Monthly Archives: November 2006

We? We Tar.

Remember the Seagull 50mm F1.8 MC Minolta MD-mount lens I had for my infrared-modded Fujifilm Digital Q1 camera? It now has a prime companion, the Vivitar 24mm F2.0 Olympus OM-mount lens.

Assuming ISO400 sensitivity:

Compared to a 50mm F1.4, it has the same darkness performance, giving steady shots at absolute EV4.66. How so? The F2.0 would be one stop darker than the F1.4… but because it is one stop wider (to be exact, 25mm is one stop wider) it can use one shutter speed stop slower. Bokeh is two stops smaller, but it’s a practical walkaround lens. The Nikkor 28mm F1.4D is the most expensive wide prime, which can shoot in EV4, merely 2/3rds of a stop darker than this 24mm F2.0. (A Canon 50mm F1.2L lies halfway between, in terms of dark performance at EV4.33.)

Top, from left to right: Fujinon 50mm F1.4 EBC lens (Fujica mount but without lens body), Seagull 50mm F1.8 MC Minolta MD-mount lens, Vivitar 24mm F2.0 Olympus OM-mount lens, Cosina 19-35mm F3.5-4.5 MC Pentax K-mount lens, 35mm-equivalent manual focus webcam lens.
Below: The Seagull (left) is joined by the Vivitar.

This time around, I made an effort to document approximately where I should set the manual focus to camwhore at arm’s length.

The Olympus OM mount is unique – the depth-of-field (DOF) preview button is on the lens, not the body; the lens release button is on the lens as well. However, the lens I bought had a problem – the DOF preview button did not work. So I’d be stuck at F2.0 all the time. And so, I opened the lens, taking care to separate screws of different layers, by putting them on different filters (top row).

The underside of the rear-most piece; on top is the DOF preview button, which pushes the lever; below is the lens release button.

I then removed the aperture ring (on left) and a tiny ball bearing dropped out onto the lens. Arrow denotes where it came from; the ball runs along the notches on the lens, to make the clicks you feel on your aperture ring.

Finally, the root of the problem! It took me a while to figure out what controlled the aperture, since a DOF preview system is complicated and has a few springs. The problem was that the spring on the left was supposed to pull a lever (in the middle, nearer to the lens) that closed the aperture blades. The spring did not have enough tension to pull the lever!

Note the loose spring in the bottom-left corner; the hook was loose. This lens had 6 circular aperture blades.

After toiling about, I decided to superglue the spring solidly to the mechanism! I removed the other spring that returned the lever to open the aperture blades. The downside was that once I had pressed and released the DOF preview button, the aperture would stay closed. Fortunately, I could open the aperture by turning the aperture ring.

I suppose the spring weakened because the previous owner tried to forcefully press the DOF preview button while the lens was at F2.0. The DOF preview button, I found, was supposed to provide resistance; it should only travel all the way down if the aperture was at F16. You should only be able to half-press it at F2.0, at which point the springs would stop you.

I also suppose that the previous owner (or someone unfamiliar with the camera) tried to press the DOF preview button while at F2.0, thinking it was the lens release button. Since it didn’t dislodge he/she would’ve pressed harder, breaking the spring. Ouch! I wonder if any other Olympus OM system users have this problem. I hope Google leads all you broken-DOF-button-Olympus-users here!

I prefer the rear diaphragm lever method used by every other non-digital lens.

And now, a group photo from left to right: infrared-modded Fujifilm Digital Q1, and them lenses in order of brightest to darkest, coincidentally going wider, too.

The infrared-modded Fujifilm Digital Q1 puts on the 24mm F2.0 after the fixing. Note the screw in the rear lens cap; it locks the lens in place. The button with grooves is the lens release button. I don’t know why, but with this lens-to-sensor distance I can focus closer than the lens says, and yet focus beyond infinity.

I had to reopen the lens when I pressed the DOF preview button and weakened the spring. More superglue!

I had to reopen the lens again when it seemed to be focusing close; the lens was too far out despite being screwed all the way back in. The giant screw thread that connects the lens to its housing has a few entry points! Enter the wrong one, and the lens will have the wrong distance and thus lack the correct focusing range.

Alright, enough of the tech talk. I’m stoked to have opened and fixed my own lens mechanism!

24mm with a crop factor of 6x gives a 144mm equivalent focal length.

Okay, so the depth of field is nothing to shout about.

However, reversing the 24mm in front of my Canon Powershot A520 at 140mm equivalent, closest manual focus, gave the image on the left. The right-side image is from the reverse Fujinon 50mm F1.4.

This might put a scale to things; text was typed on my phone; focus was not changed with lenses.

So how’d I choose the lens to use?

The Seagull 50mm F1.8 is great for performances and shooting candid shots from a distance. The Vivitar 24mm F2.0 is usable, twice as wide, but not a stalker lens. The Cosina at 19mm is the widest I have… but F3.5 seems rather dark, and it seems sharper at the 35mm F4.5 end!

I say it’s dark because the Fujifilm Digital Q1 is very basic, lacking ISO sensitivity control. It will only go to ISO200 if it is at 1/15th of a second and can’t budge (the slowest it will go.)

Perhaps when I’m free, and it’s bright, I’ll compare the Cosina at 24mm at F8 versus the Vivitar at 24mm F8.

You could also say that I don’t have an allegiance to any camera/accessories brand; I have:

Cameras: Canon, Fujifilm, Nikon Coolpix 2200 (in repair)
Filters and rings: Hollywood, Hoya, Pixel, Raydawn, Toshiba, Vanguard
Lens mounts: Fujica, Minolta MD, Olympus OM, Pentax, 52mm screw thread
Lenses: Cosina, Fujinon, Seagull, Vivitar
Memory cards: Fujifilm, Kingston, Nokia, Olympus, Transcend

Oh, and GP batteries. Yeah.

Ran Them Through November

Stock clearance of more pictures from ages ago.

Food for thought.

What lies beyond?

Fans of fans.

Light a window.

Brick truck.

Ampang Park LRT station looks gorgeous.

Titiwangsa LRT station.

Is there anybody on the line?

Communicating through phone lines.

Why’d they have such a big toilet in Avenue K?

…I wonder.

Later outside.

Show your support.

Some camera pr0n.

My version of camera pr0n; the infrared-modded Fujifilm Digital Q1 with a Seagull 50mm F1.8 MC lens, 49-52mm step-up ring, my usual set of 52mm filters, the adapter to Pentax K-mount, the K-mount Hoya 2x Teleconverter, and a Cosina 19-35 F3.5-4.5 MC K-mount lens.

Similiar, but replacing the Cosina with Xian Jin‘s Tamron 70-300 F4-5.6 Nikon F-mount lens.

More Than Meets The Eye

A long overdue post; Transformers!

Transformers Alternators Mirage, who is a Ford GT.

Mirage with Grimlock (who transforms into a 2006 Ford Mustang GT.)

And now, for some 1:18 scale knockoffs; a Toyota Celica and a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution IX.

Toyota family, left to right: MR2, Supra, Celica, Land Cruiser

The knock-offs have more detachable kibble, and weapons that light up. Respect to them Chinese imitations!

Argh the light!

Back to originals: Transformers Cybertron Excellion (which is homage to Hot Rod) and Transformers Energon Powerlink Rodimus.

Excellion is a handsome robot, yes he is, next to clunky Rodimus.

I also found the rare Transformers Cybertron Soundwave. He even has a catridge-loading mechanism!

Stealth fighter jet, he now is.

His catridges transform into two weapons, and…


There are also mini versions of Excellion and Soundwave, with limited articulation, of course.

Hey I’m parking here!” (Mini Excellion in Transformers Alternators Sideswipe, a Dodge Viper, to mini Soundwave in Transformers Alternators Windcharger, a Honda S2000.)

The token cheesy fake-background shot.

Transformers Classics Astrotrain points his rifle at the Takara reissue of Astrotrain. (I thought this was the only Transformers Classics release worth getting so far.)

They both transform into space shuttles… (spot the rubsigns!)

…and trains! I prefer the original Astrotrain’s steam-engine train design though.

Are you a musician? Part 2

I kinda forgot this bit from the previous “Are you a musician?” blog entry. Here goes:

Shel: Are you a musician?
Albert: Yeah, I play guitar…
Shel: Do you play bass?
Albert: Yeah, I can play bass too…
Lisa: Ooh! What are your favorite bands?
Albert: Oh, uh… Red Hot Chili Peppers? Incubus, Faith No More, Black Sabbath, Metallica, Jimi Hendrix… but as of late I’ve diversified into a lot of different genres.
Lisa: What about Queen?
Albert: OH YEAH! QUEEN! How could I forget! My current favorite band! I can be walking down the street when I get a Jack Black moment and start singing a Brian May solo aloud. (I wasn’t making this up to impress her; name a Queen song and I’ll do a Jack Black for you.)
Lisa: Oooh! I think Freddie Mercury’s death date just passed! I wanted to blast Queen songs out loud in memory of him!

I silently whipped out my phone, and Googled “Freddie Mercury death“. It said November 24th 1991.

Albert: Well, I’d learn a song. I’ve been doing that with some parts of Bohemian Rhapsody and some other songs, but their songs are quite complex.
Lisa: Yeah, but I only know basic guitar…
Albert: Oh, and you’re not too late; he died on November 24th, 1991.
Lisa: Alright! I shall remember that and blast his music then.
Albert: Oh, and you know, as I was going up the lift, realizing I was in the Ritz Carlton, the lyrics, “Dining at the Ritz, we’ll meet at nine precisely” played in my head.

Brokeback Mountain did not make me cry. Jim Hutton’s story (click here and look for “Wembley”), now that was a tearjerker. I read its entirety on my phone in a minor bout of insomnia. Beautiful, beautiful story.

Come to think of it, his autobiography would make a great movie. I’d watch it even if it was 3 hours long. (They should leave out those bits, though.)

Did you know? He was born on the 5th of September, 1946 as Farrokh Bulsara, in Zanzibar! (Yes, such a place exists; it’s an African island.)

Oh, and here’s another very recent “musician” picture:

Hello peacock!

Royal Flush

So I managed to catch another movie featuring Hugh Jackman – Flushed Away. And no, I didn’t get to see the other Hugh Jackman movie – I missed the run of The Prestige. It came and went, and I didn’t even see its trailer… but then again, I haven’t been to movies early enough. (Not my fault!)

Aardman Studio’s trademark claymation characters are all there, with their humor, too. However, it felt a bit more American, with less clever conversation, and more hidden jokes (ala Simpsons). Or maybe I didn’t spot as many until the end. Spot the Gromit and Bunny!

Le Frog: To action!
French Henchfrogs: We surrender!
Le Frog: Not that action, you idiots! The kung-fu thing!

The French are associated with white flags and surrendering, so scones for you if you spot it!

The joke with the classic yellow Wolverine costume didn’t occur to me till the end. Hugh Jackman, geddit?

Jean Reno is always playing henchman to a baddie, or inspector. This time he’s hilarious. You’d forget that it was Ian McKellen being Toad. Bill Nighy was excellent as Whitey, the bigger of Toad’s two henchmen; he said stupid lines but didn’t necessarily do stupid things. The voice actors/actresses did not bring their typecasts to the characters, thankfully. If you didn’t know who was voicing who, it would be tough to guess.

The singing slugs were real cute, too! (Okay, so I’m taking this oppurtunity to insert some snail pictures of my own.)

Disappointingly, IMDB only has a few quotes from the movie, compared to the wealth in quotes from Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Yet another snail insert.

And now, for a survey!

I think this survey makes more sense to read when you sort it into two lists – those that are true, and those that aren’t. So here goes the false bits:

I wear glasses or contact lenses. (20-20 baby! I should not waste these God-given optics and become a pilot and shag stewardesses all day. And uh, fly planes as well.)
I wear a toe ring.
Climbing trees is a brilliant past-time.
I talk in my sleep.
I’m not allergic to anything.
I have jumped off a bridge.
I walk barefoot wherever I can. (Do socks count?)
I can move my tongue in waves, much like a snakes slither.
I can’t live without black eyeliner.
I can’t stick to a diet.
I usually like covers better than originals.
I am comfortable with who I am right now.
I fall for the worst people.
I went college out of state.
I have more than just my ears pierced.
I worked at a McDonald’s restaurant.
I love sea turtles.
I spend ridiculous money on makeup.
I’m obsessed with guys.
I hate office jobs.
I have jazz in my blood. (But I got the bluuues baby. And heavy metal flows in my veins.)
I study for tests most of the time.
I own the “South Park” movie.
I would die for my best friends.
I think that Pizza Hut has the best pizza.
I have used my sexuality to advance my career.
I love Michael Jackson, scandals and all.
Halloween is awesome because you get free candy.
I watch Spongebob Squarepants and I like it.
I love to play video games.
I’ve been in a threesome.
I carry my knife/razor everywhere with me.
I’ve broken someone’s bones.
I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe , free of cost, and scar-free.
I love sushi.
I talk really, really fast.
I have lost money in Las Vegas.
I have worn fake hair/fingernails/eyelashes in the past.
I couldn’t survive without Caller I.D.
I have a lot of mood swings.
I’m always hyper no matter how much sugar I have.
I practically live in sweatpants or PJ pants.
I love to shop.
I enjoy window shopping.
I would rather shop than eat.
I don’t hate anyone.
I’m a pretty good dancer.
I believe in God.
I watch MTV on a daily basis.
I have passed out drunk in the past 6 months.
I have changed a diaper before.
I’ve called the cops on a friend before.
I have been the psycho-ex in a past relationship.

(It waves!)

And here goes the true bits.

I miss somebody right now. (Then again, I miss all of you! Muaks! Hugs and kisses for all of you! I hope you’re touched!)
I don’t watch TV these days.
I believe that honesty is usually the best policy.
I curse.
I have changed mentally over the last year.
I’m TOTALLY smart.
I’m paranoid sometimes.
I need money right now.
I have long hair.
I have at least one sibling.
I like the way I look.
I am usually pessimistic.
I have a hidden talent.
I have a lot of friends.
I’m currently single.
I have pecked someone of the same sex. (Damn these party games.)
I enjoy talking on the phone.
I have a cell phone.
I’ve rejected someone before.
I want to have children in the future. (So I can bestow my warped beliefs.)
I have a lot to learn.
I have been with someone at least 10 years older or younger.
I am shy around the opposite sex.
I’m completely embarrassed to be seen with my mother.
I have tried alcohol before.
I have made a move on a friend’s significant other or crush in the past.
I am happy at this moment!
I tie my shoelaces differently from anyone I’ve ever met. (Someday, I’ll blog about it.)
Plan on achieving a major goal/dream.
I’m proficient in a musical instrument.
I love sci-fi movies.
I think water rules.
I like sausages.
I love kisses.
I adore bright colours.
I somehow enjoyed this thingy. (Only because I thought of a new way of answering it.)
I can pick up things with my toes.
I have ridden/owned a horse.
I still have every journal I’ve ever written in.
I try to forget things by drowning them out with loads of distractions.
I can’t whistle.

Follow the yellow brick road.

Mercury Rising

Mercury recently passed the Sun, a rare astrological event, which I could’ve captured from dawn (6:57am), 9th November 2006 until uh… well, I can’t seem to be able to Google the exact time, for once.

I stayed up, taking a quick nap (thanks Athena for staying up with me and giving a wake-up call!) I took a stroll around my neighborhood at 6:30am. It was already bright, but I could not find the sun anywhere!

But first, some shots around my place.


Old cars!


Birds up for the sunrise!

The moon! I used the infrared-modded Fujifilm Digital Q1 with the Seagull 50mm F1.8 Minolta MC-mount lens on the Pentax-mount Hoya 2x Teleconverter with the Hoya R72 infrared filter, shooting with an EV of -2. Yes, they are not the same mount and are loose but I held them together anyway. Equivalent to 600mm, then cropped the sides to 960mm focal length.

In comparison, the Canon Powershot A520 went only this far with just cropping and not resizing.

Dammit, I thought, the sun was hiding behind clouds.

As it turns out, it really only came out at 6:57am.

The sun shows on the Fujifilm Digital Q1!

I could not capture the blip, not even with the Canon Powershot A520 with Hoya R72 infrared filter at 1/2000th of a second, F8.0, ISO 50 (as fast and dark as possible.)

Mercury could only be seen if you had the sun filling up at least 2000 pixels, where Mercury would be one pixel. I wish I thought of somehow getting the sun projected upon a surface which I could then capture in full resolution!

Different apertures make the sun look different; the CMOS sensor makes severely overexposed highlights… black. Stopping down the F1.8 lens shrunk the black part of it.

Areolas anyone? 😀

I then sat at this mamak, which never looked grander in daylight…

…or infrared. The sun flare came from the infrared filter, and cannot be avoided by putting a lens hood since the sun is in the picture too.

Yet Another ‘Guin Movie

So I saw Happy Feet, yet another penguin movie, which had its musical-wannabe bits.

The moment Gloria sang the first few lines from Prince – Kiss, I knew I was going to enjoy the musical direction of the movie. Anybody got the regal connection between that, and Queen? (They did the choir bits of Somebody To Love!)

Think even further, to Hugh Jackman playing Memphis. When I think Memphis, I think of Elvis Presley… the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. As if that wasn’t enough, he also talked like Elvis and sang Heartbreak Hotel.

Think even more – these are Emperor Penguins you’re talking about!

Mumble, the main character, had a bowtie-like marking on his chest… which, I suppose, was a homage to Fred Astaire, who tap danced with a bowtie as well.

Hugo “Agent Smith” Weaving was unmistakeable; so was Robin Williams. Excellent cinematography, with landscapes so real and beautiful you’d wish you were there to take pictures.

Everything is crisp and so realistic; even the humans you’d see later are so real they spark debates. I think Animal Logic probably had motion capture humans to keep to the computer-generated theme (just like stop-motion strictly does not have any motion that is not stop-motion.) They did, after all, do the computer-generated Agent Smiths and Neos in The Matrix series, you know. :O

I find I love Queen songs much much more after they become featured in movies – Wayne’s World brought car-headbanging with Bohemian Rhapsody (though I’d been doing it before watching the movie); Flash Gordon had the tacky Flash; Highlander featured Princes Of The Universe, and Shaun Of The Dead tells you to “kill the Queen” when Don’t Stop Me Now plays (complete with cool zombie-slashing choreography) and ends with You’re My Best Friend. And now, the faux choir of Somebody To Love plays constantly in my head.

Zoom Zoom Ala Ka Moon

And so, on the 9th of November 2006, the indie gig known as Moonshine had its 1st year anniversary at Laundry Bar, The Curve.

It was also the perfect place to test my infrared-modded Fujifilm Digital Q1 with Seagull 50mm F1.8 lens! The spotlights were full of infrared, giving me 1/60th of a second at ISO 100, F1.8. (On my unmodded Canon Powershot A520, it was about 1/2th of a second at ISO 100, F2.8.)

Solsta* does the British 90’s wave. I remember them most for their excellent Supergrass cover during the second season of’s Blast Off (though a judge asked why they picked a song he had never heard before. Sir, have you not heard We Are Young?)

Reza Salleh has a showdown with sound engineer Leonard.

Reza Salleh and the Fumakillas; there he goes melting hearts again with his sexy voice, to 90’s modern rock.

Hanafi jangan tak solo!

Bittersweet from Ipoh was my favorite, playing very catchy British-tinged rock. You’ll point your fingers in the air and clap along, while stomping your feet.

I like how his sunglasses seem to vignette his face.

The crowd (okay, so I cheated and used my Canon. Look at the fans!)

When I first heard them, the following line came about my head: “Panic in the streets of London, panic in the streets of Birmingham… hang the deejay hang the deejay.” You know, that infectious Smiths stuff.

Force Vomit from Singapore also played Brit… rock? I’m not quite sure what genre, as they don’t sound like the current British revival but sound British anyway.

Rappers on the open mike.

Melodica was awesome! When you see a six-string green John Myung bass, you know you’ll be in for a treat. I swear I heard a Black Sabbath bassline somewhere in their soundcheck. They did instrumentals, ending with a cover of Deja Voodoo Spells – Arrhythmia! As it turns out, while the bassist was never with DVS, he did session with them. That does not account for the guitarist knowing the song note for note, double-tap for double-tap, though!

Never forget the next song with a setlist! (Taken from behind the glass behind the stage.)

Never forget your pedals, either!

Smek happy.

From like way, way out. The 300mm equivalent crop is fun.

There was an explosion outside, but all was calm soon.

The 300mm equivalent crop meant that I could take this from across a big room. Spot the Nicole who doesn’t look like her from first glance! (Eh, you don’t need glasses to look wise oh you enlightened-looking person.)

Others get up real close to the sound monitors; I’m glad I can shoot comfortably from such a distance.

Spot the Ivan.

I’d never had so much fun with my camera before, stuck at a 300mm equivalent (which is like 8x optical zoom for you point-and-shoot digicam owners) and manual focus. I could shoot people without them suspecting! Plus, the Q1 is deadly silent. It has no mechanical shutter (why do digital cameras have mechanical shutters anyway?), so the only sound you will hear when shooting is the shutter press. It does not have auto-focus so there’s no half-press either.

Also, despite it being 300mm equivalent, I didn’t get any motion blur at 1/30th of a second! It could be because the lens was really 50mm, with a 6x crop… or that there was no mechanical shutter or mirror to produce the slightest vibration, or that I was holding it mostly by the lens, where the Q1 was very light, thus shifting the center of gravity into the lens, reducing the effects of shake? I don’t know.

Conversely, you could add a lens hood, and perhaps a weight tied at the front of the lens, to counter the weight of the camera body!

Oh and there’s another show this Thursday!

What: Project Bazooka
Where: Laundry Bar, The Curve
When: Thursday 16th November 2006, 9:30pm
Who: Estranged, Frequency Cannon, Sizlomania
How much: FREE! But if you like a band’s music, go get their CD.

More details here.

Mourn, You Meant?

For the first time in my life, I visited the Tugu Negara (National Monument). I had been to Taman Tasik Perdana (Lake Gardens) before, but never this. Until the 4th of November 2006, that is.

Benches (nearby, backbenchers argued in The Parliament.)

Metal contraptions.

This picture makes a great jigsaw puzzle.

Finally, the Tugu itself!

They also had fountains nearby.

Water striders in the pond!

A crop of the earlier picture. They’re also known as Jesus bugs. 😀

I felt like a tourist in my own country.


An interesting way to spice up any stairway shot.


And now, featuring the Fujifilm Digital Q1 with Cosina 19-35mm F3.5-4.5 at 35mm (210mm equivalent!)


Happy belated birthday Ivan!

This lamp was brighter than the infrared around it, overpowering the IR tinting.

These hibiscus flowers didn’t reflect IR, hence their natural color.

210mm is a nice stalker length. The vignetting is due to the previous webcam-manual-focus-lens-holder being misaligned (which can easily be adjusted.)

Infrared-modded Digital Camera With SLR Lenses!

I had read about tilt/shift lenses, and how you could move the focus point. And so, I unscrewed the manual focus lens from my infrared-modded manual-focus Fujifilm Digital Q1, and held the Fujinon 50mm F1.4 lens in front of it like it was an SLR.

(The lens was stuffed inside my Canon Powershot A520 lens adapter, hence the appearance of a black tube.)

Viola! I could tilt it, and move the lens closer or further from the body to focus. (Of course, having space between the lens and sensor means that dust can get in. A safer way is to have a tube in between, or a bellows, or get yourself a Lensbaby.

Inspired by this macro infrared digicam project, I went around looking for wide old lenses with aperture rings and manual focus. (The Q1’s sensor is 6 times smaller than a full-frame sensor, giving it a crop factor of 6x. Thus, a standard 50mm lens would look like a 300mm.)

After finding YL Camera in Pudu Plaza, I saw a box that caught my eye – A Cosina 19-35mm F3.5-4.5 MC wide lens. The label above said “Nikon mount 19-35mm F3.5-4.5 like new“, so I checked it out. It was a clean lens, and I bought it for RM350.

A 19mm wide lens was rare in film SLR days; the widest it would usually go was 24mm. Any wider, and the lens would have to extend backwards into the mirror box, not a pleasant surprise when you find the mirror smashing into the rear element of the lens. I suspect that this 19mm lens achieved the wideness on the front, as the screw thread diameter was a whopping 77mm!

I asked for an extra back lens cap for the project. They tried a few Nikon caps, but none worked. A brandless one did, so I took that.

As I sat in Uncle Lim’s, Berjaya Times Square, inspecting my purchase, I read the instructions. Apparently, only the Nikon mount version had an aperture lock switch. Mine didn’t.

I checked the underside and then the side of the box – P! P for Pentax! The shop had mislabelled it. Thank goodness *I* bought it, and not some Nikon newbie who did not bring his/her camera along while buying this lens. No wonder none of the Nikon back lens caps worked!

I was originally thinking that I finally gave in and got a Nikon-mount lens (which would then make me get a Nikon.) Then when I found out it was a Pentax, I was disappointed that I could not mount any Nikon lens my friends had!

(Canon EF/EF-S lenses are out of the question as they don’t have aperture rings. Olympus has certain lenses that require you to press them to do stop-down metering; it does not lock for some reason.)

Left: The box; top-right: the back lens cap, which I sawed with a Swiss Army Knife ala V for Vendetta; bottom-right: the rear end of the lens, with the Pentax K auto-focus mount.

Pentax and Nikon were the only camera manufacturers to retain the same mount when introducing auto-focus lenses. A manual-focus lens would fit on their new auto-focus camera bodies. This lens also had a screw so that the camera could turn it and thus change the focus.

It had 8 circular aperture blades. Unfortunately, it closed down to a teardrop shape instead of a perfect circle, just like my Fujinon lens.

The ghosts from the table lamp I used above were interesting! They were… holographic? I wonder if I could count the number of ghosts and calculate the number of glass elements in the lens from that.

Anyway, it was time to marry the Q1 to the Cosina. Dr. Albert (Frank)einstein shaved off some plastic so he could glue a 55-52mm step-down adapter parallel to the sensor (top-left picture). The 55-52mm was picked over a 52mm to reduce distance from the sensor.

I then screwed on a 52mm filter, followed by a 52mm-to-Series-VII ring adapter. It looked like a 52-55mm step-up ring, but it is not compatible with 55mm rings (probably different thread thickness.) Anyway, the ring gave me enough space to swallow more of the rear lens cap I had cut earlier. (Refer to bottom-left picture.)

The rear lens cap was superglued to the 52mm-to-Series-VII ring; I could then screw them all together. The top-right picture shows it all in, minus the lens.

The Cosina, with its 77mm diameter, hides almost all of the camera! (Bottom-right picture.) All the more so with the lens hood attached.

From top, the complete setup, lens to camera: Cosina 19-35mm F3.5-4.5 MC Pentax K-mount lens, Pentax K-mount back lens cap (with a triangle cut), 52mm-to-Series-VII adapter ring (superglued to cap), Hollywood 52mm SKY-1A Skylight filter (glass removed), Hoya 55-52mm step-down ring (superglued to camera), infrared-modded Fujifilm Digital Q1.

The Hollywood filter was required to give the correct distance from lens to sensor so that I could focus apparently near and far. I did not measure how accurate it was, but it gave me the best range.

Through the LCD screen, it looked like a 114-210mm film equivalent zoom lens. Yes, the LCD screen. It was a SLR lens attached to a digital camera with Live View! No other digital camera, prosumer even, had true manual focus! It was great fun. Interestingly, the lens can focus nearer at 35mm than at 19mm.

(Click image for bigger version.)

Adding distance between the lens and sensor makes the camera short-focused (which is great for macro; stack a few rings so you can focus nearer still!)

These rings do not cause vignetting; as long as there is an infrared filter, adding polarizers and color filters would have no effect to the exposure.

Also note the added Hoya 2x Teleconverter (which I got from the friendly Jeff of Leos Com Trading in Ampang Park). It was dirty on the inside and was for manual-focus Pentax mount (it had corrective optics but no auto-focus screw) so it was quite… unwanted. Adding this made my lens a 38-70mm F7.0-9.0 zoomer.

But wait, that’s not all!

It was quickly joined by a Seagull Minolta MC-mount 50mm F1.8 lens which I found in Foto Selangor, Pertama Complex for RM100. However, being a Minolta MC manual-focus mount, it would not fit on Minolta AF mounts like the Alpha mount. smashpOp tried it on his Sony Alpha A100, and it was too loose.

Seagull was a Chinese company that made loads of imitations, often with aperture, zoom and focus rings turning the opposite way of normal lenses. In this case, everything was reversed compared to the Cosina.

Top-left: The Minolta MC mount; top-right: I cut a triangle in the back lens cap and superglued it to a 52mm Toshiba SL-1A Skylight filter; bottom-left: 6 straight aperture blades, more even for nice bokeh; bottom-right: it could loosely fit on the Pentax K-mount Hoya 2x Teleconverter, to make a 100mm F2.8!

The standard setup; Seagull Minolta MC-mount 50mm F1.8 lens, Minolta back lens cap (with triangular cut), 52mm Toshiba SL-1A Skylight filter (superglued to cap), Hoya 55-52mm step-down ring (superglued to camera), infrared-modded Fujifilm Digital Q1.

This baby was even more fun to play with. The lens was a real manual lens, not an auto-focus lens by build. Auto-focus lenses aren’t so fun because they’re lighter and often made of plastic (so the motor can focus them faster); they go from macro to infinity in a smaller turn of the focus ring; they don’t have depth-of-field scales to help you do hyperfocal focusing; and they don’t have that silky, viscuous dampened feel.

This was metal, and took a smooth 180 degree turn. Orgasmic.

The extended version with rings for extreme macro.

Speaking of macro, the Seagull reversed looks about the same to me on a reverse macro setup as my Fujinon 50mm F1.4.

But enough theory talk. We now go live, behind the screen of the Fujifilm Digital Q1.

Clockwise from top-left: Tilt/shift lens testing; more testing; the Fujinon 50mm F1.4 gives a 300mm equivalent crop, from ground level; it also crops the scenery.


…and busy bee.

I love how the Q1’s CMOS sensor distorts images when moving.

Clockwise from top-left: The first ever picture every SLR buyer takes (the lens cap!); the box taken with the Q1 and webcam manual focus lens; the box taken with the Q1 and Cosina lens at 19mm; me trying to camwhore at arm’s length at 19mm.

I found Keat Camera, and found this dirty push-pull zoom; it had low contrast. The second picture on the right is from another push-pull in Cash Converters, and the flourescent tubes are from Foto Selangor, Pertama Complex.

Clockwise from top-left: The Cosina at F3.5; stepping down to F22 shows how much dust has gotten on the sensor due to all my experiments; pointing at a bright light shows how bad it is; however, at bright apertures, it is not obvious.

At 35mm (210mm equivalent) and sunlight crashing in through the window, uh…

Top: camwhore is unaware that the Cosina is not very wide after all; bottom: Grace and I figure out how to camwhore at arm’s length with the Seagull.

Another mandatory shot – the look-ma-I-can-manual-focus-with-awesome-out-of-focus-areas shot. I can’t remember how I got the distortion in the lower picture.

Transformers Alternators Grimlock: Focus, dammit, focus!

I used the Seagull to take a picture of the Cosina with many rings; it appears to be white in infrared.

Seagull 50mm F1.8 shot.

45cm away, macro is pretty cool.

Shooting performances with a 300mm equivalent F1.8 on an infrared-modded camera is great fun, because of how bright infrared modding makes it! This was underexposed by one stop and shot from over 10 feet away from the performers. The camera shot at 1/250th of a second at ISO 100!

Interestingly, stopping down the lens to F2.8 (the lower picture) removes a lot of that infrared tint. It could just be enough to tip the camera’s white-balance over for this effect.

I can also shoot from across the table!

It is truly an intimate lens.

So if I have a Q1 which only does 1600×1200, could I take a picture using a dSLR on a 50mm F1.8 and crop it to the same picture?

The Q1 does 300mm at a crop factor of 6x. A regular dSLR crops at 1.5x or 1.6x. Thus, to get as much detail in that tiny area, you’d need a dSLR with 6400×4800 resolution, which is 30.72 megapixels!

Okay, fine, so a dSLR has a 3:2 ratio (I don’t understand why don’t they get closer to a square, as it uses as much of the image circle with less cropping.) Hence it should be 6400×4267 resolution or 27.3 megapixels to get as much detail in a crop as the Q1.

In case you haven’t figured it out already, I intend to get more lenses of different mounts, and unite them all at the 52mm screw thread. 😀 I can then stick filters between the lens and camera instead of in front of the lens! The exception is the Seagull, where adding any more filters will make it short-focused, so I’d have to get a 49-52mm step-up ring. My only worry is if the Seagull is so old that its front screw thread diameter is 48mm instead!