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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 :)


Bath Time!

It's been sometime I have not posted something about the kids.  Here's a video I took yesterday while my boy was having his bath....

And btw, he's going to be 2 this coming 17th July and now he's learning speech in full force.. meaning I had to repeat myself a thousand times on his questions as he keeps repeating the same questions over and over again.... :P 

Mamiya Press Universal "The Beast"

I gave my new MF camera a nickname.  I called it The Beast! :P Because its huge!!  Its really the largest camera body I have worked with (maybe except the Mamiya RB67).  Just click on the images and you can see a blown up photo. The lens is a 75mm Sekor.  All was not smooth when I got it from ebay in Japan.  The 100mm lens that came with it was severely damaged when it was shipped here.  The seller was honest and tried to look for another copy of the lens for me as a replacement.  I then saw he listed another lens that I planned to get (but not so soon actually because of the price..... )  One of the best lenses Mamiya made during that era.  The 75mm f/5.6 Sekor.  I made some calculations and decided to buy this lens instead of waiting for the 100mm.  Since the latter is frequently seen in ebay while this is quite rare.

The seller was honest and gave me a discounted price! I recieved the lens since last Friday and I could finally shoot with the beast!  I tested the Polaroid back and a roll of Tmax 4 and so far so good.  It looks promising but its definitely a camera that needs to get used to.

Firstly, as you can see from the pictures, the grip is actually on the left so if you are left handed, this camera is built for you!  I had a tough time getting used to hold the camera steady while I focus with my right hand.  Its very akward in the beginning and my first roll of Tmax could tell as most of the shots are a bit blur..  Sharp but not razor sharp like my Hassy.  I think one of the reason is it has been raining for the pass week and I am spoilt with fast lenses in my 35mm arsenal :P  This lens max aperture is only 5.6... :P  So some shots was actually taken at 1/8 seconds indoor... Still, sharpness is acceptable.  And for those who think why I could shoot at 1/8 handheld with such a monster. 

2 reasons.  1st one, it's a RF!  So no mirror slap like the Hassy!  2nd, its shutter is on the lens and its a copal shutter! Soft sweet and almost quiet shutter!  So its actually much quieter to shoot with this camera.  (another reason why its a press camera)  

The camera was first produced in the 1967s.  As it names implies, it is for press photographers during that era where 35mm was still not the main work horse in press industries.  The reason is if they need to print big in newspaper (like a full page), they need bigger negatives at that time as printing technology is still at its infancy stages.  Nowadays, we dun really need such huge negatives.

Overall, I am very impressed with this little investment.  I paid about a thousand SGD and a bit more for the body, 2 backs and the 75mm lens with hood , finder plus shipping (twice).  Will write more once I shoot more with it :) And here's a last photo of me holding the camera to my face as a comparison.  The huge lens mount and open back... hehehe.. Just a big metal box...

I like BiG BiG Transparencies... :P

Before I continue.  I just want to post that the "Red" shirts has won the election (again),  not surprising to me but its a bit surprise that it a win by a bigger margin.  So I guess the upcoming few months will be crucial.... hopefully those minor yellow pigheads will see the result and move on.

As the title suggests, I like big transparencies or the more common word - slides.  35mm slides have always astounds me with their rich colours and I have been shooting them for years.  It was a chance in the late 90s, (think is 1999) that I happened to see my first 8x10(inches) slides from a landscape photographer.  It blew me away!  The colours and just the level of details on that page (yes, its a bloody page) are just amazing.  He has just developed it at the lab and the lighttable was not really that big enough to view the entire thing.  Looking through the loupe will make you drool even more  :)

During that time, its still relatively expensive for me to shoot slides and develop them.  Its only when I started working and earning money that I started to shoot more slides.  And then the digital age came and colour slides seems to have lost certain ground to the new digital SLRs.  Its only until recently I got myself a used Hassy to start shooting 6x6 slides again and refound my interest in a bigger transparency.


On the top 35mm slides, Bottom left is the recovered negative portion of the fuji instant fp100c and the bottom right is the 6x9 BW negative I just developed, shot on my new Mamiya Universal Press.

  So 6x6 is fine except I yearn for a 3:2 aspect ratio instead of a square format.  The main reason is that I have mainly shot 35mm my whole life (which is 3:2 aspect ratio).  So I feel so much comfortable composing in 35mm rather than my Hassy.  It's beem 2 years of constant shooting, but I still find I lack something in my photos.  I constantly still need to crop most of my landscapes to make it work and I just hated to waste such film space.  So its natural for me to look for something larger and similiar in the aspect ratio.  645 and 6x7 are 4:5 ratio and its already quite close and there are tons of cameras supporting that format.  But since printing is not my first priority, the final negative or postive is more important to me so naturally, I decided to look for cameras that shoot in 6x9 which is in 3:2 format!  

And I found my answer after doing some research online.  The Mamiya Universal Press.  


A new member in the gang of 4?


I'm supposed to write something about Thailand's election tomorrow but I think its too serious for my blog and I want to avoid Thai politics at all cost.  My only advise to my friends and readers in Singapore (or another country) is to stay away from BKK for the next few weeks.  Yes I know flights are cheap now and hotels are cheap too but that is because wise people would not come  :P  If you really want to come, just be safe and dun talk politics or wear red or yellow shirts :P  

This post is about the four camera system I currently have and uses frequently for more serious work. I have other toy cameras and I sold a lot of other cameras that I bought, played with it for a while and pass on.  Here are the four system

1. My Hasselblad 500 CM - A Medium format camera using 120 film. I used it for shooting mainly slides of landscapes and my family over here. If you happen to see my photos in facebook which are squares, then its shot from this camera :P

2. My Sony/Minolta system, - I was stuck with Sony as I was using the Minolta A-mount way back in the film era.  I actually did invested in a Canon 300d and 20d with some L lenses but I sold them all away to get back my Minolta system when Dynax 7D was released.  This is actually my working camera for most of my freelance photography jobs.  Currently, I have 2 Dynax 7 film bodies, 1 IR modified A100 and my trusty FF a900.  I also uses my a900 to copy my slides into digital copies :)

3. My M mount RFs. Currently using Konica Hexar with VC lenses.  (No moola to buy Leica :P)  This is for casual shooting and street photography with film.    

4. My Nex-3.  I am currently enjoying the new cheapo 16mm lens I got in 2nd market and I used it frequently with my M-mount lenses if I want to shoot them digitally.  I use this camera for various reasons but I think casual digital shooting would fit the bill. 

If you look at the photo above and you are interested in photography gear, then you see who I am mentioning about as a new member of the gang of 4.  (I was using my Nex-3 to shoot so its not in the picture)

 For the next few days, I would post more about this new exciting camera I got.  Its not digital but it can shoot 3.25in x 4.25in instant photos and of course with a 120 roll film back.  6x9 format negatives.  (Hassy is 6x6)