int geek = rnd * 23

Now for something totally random – pictures lying on my Windows desktop, for some reason, used for various explanations.

In Sony’s instruction manuals for the Alpha lenses, they sometimes say “in cameras without an AF/MF button”. This often causes panic for those who think that means there will be an Alpha body without the ability to switch between AF and MF on body, thus implying a screw-drive-less body like the Nikon D40/D40x/D60/D3000/D5000.

Sony is very careful with what they call their switches – and so, here’s how you tell.

Left to right: AF-S/AF-A/AF-C/MF dial on A700/A850/A900 (taken from Pete Ganzel’s site); AF/MF button on A700/A850/A900; AF/MF switch on every other Alpha body.

Somebody asked me if High Speed Sync lowers the flash power at faster shutter speeds such that it cannot be used for wireless photography. Of course it could (given a brighter aperture and higher ISO.) So here’s the A900 at 75mm F4.5 1/8000s ISO1600! One light from behind, one light from in front, in typical Rembrandt lighting, with the mandatory triangular highlight below the eye and triangular shadow cast by the nose.

The Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan is still one of my favorite lenses when it comes to bokeh, due to its painterly look.

Ein, after he bought his Sony HVL-F58AM flash – shot with the A900 and Minolta 50mm F1.4 at F1.4. Should’ve been wary of subject or body motion after locking focus…

Here’s how I demonstrated how to trigger the Sony flashes wirelessly when blocked by the subject. The flash is put sideways, so the sensor faces the wall. The pop-up flash (or F20 or F58 on the A850/A900) is wide enough to hit the wall and bounce off into the sensor.

A random Petronas Twin Towers shot.

My first roll through this ol’ Cosina CT1EX K-mount manual-focus, mechanical shutter film SLR was a blank. I hadn’t experienced this since the 2nd and 3rd rolls from my Olympus OM-2000! Looks like I hadn’t touched manual-loading film SLRs in a while (being babied by my Minolta Dynax 7, where most rolls go.)

This is where the Cosina CT1EX came from – a big box of spare parts!

An old cube versus the ad.

An unfortunate incident happened to a friend of mine – he put his HVL-F20AM on his camera and put it in the bag. According to the instruction manual (or rather, a yellow paper) it warns not to do so… which indemnifies them from fixing it for free. Unfortunately.

So boys and girls, read your instruction manuals!

The F20 flash, while of rather low power at Guide Number 20 meters ISO100 at 50mm, can be useful in tight situations where you don’t want to lug a huge flash. I brought just my Minolta 24-105mm F3.5-4.5(D), F20 and Sony LCS-WR1AM camera wrapping cloth for this, because camera bags are just bulky in the club. Of course, you help the flash out by using a high ISO, slow shutter speed and shooting wide open. Here it was 24mm F3.5 1/8s ISO3200.

And here, 24mm F4 1/5s ISO3200. I don’t think I took this picture though as slanted pictures are not my style.

Me, in the hood. Shot by Waifon.

A lot of lenses during a buka puasa TT sometime 2008.

Does a door peephole make a budget fisheye lens replacement?

Er… no. For one, whatever lens it is needs to be able to focus very close onto the peephole lens in order for it to work.

A simple two-flash setup, left and right.

24mm F4 1/5s ISO100, shot at 7:17pm, where the sky and building light match in intensity. Also known as Magic Hour.

I would suggest waiting for the flowers to show two or more different colors – more colors look better.

A random shot from Sunburst 2009 from the Zeiss 135mm F1.8.

A random shot from a buka puasa TT session sometime 2009.

How the correct WB can help with the perception of distinct, different colors – on top is the often favored warmish tint in tungsten light, while below is the corrected, neutral white balance. Neutral WB helps bring out distinct colors e.g. yellow and white, or blue and green, or orange and red. It also helps bring out the green vein on my hand.

smashpOp‘s bokeh jump!

Also from the Zeiss 135mm F1.8 – this kid ain’t jumping.

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