Wednesday, 26 February 2020

It's been awhile...

Timex, if you want to make more $ hire me :) [well other big brands can too]
All Timex has to do is make better variations of their retro lines which i can help design. just one example 
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gosh the last post was in Jun 2019... but who blogs any more nowadays right? Younger folks are even leaving facebook. i still keep an account but i don't post much anymore and am also getting less interested in what others post. instagram reigns of course and tiktok is on the up and up. a constantly changing world... but i digress. blog posts once in awhile then. 


hmm so what's happened over the last 8 months and what's up now? 


Family and work are still my priority as always. On the life front, life goes on even in the face of the bad covid19 spreading around. i hope things will get better soon and to a more managed and better state all round. 

I am enjoying photography and wa
s made Zeiss photography ambassador for Singapore! :) thanks to the folks there for the relationship established and for appreciating my photography. Zeiss makes some great lenses of course from the batis, loxia, milvus and of course the otus line, so it has been great trying out more of their lenses. I have of course bought and enjoyed Zeiss lenses on my leica camera and on the sony and fuji mirrorless bodies I have, for example the classic 135mm f2.0 apo sonnar. amazing lenses. 

I also got some photography awards too which was cool :) So will end off for now by sharing some pix taken in the past couple months. rest of my pix you can check out on my IG LINK


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Saturday, 29 June 2019

Captain Willard Seiko Reissue SLA033

Some past posts of mine relevant to this watch can be found here LINK 

And now to the watch at hand... the reissue of the 6109 8110, the Seiko SLA033

i decided to pop by K2 today and what do you know there is one of these babies in the shop. Of course if you want it, call up and order first if it is still available. Some of the watches may be hot limited editions and after they sell out they are gone. This one is limited to 2500 pieces and list price is 450k yen. In SG i think it's around S$6+k. Not sure I didn't ask as i knew it would be toooo much. Seikos to me are $1k watches and not a few times more than $1k watches. I am happy with my vintage and will rock that for now. Some quick pix of that watch and some other pieces that caught my eye whilst there. 
While I am happy they reissued it, i wish it was more affordable and not so limited. They've gone upmarket with these former beater watches, to get more out of these reissues, and I'd rather they stayed true to what these watches were originally. 

Whatever... BBB MTL! 
[for foreign readers that means go and buy it now! ;) ]



held by a Seiko expert at K2


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more turtles... they've been milking it like what AP did with the offshores in the past

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some nice looking watches

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Recommended Seiko seller/servicer/modder ;)
  • K2 Watch Company run by Mr Goh since 1982 (30+ years... It's a local horological institution ;) 
  • Add: 845 Geylang Road, #03-K1 Tanjong Katong Complex, Singapore 400845
  • Tel : 67460270 
  • Opening Hours: Weekdays and Satday 2-9pm, sun: 3-7pm, public hol: best to call to check if he'll be open
  • If you have the model name/reference on hand, check if he sells it and if he does, then buy it from him 
Some other Seiko posts to check out

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


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The lovely M10P (shot on iPhone)


  
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Leica be selling watches now too (shot on iPhone)

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Cafe Leitz! (shot with M10P)


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Yummy mini confectionaries (shot with M10P)
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Yes I would like more coffee (shot with M246)
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Some dried flowers around the counter (shot with M246)
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Taking a break (shot with M246)
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Always happy with a good cup of Leica coffee (shot on iPhone)

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Wednesday, 19 December 2018

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


A Paul Newman Daytona
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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 
A RM
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Another RM
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Another RM 
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make it rain RMs!
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Another... 
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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? 
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Another Paul Newman Daytona
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More Paul Newman Daytonas
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It's Raining Paul Newman Daytonas
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Some vintage Rolex
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A vintage rolex
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Another
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More
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Gimme more
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I just can't get enough I just can't get enough
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I just can't get enough I just can't get enough
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1665 DRSD double red sea dweller with Mark 1 dial
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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]

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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! :)

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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.

Price

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



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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.  
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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.

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