shopping district. The market was due to relocate the very month we were visiting, but fortunately the move was then subsequently postponed. It is definitely worth a visit if you are in this amazing metropolis for a few days…
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