Sunday, October 15, 2017

So i got myself an Olympus PEN F Yeaahh....

So i won the bid and then i realised that the Global Shipping Program is charging me for import charges which i found out is quite pricey. I thought at first that was just an estimation should it arrived here but then i was charged during payment checkout....i'm like WTF.... should i retract my bid or just go on with it close one eye? As you probably know i carry on and paid the thing. It actually became much expensive than the winning bid fact i should have bought new rather than buying this pre-owned item. Well, i guess lesson learnt.

So after 2 weeks of waiting, it finally came via DHL Express.
There's no original box, so its just DHL packaging.. and again i told myself i should have bought new.
Upon unboxing the package, i picked up the camera and suddenly the battery pops out of the camera...well nothing fishy about it, not until i want to put the battery back in i realised there's a dent at the bottom corner of the camera near the battery door.

its kinda hard to see but you can see the dent.

I gasps! Was it due to shipping? Or was it dropped? It was fucked. The dent was so strong., the battery door could not be close properly. Fuck this seller selling me a dropped camera without mentioning it in the description. Well i was raised to be a nice guy, i didnt really make a fuss of it. Also i dont want to return it because i will lose money due to shipping charges. I lived on the other side of the world from USA, so yeah...shipping charges will be shitting me. Anyway I was too excited to play with the camera too. Its just a ding. just a dent. fuck it. Lets just force jam this battery door and closed it. Let me tell you, its a lot of effort to close the battery door. i slide the door pin and it closes but there was a gap. Its not pretty.

I'm telling myself it's just a gap. No big deal.......NOT.

I quickly checked the sensor, see if there's any visible crack or hairline crack, so far so good. Took a few pictures and the picture looks ok. nothing weird there. But i must confess, the focusing speed using with my 20mm 1.7 Panny lens is a lot slower than my Pen E-PL7. I mean what gives? I was expecting a faster performance but it was the other way round. it was noticeable. Maybe i was focusing in a dim room but still...i can feel the sluggishness. Just like how i am when i woke up. 

The feel of the camera is very good. the knobs, the handling. The front dial isnt actually in the way as some reviewers said. i love the front dial. that MONO 2 people been talking about. its so good. it made me want to shoot in black and white all the time and the best thing about Olympus is their flexibility. I can shoot in black and white and also saves it with the color profile 2 or your own custom color profile, just by using the bracket mode. This only works with JPGs. Well you can save RAW+Jpegs as well. 

All Black and White pictures are Monochrome Mode 2 with the grain effect at LOW. The colour shots are a custom color profile that i found on the internet, simulating Fuji's classic chrome or kodachrome. Now i dont have to edit much in lightroom. Everything OOC!

I also love the feeling of the shutter. Its so quiet and spongy. 
I also like that the LCD screen can be flip backwards so that it doesnt show the screen. Its like a wannabe film camera! And i just realised that i chimped a lot!! it felt weird when not chimping. 
But i do prefer the E-PL7 tilt screen style. Just tilts up and down, i find it unnatural using this vari-angle flip screen. its just so weird for me. Its like i have to look a bit to the left while the camera pointing straight, if you get what i mean. 

It is a fun camera, i almost dont mind the battery door issues any more until.....

The camera decides to randomly shuts down while taking photos.

At first, i thought its because i was using a slow speed SD card. 
So i swapped cards and shit still happen.

Read in a forum it could be battery.
But its not.

Because after a lot of research, i found out that this could be a shutter mechanism faulty. its hardware. its not something that i can fix. There was a remedy but it did not work for me.

The symptom was, its so random sometime after 30 photos, sometime after 5 shots, it turns to black screen and shuts down. It did not record your last picture taking. Turning On and Off brings it back to life. The remedy was to shoot in high/low sequential mode. At first it will shuts down but after a few shots you will be able to take high speed burst. Return to normal shoot mode and there will be no more problems afterwards. thats the remedy i got from the forums. But it doesnt work on my camera.
I tried it, and i never got to shoot in high sequential mode. Based on forum, this is a shutter mechanism problem. My guess is the drop fucks the shutter.

After toying around with the camera, i realised that the normal shooting mode, did not work. it will shut down.

All these times i was using a 0 sec anti shock mode. This works ok but randomly it will shut down.
Low sequential mode with anti shock works too.
Since this is a shutter mechanism my guess the electronic shutter will work just fine.
And then the deal breaker was all those Live Bulb, Live Time and Live Composites did not work. it will shut down after shutter is pressed. Thats so fucked up. Im not sure who to blame, whether Olympus for making such a pussy camera or the seller but i guess the seller got lied too when they got the camera. Why? Because this seller i deal with seems like a pawn shop. they are just the middle man i guess but still...they did not mentioned the drop in the description so they kinda lie too. motherfuckers. 

I got a crippled Olympus PEN F.

Return in progress.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

YASHICA... the unexpected!!!

Expect the unexpected Yashica said and they nailed it!!
That was really unexpected.
Unexpected the expected.
And here i am expecting a Retro-ish Digital Camera that can rival the Fujis, Sonys and Olympuses.
My wishlist was, a full frame 35mm f2, retro Yashica body, with EVF....well Full Frame was wishful thinking but at least big sensor like APSC or M43.
But instead we get a toy.....sort of....
Yashica called it DigiFilm....
it's a pretend film that you load inside the camera. and theres also a winder! sort of "film advance" or shutter cock
The digifilm is like your Instagram filter but physical. Thus digifilm. different digifilm just gives different effect to each shots taken.
This does appeal to those Lomo/Diana camera fans...and of course hipsters....
I actually think its a clever idea....genius...if only it has a big sensor....but what we got here is what most smartphone camera sensor has.
1/3.2 inch CMOS sensor.
And then there's a confusion whether it was 1.4Mp or 14Mp....there was a possibility of a typo... 1.4Mp in 2017??? Cmon....
I've just checked the updated kickstarter says 14Mp.... well thats reasonable... but still a small sensor??!
1 inch would be great!! but full frame is better!
Definitely a different, possible fun experience.
No LCD to chimp on.
Not sure whether you will get the right exposure.
Just like those film days...without the hassle to develop prints.
To be honest, now that it sinks in, it kinda grows on me. i actually want one. But still a disappointment.
Here i am wishing a rival to X100's or Sony Rx1 or Pen F.
The sample pictures does look a lot like film which is intriguing.
But all these (no LCD chimping, selected ISO, right exposure) can also be done with my PEN F. Just slap back the LCD and dont chimp. and bigger sensor than the Yashica.
Oh...didnt i tell you? I just bought a PEN F!
But still i want the Yashica.

This kickstarter project has reached its target
But still....
Backed this project!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

My supposedly-announced-NEW-PEN-from-previous-blogpost... Its the Olympus PEN E-PL7

I was supposed to announced my newly acquired PEN as i have said in my previous blogpost, that was weeks ago, but life happen so i got busy and did not update this blog as much as i could have... but nobody cares or read anyway...except for one guy 😉
So yea, i got meself a new PEN, the Olympus PEN E-PL7!

I got it when i was in Bangkok....
And it was quite an adventure you see...

While i was in Bangkok, i looked for a used olympus buy and sell group page on Facebook, of course ones located in Thailand, and most of the stuffs they sell is quite cheap compare to ebay.... so while im there, why not buy used?! I just got an E-P2 but it wasnt as expected...i am never satisfied with that camera, the IQ is good but the low resolution of the LCD screen is a deal breaker for me...and combine with the slow lumix 20mm 1.7 lens, the performance is left to be desired... so i look for a new used PEN!

At first i was looking at E-PL5, i want a small camera, so i was looking at the lite and the mini series, in the end i found E-PL7s sells for cheap... of course everything is in squiggly thai fonts...i have to rely on google translate for most of the description....and i thought everyone in Thailand can read or speak english...i was such a fool.... i was txting them in english and boy do i got a reply? nobody answered me....even a direct message to the seller left me hanging..... fucked! But I must get one of the deals here, its a good bargain!

This is just one of the seller's post and i had to endure with google translation.
I dunno...this PEN E-PL7 comes with prostitute??
lets make an appointment with the wind???...
and then you CONTACT THE BANANA???
She never replied my text though...
This is what i had to endure for every post...but thanks for trying google..

So i scroll again looking for sellers who sells the EPL7 for cheap and i found one seller who happens to have a shop at Bangkapi Mall or so i thought......

Oh they got a shop at Mall Bangkapi...thats pretty easy right?
Just go there and look for the shop and just buy....
The Mall is actually pretty far but i believe it will be worth it...

I'm around MBK center, and its around 40-50mins plus traffic to reach Mall BAngkapi....all this for the PEN E-PL7.

And when i reached the Mall Bangkapi, i somehow got a feeling that the shop is not in the i asked the concierge she also said its not in the mall, its somewhere the street outside.... so i check their FB page and THANKS TO YOU FACEBOOK DIRECTION it leads me to Soi Lat Phrao 146 as shown above.... hmm ok... it probably only 10mins walk, so i walk from Mall Bangkapi and went to Soi Lat Phrao, hoping to find the camera shop there, so i walked through the alley, theres some guy at the entrance, he kinda blocked the entrance, speaking in thai, just broadcasting to everyone passing by but i just enter follow the girl infront of me, and just walk in, looking for the shop,.... theres some kind of funeral going on, and all these thai ppl speak loudly, i dunno if there are arguing or just having a good story, its actually a good photo opportunity but i didnt have the balls to take it because it look kinda private and i might get in trouble.... This Bangkapi area is different from the city center, theres no tourist here, nobody speaks english here, lucky i look like thai myself, they probably dont give a fuck, i m probably in trouble if im a farang..... i even enter a supposedly locked gate, it was wide open, i enter n then all these thais kids and some older thais as well give me a look, i realised im not suppose to enter there and its some kind of a restricted area, so i turn back and make my way out of the alley, it was kinda nerve wrecking, i dont speak thai, no one speak english here, no tourist.... and no camera shop to be seen.....might get in trouble....but luckily nothing happen.....and all these for Olympus PEN E-PL7.... so FACEBOOK just gave me BAD direction as Jackie Chan said, NO, they gave me WRONG Direction.... in the expense of my life ....

So i checked the facebook page again, depending everything on Google translate, it still gives me the same direction as before....i kept walking forward just in case the shop is nearby but none....... after much looking and searching in FB, i found some kind of address, 624 Condolette Lad Phrao, i googled it, its not even a shop its only some sort of CONDO.... Oh man, i guess im lost, i couldnt find the shop....FB/Google probably gave me wrong information here..... but since im here might as well check out the CONDO for the last time before i raise the white flag of surrender.....

its another 5 -8 mins walk since im already halfway, so i make my way to the condo....

These area is pretty quiet for Bangkok, check that out, less cars!! OMG...even more nerve wrecking....

 Finally here, when i saw it, there's only some kind of Sushi shop at the ground floor, theres a security guard at the entrance, just walk pass them, and no one stop me or anything...

The only obvious shop is the Sushi shop, i didnt even see the camera shop next to it!! I FINALLY FOUND THE SHOP!!!!!!!

Nice people!!!
The girl at the counter is HOT!
They speak little english, and they were kind of surprise to see me there, a non thai....
The guy was funny, he didnt speak english at all but he spoke to me in Thai as if i can understand him...the girls were giggling looking at us, like duck and chicken talking!

All these for my new Olympus PEN E-PL7.
It was a good adventure.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017


I'm fucked!
I wasnt expecting import charges...
But it was included!!!
...during checkout!!!
What supposed to be cheap...
Went a $112 MORE!!!
Thats not a deal...
Thats murder!!!!!
But it was still an oversight from my own....
I guess i learnt my lesson???
I shudve RTFM??
Fucking import charges...
Now i have kidneys to sell...
No wonder i won the bid easily...
Theres a fucking additional charge!
Global Shipping Program my ASS...
I'm not surprised if i get double charged when it arrives here..
I was careless...
I can still cancel the bid and get a negative feedback or whatever...
but my ego is above me...
never retract a bid...
Dont pussy out...
Just pay the goddamn thing!!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Fuji X-E3, just so you know i dont have it on hand, these are just my thoughts

I'm trying to like the Fuji X-E3. Maybe i'm just having GAS.
But its so damn ugly...
I never liked the X-E series.
But i liked the rangefinder style and was hoping the X-E3 would change my mind.
But it still is damn ugly....
Silver or Black... still urrgghhh...
But I like it how they make it smaller.
I'm looking for a Fuji rangefinder style with EVF + Interchangeable lens.
that only leaves me with the X-E series.
Why Fuji u say? Well i always liked their IQ.
But if i wanted a Fuji i probably go with the X-T20.
Maybe because i liked the Tilt Screen so much.
I dunno why a camera with Tilt Screen is consider as a non pro camera.
Fuck you pros!
It is just damn handy.
I always love the X100 series
But its time to get the interchangeable lens camera.
I love the X-Pro2. BUT its just too big.
And then came along the X-E3...
Small...probably better....
But OMG its ugly...
I guess i'm sticking with Olympus for now.
And fanboys......stay away!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Fuji this, Fuji That....blerrgghhh!

I love Fuji as a brand and the cameras they are making and selling, but there's one thing that really annoys me about Fuji, it really gets on my nerves... its their FANBOYS!!!!

It started a little something like this,
"Why i shoot with Fuji....."
"Why i Switch from BRAND to Fuji.."
"The X-T2 shoots wedding"
"The X-Pro2 at the racing car"
"Fuji the Leica killer"
"Why Fuji is the best bla blabla"
bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla..... yeah WHATEVS!!

It just frikkin annoys me, fucking fanboys!
I love how back then it used to be just....
"Shooting landscapes",
"Weddings by ..... " ,
" Sunset in Greece or something"

Back then it was all about the photography first, nowadays, its camera/gear first and then photography second.... and sometimes its shit photography but i have to admit these fanboys do take great photos.... i just hate it when the gears get worshipped too much....

I HAVE TO ADMIT THOUGH I PROBABLY DID THE SAME THING!!! Bahahahaha!!! but i think nobody reads my blogs anyway, so i get away with it....just one friend who is my superfan, i meant supporter.... *wink*wink*

Anyways back to my rant,
Back then they photographers talked more about the photography itself, the technique they used to shoot them photos, and i have to check the notes of the photo to know which camera/gears they used.....

Nowadays, its gears vs gears....
while it is convenient, i mean it is good to have these comparisons....
and its worst if you read at forums like DPREVIEW, all the fanboys bashing each other, keyboard warriors, trolls, u name it.... them fuckers!
"OH i can do this with this camera, can you do with yours???"

All brands have FANBOYS but the most annoying ones are the FUJI FANBOYS!

I love Fuji, I love Sony, I love Olympus, I love Leica
I love all brands....
Each have their own weaknesses and strengths.
Please dont worship too much or bash others for using a different brand...
Just take a photo and shut up.

Trolls let em come.

Now that that's out of the system.....

Talk about FUji,
The XE3 will be announced today!!!
I am somehow pretty excited....
i guess my honeymoon with Olympus is over???????
Maybe its just GAS...
I am certain it is GAS!!!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Fashion Magazine Cover

Check out my fashion shoot photo on a cover of a fashion magazine!
yea sure sure...
I found some fashion magazine cover template free online, just hit google and pasted the photo i took from previous blog post.

It's pretty awesome!
Thanks for whoever provided the free templates.

Dream big or Go home...

Monday, September 4, 2017

Olympus PEN E-P2 in Bangkok 2017!

Traffic at Siam. Shot with PEN E-P2 ISO800 with 20mm 1.7 Lumix lens

i feel like im lost for words.
But i have to write about my Bangkok trip with the Olympus PEN E-P2.
How was it as a 2017 go everywhere camera?
That is the reason why i bought the E-P2 in the first place.

Since i'm lost for words....

Anyway, lets talk about Bangkok!
I'm here for the Foo Fighters concert...
That was one awesome show! Seeing Dave Grohl live, its like a dream comes true....
Not so much sight seeing as i only stayed at one area, namely the Siam area, where the shopping malls are closely located. Pretty easy to reach as i only stayed nearby at my currently favourite hotel IBIS Siam. Its just next to MBK, an oldie but goodie famous shopping mall. All the malls are connected to each other via skywalk (a pedestrian bridge) and the BTS(tubes/mrt/train) is here too!.
This year alone i went to Bangkok 3 times already.... First is for the GnR concert...thats a fun show too! Second is an impromptu visit... And Third is this blog's contents...
First trip i stayed at the Asoke Sukhumvit and Thonglor area....
While its ok there, i prefer staying near MBK now...from now on i'm just gonna stay MBK area.
If you like clubbing n bars, Thonglor is definitely the place to go...

That's my favourite hotel, ibis hotel. Good for solo and couple travellers. Family? not so much. as the rooms are quite small. But the location is super good, if you want to be close to the malls and BTS.

The Thai people are still mourning for their king. 

 The view from my room. 

 BTS just in front of hotel. 

The IBIS of the PEN E-P2 is not as effective as the newer models. thats understandable. This is at 1/60 shutter speed..hmmm...i must have been shaking a lot....or i did not stop still... I didn't realise there's a puppy in the middle of the lane. 

 I just love shooting sign boards!

Man, looking at traffic. 
I'm using the Panasonic 20mm 1.7 lens. It is very famous for being a slow performer. Although at times i think the speed is "liveable". Im not shooting sports anyway. But combine with the old E-P2 the slowness is noticeable.

This is SOOC ISO800 PEN E-P2. 
When you're in Bangkok, you must try Cha Yen (Thai Iced Milk Tea) and of course Tom Yum Goong! F*#k Your McDonalds.. 

Pretty Cool Vespa.  

Thailand's Tuk Tuk... They are much expensive than your regular taxis! These guys r frikkin rip off. My advise stay away.. i'd rather use the motorbike/scooter taxi.. short distance only 20BATH! 

These Thai Pancakes are the real deal....pretty sweet though!! you have to get the crispy warm ones!! These ones you can grab it at MBK mall!

A shout out to my favourite Coffee Shop located in MBK, Cafe Amazon.. They served pretty good coffee. Screw the starbucks and the coffeebeans. Those shops are crowded anyways. Cafe Amazon is less popular and thus less people but hey their coffee is goooooooooodddddd!

 Talk about Vintage... I just love vintage scooters.

When pedestrian lane becomes a scooter lane too! These streets are full of Soccer Jerseys! But mostly are Thailand's soccer teams. You can make custom sizes/names/numbers, you know the lot!

Again with the vintage scooter.... oooh mama 


The dynamic range of the PEN E-P2 is quite OK. You can lift up the shadows but beware of shadow noise though! Highlights are pretty hard, i mean all cameras struggles with burnt highlights, so try not to burn highlights. Not a great example but you can see i can lift up the shadows to expose more of the plants on the left side. I can recover a bit of the highlights. Now you can see cloud structures! I shoot RAW with the E-P2. Base ISO 200 definitely has some noise..

I just love signboards! 
The thing i noticed my workflow with the E-P2 is i do a lot of sharpening.
I just find that the E-P2 files needed a touch of sharpening. 
I rarely do any type of sharpening by the way. Almost non existent. 

The hectic traffic in Bangkok. Where you wanna go?? Left, Right, Straight?? 

 The Calm Before The Storm

Pretty Wires! 

I fucking hate the SIAM BTS Stop. Its too crowded!!!!!!!

I try to limit my ISO at 1600. When you convert to Black n White, the noise added grit to the pictures which i liked. 

Trying my luck shooting at 1sec handheld. I am surprised it is quite good! Motion blur of course but usable.
 ISO200 and at f9. WTF!!

My Fav Mall for this trip.. at first i was really looking forward to go to the Sunday Market..and then the heat and the tiredness overcame me, so i just go to nearby MBK, because it have most of the stuffs that i want from the Market... im sure the market has more choices and probably cheaper but i wasnt looking for anything specific.. so in the end i'd just stayed back....i was occupied with something else too, thats for another blog post.. 

This is Thailand's trademark dessert.... There are so many variants but the same basic ingredients are used. Sticky Rice with Mango and Coconut Milk! Yum!

Trying my best at Stealth photography...capturing the moments of a stranger getting lunch. Excuse the grain. It was added for grittiness. 

I've met my good buddy who happens to visit Bangkok. He's a photographer as well, so he asked me to join him shooting a model. Why not??! 
It was too hot and bright, my E-P2 cant shoot wide open at f1.7, the shutter keeps on blinking, if only there's a ND filter built in. This is at f2.8. I would prefer more bokeh than this. 

I've always wanted to shoot a fashion model... so i guess the stars aligned and my wish came true.

 This is SOOC! When the light is right.... everything's right

There happened to be a weekend street market at this area.... 

The owner was kind enough to let us take a photo of her puppies... 

 Thailand's GOT Talent... drumming away in the streets..

Here is my friend's Fuji X-Pro2. I love Fuji but compare to my Olympus, it is a tad bigger.... I cant stand long protruding lenses.. But I love Fuji IQ so i have to make some compromises... size vs iq. i choose size. The olympus is small to carry which is a joy. combine with a pancake lens... Its a good bring everywhere camera. The Olympus IQ is good enough for me.

 Check out that awesome ice cream! On a hot day eating ice cream is heaven on earth.

Here's a funny story... we were strolling around at the streets and nowhere to was frikking hot and i want to be in an air-conditioned place... 
So I asked my friend, "Where are we going?"
He said "After you!"
So i was like, "Let's go to the mall, its frikking hot!!"
But he keep strolling around the streets, didn't enter the mall.
i mean WTF, Cmon its hot, lets go to the mall
he keeps saying after you....
in the end we came to this ice cream place, and its called "After You!"!
Anyway this place is packed!! and people are queuing to dine here...
Good business indeed!

 Afterwards we meet up with my friend's friend who likes to model as well... 

So how does the Olympus PEN E-P2 performs??
In good light the IQ is pretty good, a little less sharp than i like...
The AF i cannot say much because i only tested it with the famous slow lens the Panny 20mm 1.7.
But this combination is quite slow for today's standard. But i think it's liveable. As long you're not shooting sports or kids running around. 
As you can see, shooting a fashion model/static object is fine. 
The LCD is a low resolution sometimes, most of the times, its hard to see the IQ/sharpness of the photos you just took. I always wonder how it would look like on my laptop screen.  Do i get it sharp? is it blur? Most of the time its fine but you're just not confident enough just by looking at the LCd screen.
And i will not be confident shooting weddings with this camera. While it can, i'd rather use a better camera.
While face detection works, sometimes i cant get pin sharp eyes but this may be due to the fact that i shoot the Panny lens wide open at f1.7. The moustache is sharp but not the eyes. u get what i mean? If there's an eye detection it would be better. or i just shoot at f2.8 but that defeats the purpose of a 1.7 lens. Yes yes yes, i like shooting wide open.
Its not an indoor camera. 
If shooting at shutter speeds such as 1/15, 1/20 expect motion blur. The newer Olympus can shoot at that speed pin sharp.
Now i can understand when people say the 16mp sensor is better than the 12mp sensor of the E-P2.
16mp sensor definitely to go.
The response and performance of the newer models is just so satisfactory!
My conclusion for my PEN E-P2 is like Mick Jagger would sing ...
"I cant get no satisfaction"

While it is a capable travel camera as long as the light is good, but the corner of my heart tells me that im not satisfied. Thats why i bought a new PEN model here in Bangkok!!

Anyway im gonna leave you with a fashion shoot i did using the E-P2 with the 20mm 1.7 Panny.

Here onwards i use the orange n teal technique... which i kinda dig. you can find a lot of tutorials on youtube.

*please dont use the photos without permission*