Monday, 24 December 2018

Shooting the Leica M10P and M246 Monochrom in Cafe Leitz

The Raffles Hotel Leica shop reopened recently and I managed to pop by to check it out (Uhm a few times). I love Leica cameras of course [have had previous blog posts on their bodies and lenses] and have owned some of them (M6, M8, M9, T) have tried some for a few days to weeks (M7, M240, SL, S Typ 007) still own and love the M6 and have had hands on with other bodies like the M10P and Monochrom which I took some of the below shots with. (Some of the pix below with the iPhone too). 

The Leica Gallery has also reopened next to the retail space but a wonderful new addition is the uber cool Cafe Leitz! One of 3 in the world, the others being in Wetzlar and Thailand. The gallery has some wonderful images by Thomas Hoepker on display right now and it is great to enjoy them as well as checkout the photography books and magazines there over a nice cup of coffee and yummilicious petits fours from the patissier. I had the delicious Jade Mirror which is a pandan chiffon sponge with kaya cream and mousse and the Ho Ho Horlicks which is a horlicks creme brulee (salivating again thinking about it) washed down with a flat white prepared by excellent barista from the alchemist, who will be running the coffee bar ‪till 31 Dec‬ after which it changes to another coffee company to run for a time. 

On the gear, the M10P is very quiet and nice, the new shutter being firm yet having a lovely soft sound. The M246 Monochrom is a cool camera that shoots just black and white without Bayer color RGB filter array and has better high ISO performance than it's M240 brethren and have better b/w tones. It is a very cool camera. M10P shots below taken with Summilux 28mm and Monochrom shots taken with Summilux 50mm (both current versions). 

So sharing some snaps around the shop and of course I highly recommend folks who love Leica to head down too. Going down equals ownself poison ownself though ;) Ok on to the pix. Cheers. 

Thomas Hoepker on display at the Galerie (shot with M10P)


Contact sheet from a Thomas Hoepker book I was reading at the cafe (shot on iPhone)


The lovely M10P (shot on iPhone)


Leica be selling watches now too (shot on iPhone)


Cafe Leitz! (shot with M10P)


Yummy mini confectionaries (shot with M10P)

Yes I would like more coffee (shot with M246)

Some dried flowers around the counter (shot with M246)

Taking a break (shot with M246)

Always happy with a good cup of Leica coffee (shot on iPhone)


Wednesday, 19 December 2018

State of the Watch World End 2018 and All I Want for Christmas ;)

A Paul Newman Daytona

So in the past I did wishlists for end of the year but as I haven't written about watches for a time, let's have a quick look at where things are at right now. 

Things are crazy right now!
  • Patek Nautilus for S$60+k (what in the hell...)
  • Richard Milles for silly money [the i have made it watch now for the young and rich$$$]
  • AP Royal Oaks (being hot as they should be)
  • Sports Rolex becoming more exclusive and hard to get. Super hot piece now being the GMT
  • Modern Tudor doing well
  • Vintage sports Rolex and Tudor getting hotter and hotter. Even recent pieces are going for silly money now... [Auction houses playing this up big time too]
  • And the rest of the brands playing catch-up 

Another RM
Another RM 

make it rain RMs!


The way many are approaching watch purchases now is to buy to flip. Set aside funds to buy and sell pieces and they might enjoy some of them for a while but most or all are not meant to be keepers, they are meant to be flipped. 

It seems slightly bubble-licious but a lot of new money coming in and somehow a lot rich people popping up in China and all over buying up luxury products like it's going out of style ;) Amidst this buying frenzy all i can say is I will steer clear. I know what are reasonable decent buys right now and i'm not breaking the bank for silly premiums because of the crazy herds out there. 

So my wish this year is to buy back all the watches I sold at super low prices for those same prices now! :) haha ain't gonna happen but i think it's echoed by many people who sold off what are now pieces that are going for double, triple of what they had sold them for. Have a good new year you consumerist bunch of flippers ;) [Some pix of hot pieces below]

Would you like some AP with your Nautilus sir? 

Another Paul Newman Daytona

More Paul Newman Daytonas
It's Raining Paul Newman Daytonas

Some vintage Rolex
A vintage rolex
Gimme more
I just can't get enough I just can't get enough
I just can't get enough I just can't get enough

1665 DRSD double red sea dweller with Mark 1 dial

The Best Digital Camera [for me :) ] The Fujifilm GFX50S An Owners Review

So there are all kinds of photographers out there who do all kinds of photography. Wildlife and nature, landscape, cityscape, weddings and events, interiors, architect, drone/aerial, commercial (including product, fashion), fine art, dance, stock, portraits, lifestyle, video/vlogging too, etc etc etc

So for me, i love shooting people. Be it portraits, fashion, street, dance etc as long as there is person in the pic I'm up for it :) [Side note: I do want to expand more into other areas of photography but there is no rush as photography is a lifelong passion] and the camera that is the best for the types of photography I do right now and I am most happy with is the Fujifilm GFX50S. [FYI, I have owned and used a lot, a lot of different digital camera systems]


First thing to note is medium format (MF) cameras are of course not good for all types of photography. Fast action, and any type of photography where both fast autofocus (AF) and a high frames per second with autofocus between frames is needed, then this is not the camera for it. Photography requiring super long zooms would not be the best suited too so shooting wildlife and sports would not be the best noting this.

On AF, my hope is in future iterations it does become better and faster, so then it will be able to do more of what the high-res full frame cameras out there can do on this front and then better it in the image quality department. Also it may be about time a new sensor comes out as the base sensor is a bit long in the tooth now (first used in Pentax 645Z in 2014). So with a new sensor image quality (IQ) gets even better? OMG! (in a good way)

A bit more on IQ

A lot of folks talk of high-resolution (let's say those with greater than 40mp) full frame cameras and speak of the IQ being similar to the digital medium format mirrorless cameras and the statements that come up with is usually 'oh the sensor is not that much bigger' and 'it's not the same size as film medium formats in the past' and those statements are true to a degree.

They are not as big as the film 645 size [56 x 42mm] which is already a smaller size for the film MF cameras but they ARE bigger than FF and can capture more of everything good, generally speaking :) as you can tell, i am well versed in technical terms. [Signal to noise, micro lens array, backside illuminated, gobbledy goobledy geek]

To my eyes, the pictures produced by Fujifilm GFX50S are some of the best image files produced by a digital camera out there right now (native glass to native glass at equivalent settings) and folks who want the best IQ should spend time with these cameras and realise how impressive the image quality is from these MF beasts.

The 51.4MP 43.8 x 32.9mm CMOS sensor in the GFX has the base sensor from Sony which is also used in the Pentax 645Z, Hasselblad H6D and X1D, some Hasselblad and Phase One backs. The DIFFERENCE though is magical Fuji micro lenses on the sensors optimized for 'light gathering performance and image resolution to deliver images that precisely reproduce the subject’s texture, three-dimensional feel and even the atmosphere of each scene.' excerpt from Fujifilm literature and they speak the truth! :)




The GFX RAW files are amazing and gives the user a lot of latitude for cropping and adjusting highlights and shadows (i.e. YUGE dynamic range). These files are just that bit more future proof too e.g. what if you had to print an image wall sized one day or someone wants to buy your pic and needs it big for your art gallery showing right? [ok maybe significant what-ifs but you never know :) ]. Not only capturing a lot of info but the quality of the capture with the excellent native Fujinon lenses is there. These all come at a price of course but isn't that normally the case for the better/best things out there? ;)

Mirrorless benefits 

The benefits of mirrorless are significant too for MF and because this sensor is not so much bigger than FF, some 35mm glass can be mounted onto adapters for use on this body with minimal to no vignetting. This opens up the possibility of mounting a lot of available 35mm glass. Right now, it's mostly dumb adapters out there but techart have a smart Canon adapter which autofocuses those lenses on this body and that is soooo good ;) I have been using dumb adapters with manual lenses so far but may consider going the Canon route for glass if I want to keep costs down. What is important of course is to get good Canon glass which would also be pricey but won't be near the GF lens prices for those lenses that I am eyeing.

Other benefits of mirrorless is EVF and solid manual focus magnification and peaking aids for manual focusing. You can also switch on exposure and white balance previews so WYSIWYG.

No shutter slap means better shutter speeds can be used as compared to the mirror/DSLR style MF cameras.


Speaking about price... The GFX50R is coming out at an amazing steal of a price for medium format (especially the bundle deals. In Singapore it is S$6,999 for the body and add in the GF63mm f2.8 for S$499. That's S$7,500 only for digital medium format quality). So if I was on the fence in the past, I would dive in for the R if I am into the rangefinder style body.

Alternatively, GFX50S pricing on the first hand and second hand market has come down too. So folks who prefer the S style and grip and other differences could look to pick them up for less (than when it launched) too. Brand new now is S$8,499 (down from original $10,099 price) and that's with the tilt adapter and hot shoe. The second hand pricing will of course be even better and not ridiculously far off from the high end full frame cameras too. In the past other than the Pentax, the rest of the medium format offerings were asking crazy sums of money. What Fuji has done is make a very good (possibly one of the best in it's range) MF platform attainable to many vs the $20+k entry points of the past.

What would I want improved on it? 

- Better AF - Better eye AF as the current one sometimes misses the closer eye. Better low light AF and better AF in challenging strong backlight situations and faster AF is always welcome too [Note: GFX100Mp will have Phase detect AF]
- Newer and better sensor (perhaps with BSI)
- IBIS (why not)
- 4K video
[Uhm most of the above may be offered on the GFX 100 megapixels camera but thats 100mp. hmm may have to start saving my pennies for upgrading PC, storage, if I decide to get that beast]
- Faster lens options eg. in a focal range between 50mm (the current 63mm f2.8) and 86mm (current 110mm f2) would be great eg 75mm f1.4 or f1.2 equivalent in 35mm terms

Naysayers be saying: Oh but it has a slow 1/125 flash sync speed
Answer: High speed sync baby. I've shot thousands of photos on HSS and the following are just 2 with shutter speeds above 1/125
To keep costs down, I've used Godox and have been happy with it



In the end... 

This review/writeup is not meant to say this camera is definitely the best out there for what it delivers and for it's price and it's not to tell you to go and buy one. What works for you may be something else entirely.

This writeup is just to share from an owner's perspective who has done A LOT of shoots with it for more than 18 months, what an absolute joy it has been to have this camera with me  [acquisition article link]. With just the 63mm on mine, I use it for street photography too and take it out for casual outings without concern of it's weight and size in my small sling bag.

From all the great shoots I have done with it, all the way to winning prizes with images taken with it [Blessed with multiple-award wins LINK ~ All winning images shot with the GFX and 63mm, 110mm, 23mm lenses], it has been a great camera, a great tool companion and I look forward to many many more opportunities to shoot with it and enjoy it. Thanks for reading.  

PS. Appreciate your follow and likes on IG too LINK where you can check out a lot a lot of pix done on the GFX amongst other cameras. Cheers.

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Nikon Z6 and Z7 Revealed! Exciting Times ahead

My first trial shots with the Nikon Z


Before diving into my initial thoughts about the Nikon Z and the official press release (thank you Nikon for going mirrorless) we do have to note something significant that happened in the market. In the US, Sony went number 1 in the full frame market with their mirrorless cameras ahead of Canon and Nikon. That is a sign. 

What it points to in my view is that mirrorless is the future and DSLRs may (at some point perhaps :) [yes i am hedging a little here] be a thing of the past. Yuh people with fetish for old tech will buy it in the future, like how i still am an analog boy and just bought another film camera... oh yeah... #ishootfilm

The Nikon Zs will only get better. Canon will also want to compete and all that will mean is, us photographers and consumers win. Better bodies and lenses will come out and at hopefully healthy price points. Sony A7III and A7RIII are the benchmarks now and it's a question of whether the Z matches up and exceeds them and what Canon will come out with soon (they have to ;) 

So i've seen the online reviews and 2 things i need to mention first: 

(1a) One card slot... one slot. memory cards can fail to a non-recoverable state. it can happen. Without a second slot it's a risk especially for any one that shoots professionally/semi-professionally/gets asked by relatives to shoot their important events or events and stuff that no one wants to do a do-over for. 

(1b) that card slot is XQD - Why XQD? Yes I know, the XQD is newer, faster card type from Sony but it's not so common and more importantly, I don't have one.

The whole world uses SD cards and I have a number of them so that when I move from different systems I have SD cards to use. slower ones, faster ones, more colorful ones, duller looking ones etc. 

So how can Nikon improve for the next iteration of the Z camera? [Constructive inputs yuh] It needs to have 2 slots and one of them has to be a SD card slot.

Update: I agree with most of what was shared on the one slot issue here LINK 
and since I posted this review i have had SD card failure and will not purchase a body with no second card slot. I have also heard of XQD card failure so folks just have to consider if they shoot things they don't mind losing

(2) FTZ (F-to-Z) adapter needs to have fast AF with their F mount lens. Note the autofocus only works for the AF-S lenses of which there are 90+ of them out there just none in my dry cabinet (I wish there was an adapter done that could deal with the screw drive lenses but yuh that's wishful thinking as there's nothing out there that deals with AF on mirrorless (phase detect AF system) for the screw drive. I wish I lived in la la land where even a Leica M mount lens could be autofocused on a mirrorless body... waitamoment!) the AF-S lenses on this adapter will gain 3 axis in-body image stabilisation. If this is fast and snappy then folks with lots of AF-S lenses will be keen on this. [B&H youtube review says it works well LINK another vid from imagingresource that talks about the adapter here LINK ]

What is cool?
New Z mount gives opportunity for faster, better lenses in future. Nikon has the opportunity to build off this release for a more interesting next iteration of this camera (with 2 card slots, one of them being SD) and with hopefully faster lenses in store [that lens roadmap can change :) f1.2s and f1.4s instead of f1.8s. f2.8s instead of f4s etc... excluding the 58mm f0.95 noct of course... now that is plenty fast, though manual focus).  


Ok all the above was said in one breath... So with that out of the way, we get to the press release which covers all the more important points :) yes it has A LOT of GOOD things going for it. 

PRESS RELEASE (thanks to BCW and Nikon Singapore)

Nikon introduces the new Nikon Z mount system, and releases two full-frame mirrorless cameras: the Nikon Z 7 and Nikon Z 6

SINGAPORE – Nikon Singapore Pte. Ltd. is pleased to announce the release of the full-frame, Nikon FX format mirrorless cameras Nikon Z 7 and Nikon Z 6, as well as NIKKOR Z lenses, featuring a new, larger-diameter mount.

More information regarding the NIKKOR Z lenses can also be found in its respective following press release announced today.
Mirrorless Reinvented through the Nikon Z mount system

The Z mount system is comprised of mirrorless cameras featuring a new, larger-diameter mount, as well as compatible NIKKOR lenses and accessories. This system has been realized through the pursuit of a new dimension in optical performance. It has inherited Nikon’s tradition of quality, superior imaging technology, great operability, and high reliability, all innovated from its digital SLR cameras.

At the heart of the new Z mount system is the new, larger-diameter mount, which unlocks further possibilities of lens design, increasing greater capabilities in optical performance. The Z mount system will offer a variety of high-performance lenses, including the fastest lens in Nikon history, with f/0.95*. Additionally, the new mount adapter will enable compatibility with NIKKOR F mount lenses, adding to the variety of choices for photographers.

The letter “Z” represents the culmination of Nikon’s relentless pursuit of ultimate optical performance, and a bridge to a new chapter. It is about redefining possibilities to provide image-makers with tools to realize greater creativity.

Nikon will expand the value of mirrorless cameras through the pursuit of a new dimension in optical performance, and by upholding Nikon’s tradition of quality while responding to the evolution of imaging technology. By providing image makers with stimulating new products, Nikon will continue to lead imaging culture.
*Within interchangeable lenses for Nikon SLR cameras and Advanced Cameras with Interchangeable Lens



Z 7, Z 6 Product Overview

The Z 7 and Z 6 are equipped with a new backside illumination full-frame, Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with built-in focal-plane phase-detection AF pixels, and the latest image-processing engine, EXPEED 6.

The Z 7 has 45.7 effective megapixels, and supports a standard sensitivity range of ISO 64–25600. In combination with NIKKOR Z lenses, the camera achieves an outstanding level of sharpness and detail, all the way to the edges of the image.

The Z 6 is an all-purpose FX-format camera with an effective pixel count of 24.5 megapixels, and supports the wide range of ISO 100–51200 standard sensitivities. With superior performance at high sensitivities and full-frame 4K UHD movie recording with full pixel readout, the Z 6 responds to a variety of needs, such as shooting in dimly lit environments, and movie recording.

Z 7 and Z 6 Primary Features

1. Equipped with a new backside illumination Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with built-in focal-plane phase-detection AF pixels: A backside illumination CMOS sensor, with built-in focal-plane phase-detection AF pixels, has been adopted for both the Z 7 and the Z 6. The Z 7 has an effective pixel count of 45.7 megapixels, and supports ISO 64–25600 range of standard sensitivities (reduction to the equivalent of ISO 32 and expansion to the equivalent of ISO 102400 is also possible). The Z 6 has an effective pixel count of 24.5 megapixels, and supports a broad range of standard sensitivities, from ISO 100–51200 (additional reduction to the equivalent of ISO 50 and expansion to the equivalent of ISO 204800).

2. A hybrid AF system with focus points covering approximately 90% of the imaging area: The Z 7 has 493 focus points* and the Z 6 has 273 focus points*, enabling broad coverage of approximately 90% of the imaging area both horizontally and vertically. This hybrid AF system uses an algorithm optimized for the FX-format sensor, to automatically switch between focal-plane phase-detection AF and contrast-detect AF with focusing. The use of NIKKOR Z lenses further maximizes AF accuracy with both still images and movies.

*With FX (36×24) image area and single-point AF enabled.

3. The new EXPEED 6 image-processing engine for sharp and clear imaging, and new functions that support creative imaging expression: The Z 7 and Z 6 are equipped with the new EXPEED 6 image-processing engine. Employing the superior resolving power of NIKKOR Z and NIKKOR F mount lenses, subjects are rendered more sharply than ever before. Noise is also effectively reduced. Additionally, a mid-range sharpening option has been added to Picture Control sharpness parameters. This option, along with existing sharpening and clarity parameters, allows users to make various textures within the screen sharper or softer, for both still images and movies*. The cameras also offer 20 options of Creative Picture Control, supporting creative imaging expression. The effect level is adjustable from 0 to 100.

*Mid-range sharpness adjustment is only possible at “High quality” movie setting.

4. An electronic viewfinder that utilizes Nikon's superior optical and image-processing technologies to offer a clear and natural view: The electronic viewfinder adopted for the Z 7 and Z 6 is comfortable and easy to use, comparable to optical viewfinders. Both cameras are equipped with an electronic viewfinder for which an approximately 3690k-dot OLED panel has been adopted. The electronic viewfinder has, respectively, frame coverage and magnification of approximately 100% and 0.8×, as well as an approximately 37.0° diagonal viewing angle. It draws on Nikon's superior optical technologies and image-processing technologies, ensuring a clear and comfortable view comparable to that of optical viewfinders, with reduced aberration and minimum eyestrain, even during extended shoots. Furthermore, a fluorine coat that effectively repels dirt has been applied to the eyepiece protection window. In addition, the menu can be displayed in the electronic viewfinder, allowing users to quickly view and adjust a variety of shooting settings, including ISO sensitivity, AF-area mode, and Picture Control, all while looking through the viewfinder.

5. An ergonomic design unique to Nikon that enables intuitive operation: The Z 7 and Z 6 have inherited the superior operability that Nikon has cultivated over the years through its development of cameras. The bodies are compact, while boasting a firm grip that is easy to hold, and buttons such as the sub selector, AF-ON, ISO, and exposure compensation are all placed so that they can be operated swiftly and easily. Additionally, a display panel has been placed on the top part of the camera, where information about settings can be displayed, same as with high-end digital SLR camera models.



6. Movie functions such as 10-bit N-Log that enables wide dynamic range, and timecoding that respond to professional needs: The Z 7 and Z 6 support recording of not only full-frame 4K UHD (3840 × 2160)/30p movies using the FX-based movie format, but also full-HD/120p movies. Sharper 4K UHD movies are made possible, using the full-pixel readout1. Additionally, Active D-Lighting, electronic vibration reduction, and focus peaking can be used with 4K UHD and Full-HD movie recording. Nikon’s original N-Log can also be used with 10-bit2 HDMI output. The cameras utilize extensive color depth and twelve-stop, 1,300% dynamic range to record a wealth of tone information from highlights and shadows for more effective color grading. Timecode support3 makes synchronizing video and sound to footage recorded across multiple devices easier. Additionally, the control ring built into NIKKOR Z lenses can be used to quietly and smoothly adjust settings such as aperture and exposure compensation.

1 DX-based movie format with the Z 7
2 Simultaneous recording of 4K UHD movies with 10-bit output to the camera's memory card is not possible
3 Not available when shooting slow-motion movies

7. Nikon's first1 in-camera vibration reduction with approx. 5.0-stop2 effectiveness: The Z 7 and Z 6 are equipped with in-camera vibration reduction (VR). The VR unit provides compensation for movement along five axes. The effects of vibration reduction are equivalent to a shutter speed increase of approximately 5.0 stops2. This function can also be used effectively with NIKKOR F lenses, including those not equipped with a VR function, with the Mount Adapter FTZ (sold separately)3.

1 Among interchangeable-lens cameras
2 Measured in accordance with CIPA standards (using the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S, with zoom set at the maximum telephoto position)
3 The level of compensation achieved when a NIKKOR F mount lens is used is not as high as that of a NIKKOR Z lens


8. Other features:
·         Same level of strength and durability, as well as dust- and drip- resistance, as the Nikon D850, offered in a compact body
·         An 8-cm/3.2-in., approximately 2100k-dot touch-sensitive LCD monitor, with a tilting mechanism
·         Silent photography eliminates shake and noise caused by shutter release
·         Peaking stack image function1 enables confirmation of focus depth after shooting using focus shift, which is convenient for focus stacking2
·         High-speed continuous shooting (extended)3 at approximately 9 fps (Z 7) and 12 fps (Z 6) captures fast motion
·         Interval timer photography that makes 8K (Z 7) time-lapse movie creation2 possible
  • An extended low-light metering range4 allows users to easily capture scenes such as the transition from sunset to starry night sky, using aperture-priority auto mode
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® for direct connection to a smart device using SnapBridge
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® makes the transfer of images and movies to a computer possible
  • Support for existing digital SLR camera accessories such as the WT-7A/B/C Wireless Transmitter (available separately) for transferring images and movies at high speed over a wired or wireless LAN, and radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, which makes flexible multi-flash photography possible
1 Can only be confirmed using the camera with which focus shift was performed.
2 Third-party software is required.
3 Continuous H (extended) in 12-bit RAW, JPEG, or TIFF format
4 With interval timer shooting or time-lapse movie recording with silent photography and exposure smoothing enabled.

Development of the MB-N10 Multi-Power Battery Pack
The MB-N10 Multi-Power Battery Pack that is currently in development will hold two EN-EL15b rechargeable Li-ion batteries, effectively increasing the number of shots possible and/or movie recording time by approximately 1.8×. It will provide the same level of dust and drip resistance as the Z 7 and Z 6, and will support USB charging using the EH-7P charging AC adapter.

Information regarding the release of this product will be announced at a later date.

Trade names (companies, products, services, etc.) are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information on the new Z 7 and Z 6, and other Nikon products, please visit

About Nikon

Nikon. At the Heart of the Image. Nikon is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognised for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Singapore Pte Ltd distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX compact digital cameras; Nikon sports optics as well as the Nikon 1 advanced cameras with interchangeable lens system in over 50 countries. For more information, visit Connect with Nikon and other photographers on Facebook at and on Instagram at

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...