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holymoly

Everything Digital Photography

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The Sigma 18-35 is a lens you mount a camera on, not the other way around. The lens is the main course; the camera is an accessory to the lens. On the 70D it is a wrist spraining 1.6kg; on an M it is more manageable.

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The form factor reminds me of Leica cine lenses on Leica rangefinders.

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leica-M24-=with=50mm-Summilux-C-640w.jpg

 

Or of Leica cine lenses on a Sony Nex 5

mikecurtisleica50mmdsc0.jpg

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Have you people heard of Peak Design? They're a SanFran-based startup making photo accessories around Kickstarter projects. I bought their flagship strap today, the Peak Design Slide Summit Edition in Lassen red. A mouthful, but so is the awesomeness of the strap.

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It's not an intense Ferrari red like the Artisan&Artist Slide but rather a muted red. I could have lived without this strap -- never would have bought it if they didn't make it in such a nice red.

image_zpssoppmxhm.jpeg

 

It is not a genius design like the Domke canvas bag or the Leica strap; instead it is one of those products with a tonne of design hours poured into it. It is exceptionally thoughtfully designed, but the effort is all to obvious and it lacks that leap of genius.

 

It comes with four pieces of the anchor links, which means you can use the strap on two cameras. There is also a VERY nice Arca-Swiss compatible tripod plate included with provision for four attachment points for the anchor links. You can purchase more anchor links at a reasonable cost to use the strap on even more cameras. Or even on bags.

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It's really a wonderful all-purpose cross-body strap you can use on cameras and bags. I would never use it as a shoulder strap, i.e. with the strap on the same side as the camera/bag. It is too slippery--even with the rubberized side. Only use it diagonally across the chest. For shoulder straps, look at the Leica strap or the UPstrap.

 

I bought it from a seller in Klang who is a professional photographer, and he showed me another Peak Design product, the Everyday Messenger bag.

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It's an awesome bag, and I may buy it someday. No, I don't think it's the Jesus bag it is made out to be.

 

Here are promo videos for the Slide and Everyday Messenger.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=M7OMsCh9S5c

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6CpOEcl1nec

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Peak Design launches their new products via Kickstarter almost exclusively. The Everyday Messenger was designed with Trey Ratcliff so they have been quick to use this in marketing http://www.stuckincustoms.com/. Peak Design has started to collaborate with Massdrop too. There was a recent drop of the camera strap https://www.massdrop.com/buy/peak-design-slide-camera-strap and the Everyday Messenger https://www.massdrop.com/buy/the-everyday-messenger-peak-design

. Hence this tip: if you like their current products and might want to buy them slightly cheaper, just follow and watch Kickstarter and Massdrop. At USD249.95, the price tag of Everyday Messenger is tough for me to stomach. 

 

By the way back at September 2014, there was a huge backlash following a number of complaints on the strap. http://petapixel.com/2014/09/17/peak-design-strap-failures-causing-dropped-cameras-photographers/. Yours is a newest one so the components have already been upgraded. Just make sure the anchor links are fully engaged in the latches without any play before setting off.

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I watched all the Everyday messenger bag videos, but encountering it in the flesh made me twice as impressed. I still don't think it's that exalted mainly because of three things:

 

a) There is a perfect bag for a situation, but never one for all situations. That's why you have several bags. TEM won't make any of my other bags redundant.

b ) The interior has the dust- and dirt gathering fuzz needed for Velcro to work.

c) The main material is a synthetic "Kodra 500" which is nowhere as natural feeling as cotton.

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I've recently been thinking about getting a camera. It's a topic I seriously considered once a few years ago, but never followed up. This time entertaining the thought is a bit more dangerous due to slightly improved finances. 

 

I thought first about what I wanted to do with the camera and thought of it as an everyday camera - shoot whatever I come across: food, people on the street, interesting angles I find, etc. On another space I was strongly recommended to pick up a prosumer compact. A fixed lens, or a fixed lens zoom with the chief argument being one of cost and not knowing what I like anyway, but I thought hard and decided against it as I wanted to have the option to expand, even if I eventually don't. This is also the same reason I decided against the Fuji X100T despite having seen great shots, liking the feel of it and having great reviews. 

 

I'm now considering either a Olympus OMD EM10 MII, or possibly a second hand Fuji XT10. I like the fuji for its out of camera colours, but the allure of the EM10 MII is strong.

 

Thoughts?

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There are a lot of stuff written online about mirrorless cameras and I know you will read reviews so I will keep this short. The Olympus OMD EM-10 MarkII is a capable camera. As a photography tool, it has excellent features with a notable stabilization system as well as a retro body that is appealing. With the launch of Panasonic GX8, you should take a look at the Panasonic GX7 which will now be priced keenly with the Olympus OMD EM-10 MarkII. Panasonics are generally better at videos than Olympus. If you occasionally take selfies, Panasonic GX7 has a flip screen that can be tilted vertically. The most well-spec'd and keenest priced mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lens systems are the Sony A5100 (vertical flip screen) and A6000. With bigger sensors, the pair of Sonys are generally better at low-light shots. The continuous autofocusing system in the pair of Sonys is arguably more reliable than the Olympus e.g. in capturing running children. 

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There are a lot of stuff written online about mirrorless cameras and I know you will read reviews so I will keep this short. The Olympus OMD EM-10 MarkII is a capable camera. As a photography tool, it has excellent features with a notable stabilization system as well as a retro body that is appealing. With the launch of Panasonic GX8, you should take a look at the Panasonic GX7 which will now be priced keenly with the Olympus OMD EM-10 MarkII. Panasonics are generally better at videos than Olympus. If you occasionally take selfies, Panasonic GX7 has a flip screen that can be tilted vertically. The most well-spec'd and keenest priced mirrorless cameras with interchangeable lens systems are the Sony A5100 (vertical flip screen) and A6000. With bigger sensors, the pair of Sonys are generally better at low-light shots. The continuous autofocusing system in the pair of Sonys is arguably more reliable than the Olympus e.g. in capturing running children. 

 

 

 

You have to try them in the hand. Like with Harry Potter's wand, it will choose you.

 

Right on. It's the paradox of choice indeed! The more I read the more I feel there's more to read before I finally decide, but at the back of my head I know that at some point in time I will have have to stop trying to weigh the pros and cons of each, and actually choose one (if I eventually do go ahead). 

 

I'm aware of the Panas as well as the A6000, but for some reason both brands do not sing to me. Maybe like Kotmj said, it chooses me. That said, with the X Pro 2 due for imminent launch, there looks to be a possible pricing down of the Xpro1, then hopefully XT series, and if the XT10 ends up faring favourably in terms of price vis a vis the EM10 II, then it'll make it even harder. 

 

And then there's the rumour of the A6000 successor ... how, lah. haha. 

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Cat giving the DiCaprio look in The Revenant.

image_zpslvspkep4.jpeg

 

Sometimes deceptively angelic

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Other times a terror

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But ultimately affection and proximity seeking

image_zpskgfnhq38.jpeg

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IMG_20161009_205802_zps6xntnb44.jpg

SMC Pentax 50/1.4 @ f2.0

 

I've been shooting quite a bit with the Sigma 50/1.4 Art lately on both my 70D -- where the lens is the equivalent of a 80mm -- and a film EOS 7 which preserves the native 50mm of the lens. I have a roll of Acros 100 with the photo shop for developing, and there is Ilford Delta 400 in the EOS 7.

 

But today, a change of pace from the optical perfection of the Sigma Art. I took out my much neglected SMC Pentax 50/1.4 for some dog pictures.

 

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SMC Pentax 50/1.4 @ f2.0

 

Clearly the Pentax does not approach the Sigma in overall contrast or in resolution. But it is tiny and has the old world character -- the glow of spherical abberation. I use the Pentax at f2.0 because I find f1.4 to be too weak. The Sigma is triumphant right from f1.4.

 

IMG_20161001_164150_zpsnrqjczko.jpg

 

From left: SMC Pentax 50/1.4 in K mount, Sigma 50/1.4 Art, Sigma 18-35/1.8 Art.

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IMG_20170816_201157.jpg?raw=1

 

Just bought a Carl Zeiss Jena Biotar 58/2 today in Bentong. Manufactured between 1946-60. It is one of the few lenses with swirly soap bubble bokeh. In practice, it is difficult to provoke its signature bokeh.

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IMG_20170830_162019.jpg?raw=1

 

Canon 50/1.5 in M39 mount. This is a copy of the Carl Zeiss Sonnar 50/1,5 originally made for the Contax rangefinder camera system. Solid brass, beautifully chromed. Bought it last year.

 

I also have the Canon 135/3.5 in the same mount. Very beautifully made.

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