Taking Photos Of A Tuna Cutting With The Nikon D850

Have you ever attended a Japanese event and there’s so much going on? There’s a start and an end, with an expected outcome, but the rest seems like improv. That was the tuna cutting.

And, it was super fun.

If you ever get invited to one, definitely go. It was so fun that I was ready for the floor of the restaurant to open and drop us all into the middle of a television studio because we were actually characters in an elaborate game show. What you can expect at this type of an event is family-style food and drink served dish after dish and glass after glass.

Kyoko served us Japanese vodka, which is made with potatoes instead of rice.

The other thing you should do, if given the opportunity, is shoot with the Nikon D850. After the a7 III launch and our road trip to the Joshua Tree National Park, my editor handed me the D850 and said, “Go shoot with this and report back.”

So that’s what I did. I agree with the other reviewers who adore its 100th anniversary, state-of-the-art aesthetic and what a pleasure it is to take photos with. As long as the shot is composed and in focus, the D850 won’t let you down. My reviewer’s opinion was enhanced by having it just handed to me, with no PR or junket or Nikonians chatting me up.

Our host wore this funny hat.

The shooting experience was like the time I drove a McLaren race car—also highly recommended—I don’t know that I’d want to own one but the tactile sensations were next level. In the super-competitive camera market with a body available at every price point, it’s not something you probably need and the mirrorless manufacturers have more advanced bodies, but you also can’t help but be impressed.

A farm-raised, 155-pound bluefin tuna was flown in for the occasion.
To the touch, it wasn’t scaly but like a taut skin.

The D850 is what you should expect from a flagship camera and arguably the best DSLR ever made. Producing such great image quality when reviewing the frames, there was a sense that this is a camera that will never be the thing holding you back from getting your best shots, a magazine cover even or a gallery show.

Off with the head first.
The Master Sushi Chef and owner of Ten Sushi, Shinichiro Takahashi cutting up the tuna.
The front there is a delicacy.
The knife was very sharp.

The D850 will support you in whatever you’re trying to achieve. For me, it was capturing the excitement of this event sponsored by All Nippon Airways and happening at Ten Sushi near the Space Needle in Seattle.

You bet I got in on the action.

As I shared above, I was in an unusual, frenetic setting that was unfolding very fast. ANA VIPs were arriving, the tuna was about to get cut up and served to them. With halogen lighting above and the sunset on the right through the grey-tinted glass, I was toggling through camera settings and then switched modes to P to see what the camera thought. It told me: shutter speed 1/60, ISO 2000, and an aperture of ƒ/2.8.

A visit to NRT anyone? ANA is Japan’s largest airline.

Thank you very much!

Back in manual, I changed the settings a bit as the light changed but trusted the camera, and it didn’t let me down, as the photos show.

Recalling my spin in a Mclaren, too, the high-performance camera settings analogy is to traction control. I use that automated tech in most cases, but on a track, I’d turn it off and then see what the car, or camera, can really do.

After taking photos at the tuna-cutting event, I’m confident the D850 can do it all. Once the bluefin tuna was plated, about 100 pounds of it, I put the camera down and enjoyed the evening.

Someone saved me a couple beers!

Thanks to ANA for inviting me along. A tuna cutting hosted by a Japanese airline was a perfect venue to take photos with a legendary camera.

Now I need to take the D850 to a race track and shoot some action. Maybe of a McLaren. On the Sony beat and as an early adopter, I have nothing but praise and appreciation for this Nikon. Also, I have a better understanding why DSLR owners will hold onto them as long as the can or until their brand starts making mirrorless bodies.

Leave a Reply

Menu