Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH, worth buying used?

One of my friend thought he got a great deal out of eBay (Aust) a few weeks ago, he paid an equivalent of NZD240.00 for this three year old  Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH.
Since I used to review Panasonic cameras and lenses , he also would like my opinion on how good this preloved high speed "normal" lens for M43 system is.

This "pancake" lens actually has a long history, Panasonic presents their large (F1.7) aperture "pancake" 20mm (40mm equivalent) lens as the kit lens for the Lumix DMC-GF1 camera in 2010, TEN years ago.

I wrote about this lens, which I still got in Jan 2014; I reckoned then this is the Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH, the "Perfect Normal" Lens.

The Lumix 20mm was placed beside a SD card to show how small it is.
With a focal length equal to the M43 sensor's diagonal; this compact optics will produce images free of the 'perspective distortion' associated with wide angle or telephoto lenses!

Monday, January 28, 2019

Memento - P3 Beach Girl of The Star

Malaysia's leading English diary newspaper The Star was born on 9 September 1971.

From day one, Mr K.S.Choong, the founder decided that a bikini clad "Beach Girl" will grace Page3.

"Page 3 girls always sell paper!" Choong reckoned ;)

Doreen Quah was the FIRST Page 3 girl of The Star, picture was taken by Chiang Siak Weng.

I remember fondly that I went to a lot of these "Beach Girl Job", usually the News Editor; Charles Chan will assign a cub reporter to tag along for "job experience".

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Déjà vu - Tunku and Holden

Life is full of little surprises...

Out of the blue I received this Gmail from Mary ****, Portland, USA.

Mary even got my Gmail name with one dot too many! Yeah, but Gmail is clever, it decided the mail was for me!

"Dear Mr. Leow,

I was impressed by your photographic work in your blog, "The Man Behind the Lens: Freeze That Decisive Moment". Your work covers a great span of Malaysian history and you showed great persistence and loyalty in returning to the Star three times. 

Among the photos, I am particularly interested in the one between Tunku Abdul Rahman and William Holden in Penang. Based on what you said, these photos were taken during the '70's. Do you have an exact date? Were they connected with any newspaper articles? Have you made any copies or have sold any? 

I am interested in them for both a personal and historical level. My grandfather spent quite some time traveling and working in Southeast Asia especially Malaysia. Any insights you may have would be much appreciated and would be well recognized. Thank you again for your time and consideration. 

Mary ******

This was the picture that Mary saw in my blog...

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Lumix TZ220 Lens Hack for a 18mm Ultra-Wide!

I was happy to find out that the new Lumix TZ220 come with a 24 to 360 Eq zoom lens, one mm WIDER than the TZ110 it replaced.

In the TZ110 review, I lamented that ONE mm less at the wide end result in significant loss in coverage. Take a look at the picture below.

To prove to myself the TZ220 indeed came with a WIDER 24mm Eq lens, I took shots of the same scene with the TZ220 at 24mm setting to compare with a shot taken with a 12-32 kit lens, at 12mm setting. (12mm is 24mm Eq). Both files were JPEG, straight from the cameras.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

A Better Grip for Lumix GM1

I love my little GM1, it is the tiniest full MFT camera that take interchangeable lenses, it is so small, it is hard to hand hold steadily till I found out and stuck on a Richard Franiec custom grip for the GM1!

Four years ago that small piece of 20g anodized aluminium alloy cost me a whopping US$34.95 plus shipping, my friends thought I am mad, paying that much for a small piece of metal! That piece of sculptured alloy was mounted on the GM1 with 3M double-sided tape and transformed the handling of the little camera!

Until, my friend Mity, post in Facebook what he ordered for his GM1!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Lumix DMC-TZ220, Another Ideal Travel Camera?

PANASONIC has been producing their TZ (TRAVEL ZOOM) compact camera range for nearly 12 years, their latest offering is the LUMIX TZ220.

By squeezing a large 1-inch 20.1MP sensor and a 24-360mm zoom lens into a pocket-sized body, I can see that Panasonic has no competition in this range!

The TZ220 is also known as Lumix TZ200 / ZS200 in other country.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Looking Back... Dr. M and His Words

Dr.M is at it again!  He is back!!

On Thursday, 10 of May he has been sworn in as Prime Minister of Malaysia the SECOND time after his shock election victory, 15 years after he stood down!

During my career with The Star, Dr. M and Moi cross path many time..

I remember fondly that I was given a scolding by him when I try to snap a picture of him having his lunch in Alor Setar. The excitement when one crazy guy try to attack him in Kedah and was subdued by his body guards. But my most memorable moment with the oldest Prim Minister in the world was on Thursday August 19, 1982.

Fast rewind to that fateful day... 

I was a young Photo Editor for The Star, waiting patiently for Dr M to come out from his meeting at the Second Army Division at Northam Road in Penang.

Standing beside me were photographers from other "larger" papers, Star was "nothing" to New Straits Time, Malay Mail, Straits Echo, Nanyang, Sin Chew and even Sin Pin and Kwong Wah Yit Poh!

Alas on that fateful day, the other photographers did not notice the Dr M's trademark slogan "Bersih... Cekap... Amanah" (Clean... Efficient... Trustworthy) that were hanging along the corridor!

I knew the shot I wanted and I chooses my lens for the best perspective to bring Dr M and his slogan together. 

The rest, like they said; is history.

This was the front page of the Penang edition of The Star, the next day.