Monday, 10 July 2017

fujifilm gfx50s hss - How to get high speed sync (HSS) at 1/4000 on your fuji gfx

[UPDATE 22 Jul 17: So Godox also works fine as another option. Godox AD600 / Godox AD200 triggerred with TT350F in non firing mode]

1. buy cactus v6 II triggers

2. upgrade the cactus firmware to latest one 

3. put your speedlite hat has hss capability on the receiver unit. switch on as per nomal to 'RX' (note: i've only made it work on the nikon sb700 but other compatible lights based off the cactus info should work) 

4. switch on fuji gfx body with the transmitter attached. 

5. half press shutter to af and holding half press down, switch on the transmitter to 'TX'

6. go to functions -> learn HSS in the transmitter

7. take a shot at 1/1000 for it to learn

8. press the wheel to FORCED HSS ON

9. For me i need to switch to Power Sync On vs Normal HSS for my HSS to work properly. 
and that's it... fire away at 1/4000 on the gfx :)

[note: i tested on my strobe (cononmark b4) and it doesn't work. there's a banding line so that part of it is lighted and part of it isn't. example pic also shown below]

great article on hss here LINK

So this is what you want to get end of day... uhm not a lighted tissue box but 1/4000 on your gfx with hss

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this is just showing different intensities shot at the same spot... this at 1/1000

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1/2000 (sorry pic doesn't show the shutter aperture etc)

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and 1/4000 again

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this was the fail with my cononmark b4 ... note the band 

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and that's it for now. oh if you have cash to spare (and fine with weight size etc for your real photography), yes the gfx is an easy recommendation. great lenses (and you can adapt other FF/MF lenses but manual focus) and stellar image quality. i just got to take better subjects than tissue boxes! hope this is helpful to someone out there. cheers, raph :)

Friday, 30 June 2017

Astronauts' Mission in Singapore & A 60th Anniversary bash!


Before jumping into largely Omega provided text and pix I would like to thank Fiona & Rina and other fine folk at Omega for the invites down. Thanks all and on to it then! [Stuff in purple are my words and the pix have all been lightly edited]
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Come meet the OMEGA astronauts on 7th July 2017 from 7.30pm at the Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Exhibition, on now until 9th July 2017 at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands Level B1 from 11.00am until 9.00pm, daily.



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In 1957, OMEGA set out to create a robust chronograph that was water-proof, easy to read, easy  to  use  and  exceedingly  precise.  The  result  was  a  watch  quite  unlike  any  other  - the Speedmaster,  the  original  timepiece  in a  legendary  family.  Few  watches  have the power  to inspire like the OMEGA Speedmaster. The first watch ever worn on the moon, it has become an enduring symbol of the ingenuity and skill that took us into space. 
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 Celebrating the past six decades of the Speedmaster, OMEGA  presents the “Speedmaster 60th   Anniversary   Exhibition”. Within   the   exhibition   space,   visitors   can   admire   the fascinating  history  of  this  timepiece  through  photographs,  vintage  watches  and  interactive screens,  through  which  the  visitors  will  be  able  to  navigate  on  a  microsite  dedicated  to  the Speedmaster  60th  Anniversary  and  a  special  section  called “Faces  of  Speedmaster”  that collects images from famous Speedmaster owners all over the world. 



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OMEGA stages a space-inspired soiree to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the legendary Speedmaster

29 June, Singapore: Time travel, space exploration and high-tech installation art came together in spectacular fashion, as OMEGA celebrated the 60th anniversary of its legendary Speedmaster collection in Singapore with a multi-sensory extravaganza that also heralded the opening of the brand’s latest flagship boutique at The Shoppes At Marina Bay Sands.

Over 130 guests, including VIP customers, members of the media...

[Singapore Celebrity Friends of Brand, Chen Han Wei & Yvonne Lim]
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[Sheila Sim, actress and model and Nu Models agency owner]
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and prominent watch bloggers (and a notable speedmaster loving barista) attended the multi-facetted event. Photobucket

Teleporting attendees to the OMEGA universe from the get-go, the evening started with cocktails at a special exhibition area at the Marina Bay Sands mall, followed by a space-themed party at the Art Science Museum.

Upon arrival, guests were whisked to the Speedmaster 60th Anniversary Exhibition at the Marina Bay Sands mall. There, they journeyed through 60 years of the world-famous watch collection, courtesy of carefully curated exhibits.


The experience was further enriched by the presence of Jose De Cardoso, President of Swatch Group South-east Asia, 


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and OMEGA’s Head of Product Management, Mr Gregory Kissling,

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...who was on hand to share insights on the brand and the Speedmaster’s legacy. Meanwhile, guests capped the exhibition by sharing their memories on social media, posting selfies against a photo wall that featured 60 of the most important Speedmaster models from 1957 to 2017.

After a tour of the exhibition and boutique, guests adjourned to the Art Science Museum, which was transformed into an OMEGA universe unto itself, and took on a futuristic, space-inspired milieu to express the Speedmaster’s legacy in NASA space explorations.

Indeed, the evening was more than a celebration of one of the most iconic watches in the history of horology – it served as a reminder that OMEGA is in pursuit of even greater milestones to come.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Fujifilm GFX50s watch macro trial & A Ricoh GR disaster!

So the sad news first... my ricoh GR died :( 
the lens assembly is stuck in the forward position and when you press the on switch the lens element moves in and out a little, the back screen flickers and then it all shuts down. 
the technician on the line hearing the issue has said that it likely requires a lens assembly change which costs S$400 :-0 as it is likely dust and moisture have gone in. they've seen similar cases before.  
For other gr users out there, a possible way of reducing this is to mount the GH-3 Adapter and put a filter in front of it. GH-3 Adapter & Hood set goes for about US$49.65 on B&H which is not too bad. Not sure if the SG shops stock it as this is a low vol item.  
so instead of fixing the gr at the high price, another option is to buy a new gr II. this might make more sense as other issues might crop up for the old body and the new one will have the usual 1 year warranty. 
the sad thing is i have other compacts that went through more years of abuse and don't have any problems at all (Canon compacts that have lasted twice as many years and are still fully functional, Fujis, Panasonic LX100 (more use and abuse but working fine) to name some. so to me at least, i view the gr as not having good build quality even though it's an excellent compact camera in other regards, which is sad and likely the reason i won't be getting a gr II which is essentially the GR with wi-fi. 

For my own record and for other gr users who need to get their gr fixed, the number to call is 62739622 (the ricoh/pentax servicing hotline). If you want to drop it off for servicing, go to: 
3791 Jalan Bukit Merah, #07-20 E-Centre @ Redhill, Singapore 159471 (Open Monday to Friday 930-530 and closed 1-2pm for lunch) LINK

On to GFX50S thoughts... the AF isn't the best with the 63mm there's a lot of in and out focusing which is pretty noisy. they should have designed the lens with internal focusing. AF tracking is not strong which is kind of to be expected and the evf is not as good as some others i've seen BUT the image quality (with native lenses so far) is still that bit better than any that i've seen. 

some watch macros i tried out with the 120mm f4 lens. it wasn't fun carrying it to take the shots vs my nikon rig so i may not do it too often. will see. file pixel size wise, we are talking: 
  • RAW size is 8256 * 6192
  • cropped jpg number 1 original size is 5025 * 4020 [all of them will be resized by blogspot to whatever is their max size] - basically what this means is you can print this SUPER HUGE if you felt so inclined and get the details in the print 
  • further crop jpg number 2 size is 2084 * 1667
  • further crop jpg number 3 size is 1029 * 1029
A great reference for sensor difference and 35mm equivalent focal lengths for the GFX lenses is here LINK 

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Wednesday, 14 June 2017

A WhiteBox [ lightbox from lightbox.sg ] Review


First off, whitebox is a product from lightbox singapore LINK https://lightbox.sg/
  • Small whitebox sells for $40 size 20cm * 22cm * 25cm 
  • and the Big whitebox goes for $57 size 40.5cm * 40cm * 43cm
  • they also sell a tripod for handphones for $7.50 and a bluetooth remote for $4. the tripod could come in handy for shoots as u can angle and make sure theres no shake in your shot and the bluetooth remote if u don't want to use a timer to reduce camera shake to take the shot. 
large whitebox pictured
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Ok so some pix follow... taken with the whitebox and iphone


everything in focus coz of the small camera sensors on phones giving lots of depth of field (DOF)

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taken through the hole on top. LED lights will show on reflective surfaces
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LED lights will show on reflective surfaces
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and these are with my regular cameras, 1 with a regular kit lens and 1 with a macro 



so if the wording is sharp on the lens, the leica logo is not in focus. probably have to go much higher f stop to get all in focus and sharp

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u're ok on the same plane though

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again thinner dof evident in these pix

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BIG whitebox
positives 
- great carrying bag
- comes with 4 color backgrounds (white green red black)
- comes with led lights and switch that can turn on and off
- cool feature of a removable cover for a hole on the top to take top down shots
- iphone or phones with small camera sensors will take pix with loads of depth of field so everything is in focus 


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negatives
- no instructions so you have to figure out how to open it the first time. if you are reading this to find out how, USE STRENGTH and yank it out. the plastic is hardy and can flex but you need to force it open. 
- it doesn't keep a symmetrical shape and straight sides. so effectively the shooting window is smaller because the edges come in (see first pic). 
- led lights will show on reflective surfaces so the issue with that is not diffused light

SMALL whitebox
positives
- comes with led lights
- iphone or phones with small camera sensors will take pix with loads of depth of field so everything is in focus 
negatives
- only white and black background. better if its sent with same 4 or more. 
- led lights will show on reflective surfaces so the issue with that is not diffused light

and my thoughts are if u r a: 

(1) regular carousell/ebay seller (with no separate flashes/speedlights/strobes) [RECOMMENDED BUY - size dependent on what u want to put up for sale] - if u r looking to sell stuff online and want to take better pix of your products/items for sale, this is a good way to get better lighted pix. 

(2) starting an online shop or something similar and no light tent and flashes and nice larger camera [RECOMMENDED BUY] 

(3) guy with a portable light tent already and flashes i.e. someone like me [DEPENDS] - For me personally it's a buy for the small one coz of its portability. and i can shoot simpler watch macros in it! :) the big one is big but has a good carrier. if u know u r shooting bigger stuff, a light tent or the big whitebox are both good options. the backdrops that come with this are better than the cloths in the lightbox which has lines on them. for someone with flashes u may also not use the leds if u r shooting reflective objects. 


and that's it for this review. for folks with no intent to buy more pricey cameras and flashes and want to get better product shots with phone cameras, this is a good product for you to get better shots done and that is a good thing. to better photos :) cheers, raph

Monday, 29 May 2017

Fujifilm GFX50S Mirrorless Medium Format AAAARRRRRFGGGGHHHHH!!! New Toys In Da House

my last post started with a picture of a box... and so will this one... not just any box though... more than S$10k spent AND not on a watch :-0 EGADS u say what is wrong with the raphmeister? not a watch for Rolex $money$? let me share with u my descent into medium format madness ;) 


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first i was poisoned... poisoned badly at the fujifilm gfx50s preview in Singapore. thanks to Fujifilm Singapore / APAC for the invite down and for the great setups for folks to get cool shots with the cool models there. some of these pix follow.



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this #rooster is a #zoom in from my last picture and you still get a very good amount of detail. original file pixel size is 8256*5504. this crop is still 1970*1560 resized to 1280 on the long end #crop


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then i rented it for one day from camera rental centre (recommend folks give them a try as they're top class) and these are some of the pix i took...


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and i m sold! this is the camera i m looking for!
  • iso1600 is good and 3200 is probably just acceptable but maybe to be only used in desperate times but for anything 1600 and below you r going to get awesome awesome awesome image quality!
  • gobs of detail and cropping power... oh my the cropping power... 
  • the 63mm lens is really nice and sharp and the out of focus rendering is beautiful. for the 63mm handheld at 1/80 it's ok. 1/60 if u're real steady.
  • 110mm f2 is the lens i will be getting next... looking forward to the separation!
  • A lot of pixels to play with so high cropability factor. for 4*6 aspect, we are talking 8256*5504! (or wall sized prints here i come!)
  • Fuji processing = wonderful fuji colors. bayer + tried and true Sony sensor [i.e. used in Pentax 645 and out since 2014 but still awesome]. no fussing about with xtrans which some might want but i think is unnecessary (save it for the next iteration with better high iso perhaps)
  • mirrorless which means no mirror slap. having used the leica s typ 007 with the 75mm summarit f2.5 i can attest to the need for mirrorless in medium format. the mirror slap in the leica meant a lot of camera shake making a lot of pix unusable. [for film medium format users, u will know of mirror slaps that have made u think of Thor! The Thunder God :) ]
  • new huge positive1: flash sync used to be at 1/125 but high speed sync flash is here (or around the corner.. i heard cactus? still waiting though so this is still not there)
Negatives
  • Highest iso is 1600 for decent files which isn't too great in this day and age. In comparison my A7S 12,800 file is cleaner than the gfx 3,200 
  • Huge file sizes (but raws can be opened up in camera raw). this is a tradeoff for resolution so i'm fine with it
  • Autofocus misses at times in normal light and low light autofocusing isn't good 
  • focus by wire lens so not ideal for manual focusing but hopefully i wont be needing to do this much or at all
  • electronic shutter silent shooting is there but a lot of warping as compared to a Sony A7s electronic shutter. so any movement of u or subjects will result in serious warp 
  • wireless tethered shooting is a positive BUT it needs a wifi card... hmm.. 
That's it for now but more pix / posts will come on here or my ig. Cheers raph
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Tuesday, 25 April 2017

What's In the Box?

Well no surprise... it's a Seiko just going by the first pic of course :) but which one? a blue lagoon turtle or samurai? 
another turtle perhaps? well u know what... turtles are green and so is this baby :) 

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yup green edges on the box

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oh yeah! turtles are coming out in all colors but this one works for me (uhm other than the 2 i already have)

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serial 993

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on the watch caseback too... nice! limited productions aren't limited to anything other than waning demand. un-numbered limited editions are weird and numbered is just right

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mandatory wrist shot... good in the night

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and good in the day

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turtles are green and apples are red! i got a new toy for the Mrs at about the same time hence it is pictured here

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soooo (product) red and sooo nice

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Apple are a smart company and we are just lambs buying whatever phone they put out... waiting for the iPhone8 now

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some slight deviation at the end there but just happy to have new toys in the house. Final note, always, always spend within your means... ok? :) have a good week. cheers, raph

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Singapore Yacht Show 2017 at One Degree Fifteen Marina Cove 6-9 April

So I was too busy to go down earlier in the week but managed to swing by Saturday, 8 April. Sharing my experience in pix below [Note as there were tooooo many pix i put all of them in my facebook photo album here LINK]

the yacht show is up till tomorrow so if u r interested in checking out some cool yachts (or buying one or two like my friend Mr K. Ang), fancy cars or anything else that might catch your fancy, i'd recommend heading down for the last day today, 9 April 2017. i may too, will see. for info and tix for the show click here LINK 


Ok let's get our bearings first... big boats are here, here and here... smaller boats are here and here... 
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hmm i think i'll do this chronologically instead. post registration as media, i walked the booths in the air-conditioned area first and chanced upon a familiar face... selling some villas and apartments... sounds marvellous!
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i know this booth babe :) it's a cool model I shot with before
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moving along... 
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and saw harley quinn pretending to be a sales rep for a stealth wheels... segways and mobility devices... 

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she didn't fool me though ;) 

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rolling on... there's this cool booth with girl playing with her robot submersible (sorry didn't get the name of the co) but it is a submersible that takes video and pics underwater. very cool quality too. when will it go rogue though... hmmm ;)
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here's her taking a pic of me with it

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my attention was drawn to other distractions... 

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bmw7 for sale? 

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ladies all asking me to buy their boats...

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but you know me... i was here JUST for the boats ;) and so some boat pix follow.. from the big ones

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to smaller ones for charter
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other sizes for sale

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going on to scenes about the place
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SOLD! (possibly to Mr C.H.E.R)

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and some pix getting in closer with the ferretti 700
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a couple of nice cars showed up too
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this chap almost ran me over ;) jk... i hear he's into watches and bromance too
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nice and shiny... precious
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there's grub there too... a friendly friar... i mean fryer 
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but soon it was time to bid farewell... ladies all asking me to stay with them on their yachts but alas i am taken :)
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and i rode off into the open seas on the best seagoing craft at the marina... my trusty magical unicorn :)
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hope u enjoyed the post and signing out for now ;) cheers, raph

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