Monthly Archives: September 2007

Selamat Hari Jennih

Happy Birthday Jen!

…oops, wrong Jen. Tumbuk kang!

Happy Birthday Jen!

So, like how old are you? (The second digit is in the unraised fingers of that hand.)

She still goes “ooo! AAA! EEE!” when I poke her. She’s still as cartoony as ever.

All shots were with the Minolta 50mm F1.4 at F1.4, and the Pro Tama 0.7x wide angle converter, to give a sweet softness while having the convenience of a 35mm F1.4 on my Sony A100 which has a 1.5x crop factor.

Aiya, why my pictures all soft wan?

Hello, halo!

CoDo, above Little Vietnam on the middle court of the 2nd floor of Midvalley, serves excellent drinks, like soda water with sour plum. I also liked their lychee with lemongrass jello.

Oooh, and all shots are just resized, and unedited. 🙂

Long Lens Story

And now, for the official blog entry about my latest lens – the Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 A-mount for Minolta/Sony. Light passes from the lens to a Tamron 1.4x teleconverter and a Kenko 2x teleconverter before entering my Minolta Dynax 7 and going up my right-angle viewfinder. Also added for extra effect is a Sony HVL-F56AM flash.

It collapses to a more subtle size, one-third its extended, hooded length.

400mm F11 1/125s ISO400. 400mm is the bare minimum for bird photography, or birding, in short.

400mm F5.6 1/500s ISO320. If you think about it, 400mm F5.6 is like a 200mm F2.8 with a 2x teleconverter.

1100mm F16 1/15s ISO1600. When you stack teleconverters, the camera refuses to autofocus at F16, but tries unsuccessfully to autofocus at F11. At F8 it can, but finds quite a struggle.

1100mm F16 1/40s ISO800. Chromatic aberration is obvious with this lens. Stopping down one stop solves it.

1100mm F16 1/40s ISO400. Guess what this is!

1100mm F16 1/3s ISO1600. Stairway from Kinokuniya bookstore to Page One, taken from the bottom of KLCC Park.

1100mm F16 1/30s ISO1600. An unsuspecting dude at the 2nd floor cafeteria in KLCC.

1100mm F16 1/8s ISO1600. I should come here in the day to catch people in the Petronas Twin Towers Skybridge.

1100mm F16 1/2s ISO800. Guess what this is!

1100mm F22 1/125s ISO400. This might make it more obvious.

1100mm F16 1/160s ISO400. No? What about this? (Oh, if only somebody would shine a torchlight in his/her face as I took this picture.)

1100mm F16 1/125s ISO400. The moon, handheld!

100% crop.

And yes, Super SteadyShot on the Sony A100 works extra hard for extra long focal lengths. You can hear it compensating vigorously, and it works! I can get sharp shots at 1/125s 1100mm.

I got the lens second-hand, for real cheap; however, a new one wasn’t that expensive either. The tripod mount can be loosened and rotated around; I turn it about so my left hand can hold it like a camcorder, heh.

Ironic, then, that Canon and Nikon fans would brag that they have the most lenses… when I am the only guy I know who has the focal lengths from 8mm to 1100mm covered, on the Minolta/Sony A-mount. That’s a 137.5x zoom!

Chicks Rock Right

Chicks Rock Night, KL Jamasia, 10th August 2007. Wow, I’m back to a giant backlog.

Chick rock night has to have chick photographers…

…and chick videographers.

Otai” chick rocker, Markiza Brown, and her dear husband, the venerable Peter Hassan Brown. Together, they form the ever-changing folksy Soft Touch.

Long-haired, but positively, this shredder was a dude.

Ah! There, the chick frontwoman of Splitends.

They played jazzy-tinged pop.

I.G. Collective‘s second last gig. Don’t leave us!

Not a chick, but check out his shirt.

The crowd, yo.

Gotta love them Steve Vai grips.


They came in peace with haunting melodic rock.

Oddity, however, came in violence and aggression.

Hardcore! (No, this is not a multiple exposure, and none of this was shot on film.)

The crowd headbangs.

Give me the back mike RAWR!

This was the same crowd that was enjoying the previous, less aggressive music. For once! At gigs, usually, fans of a particular genre or friends of one band would leave when a heavy band comes on.

I love metal, and I love you man.

After the gig ended, emcee Steven surprises us with some jazz covers (yes the guy with a Sid Vicious T-shirt), while the keyboardist teaches the guitarist the chords to a jazz standard.

WTS: Sony DVD Direct Burner VRD-VC20

I’m selling a Sony DVD Direct burner, the Sony DVDirect VRD-VC20. It has never been used, only taken out of the box to take a picture of it.

It takes Firewire, DV Input, USB, S-Video, and RCA Analog inputs. It records DIRECT to DVD-Video!

Can be plugged to a computer (as an external DVD writer), a handycam, a VCR, Astro, the works. Yes, you can even plug it to a DVD player via RCA Analog and duplicate DVD Videos. Shhh.

To do the same on a computer would take forever and you would need a video capture card and a lot of technical expertise.

(Stuff in the package.)

More details here:

Write speeds:

Write Rewrite Read Format
16x 8x 16x DVD+RW
16x 6x 16x DVD-RW
4x (N/A) 16x DVD+R DL
48x 24x 48x CD-RW

6 hours can fit on standard DVDs; Double Layer DVD+R DL discs can fit 12 hours! Good for backing up all your old VHS tapes and Laser Discs.

An external DVD writer with USB and Firewire inputs will cost RM400 in Low Yat. A Video Capture Card will cost RM430. This does both with much less hassle, as it doesn�t hog up your computer and take space. I’m selling this at RM700, negotiable.

Interested? 😀

Email me at

Smokes Up

Some people look upon smokers degradingly.

I don’t like guys who smoke.

She smokes. Ugh. Yeah I’m a guy and I smoke, but a girl who smokes? That’s just wrong.

The problem is, everyone can smoke. I was waiting for a roadside cobbler to fix my shoe for RM3, and he was smoking a cigarette.

The government is taking the right step in increasing prices. It works out. In the future, smoking would be a sign that you are rich. Thus, it would no longer be a turn-off, and people will want to marry you for your money because you’ll die of lung cancer eventually.

Still A Forty-Niner

It was 30th August 2007, Merdeka Eve, and I was going home after work. I just intended to hop on the bus and not join the festivities, but as I passed by Masjid Jamek I heard a commotion and followed it for a photographic journey!

Unlike road signs, some arrows are not so clear.

I followed Alam Flora workers down to Dataran Merdeka. They had a task – to clean up the trash.

Some saturation play will follow.

Man, I need a new belt.

There was a row of bikes, old and new.

Soon I found myself deep down in the crowd!

Aha! A platform just for people with big cameras! Spot a Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan and a Sony 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 up there. Yes, more than one Alpha male there.

Despite bringing the Tamron 200-400mm F5.6 (there, my first official mention of it) I found I could not get anything interesting other than a sea of hands waving flags. Thus, the fisheye or going down to shoot kids with bright prime lenses would be a better idea.

(Okay, fine, the first shot was with this bazooka lens, too.)

An unidentified host. 330mm F5.6 1/15s.

You can’t tell from this picture, but his eyes are open. 400mm F6.3 1/15s.

I then realized I was deep in, and I wanted to get out. I found an outstream of people. However, this outstream had people cutting me and rubbing their sweat against me! So I realized that the instream was dry, and grazed against them to keep myself dry. Heh.

I got home before midnight. Great success!

Artists Wanting Music Video Wanted

Got this in my email:

And here, I post the contents so Google can pick it up:

Hey man. I’m looking for any musicians (bands, singers, DJs, whatever) who want a music video made. Can you help?

The artist needs to have full original tracks on an EP or LP. No demos. Which means it’s a genuine artist with a genuine recording.

It’s a student assignment. Which means it will likely cost next to nothing for the artist, but quality will not at all be neglected of course.

If you got something get back to me soon. Thanks


Some important extra info for those interested:

1) I’m in Miri, Sarawak, and that’s where your video would be produced. You’re most likely in KL or sewaktu dengannya, so it can’t be a typical performance video. Unless of course you’d fly here for this. But we can be creative, plus it’s the age of teh intarnets.

2) I only get to pick one out of the (checks email) three, so far, responses I’ve got. But don’t worry, if there are student friends of mine also in search of a client, I’d be happy to fix ya’ll up.

3) Please get in touch by tomorrow, Tuesday night. If it’s too short notice, well I can only blame Albert for posting this late. Lolz.

4) Include your CD-quality MP3 in your email, whether via attachment or downloadable link. (If you ask me not to distribute or use the MP3 outside of this project, I won’t.) Streaming won’t do. For online storage/filesharing I suggest, it’s good and very popular with mp3blogs these days. Send the song lyrics and your CD cover image too.

We can discuss these things and anything else by email. I look forward to making your video!


His email is

(Oh and if you’re a band and would like photos taken, contact me at Reasonable rates will be given, understanding the financial standing of the independent music scene.)

What The? Ducks!

This entry is dedicated to Su Ann and the interesting specimen. All shots from wayyy back, a certain 17th of March 2007.

A conference is in order.

The beauuutiful out-of-focus bokeh is thanks to the good ol’ Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan lens.

Waddle around the tree!

Man, they could make a pillow out of my feathers.

I wish I caught a shot like this again, during the KLPAC Click! outdoor session, so I could win something.


Rewind to 8th July 2007, when I got on a plane with good ol’ buddy/aspiring pilot JFK!

I brought out the Canon Powershot A520 with Hoya R72 infrared-pass filter for the bright sun.

I also brought out my beloved Minolta 70-210mm F4.0 beercan lens for this…

…and the Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm F2.8-3.8 lens with a Tamron 1.4x teleconverter.

The object of aerial transportation – a Cessna!

Meanwhile, I spied a private flight. This was in the old Subang airport, now known as the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport.

Nope, no snakes on this plane.

Because the plane was tiny and you could not hear your voice or anybody else’s, you’d need to wear headphones with a mike. Also, you’d need to speak with the mike touching your lips (as it picks up vibration, not sound.)

We have liftoff! Shah Alam Stadium.

Shah Alam Mosque.

Four-leaf clover.

Blue skie… I mean, seas.

Going ashore for business. We hovered around Port Klang and went past a nearby island for a bit.

The original plan was to go to PJ, around The Curve, to check it out; however, weather conditions did not permit this.

Oh, and of course I brought my Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye. Pardon the inconsistent colors; the Peleng has an inconsistent coating which shows in certain conditions. Plus the glass might’ve been smudgy.

Kevin Rao, former Xfresh FM and Wow FM deejay.

Left to right: Kevin, JFK, our co-pilot for this round.