Monthly Archives: July 2008

Xfresh X-gig!

May 31st 2008 – the Xfresh X-gig at Republic, Sunway Pyramid! Yep it was about time we had our own gig.

Rithan of Deja Voodoo Spells warming up.

It was a sunny afternoon. Man, I miss afternoon gigs. Makes for easy exits with public transport.

Outside, there was an extreme sports competition which I don’t remember what exactly. But hey, this photographer is using The Force.


Sam CF Band started the show.

Dance To The Radio. Indie meets post-rock. I like!

They like it, too.

Then, the jumpy-frontmanned The Peanuts!

I love how the stage lights were bright and colorful, and the sunlight came in from the side, giving a little boost.

Amazing showmanship!

And that is all from them.

Oh, and this shot (as well as #1, #2, #3, #5 and #6) show the lens I just bought earlier that day – the Carl Zeiss Jena Flektogon 35mm F2.4 in M42 mount. Geeking out post dedicated to that will come soon!

I love the way the Zeiss handles flare! It makes it look almost pleasant to have flare in your pictures, the way it colors it.

And then there were punk rockers Bunkface!

Solid, solid band with Sum Blinkin’ Green influences.

All cameras to the Scout!

He really, really sounded like Billy Joe Armstrong. Looked a bit like him, too!

All shots of Bunkface were taken with the Zeiss. I am now a believer!

I am glad that I can buy auto-focusing Zeiss lenses for my Sony Alpha. It’s different from that classic Minolta look, for sure, but the bokeh on this Flektogon isn’t too shabby compared to some other Zeiss lenses. Also has that characteristic contrasty mid-burning, highlight-popping effect on out-of-focus areas.

And then it was Pop Shuvit, if you can still call them rap metal.

You can count on them to rock out.

Pardon my geeking out, but I love how it renders flare!

The Times, Brit indie at its best.

This is my all-time favorite shot with the Zeiss! There’s just a certain 3D-ness about it.

Click here for a large, large version. Click already, dammit!

And then, ending the show was Deja Voodoo Spells, a top-notch shredder band.

With guest star Adam of Dragon Red on vocals!

Rithan and his guitar licks.

Mie and his bass solo (which included the Doraemon theme song!)

Rithan Facts: Rithan does not bend guitar strings. He bends the guitar.

Rithan Facts: During high-speed solos, hands conjure out of nowhere to help him pick more notes.

Oh, there’s another X-gig coming up:

What: Xfresh X-gig
Where: Zouk Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Ampang
When: Saturday 2nd August 2008, 2pm to 6pm
Who: The Aggrobeats, Couple, They Will Kill Us All, Bittersweet (plus an open band session, so bring your stuff!)

Triple Jay In May

Feeling the blues? How about some Juke Joint Jupiter, May 22nd 2008 at Laundry Bar huh?

Ito, vocalist of The Blues Gang!

(Not with his band, though.)

This guy played far from wooden.

Then there were The Travellers!

Give me a moment while I finish this complicated drum passage.

And then there was the hard-rockin’ Blister!

In leather jackets, they did all-American hard rock. Steppenwolf – Born To Be Wild was one such cover, if I remember.


As you can tell, I’m a massive fan of Led Zeppelin… the tattoo on my left hand is the sigils from Led Zeppelin IV.

Our guitarist however is a fan of guitar licks played literally.

Cooperative shredding. The grabber is also grabbing some frets.

This frontman rocks! AC/DC yeowww!

Spot a Jimmy Page-ism.

Then, there was Zip Zeiller.

For some reason, they did not blow me away this time. 🙁 I was expecting them to!

Fifty One Fifty

I finally tried the Sigma 50-150mm F2.8 HSM APO Macro… for Canon mount. Since I was so curious to see the sharpness and bokeh, I popped a CF card in the shop’s Canon EOS 40D.

40D, 150mm F2.8 ISO1600 1/200s. Auto White Balance. This is the whole image. Bokeh is a mixed bag – some look excellent, some look a bit too contrasty. In this case the handphone being held up is a bit distracting.

A 100% crop from the part which was most in focus. Not scorchingly sharp, but usable since this was at the default setting.

I’ll admit that I love consumer sharpening, so I dived into the menu and pumped up the sharpness, saturation, tone. All of them, to 7. This explains how I got the 40D to look this noisy at ISO1600 heh.

40D, 150mm F2.8 ISO1600 1/250s. Auto White Balance. Uhhh, this is weird, even for AWB with tungsten light.

I like how it makes the OOF highlights glow, and the signboard text that has been blurred out in the top-left corner isn’t too bad. Could be worse.

This reminds me of my Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX non-DG; contrast is strong, even in out-of-focus areas. Occasionally though, you can get good separation.

Given a good background, this lens would shine.

The 40D at 5.75 FPS (due to shooting at 1/250s you don’t get 6.5 FPS) and HSM made for great tracking of walking subjects.

Longitudinal chromatic aberration is of the modern type – more greenish cyan behind the subject, to magenta in front of the subject.

Minor 40D rant

An immediately noticeable niggle was the thumbwheel of the 40D – scrolling through burst mode I had to wait until the image appeared in full crispness before I scroll to the next picture. If I scrolled too fast some of the images would appear to be taken from very low-resolution thumbnails (and occasionally, the dimensions would shrink, with black borders.) Hence, I had to scroll slowly with my thumb. Makes me appreciate the Alpha’s embedded thumbnails especially when you want to pick pictures to delete quickly (or watch burst mode animations on your screen). Oh yes, you can’t hold down the joystick to scroll.

Back to the lens

Anyway, I love the size and weight of this lens – it’s just a bit shorter than the Minolta 70-210mm F4 beercan, a bit fatter, and just as heavy, clocking under 800 grams. Which is loads lighter than the overrated 70-200mm F2.8 lenses everybody lusts for, which go for 1.4 kilograms or so.

Interestingly, the internal zoom mechanism looks the same from the front, also.

I’ve always wanted 50mm on my beercan more than 200mm, on APS-C, when shooting gigs and events… so I could make do with a 50-150mm should anything happen to my beercan, God forbid!

Use a 50-150mm on your APS-C dSLR, not the 70-200mm! You don’t use a 24-70mm on APS-C, do you? You’d use a 17-50mm on APS-C, yes? If you can sell the 17-50mm when changing to a full-frame body, of course you can sell the 50-150mm.

There’s one reason why I love Pentax – they’re the only brand that has a complete APS-C lineup:

10-17mm F3.5-4.5 fisheye
12-24mm F4
14mm F2.8 (much much smaller than full-frame versions)
16-50mm F2.8
17-70mm F4
21mm F3.2 pancake
40mm F2.8 pancake
50-135mm F2.8 (Pentax is the only brand that recognizes the importance of this range on APS-C)
70mm F2.4 pancake
55-300mm F4-5.8 (WHOA! That’s a new range, and it beats the Canon 55-250mm F4-5.6 IS by a hair.)

So why don’t I have any APS-C lenses?

…because I have a full-frame body.

And yet, when I have the cash, I will look into a different walkaround lens – the Sigma 17-35mm F2.8-4 EX non-DG is an ultra-wide on full-frame and is also huge and fat and horribly attention-grabbing. A small, wide prime would be great. If it was an APS-C pancake lens, I wouldn’t mind.

Why I don’t like 200mm on APS-C that much

Even when I used a 200-400mm at the Sunburst Music Festival, 200mm was too long. So I knew that I wouldn’t miss 200mm. Even the Minolta 200mm F2.8G HS APO I had for a few days was a bit too long for my usage.


It was a dark night as I waited for my bus. It was not stormy.

A taxi stopped at the taxi stand nearby. I then heard something fall onto the road in front of it. At first I thought it dropped from a passing lorry, but upon squinting, I recognized it as one half of a pair of heels!

The other half of the pair of heels flew out the left passenger door. A skinny Malay guy got out. He had this look that said that he was fed up.

The taxi drove off, taking care not to run over the black stiletto that was on the road in front of it.

I looked in the taxi, and there was a lady in the back on the left, obviously fuming.

The guy then picked up the stiletto that he had earlier tossed in front of the taxi as well as the one on the side, and he walked off to the LRT station.

Now here’s the fun part. What do you think happened before the guy threw out her heels in rage?

What do you think will happen, since he kept the heels instead of leaving them behind?

Fly and I Com

1st May 2008 – Fly FM Campur Chart at Laundry Bar! Yes, it’s been a while.

Throne Away!

Indie/emo rock at its best!

Emir the energetic frontman does a few stunts…

…and asks me to check his tonsils.

Seven, one of my favorite jazz/funk/rock bands.

With Bo with the fro.

And Samsung chicks in the background.

The Times! Brit indie flavor.

Let’s see what song I have to play next…

Skip to the 12th of May 2008, with Seng Yip‘s gig, featuring George singing songs about Friendster!

He’s got the most natural emo voice. Oh, and emo glasses.

Step on it!

And then, there was Pitbull Inc..

Excellently fronted by Steven (who is a heck of a singer besides being the occasional JamAsia emcee) and Izwin.

Killer bassist played a pumping Michael Jackson – Billie Jean groove.

The drummer was cool, too…

…when he suddenly got up to rap!

Saat Genting

A commotion! And so, the fire brigade was sent to save passengers off a rollercoaster.

Great skill is needed to operate extending gear.

They first brought over the adults…

…and some kids had to be carried. With it being recorded on video.

As it turns out, reaching over is not that easy – in some places, the barb wire had to be cut. But here, the man is restoring it!

We now interrupt this with the story of a random floating bubble.

That, and a nefarious ride.

Why so serious?

I’m in the hood, yo. Hoodwink!

What a refreshingly green view.

Sunny East Side

Kuching town! Land of blue skies and fluffy clouds and colorful buildings and loads of grass!

The Spring, the latest mall, I think.

They have random, random green lungs. You’ll pass a few of these empty lots.

No bikes in the bush.

I just liked the color. No compositional value.

We’ve finally reached White Castle!

All with DRO Level 5 on the Sony A700. It boosts the greens to Cameron Highlands-like goodness! So yes, I shot some of these only because of the strong color. I like how you can see clouds anywhere – must be the lack of a concrete skyline.

And here’s one of the big tall tree at Merdeka Square.

1883 A.D.

There is a McDonalds here somewhere.

Kuching Waterfront Bazaar!

Building in building must reflect upon each other!

Yes, I’m quite enjoying the artist’s impression-like look of DRO Level 5.

And since you’ve read this far, guess what? All the images can be clicked for a bigger view. Except one!

Eastward Westsider

As if it wasn’t bad enough that I posted the last entry after 6 days of not posting anything, I won’t be updating till at least the 15th of July 2008!

I’m finally heading to the Rainforest World Music Festival in Kuching, Sarawak. This will be my virgin experience! I’ll come by and visit all you East Siders.