My First Roll with a Leica M2

I have always wanted a Leica, not that to show off or anything but I have always been intrigue by why photographers seemed to like the camera and lenses made by Leica. I have owned rangefinders like the Bessa R, Yashica GSN but everyone seem to say that you should try to own a Leica to see the difference. Recently I have begin to start clearing out my dry box, too many camera’s and lenses, with the money i managed to get for myself a nice Lecia M2 that is much older than me.

First Impressions

It’s a heavy camera, but not as heavy like a D7000 with a 28-70 F2.8 on it. It’s confortable to put a wrist strap on and just walk around the whole day. You can tell that there are lots of metal parts all around the camera. The thing that impress me the most was how all the components seems to move very smoothly, especially the film advance lever, the resounding “tud” when you have reached the end is nice. The shutter is definitely much quieter than the Bessa R, the shutter button is nice and light, unlike the Bessa where there is a certain tension to the button

The film loading is cumbersome you really need to site down and load the film, in case you drop the film spool. The rangfinder patch is nice and bright , but i would probably rate the Bessa R finder better since you can’t really see the 35mm frame lines on the M2 if you are wearing glasses, but on the Bessa R you can see more of the frame line.

Overall feel is that this is a workers tool, well made and designed to last.

Some shots from my first roll using HP5 and the Canon 50mm F1.8 LTM


For the rest of the photos please visit my Flickr page

The Singapore Air Show 2012

F15-SG during the flying display

I was quite lucky to be able to attend the Singapore Air Show 2012, the placed i work was one of the sponsors but I didn’t ask for a pass so I was quite surprised to be given a free pass to the event.

I would suggest for those going to these kinds of shows go pay for a trade pass, its less crowded and during the air display there will be plenty of space to stand around to watch.

As with all air shows, photographers with major big lenses are sure to show up. I was lazy since I only brought my D7000 and a 18-105mm kit lens.

Saw some one trying to use a X100 I think to try and take pictures of the air planes. But he was trying to shoot through his sun shade.

Australian Roulettes - The best of the show

The best display came from the Royal Australia’s Air Force Roulettes, they did some major precision flying, they needed to make 11 fuel stops in order to reach Singapore due to the short range of their planes.

Our friendly Singapore Pilots at work.

Haha took this “promotion” shot of my friend leslie and the Boeing Dreamliner.

Chloe’s First Picture

I’ve bought a Harinezumi, one of those small digital lomo cameras for Chloe, intending to let her just run around and snap and see what comes out from it. Last weekend was my cousin’s marriage registration (Congrat’s Shumin and Micheal!) and these are what’s seen through her eyes.

Copyright Superheadz website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s quite fun looking though those random snaps, most of the time she is just playing around with the camera pushing the shutter again and again while walking though the crowd at my cousin’s place. Haha maybe i day i will make a photobook of her pictures and give it to her.

 

My colleague said I’ve gave her camera poison liao, for her 10th birthday she will ask for a D8 SLR :)

 

 

My Photobooks buys from Page One!

Page one @Vivocity is closing down, they have 50% off all books. There aren’t many photography books left but these are the one’s that i’ve got. I probably will do a review on them soon.

A nice big book by Mary Ellen Mark, looking forward to enjoying this.

This book caught my eye at the store, its about Kodak’s Colorama advertisement at Grand Central Station in New York. Since Kodak filed for bankruptcy, i guess I am just trying to have a piece of Kodak history with me.

There are a few books on Photobooth pictures around, (just go to amazon and type photo booth). You get Britney Spears, Val Kilmer and even Micheal Jackson in there, basically lots of celebrities who goofed around when they can’t be seen.

PS. The pictures are linked to the amazon page.

Scanning Color Negatives

Recently my wife got some old negatives from her house, and I was telling her i will scan it for her since I have a film scanner but i mostly use it for my B&W stuff and slides, never did try to scan negatives before.

So i did a first scan, it looked terrible, there was an orange cast that was quite bad. A bit of googling around revealed that color negative scanning is not an easy job, different kinds of films produced different color cast that are time consuming and difficult to correct.

Some recommend using VueScan, because of its built in film type correction, it did well for certain films but generally need a lot more tweaking. I came across a post by Ben Anderson who recommended VueScan together with ColorPerfect. I read it and tried it worked quite well so below are the steps i am taking since both VueScan and ColorPerfect needed some cash and i don’t really want to buy both so I tried it just using my plain old Epson built in scanning software

I basically scan the color negative in positive mode (or slides) mode. I got an image something like this.

Then i followed Ben’s instructions basically by selecting under “Start” Color Neg and L mode.

And editing the grey point or white point (depending which is easier to find)

Edit the levels and using color balance to remove the rest of the cast.

And this are my results. Not too bad. The reason why you seeing the grid like overlay is due to Color Perfect being a demo version. The paid version removes the grid lines.

Update:

I tried scanning Kodak Portra 400 VC striaight out using Color Negative mode on my Epson. The results are actually quite good, needs abit of tweaking though. And a search online generally agrees that if you intend to scan your negatives you should use the Portra range especially Porta UC

Links
Ben Anderson Post on Vue Scan and Color Perfect
Color Perfect

Our Gurkas by Zakaria Zainal

Invisible Photographer Asia has put up a photo essay by Zakaria Zainal about the retired members of the Gurka Contingent who are living in Nepal.

The Gurkas for me has always been a sort of mysterious group, in Singapore you see them mainly guarding vital installations, checkpoints and important people’s home. The other only time i see them is when they are jogging around the Mount Vernon area near where they are staying in Singapore.

I still remember when I was still in the Navy and one of my fellow officer was doing the Navy Biathalon. He commented that he heard them coming from behind him with a “he he he” breathing sound, then they passed and disappeared in front of him. Considering that he was quite fit i guess thats a testimony to how physically fit they are.

Enjoy Zakaria’s Photos, it’s still a work in progress but i think it will be interesting to watch for it considering that the Gurkhas have first hand involvement in almost all the major disturbances during our early years of independence.

Link to photo essay http://invisiblephotographer.asia/2011/09/28/photoessay-ourgurkhas-zakariazainal/

Zakria Zainal Homepage.

Wikipedia Entry on the Gurkha Contingent in Singapore

 

Your most interesting photos- dopiaza.org

Image

I have been reading Thomas Leuthard’s Going Candid free ebook. I recommend all who are exploring street photography to go read that. And and in that he talks about Dopiaza a flickr application that can generate a set containing your 20 (or what ever number you choose) most interesting photos.

These are some of my 20 most interesting photos as generated by Dopiaza.

Rush Hour

 

Esplanade

Family

Stop!

Three things to do on a train ride

Smiling

HP and Fireworks

For the rest of my top 20 pictures please visit my Flickr set – My Most Interesting Photos.