Saturday, 24 September 2011

Man on the Moon

DSC03756L (Sony A55)
The pilgrims already started lining up yesterday for the opening of the new Hong Kong shrine, the first here, at nine this morning.

The shrine is at IFC in Central. Bring your i-questions and camera there; well, if you are in town.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Yee Shun Milk Company

R1229776 (Ricoh GX200)


Hong Kong is truly a gastronomic city. A convenient evidence is that after 99 years of the rule of British, who are know for Hungarian George Mikes's famous declaration that "On the Continent people have good food; in England they have good table manners", Hong Kong has stood unaffected in terms of food quality. On the other hand, after over ten years since reversion to China, the local food industry has successfully resisted the lure of using cheap fake food materials which is so alarmingly rampant just across the Mainland. The love of good food is in the genes of Hongkongers.

Surely, Hong Kong as a gastronmic city may not reflect the, say, general French opinion of gastronmony. Call that culture difference. In terms of food, this place is more brave and bold than the rather confined selections of good food in the Michelin Guide. Take for examples Boiled Milk-Egg White Custard Steamed (upper right of the shot) with Ginger-sauce and Double Boiled Mike Custard (lower left). They are great, especially when they are served in ordinary local dessert shops ---- the atmosphere just matches perfectly.

As the weather here is turning cool and dry, it is time to take these throat-soothing desserts.  Both can be served hot or cold. But, IMHO, the hot ones bring out the flavour better. Where to go for them? There is one known as Australia Milk Company (very likely has nothing to do with any Australian dairy) tucked in a side lane in Jordon. Yee Shun Milk Company on Nathan Road is a much easier destination. It is very close to the MTR Yaumatei Station too. You won't and can't miss it.  

Map picture

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Where Is It Going from Here?

R1232125L (Ricoh GX200)

As if the soap opera of Pentax's quixotic interchangable camera has not been enough, Nikon's suicidal attempt of fitting the suspectedly mock-up-turned-real-stuff J1 and V1 with a middle-of-the-road sensor is surely a head-scratching sequel. A reduced-size camera and a reduced-size sensor make strange bedfellows. Until now from the next wave of new camera introduction, Nikon has not much time to come up with a better offer so that it won't stand being ridiculed by history.

The expression "dead on arrival" has been closely associated with the smartphones of the beaten Nokia, which is still trying hard to regain its glory by way of an off-stream OS. With a stronghold in the DSLR market, Nikon (eerie that how similar they are in spelling) is not even really beaten. There is space for a detour. The decision in making the present move is similar to betting on an off-stream OS by Nokia. The DSLR market it shall continue to take a firm hold on, but if it continues on in this vein of strategy, it can take a firm hold on just that market.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Where to See the Real Shanghai Street

R1230696L (Ricoh GX200)

Before shops started sprouting along Nathan Road, Shanghai Street which was in the heart of Kowloon used to be one of the most bustling places in Hong Kong. As the developer bulldozed ahead their modern development projects, the original colours of the street have been fading.  While some old shops in Shanghai Street still manage to tide over the hostile development and business environment, to see a complete row of the original tenement buildings will require someone who know the way. If you are interested, here is their whereabouts:

Map picture
(In case you are interested to learn about the history of the street and old shops, check out Hulu Culture if it has tours at the moment. Founder Simon Go was a former photo journalist.  Some of his photographic works were sold at an auction by Sotheby's)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Some Thoughts on M Module @ISO3200

R9352709L (GXR A12 M-mount module with Voigtlanter 35mm/f1.2)

I posted a much larger-size file of this image to ricohforum, the best place on earth to find out everything about Ricoh cameras. If you need to check that file out, check here.

The IQ performance of the M mount module at ISO 3200 is endearing to me. The noise is well controlled while the details are not forsaken, not least because the low-pass filter is shed and the lens is of exceptional quality.

A forum user asked two questions

1) Was it easy to focus in this dim light?
My answer: The Focus Assist function is very usable. It is as easy when focusing in dim light. Rather the difficulty lies in whether the aperture in use is too shallow (like below f2), which sometimes obliges me to double check before shooting.

2)Did you use a screen or the EVF?
I used the screen. I doubt if using the EVF (I am a big fan of viewfinder) is advisable for the M mount as there is neither electronic nor mechanical communication between the lens and the body, i.e. settings on the lens have to be visually confirmed.

Finally, some technical afterthoughts about the shot.  While this is a casual shot, I actually waited to select the red tram to complement the blue signboard and yellowish light in the background. To me, this usually works to bring a sense of completeness to the final image.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Shoe-shining Man (with M-mount module)

R9352713L (GXR A12 M-mount module with Voigtlanter 35mm/f1.2)
[Mark that the F1.0 imprint is erroneous for it is a manual lens]

The author has been testing the M module with the Voigtlander lens.  They are both head turners. The lens is of very high quality in built and image sharpness, thanks also to the no low-pass filter design of the module. Since the focus is manually focus and the DOF of the APS-C sensor is relatively less extensive than the 1/1.7 sensor, as well as such a manual lens’ relative vulnerability to shaking, users have to adjust to it for taking candid street shots. But even though it is a GXR, the camera is way better than the other members. It is a very different camera, and exceptionally tempting too.

Shoe shining is a dying trade in Hong Kong. But you may find the remaining traders around Central, or along Theatre Lane to be exact.