We are Yasu+Junko, a photography duo based in Brooklyn, specializing in still life photography. Aside from shooting editorial and commercial work, we enjoy shooting conceptual shots. We switched to shooting digital about 10 years ago.
Being fans of photography since young age, we had our share of interest in (acquiring) photography equipment. Starting with my father’s Nikon Ftn, we used to shoot with Nikon film cameras, Canon film cameras, Mamiya RZ, Linhof Master Technika, Sinar P2 & X. But since we started focusing on shooting still life, our interest in acquiring new equipment basically disappeared.
When we used to shoot film, we mostly shot with a 4×5 camera, but now we use an old Hasselblad system and keep our equipment load compact. The lighting equipment is more of our concern now, but the studio we use most of the time, Noho Productions, has all the lighting that we would want, so we just travel with a medium sized roller bag (LowePro Pro Roller 1) that fits all the photography equipment. We don’t use a 4×5 camera much anymore because we now have the ability to fix perspectives with Photoshop, and for us, smaller and lighter is better!
The studio that we are usually in, Noho Productions, is set up especially for still life photography. They have all the tools, cubes, glue-guns, background surfaces, etc., so we don’t have to get so nervous about forgetting things…especially small things, which there are a lot. Still, we do travel with a small supply of those little things – gloves, wires, etc. Strips of color-balancing filters are important because we rarely shoot with just one light. For the same reason, we cannot do without a color meter. Small cut ups of white, black, and silver show cards are a must for shooting small objects.
We have 2 digital backs so we could have 2 sets going at the same time, which happens quite frequently.
We used to use our digital back with Mamiya system, but we found that the adapter plate would shift the focus so much that it was almost impossible to focus using a viewfinder.
The only option to use the digital back without an adapter was to go with an older Hasselblad system. We have 2 bodies, both 503 CX. We don’t need any sort of automation, although a winder would be a nice feature since there are a lot of occasions when the camera is mounted on a tall camera stand. Macro rings are a must for shooting cosmetics. We have 2 to get a higher magnification or/and when we have 2 sets going.
The lens hood is important because we shoot a lot on light boxes, and the older Hasselblad lenses are not very good with flares. (On the other hand, they are great for obtaining soft bokeh due to more shutter leaves). We usually end up adding black tapes to the front of the hood to shut out the flare as much as possible. When we really need to blow out the white, we would usually go with 4×5 camera and lens since they are much better with flares.
Hasselblad 503 CX x 2
Hasselblad 50mm f/4 Distagon
Hasselblad 60mm f/3.5 Distagon (black barrel)
Hasselblad 80mm f/2.8 Planar (silver barrel)
Hasselblad 80mm f/2.8 Planar
Hasselblad 120mm f/4 Planar Makro
Hasselblad 150mm f/4 Sonnar
Minolta Color Meter III F
Minolta Flash Meter IV