This is beautiful. Ribbed like a Star Wars starship. The gold ring is very captivating. Even the rear mount looks pretty, like the back of a Carl Zeiss 85mm F1.4. It also comes with a special Tamron 50th Anniversary cap. The Nikon and Canon versions don't have this cap. Must be a bonus for the Alpha male (Alpha female where applicable).
Minolta 28-105mm F3.5-4.5 lens for Minolta/Sony A-mount
Guess what's different about this picture's bokeh.
Strangely, other than the misshaped bokeh, pictures from it look fine. This is for the Pentax K-mount. Yes, I held the lens in front of the Sony A100.
A shot with the previous 600mm F11 combo would have colors bleeding onto the crow.
(Just a plain beercan shot.)
Sony HVL-F56AM flash came with a pouch; unfortunately, it did not come with a belt strap. I had a cobbler add on a leather strap so it could be strapped to my belt. It also fits a lens the size of the beercan (55mm filter diameter) as seen in the image on the right. However, I do not recommend putting heavy lenses and a flash on the left-side configuration.
I have too many 70-210mm lenses for the Minolta/Sony A-mount; from left: Minolta 70-210mm F4.0 beercan, Cosina 70-210mm F2.8-4.0 push-pull (Vivitar Series 1 rebadge), Sigma 70-210mm F4.0-5.6 push-pull (new!)
The Sigma is the most compact of the lot, but it was broke to begin with; it cannot focus to infinity at 70mm, and draws into regular focus as you push to 210mm. It reminds one of the old vari-focal zoom lenses, where you'd have to zoom first, then refocus! Modern lenses keep focus when you zoom in and out. I reckon something inside was misaligned.
It's also aged as heck, pulled out of a box of junk (yet to be blogged about). Its rubber coating had melted and was sticky, which I had to file off tediously.
Focused wayyy beyond infinity, methinks.
This is the 2500K end of Custom White Balance.
You can even induce iodine-like color onto your shots.
A Canon EOS 300D disassembled. Yes, they use Sony LCD screens.
So what do I think of the news, with the Canon 40D, Canon 1Ds MkIII, Nikon D300 and Nikon D3 announced?
Well, Nikon finally did Live View properly, with contrast-based auto-focus (the Canon Live View works like Olympus, where you have to press the AF-On button to auto-focus in Live View). Nikon also has ISO 25600 (if you choose to choose ISO in 1/3rd stops I will confiscate the camera from you and slap you with one of those solid Nikkor lenses you pride yourself owning). Plus Nikon being on CMOS finally rids the noise levels associated with CCD sensors. They also have a sweeter Nikkor 14-24mm F2.8 full-frame lens out.
Of course, the 36x23.9mm FX sensor size is not true full-frame; full-frame is 36x24mm! Technically you're getting a 1.004x crop factor.
/zimages/ffpr2.jpg Kien Kit of Silent Scenery, master shoegazer, at work.
/zimages/ffpr3.jpg Ivan does the rhythm for their lush soundscape.
/zimages/ffpr1.jpg Ask Me Again. This quickly divided the night into two distinct genres; emo and post-rock.
/zimages/ffpr4.jpg Sky Juice Coffee turns into an emo core band. They did punk rock so well before.
/zimages/ffpr5.jpg Champion! A Nikon D40 with Nikkor AF-D 50mm F1.8D lens. Yes, she can only use it in manual focus.
/zimages/ffpr6.jpg Do not be fooled by the number of pedals here; post-rock only requires one post-rock pedal. The rest are there just to look colorful and pretty and give the shoe-gazing guitarist something to look at. I did not get this band's name, because I can't seem to find the gig poster anymore.
/zimages/ffpr7.jpg Once in a while, they bend down to tweak said pedal.
/zimages/ffpr8.jpg Cigarette lighter as a slide!
/zimages/ffpr9.jpg Izuan is again on fire, with Auburn (who, well, isn't post-rock or emo, but more of alternative rock?)
/zimages/ffpr10.jpg Ian Koren returns as Jesus, to play for Throne Away!
/zimages/ffpr11.jpg This picture is for Sarah Chong!
/zimages/ffpr12.jpg They had a whole bunch of new songs. Hooray!
More shots were in Ian's Canon Ixus, in black-and-white and ISO1600 (because black-and-white complements the camera noise well.) All the good ones of the jumpy frontman's antics were on his camera instead.
Now for shots from the Tribute To Radiohead, 20th July 2007, KL Jamasia.
Somewhere before it all the electricity tripped, and I took this 1 second exposure at 50mm F1.4 ISO1600.
awesome possum in the picture above can solve one of these! (Of course, the Rubik's Cube shown here was solved by me. Some chick just bought it and I pretended it was my first time figuring it out... in near darkness.)
I would like to take credit for teaching her how, almost entirely over SMS. :D
They played Fake Plastic Trees, High And Dry and I don't quite remember what else.
Ham of Seven Collar T-Shirt is well prepared for anything Jonny Greenwood can muster.
Wow, that looks like so much fun. I wanna headbang too!"
Incubus Tribute, did a rockin' cover of Karma Police. It was the first song I heard from them...
/zimages/pelf1.jpg So one 1st of June I missed the company bus and got on the LRT instead, to work, and found flowers opposite Sogo, on the way to Bandaraya LRT!
/zimages/pelf5.jpg I shot with either my Minolta 50mm F1.4 with Tamron 1.4x teleconverter...
/zimages/pelf2.jpg ...or the Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye.
/zimages/pelf4.jpg Aperture plays a very important part in making a shot; make sure there is enough depth of field to make the flower sharp and defined as one object. Sometimes it also helps to not entirely throw the background into a blurry mess.
/zimages/pelf3.jpg Wireless flash from below.
/zimages/pelf6.jpg Also, I had to watch out for the sun and my shadow blocking it, especially so with a fisheye.
/zimages/pelf7.jpg Annoyingly, the Peleng has an unevenly colored coating, where the color cast can change by just turning it about. Its effect can even be seen in the viewfinder!
On the 21st of July 2007, I spent the entire scorching day in a Tourism Malaysia treasure hunt... that didn't exactly follow the convention of a treasure hunt in the modern sense. We'd have to go to Point 1 before getting the location to Point 2. Doesn't that sound like the movies, and how a treasure hunt is like?
Omak Den Restaurant, where we were to get item #1...
We were running short on time having deliberated much at our first few stops. Nabila proved to be an excellent driver.
At least over 10 spotted in Banting. Madness!
Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Memorial. The place is so clean and well kept, you'd be glad taxpayer money went to this.
His little adorable train. Built like a tank and self-contained.
600mm F11 combo...
We won second place! What beginner's luck. About the prizes I am not really sure, as the prizes seemed to have changed from what was written to something else for the worse, when announced. Spot the haven't-linked-in-blog-entry-in-a-long-time Hannna, Nabila the crazy 160kmph driver and her mom, who wanted us to pull out and give up. Thank goodness we didn't!
The Simpsons Movie was funny, yes, but it really did feel like just like one of those epic episodes of The Simpsons. Like the one where Bart goes to Australia. Or who shot Mr. Burns. Heck, it didn't even feel like it spanned over an hour. Then again, the typical Simpsons episode has always an unrelated pre-plot (in the first 5 minutes) that leads to the main plot. It seems to be the writers' challenge to link them.
Maybe it's not so much of the movie feeling just like an epic episode, but that the episodes feel lengthy due to the pre-plot and main plot.
Also, I watched Transformers (the live action movie) again, finally, this time, paying, and this time, in Imax 2D (there is no 3D version. :( ) The huge screen made it even harder to decipher the action (though after a while, I think I managed to identify who was hurling at who with my immense powers of observation.)
Dead Silence was cool. Amazing cinematography. Always cold blue faces. Cameos from the doll in Saw. A great attempt by the same director.
In comparison, the Cosina's plus points are: - brighter before 150mm - has a focus limiter switch which is better than standard focus limiters - focuses to 1:2.5x macro - shorter and will fit in my bag with camera body attached - can be used with my fussy Tamron 1.4x 4-element 5-pin teleconverter
I also got myself a Kenko Teleplus 4-element 8-pin 2x teleconverter for Minolta/Sony A-mount. This converter oddly changes my Minolta 50mm F1.4 into a 105mm F3.5 (though metering indicates a accurate 2-stop loss). Astoundingly, this works with all my lenses unlike my fussy Tamron 4-element 5-pin 1.4x teleconverter. Despite the warning that a teleconverter and lens will only work if the combined total is brighter or equal to F6.3 (e.g. F3.5 lens on a 2x teleconverter cannot be used), the 2x throws that rule out the window. I can use my Sony 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens (easily my darkest lens) at 140mm F11.
It is then that I learnt to appreciate the kit lens; it's astounding even with the 2x teleconverter. Teleconverters expose the weakness of a lens and exaggerate it. The kit lens had little to no loss in quality... while the Minolta 50mm F1.4 just went super soft.
So what if I stacked my teleconverters together?
Shot through a window in afternoon light. 600mm F16 1/60s ISO400.
The Sony A100 can only autofocus at F8 or brighter; at F11, this Cosina combo (which I will call the 600mm F11) is too full of spherical aberration when near focus, the camera cannot possibly focus.
Strangely, though, it is easier to manual focus. The lens feels great for manual focus, and when a black, backlit subject is out of focus, chromatic aberration leaks onto the black and turns it either purple or green. When the object is in focus, it is a solid black!
Alternatively, I could zoom out to 200mm F8 and auto-focus, then zoom in.
The 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 with 2x teleconverter at 140mm F11 is very easy to manual focus too; the entire image melts into spherical aberration softness, and it is very obvious when it is in focus. It feels like the outside matte surface of a split-prism viewfinder on ye olde Manual Focus SLRs. (Of which I have too many of.)
1200mm F22 1/80s ISO100. The camera reported an EXIF of 9999mm while my computer reported an EXIF of 65535mm. Apparently, it couldn't count to 1200mm, heh. (Nearly focused) out-of-focus is pretty, and obvious.
My Minolta Dynax 7, Tamron 2x 7-element teleconverter, Kenko Teleplus 2x 4-element teleconverter, Tamron 1.4x 4-element teleconverter, Tamron 100mm F3.5 Macro lens. This famous lens allows close focus to 1:2 magnification, and 1:1 magnification with the supplied screw-on lens. This combo gives 3:1 magnification!
1000mm F16 1/15 ISO1600. This was with the Sony 500mm F8 reflex mirror lens. It can still (try to) auto-focus! At such slow speeds it cannot be ascertained if it was handshake or motion blur.
Stopping down my 600mm F11 provided better results. It goes down to F64! At this point any dust on the sensor becomes small and manageable. This is also where I wish for an Olympus Super-Sonic Wave Filter anti-dust solution, because that's the only one that really works. Shot at 600mm F64 1/160s ISO1600.
My pride. 600mm F11 1/2s ISO400. Half a second handheld! Handshake and softness is of course apparent, but the size of the subject makes it less relevant.
light in the sky was Venus. Or was it Saturn?
600mm F16 1/80s ISO400, for the birds. Any shorter focal length would need you to step closer... and the birds would fly away. This makes shooting in a bird park a lot easier because them birds don't fly away.
Big macro zooms, left to right: Minolta Dynax 7 with Kenko 2x, Tamron 1.4x and Cosina 70-210mm F2.8-4.0 Macro; Pentax P30t with Vivitar 2x matched teleconverter with Vivitar 75-205mm F3.5-4.5; Olympus OM-2000 with Vivitar 2x teleconverter with Soligor 70-220mm F3.5 Macro.
Add 1:2.5x magnification with a 3x magnification from the teleconverters to get 3:2.5x or 1.2:1!
So where's the customary shot of all my Minolta-mount lenses? It's not here, because there's yet another I didn't mention, and another on its way. This isn't even the last of the geek entries, I assure you that.
Tempered Mental's album launch at Laundry Bar. The album, titled The View From Here, features 10 solid songs of the progressive metal/rock variety. As a fan of them since the very first gig I had been to in the original No Black Tie, where I first saw them, this was a long-awaited album.
However, none of the songs overlap with the previous Honestly single (which had, well... 7 songs) so we got mostly fresh works with the great Greg Henderson on production. Then, there's Trust which I downloaded from their official site a looong looong time ago.
Why no local independent band has an album out with more than 10 proper songs, I don't know. However, Tempered Mental could have added those 7 songs from the single in to beat complete the record. However, it might sound disconnected because the album has funky effects applied to the vocals (which I took a while to get used to) while the single doesn't.
Guess who I bumped into? Grace and my little Transformers Movie Barricade.
Jack the ripper shredder.
For once, Laundry Bar looked extremely well-lit.
Slyde looks lost.
Vig shows us how it's done with just a Nikon D200 and Nikkor AF-D 35mm F2.0.
They performed Superstar, Undone, Nothingness, Open, Cross and Design. Unfortunately, they did not have a second set. Price and where to get the album will be available once their uh... manager gets back to me.