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

Current Moon Phase