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

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