Monthly Archives: June 2008

Leaning Towards A Tilt

George, shot by Ted Adnan with my Vivitar 24mm F2.0 Tilt-Shift lens.

I think I stopped down a wee bit and did a tilt forward to get an insanely deep depth of field.

I tilted left to get the entire scene in focus, even with the lens being at F2.0!

Tilting to the right, however, gives the opposite effect. Scheimpflug principle in use.

Happy (belated) Birthday Jack! A side effect of tilting is what it does to points of light, like the candle on the cake.

This is the standard limit that my DIY tilt-shift with the body cap can achieve.

Removing the body cap removed the angle limitations, and it was free to tilt to extreme angles. Only problem would be that light could leak in the back of the lens much easier.


This is my wait in the bus.

Rail in focus… and so is the seat on the left.

Broken pole! The entire assembly was swinging from side to side.

Another removed-body-cap shot.

24mm on APS-C makes great sense – it’s a classic normalish-wide focal length.

You get the same angle out of a point-and-shoot.

Guess That Trashcan pimpin’ after this!


Shots from November 2007, Ziel jamming!

Rudy on drums.

Raffique on guitar.

Eyes on Floyd Rose.

I’m not quite sure what genre, either – alternative metal?

Mr. T’s ride.

From the backseat; old-school!

Do You Remember?

It wasn’t hard to find, you’d painted flowers on

Guess that I was afraid that if you rolled away

You might not roll back my direction real soon

You’d say we’re playing house now you still say we are

We felt so far away though we were still in town

I took a picture that I don’t like to look at

Let’s rewind

Only Saw The Crash

I’m sure you’ve all seen this if you disable Auto Restart on fatal error in Windows XP.

But have you seen this? In the BIOS screen?

Or this?

Yep, my display card was screwed. Out with the old Sparkle Geforce 6600 GT 128MB AGP card, in with the (not so new) Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 2600XT 512MB GDDR3 AGP card.

(Strangely, the Blue Screen Of Death appears in a screen mode that is compatible with even a screwed display card.) I’ve gotta macro the old display card because it’s pretty, but that will come later.

Yes, I’m that out of touch with modern technology, still lugging behind with a single-core AMD Barton XP 2600+ and an AGP 8x slot. Well, whatever works. Kinda explains why I didn’t update just after the 10th of May 2008 which is when this happened.

I haven’t done the regular benchmarks, but well, I could’ve settled for a side-grade or a downgrade but picked something more DirectX friendly. And thus proved the irony that I’d always alternate between ATI Radeon and NVidia GeForce cards. Always.

The White Torchlight

I got a phone call from Ted one day.

Ted: Hey man, wanna Frankenstein my lens?
Me: Huh? Why? Which one?
Ted: My Minolta 200mm F2.8G HS APO.
Me: What? Why?
Ted: Oh, uh, I discovered that it doesn’t go well with carbonated drinks.

The Minolta 200mm F2.8G HS APO next to the Sony 100mm F2.8 Macro. I affectionately call the 200mm the White Torchlight due to its light weight and size. Plus the built-in hood extends.

This is supposedly the 2nd best Minolta AF lens in terms of bokeh (beat by the Minolta 85mm F1.4G), and possibly the fastest Minolta AF lens in terms of AF speed. I can attest to this, having tried the lens before it ‘mixed’ with a drink.

Nope, it doesn’t have a motor inside, but having its gearing optimized internally for High Speed, it focuses faster than any other tele lens I’ve tried. Instant and without hesitation.

A most unique focus limiter system lets you set the minimum focus distance at any range, and the maximum focus distance using a ring and a screw. I never fully understood how to use this.

This is what happened to it after the accident – loads of internal flare and softness.

I’m not sure what effect it is on the carpet.

The acids from the drink took its toll on the aperture blades, which were badly rusted.

Condensation on the back. Not a pretty sight.

And so, I took the lens apart with the help of a service manual I found online. Note the chipped paint syndrome of white Minolta lenses.

Hoods and rings yo.

Alas, I didn’t get to remove any elements or get to the aperture blades, which I intended to remove. At the very least it would be a fixed aperture fixed length prime lens, and that would still be okay as it’s very sharp wide open.

The focus indicator and what actually controls the internal focusing element.

I bought a compass to attempt to unscrew the ring that holds the front element in, but to no avail. I needed a real lens opener (yes, that’s what they call it!)

I gave up and sent it to Ah Miao of International Camera in Pertama Complex. Jeff of Leos Trading Ampang Park recommended him, saying “if he cannot fix it, nobody can!” I earlier went to Cheah Repair but Albert Cheah was busy. 🙁

Ah Miao did an amazing job, cleaning the glass, assembling its focus ring and the screws which I removed and couldn’t put back. He also removed the aperture blades as requested.

It was back in action, and sharp as ever! However was a blemish inside that couldn’t be saved. It was slightly soft when out of focus, which made it slightly slower when focusing, but still pretty darn fast.

It would be better suited for full-frame – on APS-C it was just a bit too long. 🙁

Images had a certain 3D pop about them.

Tracking is super fast, such that it could jump focus to something else if I’m not careful where I’m aiming!

Though, at times, I wish I could stop down to retain some context of what I’m shooting.

All the more so with macro.

1.5 meters is the minimum focusing distance.

But hey, I can manage – this isn’t the only fixed-aperture lens I have… 😉

The Minolta 200mm F2.8G HS APO with Kenko 2x teleconverter next to my Tamron 200-400mm F5.6. I’d say the Minolta + TC, being 400mm F5.6, was still sharper than the Tamron.

Minolta 200mm F2.8G HS APO + Kenko 2x teleconverter.

100% crop.

Sony Alpha 700 + Kenko 2x teleconverter + Sony HVL-F56AM next to the Minolta Dynax 7 + Tamron 1.4x teleconverter + Seagull Minolta hotshoe adapter + Nikon SB-28.

Left to right: Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan, Minolta 200mm F2.8G HS APO, Sony 70-200mm F2.8G SSM, Carl Zeiss 135mm F1.8, Carl Zeiss 16-80mm F3.5-4.5 DT.

Family photo, not up to date even!

Rear, from left to right: Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4.0 EX, Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm F2.8-3.8 (I’d call this a HS lens too), Sigma 70-210mm F4-5.6, Cosina 70-210mm F2.8-4.0 1:2.5x Macro, Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan, Tamron 200-400mm F5.6.
Front, from left to right: Peleng 8mm F3.5 circular fisheye, Vivitar 24mm F2.0 Tilt-shift, Industar 50mm F2.8, Minolta 50mm F1.4, Minolta 200mm F2.8G HS APO.