Monday, February 09, 2009

One of the funniest Jay Leno...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Friday, October 03, 2008

Canon Rebel XTi/450D DSLR: My first impressions...

After lot of thinking, finally I decided to move from Canon Rebel XT (350D) to Canon Rebel XSi (450D), the canon new (low end, but latest) Digital SLR.
Why I changed/upgraded the system,

=> I am using Canon 350D from last 2+ years. I am very happy with system. I am using mostly (almost all) manual focus lenses. I heard the rave reviews of new view finder (bright) and Live View. People swear by accuracy in manual focusing with these two new upgrades.

Last week, I got the camera. And yes, there is a big difference from moving 350D to Rebel XSi. In last 2-3 days, I used the camera with Olympus 50mm f1.4, Zenitar 16mm f2.8, Leica 90mm f2.8, Takumar 50mm f4.0 and Leica 35mm f2.8, although for small amount of time....

My initial thoughts, (Not touching the normal features like mirror lock, Av compensation etc):


+ Live View: Another great feature. Manual focusing will never be same. Although it will make (your) captures little slow. You cant miss focus with this feature (esp. for standing/fixed subjects). I am no totally gone to live view for tripod shots with 10x based manual focusing. 

+ Viewfinder: This only can be deal breaker for manual focus lenses users. The viewfinder with OEM focusing screen is far superior and larger than older Rebel model viewfinders.  This is something every manual focus lens aficionado will love. First time I didn’t even believe that I had stopped down the lens to f5.6. I am not sure, whether I should even go for split prism (I have focus confirmation chip based adapter which are non-sense and useless for wide open, although OK for stopped down). This alone is worth upgrade. When I mounted Industar 50mm f3.5 lens, initial thoughts were, "Did I put Canon 50mm f1.8..." ;). I am using Leica 90mm f2.8 at f4 most of the time now.

+ Film/ISO speed in the viewfinder.

+ The camera supports the OTG peer-to-peer USB data protocol, you don't have to take the card out of the camera when  want to transfer the images to the  portable storage photo hard drive. Just hook up the USB cable between the camera and drive, the configuration/protocol support will transfer images quickly and directly.

+ Camera allows you to set up a custom menu with your 7  or so most favorite functions for quick easy access so using mirror lockup, auto exposure bracketing or formatting card. These functions become easy as pressing the menu button once and jumping right to function on screen. No more having to scroll through multiple screens and menus to get to your commonly used functions. (Thanks to manual focus forum member, Sandeep, for this and above information)

+ Auto ISO is much needed feature, one thing less to think about when you don't have time to set the ISO. With quality at high ISO touches to new heights, I am using this mode  more than any other in indoor captures.

+ Ergonomics: Light weight and great grip, mush better than 350D. (what a lightweight camera is this).

+ SD Card: Much better for me (than CF). Cheap (got 8G for less than $20) and interchangeable with my wife’s P&S camera. One less thing to worry about .

+ Live View: Another great feature. Manual focusing will never be same. Although it will make (your) captures little slow. You cant miss focus with this feature (esp for standing/fixed subjects). I am no totally gone to live view for tripod shots with 10x based manual focusing.

+ Great high ISO quality: Even ISO 1600 is usable in most situations. With little Noise remover/control software, you cant even guess the ISO.


- Menu system is little confusing. -Software is buggy. It happened twice only (when I have to off the camera to reset), but I can tell, Canon put lot of things in a small machine. With software will eventually becoming key component and market pressure of launching new product in small interval of time, we are going to see this happening a lot.

- Live View is difficult to use in Manual (M) mode: Thats just really pain. The LCD screen is dark in manual focus mode. And that where (in Manual) mode, I was thinking of using the camera with Live view most. In low light situation, I usually keep shutter speed in reasonable limit to keep the (captured) shake to minimum, but now its really pain to focus in "A" (Aperture Priority mode) and move the knob to M mode and then capture. I am happing to capture the scene little underexposed and pulling the shadows with post-processing, then getting a shake.

-Software is buggy. It happened twice only (when I have to off the camera to reset), but I can tell, Canon put lot of things in a small machine. With software will eventually becoming key component and market pressure of launching new product in small interval of time, we are going to see this happening a lot.

-SD Card: To me, its not advisable to take the SD card out every time you want to download. The card cover and its mechanism (cover control) is little weak.

- Memory storage management: It may be mine setting, but the camera is not writing in normal file management system. The PC is not able to read any file (The error message was related to the format, that card contents were more like another hard drive). But if you create one dummy directory on the card, the camera writes with normal directory structure.

- Louder (Mirror movement sound): The camera is surely louder than 350D. I think the mirror is heavy/thick, and that may be coming form making the view finder more bright (more reflective). But I may be wrong e here. These are very initial thought. - Flash mechanism is totally screwed up with live view. This is my first impression. I was trying external Sigma flash.

- Quantum wireless flash system: Good Luck. Works some times, most of the time, you have to pull your hairs...

- B-bye old software: At least my copy of Rawshooter is not able to read 450D/XSi Raw files.

-  Bigger battery charger (its a joke or not.. ;) )

Initial Thoughts on this investment: Worth it, for manual focus shutterbugs.

Sensor Cleaning is OK feature, Nothing big. Live View is of little use for Auto focus lenses and in manual focus mode.

The camera is very different in terms of your work flow needs, compatibilities (with third party accessories) and software needs. You need to be ready for some changes.

To me, Live View is critical decision maker. . I am not sure, its going to make any difference for Auto focus (the capture speed will be very slow with live view compare to normal viewfinder).

Everything else is secondary, after all 450D/XSi is a camera. And that where, its excels... no comparison with 350D, esp. at high ISO.

I will post the results in a day or two…..

Friday, September 05, 2008

Google Chrome Hype:

Initially I didnt know that there is something like color management/profile support at browser. (Till someone told me at one photography forum) First Safari and then Firefox 3.xx came with a support of ICC profiles. With now Google Chrome hype is going on in full swing, I checked the color management feature with "eye" test. And now found out on internet that Chrome doesnt support ICC profile. This is the result of my simple eye test, The differences in colors, in Chrome and Firefox with Color management plugin installed & color vision created profile selected, are too huge to ignore,  
Browser Color management
Wow.. Google wnats to capture multimedia based internet traffic/industry, thats what they developed...

These guys need more than geeks...

Friday, June 06, 2008

Defense Budget: Pakistan press perspective

Nice discussions. Its in Urdu/Hindustani.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Barking but on what???

In last few days, we saw 2 interesting, although unrelated by some, news stories.

Direct to the point, the stories are,

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Rolleinar 55mm f1.4 lens and Home Cooking..

It is really a chilled cold outside, temp is subzero from last 2-3 weeks (max).
Storms are worst, and last to last week was not any different, but it gave me an opportunity to use my new lens.

I got the Rollei Mount Rolleinar-MC 55mm f1.4 lens. Although Rollei lenses are considered top notch, but Rolleinar was a kit range. Rollei gave the manufacturing cantract to Japanese comapnies and instead of using Rollei brand, came up with Rolleinar. Along with Rolleinar, even Voigtländer started its cheap range Voigtländer AR range to compete in kit lenses.

Rolleinar-MC 55mm f1.4 was manufactured by Tomioka, also sold in M42 mount with different names like Sears and Ricoh. Good thing is, Tomioka used to be great lens designer as well as manufcaturer. Tomioka also mage the (now) legendary 55mm f1.2 lens in few mounts (but I have seen in M42 mount only).
Same lens is also available in Voigtländer AR range as Voigtländer Color-Ultron 55mm f1.4, in Rollei mount (Same as Rolleinar).

Back to cooking... What can be the best place to test lens than the home cooking environment. Seema made the Pulav on that... hmmm... yum...
You can browse the whole set here,

Few results,

Tadkka Tadkka



Ready to eat, best with curd/yogurt and salad...


More latter...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Some Captures with Jupiter-9 85mm f2:

(You can find more details about this lens in earlier post)

Family Pics:

Mom & Son Mom & Son

Cityscape and architecture:
(Bank of America Building (Atlanta)
Bank of America Building

Ceiling of Ohio Theatre (Columbus, OH)

Seattle Downtown
Seattle Downtown


Smoky Mountains

Sunset at Smoky Mountains
Smoky Mountains

Will discuss about bokeh and sharpness at some other time...
Jupiter-9: Real Jupiter in my lens arsenal

View slideshow (Slide show of Jupiter-9 captures)

In more than last one year, I have collected or say accumulated 50+ manual focus lenses. These from as wide as Zenitar 16mm f2.8 to telephoto lens as unknown branded 400mm f6.3; from legendary Carl Zeiss Planar 50mm f1.7 to fast Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 to Nikkor-P 180mm f2.8.
But out of these are real gems. Standing proud and tall in these gems is Jupiter-9 85mm f2. This lens is M42 mount which I am using on my Canon Rebel XT/350D with M42->EOS adapter. The M42 mount Jupiter-9 lenses are black, some very rare (early) are silver in finishing. But mine is very different, it used to be one of the earliest M39 (39mm) mount lens, converted to M42 mount by earlier owner (from Russia).
But lens has some limitation (from its old age). If I rotate the aperture, it rotates the focusing ring too (The blue lines). This is the modified lens,


But lens has its own class, little soft wide open.. horrible sharp stopped down...

Some resources on this lens,

But all has details of black finished Jupiter-9 85mm f2.

Seems like, I am the only one with this lens
View slideshow

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Amazon Unbox: A dream went sour

Launch of Amazon Unbox was an exciting event for me, finally on demand (offline) digital content from non-operators (Read Cable). Although the pricing had already put me on the negative side. This is a text from Amazon Unbox site,

"our rental video can be stored on your PC or TiVo DVR for 30 days. Once you press play, you have 24 hours to watch the video before it expires."

What a foolishness. You are paying rental, but why there is difference in digital content and hard copies (DVD or HD-DVD or Blue Ray).

And Amazon is charging $3.99 (most of the new movies) for each rental.

I am speechless...

Next Blog: Will update about my views on Amazon Unbox "Out of Mind" viewers profiling (viewing habits) algorithms.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bonjour Web and netizens...

I was totaly out of blogging cycle from last 1 year, as I was putting some time to another hobby. That one is Photography, or should say "Retro Photography". You will find more details on this blog in new future about my experiments in photography (Optics).

Friday, November 17, 2006

PS3 Craze:
Sony PS3 is finally in the market. Last night, I visited Best Buy, and was surprised finding almost 10+ tents outside the store. People were sitting/standing with their tents by sides, and it was raining evening with temp touching around 45F.
Worst is eBay prices. I was following few, and this one is just crazy.

This auction ended at $8000 plus. What the hell....
See the screen shots,

I dont have words...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Slide": Interesting (but another) site.

Slide got the latest funding from Venture world. This very interesting site, for creating slide show. You can directly upload the picture here, or it can connect to different photo hosting site like Flickr.
It provides the feature to stream that particular stream to blog or some other different site.

I am posting the slide show of Ice Hockey game (NHL), captures with Canon 350D and bunch of manual focus lenses.

worth using...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Happy Deepawali

My wife, Seema, puts lot of efforts on festivals. We really had great fun last weekend.

Deepawli night at home

More on this festival,

Bye for now...
Fall and now winter...
Finally Fall is here and surprisingly very early winter.. Temperatures are about 20F below normal..


But still some good colors... I captured this with Canon 350D/Rebel XT and Manula focus Takumar 50mm/f1.4 lens.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Zune Phone

I wrote a blog on Zune media Player by Microsoft. Seems like Microsoft is taking one more step in becoming (Multi) media Hardware vendor. There is very interesting statement,

In response to: The software giant’s Zune people at the event were asked whether that was any indication Microsoft might evolve its media player into a cell phone at some point.

“We’re definitely exploring the possibilities,” Chris Stephenson, general manager of global marketing for Zune, told reporters.

What what we need to find whether Zune will have softphone capability or full functional phone. What does this mean,

-> Softphone capability: A software client will provided, which can be sold through current or new telecom operators or MSN Live service can be used as platform to provide end to end communications. In this case. Zune will take advantage of in built WiFi capability to connect to network.

-> Full functional phone: Sold through wireless operators channels and will have all the air interface support. This will need change in basic Zune architecture, as in that case it will be phone first (regulatory commitments) and media device as add on features.

But every thing will come down to one thing, whats the OS of Zune. As I wrote earlier, I am hoping, it will not be Windows. But I may be wrong (I am hearing some version of Windows Mobile is coming as part of this player).

Hey, I am waiting for iPhone now and seems like Nokia Internet Tablet is getting tough competition (what competition.. to me Microsoft can create market.. and Nokia will sell its product.

Most interesting thing all are missing is changing landscape of personal computing devices. In 90's Apple took the approach of Hardware + Software, and Microsoft used the open Hardware architecture to sell its software. After making lot billionaires, Microsoft strategy is nose diving (check 5 years stock prices). Apple is finally showing new Mantra in this new world. (Although I still think, Apple will make more money in from its OS than selling cheap but fantastically designed media devices). Microsoft eventual entry in media device (Zune) and already presence in Gaming platform (XBOX) has again put in direct fight with Apple.

Deja vu..


technorati tags:, , ,

Blogged with Flock

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Content 2.0

Its like a fashion these days to add 2.0 anything related to web. It all started with AJAX/Community driven concepts/sharing/Mash up.

In between all this, Music (lets talk about audio content only) remained same go either Apple way (cool player, great user experiance with affordable price for content) or every one else (from Napster to go to illegal downloading). In between Sony did biggest blunders, first launching digital music player without MP3 support and finally flawed DRM implementation in Music CD.

Microsoft was sitting at the back trying to put power in almost all non-Apple devices (with DRM and PC based software). Finally Microsoft is in the ring, not for boxing showdown, but for Sumo wrestling.

Microsoft finally launched Zune, its first entry into audio content device (Microsoft is already in gaming, XBOX).

Zune is really making music and content 2.0 in terms of downloading and distribution. Main specs of Zune are,

WiFi, 30GB of HDD, built-in FM, a 3-inch screen and the basic music, pictures and video playback

To me these functionality are going to make it distinctive from me too (lets keep Apple out of picture, that has cult following),

-> WiFi connectivity: Its not just basic but peer-2-peer (P2P) support, which is key in future evolution. File sharing among communities, software updates to focussed services (catering audiophiles) will become key differentiators.

-> DRM control: Zune is taking mobile DRM approach (Distribution/Super distribution). Now the user can share the content to different parties, with/without using network. The receiver can use the content for 3 days, and after that can buy the usage licence online. This will fill the gap in the creating communities for music fans (we need to understand, biggest online communities are music focussed.. MySpace also started as rock band fans community, rest is history).

Thats why I am calling this: "Content 2.0" world...

Finally Microsoft is putting its home in order, I am hoping, Zune is not using Windows/DOS based OS. It will be shame, if they are using. Whatever people say, only other product Microsoft is able to seel (than Windows OS) is XBOX, and that is surely not Windows.

Next blog will touch this in more details...


technorati tags:, ,

Blogged with Flock

Monday, September 11, 2006

Where am I...

I was out of sight (blogging, of course) for a long time. Reason, My future blogs will tell.

I was adding tons of glass in my photography equipment. I am not millionaire, so can't buy canon L lens (luxury or what.. dont know for what it stands for). But I found a way to add top class lens in my bag, old manual focus prime lens from '50s and '60.

I will write in details about these in future...

in the meantime, you can see some results on my flickr site,


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

New toy: Digital SLR

Finally after waiting for 2 years, I got my Digital SLR, Canon Rebel XT. This is a gift from my partner, friend.. oops.. why to use so many words, from my wife. There is nothing to say about this camera. Web is full of reviews and discussions regarding this. These are good review links...

I bought without any lense (just body) from Amazon.

This cool stuff for Photography enthusiast.

will keep the folks updated...
Bye for now.. (let me go a click few more pics).

Monday, June 19, 2006

Gates, Legacy and Historical Blunders

Gates, Legacy and Historical Blunders

Media, chat sessions and Internet (publish) is full with news of Bill Gates exit from Microsoft. Its too early to say whether “Chairman” Bill Gates will act as “American corporate” chairman or “active” board leader.
My views,
In Hindi, there is a saying, “Der aye, Durast Aye”…  “Although the happening is late, but finally is here”.

I was strong proponent of Bill Gates exit and for making him a visionary who “was”. Microsoft did the historic blunder in keeping the company intact during anti trust case. The left over company could have kept its product evolutions without “super czar” sitting on the top.

The technology industry history is full of “Legendry” creating utter chaos in their dawn,

The gold medal for the blunder should go to Wang Industries. Does anyone now remember this company? Only mention on internet you can find is, John Chambers (Current Cisco President and CEO) was once executive of that company. You can write books on this company. I am pasting the Wikipedia link,

Father of innovation in manufacturing, Henry Ford, single handedly gave the #1 auto crown to general motors. Reason, he was thinking only he had vision and capabilities to make auto a mass product. He was right when he was thinking “he had” but was squarely wrong when he was thinking “only he had”.

Fast forward 80 years and you will have Déjà vu: Microsoft, Bill gates and Windows/Office/Explorer…   (Ford industries, H. Ford & Model T).

The list can go on and on….   But I want salute Bill Gates for his vision which he had 20 years back and which he had shown now by taking himself out of Microsoft daily routines. He should stick to his wording.
And he has time and money along with geeky brain; why not try to create another intellectual powerhouse. Software is one industry, and now he is free from shackles of this particular domain...  Go ahead…