New lens unit

Kind of torn right now with regard to if I should buy or not. I recently found second hand Ricoh GXR lens unit at an acceptable price; although by being acceptable, it’s still going to take away a good chunk of my saving, and I’m still waiting for the yearly bonus to buy a Nokton 40/1.4.

The two units are the A12 50mm f/2.5 macro and the A16 24-85mm f/3.5-5.5. While I would love the macro lens and it does get good review among the users… I think I will settle with the A16 unit because I want a large sensor zoom lens for now.

Arguments for that being, I want to concentrate the prime lens shooting with my R-D1s. Or even if I’m using the GXR, I have the A12 Mount unit. Since the AF is said to be slow, probably I can focus faster using the manual lenses.

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Semarang river

Had a short trip to Semarang two weeks ago.

In it, I found myself thinking as I passed through places on foot. Oh, this place felt like [xxx] (places in Jakarta).
Not that exclusive actually. Had the same impression when going into the malls when going on vacation to Singapore too. Maybe places in the world still have similarity even if they’re not related historically.

Nikon DF, things that can be removed

Another in the “most anticipated” camera list is the Nikon DF.
I‘ve never handled it and won‘t buy it (no money and not a Nikon user yet), so this is just those usual internet couch bitching about my personal preferences.

Design-wise, not much complain except one thing. They should have made the camera wider, especially the left-hand side. The camera looks too small, especially from that pic above.

Back panel got too much buttons. Personally I’d choose:

  • Left side
    • Remove the Menu button, overload it to the Ok button in the middle of the d-pad.
    • Keep the WB button, but move the Protect button elsewhere. I suggest the Delete button.
    • Zoom In and Zoom Out button is not needed, just use the dial. In addition, the Quality function is rarely changed, so it could be thrown into the menu without any need for dedicated button.
  • Right side
    • AF-On button go away. There‘s switch in the front. They could add more step for various AF modes there.
    • Metering mode switch is definitely staying.
    • Menu button’s middle could be made to access the Menu.
    • Live View could be set to a switch to the side of the camera.

Summarized, remove the Menu, Quality, AF-On and Live View button. Four buttons could have been removed to reduce the tightly packed back.

What kind of modification would you suggest ?

Flickr search

While looking for backlink with Google for my pics in Twitter, often time those pesky aggregator sites came out in the search result. These are sites without much contents other than gallery using pictures uploaded to Twitter, such as websites that provide links to Creative Commons licensed photos.
Since these sites alone could result in hundreds of results, lets exclude them.

This list is not complete and I’ll add more as I tried in the later days.

Photolier, must be the language

At least one mistery is solved… although I still can’t get an explanation for reason.

Epson’s Raw File (abbreviated accordingly, ERF) files are quite troublesome. The main raw editing application I used, DxO Optics Pro does not support this file, which made lots of things unconvenient. Nowadays, I use ACDSee Pro because it supports the raw file and have some neat features.

Epson also supplied their own Epson Photolier application. The function is of course very limited, but I rarely need more than simple adjustments anyway.
But there’s a slight problem.

Most of the options are frozen. I don’t change much, other than rotating, push-pull exposure, correcting white balance and setting the saturation (usually tuning it down). Saturation & contrast are some of the options that are locked in the 1.22 version. This made the application mostly useless other than for batch converting to JPG. Which is a shame, because the file from Photolier looks punchier than from ACDSee.

Tried again with older version (1.21) from Epson Europe’s support page.
This time it works… probably language problem, but I don’t have any problem with other Japanese language problem.

And yes, the colour from Photolier looks a lot better in my opinion.

A lens needing repair

No wind, no rain, clear sky and suddenly when I pulled out my Elmar 90/4 to snap pictures of turtles… the focus ring acts up!

Oh why!? The focusing cam seems to be accurate, but turning the lens became really difficult and the focusing ring itself seems like spinning out of sync with the helicoid, beyond it’s limit (the helicoid movement is still good though).

This would mean I’ll need to bring it to service again, and probably ask for quote. Seeking online, there’s a second hand 90/4 for 2.3M, albeit not a collapsible model like mine; not that I can collapse the lens in all 3 of my M mount camera.

There’s also a second hand, probably modified, Heliar 75/2.5 for 3M which I’m really interested in. But that can probably wait because after starting rangefinder, I find myself rarely going under f/4 except when the light gets dimmer anyway. The only fast lens in my shortlist is the 40/1.4. But maybe I’ll take the Heliar anyway. It’s far cheaper and smaller than the newer version 75/1.8 Heliar.