I'm trying to ask a photographer what camera they used for some pictures they took, but I'm not sure if what I think I should say is correct.

I was gonna ask: どんなカメラを使いましたか。

Is that correct? It kinda sounds unnatural/stiff to me so I'm asking here just to make sure. Will using が instead of を make more sense? If I use the て form for 使う, would that be too impolite?

  • 3
    What would your sentence look like if you "use the て form"?
    – user1478
    Jul 12, 2015 at 16:58

2 Answers 2


Although I agree with the above answer, it does not insist on a particular photograph. If you really need to ask "With which camera was this particular picture taken", I would go with :


I will explain the main grammar point: 写す means "to photograph". In this case, we want to ask how this picture was taken, hence, we use the passive form. Then we use the particle to denote the means by which the action was done. Note that if you are more familiar with 撮{と}る as a verb, you can use it exactly in the same way:


In fact the above sentence translates quite directly to:

With which camera was this picture taken?

The passive form is a very useful construct, I can only encourage you to read around, there are plenty of good resources online!

  • 撮{と}る (撮られましたか/撮られたのですか) is another choice.
    – Yosh
    Jul 13, 2015 at 2:34

To me it sounds just fine, though I would use the て form with います to make it clear you're asking about what カメラ they're using now. You're being polite enough by using ます so don't worry about it.

The new sentence will be: どんなカメラを使って いますか?

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