8.12.2012: Here’s my entire arsenal of cameras and glass I use. Since a handful of friends at FB have taken pics of their arsenal and weapons of choice, I thought it’s only fair to show mine. Not too shabby, eh?
First picture, ” Arsenal “:
Cameras: Nikon D200 (left); Fujifilm HS10 (middle); Olympus EPL-1 (right)
Glass: (from top left to top right) Nikkor DX AF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.5 GII ED; Nikkor AF 70-210mm 1:4-5.6; Nikkor N AF-S 24-70mm 1:2.8G ED; (middle) Hellios-44M 55mm 2/58 prime; Holga HL-N 1:8 toy lens; (bottom) 25mm 1:1.4 CCTV lens
Second picture, ” The Little Camera That Could “:
Olympus EPL-1 with my arsenal of glass.
Don’t worry, guys, I haven’t forgotten about tumblr. This is just a sign of things to come. Enjoy!
6.24.2012: ROLL CALL!
Here’s a bunch of random pics ( aka eye candies ) I’d like to share to ya. I was inspired by product shoots from some books and magazines, so I emulated the style using nothing but sunlight and good angles. I shot the images yesterday, driven by my ideas and the need to get some fresh air as an excuse to go outside despite being sick. For the lenses, I swapped between my reliable 18-55mm lens and the newly recommissioned Helios M42 52mm lens ( which is the oldest lens I have in my arsenal. It’s somewhere around 30 to 40 years old ). The Nikon D200 attached with the Helios M42 lens was shot with the Fujifilm HS 10.
The last two flower shots were shot with the D200 using the Helios M42 lens. These were the first two shots with the lens after finally receiving my M42 lens adapter. Since it was originally made for the Zenit TTL SLR, the old Soviet-made prime lens would not work with the Nikon DSLR without that adapter and the optics forced me to shoot much closer to the subject. It may not be an everyday prime lens as I hope it’d be, but the images shot with it have a certain beauty of their own.
Anyway, enjoy the random eye candy, y’all! =D
One of the things I love to do is come up with cost effective ( a fancy term for ‘cheaper’ ) versions of ridiculously expensive accessories. The Black Rapid R-strap is a major hit for photographers and enthusiasts because of it’s ingenious design and helps reduce neck aches. As much as I love the design and convenience, I’m not willing to blow $40-50 for one unit. A friend of mine (editedthoughts) told me about a cheaper version from amazon for $20. I was tempted to buy one but I wanted to reuse my existing straps. I went about scouring information online on making a DIY R-strap while spend a fraction or less of the $20 version. It’s a good thing I live a mile away from Lowe’s and it wasn’t too difficult to find what I needed. Overall, it costed me $6 to get the parts and about half an hour to make the DIY strap. Assembling the parts was easy, but figuring how to secure the straps around the plastic securing loops gave me the most headaches and took the most time to complete.
Another idea that popped up in my head was minimizing the chances of being a target for potential thieves. IMO, having a name brand on a camera bag is an invitation for theft. A “stealth bag” was the answer to that problem and it was a no-brainer to figure out. I purchased a Camaroo III DSLR insert padding ($23) from amazon and fitted it to a surplus ‘water-resistant’ military trooper’s bag. The padding fit perfectly and it took me a few tries to figure out how to make the camera ( a Fujifilm HS10 ) fit in it. It could carry the important stuff I need such as spare AA batteries, a lens hood, and the DIY R-strap while I have some room to carry small stuff, such as snacks. If I was gonna stuff my Nikon D200 on the makeshift camera bag, I’d leave the 18-55mm lens attached to the camera while the 70-200 lens would fit snuggly in one of the pockets. I could carry a spare battery and it’ll have room for small things, a smaller lens ( like my 40-year old Helios m42 lens ), and an external flash unit ( I’ll be looking into that one soon ). I realized the stealth bag could double as an everyday day bag for carrying my food to work. All I need to carry with is the Bento jar and my mess kit food utensils. Not bad, huh?
I’m pleased with my purchases and damned proud my ingenuity. There’s no shame in saving money and come up with clever ways to use existing materials on hand. It was a lot of fun and I gained a more appreciative view of my equipment. The sky’s the limit and there’s a lot you can do with some research online. Don’t take my word for it. A lot of photographers do it and have posted their DIY instructions online. If you want to save money and don’t mind doing some hands-on work, then I recommend on giving these projects a try! All you need is patience, time, and a careful eye on details because the quality of work reflects on how you build your R-strap as well as your choice of bag for the DSLR padded insert.
Here’s a link to one such site that’ll show you how to make a similar DIY strap:
6.20.2012: Random beauty and stuff that seems to look damned cool.
There’s really no shortage of looking at cool and random stuff in the DC area. So here’s just a collection of shots I took, with no particular care for a theme. One of the many things I love to look is for patterns, shapes, and things that get my attention. Perhaps a whole different perspective on things that are mundane and the ordinary? Beauty is subjective and is open for interpretation. In fact, that’s the beauty about art, IMO.
You see, art is all about interpretation and perception. It imitates, exaggerates, and emphasizes life. That’s one of the many reasons I love going to museums and just be in awe of how man can perceive art and give it a life of it’s own. As a photohobbyist, it’s my hope to follow the same and bring out the beauty of the world around me. Anyway, enjoy the images. It’s my hope I’d give you a food for thought and give you the urge to grab that neglected piece of machinery called a camera.
2.14.2012: Fucking around with the ‘new’ 70-210mm lens (part II)
After a few adjustments with the exposure and white balance (plus a little post edit tweaking), the details from the images came out sharp. Tack sharp. I honestly think the 70-210mm lens is sharper than my modern Nikkor 18-55mm 1:35-5.6 GII ED lens. It can handle low light shoots, which is a bonus. Overall, I am impressed. If you’re interested in looking for a lens like this baby, I recommend you can read about it here:
2.14.2012: Fucking around with the ‘new’ 70-210mm lens (part I)
As stated above, I’m testing the new lens for my Nikon D200. Well, it’s not exactly new. What I have on hand is a late 80’s-to-late 90’s era 70-210mm 1:4-5:6 Nikkor lens. How much did it cost me? $109 from ebay, if you can believe it. Free shipping, too. With a deal like this, how can I refuse?
After playing around in finding the right exposure and white balance settings, the images came out great. The optics on this lens is amazing and the construction as well as the design are solid. I ain’t gonna lie: it’s also a bit heavy and big. Hell, compared to my old Nikkor 18-55mm lens, which is made of high grade plastic, the 70-210mm is massive and is built like a tank thanks to it’s body made of metal. If I had to make a guess, I’d say it’s made with steel.
Let’s talk a bit about the design of this beauty. This baby was originally made for Nikon film SLRs and was touted a budget zoom lens ($250, give or take). It lacks a VR (vibration resistance) and the barrel of the lens is an unusual push-pull design that’s akin to a telescope. Thankfully, the lens has an AF (autofocus), so operating it is a breeze. Come to think it, it’s actually a lot easier than the conventional finger roll-and-turn lens design. The AF is surprisingly responsive although being an old design, it’s not meant to be used on fast moving subjects. In other words, this isn’t the kind of lens you’d want to use in a sporting event. But for casual shoots, portraiture, and landscapes? Oh, this is PERFECT. I’d also like to point out since my DSLR has a DX sensor instead of a ‘full frame’ sensor that’s an digital equivalent of a 35mm film , the field of range is 115-310mm. You can imagine how far the zoom would be had I gotten an old 80-400mm lens.
So if you’re a DSLR owner and are looking for lenses while keeping a tight budget, never underestimate the power of a good old lens. There’s a treasure trove of them out there and these neglected lenses are cheaper than their modern day counterparts. There’ll be a few trade offs due to being older designs, but you’d be surprised at the bargains you’d find. Believe me, I was very surprised. Honestly, I think it’s worth looking for bargains once you look around with patience and do proper research. My dad once advised me ask myself what shots I planned to take before I buy any lens in the market and whether that lens is easy to travel around with or not.
So here’s my advice to you, friend: ask yourself what shots do you plan to take and make sure it’s no problem to travel around with. Do you really want to take a lot of lenses with you or do you need just one that you’re comfortable with? Oh, and don’t rush yourself into getting a lens. Take your time, look around, and always research before you make that giant leap of faith. You won’t get the dreaded buyer’s remorse once you found what you’re looking for. =]
6.04.2012: Here’s some new pics I just downloaded and slapped online! I haven’t posted some pics in a while due to my busy schedule, so I apologize for the delays!
So, as a reward for your patience, here’s some new ones I shot earlier in the day (6.03.2012) while I was on my way home. Later on, a squirrel popped out of nowhere and decided to eat some grub in my backyard while I was reviewing pics from my camera. He was such a fearless little furball and never did he freak out when I took shots of him!
Summer, I think, is here. Stay tuned, folks! More to come very soon! =D
Days 44-50 (Feb 13-19) PT 2: More to add on the motley collection of pics from my phone. I am actually surprised at the level of manual control and customizability. The one thing it surprised me is the fact I can shoot this at night, provided there’s plenty of light to use. I was never able to this with my old cellphone (which was craptastic anyway), but damn, I’m glad I can now take serious cellphone photography alongside with my DSLR. Thank you, Samsung! Sarang hae!