Monthly Archives: August 2007


I think it’s ironic that if I was to nominate two icons to represent Malaysian society, they would be:

1) The dude in the DiGi Shhh cinema ad, who goes “Who dare scold me? I don’t care la I taikor mar!

2) The Magnificent Shiny Disc Hero. Yeah, you know, the bright-color-haired DVD seller who goes “Yo! Hello friend!” and gets a load of “Tai jor laa!

Who’s your Malaysian icon?

A-mount To Something

More geeking out!

Tamron 24-135mm F3.5-5.6 lens for Minolta/Sony A-mount

24mm onwards F3.5
28mm onwards F4
45mm onwards F4.5
50mm onwards F5
75mm onwards F5.6

Not as bright as the Minolta/Sony 24-105mm F3.5-4.5 sadly, but still beautiful as a walkaround on full frame. 24mm is phenomenal. 24mm on APS-C is still very convenient, and 135mm is sweet.

This is beautiful. Ribbed like a Star Wars starship. The gold ring is very captivating. Even the rear mount looks pretty, like the back of a Carl Zeiss 85mm F1.4. It also comes with a special Tamron 50th Anniversary cap. The Nikon and Canon versions don’t have this cap. Must be a bonus for the Alpha male (Alpha female where applicable).

Decent bokeh at 135mm F5.6.

Found at Bintang Maju, Maju Junction.

Minolta 28-105mm F3.5-4.5 lens for Minolta/Sony A-mount

Shot at 105mm F4.5 1/25th of a second.

I found this in Foto Miami, KL Plaza, Bintang Walk. Small, light and bright. Just a bit less wider than the classic 24-105mm F3.5-4.5 lens. If not for my Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm F2.8-3.8 I would’ve considered this. It’s decently sharp at 105mm F4.5, with the classic Minolta colors, and smooth bokeh.

I’m beginning to miss the Minolta 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 lens I sold; it was a good example of Minolta bokeh. Minolta had always been big on bokeh, throwing in circular apertures with all their RS (ReStyled) lenses.

Guess what’s different about this picture’s bokeh.

That’s right – a loose aperture blade!

Strangely, other than the misshaped bokeh, pictures from it look fine. This is for the Pentax K-mount. Yes, I held the lens in front of the Sony A100.

I found the Sigma EF-500 DG Super for Minolta/Sony iTTL mount. It does wireless TTL, HSS and manual power mode, feature-wise equivalent to the Sony HVL-F56AM I have. Those who are looking for this can find it in Kotaraya, just up the stairs, behind the big camera shop at the corner.

However, it is not as powerful; only at 105mm zoom does it give a guide number of 50 meters. In comparison, the Sony HVL-F56AM does 56 meters at 85mm zoom! It also requires a separate press to release the swivel heads in two directions, and its flash head is 1-2cm longer.

What if I put my Minolta 70-210mm F4.0 beercan lens with the Tamron 1.4x and Kenko 2x teleconverter? I get a better quality 600mm F11 lens, better than my previous 600mm F11 combo!

Since my beercan has very low levels of chromatic aberration, it does not show up with teleconverters.

A shot with the previous 600mm F11 combo would have colors bleeding onto the crow.

The creamy bokeh still shows.

(Just a plain beercan shot.)

My Sony HVL-F56AM flash came with a pouch; unfortunately, it did not come with a belt strap. I had a cobbler add on a leather strap so it could be strapped to my belt. It also fits a lens the size of the beercan (55mm filter diameter) as seen in the image on the right. However, I do not recommend putting heavy lenses and a flash on the left-side configuration.

I’ve also been experimenting with custom white balance as of late; this is at 5500 Kelvin, to give a more film-like color tone. Flourescent lights come in a variety of flavors; some green, some daylight-adjusted. Below is the Auto White Balance version.

I have too many 70-210mm lenses for the Minolta/Sony A-mount; from left: Minolta 70-210mm F4.0 beercan, Cosina 70-210mm F2.8-4.0 push-pull (Vivitar Series 1 rebadge), Sigma 70-210mm F4.0-5.6 push-pull (new!)

The Sigma is the most compact of the lot, but it was broke to begin with; it cannot focus to infinity at 70mm, and draws into regular focus as you push to 210mm. It reminds one of the old vari-focal zoom lenses, where you’d have to zoom first, then refocus! Modern lenses keep focus when you zoom in and out. I reckon something inside was misaligned.

It’s also aged as heck, pulled out of a box of junk (yet to be blogged about). Its rubber coating had melted and was sticky, which I had to file off tediously.

It makes for some trippy shots. Defocused images have a spherical distortion about them.

Focused wayyy beyond infinity, methinks.

And yet, you could spell portrait lens with this. All these shots were not post-processed; color tones were a result of playing around with white balance along the Kelvin line (2500K-9900K) and the Green-Magenta axis.

This is the 2500K end of Custom White Balance.

It gives a surreal, cool feel.

You can even induce iodine-like color onto your shots.

In other news, my Olympus OM-2000 is acting up; the mirror is starting to slide outwards. I suspect aging glue. However, nothing like a little nudge to get the mirror back into alignment on its plate.

A Canon EOS 300D disassembled. Yes, they use Sony LCD screens.

So what do I think of the news, with the Canon 40D, Canon 1Ds MkIII, Nikon D300 and Nikon D3 announced?

Well, Nikon finally did Live View properly, with contrast-based auto-focus (the Canon Live View works like Olympus, where you have to press the AF-On button to auto-focus in Live View). Nikon also has ISO 25600 (if you choose to choose ISO in 1/3rd stops I will confiscate the camera from you and slap you with one of those solid Nikkor lenses you pride yourself owning). Plus Nikon being on CMOS finally rids the noise levels associated with CCD sensors. They also have a sweeter Nikkor 14-24mm F2.8 full-frame lens out.

Of course, the 36×23.9mm FX sensor size is not true full-frame; full-frame is 36x24mm! Technically you’re getting a 1.004x crop factor.

September 4th 2007, however, is when I’d expect the new Sony to be announced.

Who knows, there might be somebody with one of those new Canon/Nikon bodies at the Sony launch. Though, it wouldn’t be new news… unless it was say, the unannounced Olympus or Pentax. 😮

…and that’s not all. This does not count my most recent acquisition, something in the lines of birding territory. 😀

Happy Birthday Both Of You!

…sang the waiters at Italiannie’s. Yes, Cheryl and Slinky both.

She’s such an incorrigible camwhore she pushed me aside.

There, one of the rare normal-looking-me shots.


Certainly the subject of papparazzi.

(Only when the cameras stopped flashing did we get this.)

Sexy back.

One of those rare stalker-me shots.

Psst amoi tengok apa?

Oh tengok I ya…

Pardon the lame captions, this is my way of indirectly giving them the pictures I owed her for over a year. Yes, those earlier shots are from her birthday last year!

Yay we finally got our shots!

Fast-forward to this year.

Cheryl likes the fork…

…and a Sloggi visor.

She is a vampire. Bite me!

This time around, we celebrated Cheryl and Steph‘s birthday!

Have cake and eat it too.

She loves the fisheye so much she bought a door peephole to use with her camera phone.

The third person is the jumping sensation, smashpOp.

Dodging and burning in the red, green and blue channels got this. Featuring Bryan Chin.

Any more shots and I’ll leave you alone.

Yes, it is very hard to flash with the fisheye…

…such that, to get ambient light, we had to look up into a lamp.

Bunch of… ah crap I’m lazy to link them all.

Finally! Finito.

Only When You’re Walking…

…can you capture more random shots. It’s like street photography, all the time.

All hail the Sony Alpha’s SuperSteadyShot in-body stabilization. Out-of-the-box steadiness in long exposures in low light!

Rorschach on Petaling Street. I thought Venom visited!

I was stairing.

Taking a nap.

Proud floor polisher.

Yep, shiny.

This, however, makes it seem too easy to get a reflection.

Hey Man, Nice Shoes

27th July 2007: Fireflies And Something Something at KL Jamasia.

Kien Kit of Silent Scenery, master shoegazer, at work.

Ivan does the rhythm for their lush soundscape.

Ask Me Again. This quickly divided the night into two distinct genres; emo and post-rock.

Sky Juice Coffee turns into an emo core band. They did punk rock so well before.

Champion! A Nikon D40 with Nikkor AF-D 50mm F1.8D lens. Yes, she can only use it in manual focus.

Do not be fooled by the number of pedals here; post-rock only requires one post-rock pedal. The rest are there just to look colorful and pretty and give the shoe-gazing guitarist something to look at. I did not get this band’s name, because I can’t seem to find the gig poster anymore.

Once in a while, they bend down to tweak said pedal.

Cigarette lighter as a slide!

Izuan is again on fire, with Auburn (who, well, isn’t post-rock or emo, but more of alternative rock?)

Ian Koren returns as Jesus, to play for Throne Away!

This picture is for Sarah Chong!

They had a whole bunch of new songs. Hooray!

Their last gig was Rock The World 7, but they still had that amazing energy.

More shots were in Ian’s Canon Ixus, in black-and-white and ISO1600 (because black-and-white complements the camera noise well.) All the good ones of the jumpy frontman’s antics were on his camera instead.

Ready To Hate

Now for shots from the Tribute To Radiohead, 20th July 2007, KL Jamasia.

Dopplegengger, who started with Just (which I’d rather have as an outro song, with everybody on the floor ala the video), Electioneering, Let Down and Paranoid Android.

Somewhere before it all the electricity tripped, and I took this 1 second exposure at 50mm F1.4 ISO1600.

The self-declared awesome possum in the picture above can solve one of these! (Of course, the Rubik’s Cube shown here was solved by me. Some chick just bought it and I pretended it was my first time figuring it out… in near darkness.)

I would like to take credit for teaching her how, almost entirely over SMS. 😀

Back to the show! Now Everyone Can Play Radiohead was this band’s name.

They played Fake Plastic Trees, High And Dry and I don’t quite remember what else.

Gotta love Izuan’s fire hazard guitar effects.

These guys were so good, the intensity of the haunting music was so strong, I felt it rip through the very fabric skin of me. The emo-ness of it all was too much to bear, I wanted to rub myself against the effects pedals and self-combust. The emotion was beyond wanting to cry. Of course, only two people ever knew what really happened to me.

I distanced myself from the stage, walked to the back for some fresh air, and their set was over.

Ham of Seven Collar T-Shirt is well prepared for anything Jonny Greenwood can muster.

Wow, that looks like so much fun. I wanna headbang too!

Yep, Evol, who I last saw at the Incubus Tribute, did a rockin’ cover of Karma Police. It was the first song I heard from them…

…and one that is so great to swing and headbang to.


Project Bazooka at Laundry Bar, 19th July 2007. Penang Invasion night!

Two Sides To A Story, modern rockers.

Shot from the bar on a bar stool with the 600mm F11 combo, with Sony HVL-F56AM flash pointed directly, ISO400. I finally have another case of red-eye!

Poseidon, Penang mari.

I love their metal riffs!

Melodic and yet thrashy, with plenty of progressions.

Ooooo guitar solo.” Shot at ISO1600. Whoever complains of the Sony Alpha 100’s noise doesn’t know how easy it is to clean up.


It was truly shredder night for the last two bands, and bliss for my air-guitaring left hand. Oceans Of Fire, all instrumental, all technical.

Even the drummer pauses to see what’s cooking.

A MIDI jack, perhaps. These guys won second place in Asian Beat 2006.

Here, this is how you play bass!

July Moon

Moonshine, July 12th, 2007, at good ol’ Laundry Bar.

Lied, with special effects of the angry rock variety.

Adlin Rosli is shiny.

Adil shreds for Milli’z.

Milli’z is sometimes dark, sometimes acoustic, sometimes dreamy, and always enjoyable.

MeetUncleHussain! Jumpy vocalist with high pitched falsettos.

Kickass riffs and emo falsettos like MUSE.

Guess who he’s playing for now!

Guess who he’s playing for now!

Stonebay, grunge rock. Kickass riffs too, but with low macho vocals instead.


On the 23rd of June 2007, I went for the Sony Alpha 12 Hour Street Shooting Marathon. I didn’t stay till the end, as I went for the Cosmic Funk Express farewell gig.

We started off by hopping on the KL Monorail from KL Central all the way to Titiwangsa.

Upon reaching there, we found out that Ted Adnan was secretly a camwhore.

Street photography they say is about permission and shorter focal length ‘birding’.


Light a candle for feminism!

Paging for macdude.

The Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye on my Minolta Dynax 7. Full frame cropped to give a square circle. Sharp as heck at F16.

Sony 11-18mm F4.5-5.6 DT lens, at 13mm F5 F22 1/500th of a second. All hail the amazing lens that works on a full-frame camera, at even wider than it is on the Sony A100 with 1.5x crop factor!

13mm F5 F11 1/40th of a second on full-frame.

In comparison, 11mm on the Sony A100, with a 16.5mm equivalent, doesn’t look so impressive anymore. 🙁

We also did panning shots. I had no idea that panners used flash! (And to think, I used to do that on my point-and-shoot without flash and it seemed so easy.)

Ted the tourist.

Waiting for something to come his way.

Back at Titiwangsa Monorail Station, we spotted two-legged snails.

We then headed to a mamak, where the Peleng on my Sony A100 provided enough coverage.

Poison session at, 3rd floor, above Uncle Lim’s in Berjaya Times Square. Andersen Chong is a long-time Minolta fan who brings in gems and sells them on eBay.

Featured in the picture is Justin, being poisoned by his Tokina 20-35mm F2.8 AT-X.

Manner Queen

24th June, 2007: Cineleisure Damansara. I found these real-life mannequins for Elianto!

If I had to pick a mannequin to bring home, it would be this one…

…or this leggy doll.

Shift change. Mannequins that rotate themselves so you don’t have to do the dirty work of changing the mannequin’s clothes.