December 31, 2009

3.5H to 2010 w/ a Blue Moon!

I just learned that today is a Blue Moon
So I tried the RF Rokkor-X 500mm w/ a 2XTCPP'd in LR

it's like a war zone over here [lol]
Happy New Year guys!!!

It's almost 2010!

The Moon is 98% full as of blogging this.
Early this month I reposted a Moon shot using the ETX90:

Today, I looked for my MD>T-mount adapter and was wondering why I was not using the full tube that came with it which looks something like this:
(image borrowed from

then realized that it has something to do with the focal length :P
I tried the ETX again tonight w/ the complete tube and got this:
Notice 'how' the Moon didn't fit the APS-C sensor

December 29, 2009

Happy New Year people! :)

Yesterday our colleague treated us at KFC and I noticed the KFC bucket staring at me.
So something popped in my mind - an upgrade to my ice cream box DIY ring light.

So that same night I went to work on it:

Slice the bucket into two
Cut some board to plug the bottom end
Put on the cover and add the donut hole to make it look like a ring :P
Control the stray light w/ some more duct tape on the side

and some test shots. Someone doing FishVille and the 'old' flash.

My new ring light is lighter and 'better' than the ice cream box :P

Cheers everyone and have a safe New Year celebration \m/

December 23, 2009

Christmas is just around the corner and so I want to greet you people a Blessed Christmas :)

Last year I was looking at the Sony HVL-F58AM because of the first ever feature in any flash - it can swivel/rotate horizontally! Here's a proof in one of a Sony user's blog :P It has other cool features but looking at my ever dependable and powerful 5400HS flash, I didn't push through with the purchase.

This month I was fortunate to acquire the lower model Sony HVL-F42AM and just after an hour or so of use, I'm impressed! Only now I can use the A700 in Aperture Priority and leave the flash in Auto mode. The 3600HS will not work in Auto mode in the Alpha DSLRs - may it be KM or Sony. I just recently sold my workhorse 3600HS(D) unit, and I'm so glad I'm able to replace it with a newer Sony flash. I've envied Nikon's flash units that can cope up with the body's burst mode and now I'm floored to have learned (due to my excitement, I skipped on the manual which is typically me [LOL]) that the F42AM can do burst mode [standing ovation]. This put my faith back to Sony [cough]. Saw it in cameralabs forum, with a full review by Bjorn van Sinttruije and his video tour at youtube.
Now I'm really excited to try it with the hybrid batteries.
And I think the F42AM is the best deal in Sony's lineup :P
Gotta go now and check that Auto White Balance thingy. Ciao :)

edit: some pics from the office while playing with the old school Minolta wireless flash setup circa 1980s :P

yes, this one with 1 F42AM [in WL mode] only :)

edit 2: Here are 5 consecutive shots from the Minolta 3600HS and Sony HVL-F42AM. I used just a set of UniRoss Hybrio, after doing it w/ the 3600HS, I transferred them to the F42AM. Pretty impressive results really.



December 19, 2009

So now I have added the Canon 40D to my photography tools.
I am quite impressed w/ its high ISO performance and AF speed. No wonder it's always
compared to its PRO brother the Canon 1D series and 5D(classic). (Remember the Sacred Cow??? :D)

Now I am wondering if I should use it as a main camera for my sidelines specially when covering wedding events. The 40D's AF is fast and accurate and doesn't hesitate even in low light. It gives me better confidence when shooting people. I have compared it against my Sony A700 last night and it's slightly better. Now, the problem is which lens to use during events. W/ the Alpha system, I am using the A700 w/ the SAL16-80/3.5-4.5 (80mm@4.5!) [price @ ~PHP33T] and the closest range I can find available on the Canon mount is the 17-85 IS USM [price @ ~PHP28T]. Fortunately, I was able to borrow my officemate's unit. To cut the long story short, the Canon can't match the SonyCZ lens =( But the 40D body continues to impress me specially on its high ISO capability. With lesser noise, it is indeed better than A700's 1600.
The Canon EF-S 17-85 (shot w/ A700|SAL1680):
The reviews in FredMiranda's site is quite conclusive.

The next candidate is the Sigma 17-70... but Sigma is another story :D
I think I have to give it to the A700/SAL1680 combo - it's a combo that is quite hard to beat.

So I guess I'll just have to get the Tokina 11-16 (or 12-24) and delegate the 40D for UWA duty ;-)

December 13, 2009

On fps, here's an excerpt from e-fotografija's review of Canon 40D

"As said before, the rapid fire mode won't be used that often by the camera's target public. Sure, it's fun to play with it and show off in front of your mates, but how often do you really need it? You might go all Tim Page (this translator's favourite war photographer ever) and leave the camera on 6.5 fps all the time, just in case Elvis pops up from somewhere. On the other hand, this means that you'll probably take two shots instead of one, which isn't all that good for the shutter. But then again, the shutter has a life expectancy of about 100,000 shots, so it's not too much of a worry. And in any case, you still have the option of using the sane speed, 3 fps."

December 02, 2009

Lately, I've been itching on another scope. GAS! Must not give in :D

So I decided to revisit my old Meade ETX90RA which I actually have not used to its full potential yet.

As a terrestrial scope, it has an effective FL (folcal length) of 1250mm. But with an opening of 90mm (3.5in), the effective aperture is a dim f/13. This is the source of my 'itch'. I want experience a scope with a wider aperture. The 'down' side is I have to settle for a shorter eff. FL.
An Orion refractor w/ an eff FL/f of 714mm/7.0 w/ D=102mm(4in) costs about USD900 so I have to stop on my tracks and go the more practical path :D

Here's a sample shot using the ETX90 as a lens, The Moon on APS-C sensor w/o crop.

My plan is to improve the electronic drive of the ETX. Information on how to do it abound @ Mike's Might ETX site. This will keep myself busy and take my mind off those refractors.
In due time, I will get my refractor so I can star hop with my kids. But for now, I'll save some cash :D

November 28, 2009

I was fortunate this week to have seen (and shoot!)
Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao
at a Christening Ceremony of a Mayor's Daughter

A new Hummer!

The Celebrity

excited Priests :)

November 26, 2009

I'm selling my Kenko Teleplus PRO DG 1.4X TC
Check it out at tipidpc

Oh yeah, got to see Manny 'Pacman' Pacquiao
at a Mayor's daughter's Christening ceremony that we 'covered' at Binan yesterday.

He looks just like how you see him on print or on broadcast :)
Pics to follow.

November 20, 2009

A good read: The Sacred Cow ;P

I feel like a loser, never saw a single meteor this week =(

November 16, 2009

We visited Enchanted Kingdom yesterday after the Pacquiao-Cotto fight which I didn't watch coz I had to wash the car.
For a change, I didn't bring any of my camera and just enjoyed the rides with my family and relatives.
The Canon 5D combo has to go :P
The weather is looking bad and I might not be able to watch the Leonids Meteor shower. I'm still keeping my toes crossed though.

November 09, 2009

Looking for forward for this year's Leonids Meteor Shower. A few years back I was able to count over 350 of them and this year should be another fruitful event w/ the Moon taking a time off on that week. 17Nov 1510H-UT is the peak of the show w/ a forecast of 500 meteors per hour! I'll try to watch on the evening of 17th and hopefully the early morning and evening of the 18th and I really hope the weather will cooperate :P Most of the time [locally] there's a storm when there's meteor shower :P

The Canon 1740L is back with me and I am very glad. I've tried an exposure of 5secs and ISO1600 w/ the lens at 17mm/f4 and the result is very promising! No wonder Canon 5D is called the King of the Night :D Can't wait to get some T-mount and M42 adapters!

Plus I've finally decided to wait and get the Tamron 24-135.

I hope I'm dong the right thing here :D

November 07, 2009

I sold the Canon 17-40L yesterday but the buyer sent me a message today that there's a white dot inside|on the front element. I think it's a blessing in disguise. I tried the Tamron 17-35 yesterday as an alternative but there's too much light fall off on the corners and it doesn't stand a chance on the Canon 17-40L in terms of color and sharpness.
So I'll get the lens back on Monday (whew!) and I think I'll just keep it and forget about the Canon 24-105L.
'Honest' reviews of the 24105L mention about it has harsh bokeh and it enlightened me why there's so many used 24105L on the market. I feel bad at the same time because it has a great range for a walk-about lens.
We really can't have it all do we? :P

I'll just wait for a Tamron 24-135 to come by.

On a sidenote, I fell in love with the Canon EF 85/1.8 that I tried w/ the 5Dmk1.
Something that Minolta don't have - an affordable 85mm.

Sorry no pics for today... just blogging :D

On Portable Audio:
UE came out with a new pair of IEMs - the UE700 Noise Isolating Earphones selling for USD199.
Nice size. Since I already am using the UE sf5v2, I googled and found this comparo.
Have you seen a dog smile? :)

November 04, 2009

It's a tough decision but I have to let go of two very good lenses to fund an upgrade.
Click on the lens headings for the links to ad posts at TPC.

The Minolta 28-135/f4-4.5
'Secret Handshake'

Canon EF 17-40/f4L

05nov-1200H: both lenses reserved already \m/

October 24, 2009

Happy Birthday Coby :)

October 11, 2009

Mabuhay Germany

Went to Bonifacio Highstreet today to check what's going on for the Mabuhay Germany event.
There were supposed to be activities for the kids.
I just brought my cam and a newly acquired lens for a spin to see how it will perform.

So there were high German cars like Audi, BMW and Benz.
I chanced by a demo of the BMW's Z4 Roadster's top down:
Cool huh!?
(Sorry can't find a jpg animation freeware)

And there was the puzzle game that took more than an hour!
And we didn't get any refreshment! @_@
Here's the puzzle from Ravensburger - a policital world map.
6 kids were supposed to make up a team, there's our boys waiting for the puzzle...
and I was quite shocked that they were supposed to do a 1000 piece puzzle! O_o
Good thing the hosts asked other kids and parents to join them.
Here's my wife with the other 2 girls, our boys were so bored by then :D
The girls took on the continents.
while the boys and I took on the flags.

North America?
and good thing is that we won. WHEW!!!
We got a limited edition polo shirt and ball cap for the hard work :D

And more pics from the event:
Activities for the kids, they were just given some coloring sheet :P
Enji trying to topple the cans
Coby trying to stop a plane?!
There were worms
I saw Elvis
a flower overlooking some German(?) paintings
There were plants
and an astronaut!?
We did see some showbiz personalities :)

It's a very good lens except for the flare, but I think I can do something about it.
I'm satisfied.

Current Moon Phase