Monday, January 24, 2011

Canon EF 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye

My favorite lens during the last ten years of my career as a Picture Editor was the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8 L lens.

The 14mm was big, heavy and ULTRA WIDE in coverage! It also has a big price tag to match! It can set you back for NZ$ 3,000 a piece!

I love the elongated perspective of this ultra wide lens and with it, even a slight difference in shooting angle or position will cause a great difference in how the subject appears!

I wrote about the lens here.

After leaving the paper I cannot afford that expensive chunk of glass, I had to look for a cheaper alternative for my ultra-wide addiction!

I decided on the very compact Canon EF 15mm fisheye lens. There are some good reasons behind it ;)

It is small, it is relatively cheap compare to a 14mm ultra-wide. At NZ$1,309.00 (latest 2011 price) it can give wider coverage than a 14mm, especially if you are using a APS-C size DSLR.

If you are a lucky owner of a full-frame DSLR, this little beauty will reward you with a angle-of-view of 180 degrees!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

~ ~ WET~ ~ WET~ ~ WET~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~~ ~ ~

Or how your house in New Zealand can be flooded!!

You must have read about the devastating flood in Queensland, Australia.

My heart goes out to those affected, I know how water, at the wrong time; wrong place; can absolutely DESTROY your life!

How do I know? Well, in December 2008; our NZ home was flooded!

Our "disaster" was, tiny; compared to what the Aussies experiencing but I hope my story can serve as a warning to new arrivals to this beautiful country and looking to buy a house!

6 Jan 2008

We arrived in Singapore, from Penang; after a 4 weeks break on the island we left behind in 1988.

We were supposed to spend 4 days with my sworn brother, then fly back to Wellington.

After nearly 5 weeks in the tropical heat and it's mugginess, we were looking forward to windy, cool; Wellington!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nikon E2 DSLR - Redux

1995, good time... most media companies in South East Asia were doing very well; cash rich employers were paying out 4 to 6 months year end bonuses to happy employees!

I was into my second year working as the Picture Editor for the Chinese Newspaper Division at Singapore Press Holdings.

Digital camera was at it's infancy and costing S$30 - 60,000 each (body only)!

Kodak has just announced their DCS460 DSLR, a Nikon F90 (N90 in US) body with a noisy Kodak 6 MP CCD. It was the first camera that has a fixed ISO, at 80 only! The camera was selling at US$30,000.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Lancer VRX Sportback

In My Auto Love Affair post I promised to tell you how my Lancer VRX Sportback drive and behave, so here...

Mitsubishi Motors New Zealand offer SIX Lancer variants.

Starting from the plain Jane ES Manual to the hot RALLIART Turbo, there is a choice for different drivers.

The Lancer ES (top left), the VR (top right) and the RALLIART.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Heritage Poster of The Star (Malaysia)

Story of the one and only surviving "Star Goes National" promotional poster!

First, for those not in the know, I am quoting Wikipedia:

"The Star is the leading English-language tabloid format newspaper in Malaysia. It is the largest in terms of circulation in Malaysia, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. It has a daily circulation of between 290,000 to 300,000.
The Star is also a member of the Asia News Network.

The Star is majority-owned by the Malaysian Chinese Association, the second-largest party in the ruling Barisan Nasional alliance. Its major competitors are the New Straits Times and the The Sun, both tabloids."

In 1974 I joined the young Star as their first Photo Editor.

In 1974 we had to fight with scores of established English, Chinese and Malay newspapers! Our biggest "enemies" were "The Straits Echo", "The New Straits Times" and their afternoon tabloid, "The Malay Mail"!

Our founder Mr K.S.Choong, who was also the MD and Editor In Chief realised that the only way we can beat the others are by publishing "Scoop News" and "Scoop Pictures".

Choong has the vision to play up good news pictures BIG and that gets the attentions of our readers! Asked any Star readers that live through the 70's and they will tell you we had the BEST pictures!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

My New Remade Personalised Plates

Two days ago I placed an on line order for a remake of my car's personalised plates to replace the "old" one.

It cost me NZ$20.95 for the remake plates and NZ$9.20 for courier, total; NZ$30.15. I could have saved $9.20 if I waited a day or two for the plates to arrive through "normal" air mail ;)

Well, at least I do not have to pay a whopping RM300,000 (NZ$127,908) by some Malaysian for a political car plate!

This morning I found this slim cardboard box outside of my front door.

My address was blur-out by me, duh ;)

Monday, January 3, 2011

G12's Close-Up, Sharp?

Most of you read my rant on how sharp the Canon G7's close-up is ;)

I even showed you a JPEG image I took of a Canadian bumblebee at the beautiful Butchart Garden on Vancouver Island, Canada!

I even blow-up the bee in a 100% crop and show you how SHARP the little zoom lens on the G7 can deliver!

Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 7-14 mm F4.0 ASPH

The Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 7-14 mm F4.0 ASPH is an ultra-wide-angle zoom lens for the Micro Four Thirds system.

This light weigh and compact lens provide a 35 mm equivalent focal range of 14-28 mm!

At it's 7 mm setting this solidly built lens gave a whopping 114-degree angle of view!

According to Panasonic and I quote:

"This high-performance lens system achieves outstanding compactness by combining 16 lens elements in 12 groups, including two aspherical lenses and four ED lenses.