Archive for the 'Photos, Art & Design' Category

Attention Men Looking For Something Classy To “Break The Ice” With The Ladies

Friday, March 6th, 2009

Look no further.

Initial Shoots With The Nikkor f/1.4G

Monday, December 29th, 2008

2008Dec28-Botanic-1

The highly anticipated Nikkor f/1.4G lens turned out to be rather overpriced (for reasons I’ll get to soon) in Singapore; I’m hearing stories of people getting it between $700-900. I had started saving up for it when I heard about it this year. This is because I have the 50mm f/1.4D and it’s just about the best food photography lens I have and since this is Nikon’s update to the venerable 50mm design, well, I just had to see if it’s as good as it’s cracked up to be.

So I joined a few Flickr photographers for a shoot at the Botanic Gardens.

2008Dec28-Botanic-12

In bight sunlight, the SWM performs marginally faster than the D lens but I am so used to the noisy D lens that very often I kept waiting for the AF screws to turn without realizing that the SWM had already done it’s job and was waiting for me to release the shutter. :)

2008Dec28-Botanic-14

The shots here don’t look as sharp as the D lens, but there are 3 factors to consider: 1) it was windy that day; 2) it was all hand-held except for the waterfall and 3) each lens has its own peculiarities and I’m not used to this new lens yet.

2008Dec28-Botanic-42

But I kinda like the Bokeh that it produces. At f/1.4, portrait shots are excellent. Most of the shots here are f/2.8 as it seems like the best to use. For the D lens, the sharpest aperture was f/5.6, so I’ll have to try that when I get the hang of this lens.

2008Dec28-Botanic-19

Anyway, I’m pleased with the new lens as a new toy, but will it replace my f/1.4D? Not sure yet. It does come with decent lens cap instead of a plastic cover, the hood is more or less useless. The SWM is silent but the speed is marginally faster.

Most people will get sticker shock especially when they handle the plasticky construction and the very loose focus ring which does not stay locked during AF. Some people see it as an advantage, but I don’t as I trust my Nikon’s AF capabilities. Of course, everyone should have been tipped off with the “G” designation which means “Gelded” which means, in layman terms, Nikkor stripped down some of the (mostly out-dated) features to save cost, which begs the question of how much higher the price would be.

In short, I think people should hold off getting the 50mm f/1.4G especially when the f/1.4D is readily available and is much cheaper for an equivalent performance.

Obligatory Slow-shutter Waterfall Shot

Couch Of The Year

Monday, January 21st, 2008

The Pink Vagina Couch.

Give It Up For

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Pricasso, the Penis Painter.

Media Manipulation

Friday, September 14th, 2007

The last thing on your mind when seeing this article is “Grandma“.

Clearly, There Is A God

Wednesday, September 12th, 2007

Beer!

The Blackberry Curve and Nokia E61

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

RIM just announced the Blackberry 8300 called the Curve.

Blackberry 8300 The Curve

But lookit here…

Nokia E61

One of the reasons for the Nokia E61’s popularity was that it did not have a camera. A lot of businesses do not allow camera phones in the offices. The Blackberry 8300 has one which may prevent executives from owning one.

Of course, geeks and other early adopters who feel that a 3.2mp camera is essential will disagree with me.

Canon Ixus 850 IS Macro

Wednesday, December 27th, 2006

I am still not too pleased with it. Managed to get a half-way decent shot through the use of a card to shield off the additional flash.

IMG_0010

The reason why I am pretty quick about loading up my photos up is that I do not like or have to do a lot of corrections with a software like Photoshop because I think it’s very expensive and a waste of time. What I do is to use Picasa’s “I’m Feeling Lucky” one-click button and I’m done.

Sigh… You’d think that a camera company like Canon would have figured out that close-ups require some control over the flash.

Ricoh Caplio R3 and Canon Ixus 850 IS

Sunday, December 17th, 2006

I like taking close-up shots of food using a 28mm wide-angle zoom point-and-shoot cameras. I don’t carry a DSLR as I find that it is too big and cumbersome especially in a restaurant or bar setting. And I think a point-and-shoot does pretty good most of the time:

Cold King Prawns with duo sauces

Anyway, I first bought the Ricoh Caplio upon the recommendation of my friend Kooshking and after a year of playing around with it, I must say I really like it a lot. It is complex to use for a beginner but satisfyingly complex for someone who loves to take Food Porn.

Believe me, with a 7x Optical Zoom (in a small body!) and a 28mm wide angle – 200mm telephoto lens, the Ricoh Caplio R3 takes really wonderful pictures.

I get a lot of comments that I take photos up close, but that’s the strength of the Ricoh Caplio R3; it allows me to take as close as 1cm away from the subject while retaining a decent depth of field. I believe it to be the best in this area:

RIMG0022

So why the Canon Ixus 850 IS?

Well, I love toys. And I’ve heard that Canon has really good noise-reduction and auto-focus algorithms, much better than the Ricoh R3. One of the weak areas of the Ricoh R3 is that in poor light conditions, there is a lot of noise in the pictures. Which kinda sucks for me as I do most of my photography in dimly-lit restaurants, so my photos of people sucks. In fact, more than 4 people in a group, the photos turn out unsatisfactory, for me.

This is an account for my personal records and this blog will be the first to admit the tests aren’t professionally or logically done. This is because each camera is different so I felt that it is pointless to shoot in the same style. At least the subject is more or less the same.

I did fiddle around with the camera settings like switching Macro or Normal modes, Setting Flash, Focus setting is at “Evaluative” for both cameras, I tried not to adjust the EV values, but sometimes it’s just not possible.

The other point to note is that I’ve been using the Ricoh R3 for a year now and I am very in-tuned to its quirks and I adjust myself (sometimes unconciously) to compensate. Whereas for the Ixus 850, I’ve only gotten it like a day ago, so I am still feeling my way around it.

Anyway, here’s a comparison of macro shots done over the weekend at three conditions. This is not a comparision of which camera is better as both have its strengths, but more of what I feel about the two cameras. Besides, I am not enough of a photographer to make such comments.

These shots have not been corrected (I usually correct my shots using Picasa). The Ricoh R3 shots will be on the top, while the Ixus 850 shots will be on the bottom.

I have enabled EXIF data to be visible to everyone, so feel free to check it out.

Teh Ais (No flash):

RIMG0001 IMG_0058

As you can see, the Ixus 850 shot (bottom) handles low-light, no flash shots better.

Teh Ais (With flash):

RIMG0005 IMG_0056

Try as I might, the Canon Flash is just too powerful, overburns (not pictured here as it’s a screen of blinding white) or it turns out blurry because the Ixus 850 tries to auto-focus with the flash on. I noticed that the auto-focus behaves differently for the Ixus 850 depending on whether flash is on or off.

Scallops (No Flash):

RIMG0012 IMG_0092

Without flash, the Ricoh R3 picture just came out very noisy but the colors are richer than the Ixus 850, which to me looks very dull.

But check out the Ricoh R3 shot when I used flash:

RIMG0017

Remember, this picture is straight off the camera without any correction, whereas the Ixus 850 shot was just a patch of over-burned white with no details.

To be fair, when I finally gave up and tweaked the exposure bias, the Ixus 850 turned out pretty good too:

IMG_0247

Other things:
The Ixus 850 is sleek and chromed, this, to me, is not a good thing as there is too small a footprint for me to hold reassuringly with one hand and the chrome, discounting fingerprints, can be slippery.

Access to features like EV bias, Macro settings etc is better on the Ricoh which takes one click as opposed to two to three clicks on the Ixus 850. This is important to me as meals with large groups of people in a restaurant environment can be very hectic.

The Ixus 850 is very quiet. Too quiet as I am very used to the noisy Ricoh R3 with the whirring of the motors that vibrate the whole body. I like this because it speaks to me and it is very satisfying when the motors whir and stop at a beautifully focused shot.

Conclusion:
The noise reduction algorithm with the Ixus 850 is indeed better. The colors from the Ricoh seem to be richer and more vivid despite the noise while the Ixus 850 provides brilliantly focused but very stark, almost washed out colors.

This blog will have to practice more with the Ixus 850 to get used to the features and to understand the camera.

Let’s see in a year’s time.

This blog is a little busy

Tuesday, June 27th, 2006

So, instead, here’s some fine pu pictures of cats.

RIMG0104RIMG0049 RIMG0051 RIMG0106 RIMG0139 RIMG0050 RIMG0102

Had a fantastic weekend though…

Group Hug

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

I took this sometime back at the KazBar. One of my favourites as I like how the wine glows golden.

RIMG0168

Is it in you?

Friday, April 21st, 2006

Key Quote: "The bottle that contains the most popular sports drink on the planet looks like a big, thick, throbbing penis, from the clearly defined and strangely textured head to the perfectly tapered shaft. The only thing missing are a few well-placed veins."

Easter

Monday, April 17th, 2006

Is a wonderful time to take wholesome photos of the family.

Art Appreciation gone wild

Friday, April 7th, 2006

Key Quote: "You know that famous Adam on the Sistine Chapel ceiling whose fingers are nearly touching God’s but not quite? Well, I’ve stroked him. I’ve run my hand along his naked body, and I’ve slapped that big, muscled thigh of his. Not a hard slap, mind you. Just a soft slap of affection that ended on a rub. I’ve even stroked his sweet little willy. I know I shouldn’t have done. But I couldn’t stop myself. And it was probably the single most exciting moment I have had in art."

Disturbing Album Covers

Friday, March 31st, 2006

This blog has posted this before, but I don’t care.

Take heed of the DNOIO label.