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Last post of 2011

Just want to post a short one on the last day of the year :P .  Wish all have a Happy New Year and hopefully your resolutions and wishes will come true in coming 2012.

For those a bit concerned about my last post... I'm safely back in Singapore yesterday night :P  And here's a short video of girl girl's performance in school on their New Year Eve's school performance 2 days ago.

ตาย(dai) liao ตาย(dai) liao!

The title in Thai literally means die die! :P  Well it all happened 2 nights ago, I was doing some electric wiring (with the power off of course) when my son just came in and playfully shouted. "Papa Dai liao, dai liao!"  Wife heard it and looked at me sternly.  I don't know why am I foolishly working on electrical stuff at night so I stopped and played with my son.

The following day (which is yesterday), we were at my wife's friend Nat house having dinner, Nat's daughter Sophia (very good friend of us) came in saw me and then ran to my wife and her mother and shouted, "Didi Papa dai liao!  Mai Mi liao (no more)!".  Wife got so worried that she actually wants me to cancel my flight back to SG on the 30th......

I explained to her that our son must have passed the info to his little friend while playing so stop worrying.  But wife insisted to go pray pray and get some blessings for me. Urgghh....

Anyway, been looking at the horoscopes for my zodia next coming year.  Year of the black dragon and I am born in the year of the dragon too.  It seems I will have bad luck all the way next year till the end. :P  Really "Dai" liao...

It's bloody scary that they don't see the link.

Nowadays, I tried not to write too much about politics or social issues in SG but the recent major COCKUP of SMRT in our country's rail system really shows how a lot of Singaporeans missed the point.  I have this conclusion when I read the comments and posts online and it pisses me off. 

Which major point they missed?? They cliamed that this issue has NOTHING to do with our gahment and we are barking at the wrong tree.  We should be blame it on SMRT instead.  The gahment has nothing to do with this recent fiasco!

HELLLOOOO!!!!  First of all, isn't the rail system a "PUBLIC" transport??  What do we meant by "PUBLIC"?  It means it belongs to the gahment right?  Even now its under a private corporation, our gahment should enforce checks and collect feedback from the common groung and enforce certain maintenance rules on SMRT or whoever is running the business.  It seems that they just throw the ball to SMRT after building the infrastructure and wait to collect money.  AND why is our public transport managed by a private Corp in the first place???!!!.This is absurd!

So of course we need to blame our gahment.  Who appointed SMRT CEO?? Temasek board right?  Who is in the Temasek board?  Independent and private my big fat ASS!  Grow up silly Singaporeans.   Go on!  Live in your little wells and believe in whatever the gahment tells you.  You are screwed!! :P 

*PS That picture of me is my expression when I see those comments..... :P  really WTF!

My new garden

20111213_154155My garden was in a mess ever since I came back from SG.  After some heckling from my wife.  I decided to do something about it.  We cleared off all the plants and20111215_083421 trees and dug out all the stones and weeds.  Then we removed the pots and my wife enlisted her cousin’s help in paving the garden with sand and bricks.  The whole project took us about a week.  5 days to be exact actually and it was quite labour intensive.  I helped mostly by moving the bricks and laying the sand while her cousin laid the bricks.  We also enlisted our friend’s help and roped in her brother to help too Smile with tongue out   I would say the project was pretty successful, the kids now have a new playground in the garden Smile





I am getting worried

Not really about my kids or life over here in Thailand but my passion for photography.  Recently I began to succumb into my "no shoot mood".  Which means I had not taken out one of my cameras out to play.  I had not taken a single frame for almost 2 weeks (not even my kids).  I can’t figure the real reason behind this but I guess the main reason is I guess I ran out of ideas and I am just being lazy trying to do something about it .  Nothing really inspires me!   It seems the weather here is also making me a bit stone.  Big changes in the temperature and dry dusty air discourages me to go out and explore.  I spent more time reading and playing with my new phone or on the net rather than shooting.  This is really a bit worrying as its kind of the longest dry spell for me. 

For the last few weeks, I have been busy with reformatting and installing Windows 7 on my old PC over here.  Surprisingly after the fresh installation the PC ran much faster and smoother.  I guess M$ really is getting their acts correct after their Vista hoohaa… (Yes I know, 8 is coming out and I just installed 7 Smile with tongue out)

Anyway, I took out my NEX-3 and put on a cheap0 25mm C-mount TV lens and went shooting in the garden.  Only took 3 shots but kind of refreshing.  I do like this cheapo lens.  Not sharp but just check out the swirly bokeh Smile with tongue out .  Not for everyone but hey, I dun need to photoshop to make it look like dat….



Finally, this post is just a simple rambling, I am worried but I will be working on it..  I will be dead before I gave up on photography!  That I am sure of. Smile

Home Made French Bread

Not many people actually know I can make bread :P.  But I do :).  I learnt it from my mum while I was a kid watching her making delicious bread for my family.

This is a variant of French bread that I stole a recipe from the net.  It's pretty easy.  Here are the ingredients:

Bread Flour 350gWarm
Water 175ml
Milk 35ml
Sugar 21g
Butter (Unsalted) 21g
Salt 6g
Dry Yeast 5g

Direction is simple.  Make sure all the ingredients are measured properly and you are more or lest successful in making our own bread.  Investing in a good kitchen scale is always a good idea if you plan to bake often :) 

Mix the warm water (around your body temp but not higher or you might kill off the yeast) with Sugar and Dry yeast in a bowl. Let it sit for 10 mins so you can check if the yeast is active.  If its ok and alive, bubbles will form on the top of the mixture and it will give off a strong yeasty gamey smell.

Then pour the measure flour into a mixing bowl with the salt.  Try to stir a bit with your finger to mix the salt with the flour.  Direct contact of salt with yeast will kill the yeast or make it less effective.  Then just throw in the milk and the mixed yeast solution.  Knead with your hands.  If its too sticky, relax and use some plastic knife or even a ruler to scrap off the sticky bits and keep kneading.  Eventually it will slowly become less sticky as the yeast and flour is absorbing all the moisture.  If it's still sticky after kneading for more than 5mins, then you must have placed too much water.  You can powder your hands with some bread flour and try kneading it again.  Vice versa, if its too powderly and won't form a dough, you have too much flour so just lightly spray some water to wet the dough.  Once the dough is not sticky, throw in the butter (soften it by leaving it in room tempreture) and knead again.  Continuce again until it stops feeling sticky and the butter all mixed into the dough.

Let the dough rest in a warm place for the 1st fermentation.  Cover it with a cloth or a kitchen towel and let is sit for at least an hour.  The dough will balloon and become at least twice the size of the original dough.  If it dosen't, just be patience and let it sit longer.

Then pick up the inflated dough and drop it down onto the table on mixing bowl (about 50cm will do) and you will see the dough deflates like a balloon (this is releasing the gas).  Now you can cut up the dough and shape it to whatever shape you like.  If you like to have more crust, then just make smaller buns so you have more crust.  Normally I could make 5 buns (Picture above) about the size of my palm out of it.  After shaping just let it rest again (2nd fermentation).   After an hour, the buns should rise to twice the size again like the previous process.  If you like, you could also place it in the fridge and let it rise for more than 24hrs.  This would make the bread taste better as the yeast taste will not be that strong.  If you like yeasty taste (like beer) then just leave it in a warm place and let it rise even quicker.  After that is just baking.  Conventional oven is 30mins at 200 degrees celcius.  Remember to preheat  the oven first to 200degrees!  If you have a UFO broiler or oven like mine.  The time is 20mins (less time needed).  After baking, let it sit in the oven for 5 mins and viola!  Freshly baked Bread!

If the crust becomes soft, just mist some water on the surface of the bread and bake it again in the oven for 5 to 10 mins at 200 degrees celcius.  It will taste like freshly baked bread.

Try it and have fun!  It's easy :)  Finally, here's a video of my boy eating my bread this morning.  Taken with my new phone :P

My new P(hone) D(igital) A(ssistant).

No thanks to some of my friends on FB informing me the "greatness" of the Galaxy Note.  

After we send the kids to schoo on last Thursdayl.  Wife accompanied me to Chiang Rai.  We need to do some grocery shopping in Chiang Rai's Big C because the local Maesai Tesco Lotus is still out of stock on certain basic necessities.  My son's diapers is on the 1st thing on the list. :P  Of course, this means I could take a peek at the new phone.. Big Mistake!

We reached Big C and immediately I went to look around at the mobile phone shops.  They have started selling it but there was no display set.  I asked for one but they said its all sold out!  They took in 10 sets on Tuesday and it was all out on Wednesday!  Wah... Thai people over here in CR a bit rich leh.... 

Anyway, after getting our groceries, we dropped by Central plaza (biggest shopping centre in Chiang Rai) and wife went on her own to look at some clothes while I immediately hit the mobile phone shops over here :P 

Asked around and all quote me the same price..  and didn't really managed to physically touch one as they say they don't have a display set :(.  Went to the Samsung shop and they too, did not have a display set.  But the lady at the Samsung shop very nice and was very sincere in  helping me out.  She took a brand new set out and opened it in front of me.  :S  Bad news liao.  Next thing I know, put battery.. play play and I paid for it! KNS.. a bit impulsive but the pen.... ooohhh the pen...

The first impression in my hands is that its bloody huge!  Compare to phones or smartphones this day, its pretty big.  All because of the 5.3" screen.  But its just nice for writing.  If its smaller, maybe I won't buy it.  But the size is just like the little black notebook I used to have in the army.  (just a bit wider) but its nice.  The screen is gorgeous of course.   And the pen is just nice though I was hoping it was more metallic than plasticky though.  

I have been using it for about 2 days and so far its quite positive.  It was something I dreamt of and Samsung managed to pull it off with this product.   There are some quirky things that I find it can be improved on (nothing is perfect in this world :P).  One of the major dislike is the button on the stylus.. a bit tough sometimes to find it and press it.  And sometimes its a bit tough to take out the stylus too.  Battery life is a bit bad if I turn on Wi-fi with Edge the whole day.  Then the power button is also on the side (I am so used to the top).  Finally, the size of the phone... hahaha,.. I think it does look a bit funny if I used it for making a call.  I asked wife and she says it looks ok leh.... hmm..

Anyway, this is just a short entry on the initial impressions.  I still have my Nexus One but as Google is not going to update it with ICS. I guess the Note will be a great upgrade for me.  And this phone is my most expensive ever... :P  over $900 SGD.  Still if I cliam the 7% VAT, I will get back some money for a case and screen protector :P.  


This really really looks interesting. (Galaxy Note)

Picture taken from Samsung Galaxy Note mini-website.I bought my phone Nexus 1 about 2 years ago. Well actually 3 more months is will be its 2nd year anniversary and I was scouting around for a new phone.  You will be surprised that iphone 5 was actually in my list until Apple didn't release it.  They just updated another iPhone 4S which I think is not much of a difference from my wife's white iPhone 4.  So that's out.

Scouting around I saw this.  The galaxy note!  The real real thing that really get me hooked was the stylus.  Probing furthur its a dream come true!!  The stylus is finally back!  I think I have mentioned before I like to use a pen to jot things down and I missed using my Windows Mobile or Pocket PCs in the 90s.  It was my best working organiser. 

Morever, the size is also about the same as my old Compac IPAQ 3600!!  Yes, it's a bit big for a phone but the screen size will be great for writing (I find using a stylus on my Touch Cruise a big challenging sometimes nowadays as I was so used to my N1.  

The name was well chosen too.  Note!  Just like a note book.  Alas, it was not running the latest ICS like Galaxy Nexus but the stylus and with Android, this will be a good combo.  Price wise I heard it will be about 1k SGD... pretty expensive.  Arrgghh......


Can't help myself in writing something for such an interesting day.  Firstly is all the 1s in today's date.  Next is the missus and kids left this early morning to Keng Tung.  My brother-in-law has a new baby girl and she's having her full month celebration today.  Ah boy a bit reluctant to go at first until he saw the Tuk tuk that came to fetch them....

After that, I was all alone at home and bored.  I 've finished all the house chores before 11 and I decided to take a drive down to Chiang Rai Wat Rhon Kun (White temple).  Yes, its the same temple we visited last month but I wanted to take some photos of it on slides so I took my beast, some film and my tripod.  Dump all my gear in my car and drove all the way to the temple.

On the way saw a very bloody accident.  A man on his bike was hit by a bus and was killed on the spot.  Blood was everywhere....  (Who says today is a lucky day?)  It was at a near the 1st check point.  All the cars were forced to slow down and I took a slight peek (the police was covering the man's body with a black cloth.. and a few meters down the road, the bus that hit him was just parked beside the road, pinned under the front wheels was a bike.  Pretty sad to see this.  Which reminded me to drive safely.

I drove on and reached Big C Chiang Rai at noon to stop for lunch and get some groceries.  The flood situation in Bangkok means a lot of stuff was out of stock in Tesco Lotus in Maesai.  So I was trying my luck to see if its better over here.  And it was indeed much better over here.  I grabbed more boxes of milk powder and diapers for my boy before heading out again.  :P

I reached the temple around 2pm and took my time to load the film and prepare my gear in my car.  It was crowded today.  I actually didn't shoot much as it was a bit too crowded.  Moreover the sun was not in the best direction (should have came in the morning).  Anyway took 2 rolls and stopped.  Drove back to Chiang Rai Central shopping center at around 3.30pm and took a walk in the mall.  Didn't buy anything.  Just window shopping...

Ate my early dinner there at around 430pm.  Tried out the Japanese restaurant, food mediocre but at least its resonably cheap. Started to drive back home at around 5pm.  Traffic was a bit heavy at first but once I was out of Chiang Rai city, the roads where pretty empty.  Since I was all alone in the car, decided to test out the car and drove at 160km/h.  (I think I did more than that :P ).  A bit shiok but guess I won't be doing that anytime soon.

Reached home at around 5.30pm (1st time reach home so fast :P) .  Washed up and starting surfing the web and chatted with some old colleagues over Windows messenger.  Now typing this before switching off.  Guess I will go and read a book or watch some TV before hitting the bed.


Angry Birds in Mae Sai

I bought a table top Angry Birds toy in Singapore before I came back to Thailand.  The first thing I unbox the toy, I knew I am going to have some fun with it.  Not playing with it with the kids but to actually shoot it.  The modelling of the toys were pretty good so its worth the price (about 40 SGD).

Anyway, wife's good friend was back from Bangkok yesterday to hide from the flood situation which is plaguing the city (I think you should know by now..)  She's a very close family friend so wife and the kids went to her house to meet up and play with her daughter (about 2 months older then my boy).  That means I have the whole morning and afternoon free!! Yeah!!!

Took the birds out and whipped out my camera to shoot some photos with it in the garden.  I spent more time posing them rather than shooting.. hehe.. Took about 20 shots but only picked 12 out of the 20.  Good practise session after such a long break from shooting still objects...  Think I need more practise...

Rest of the photos are in my gallery.  Do feel free to browse through them :)

Trip to Chiang Mai - 23rd to 26th Oct - Part 2

To be brutally honest,  we did not do much in Chiang Mai.  And although I brought along 3 cameras (1 RF with B/W film, my Nex-3 and A900).  I did not even took more than 30 shots during the trip.  I took some videos in the hotel though.  Will post that later.

The following day after we reached Chiang Mai, we visited my condo in Nakornpin area.  The person currently renting the apartment is a Russian (very heavy Russian accent).  Nice chap but he looks like a typical hacker :P.  We chatted a bit and he told me he works online (hmmmm.....).  I didn't dwell too much into the details but the apartment was in very good condtion.  My funitures are still there and everything is working fine.  We left for Doi Suthep after viewing the apartment.  Whoever comes to Chiang Mai and never visits Wat Phrathat (temple) on Doi Suthep is not considered to have visited Chiang Mai.  Just like China, 不到长城非好汉。(Not a man if you do not visit the Great Wall).  

It's a beautiful temple on top of the mountian and it overlooks Chiang Mai city.  I have visited it more than 2 times, this is the 3rd time for me actually.  Girl girl and and wife 2nd time while it's boy first time.      Boy woke up at the base of the temple (in the picture on the left you can see the steps leading to the main temple ground. )and proceeded to climb the steps on his own (with wife accompanying him of course) all the way up 178 steps (wife counted it).  Girl was in hyper mode.. She made it to the top first.  I nearly died at the top as I was carrying the heavy stuffs.  Cameras, daipers, milk bottles and water....  Wife and I immediately sat down just outside the temple garden while the 2 kids became even more hyper and ran around like crazy.  Both of us has no more energy left to control them and look and each other and laughed...  Rest of the people were like staring at us, hehehe.  I think they think we are just a weird family.

After Suthep we just dropped by Kad Suan Keow (another big shopping centre) for lunch before we went back to the hotel to rest.  We had a swim later and boy boy got hooked.  Each time we went down he would scream for the pool.  He really likes water I guess.

In the evening we went for dinner at the Night Bazzar area.  Ate an expensive seafood dinner, think the reason for that extortion price was because we make a silly mistake of taking a tuk tuk there.  (Too tired to walk)

Day 3 was even more boring, Just shopping again in Airport Central Plaza, swim and more shopping.  Last day we had an early breakfast at the hotel and checked out around 10pm.  Drove back and reached Chiang Rai around 12 noon and again, dropped by Central Chiang Rai to have lunch and a short walk before hitting back to Maesai. 


Trip to Chiang Mai - 23rd to 26th Oct

We decided to have a short road trip to Chiang Mai recently.  In the beginning we actually planned to return to Singapore as it was girl girl's school holiday.  But we decided not to  as the flights were expensive and it will be a rushed trip.  Moreoever, we plan to visit SG during Chinese New Year in a few months time.  Another reason we chose Chiang Mai instead of other places (such as Bangkok) is because I need to check on my condo over there.  It has been 3 or 4 years since I saw my apartment and I need to take a look at its current conditions.  

I didn't plan any itenary this time as I know it will be havoc having 2 kids on board :P.  So its just drive there, check into the hotel and decide later.  Seems like the decision paid off as it was more relaxing then the one we had in Singapore.  And also less dissapointments as the one in Singapore (planned so much but in the end only visited the zoo and birdpark :P).

The drive to Chiang Mai on the 1st day was actually pretty smooth.  We woke up at 7am and took off around 8.  Boy was half awake when we carry him to the car and he slept all the way on the entire journey!  He was sleeping even at the pit stop in Mae Suai.  Girl was a bit excited but doze off later.  I don't even need to turn on my ipad. hehe.  Wife spoke to me all the way while I was driving to keep me awake :P.  It's actually my first time driving there and she's a bit worried. The actual distance is about 300km  (less than that actually) but it took us 3 hours (including a 15min break) to reach our hotel in Night Bazzar area.  The roads were good compared to Mae Fa Luang (also mountain road) which we frequent so it was actually quite easy for me.  Road to Doi Tung is actually more challenging even though its nearer.  At around 11pm we reached the hotel.  Wife and I was dead tired but the kids woke up and ready to go for some action.... :S  Can't sleep anyway so we went out for lunch at the Fuji restaurant at Pantip plaza just around the corner.  After the meal we took a nap in the hotel... well, my missus did actually while I entertained my kids. :(  Evening we drove to the Airport Central Plaza to have a meal and shopped a bit before I screamed I can't take it anymore and need to sleep. hehehe   Finally had my beauty sleep around 9pm.  End of Day 1.


Day trip to Wat Rong Khun

Since my girl is having her school break (1 month).  We took a day trip to the famous Wat Rong Khun in Chiang Rai last Saturday.  Its about an hour drive from our home and its a beautiful place to shoot.  I didn't bring my "beast" as I have 2 kids and I guess I don't have the time to be serious with landscapes or architecture shots anyway. 

It's a bit funny but it was the first time I've been there actually.  I have heard and saw the temple from far (on the bus to Chiang Mai) but never really set foot on it.  I've seen tons of photos of the temple and promised myself to visit there.  And I was in awe.  Really in awe because its a very very beautiful piece of art (building) just in front of me.

The weather was kind to me too.  Its cloudy but still have enough sunlight to brightly illuminate the temple.  Its still under construction though :P  (I've read that it already took more than 15 years so far to build the temple but it's still incomplete.  You may google it and read more about the temple and its wierd artist who conceived this.

Anyway, the rest of the photos are here on my facebook account.  I didn't take much as I was just admiring the whole site :P.  Camera I brought along was my trusty Sony A900 with 24-70mm Zeiss and 85mm Minolta G.  After shooting so much with crappy toy cameras and hazy viewfinders of the "beast" :P, the 900's VF was a fabulous reminder on why I bought this camera in the first place (besides being a FF camera).  Think I will start to use it more often besides copying slides...

For those interested in getting there. Here's a map of the location.

View Larger Map

The "Mini-Gun" Mamiya 250mm f/5

 I bought the rare 250mm f/5 from e(vil)-bay while I was in Singapore and I have brought it back to Thailand for some closeup portraits.  Its a hell of a lens.  All metal and glass.  Not much plastic (only the levers or the aperture ring seems to be plastic).

I posted this snapshot of the lens as a scale on facebook and I loved one of my friend's comment.  He said it looked like the mini-gun from the worms game.  I agree with him so I decided to nickname it the "Mini-Gun".

I tested the lens in SG with a roll of film.  Its ok except the last 2 shots went missing.  Double checked and realised it has a bit of oily aperture :S.  Which means the shutter may not be functioning correctly.  I need to send it for a good CLA but due to time constraints, I decided to let it be for the while.  Since I don't think I will be using it that often.

However, today, I decided to shoot some instant photos with the mini-gun and surprsingly.  It handles pretty well and surprisingly my hit rate was pretty good even with such shallow DOF and slow shutter.  Heavy camera really has less camera shake? hehehe.

Here are 4 of the better ones..


There are a few more but I'm just too tired to scan and post them now.  But I have to say the bokeh and sharpness of this lens is quite lengenary as mentioned in other photographic forums.  Contrast and colours are good too.  The only bad thing (optically) besides the weight is that it slightly vignettes on the Instant photos.  I dun really mind though as I guess I would use it mainly for portraits for instant photos so that is not really a big issue to me :) .  Its still surprising cheap in the ebay market (less than $800 SGD) so its really really a bargain to get such a good glass with such a price tag.  But I guess my muscle of my arms will get bigger if I used it more often.  hehe 



Busy month.

I'm back in LOS and the kids are happy to see me.  So's my wife whom seems to be a little worn out from taking care of the 2 little monsters for the pass month.  I will be quite busy this month.  Firstly is to remodel my study.  I had brought back my film scanner and 24" display.  Also my NAS from my home in Singapore.  Which means I could build another station in my studies just for photo editing and scanning.  The mac mini will be the chosen one for this task.  My old PC will take the old monitor and will be used my girl for her games.  (Normally if I start using the computer she would want to play) So its much better for me to have 2 stations at home side by side.  Which means at least I could be doing something besides looking at her playing dressup games :P

Then I need to settle my little shop house.  Still under construction but having its finishing touches.  I might fly back to SG too if time allows (or if I'm bored :P).  Girl's term just ended so its a month holiday for her.  So it will be hectic for us as the kids will be at home.

Some of you also wondered why I have not posted photos recently.  Actually I shot some while in Singapore but never found the time to scan it.  I plan to do it today once I setup the scanner later.  I also tried shooting with the beast and the GIAGANTO 250mm today..... verdict... I think I won't be using it often... bloody heavy and hard to focus with such a small finder mask... Most probably will use it for my landscapes though...

Will post more later.  2 monsters calling me.... :p

1 year multiple entry Visa for Thailand.

I went to apply for my multiple entry Non-Immigrant 'O' Visa at the Thai embassy today. It's my first time doing it actually.  

The documents required are exactly the same as the single entry except one thing.  The amount of money you have in your bank :P  (Thai's learning from SG, if you want to stay in Thailland for long, you must have moola :P)

Anyway, printed and endorsed my bank statements this morning at my bank and went straight down to the embassy.  There were some silly hiccups at the counter.  This is because they recently changed the rules of applications and its actually much more tedious to get approval.  A lot of the people in the Q were acutally denied on the spot or asked to come back with their more documents.

First change are the fees.  A whopping $50 SGD for Tourist Visa and $100 for single entry Non-immigrant 'O'.  It used to be free for the Tourist and Transit Visa.  $30 if I'm not wrong if you take the Non-immigrant 'O' for non-Singaporeans.  So some actually didn't have enough cash on their hands and have to rush back to their hotels to get their money.

2nd thing is the air tickets.  On their website, they actually asked people not to buy air tickets before applying for the visa as they might be rejected.  But they want to see the confirmed air tickets this time round before you even apply!  This is a big one.  Lots of people were fustrated with this change as its like a chicken and egg issue; I buy the airt tickets but you reject me how?  And I don't buy, you don't allow me to apply.  I think they really need to update their website on this one.  I see a lot of people came without a ticket and was sent home (I also kena the last time so I came prepared this time :P) 

Anyway, the Q was pretty long, waited about half an hour before it's my turn.  The same old Malay lady who serves me (quite a few times) greeted me and we chatted a bit :)  (Me old bird liao).  I asked about the 3 yr multiple entry and she said that is only for investors.  (Money again.)  Not applicable for Non -O hehe..  Anyway, all my papers were in order and approved on the spot.  Collection is tomorrow after 2pm as usual.  And one more change actually, the collection time was reduced from 2pm to 3pm only (last time used to be up to 4pm) 

So I guess I won't be going through this motion for the next 12 months.    That's pretty good news to me actually.

For those who are interested, you can see the latest fees and required documents for application of Thai Visa over here at the SG Thai embassy website.

PS:  A little update in LOS.  Called wife today and she mentioned that our flock of chickens had laid 2 eggs... hehehe.. Girl girl is very happy and she checks on them all the time.  Boy boy blur blur but oso excited :)

Just 1 more week

and I will be back in LOS.  Yeah!  We have more or less moved into the new house my sis bought.  Its pretty close to the old house we were staying before.  Not going to sell the old house as my mum plans to rent it out for some income. :)

As for me, my reservist actually started on Friday.  Its actually pretty welfare.  Friday was just a half day briefing on what we will be doing and yesterday on Saturday, we worked hard and managed to hit our quota!  (Sorry can't really say what I'm doing as under OSA :P)  So today and tomorrow (suppose to be standby days if cannot finish), I will be free and no need to go to camp to report and book in.  Tues morning will be a debrief and that's it!  hehe..  Happy!

Wife say boy boy already started to complain since last week liao.. Night time kept looking for me :(  Think this time go back that bugger is going to be angry with me for quite some time... better get some toys for him and my girl too....

Cheeky boy.

Wife told me this 2 weeks ago via phone but I never found the time to jot this down in my blog.  Pretty funny incident about my boy.

It happened while I was away and wife' childhood friend came back to Maesai from Bangkok for a visit.  She has a baby girl about 6 months younger then my son.  (My boy is 2 btw :P)

After dropping my daughter in school.  They have a little gathering at her house and boy boy was playing happily with the little girl.  All was normal until nap time.  The baby girl has a strict nap time and she went to sleep on her little mattress.  My boy, being alone, get bored easily and slowly drift into his sleep too.   Wife naturally just placed him next to his new found friend on the same mattress.  

10 mins later, her friend checked on the 2 kids and found my boy basically has all his hands and legs wrapped around her little girl... hehehe.  She smiled and jokingly complained to my wife that her daughter kena "eaten" (taken advantaged of) by my boy liao.  Wife went in and took a look and yup, my boy was hugging the little girl like a pillow.  Very usual of him.

An hour later, I guess the little girl sensed she was not alone on the bed and woke up.  Immediately she cried and make up a big fuss.  Here's the funny part.  My boy never likes people to disturb while he is sleeping (even my wife and I).  He would cry and throw a tantrum if anyone just woke him up.  So my wife was expecting him to make a big fuss but surprise surprise... he didn't.  He just smiled back at my wife, look at the crying little "girlfriend" and gave a funny sly grin.  Macham like (hehehehe, I got what I want liao) :P.  Wife and her friend broke out laughing.  Too bad I wasn't around, could take a photo of this little sly dog...  Wonder where he get that sly genes from ..... :P


Another chapter in my life.

35 years I have stayed in my old house and just last week, the movers came and moved out most of the stuff to the new one my sister bought.  At the moment I am still staying in my old house (for convinience sake) but daily, I still need to move some minor personal stuff to the new one.  And there's no more internet connection so I guess I still need to come to the new house almost everyday to surf...

The new environment is a good change to old one.  Fresh paint, new nieghbours (pretty lucky to have good ones) and new furnitures.  It was a pain in the ass to move actually.  It does not help if your father is an avid philatelist and collector.  Meaning we had box loads of stamps (yup tons of them) to move.   Moreover my whole family are avid readers so the amount of books in boxes are huge too.  My mum gave the movers a big tip as most of our stuffs are really damn heavy :P

I will be spending sometime to shift through the collection and maybe sell them off locally at a shop or through ebay.  Its interesting though.  Stamps used to be an important part of communications (writing letters or postcards)but nowadays, we are replaced by email, twitters or blogs.  Even through social website updates.  I'm glad though that there are still a lot of stamp collectors in the interweb which means I could sell some of them off.  Most of the stamps my late father collected are from PRC.  Anyone interested do drop me a message.  Or if you have a lead in buying bulk can drop me an email too.  I have a truckload of them now sitting just beside me while I'm typing this :P  

A man's story.

This is supposed to be published yesterday but I was too poof in moving and shifting all the stuff in the house.  As  my sister has bought a new flat.  My mum decided to move in with her into the new HDB flat while we clear out the stuff in our current apartment so we can rent it out for some money.  "Asset enhancment leh!!"  

Anyway, was clearing the stuff of my old man when I spotted this whole cache of diaries he wrote.  Memories just flooded where I clearly still remember, everyday, every night during news time (around 8pm).  My late father would sit in his chair and starts to write his diary.  He continued to do this until he was bedridden.....

Anyway, all of us read through a few entries.  His writing was elegant and very very neat and easy to read.  (Unlike mine which are terrible! :P ) Most of the entries are just boring stuff like what he ate, buy and other mundane daily stuff....  a bit boring but once in a while, we get to see some very interesting entries.  Like one which he felt a bit sorry and regretted on scolding my sister for waking him up and etc... little things here and there that make these diaries so much more meaningful to us.  I wonder my kids will get to read about my blog one day after I passed away and get the same feeling?  

I took a photo of the diaries on the bed before packing them into a box.  Its going to my sister's house first before we decide what to do with them.  There were also tons of old photos which I guess we still have a lot of things to sort.  

And here's the funny part, my father passed away on the 3rd Sep (thus I want to write this piece yesterday) and the day I found the diaries was on Friday.  2 days before the 9th death anniversay.

Maybe he wants us to read about his life again?  :)


Another favourite - SOLD -

I did a crazy thing yesterday. I saw a minty 250mm f/5 Press lens at an incredible price and condition which I could not get my eyes off in E(vil)-bay.  

Since I do not have a day job at the moment, I do not have the luxuries to buy it on the spot.  You may asked "Didn't you sell off your Hassy for 2k?"  Well that money is actually used to pay off the credit card bills that I incurred from purchasing the Press Camera.  And actually I spent another $500 on another Super 23 with lens and back :P  So the 2k already down the drain liao.  Not to mention I restocked a lot of 120 film for my new camera.

 As I was venting my fustration in facebook.  Some RF photog friends gave me an idea.  Sell off my Hexar!  Its a great RF I got just about a year ago.  I think less than 10 rolls were passed through it only and I actually re-calibrated the RF patch myself.  Its a great camera and actually I used it more often then my Bessa R3M.  Actually, I totally stopped using my R3 after I got the Hexar.  Its that good.  

But I don't really need 2 RF bodies at the moment.  I'm shooting MF more often in Thailand and with my NEX 3.  The only time I find I'm using the Hexar was in Singapore, where I do street photography in an urban environment.  I also really need to downsize as all the lenses and gears I have that are mostly in my dry cabinet.  The Press cameras are huge.(and so are the lenses).. :P So I made the hard decision, sell the Hexar away and get the rare 250mm.  Anyway, I still have a Bessa if I need to shoot RF style. 

The dotted line of death.

I can't sleep.  I think its because quite a certain amount of friends ask me why I am so against Tan Cheng Bock (Yes, he's a nice grandfatherly figure and to a certain extent, trustworthy) after I thrashed him in my last post and decided not to vote him.   Why I am so against the Mandatory Death Penalty(MDP)?  Well first thing first we need to understand what is MDP in Singapore.  It's the capital punishment where someone would received if he breaks certain laws in Singapore.  And yes, its mandatory.  Why? According to their thinking, its because once they know there is such a harsh penalty, you won't even dare to try it in the first place.  Sounds good hor?? Use scare tatic leh.

But this world is not as black and white!  Certain people did not convict these crimes because they wanted to.  Or even worst, they are not even aware they were commiting the crimes!  Examples are these 3 recent cases tajken from an article by 2nd Chance.  Full article is here

Yong Vui Kong is 23 years old this year. He had been arrested at the age of 19 in possession of 42.27g of heroin. Unlike Ahmad Zahir Ismail, a gang member who was spared from jail and caning earlier this month, Vui Kong was sentenced to death under the Mandatory Death Penalty. Vui Kong is now repentant, and has spent the past 4 years studying, meditating (he is now a devout Buddhist) and trying his best to atone for his mistakes within prison walls. He is not asking for acquittal and release. He is only asking to be allowed to live, so that he may continue in his self-improvement and meditation.

Cheong Chun Yin was charged with trafficking in over 2kg of heroin. However, he maintains to his day that he had been under the impression that he was only smuggling gold bars for a friend from the pasar malam where he worked. He also cooperated fully with the investigating officers, giving them details and even the phone numbers of the man who had arranged the whole job for him. However, the investigating officers made no attempt to trace this man. The trial judge also ruled that it was “immaterial” that the officers did not make “adequate efforts” to do so.

Like Chun Yin, Roslan bin Bakar also continues to insist upon his innocence even though he is at the last stage of the process. Besides the testimonies of others, there was no concrete evidence proving that Roslan had been at the scene. Roslan also provided an alibi. His mother and step-brother testified in support, but the judge did not believe them.

Ok, So what does this have to do with the President of Singapore?  Well if you have read the book by Alan Shadrake, Once a Jolly Hangman.  The Death Warrant,  which is the last piece of document thats need to be signed and endorsed needs a signature.  Whose signature?  None other than the highest office holder, our President of Singapore!  Thats why TKL asked for a review in this matter as he do not wish to sign that peice of paper!!  

Because its a joke.  The canbinet decides but the last piece of paper is signed by our President!  With no power to grant clemency or ask for a retrial!  

So now you see why its relevancy in choosing one who blantanly believes in Mandatory Death Penalty?  Again I am not asking you to change allegiance and vote for TKL or TJS.  Its YOUR CHOICE and I have MINE :)  Maybe if you try to believe TCB would think about it later and change his mind when he is President but I can't take that risk.  He has givein his views and his views are clear. Just follow the consitution and sign the dotted line of death.

And that's sad.  I wonder Nathan has he ever went down personally to the gallows to talk to the convicts before their demise?  $4mil a year to sign death warrants.  What a job!







2 down. Just left 2 to choose.....

This post is about politics in Singapore so again, if you are not interested, please redirect to somwhere else :)  


I loved political forums and I am so happy TOC managed to rope in all the 4 Tans for a good face to face debate.  If you, as a voting Singaporean have not watch the videos, I implore you to take some time to watch these 2 parts of the forum to have a better understanding of our 4 candidates.


Part 1

Part 2

In my previous post, I mentioned that all 3 candidates besides Tony Tan are credible and are much much better options as an elected, independant President.  This was a pre-conceived idea from the information I have gathered from online readings of their blogs and other writings by their respective supporters.  

But there are some very fundamental answers to certain particular principles and beliefs I have that I wished the other 3 candidates would answer before I could make a sound decision.  And all thanks to the TOC forum, I have more or less reduce the 3 Tans to become 2 Tans (actually more or less have decided on mine but I still want to know more of the 2 left. :)

As I have known all along, Dr TT was the usual PAP puppet, he beats around the bush on certain tricky questions and his views are the exact same copy of our ruling gahment.  

The one that surprises me most in this forum was Dr Tan Cheng Bock.  I actually like that guy (so was my sister).  I do have some reserves at first as he was still a bit tad too close to the ruling party but hey, so is the later Mr Ong Teng Cheong.

He did an amazing job in the 1st part of the video.  Such as seperation of PMO from Istana,  removing the election department to be under the PMO and directly under the President and etc.  It was really good stuff and his composure and the way he carrys himself was flawless.  I was truly impressed!

Then part 2 came yesterday and I found myself totally in shock.  This joker just shot himself with a handgun (and a bazooka later :P ) and that's it, he's out of my list.

He made 2 points that gave me the decision not to choose him.

Firstly, the death penalty.  He beats around the bush a bit but finally gave his final thought that he accepts it as a form of punishment and he would not even consider it to table a change in our harsh mandatory death penalty law in Singapore.  This is totally against my belief so I was a bit dissapointed.  If he did mentioned that he plans to bring it up to the PMO on looking into tweaking this issue or like TKL's smarter answer (totally forgoing the President's role in who is going to the gallows) then I might still give him some chance.  But the way he answers tells me he is just not going to rock the boat on this issue.  As I have once said, no human being has the morale judgement to end another person's life.  

The 2nd one is the killer.  At 1:00 hr where a lady asked about women involving in politics (especially in higher decision making roles)  Even Tony Tan did a wonderful job in handling this question.  But Dr Tan Cheng Bock has to shoot himself with a bloody Bazooka!  What did he say?

 He said:"Well, I think its a difficult area for women in Singapore, it's because the commitment is really heavy, so you need to get your permission from your husband."   

Then the crowd goes... Whoooaaaaaaaa.. I had to rewind the tape a few times to confirm what I heard.  This old joker is a classic male chauvanist in the new age!  Which independant and strong modern woman would vote for such a person???  My sister defintely won't after she heard this and she express shock and disbelief.

What's even more funny is that he knew he screwed up big time and while Dr Tony Tan quickly added a point (to save him from total embarresment I guess) that he's confident that one day there will definitely be a women PM or President in Singapore.  Dr Tan CB quickly agreed to this.  This is uber sad.  This is so low..  This is so PAP like...

Then it dawned on me, he's just another President who will not rock the boat enough.  He will try to persuade and inform but once he gets shot down.  He would either keep quiet or quit (as in he mentioned he will quit if has a great disagreement with the gahment) .  In short, my feeling is that he will not try hard enough to do something about it.  This is my reading and understanding of this man from the results of this forum.

Again, these are all my personal views and judgment call.  Although Dr TCB is out of my list but I still think he is still much better then choosing Dr TT.   So vote wisely my fellow Singaporeans.  Choose a President that could represent your beliefs and principles rather than who can really win Dr TT.     

The Four Tans.

Politics again!!!  Do quickly close this tab or browser if you heck care about the upcoming Singapore Presidential Election.  If you are really interested in my opinion, go ahead. :)


I'm writing this piece because a lot of my friends are asking for my opinion and again, I hate repeating myself so I post here and ask you all to read my blog instead :P.  Its a big event this time as there will be four contestants, not just 2.  If 2, it will be easy lah.  You guys/gals will know I anti-establishment (especially PAP gahment) so generally I would vote for the "other" one that is not endorsed by PAP.

Well, it really depends.  As the President is supposes to be independant.  And the late Mr Ong Teng Cheong has proven to us that although he was a former PAP and strongly endorsed by the PAP ghament, he still stood up for us and had a good brief "encounter" with the PAP gahment last time.  So to be fair, I don't just brush off Dr Tony Tan yet :).  I need to research a bit first ,and thats what I think all of us as a responsible citizen of Singapore should do.

If the candidate is truly independant.  Then its a non-issue at all if he has been a PAP member.  And actually, out of the 4 of them, only Tan Jee Say (TJS) is not a former PAP member.  But TJS also joined SDP during our latest election leh... so oso not that independant.  The major concern here is partisan politics should not be brought into the PE.  Its a different thing totally.  So if you start off from this point by understanding the underlying concept that PE is supposed to be non partisan, then it will be easier for you to choose.

From recent reports from TOC, TR, FB postings and even the main stream media.  We could already see that although PE is a non-partisan election, it has turned out to be Anti-PAP versus the Pro PAP camp again.  Not that healthy and smart actually and this is quite bad for our political awakening as an apathetic Singaporean.

So here's my breakdown of the current situations and see if you guys could guess who I am voting for :P

Dr Tony Tan
From what I gathered, he's a bit too close to the PAP and has the most number of "Unions" supporting him.  One of my friend and I chuckled when he mentioned that its the first time he realised we have so many "Unions" in Singapore.  From his past acheivements, I would say frankly that while he was the Minister of Defence, he did brought in a lot of good changes to the military and NS benefits.  But that was just the past, we need to look at his future post and frankly, I would say he's suitable for the job (for his stylo milo hairstyle and looks) rather than substance.  If our President is a figurehead with no absolute power, I actually dun mind him being our President.  But that is not the case actually, our President do have some limited powers ands o definitely, I won't be voting for him :P

So one out,  3 more to go and this is the tricky part.  All 3 of them to me are credible and much more independant then the former.  So I would vote any of the 3.  But I am not going to tell you which one I picked :P  hehehe

A lot of people say because of so many choices, the opposition votes are diluted and the above mentioned DR TT would win.  Maybe so but I sincerely believe we should choose on our own beliefs rather than being irrational and think that we have to have anyone beside Dr TT as our President.  That means asking around and see who people might vote and ask them to change allegiance.  Or worst still, asking 2 of the candidates to withdraw from the race.  (Luckily no one did!)  This is in my view, a bit shallow and not that good for politics to flourish in Singapore.  This is partisan politics and we should avoid it at all cost.  

People have their own minds and we need to repect their choices.  That is true democracy.  Althought sometimes I bad mouth those 60% who voted for the PAP in the last election in my blog of FB.  I sincerely don't blame them as it's their vote and choice.  I just do that for my own amusements and fun (rather unlike Thailand where they march the streets and stage military coups).  I also take my benefit of doubt that they had made their decisions through rational and informed choice rather fear and plain ignorance.  I sincerely hope the next 5 years will be better and there are some positive changes I see in recent events.  Maybe we just give them more time? 

So 3 Tans for me to choose.  Maybe I should take out my D&D dice to do some rolling.. :P  


Goodbye! My companion for 2 years

Almost 2 years actually.  I bought my used Hasselblad 500CM camera in 2009 in late Sept (see post).  I have been shooting over 40 rolls of film with the camera and I was very happy with it.  So happy, during the course of shooting.  I accquired another lens, a prism and another A12 back to compliment it as a shooting system for me.  

I loved how it handles and the safety features that prevents you from accidentally exposing the film (not so smart for the Mamiya Universal in this department),  The  lenses were pretty good too.  But 6x6 is really not a good format for me particularly in landscape.  I found that I shot most of the rolls with my family and portraits rather than serious landscapes(original intention of purchasing the camera).  I found that most of the shots I took needs to be cropped to 2:3 to be good for me.  I found that I spend more time trying to frame a shot in a square that it disrupts my original intention of angle of view or pre-vis.  Its a great camera but I just find myself struggling with it.  Maybe if I took more time to master it then I might get used to it.  Actually I think I am getting used to it but I just find that the slides are still small considering the fact there are 6x7, 6x9 or even 4inx5in.

I started to look for a view camera that accepts 120 roll film (easier to load the film, easier to develop, easier to handle and cheaper)  in 6x9.  Not 6x7 as I want to prevent myself trying out another aspect ratio.  I am so used to 35mm and so 6x9 should be the way to go (as explained in my previous post).  I plan to buy it mainly just for landscapes and keep my Hassy for other things.  Then after some research, I found out about the Mamiya Press system.  Its cheaper then a Hassy system and its very modular like a Hassy too.  So naturally I got one and after using it for just a week.  I know its a keeper.  I started to neglect my Hassy because besides shooting landscapes, its great for family shots or portraits too :P.  For the pass 2 months, it was in my dry cabinet and the thought of selling it came when I find my drybox in Thailand is not big enough for both of them.. :P  At first, it was a bit reluctant sale until the developed slides of my Press camera came back.  The colours and sharpness actually are equal or I dare say, even more superior then the Hasselblad!  So I made up my mind to sell away my Hassy system to get back some cash to invest in more lenses and accessories for my new Press camera.

Anyway, here are some landscapes/nature shots I took with this companion of 2 years,  Its has been great having you serve me but I guess you have a better home now.  One who might use you more often to create great images rather then sitting idly in my dry cabinet :)





Same old routine again.

My visa runs out tomorrow.  I actually planned to extend it but my NS deferment for coming September was rejected so I guess I have to return back to Sillypore.  So I got my bus ticket to Chiang Mai and a ticket out of LOS.  

So I guess I got to vote in the Singapore Presidential Election. :P  Just read that all four "Tan" were granted their "CoE" (Macham buy car like dat) hehe

I guess I will have more time to blog once I'm in Singapore as I am jobless over there.  Someone want to hire me?? 

Anyway, will write more once I'm back in SG.  I won't be hauling the "Beast" back as I have my Hassy system with me.  Plan to sell it at a reasonable price and confirm my move to 6x9 format. Its a reluctant sale actually, but I need the moola more then anything else.  Maybe one day I will buy the whole system back but at the moment, rather than letting it rot in my cabinet.  Just sell it to someone who would make use of it :)

Just for a record.

I am actually a very camera shy person (all the way back since I became a teenager).  And its only these recent few years that I started teaching photography at SLCC that I actually allowed my students to take photos of me.  Slowly (and painfully) this camera shyness erodes away....

My father is an avid photographer and he took many many photos of me and my sister when I was a baby and child.  I have sorted most of my old photos and its a bit sad when I had difficulty finding a photo of him with me. The reason, of course you should have guessed it.  He was the person behind the camera.  

I went through the hundreds (maybe thousands?) of photos I took of my family and sad to say, those photos with me in it are just sucky... hehehe.. mainly because the person behind the camera sucks... or maybe the main reason is I look sucky :P

But I do want to have more photos of me with the kids, for record purpose and so I did.  Took some 3000B today.  Just 2 shots left in the back so I set the camera on tripod and focus the camera beforehand.  Posed with the kids while my wife triggered the shutter.

So for record purpose.. here are the photos.. :)  Taken on the night of 6 Aug 2011 @ 930PM. 

Both photos taken with the new 100mm 2.8.  Yup the lens vignettes on the Instant 100 film but I just loved it!

One goes, another comes...

Personally, ever since I started holding a camera in my hands.  I had never ever dropped one while shooting.  Ever!

Well, maybe except once when I was fooling around with my friend's kid and my bag dropped and broke my Bessa R.  But it was not when I am holding or shooting with the camera. 

Anyway,  I dropped my "Beast".  That was about 2 weeks ago during a shoot . The whole camera was 1.7m above the ground on my tripod when it dropped.  And it hit the ground with such a large bang I thought the whole thing was gone.  Luckily (not sure to say if its lucky), only the lens was damaged.  But it was a lens I was having great fun and results with.  My 75mm!! Its physically looking alright but the shutter and aperture was jammed.  I managed to release the jammed shutter and aperture later by pulling the lens barrel by sheer force.  It was a straight down drop so the lens seems to slightly pushed into the helicoid.  It still focus well but the shutter just won't fire now. :S

Feeling sad, I was thinking of looking for a broken 75mm or Seiko S0 shutter part on ebay when I saw a lens being listed. The legendary and rare 100mm 2.8!  The only 2.8 lens in this Mamiya Press system!!  And it was in pristine condition!  Without thinking, I emailed the guy for a shipping quote and bought the lens.  While waiting for the lens, I was stuck with my backup copy of the 100mm 3.5 for the pass 2 weeks to shoot with.  I was using the 75mm more often as it provides full coverage to the Instant FP100c and FB3000B without any vignetting.  The 100mm has slight vignettes if open wide but once stopped down to f5.6, Its literally gone. 

Shooting with the 100mm 3.5 on film makes me excited.  Why?  Because from the viewfinder, the angle of view was very very familiar to me.  I was wondering why then I found out that its Field of View (FOV) is actually around 40mm angle of view on a 35mm system!! Which means it's my favourite RF focal length!!!  (My favourite RF lens is my VC 40mm 1.4)  This means the new 100mm 2.8 would be almost an exact same lens (FOV and DOF too!) on my "Beast".  So I was waiting in agony for the new lens to come... f/2.8 will be like f/1.4 on 35mm or greater!

It also means I can get to shoot handheld with my 3000B Instant indoors and at night :)    Anyway, I planned to bring the damaged 75mm back to Singapore and see if Steven of Camera Hospital could fix it.  I just absolutely love how the lens renders colour.  Its FOV is about 35mm but the main issue is its speed.  Its only a 5.6 lens so I plan to use it more for landscapes and outdoor shoots. 

Here's a great link on the Mamiya Press camera system overview for those who are interested in this camera :)

And finally a test shot of the lens indoor at f/2.8 with 3000B.  Sharp and sweet!  Bokeh is wonderful too! 

Boy - Body

Its beem sometimes I have tried artistic abstract and recently I had acquired a Soft Focus Optics for my lensbaby composer.  After browsing through the web and getting some inspirations.  I decided to use this optics to shoot my boy real close with it.  And I mean really close hehehe.

My setup is simple.  Nex-3 with the A-mount adaptor and Composer with the optics.  The closer shots are taken with a +4 Macro filter.  Post processing is just convert it to black and white and viola.  Here's the series :)  You may feel free to look at the bigger photos at my gallery over here :)



Light leaks.

When I received my 75mm lens and started shooting some Fp100Cs.  I noticed that the lens on and off gives me very low contrast photos, especially those taken outdoors.  At first I thought it was lens flare as its the entire photo and so I was very particular about having the hood on the lens all the time.  

When I received the 100mm lens, I too shot and sometimes occasionally saw the photos are a bit over exposed or low in contrast.  I was really dissapointed with the results until I developed my slides and negatives.  Its a total different experience!  The shots on the slides and negatives were great.  Very contrasty and sharp.  No flares detected.  

Then my 3000B arrived from the mail and I shot a few shots with the 100mm and to my horror, see light streaks all over the place.  Then I felt so stupid, its not the lens that flared!  Its the back!  The lightseals are worned and need replacements!  The higher iso 3000B actually reacts faster to even the least of light leaking into the back.  So I could easily determined the previous low contrast photos were due to leaks.

I have to quickly finished the 10 shots that I loaded and performed an operation on the polaroid back.  Shined my torch through the lightseals and presto.  Saw the leak.  Opened the back up (just held with 8 little screws) and cleaned the seal with some alcohol and replaced the foams.  All done in less than 30 mins time.   





Moral of the story?  Check your equipment, especially those old old cameras for such issues first before blaming the lens... :P



2 years old!

Last Sunday (17th Jul) was my son's birthday.  He's 2!! Time really flies! Wife's friend came over for dinner and some cake.  Only 3 kids came but still havoc man.. 

Boy boy seems blur blur on what is happening hehehe.. But he did blew out the candle all by himself.  

It was sometime I shot with a DSLR and flash.  I did not take a lot this time as I was busy shouting here and there to control the crazy commotion. :P  I also shot some instant photos.  There were 3 shots left in my Press back and I finished them all in one go.  Then to my horror all came out blur as I forgot I had the 100mm lens retracted! !#$@$#  Bloody money wasted...

The "Beast" is really hard to tame but I am kind of getting attached to it.  i was thinking if I could retire and sell off my Hassy if it delivers but from the testing so far, there is one big problem with the press cam.  And that is the lens is a bit wanting.  Not say its not sharp but I am so used to Hassy's Zeiss glasses, the Mamiya photos is a bit "less contrasty".  Bokeh is actually better on the Press but the 75mm (which I intended to use it for serious landscape) is so easily prone to flare that I already nearly given up on it.  Even with the shades on, the 75mm could easily get flare in my photos.  Which means I need to be very very careful in positioning myself.   I planned to do some more test shots before confirming if I would sell of my Hassy system.  The Zeiss lens on Hassy is just brillant and its one of the main reason I am holding onto it. 

The rest of the photos are on my facebook album.  Do feel free to browse through them :)