2 Jan

Nikon AIS 28mm F/2.8 Lens vs Nikon AFS VR 28-300mm F/3.5-5.6G Lens vs Nikon AFS VR 24-70mm F/2.8 Lens vs Tamron AF 24-70mm F/2.8 VC Lens

I am going to take group photos tonight for my church, few hundred people. I don’t expect everybody to be sharp and clear in the frame, but at least I shall get a better lens to shoot as good as I can.

Saw the Nikon AIS 28mm F/2.8 lens in my dry cabinet, so I thought of using it. Manual focus is not going to be a problem, since I am going to pre-focus and shoot from a tripod. I would expect the prime lens to deliver better result than the superzoom Nikon AFS VR 28-300mm F/3.5-5.6G Lens.

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No, not going to experiment tonight, so I do a pre-test first.

Shoot using my Nikon D3s, Mirror lock up mode (to minimize mirror bounce vibration), handheld shot. Both using F/5.6.

Nikon AIS 28mm F/2.8 Lens

AIS28mm(Full frame view)

AIS28mm-crop(100% crop)

Nikon AFS VR 28-300mm F/3.5-5.6G Lens

28-300mm-resize(Full frame view)

28-300mm-resize-crop(100% crop)

As you can see from the above, surprisingly the 28-300mm lens is able to produce sharper and higher contrast image! I actually did a few extra shots, and the results are consistent. Either my AIS 28mm is a lemon, or technology has advanced so much that even a superzoom of today is already better than the best prime from the old days!

You bet I am going to use the 28-300mm tonight. :)

Update at 6.07pm

Ok, I decided to go take two other lenses and compare with the 28-300mm lens.

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  1. Nikon AFS VR 24-70mm F/2.8 Lens
  2. Tamron AF 24-70mm F/2.8 VC Lens

Nikon AFS VR 24-70mm F/2.8 Lens

nikon-24-70mmAt 24mm, full frame

nikon-24-70mm-cropAt 24mm, 100% crop

Zoom to 28mm, to compare with 28-300mm lens.

nikon-24-70mm-28mm-cropZoom to 28mm, 100% crop

Tamron AF 24-70mm F/2.8 VC Lens

tamron24-70mm-24at 24mm, full frame

tamron24-70mm-24-crop

at 24mm, 100% crop

tamron24-70mm-28Zoom to 28mm, full frame

tamron24-70mm-28-cropZoom to 28mm, 100% crop

Conclusions

I noticed that the shots from Tamron lens seems to be over exposed, shot at F/5.6, 1/80s, while the Nikon 24-70mm is at F/5.6, 1/100s. Both on Aperture priority.

In terms of sharpness, I don’t see any difference. The Tamron photos seems softer due to overexposure, but after corrected both to similar exposure in Corel Paint Shop Pro, I couldn’t see any difference in sharpness. In fact, when comparing to 28-300mm lens, I couldn’t see difference in sharpness as well.

Quite possibly due to the limitation of my D3s 12MP sensor resolution that couldn’t differentiate the quality of those lenses…or my unscientific test (which is how I shoot in real life).

I decided to take the more versatile 28-300mm lens for tonight shots, and it is going to be the lens for my D3s in future. :)

25 Dec

Emmanuel’s Birthday 2015

Today’s is Christmas Day, and is also the birthday of my beloved son, Emmanuel Koh!

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Bought this Secret Recipe cake, Choco Cheese Berries, RM88. Very nice, but Emmanuel doesn’t like cake, so he just blow and cut.
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He can’t wait to blow the candles, see his expression above, is actually having his mother holding his head… 😀
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Now cake cutting… :)

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The present I bought for him. Power Ranger robot. He seems happy and enjoying the toy! Glad that he likes it.

Happy Birthday Emmanuel! May God bless you, give you good health, wisdom and guide you throughout your life!

25 Dec

Samsung Gear S2 Smart Watch…my 10 mins experience…

Saw this Samsung Gear S2 watch in AEON shopping mall just now, and got the chance to play briefly with it. The sales girl didn’t know much about the watch, so I just tried it out myself.

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My impression of the watch, really nice! Very smooth scrolling on the screen, beautiful LCD, love the rotating bezel to select the icons. White is nice and it does felt like a real watch on hand. Love the heartbeat rate tracking as well. I didn’t try connecting it to my Samsung phone though so not sure how does it works with gmail, whatsapp…etc.

White is a great match for lady, while dark gray is nice for man. Classic IMO has the best bezel clicking feel, but the design is not as nice (personal opinion) as the other two. Furthermore, I hate leather strap for watch, as it gets really smelly when you sweat.

samsung-gear-s2-and-gear-s2-classicSelling at RM1399, not cheap for a watch if you are not going to wear it daily. I was tempted of getting one for my wife, but decided not to after knowing that it doesn’t run the exercise app that my wife is using – Runstastic. There is Nike+ and Samsung own app, but my experience with Nike+ is not as good as Runstastic, so it is a no no for me.

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Great hardware, poor software / support of software. If only it is running on Android wear…too bad…

20 Dec

Christmas Carol Party 2015

This is the food prepared by my wife and my mother before the party started.

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And we did some decoration to our house earlier too!

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Love the table cloth bought by my wife, very Christmas feel!

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It was raining the whole day, on off from morning till night…but it doesn’t cool off our Christmas spirit!

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Some of the food…and my favorite, CURRY!

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Fried chicken

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Sushi, fried fish ball, fried mee, hot dog, etc.

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We invited our church choirs to come to our house for Christmas caroling on 13th December 2015 (Sunday). We invited some friends, and have around 40 persons celebrating Christmas in our home.

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We bought a cake and have everybody singing an early birthday song to our beloved Emmanuel (his birthday is on 25th December), he just can’t wait to blow off the candles!

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A very nice song book created by the choir team, very nice and unique!

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We have a great night!

15 Dec

Acer K242HL 24″ LED Monitor

Just bought an Acer K242HL 24″ LED Monitor yesterday for my staff. RM519.00 (Incl. GST).

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First impression, it is wide! Very very bright and looks great! The LED screen looks much brighter than the 1 year old Asus monitor that I bought for my staff. The stand looks flimsy though, I hate monitor with flimsy stand as the screen tends to shake when you type.

Input support is only DIV and VGA. No HDMI. Some countries seems to be selling the same model with HDMI, but for me it is not so important as I prefer DVI over HDMI.

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I chose the Acer brand over Samsung 24″ monitor (selling at RM565) as my previous experience with Samsung monitor isn’t great. Colour seems dull. Hence I decided to go for Acer for a try. So far seems like a good choice.

14 Dec

Sennheiser HD800 Headphones, bought!

I couldn’t get rid of the thought of Sennheiser HD800 after gotten poisoned by it in Japan in September 2015, tested it in Yodobashi Camera store at Shinjuku, Japan.

Finally I decided to get one for myself. I searched several places and got one ordered.

Surprisingly, I got my toy today! Took around 5 days including weekends! Really happy and excited!

The box is huge! My staff asked me what is it…and I am so happy to see it and told her that it is MINE! 😀

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Carefully laying it onto the ground and start unboxing it…

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Thick and huge manual…no, I didn’t open or read it…

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The presentation box, made of hard cardboard.

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Inside is very nice silk lining having the headphones seating carefully inside. The sponge is to protect the cable.

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You can see very thick KEVLAR covered cable inside. LOVELY! The cable is replaceable, but it costs RM600+ for it. You can also see 1/4″ headphone jack used by this Sennheiser HD800, which is the BIG type as compare to most 1/8″ type used by most walkman, mobile phone, computer speakers or audio output. Not sure why they use 1/4″ jack size, maybe all professional HIFI systems are using this size of headphone output?

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Serial number engraved onto the headphone. S/N: 41464. I seems to have quite a lot of connection with number 4 nowadays…hahaa…I tend to get to like this number more and more now…

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Huge headphone speakers…it is an OPEN type headphones, which can be quite disturbing and loud in office space. :p

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I still remembered when I first saw it in Japan, the first impression is…WHAT AN UGLY Headphones! The silver colour is very ugly in my opinion, as compared to some that use wood type design (personal preference). This Sennheiser HD800 headphones design is like having two speakers mounted together and attached to your head! Anyhow, I love it because of what it can deliver, the BEST SOUND and MUSIC!

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3 meters length Kevlar covered cable. Thick and firm!

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Simple presentation box…nothing fancy, nothing stuning.

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I was testing out the headphones, then my little princess came and look for me. I let her tried it out…and asked her to let me take a few photos of her wearing the headphones. You can see how huge the headphones is! Covering the whole ear, quite comfortable for long time wearing.

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I did asked her how’s the sound. She said noisy…too loud…

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Now I am waiting for my Asus Essence STX II soundcard to arrive (should be in a few days time), then I can test the headphones more!

27 Oct

Nikon Df and the Old Nikkor AF 35-70mm F/2.8 Zoom Lens

Was poisoned to get the Sony A7 II or A7R II to replace my Nikon D3s…but after trying out the Sony in Japan, the feel just wasn’t there.

I shoot for fun, and I enjoy technology. Hence the feel must be right. No excitement at all when holding the Sony A7 series. The buttons don’t feel right. The electronic viewfinder doesn’t feel right. The camera does not feel right. So, no…no A7 series for me.

Bought a Nikon Df with Nikkor AF 35-70mm F/2.8 Zoom Lens from a customer few days ago. My heart is pounding strong when I saw the box, yeah! Nikon Df! Immediately I checked the condition and offered the seller a reasonable price for it together with the 35-70mm lens.

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I have heard about the Nikkor AF 35-70mm F/2.8 Zoom Lens for long, but I have not had the chance to test it out myself. This particular copy that I got looks clean. No fungus or scratch on the glass. For a 20 years old lens, the body has some paint peeling and scratches, which is acceptable to me.

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Shutter sound from the Nikon Df is quite different from other Nikon DSLRs. It is quite soft and low key. Not distracting at all to my ears. I hate those high pitch shutter sound.

I set the camera to Auto ISO, let the camera judge to use ISO till the max, and Auto Minimum Shutter Speed (1/focal length). This Auto Minimum Shutter Speed is what missing in Nikon D3s, although it has the Auto ISO but without the auto minimum shutter speed, it is still not so useful. Imagine at 20mm wide angle, the minimum shutter speed that one can go should be around 1/30s, while when shooting at 200mm focal length, minimum shutter speed to ensure sharp images is 1/200s. Nikon could have done this update to their D3s easily, but they don’t bother to do it with new firmware. Shows how selfish Nikon is leaving their users behind once the camera gets discontinued.

The other setting I done on the camera is Focus Mode changed to AF-C 39 points 3D focus tracking. This is one of the best features in Nikon. Don’t use just one point manual focus selection.

Now some test shots with the lens and the camera. Emmanuel is my subject.

This is the original full frame shot.

ISO800, 1/30s, F/2.8, focal length 62mm. (I forgot to change to auto ISO and auto minimum shutter for the shot below)

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This is the 100% crop.

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Slightly image blurry due to low shutter speed.

Here’s another shot with Auto ISO and Auto Minimum Shutter Speed on the camera.

ISO800, 1/30s, F/2.8, focal length 70mm.

Original shot

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100% crop

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There is no image shake detected in the shot above, and sharpness looks great to me!

Push pull lens is not so easy to use. Can’t push or pull the focal length to the exact position that I want, especially if I want to zoom in or out a little.

24 Oct

Kia Optima Flat Tyre

Having a flat tyre today, tried pump it with air but failed, as I noticed it too late and the tyre is completely broken. 18″ tyre rear wheel flat, not so noticeable but does felt a little not right (like loosing some grip).

First time change tyre myself, so putting knowledge into practical.

Am glad that the spare tyre is having the same rim and the tyre is brand new. So I will get replacement later…later date.

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(photo attached is not mine, but same design rim)