Monthly Archives: November 2010


More, from my ex-colleagues at Digital Five/ASTRO!

Richard Chit with his ubercool Leica D-Lux 4 and Ricoh LC-1 auto lens cap.

Here’s another, by the power of the Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8 and Sony Alpha 900 combo. 😀

Capture the flag!


Rames, looking very Danger Mouse-like.

Once in a while, we’d step out in the sun and help the Murai team. Here I am being reflector holder.

Occasionally, we get roped in to camwhore. Ema AF8, Albert D5.

My famous ‘gelisah’ look. Yes that was intentional.

The first place I ever worked – the Xfresh fishtank, now occupied by a different school of fish, but still with fantastic ambient colors.

My last day at ASTRO, but certainly not the last time I’d step into the premises.

View from Cyberview

View from the Cyberview Lodge, Cyberjaya, one 25th-26th November 2008 ago.

The place is full of greenery, quite like the rest of Cyberjaya. I am pretty sure there was a bridge somewhere there.

Ah yes, did I say a bridge? We had to go out to Putrajaya for this, though.

With my formerly-working Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX – it’s now got a case of gear stripping.

Beats me why these kids are bicycling around this area!

It was one of those team-building company trips. I love doodling during such activities!

Joshua Choo, in rectilinear.

Rames, in fisheye.

Jason Ding, in fisheye.

Jason Goh, in fisheye.

Thani the aviator!

Our mystery superstar!

Irene wants to be an umbrella girl.

Jepf, resident cartoonist.

Zalizan, fellow metalhead.

This shot was used in the papers and magazines to signify the 1st year anniversary of Murai. Which would make it 3 years now.

YES! Details Out

So some of you might have spotted my picture on Lowyat.NET. This is a picture of the leaflet I picked up from Lowyat Plaza!

Note the mention on the minimum usage for lowest rates.

This is a picture of the page showing the various devices. So the cat is out of the bag – it’s a Samsung phone with your contacts stored on the Cloud.

Now if you’re wondering what the heck is a Cloud – it means that your data is stored online, in a server somewhere. So you can use your phone, or your friend’s phone, and once you’ve logged in, you’ll see your own contacts.

However I strongly urge YES4G to bring in the HTC Evo 4G. It runs on Android OS 2.2 Froyo (which means it can become a WiFi hotspot) and it is also a phone.

It makes all the devices (the go, the huddle, the zoom, and the buzz) redundant!

Oh, and Android phones already store their contacts on the cloud – Google’s cloud. I get all my GMail contacts on my HTC Desire, running on Android OS 2.2. It also pulls phone numbers from my Facebook friends!

If you ask me, the huddle looks a bit too similiar to a 4G Mobile Hotspot sold by another 4G-toting company. 😉

So YES please, bring in the HTC Evo 4G, with all its 4.3″ 480×800 TFT LCD capacitive touch screen, 1Ghz processor, 512MB eDRAM, microSD support, 8 megapixel 720p/30FPS camera support please! There is no glory in launching 4G, if your target market are techies, if the only mobile phone you have is a less-desirable Samsung.

Of course, there are desirable 4G phones from Samsung – the Samsung Epic 4G, for example.

Portraits Of The Feline Kind

A cat named Charlie.

C’mon give a brudder a hand.

Why oh why? (Gotta love the expression of the cat behind!)

This is why I like having SteadyShot on the camera – shot with the A900 with Minolta 50mm F1.4 at ISO6400, 1/15s. Noise and sharpening is intentional.

Meanwhile, my favorite cat-shooting lens is the Zeiss 135mm F1.8.

Close-up power!

This is quite a crop.

Against lines.

Whatchu looking at?

Part One Here.

A To Zoo

Here’s the second and final half of the shots from the National Zoo in Wangsa Maju, over two visits. Pictures were either from the A100 or A700 with Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 or Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan, perhaps with a 1.4x teleconverter or 2x teleconverter, or both.

No tiger show today!


How did the tapir get an uneven tan?

Guess what this is.

The big bird cage.

Gymnastic spy.

Alligator L-E-A-ther.

Shot with the A100 with Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 at 400mm and 1.4x and 2x teleconverters, making 1100mm F16 ISO800 1/50s. Super Steady Shot saved the day!

If I ever had to submit one shot to National Geographic this would be it.

And so, I submitted this shot during my first visit, a competition, and won a Sony DPP-DF60 digital photo printer!

Coincidentally, the printer is still for sale.

Part One is here:
Welcome To The Zoo

Welcome To The Zoo

These are my oldest unposted set of shots, from the National Zoo in Wangsa Maju. Either from the A100 or A700 with Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 or Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan, perhaps with a 1.4x teleconverter or 2x teleconverter, or both.


Crown of thorns.


I’ll get you!

Extreme close-up.

To the right!

Oh, not again.

So are we white with black stripes, or black with white stripes?

(The answer is of course, that they are black with white stripes.)

More to come, of course.

Random Video And Photos

Lightcraft, performing “All In My Mind”, live at Laundry Bar. This was for the Moonshine: A Homemade Music Show gig on the 7th of October 2010.

Recorded using a Sony SLT-A55 with the Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8 ZA and audio is from the built-in stereo mike. Unfortunately with no audio monitor I didn’t know it was clipping the vocals so pardon that – I gotta get an external mike. AF is on, with the center AF point used.

Converted from 1080p25 to 720p24 (the overrated 24p magic number.)

In other news:

I’ve started my very first Facebook group, “Our Beards Grow To The Right“. Join if you’re a dude whose beard grows to your right, or if you’re a fan of dudes whose beards grow to their right.

I have yet to meet somebody whose beard grows to their left, oddly. Also, my right sideburn grows faster than my left sideburn, and I sleep on my back, not to the side, in case you’re wondering.

Here’s Iqbal’s Sony SLT-A55 with Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 EX DC Macro, my Sony SLT-A55 with Sony Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 135mm F1.8 ZA, and BryanLYT‘s Sony SLT-A33 with Tamron 17-50mm F2.8.

Here’s Ijan-The-Face-Of-Malaysian-Stock-Photos‘ Sigma 30mm F1.4 EX DC in F-mount with Richard’s Nikon G F-mount to E-mount adapter on my Sony Alpha NEX-5. And of course, the ever photogenic Zoey!

12 To The 24

Perhaps, it was indeed too soon to declare that I would only buy one A-mount lens in 2010. Here’s the second (the first being the rare Minolta 24-50mm F4.)

This is the Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG, which sets the world record for widest, brightest rectilinear lens for 35mm full-frame format. 122 degrees diagonal coverage!

Of course, my Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye does 180 degrees from edge to edge, but de-fishing the image to make a rectilinear projection loses a lot of resolution!

You can fit pretty much all you can see, in the frame!

Perspective distortion makes closer objects much bigger.

A common misuse of ultra-wide angle lenses is when they are not pointing straight at the subject – you get parallel lines converging. In this case it is recommended to stand further away, aim forward, and crop the excess floor.

However, it is great when you are in a tight space! I could not stand any further back.

It also gives plenty of leeway for group shots.

Also, you may find you’d be cropping feet a lot less often in tight spaces!

I used DxO Optics Pro Elite to process these pictures from the A900 – it applies a fair bit of barrel distortion correction, causing the corners to look more stretched out. Arguably, the barrel distortion of the original picture looks a bit more natural. Also, I shot this at a slower shutter speed, so don’t be confused between motion blur and stretched edges!

I was standing just in front of them.

So what about that other rectilinear lens for 35mm full-frame format? The Voigtlander 12mm F5.6 in Leica M mount? Here it is, with a Sony NEX-5 and Kipon M-mount to E-mount adapter.

It is, however, only for rangefinders with a shorter flange distance, or Sony NEX/Micro-Four-Thirds/Samsung NX cameras with an adapter. Though it won’t be so appealing on Micro-Four-Thirds due to the 2x crop factor, and the Samsung NX’s weaker ISO performance, especially since the lens is F5.6. It also does not zoom!

However, its main plus point is its tiny size!

I also stumbled upon the Sigma 8-16mm F4.5-5.6 EX DC HSM for APS-C cameras, which is slimmer, but has the same front-heavy balance. The Sigma 8-16mm focuses to 24cm close and has a front cap adapter (not to be confused with the lens hood) which takes 72mm filters. The Sigma 12-24mm meanwhile focuses to 28cm close and has a front cap adapter which takes 82mm filters.

While the 8-16mm does offer practical benefits in terms of size, there isn’t an APS-C camera that does 24 megapixels yet.