Monday, December 31, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Déjà vu - Two Old Stars of The Star!

Charles Chan and Janet are in Wellington, we had a dinner catch up; we reminisced the good old days when we were with The Star tabloid in Malaysia. Isn't that what "Two old  stars of The Star" (quote and unquote from Chong Cheng Hai) talk about? Chong is a "younger star of The Star".  ;)

Charles and I go back a long way, he was the News Editor and me the Photo Editor at the 1974 Star Publications in Penang, Malaysia.

When I joint, The Star was hardly 2 years old. We were competing with the all powerful The New Straits Times, the national broadsheet and a 70+ year old local, The Straits Echo; another broadsheet.

Charles was a no nonsense News Editor during those "lean and mean" days, I remember fondly that he ordered the photographer to reshoot the job because the shots were not up to his high standard. In 1974, News Editor has MORE power and say than a young Photo Editor ;)

Charles got along with me so well that he SOLD me his precious SOLID SILVER Dunhill cigarette lighter for RM 60.00! He even let me pay the amount by 3 monthly installments of RM 20.00 :) He reckoned that was a sure way of quitting his smoking habit! Hee hee... 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Very Hot Wellington Christmas!

Once a year, Christmas is the time we catch up with close friends and traditionally we always try to roast a turkey :)

There was one year I even broke my own record by roasting TWO birds!

This year due to different circumstances, I decided not to spend hours preparing the bird. But... but... what is Xmas without turkey? Hee hee... My Plan 2...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Restore and Recolor My World!

Rewind to 1993, I was working for the Singapore newspaper group; it was the year I discovered the Macintosh computer and Photoshop! I managed to convince my boss to buy an Macintosh Quadra 950 for me to set up the first Electronic Picture Desk, the 33Mhz Apple cost a whopping S$30,000-00!  The 256 MB RAM upgrade alone cost S$10,000-00!

Like an addict I was hooked to the Mac and Photoshop! To enable me to use Mac after work, I even Took out a company loan and bought my own Quadra 840AV; at a sizzling S$8,000-00 a pop, my wife think I am freaking mad ;)

The Quadra 840AV was the first 68040 Mac to break the 33 MHz barrier. Based on the 40 MHz 68040 processor, and housed in a Quadra 800-style case, the 840AV included AV features similar to its younger sibling, the 660AV. However, it's AT&T 3210 DSP ran at a faster 66 MHz. It also included one Geoport, and sold for US$3,550, which was inexpensive for what was, at the time, the fastest Mac ever.

I started with Photoshop 2.5 then quickly upgraded to version 3.0 when it came out in 1994.

It was around this time that I discovered I was able to restore color of badly faded prints and transparencies!

My first attempt was a faded trans of my young self taken at the Melbourne Essendon Airport 1965, I was on my way to higher education in Victoria, Australia.

As you can see the Kodak Ektachrome transparency of 1965 has deteriorated to just cyan and magenta hues!

After scanning the faded slide with a Kodak RFS 2035 electronic film scanner I proceed to restor the colour.

I remember it took me quite a few hours in Photoshop 3.0, take a look!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

WC-P7700 - Ultra Wide Nikon Coolpix

Turn out to be a very pleasant cool but sunny Wellington Saturday, I had two hours to kill before picking up Le General at her line dancing. I decided to test out my new WC-P7700, an ultra-wide Nikon Coolpix point and shoot.

Don't bother searching for this Nikon model because Nikon DO NOT have such a model... bear with me ;)

If you own a Nikon Coolpix P7700 AND a Nikon WC-E75 Wide angle converter lens, you already own a WC-P7700 ultra-wide point and shoot!

I bought my WC-E75 with my Nikon Coolpix 8400 in 2005.

The optional WC-E75 wide-angle converter lens took the build in 24 mm_e zoom lens of the 8400 even wider to an unmatched 18 mm_e of ultra-wide coverage!

The same WC-E75 was used on my favorite Canon G-12, converting the 28 mm_e to a very wide  21 mm_e!

Of all the wide angle conversion lens ever made, Nikon's WC-E75 is; as far as I know; optically, the best!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Is Nikon P7700 Sharp Enough For You?

MOST PHOTOGRAPHERS are obsessed with sharpness their cameras and lenses able to produce.  Not that it is a bad thing, most photos look better when it is sharp; especially when it is enlarged.

In my younger days as a newspaper photographer in the 70 and 80s, I was super obsess with sharpness of my shots; for a reason.

Ink on news prints was NOT a effective way to display your masterpiece in all its sharpness and glory, to get a "nice" rendition of your work on Page One; your shot better be damn sharp to begin with!

Photoshop? What Photoshop?

Friday, November 30, 2012

HOBBIT Farce @ The Middle of Middle-Earth

FARCE... Referring to something that isn't cool, 
yet is hard to ignore!

My friend asked me why I was not at the HOBBIT world premiere launch at Courternay Place, The Middle of Middle-Earth yesterday?

 I WAS! Actually WE WERE!

Did we enjoy the launch?  NO! Was it entertaining? NO! NO! NO!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Nikon P7700 v Canon G12

The Nikon Coolpix series is the point and shoot series of digital cameras produced by Nikon.  - Wikipedia

Nikon call their  Coolpix "P" series the Performance Series, they compete directly with Canon's Powershot "G" series. But year after year, Canon Gs lead the prosumer market while Nikon play catching up!

Until now?

Like the Phoenix in mythology, Nikon latest Coolpix P7700 rises from the ashes of the P7100 to compete with the Canon G12 (old enemy) and G15 (new foe)!

In 2010, out of desperation; Nikon released their Coolpix P7000 which not only look like the Canon G12, it even have near-identical top-level specifications! Sadly, the P7000's slow operational speed and confusing on-screen menus caused it's early downfall.

The replacement P7100 failed to topple the G12 superiority either!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Solar Eclipse Wows Wellingtonians!

We Wellingtonians get easily excited by "small" events, you see; nothing much exciting happen here ;)  Not that it is a bad thing, I like the peace and quite...

So can you imagine all the buzz around Wellington today?

Wow!  There is a FULL SOLAR ECLIPSE from 10 am!

 And at 1.30 pm Prince Charles and Camella are at Frank Kitts Park, meeting the Wellingtonians! And more than 10,000 Royalists were there to greet them!

Me?  I was more interested with the solar eclipse, I decided going to work late and drove up to Mt Victoria look out to experience the phenomenon; hoping it will be more exciting than the BORING film ECLIPSE shown on our TV last night!!  

For those who don't know, Mount Victoria, locally abbreviated to Mt. Vic, is a prominent hill (height 196 metres) to the east of the center of Wellington, New Zealand, and its associated suburb.

From Mt. Vic you can have a 360 degree view of Wellington!

Why was I there?  To photograph the eclipsed sun?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Canon G7 G9 Loose Screws Fiasco!

Fiasco [fɪˈæskəʊ]n pl - a complete failure, especially one that is ignominious or humiliating!

If you have been following my blog, you will know I WAS a sucker for Canon G series of compact cameras.

According to Wikipedia:

The PowerShot products are a line of consumer and prosumer grade digital cameras, launched by Canon in 1995. The PowerShot line has been successful for Canon, and is one of the best-selling digital camera lines worldwide.

The Canon PowerShot G is a series of digital cameras released by Canon. The G series cameras are Canon's flagship models aimed at prosumer photography enthusiasts desiring more flexibility than a point-and-shoot without the bulk of a digital single-lens reflex camera.

Friday, October 26, 2012


Before we even start on the subject of FOCUS PEAKING and not wanting to repeat what hundreds of write up on this very useful feature, please go and check this page out and watch the video below!

DONE?  By now you should know exactly what Focus Peaking is all about ;)

In short, Focus Peaking is a fast and accurate way to focus a manual lens on a mirrorless camera!

If Focus Peaking is so effective, WHY-WHY-WHY, that the most popular M4/3 Olympus OM-D E-M5 DO NOT HAVE IT??

After all, Sony; Pentax, Panasonic etc have this feature built in!

All this while, OM-D user like me suffered in silence; avoiding using our manual focus lenses because you really have to strain your eye to get an accurate focus!

Yes, yes; yes, I know there is the magnified  manual focus aid you can activate, have you try it out?  The blow-up image shake like hell and after a while you gave up ;)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eye To Eye ;)

Some of my friends was wondering why I have not been posting for a while, would you believe my retina display detached and I was virtually blind with only a good left eye?

Did I say Retina Display? Duh!

Retina Display is a brand name used by Apple for liquid crystal displays which they claim to have a high enough pixel density that the human eye is unable to notice pixelation at a typical viewing distance. The term is used for several Apple products, including the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and MacBook Pro.  -Wikipedia

What I had was a Retinal Detachment!  Nasty!

Retinal detachment is a disorder of the eye in which the retina peels away from its underlying layer of support tissue. Initial detachment may be localized, but without rapid treatment the entire retina may detach, leading to vision loss and blindness. It is a medical emergency.

No, that discus fish above did not have retina problem; even though his eye is much redder than my right eye after the op ;)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

We Shoot Tulips With Olympus Don't We?

It is that time of the year again, spring is in the air; again, tulips are in full bloom at our Wellington Botanical Garden again ;)

Turn out to be a dry and mild sunny day, after lunch we head for the garden; to admire the short lived, glorious flowers. I expect all the blooms will be gone early next week.

I took TWO Olympus with me, the 3 year old E-P2 and the 8 months old OM-D E-M5. To calm my aching knee I only have TWO Panasonic lenses, my favorite super wide zoom; the Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 7-14 mm F4.0 ASPH and the very compact Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm f/4-5.6 zoom.

Out of the blue, Le General insisted that she wanted to shoot her own pictures!  I have to give her the E-P2 with the 7-14 lens which she hogged the whole afternoon ;)

A 45mm view of the garden taken by LB before she took over the ultra wide.

Friday, September 21, 2012

They Doctored News Pictures In Malaysia Don't They?

Do they or they do not?

Of course they do, not forgetting photographers have been manipulating pictures since the medium was invented!

Fast rewind to September 9, I read with interest an news item in the Malaysia paper; The New Straits Times which was posted in Face Book...

WORK ETHIC: Bernama man denies senator's claim he had doctored photo of PM's Hari Raya open house


PUTRAJAYA: THE photographer who covered the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and ministers on Aug 19 regrets that his picture has become a subject of dispute by an opposition party senator who alleged it had been doctored.

"Doctoring pictures is not part of my work ethic. In fact, it is not the work ethic of any Bernama staff. The allegation is an insult," said Harry Salzman Abu Bakar, a Bernama photograher.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Has Hasselblad and Leica Gone Loony?

I always think highly of Hasselblad, for a long long time I think they make some of the best medium format cameras around!

Their 500C was a classics! It even went to the moon, the first man on the moon was shot with a Hasselblad!

I had great admiration for Hasselblad, until two days ago...

Hasselblad proudly launched their new LUNAR at Photokina two days ago, they called the monstrosity "Italian-designed ‘ultimate luxury’ mirrorless, interchangeable lens camera"!

I hasn't stop laughing :)  Ha ha ha ha...

Wait... the best is yet to come...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Konnichiwa こんにちは Canon G15

Say sayonara to my G12 and konnichiwa to the new G15 :)

Blurity Deblurs Shaky Photos!

One year ago I read with interest Adobe was showing off an advanced Image De-blurring feature that may appear in an upcoming CS6.0 of Photoshop. The demonstration got everybody work up but alas this magical feature did not appear in the latest version of Photoshop.

What I didn't know Blurity was on the same track promoting a stand alone app that do the same magic of making blurry photos sharp!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Nikon D600 The Disruptive Full-Frame DSLR?

By now the whole world know Nikon has launch their "affordable" D600 FULL-FRAME DSLR!  Priced at US$ 2,099 (body) it is a thousand bucks cheaper than big brother the D800.

So what it is 12 MP LESS than the 36 MP big brother, who or how often do you need all those extra pixels anyway?

Every photographer worth his/her pixels knew the full-frame DSLR is the ultimate upgrade, trouble is a decade ago; you will have to take out a second mortgage just to upgrade to a full-frame system!  It was that expensive ;)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Prima Facie - Nikon D800 DSLR

After talking and anticipating about it for a week, last Tuesday thanks to Ben of Photo Warehouse, we were given a chance to try out the 36.3MP Nikon D800 DSLR!

Our manager Simon told us we have just three days to play with this "King of Mega Pixels" and he is interested to know how this full-frame DSLR compare to the Mamiya 645DF he bought for the office 3 weeks ago.

Simon's intention is to find out if the D800 can deliver the kind of sharpness and dynamic range like a medium format digital back is able to.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Prima Facie - Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II

Three days ago, my colleague Martyn received his spanking new Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II lens! I was the first person he show the 1.6 KG, NZ$ 4,000.00 chunk of glass to ;)

Alright Martyn, I don't have one :)  The fact is, I can't afford one!

Fondling this cold metallic wonder optics bring back memories of those great time I was with the papers, most of my news pictures were shot with a similar lens but WITHOUT the luxury of IS (Image Stabilizer).

Canon launch their first generation EF 70-200 f/2.8 L in March 1995, rapidly the versatile zoom became the "must have" of all EOS totting pros.

In September 2001 Canon delivered the same lens with an advance image stabilizer and priced it 3 times more than the non IS version.

Canon claimed their version two IS zoom have a three stops advantage over the non IS, what they meant was if you are able to shoot a shake free shot with your non IS at 1/125 (@ 200mm), you will be able to do the same at 1/15 with the IS lens!  A bit of exaggeration, but possible ;)

Monday, August 27, 2012

1st Man On the Moon Dies

Saturday - Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, dies aged 82.

On that historical day, July 20th 1969; Armstrong, the commander of the Apollo 11 mission,became the first human to set foot on the moon. As he stepped on the dusty lunar surface, Armstrong said: "“That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." 

Those words endured as one of the best known quote in the English language. 

Portrait of Astronaut Neil A. Armstrong, commander of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing mission in his space suit, with his helmet on the table in front of him. Behind him is a large photograph of the lunar surface.  Image Credit: NASA

Friday, August 24, 2012

Tokina 300/6.3 Reflex MFT - Mirror Lens Back In Fashion?

What is a mirror lens?

According to my friend Leonard Foo of MIR...

"You can called a Reflex Lens a poor man's ED lens.
In a reflex lens, light path is 'folded' by the mirror surfaces.

This permits the design of lens type permitting a significant reduction in size and weight as compared to conventional lenses of equivalent focal length.

Since the light path is folded, another benefit is the virtual elimination of chromatic aberration, this provides images taken with mirror lens with superior sharpness and contrast!"

Sunday, August 19, 2012

It's a Bitch Focusing Manual Tele Lens On OM-D!

Saturday... after days of doom and groom of wet and cold days, mother nature decided to show a little mercy to Wellingtonian by dishing out a dry, mild day!

As usual, I have a couple of hours to kill after dropping Le General for her line dancing at Newtown.

I had with me the OM-D E-M5 (with grip) and my old Nikon 300/4.5 IF-ED manual lens plus a Nikon TC-14 tele converter.

My Manfrotto carbon monopod came with me too.

 I head for my favorite "lens test area"; the Oriental Parade where I knew, on a nice day like this, people come out for exercise and play :)

The 15 year old Nikon lens with the 1.4X converter took on a field of view of a 420mm lens. When this combo is attached to the M4/3 OM-D it "became" a whopping lens with a FOV of 840mm!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Make Your New Zealand Home Warmer!

We landed in Wellington, New Zealand 24 years and two days ago. Yes, it was winter!  To the four of us, who came from blistering hot Malaysian weather; the freezing cold wind was more than a cultural shock! It was BLEEDING COLD!!

Later, to our dismay we discovered many of the New Zealand homes are cold and damp. These homes aren't just uncomfortable to live in, they can also have negative impacts on your health

I remembered while living in a rented house many years ago that our neighbor from Russia told me, that; back in his home country, even the poorest household is better insulated than those in New Zealand!

A hail covered Karori, 2010.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

We All Shoot Lens Test Chart Don't We?

We all shoot lens test chart, don't we?

Well, I do and I don't!

I did that often in my younger day, trying to find out how sharp my newly acquired lenses are; not realising my method was highly unscientific! Ha ha ha... But it was fun and self satisfying ;)
The last time I did that "pointless act" was many many moons ago!

Well, I was at it again today!!

It all came about when the company I work bought a super-duper MEDIUM FORMAT digital camera!

This mega $$$$$ camera pack a whopping BIG sensor with SIXTY MEGA pixel!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Exploration Of NZ and Thai Culture In Art

Our friend's son, emerging Wellington artist Sanit Klamchanuan open his first solo exhibition, “Kiwi-Thai” at Thistle Hall, 293 Cuba St, Te Aro, Wellington; today!  (Show event)

The exhibition features abstract conceptual art, using Maori and Thai themes while working with natural colours

We went to his exhibition and love what we saw, this is his story...

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rainbow Over Karori Valley!

Thursday morning, 8.05 am; while putting on my socks, getting ready to take Le General to her appointment. My bedside radio announced about a giant rainbow over the Karori valley! Our aboard is over looking the valley!

Rainbow always unexpectedly appears when you’re least expecting to see one, often when rainbow do appear; you do not have a camera ;) Not this time!

I pulled the window blind and there it was, in all her glory; the rainbow!

I grabbed my OM-D E-M5, it had the Lumix 7-14 ultra-wide; fine... I turn on the camera, it says "card error!" What the ?#$%^  Quick card  eject and reinsert, now OK!

Went outside the front door onto the deck, the rainbow is starting to fade and disappear!  Grab shoot as fast as I can go... this is NOT good!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Same Old, Same Old; World Press Photo Here!

It is that time of the year again, the World Press Photo are doing it's round in Wellington.

I was at the opening today.

The Exhibition will open to the public from:

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Samples From New Canon EOS M Mirrorless

By now you must have read lots of preview of the new Canon EOS M mirrorless wonder, me? I am not very impress, then I discovered Canon actually posted some sample images taken by this point & shoot. Lets take a look ;)

Out of the 9 images they put up, only 4 are actually ready; the others are "coming soon".

Monday, July 23, 2012

The New Canon EOS-M Mirrorless, REALLY??

If you believe what the rumor mill are harping about, this is the REAL leaked picture of the NEW Canon EOS-M mirrorless wonder!

If the rumor is true (we will know tomorrow), me and thousands of Canon fans will be disappointed! Look at the picture below where the EOS-M is placed beside the Nikon V1.

The front of the EOS-M showed very little hand-held space, it look like there isn't a build in flash; but what is that slot on the right? Could that be a flash release slide? It is also obvious that the EOS-M is a pure point-and-shoot offering, lacking an EVF like the V1.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Is This The NEW Canon Mirrorless Camera?!

Photo from digicame-info
According to Japanese web site digicame-info this is the NEW, much talk about Canon MIRRORLESS camera!

The "EOS M" have a 22mm F2 (41mm eqv if camera came with a 1.5" sensor) mounted.

Don't get too excited though, personally I don't think their "info" is credible.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Southward Car Museum in New Zealand

Located on the Kapiti Coast, an hour's drive north of Wellington, is the world renowned Southward Car Museum.

Designed and built by the late Sir Len Southward, this customised facility houses the southern hemispheres largest private car collection.

The Southward Car Museum is an automobile museum housing a collection of over 250 vehicles, as well as three aircraft, located on Otaihanga Road, Otaihanga, just north of Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast of New Zealand's North Island. The museum is run by a charitable trust, incorporated in 1972.   - Wikipedia

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Another Banding Problem Of OM-D E-M5!

Olympus has acknowledged the banding that can appear in high ISO OM-D E-M5 images shot with the Panasonic 20mm F1.7 lens and says it is working on a fix.

Statement from Olympus:

"After checking every possible combination of a body and a lens, we found the phenomena only with this combination (OM-D, E-M5 coupled with the Panasonic 20mm pancake lens). We are continuing to study how we can eliminate this and we recommend for our customers using E-M5 with Panasonic 20mm pancake lens to keep a low ISO to avoid this problem for the time being."

Mind you, with all that camera sold and being the hottest selling M4/3; there are not many complain, don't believe me?  Just go and Google "OM-D E-M5 may show banding" and you get ONLY 12,000 results, wheres "Canon 5D-III light leak" return 314,000  ;)

So imagine my surprise when my friend Chris Bing show me his E-M5 is having banding problem of a different kind!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Do In Camera Stabilization Work For Long Primes?

Image stabilization (IS) is a family of techniques used to reduce blurring associated with the motion of a camera during exposure.

Specifically, it compensates for pan and tilt (angular movement, equivalent to yaw and pitch) of a camera or other imaging device. It is used in image-stabilized binoculars, still and video cameras, and astronomical telescopes.

With still cameras, camera shake is particularly problematic at slow shutter speeds or with long focal length (telephoto) lenses.

With video cameras, camera shake causes visible frame-to-frame jitter in the recorded video. In astronomy, the problem of lens-shake is added to by variations in the atmosphere over time, which cause the apparent positions of objects to change.    - Wikipedia

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Get A Grip means "it seems like you've lost it, so go get it!!"

Before I start my rant I wanted to say "GET A GRIP Olympus Australia!!!"


In New Zealand, you have to go through Olympus Australia to order anything Olympus!  And it take A LONG TIME!

My HLD-6 grip for the OM-D E-M5 took FIVE WEEKS to arrive! It is as bad, if not worst than getting my passport renewed at the Malaysian Embassy here!  ;)

Why do I need extra grip and support for a most reviewed compact camera?  Because this retro-centric super compact is just TOO BLEEDING SMALL for my huge palms!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Weta Cave in Miramar, Wellington.

Hidden in the suburb of Miramar in Wellington is the Weta Cave, contradictory to the name; it is not a cave full of wetas ;)

In New Zealand, WETA can mean the  name given to about 70 fearsome looking insect species endemic to New Zealand or the world famous Weta Workshop!

From Wikipedia...

Weta Workshop is a special effects and prop company based in Miramar, New Zealand, producing effects for television and film.

Founded in 1987 by Richard Taylor and Tania Rodger as RT Effects, Weta Workshop has produced creatures and makeup effects for the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess and effects for films such as Meet The Feebles and Heavenly Creatures. A digital division, Weta Digital, was formed in 1993.

Weta Workshop's output came to worldwide prominence with director Peter Jackson's film trilogy The Lord of the Rings, producing sets, costumes, armour, weapons, creatures and miniatures.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Video With OM-D E-M5

I have not touch my video cameras for years! They just sat there, somewhere in the closet quietly and slowly died! I saw it coming when they incorporate video capability in digital still cameras years ago. Another example of disruptive innovation, my young PhD friend Christian Sandström will tell me ;)

 Not that I shoot a lot of video, for the last couple of years; most of the clips were of Le General's line dancing and my camera of choice was the Canon G12.

Why my G12? It is easy breezy, the G12 auto white balance is accurate and the HD quality is more than good enough for Youtube upload!

What about the OM-D E-M5?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Our Samoa's 50th Anniversary Of Independence Lunch

We received an invitation from our colleague Leiseane Timu...

Talofa lava - Hello,

On behalf of the Samoan colleagues of both Desktop Imaging and New Zealand Micrographic Services we would like to invite you to partake in a meal to celebrate the 50th year Anniversary since Samoa became an Independent State.

The official date is the 1st of June whereby it will be celebrated in Samoa (and worldwide) for a whole week (another reason for another “public holiday”). We have decided to do this on Monday, 11th June at 12.30pm in the tearoom.

We hope to see you there – all that is required from you is an appetite and maybe a smile (we will also cater for vegetarians too).

Manuia le aso – have a great day!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Old Nikkor 35/1.4 on OM-D E-M5

When I joint the newspaper in 1974 as photojournalist, there was one lens that was found in every photojournalist's bag throughout the 70s and 80s; that "standard lens" was the Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 wide angle lens.

The Nikkor 35mm f/1.4 was introduced, in 1969.  It was Nikon's first multicoated lens and it has been used by NASA in space!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Guandong Diamond Jubilee Mug At It Again!!

One year ago I wrote about "Royal Wedding Cup, NOT!"

At the same time, some where in the world; a company known as The Guan Dong Enterprises Ltd is trying to hog off "a beautiful cup to commemorate the wedding of HRH Prince William and his stunning lady bride to be, Miss Kate Middleton."


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Olympus ED 75mm F1.8 V Leica 90mm F2 Summicron

I lied ;)  It is not actually a real "V" confrontation because the NEW Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm F1.8 lens is not even in the shops yet!  But what I have are high resolution samples taken by this big deal telephoto lens from Olympus themselves, that to me are good indication of it's quality!

What I do have is Olympus's competitor, my LEICA SUMMICRON-M 90mm f2 short telephoto.

From 1980, for 18 years; this chunky, weighty glass was Leica's most expensive 90mm lens! In 1998 Leica replaced it with the even more expensive but even more spectacular LEICA APO-SUMMICRON-M 90mm f/2 ASPH !!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lumix 45-175mm f/4-5.6 ASPH X Lens on OM-D

The lens we are trying out is known as...

Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm f/4-5.6 ASPH/POWER O.I.S. Lens

What a mouth full!

August 2011, Panasonic launched two new powered zoom lenses for its Lumix G Micro Four Thirds cameras.

Of the two, the Lumix G X Vario PZ 45-175mm f/4-5.6 ASPH/POWER O.I.S. lens provides the longer 3.9x zoom magnification and covers a focal length range equivalent to 90-350mm (in 35mm term).

According to Panasonic...

"This is the world's First Digital Interchangeable Power Zoom Lens."

"Panasonic introducing a new cutting-edge interchangeable lens LUMIX G X VARIO PZ 45-175mm / F4.0-5.6 ASPH / POWER O.I.S. with electric-powered zoom operation from the new premium lens brand “X”.

Crystallizing Panasonic's optical technologies, the “X” lens features a unique Nano Surface Coating for minimal ghosts and flaring and natural atmospheres with remarkable transparency."

Saturday, May 19, 2012

OM-D E-M5 How Low (Slow) Can You Go?


In my younger years, working as a photojournalist; I often encountered situations where I need to shoot at slow speed.

I learn early how to hold my camera steady when shooting slow speed, how to stand; holding my breath, leaning on wall for support; to ensure my shots are sharp.

With practice I was able to hand held shots as low as 1/8 of a second.

On the left, the majestic corridor of the Assumption University of Thailand was shot at a slowish 1/15 second.

The trick to a sharp picture at slower speed is NOT to jab your shutter release!

SQUEEZE the release down smoothly and only let loose your trigger finger AFTER you heard the shutter gone off.

After 1/8 of a second, the longer exposures are impossible to achieve sharp, hand held pictures; you need a tripod or a monopod.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

OM-D E-M5 In Trouble @ Wellington City Library

Way back in late April, I read with interest how the extra wide dynamic range of the OM-D beat the heck out of the other M 4/3 cameras.

Since I now have the fabled E-M5, I am excited to see that wide dynamic range in the real world pictures :)

I decided to test out my new camera at our Wellington City Library (WCL).

Of all places, why WCL?

I thought the shelves of books and the surrounding giant glass windows create a lighting environment that lesser digital sensor find hard to cope.

I was in the library at 10.45am and took a few shots of the shelves of books with my Panasonic 7-14  on the OM-D. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Prima Facie - Olympus OM-D E-M5

Prima Facie (from Latin: prīmā faciē) is a Latin expression meaning on its first encounter, first blush, or at first sight. The literal translation would be "at first face" or "at first appearance", from the feminine form of primus ("first") and facies ("face"), both in the ablative case.      -Wikipedia

There were no announcement, no fanfare; no product launch and no excitement. The most talk about, most anticipated; most reviewed Micro Four Thirds camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 quietly appeared on the shelves of camera shops in New Zealand.

I was told by a shop assistant that Olympus has "abandoned" NZ a while back, we do not even have an Olympus distributor here; the shop people have to fill your Olympus order from Australia!

After reading a dozen of reviews on this most publicised camera, I was intrigued enough wanting to find out if the OM-D is really as hot as they say!

I got mine last week from Photo Warehouse for  NZ$1,560.00, that hard earned amount is for the body only!

My friend asked me why didn't I buy a kit?  For NZ$1,980.00 I can get the same black body with the "new" 12-50 power zoom lens, this rather long (non retractable) optics; like the camera body, is weather sealed!

Well, I personally do not have much respect for kid lens... oops, kit lens ;) The Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ received a less than stella  review from DXO Mark.

Here then is my first encounter with this much hyped camera...

The OM-D is a mirrorless camera that trying to look like a DSLR, in this case; Olympus want you to believe it look like their original winning OM series of FILM based SLRs, duh!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Ultra-Wide WC-E75 G12 @ Martinborough Fair

Every year, for twice a year; on the first Saturday of February and March, since 1977; Martinborough  hold her famous fair which attracts ten of thousands visitors to this sleepy small town.

The Fair was scheduled for Saturday 3rd March but due to the Weather Bomb was cancelled for the first time in 35 years. Due to overwhelming demand it is being rerun on the first Saturday in May.

Martinborough is a town in South Wairarapa, a district in the Wellington region on the North Island of New Zealand. It is 65 kilometres east of Wellington and 35 kilometres south-west of Masterton. The town has a population of about 1300 full-time inhabitants.      - Wikipedia

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Nikon Admit D4 and D800 Lock Up Issues!!

What is going on?  At least now the Canon fan boys are laughing at all the Nikon fan boys! Ha ha ha...

The following is a statement from Nikon Inc. sent to PDN in response to a problem they had with an early review unit of the 16.2-megapixel Nikon D4, which locked up during usage on several occasions. The camera would only start working again if we took out and reinstalled the battery.

"Nikon has received reports of a small number of D4/D800 users who are experiencing 'locking up' issues, where the camera becomes unresponsive until the battery is removed and reinserted," Nikon's statement reads.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

How Canon Fix 5D Mark III Light Leak!

Last month Canon received some pretty bad press on their 5D Mark III’s light leak issue — granted a minor flaw where light from (or through) the top LCD panel can affect the camera’s exposure readings in very dark environments.

Canon finished investigating the issue last week, and reported that only 5D Mk III cameras with a certain range of serial numbers are affected. They also confirmed that the company has implemented a fix for newer bodies.

Canon also announced that service centers would be providing free “inspections” for owners concerned about this issue.

After the announcement 5D Mk III were wondering what high tech fix Canon has came up with ;)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Photojournalist Attacked @ KL Rally!

It is NOT SAFE being a photojournalist and it is getting worst!  I Google "photojournalist attacked" and got 2,840,000 results!

Photo © Guang Ming Daily
The appalling picture above showed the photographer from Guang Ming Daily in Kuala Lumpur being knocked to the ground by Malaysian police!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Canon Explained 5D Mark III Light Leak Fiasco

After two weeks of rumors, speculations; yesterday Canon finally released their second product advisory regarding the 5D Mk III light leak issue.

To Users of the Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital SLR Camera:

Thank you for using Canon products.

Concerning the EOS 5D Mark III digital SLR camera, when the LCD panel illuminates in extremely dark environments, the displayed exposure value may change. Canon has concluded the investigation of this phenomenon, and this announcement informs you of our findings as described below.

Sunday, April 22, 2012


The Nikon D800E is a special edition of the D800 that minus the effects of an optical anti-aliasing filter.

It is so sharp that the D800E should in theory, rival medium format digital back in resolution!

In digital cameras, the anti-aliasing filter is also known as an optical lowpass filter or blur filter or AA filter.
Such a filter involves a tradeoff among sharpness, aliasing, and fill factor. In a monochrome or three-CCD or Foveon X3 camera, the fill factor alone, if near 100% effective with microlenses, can provide a significant anti-aliasing effect,while in color filter array (CFA, e.g. Bayer filter) cameras, an additional filter is generally needed to reduce aliasing to an acceptable level.  - Wikipedia

Friday, April 20, 2012

5D MkIII Light Leak, the Plot Thickens!

Way back in 2007 Canon was the undisputed DSLR KING, their super fast; accurate 1D MkI followed by MkII were outclassing all the other pro DSLR!

Then came the MkIII, with their "better" revamped AF system; has so many problem that left hundreds of irritated loyal Canon users cursing.

With the pending Beijing Olympics and the newly launched, virtually flawless Nikon D3; pro shooters left in droves for the "Dark Side" and the rest is history.

From 2007 Canon lost its dominance of the DSLR!

Monday, April 16, 2012

WWW On A Plate!

Two years ago I found out the most expensive Malaysian registration number plate, MCA 1 was sold for RM300,000 (NZ$119,168) in 2010!

For those who don't know, in Malaysia the license plate format consists of one or more letters (the first letter(s) serving as a vehicle or location prefix) followed by up to four numerical digits with no leading zeros.

The location prefix start with a letter of the alphabet defining one of its states where the vehicles are registered, for example; cars in Penang island carried plates with prefix "P" and "M" are cars registered in Malacca.