A new perspective on railway photography

Seiya Nakai, one of Japan’s best known railway photographers, takes photos of trains, railroads and the wonderful world that surrounds them, from a unique, personal perspective.


I travel the world to take pictures of trains and railroads.

Most people see trains merely as a means of transportation and train tracks as a cold jumble of steel and iron. But for me railways evoke a sense of warmth, the lingering warmth and sentiments of the countless travelers they shuttle from city to city. Expressing those sentiments, as I perceive them, is what I try to convey in my photography.


Whether my subjects were sleek Shinkansen bullet trains speeding through the landscape or humble suburban trains, the Leica SL2 had no problems capturing them all exactly the way I wanted. The first thing that blew my mind, as it will yours, is the beauty of the high-resolution EyeRes viewfinder.


Looking through the EVF of the Leica SL2 is no different from looking at a scene with the naked eye:

the EyeRes shows the image exactly as it will be captured. I think it is fair to say that the quality of the EVF on the Leica SL2 has finally surpassed that of the optical viewfinder!


The Leica SL2 boasts a full-frame sensor

that is packed with an astounding 47.3 million effective pixels, making it the first camera which I felt does full justice to the quality of the SL-Lens. The level of detail is nothing short of stunning.


Continuous shooting and subject-tracking capabilities are also necessary to successfully capture fast-moving subjects such as high-speed trains. I was very pleased with the rich detail and expressive power of “The Akita Shinkansen”, a shot that beautifully captures the striking shape of the train passing through the city as the sun was setting in the autumn sky.


I would not have been able to pull this feat off with another camera. The AF-C performance and the high resolution of the Leica SL2 are unparalleled.


To express the dynamic aspect of railways in my shots, I often use panning.

The Leica SL2’s in-body image stabilization (shake reduction) system accurately supports panning photography, regardless of whether the camera is turned horizontally or vertically. I am confident that with a Leica SL2 I will be able to drastically increase my success rate, even under difficult conditions (such as shooting fast-moving train at sunset against the backdrop of city lights!).


The Leica FOTOS integration is a very nice feature. It was super easy to pair with my iPadPRO and I was able to verify my shots in the field and use various applications to post-process the images without any problem.

Find out more about Leica FOTOS 2.0


I use a number of excellent and top-of-the-line cameras of different brands, but no camera has filled me with the sense of excitement and anticipation I feel every time I pick up the Leica SL2. Its ease of use and high-spec features make it an ideal camera to capture moving subjects.


The Leica SL2 replicates the thrill that I, like so many others, felt when I first got my hands on a Leica M model.

There are not many cameras out there which have that effect. Leica’s uncompromising commitment to quality, from the unrivaled performance of its lenses to incredible attention to detail in the design of cameras that are compact yet robust and feel great in the hands, makes shooting with a Leica camera a unique experience.

Read the full interview


Leica SL2 It’s your choice.

The SL2 is, next to the Leica M, the only mirrorless full format system camera designed and crafted in Germany, and is a technical marvel of pure performance and unmatched build quality. The Leica SL2 is the natural evolution of the innovative Leica SL, serving as a groundbreaking embrace of the future of digital photography and videography.