Monthly Archives: July 2007

Ban Dung

I had three objectives on my company trip to Bandung:

1) Find Krispy Kreme donuts
2) Find old second-hand camera lenses
3) Have Indomee

Krispy Kreme was only in Jakarta, so we had to settle for J.Co, their local variant. The donut I tried had softer bread and was sweeter. However, I later found out that Big Apple in The Curve is exactly the same!

Fred Flintstone’s favorite hangout.

Art students and their wall.

Action figures at least twice life size at Jeans Street. Collect them all!

You may notice that the pictures have different aspect ratios; some are from my Canon Powershot A520, because we tourists had been warned not to wield big cameras when alone lest we get cornered and robbed.

For real, yo!

Clothes are cheap, yes, but they’re not necessarily original per se, though the abundance of clothes factories there means the quality is comparable.

In Bandung, their philosophy is simple; you can get off anytime you like.

Even their pedestrian bridges reflect that. Just hop off if you decide that you don’t need to cross the road!

Most construction does not need scaffolding. Oddly, they don’t have roadworks, just buildings under construction.

Yep, everything is open and unprotected.

An Indomee stall! We paid about RM8 in total for three bowls of Indomee and three bottles of Teh Botol! This was the darkest, dinkiest place we could find in Jeans Street.

It tasted like the wet version of Indomee. I prefer the dry version, which some colleagues say they found. At least I didn’t bring back food poisoning, yay!

A rarity – a caged pet. Elsewhere, snakes and exotic animals are sold by the roadside, not in cages!

Always wanted a ninja?

Dinner at Kampung Daun. Spot the Adam C and Ean and Sham and Anu! I don’t know why I am leaning in when I know it’s my Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye!

I know what you’re thinking.

Waiting for the bus to bring us to the club. Yeah, we’re cool that way.

At Embassy’s first floor, they had a thriving music scene. The music was real; it was electro, trance with vocalists, and the deejay was really mixing in beats instead of playing track by track and transitioning them. It’s great that their clubs support live music, instead of just playing R&B hits to make tits bounce.

(Yes, I skipped bringing my Sony A100 for my tiny Canon Powershot A520.)

They even had dudes on laptops just to program…

A projection!

Towards 1:30am, the crowd died down, and you could see it was just them and their fans. Still, it was much better than the average crowd in Malaysia.

We even went up to the second floor, since we could get in for just RM10. Colleagues were hesitant at first, but when we climbed up the stairs, we saw lots of chicks queueing up to enter!

And so, we paid.

You know how it is that bad lighting makes people look better?

This was not the case; in fact, they looked worse. The only hot chicks were the guest relation officers who only surrounded those who opened bottles and had tables.

They conned us! They put hot chicks outside, so people would pay, expecting more chicks inside!

(And yes, I find the Indonesian intonation to be a turn-off.)

PowerShot Walk

I still love the colors of my Canon Powershot A520 on vivid settings. (Walking outside Bouvelard towards Bangsar LRT, Midvalley Megamall.)

The truth is out there, behind a door. (Bangsar PUTRA LRT station.)

I was surprised to see a blue sky at night. (Sek Yuen Restaurant, Jalan Pudu.)

Gossip. (Outside my office.)

Mini with racing stripes! Cuteness. (Behind Jalan Walter Grenier.)

Sit back and relax. (Midvalley concourse area.)

The live-view infrared-modded Fujifilm Digital Q1. When it’s in focus the image becomes blisteringly sharp. (Asia Jaya bus stop.)

The moss is greener on the other side. (Near my house.)

35mm wide macro. (My gate.)

Let down your chains. (The Sultan Ismail exit of the SMART Tunnel… and I didn’t know what it was until I exited through there.)

This blog entry is inspired by Durian Photography.

On A Plane

And now, for the long awaited…

Company trip to Bandung! But first, notice what they call the KL Monorail now. It’s the KL Multimedia (on the other side the sign said KL Monorail, oddly.)

Duty free at the LCCT.

7am 14th June 2007.

My first conscious memory of being on a plane! (The last time was as a baby.) Hence you will see a bit more plane shots than is necessary.


I’d finally travelled outside my timezone of +800 GMT.

Looking out the window with a polarizer makes for abundant rainbows.

Infrared on my Canon Powershot A520 with a Hoya R72 filter.

I wonder if anybody kills time on a plane playing Monopoly.

Welcome to Jakarta!

Jakarta International Airport. Its external waiting area reminded me of the old Subang International Airport, with its musky old feel.

We took a 3-4 hour bus journey to Bandung, passing Jakarta, which had many a river.

Gotta love them old muscle-looking cars; they were everywhere! Also, lots of Japanese and Korean cars were seen around.

Hyatt Regency Bandung.

What better way to measure how many floors a hotel has than with a Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye?

I should’ve shot this in portrait orientation to make the room look like a cat’s eye.

The spacious toilet with locking door! (I’ve had it with people barging into the toilet for I have such luck as to get unlockable toilet doors most of the time. We were lucky then.)

In The 50’s

I finally got to use the Seagull 50mm F1.8 MD lens I bought ages ago on a SLR – the Minolta X300.

Walking around with a 50mm lens on film, you’d be more likely to strike gold.

Sitting, waiting.

Just did it. Heehee! (They stole my idea!)

No number for you sorry! Such an abundant emerald tinge would only be hinting at one film – Fujifilm Superia. This was the ASA400 variety.

The silver-bodied X300 seemed less threatening, too.

One of the days when everything goes wrong. Yes, I walked from Bangsar PUTRA LRT to Midvalley Megamall, which is how I got this shot.

Guitar! Minor bright-line bokeh seems to be the norm of the average 50mm.

Also, due to the larger 35mm format, you get less depth of field.

Major Geekout Time!

Sony has leaked several images on their site, hidden in news links somewhere. Anyway, they’re all at this link at Photoclub Alpha!

* I will refer to my Minolta Dynax 7 film SLR as the D7, and the Konica Minolta 7 Digital as the 7D.

What I love:
– Grip sensor (only when you are gripping the hand grip and look through the viewfinder, does Eye-Start Autofocus work, just like my D7.)
– Two dials like the D7 and 7D
– ISO, WB, Drive buttons
– AF/MF toggle button (this is different from an AF On button, because you can use it to switch from any AF mode to MF, or in MF mode to AF)
– metering mode knob (though I’m quite used to tapping AEL to toggle between multi-segment and spot metering.)
– (possibly) CMOS sensor. Now, the Sonys will have less noise! Sony is known for their cutting edge sensors, so we might see some Live View. Or not. No biggie.

What I like:
– Support for vertical grip, so people can stop complaining.

What I don’t like:
– missing EV dial and flash EV dial on top-left which goes -3 to +3 in half stops, or -2 to +2 in third stops (it was on the D7 and 7D)
– mode dial moved to the left (I prefer to do everything right-handed, and not take my hand off the lens I am supporting. This is possible with the D7 and 7D.)
– not having the WB as a knob on the 7D.
– Drive knob missing. They’d better show everything in the viewfinder while changing.
– Where’s the Flash button? I hope they don’t hide it in the menus like on the 7D, while on the D7 it was a recessed knob under your right hand.

Left: Konica Minolta 7 Digital, right: Minolta Dynax 7.

What I really appreciate about my Dynax 7, which even Xian Jin has realized, is how everything can be changed with just the right hand. When you’re holding a heavy lens with your left hand, it would be a pain to let go and tweak something on the left.

In this sense, it’s a bit more practical than the Nikon D200, which has Qual, ISO, BKT and WB buttons on the top-left, and the Drive dial right under those.

Left: Konica Minolta 7 Digital, right: Minolta Dynax 7 (Click image for bigger version.)

Although the EV and flash EV dial was on the top-left of the D7 and 7D, I did not need to tweak it unless I wanted to set a permanent EV compensation. If anything, I’d turn it to 0 on the -3 to +3 side, to change EV in half steps, and turn it to 0 on the -2 to +2 side to change EV in third steps. However, I prefer third steps anyway, so I leave it on the 0 on the -2 to +2 side. If I change EV, it’s by the rear right dial anyway, so I don’t need to touch the left EV dial. Flash EV is also bound to EV compensation by default on my Sony A100, so when I dial -2 EV the flash underexposes.

Thus, I might not miss the EV/Flash EV dials after all. 🙂 I would like my Mode dial on the right, though, or I’d have to use my chin to turn it. Yes it looks silly but I’ve operated my camera in such a way, in dire one-handed times. Fortunately, I am very much an Aperture-Priority person, with rare trips to Shutter-Priority.

I wouldn’t need a vertical grip unless I had a 1.4kg lens. The Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan, at 695 grams, and the Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8 at 1050 grams, is still handholdable on my A100 even in portrait mode, anti-clockwise handgrip up (for low shots) or clockwise handgrip down (for birds-eye view grabs).

On to lenses!

The classic Minolta 600mm F4 APO returns!

Can you walk around town shooting, requiring just 1/60th of a second to get a steady shot? Yes.

The 80-400mm range looks interesting, too, for the birder/chick stalker in all of us. A part of me secretly wishes that the new 70-300mm is actually a 70-200mm F4.

The 16-35mm F2.8 full-frame lens is sweet!

The 24mm F1.4 is definitely my kind of lens. 24mm on full-frame and 36mm on APS-C, two of my favorite wide focal lengths.

The Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8 finally makes its debut.

The 35mm F1.8 will appease everybody who wants a normal lens. So that’s why Sony didn’t rerelease the Minolta 50mm F1.7; they had something more people would want. It’s also brighter than everybody else’s 35mm F2.

I wish they brought back the Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan, though. The Sony will just have to settle with something 1% of its original price. Here’s a real beercan next to the Minolta beercan.

All this makes previous speculation very fun to read. 😀

That makes us at ClubAlpha excited. (Of course there are more than these.)

I found an old flash concentrator in my stash somewhere. Effect on top-right image. I doubt I’d have much use for it, though.

I also found a Kenko 2x teleconverter for Minolta AF/Sony A-mount! I put my Minolta 50mm F1.4 on it excitedly, but the camera thought it was a 105mm F3.5 for some reason. It should be a 100mm F2.8! (The shutter speed however corresponded with F2.8, just that the teleconverter chip reported it wrongly.)

You can see it stacked with my Tamron 1.4x teleconverter, too, for a 3x teleconverter effect. It physically cannot stack the other way.

Top: The 50mm F1.4 with Kenko 2x teleconverter for 105mm F3.5, bottom is the 50mm F1.4 with the Tamron 1.4x teleconverter then the Kenko 2x teleconverter for 150mm F4! As you can see it was extremely soft, but if you follow my blog you’ll know there is a practical application for everything.

I went to Bandung and came back with this – a Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm F2.8-3.8 lens for A-mount, for a very very good price. This was the 18-70mm of film. The lens is a push-pull, which might be odd to some people but perfectly fine by me. There is obvious lens creep.

I love this lens.

The autofocus is zippy and as violent as my Minolta 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 N! Focus slaps into place. This is because the AF motor only needs 1.6 turns to go from minimum focus distance to infinity. The 35-105mm on the other hand takes 2.5 turns. At 105mm F3.8 there is no hunting, or rather, hunting happens so fast.

The only downside would be the minimum focusing distance of 5 meters/1.5 feet, making it hard to use even on full-frame to get a standard wide camwhore shot. This works to the autofocus speed though, as it does not have to focus through macro ranges.

This made my Minolta-related collection an obscene 7, in the A-mount alone.

From back row, left to right: Minolta AF Big Finder (35mm compact), Sony Alpha 100 digital SLR with Tamron 1.4x teleconverter and Sony HVL-F56AM, Minolta Dynax 7 35mm SLR, Minolta X300 35mm SLR.

The lenses on the right, from the Minolta X300, in Minolta MD manual-focus mount, are the Vivitar 28-70mm F3.9-4.8 and Seagull 50mm F1.8, and a whole lot of caps.

The lenses from the right, front row, are the Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye for M42 mount (with M42 to A-mount adapter), Sony 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 DT kit lens, Minolta 28-80mm F3.5-5.6, Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm F2.8-3.8, Minolta 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 N, Minolta 50mm F1.4 original, Minolta 70-210mm F4.0 beercan.

I am selling the Minolta 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 (and sold the Minolta 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 N) as I got the Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm F2.8-3.8 which replaces both lenses and is brighter, faster focusing and covers both lenses’ range.

Details here:

Tamron 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 for A-mount

I got to try one of these at Leos Com Trading, 1st Floor, Ampang Park. This shot was handheld, 250mm F6.3 1/25s ISO800. Yep, SuperSteadyShot held true.

This lens is also pretty sharp! This is a 100% crop of a 5.6 megapixel image, 250mm F6.3 1/125s ISO100 with flash. Please pardon the nose closeup.

My rule of determining whether a lens is sharp is very simple – can I see stubble?

Screw MTF charts man.

However, it is slow to focus – it took 25 turns of the AF screw to go from minimum focusing distance to infinity. However, this is the walkaround lens of the moment.

The Canon EOS 1D MkII! However, it had a Canon 50mm F1.8 MkII on it, a slow, slow, slow focusing lens. Or rather, just as slow as if it was on a Canon EOS 350D. A slow lens will make your camera uncool. I felt no difference.

The 1.3x crop factor did make a difference, though. 😀 (This is not the full-frame Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, though.)

I like the idea of those three buttons used in different combinations to change stuff. However, that goes against my right-hand-controls-only preference.

I went around Bintang Walk with KJ, who wanted to survey digital SLRs. He was stuck between the Canon EOS 400D for noise control and the Sony Alpha 100 for cheapo stabilization. He felt that the 400D’s grip was too small, and not that great for portrait shots, so he wanted a battery grip too. He also wanted to play with wireless flash. We added the street prices up:

Canon 400D with 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens – RM2700
Canon 70-200mm F4L non-IS USM = RM2600
Canon ST-E2 wireless flash trigger – RM600
Canon 580EX big flash – RM1580
Canon BG-E3 battery grip – RM300
Extra battery – RM300
Total = RM8080

Sony A100 with 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 kit lens – RM2600
Minolta 70-210mm F4 (secondhand) = RM700
Sony HVL-F56AM big flash – RM1170
Extra battery – RM200
Total = RM4670

Other things notably missing from the 400D were spot metering (do you shoot, chimp, adjust EV, and repeat until proper exposure?) and a most annoying way of choosing focus point. The only thing it’s good at is noise control.

We were joined by Ray and Hui Wen. I’d been cajoling them to get the Pentax K10D. That was another button-and-knob fest; it also has in-body lens stabilization, the cheapest 50mm F1.4 lens around, and wireless flash capability!

I loved the Pentax K10D’s emergency green button, for use in getting correct exposure in Manual Exposure mode. I also liked the idea of MTF Priority Program mode, where it picks the best aperture for the lens to be at its sharpest. You can’t go wrong with 9 cross-type AF sensors, either!

On the left, it had a Raw toggle button, a Flash button, a Drive button, a Metering dial and the Mode dial.

I thought the Sony HVL-F56AM was fat compared to the slim Nikon SB-800… until I saw the Pentax AF540 FGZ TTL flash (on the left).

We also found this hidden gem. A Sigma 300mm F4 APO Macro for A-mount!

300mm F4 ISO400 at 1/20s you say with SuperSteadyShot? (I’m amazed the guy was still enough.)

I could even add my Tamron 1.4x teleconverter for 420mm F5.6 ISO400 at 1/15s. This was KJ’s shot. Good idea shooting a poster to test stability, as everybody else was walking.

The lens was, well, very affordable. Hooray to orphaned lenses nobody else wants!

I found the sliding, unscrewing lens hood cool. The adjustable tripod collar, at any angle, was cool too. The AF/MF clutch was a bit of confusion, but it made more sense than a tiny AF/MF switch. It wouldn’t AF on my Dynax 7, oddly; usually the D7 is more compatible than my A100!

The lens hunted badly in indoor lighting as it lacked an internal focus motor. I had to half-press until it was near focus, then tap it a bit to get into focus. This worked much better than half-pressing all the way and overshooting. This technique can also be used on any lens, try it!

AF speeds were a lot faster once I discovered the AF Limit/Full switch and turned it to Limit, heh. 😀

Meanwhile, back at Leos Com Trading, Jeff had the Gary Fong Photojournalist Lightsphere for Minolta 5600HS/Sony HVL-F56AM flash units.

I removed the white cap and stuck my Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye inside it.

8mm fisheye F8 1/125s ISO100.

The fisheye can capture the lightsphere! (Okay, so I tilted it in front a bit to test. It’s supposed to point straight up.) However, whether the flash was in the picture or not, I was still getting a lot of light loss. Maybe I was too ambitious to tax the flash at F8 and ISO100. Plus every fisheye shot I take with flash always taxes the flash and tends to underexpose.

28mm F2.8 1/125s ISO400. I also tried the Stofen Omnibounce, but that too ate batteries and caused a harsher neck shadow. However, Jeff’s face appears to be more lit in a graduation from his nose.

Honestly however, I preferred my method of just using the built-in diffuser. Just pull the wide-panel diffuser up, but not all the way, so it stands up and acts as a bounce card. Of all the shots I took, draining batteries at that, this method turned out the best, with a graduated shadow down Jeff’s neck. Also, light bounced from the top, giving a more naturally-lit-from-above look.

And now, from Mount Olympus!

I got to try out the new Olympus EVOLT E-410 and Olympus EVOLT E-510.

I like how the E-410 felt just like my Olympus OM-2000. Also, its rear dial could be accessed with my right thumb or forefinger. However, it was missing functions bound to the keypad.

As for the E-510, Image Stabilization seems to work on 45mm at 1/13s (3 stops) but the noise reduction makes it softer and harder to tell. IS at 1/8 is hit-and-miss with a bit of chimping. I used the relaxed grip method as Pentax’s Ned Bunnell suggests.

I loved how ALL settings can be seen in the viewfinder LCD. They literally moved the shooting info LCD inside! Plus, the relevant settings can be changed with the arrow keys (ISO, etc). This was notably missing from the E-410. Even Olympus point-and-shoots have functions bound to their arrow keys!

I hated the dial being at your thumb instead of near the shutter. Now you have to press a button on the keypad with your thumb to change ISO, then use the same thumb to change the setting by tapping the keypad or rolling the dial (which is more tedious as your thumb has to travel up.)

If I got a E-510 body for free, I’d want to hack it so the dial is in front instead of the back. That would make it so much faster to use.

The 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 is soft at 45mm F4.5 1/8s ISO200. Noise reduction smearing is evident (though I should’ve went through the menus to disable it.)

In Live View, you must press AFL/AEL to focus first. Half-pressing the shutter in Live View will not focus the lens!

Annoyingly, if you don’t focus first, pressing the shutter will lag the camera indefinitely until it focuses. You will hear the shutter trip anywhere up to two seconds, if it can find the subject by then. You’re better off in MF mode, and tapping the AFL/AEL when you need some AF.

I would not recommend the E-410 even on a budget because you’ll take a long time to change settings. You’ll feel like you’re dealing with a point-and-shoot here. The E-510 is much, much faster in this aspect.

The prices of midrange lenses are pretty scary, too, and the only cheap one is the 40-150mm F3.5-4.5. The only hope is getting those something-to-4/3rds-mount adapters. I could use my Soligor 70-220mm F3.5 OM-mount on this!

Would I buy the E-510 if I was not a second-hand lens collector? Well, I’d really hope they move the dial forward. It’s like driving out into a clear highway and finding a massive jam at the end of it. That horribly misplaced dial, and them not using a digicam-style AF mode in Live View, are two glaring niggles about this camera. Also, with a dodgy AF implementation, Live View becomes purely for MF applications in angles where you simply cannot look through the viewfinder.

In other news, there is an awesome Olympus hacker blog:

CameraLabs tested the Olympus E-510 with in-body stabilization with the Leica 14-50mm F2.8-3.5 with Mega OIS in-lens stabilization.

Sadly, as predicted, activating both stabilization methods cancels each other out. Imagine two dudes on a boat; they both want to make a turn, so both start paddling but end up going straight.

Links, for those who are not tired of reading:

Minolta AF/Sony Alpha FAQ:

Here’s a technical explanation of how Minolta’s wireless flash system works:

In Between Screams

I like Jack Johnson. One could find so many different aspects; he has a relaxed, lullaby-like voice, without too much effort or histrionics needed. It does not take much effort to sing like him, though the phrasing might be tricky with the guitar rhythms he plays.

There is enough rhythmic sensibility in him that I don’t feel sleepy. In his guitar itself there is a percussive element. Every little string snap and pop is used to great effect. I would even dare call this… funk folk. Plus, he fills in between chords well.

Lyrically, he is depressing, like a kid who has found out that the world is not what he imagined it to be. And yet, he is not bitter; he is melancholic. However, the instrumental bits have already distracted me from that.

I first saw the video to Taylor on MTV, and was blown away by the intro/outro guitar ditty. That was my first exposure to Jack. That guitar ditty… had as much impact as the intro of Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing.

Whenever I go to the beach, I always put on Uncle Jack and Uncle Bob.” – my colleague, when he overheard me playing Jack Johnson’s stuff

He is also the only artiste I don’t feel like stabbing in the larynx for covering a White Stripes song. (Yeah, screw you Joss Stone! That and your cover of Queen – Under Pressure, too!)

Cosmic Farewell

Cosmic Funk Express was having yet another farewell gig at GrooveJunction, this time for sure, as Zack was leaving for Melbourne to further his studies.

No wait, make that two farewell gigs, on the 22nd and 23rd of June 2007. Their last uh… farewell gig was a year back.

But first! I met Hannah Tan again. Image cropped from my ever-popular Peleng 8mm F3.5 fisheye.

(Note: If you have read of such accounts of the encounter, they are all fabricated lies!)

Zack the double-guitar tapping god. Personally, I love it when he rips the intro to Adante Con Moto, or the Allan Holdsworth-like Conjunctions, or the funky funky Outhouze.

I like the accidental effect of flashing the top with a slow shutter speed to expose the bottom. I must stress that such effects can only be gotten with a performance with spotlights.

Alex Ang drums for the Cosmic Funk Express, and you can see him picking up steam.

One Buck Short guests and performs Christmas Morning.

Goreng pisang Pisang goreng!

Savy joins on keyboards.

Izwin sings and does a cover of Stevie Wonder – Superstition.

Alda meets the slow-sync zoomed-flash.

I see a lot of people trying out this method, but I gotta say – they need a lot of practice.

These guys have stage presence and energy. All three of them.

Alex makes like a Pink Floyd album cover.

New effect alert! This time, I will not specify how I did it. Make a guess and try to replicate it!

Funky spinners in the stirrer. Blow it to twirl! (Sadly, my iced lemon tea was not refillable.)

Hey Zack! You gotta try this honey lemon carbonated tea! It increases finger dexterity and makes your fingers glide across the fretboard!

Alex looks on suspiciously as Zack downs the drink.


*chokes* “This isn’t honey lemon carbonated tea! You poisoned me!

Ladies and gentlemen, that is why you should not accept drinks from your bandmates.

Okay, so that is not how the second night ended.

Every entertainment venue in Desa Sri Hartamas was raided by police. They came around, collecting our identity cards, checked them, and returned a whole bunch of them much later. Yes, that is a Chinese policeman whoa!

It almost looks like he is peddling identity cards.

There Ain’t No Such Thing…

Hello Albert, I am Evonne ah. I am calling from Prudential ah, I got your number from your friend. Do you have a minute ah?

Yeah I do. What’s up?

AhIamcallingregarding wehavethisfinancialplan whichisnoobligationswan Iwilljusttaketenminutesofyourtime toexplaintoyouah…

Whoa whoa can you speak slowly please?

Ah this one is no obligations financial plan…

Financial plan you say? I have no money at the moment…

Oh no no don’t worry I just tell you then plan only and then…

Oooh so will you buy me lunch?

Ya ya definitely so I just need you to hear me for ten minutes. Where do you work?

Bukit Jalil, All Asia Broadcast Center…

Oh so can we meet at the cafeteria there?

Er, not nice lah the food there. Wait how did you get my number?

Your friend gave me your number.

What’s my friend’s name?

Er that one I cannot tell your friend made me promise that I cannot tell.

I tell you what. I will layan you, listen to your plan. All you gotta do is tell me who my friend is. Don’t worry I won’t scold this person. I am just curious, to know if it’s for real and not that you got my number from somewhere else.

Okay lah I will call your friend and ask if I can tell. Thank you ah bye!

And so, I had my breakfast in peace. Then, I received a message:

“Hi albert . . sorry as i cannot mention my fren name .. probably still ur decision thanks”

“Don’t tell my friend that you told me! Haha. I’m up for lunch. All you gotta do is tell me the name.”

“is ok . . nice talking to u . . have a nice day ahead . . i need to attend my lunc appointment in kl”

“Nice going, I actually do have quite a bit of savings but I won’t tell anybody unless I hear a good plan worth investing in. Oh well.”

“ok . . good to hear that”

DAMMIT, what’s a guy to do to get a free lunch?

Skirt Lifts

So I came down to Cheer 2007 right after Robotcon and missed about everything except the last performance. Ah, the smell of camaraderie, sports bras and synchronized periods.

But first, AC Mizal! Am I the only hardened rocker who realizes the clever pun in the name of his show, AC Di Sini? AC/DC ni? Geddit?

The last performance – Charm Allstars! (Could there be possible pantysniffing perverts and lesbians out of girls schools?)

Cheerleaders fell from the sky!

What an acrobatic sight. I thought only Super Mario jumped more than twice his height.

Somewhere among the supporting placards, somebody comes along with an important community message!

I always wondered where they got their funky custom outfits. I now know their sponsor!

Sarah Tan and Jien, hosts that Sunday. And yes, this is a Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan lens ad, where every picture except the first was shot with this lens.

Dynamitez won. They seem disappointed that their trophy looks like a cracked egg shell. Where are the shreds?

Wow, you want to do the teleporting maneuver on me? What an honor!

Beam me up Scotty!

I’m guessing he wished to teleport to the girls’ dressing room.

Because bam! The Titans came out of nowhere.

They also turned the world upside-down.

Magic tricks! The black banner quickly vanished down the middle into the white one. Clever.

And now, for the Dynamitez!

Explosive performance indeed. No exploding drummers, though.

Way after the show ended. “Over here la turn around stop perving up some other girl’s skirt shoot me woi!

Everybody was happy and cheery, I wanted to go up to a random girl and hug her and go “I can’t believe we got in the Top 3!” My bisexual friend, she… wanted to do so, too. 😀

I bumped into Goh Hao Wei there, with his Canon EOS 350D with battery grip, Canon EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 IS USM and Canon EF 70-200mm F4L (non-IS) USM. I wondered why he needed a battery grip when using the lightweight 70-200mm F4L USM, as my Sony A100 with Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan lens was light enough to use in portrait mode without hesitation or strain.

It wasn’t until I held the camera’s grip and turned it sideways that I found out why. It was hard to grip sideways, as the grip was shallow! It was nothing to do with weight.

I could always quickly turn the Sony A100 anti-clockwise OR clockwise and it would not strain my arm. The clockwise turn is for a quick shot from above, grip nearest to you. The anti-clockwise turn lets you snipe something upwards in portrait orientation.

The Canon battery grip was far more substantial and let me do such stunts. 🙂

Oh, and of course, the Canon ultra-sonic motor was sweet. However, if you know how a SLR’s AF works you’d know how to avoid hunting. Oh, and its bokeh was creamy like my beercan.