Update: Scammers Arrested

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Update: Scammers Arrested
– Posted by Lee Shi Qing
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Image: Arrested – CCTV Image of the 2 Scammers 

 

13th September 2019, Singapore – We posted a Scam Warning about 11 days ago ago about a pair of scammers who are going around to scam others under the pretext of trying to rent camera equipment with the intention of not returning & reselling these equipment later. If you have not heard about it, you may read it here.

 

FA

 

Timeline at a glance: 
27th August 2019
– Scammers rented a telephoto lens from our Rental Department.

28th August 2019
– Scammers collected the lens from us.

30th August 2019
– Scammers supposed to return the rented lens, but disappeared.
– A Police Report made.

31st August 2019
– A Whatapps with the Scammer NRIC went out to our network of Rental & Used Camera Shops.
– One of our Used Gear Merchant Partner Responded, the scammers had sold one of the looted lens just minutes before our whatapps.
– Merchant Shared that these guys have a lot of equipment with them.
– Merchant later released a CCTV images of the 2 scammers.
– A Facebook post was created and mass-sharing started.
— Continues below.

 

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Image: Mobile Screen Grab of the post about the scammers. 

 

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From 1st Sep to 6th Sep 2019 
– Many victims had stepped up & contacted us.
– We consolidated all the information from the netizens and forwarded to the Police.
– Many past victims had also surfaced and gave us many vital information.
– Citizen Policing had dug out a lot of past history of the scammers.
– Post went Viral with many Social Media Sites, Facebook Groups & Facebook Pages helping us to share the post. (We listed at the bottom of this article)
– Local Newspaper ran the news.

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Image: The hunt is on – from online to offline.   

07th September 2019
– We were informed by the Police that the case had been referred to Commercial Crime Division, Singapore Police Force.
– A new IO had been assigned.
– We were given advisory messages from the new IO.
– Our FB Post had reached closed to 100,000 people excluding personal shares.
– Our Web Post had reached closed to 280,000 people excluding shares.

08th Sep to 11th Sep 2019
– Under investigation by CCD.

12th September 2019
– We received a call from the IO informing us that it was not just a pair of petty thieves, but a Scam Syndicate! (Organized Crime).
– And the good news, they had cracked down on the Syndicate and had arrested all the individuals.
– We were given green light from the Police to release this article.

 

 

 

This article not only serves as a closure, but the beginning of the aftermath of the scammers’ wrong doings. There are lots of equipment to be recovered, a lot of ownership disputes is going to follow and cash – if there’s any left. While the whole syndicate of idiots are waiting to be charged in Court, the Police has a lot to do.

Some advise from us – 
If you are renting out your equipment as an individual:
– always make sure meet the person at a place with CCTV.
– always take photo of their NRIC. 
– always collect a deposit worth 50% of the gear value. 
– If photo on NRIC is different or deposite not given, do not rent out. 

But of course, we highly recommend NOT to rent out as an individual as the risk is very high. Gear Rental companies are covered by Insurance and are better covered should such incident surfaced. And running an online business without a registered company (with ACRA number) is also illegal in Singapore. Although the Authorities are not too strict (yet) on online businesses especially those that operates off Carousell, eBay & Facebook – and with Black sheeps delivering scams – it will be a matter of time before it is tightly regulated.

**SPECIAL TANKS to these Awesome FB Groups & FB Pages**
Grab, Go-Jek and Taxi Matters Singapore,
50 Shades of Singapore
SG Kay Poh
Singapore Taxi Driver
Singapore Share-Share
Wed’Inc
BLACKLIST THEM!
We Love Singapore

Also
– Thanks Singapore Press Holdings (Lian He Zao Bao) for running the News on Chinese Media.
And
– ALL NETIZENS who had stepped up to give us information and by Sharing our post. We would not have reached so many people within such a short time without everybody’s help & kind assistance!
Lastly
– Thanks Central Police Division & Commercial Crime Division for investigating and finally arrested the whole syndicate.

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So what to do if you suspect a Scam or had been approached by Scammers?

1) CALL ANTI-SCAM HELPLINE: 1800-722-6688

2) VISIT SCAM ALERT SITE (By POLICE)

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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
SQ.jpg
A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

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Winners Announced – 2019 Photography Expedition Mini Competition

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Winners Announced – 2019 Photography Expedition Mini Competition
Posted by Melody Tan
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04th September 2019, Singapore-Malaysia – During the Photography Expedition 2019 in August 2019, it was pre-announced to the attendees that it is also to be a Mini Competition. Our Sponsor Audio & Photo Distributor (FE) Pte Ltd who is the sole distributor for Pentax-Ricoh had kindly sponsored a Ricoh Theta S for the single Winner for this trip.

The submission is based on the below conditions –
1) All submissions must be in a set of 03 images taken from this trip.
2) Each image carries 33.3 points
3) Image is judged based on creativity, technique, presentation.

Upon receiving the entries, all images had been re-coded by the web admins, renamed and removed all EXIF Data before sending to the judges.

 

FA

 

“Judging photo submissions in sets of 03 images is tougher than I thought. Many had 02 superb images with 01 not so up to mark while there are also some which 02 images are not worthy but 01 with world class standard, this is a tough one to judge.” – AL Lee.

 

Lucky for us, we have a point-scoring system in place which we created from our past experiences in running competitions & exhibitions. This system helped the judges a lot for this competition.

 

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Before we get to the Winner announcement – the below images are Special Mentions & Editor’s Picks. (These are the High Scoring Images based on our scoring system)

 

Special Mention #01 – Submitted by Chua Beng Kiau
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Special Mention #02 – Submitted by Emily Xu
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Special Mention #03 – Submitted by Judy Wong
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Special Mention #04 – Submitted by Joleen Tan
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Special Mention #05 – Submitted by Koh Lye Huat
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Special Mention #06 – Submitted by Kervin Ng
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Special Mention #07 – Submitted by Lee Siew Ni
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Special Mention #08 – Submitted by May Mong
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Special Mention #09 – Submitted by Pat SC Choo
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Special Mention #10 – Submitted by Pang Teng Ling
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Special Mention #11 – Submitted by Su Yi Rong
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Special Mention #12 – Submitted by Su Yi Rong
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And the Winner with the Winning Set of Images is……………………….
Let’s check out the 03 Winning Images first!

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Congratulations Steven Yee! 
You have won yourself a Ricoh Theta S!
We will be in touch with you on the Prize Collection!

Next 03 Top Scorers who Won Camera Cleaning Vouchers!
– Kervin Ng
– Lee Siew Ni 
– Joleen Tan

Once again, Congratulations to ALL the Winners and the Special Mentions!
Those that didn’t win, no worries, all in the name of fun & learning – keep trying & don’t give up! More trips will be announced in the weeks to come!

Photography Expedition 2019 is Proudly
Organized by: Ourshutterjourney.com
Sponsored by: Audio & Photo Distributor (FE) Pte Ltd (Ricoh)
Supported by: Bedok Reservoir-Punggol CCC
Powered by: Chan Brothers Travel

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
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Camera Rental Scam 2019 – What We Know So Far

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Camera Rental Scam 2019 – What We Know So Far
– Posted by Lee Shi Qing
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Image: CCTV Image of the 2 Scammers

Edit: Someone by the name of Eric commented that he knows them in person and the 03 are not biological brothers: to which we had edited the post and referred the comment and the commentor’s online ID/ IP address to the Police. We had disclaimed ourselves during the original press time that all information were submitted by victims who had approached us & or/by netizens. We had no part or not held responsible in any of the information that were posted if it had been incorrect.

2nd Edit: Earlier we posted an image of a lady (we came to know her name was Miss Sheena Rosly) with the suspect, we had been informed that the information was incorrect. We unreservedly apologise to Miss Sheena Rosly for any misunderstandings or inconveniences arising from the image which we had unconditionally removed. And we would like to Thank her for alerting us.

 

02th September 2019, Singapore – If you have been on social media the last few days, you would have heard about the hunt for a pair of scammers that had cheated many individuals & companies of photography equipment. Through the assistance of many victims that had stepped up the last few days and with information that we had gathered, we decided to put up this article so you will have a better understanding of this whole saga that had somewhat rocked the photography community over the last few days in Singapore. While the Singapore Police Force is on this case, we hope this article will also help prevent more victims from being scammed by these fellas.

What Had Happened and What we know so far.
The said duo uses a Carousell Account by the name of Yuzwan Zakaria and browse Photography listings for Equipment Rental. They target mostly high end equipment costing thousands of dollars. They will private message the potential rental persons/companies and pretend that they are interested to rent and try to ask for discounts etc etc.
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Image: Screen grab of the scammers’ Carousell account.

 

FA

 

Once a price is agreed, the duo will take turns to appear as the person who will be renting the equipment are using the same NRIC. It appears that the NRIC was either stolen or it had not been updated (as required by Singapore Law).

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Image: The NRIC that the scammers took turns to use when meeting the renters & used this NRIC as a identification confirmation.

 

And so, this pair of scammers successfully rented a Super Tele-photo lens from our Lens Rental Department via Carousell as they met the minimal requirement of NRIC Verification and filling up a Rental Form. Everything seems proper until the date to return the equipment – they disappeared. They stopped responding to our calls, messages & private message.

Sensing something was wrong, a Police Report was made immediately then it dawn on us that this duo may try to offload the scammed gear so we circulated a Whatapps (with the NRIC) to our network of Rental Partner Companies, Used Camera Shops & Dealers – within 10 mins, one of our Partner Shops responded and confirmed that the duo had offloaded equipment at their store. A quick check with the store – they confirmed the equipment that the duo had sold them belongs to our rental partner.

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While waiting for the Police to revert, we decided to do Citizen Policing and posted a status on one of our Facebook Page.

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Image: The Status Update posted on one of our Page to warn others. 

 

And soon, netizens started sharing like wildfire. Even other social sites helped in sharing. It’s times like this that you have to garner all the assistance you can get via social media and it did not went in vain.

 

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Image: Other social pages also helped in sharing. 

 

Then many Victims stepped up. We received several private messages from individuals that they too had been scammed by the duo. With some providing more information that we had forwarded to the Police IO. Some of these information are super helpful.

 

 

 

Another victim confirming that he got scammed and show us the very same NRIC of the scammers. However he described the scammer that collected his gear and somewhat made us confirmed that it is not a single person but a pair.

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And even past Victims started sending us more information. From our descriptions and photos of the scammers, the below victim immediately recognized the face and sent us more information. And apparently, this duo has stun weapons and batons too.

As more information reached us – we had established that the Duo not only try to scam others on Carousell, they are also on ClubSnap, Locanto & other free Classified sites trying the same thing.

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Then many things started to fall into place of logic. In August 2017, a guy & a gal were arrested for a similar scam involving camera rental – which the equipment are “rented” by the scammer and later resold online. In this case, the “Guy” mentioned in this case is one of the Duo that we are hunting for now. You can read about the previous case here.

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Image: Screen grab from ST.

 

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Apparently one of the Duo had just been released from the Prisons – which we suspected he is the “guy” who got arrested back in 2017. And So he is now out and back to scamming. Not just stopping at that, he managed to roped in 02 other friends too to scam others.

 

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One of the victims informed us that while she met up with 02 of the scammers, they have another accomplice waiting for them at the car park – in other words, there’s more than 2 of them and the third drives. We had contacted the car park management pending their reply – hope to get a footage of their car plate so it will greatly assist the Police in their hunt for this scammers.

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Image: Last seen at Peninsula Plaza on Friday 30th August 2019 & Sunshine Plaza on Sat 31st August 2019

 

And this saga had prompted one of our merchant Camera Rental Centre to update their Rental Terms & Conditions which we welcome the move. We are also in touch with Camera Rental Centre at the moment while this case is on.

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In Brief:
– 03 Person Team.
– Malay Race
– Males
– Age between 30-35 years old.
– Possibly Driving.
– Possibly Armed.
– 02 with hair & 01 Bald
– All has distinctive tattoos.

If you come across any of the scammer above, stay calm, do not approach them, go to safe place, Call 999 and quote Case ID 7022 and request for assistance.

Justice will be Served.

Disclaimer: We offer No Apology if any of the information above is inaccurate as all the above information were mostly given to us from Victims. We are just doing a social service to warn others – as well as trying to get our Telephoto lens back. Lastly, don’t judge others by their race as we had seen our fair share of Chinese & Indian crooks.

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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
SQ.jpg
A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

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Visit Our Online Store
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Ricoh GR III – The Legend Continues

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Ricoh GR III – The Legend Continues
– Reviewed by AL LEE
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Image: Editor AL Lee at Bentong, Malaysia.

28th August 2019, Singapore-MalaysiaThe Ricoh GR is not new to many especially those who are into street photography. Known as the legendary Japanese-made camera for street snapshots, the GR III returns with a lot of improved features which GR Fans are truly happy about. As an user of GR series cameras since the GR-D, I was thrilled when the GR III was delivered to me for review and coincidentally I had a trip planned. So I decided to bring the GR III with me for the trip.

FA
On the outside, the layout & design are very similar to the previous versions except that now, the GR III comes with touch screen, a USB 3.0 (C-cable) charging port and everything else looks pretty much like any other GR series camera. The real deal is inside the camera though.

Before I proceed further, and as usual, I would like to disclaim that all our reviews are designed for layman or for photographers of any level, if you ended up here looking for an in-depth technical review, you may wish to visit other sites. Over here, we are more interested in the camera’s performance, on-site handling and end result. If you are cool – read on.

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The GR III now has a 24 megapixel APS-C Sensor (the previous GR II is 16mp), but with the same 18.3mm fixed mount lens (about 28mm on 35mm format) that features a bright F2.8 aperture. The lens are arranged into 6 elements in 4 groups which is pretty usual. It has an improved 3-axis in-body SR stabilization system that works seamlessly with the On-sensor phase detection Autofocus engine that makes GR III a joy to use.

Let’s check out the images – all images below are cropped, adjusted for exposure & added watermarks. Everything else was pretty much as it is – direct from the camera.

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As someone who had used previous versions of GR, my expectations are somewhat more demanding since I already know what Ricoh is capable of and what they are made for. Thus making this review even harder to write as I want to be sure.

Something that I found out while using the camera, the phase detection AF is out of this world – why? At one point of time where the mist in the mountain was so dense with visibility reduced to just a few metres – every other persons in my group were finding it hard to use their autofocus on their cameras – the GR III was Autofocusing like any other day and with accuracy & speed. I was giggling.

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As expected, the amount of details captured with the GR III met my expectations and I was pleased with the image quality, the colors rendered and sharpness of it all. The minimal editing required for GR III images saves me lots of time.

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Handling wise – it is one of the smallest compact on the market and in fact whenever I travel with a GR, I kept the camera in my pocket rather than lugging around with a camera bag. In my view, if the camera is for street snapshots, it should be small, un-noticeable and in stealth mode 95% of the time. The GR fits perfectly into that category.

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A little trick that most GR users always use – set to Macro Mode while maintaining the aperture at F2.8, you get rather interesting images (like the image above). The built-in macro mode is not the best among the compact cameras, but if you learn how to use it to your advantage, it is actually very fun and capable.

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The GR III performed well both outdoor as well as indoor. Nothing was compromised. At higher ISO settings, I noticed the noise reduction had improved a lot and as it is, the high ISO images are no longer as noisy as compared to the past models. This is great news for GR Fans. My indoor shots are mostly shot on ISO 3200 to ISO 6400 which you can view the rest of the images on my Facebook. So far, I had not had a chance to shoot at 12,800 ISO cos there is no need to. 🙂

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In conclusion, the new GR III carries on the reason why Ricoh GR exist in the first place – for that stealthy street photo that that can be captured within milli-seconds, the small & light package that fits anywhere, the quick autofocus (much faster than GR II), the higher megapixel now allows GR users to reach another (higher) level (of use).  Apart from being a highly competent street camera, it is also an excellent Travel Camera. I used only the GR III for the whole trip & the camera achieved all that I required from this trip.

If you are (still) new to Ricoh GR Series Cameras but wish to try it out – you are welcome to visit the Pentax-Ricoh Showroom (Singapore) for a hands-on session. For the rest of you, buy your NEW Ricoh GR III here!   

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Editor AL.
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Portraits with Olympus OM-D EM1X

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Portraits with Olympus OM-D EM1X – Featuring Master Photographer Hilarion Goh
– Posted by Melody Tan
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Image by Hilarion Goh – Taken with Olympus OM-D EM1X with M. Zuiko 45mm F1.2 PRO.

27th August 2019, Singapore – By pairing the Olympus Flagship model OM-D EM-1X with the Top of the line Pro Series lens – the 45mm F1.2 PRO – we were wondering what kind of results will professional portraiture photographers might produce in an controlled environment.  So our Editor AL decided to pass the set to a long time friend of his – Hilarion Goh – a Professional Portrait Master Photographer who had done countless cover shots for many magazines and pageants for more than 40 years!

FA

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Image by Hilarion Goh – Taken with Olympus OM-D EM1X with M. Zuiko 45mm F1.2 PRO.

 

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Image by Hilarion Goh – Taken with Olympus OM-D EM1X with M. Zuiko 45mm F1.2 PRO.

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Let’s hear what Hilarion has to say about this camera+lens combo.

“This came as a surprise – the Olympus OM-D EM1X was surprisingly great for studio work. In various lighting conditions, the camera auto-focus with ease & accurately.  For this set of images on this feature article, all images are shot with the EM-1X & the 45mm F1.2 PRO with studio strobes. The auto White Balance of the camera is very accurate too so there isn’t much to edit for the images – mostly just cropping and adjusting the horizon – the images are pretty much what you get direct from the camera.

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Image: Hilarion Goh

I like the handling and its feather-like weight. Great for long hours working in the studio or as a handy travel camera when I am not working. I am loving it. My advise for those who intend to use this combo for studio work – you need a really fast SD card.” – Hilarion Goh

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Image by Hilarion Goh – Taken with Olympus OM-D EM1X with M. Zuiko 45mm F1.2 PRO. 

 

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Image by Hilarion Goh – Taken with Olympus OM-D EM1X with M. Zuiko 45mm F1.2 PRO. 

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Image by Hilarion Goh – Taken with Olympus OM-D EM1X with M. Zuiko 45mm F1.2 PRO. 

Alright people, the editorial team is definitely impressed with Hilarion’s images. The Olympus OM-D EM1X is indeed an all-rounder and poised for any subject – in addition, the M. Zuiko 45mm F1.2 Pro is another beast of a lens.

SO if you are heading out to buy the Olympus OM-D EM1X or the M.Zuiko 45mm F1.2 PRO, buy from our Accredited Merchants for a peace of mind.
Click here to visit our Merchant page!

Special Thanks to Hilarion Goh for helping us in this special feature!

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.

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Welcoming the Latest Additions to the LEE100 Family

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Welcoming the latest additions to the LEE100 Family
– Posted by Melody Tan
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02nd August 2019, Worldwide – Following on from the hugely successful launch of the new LEE100 Filter Holder earlier in 2019, LEE Filters has now introduced two new products to further enhance the system.

The LEE100 Tandem Adaptor
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There are occasions when one filter holder isn’t enough, and this is when the new LEE100 Tandem Adaptor proves invaluable. Unique to the LEE Filters system, the Tandem Adaptor, which is constructed from aluminium, allows the photographer to use more than one ND grad and rotate each independently of the other, so they can be set at different angles. This allows for far more precise creative control of the exposure in complex lighting situations than one holder alone.

FA

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To fit, the first LEE100 Filter Holder is attached to the lens via the adaptor ring as normal. The LEE100 Tandem Adaptor then slides into the holder’s outermost slot, and the second LEE100 Filter Holder is attached to the adaptor. The holder closest to the lens can be used with up to three filter slots (one must be used for the Tandem), while the holder that’s attached to the Tandem Adaptor can be configured with one, two or three further filter guides.

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Both holders can be rotated freely until the desired effect is achieved, and then locked in place to avoid any accidental movement of the filters.

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The LEE100 Hood
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Versatile and sturdy, the LEE100 Hood is fully compatible with the new LEE100 Filter Holder. Designed to shade the camera’s lens, and reduce the risk of stray light and flare spoiling the image, it can be used with up to three slot-in filters plus the LEE Filters Polariser. Constructed from a water-resistant reinforced nylon in a collapsible concertina design, it is self-supporting, with no need for intrusive and fiddly rails or guides, and can be adjusted to different angles and extensions for maximum versatility.

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Simple to set up, the hood comes with an attachment ring that is affixed to the LEE100 Filter Holder via four locking tabs. The hood is then locked securely on to the attachment ring with a lever. It is then attached to the adaptor ring in the usual way.

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The hood can be rotated independently of the LEE100 Filter Holder, allowing the photographer to use ND grads as normal, while still getting the most out of the hood itself. At its fullest extension, the hood can be used with lenses of around 28mm and a two-slot filter guide without the risk of vignetting. Once it is reduced to half extension, lenses as wide as around 20mm can be used without vignetting.

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Simple to extend and collapse, and quick to attach and detach, the LEE100 Hood is the ideal addition to the photographer’s kit bag.

Pricing The LEE100 Tandem Adaptor is available to purchase from LEE Filters dealers from 5th August 2019, with a RRP of £44.50 ex-VAT.

The LEE100 Hood is available to purchase from LEE Filters dealers from 19th August 2019, with a RRP of £208.00 ex-VAT.

For the rest of you, buy from our Accredited Merchants for a peace of mind.
Click here to visit our Merchant page!

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.

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10 Common Mistakes When Buying A Camera or Lens

sigma


10 Common Mistakes When Buying A Camera or Lens
– Posted by Melody Tan
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22nd July 2019, Singapore – Buying (another) Camera or Lens is common to most photographers. Today, we are going to talk about the top 10 common mistakes that photographers (even the seasoned ones) made when buying another camera/ lens.

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#01 – Friends’ Recommendation
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No doubt as photographers, we are sure to have many friends sharing the same passion with us. However, friends are the worse people to go for advise for buying your next camera/lens. I mean let’s face it, your friend had probably just invested thousands of dollars on a camera system, or built up his/her collection of lenses & camera bodies – do you think your friend will recommend you to buy a brand that he is currently not using? Or will your friend admit that his system sucks? All “advice” you will get from friends will most likely be biased, so don’t! Do your own homework, google about it, go to the stores and hands-on, try it, play with it then decide for yourself!

 

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#02 – Going for the Cheapest
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We all know by now that each camera/lens has a “shelve life”. I will use my favorite example: the Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II – fondly known to the world as the “Fantastic Plastic” – this popular prime lens from Canon was well sought after being the cheapest lens in the line-up and as a great beginner’s prime lens with an aperture of F1.8 and almost the whole lens was constructed with engineering plastic. Start its life in 1991, this lens covers this product segment all the way till 2015 – that’s a whopping 25 years product lifespan! Now, you can find shops selling the same lens at varying prices.

Previously listed on Canon’s website as SGD $159, street price usually sells around SGD $125-$135 for a new lens. But there are shops selling this very same lens at SGD $60-$80! Simple – if you are lucky (or unlucky), the $60.00 New Lens you just bought, had been sitting in the store since 2001 and while you are bragging that you’ve gotten a great deal – chances is the grease inside the autofocus gearings had dried up, the connectors had turned brittle and worse, you didn’t even notice that fungus had started to grow. You may have saved that tens of dollars – but unwise if the lens dies on you and you may end up spending much more to repair or replacing the lens. Buying Cheap is not exactly a smart decision when it comes to buying Camera/Lens.

 

 


#03 – Advertisements & Influencers

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In this age of digital revolution where everyone is bombarded with advertisement both online & offline, its easy to get swayed into buying the wrong equipment. One of my student once told me that she is getting X Brand for her next camera and when I asked her why, she simply replied: “Their advertisement is everywhere, must be good!” – I was shocked that her buying decision came solely based on what advertisements she saw.

Take a deep breathe and think again, advertisements are designed to sell, will they feature their camera/lens shortfall? On the other end, there’s influencers – paid to say great things about the product, can you really trust influencers’ recommendations too?

Instead of looking at ads, there’s many independent websites that reviews cameras (including this site) & do a comparison from websites to websites. If a certain feature is mentioned and not stated on any other official site – that is probably the truth about the equipment that you are intending to buy. Then again, we highly recommend you to go to a store and try it before purchasing.

 

#04 – Buy from Legit Stores
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If you had been a photographer in Singapore long enough, you will know that there are some camera shops that locals patronized and there are some camera shops that locals shun away. Well, millions of tourists visits Singapore every year and I am sure you’ve heard of stories of tourists getting cheated or overcharged etc. Get ready for this – many locals got chopped too. Very simple – a local walks into a touristy camera store – the salesman would have guessed that you are a beginner (and didn’t know what kind of a camera shop this is) and they will try every tricks they know on you to max out your spending.

Even though many of them will know that it will be a one-time business, do you think they care? Ask around and I am sure many local legit big names will be given to you – to the likes of Cathay Photo, TK Foto, Alan Photo, SLR Revolution and so on. And in case you are wondering where are the legit shops, our members buys their gear from here.

 

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#05 – Salesman’s Recommendations
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Almost all the camera store salesman that I had spoken to and personally known will deny that they are getting commissions from the sale of equipment. However, a reality check and you will know that it is a Sales job and although some of the stores do not have individual commission, there’s group/ sharing commission etc etc. A camera salesman’s recommendations can be affected or influenced by many factors. Newer models are selling like hot cakes and these salesman will push all they can and you are likely to end up buying something that gives the salesman the max commission that they can get rather than what You really needed to buy in the first place. Some brands does gives preferential commission to the salesman if a target is achieved – that again, will influence what the salesman sells or recommends to you.

So before you stepped into a camera shop, be very sure what you are after. If you are at your regular store wanting to try or view a piece of equipment, stay focused on trying out and decides if you want to purchase based on what you had experience rather than what the salesman had told you. While some friends told me the salesman are 100% credible as they had bought gear from them for years – well, if I am a salesman and I had the same customer coming back to me for years – I will make the best out of these customers – go figure.

 

#06 – Buying Online
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While laziness accounted for more than 50% of customers shopping online today, there is certain risks involved if you had not given this a thought. There’s many reputable online stores that offers cheaper price, faster delivery, hassle-free ordering, yet so many times, there’s photographers complaining that the lens/camera they bought online was delivered damaged, or a wrong model sent or worse, the gear never arrived. Personally I had some bad experiences too – when I ordered a new lens, the lens arrived with seals broken and full of fingerprints – how can this be new?

Some others reported receiving a new lens with fungus already growing while some reported their lens’ autofocs are faulty or some even reported the “new” camera they received had already clocked thousands of shutter count! Unless you are buying a Used unit, otherwise, a New item has to be New right? No? And buying online means you don’t have a chance to check, test before buying. Worth the risk?

 

#07 – The More Expensive, The Better
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The most mistake that many photographers made – the more expensive the gear, the better it is. Well, No. Although in photography where You get what you paid for – there’s also overpriced gear and gear that is not worth the money. I always tell me my students – buy what you need and not what you can afford. Many of my students are pretty well-off and using the top-of-the-line cameras/ lenses and when I asked them about the functions, I am shocked that they never really explored their expensive cameras in details and just sticking to what they usually use. Then for what reasons doing an upgrade when all you need the same old functions that you always use to shoot the same subjects over and over again. So what if the megapixels had increased by 400% and so what the FPS is now faster Ferrari, you are still shooting the same shit and you skills are still very much the same right? Get the camera/lens you really need rather than what you can afford. Get this right first.

 

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#08 – Freebies
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One of the oldest marketing tricks used by camera brands – freebies. So what if you are given more memory cards (when you already have a lot by now as a seasoned shooter), another camera bag (when you already bought better bags), tripod (when you already bought a proper & better tripod), a small dry cabinet (when most of you already have a dry cabinet that is bigger than my bar fridge), or a free lens (that the brand had problem selling) but I will say the most useful thing that you will get as a free gift is none other than a Battery. Even a free workshop is a complete waste of time when most of you are eligible to be teaching basic photography, all you need to do is to learn about the functions of your gear and you are good to go. So you still want those freebies?


#09 – Paying By Installments
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Never purchase a gear on Installment unless there’s an urgent need (like you broke your camera/ lens a day before your assignment and you are short of cash) – instead save for it. Camera equipment does gets replaced by newer models arriving month after month and any equipment taken out of the box starts to depreciates immediately. Its new in the box, once taken out of the box, its used. Its a harsh reality that many fails to understand. And buying on installment just made it worse.

For example, I had a student who (unfortunately) has the Gear Acquisition Syndrome – fondly knows as GAS. This guy buys gear week after week and one day I had the opportunity to chat with him. He admitted that most of the new cameras/ lenses he never use and he only take some images of the gear, post it up to FB to show off, then left sitting inside his dry cabinet – some he had never even used once till today! Then when he asked me about the resale value, he had a rude shock when I told him the market rates for used gear. Some of the cameras/ lenses that he had bought months ago, totally unused – had lost more than 40% of its purchased value. Then he admitted that most of his gear are in Installment Plan! Even if he sells some of the items now, the amount he owes is way higher than the used market value for his gear. Even if you sell, your installment plan continues – now imagine this – You are paying slower than the fast depreciating value of the equipment, how do you feel now?

#10 – Functions that You Don’t Need
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With every newer model of camera/ lenses launched, there’s bound to be “improvements” compared to the previous model it replaces. Some of you may have heard about how DSLR do Bracketing – from the past era of 03 shots of Slow, Normal & Fast shutter speed to today’s 7 or 9 Bracketed shots (and some even blends automatically for you in-camera!) – how many of you had really used the 5 or 7 or 9 Bracketing in your camera? Or the classic ISO comparison, from the past ear of ISO 3200 to today’s ISO 204800, how high an ISO have you really used?

That was just some examples. OK, so you want to buy that camera because it came with more functions? Let me tell you, the next camera that they are launching has even more function then the one you are looking at right now. Don’t believe me? Just look at the all the cameras & lenses the brands had launched since the digital revolution.

So the above mistakes is what we had gathered from several sources including our peers.
Did we missed any mistake(s)? Do drop us a comment below!

For the rest of you, buy from our Accredited Merchants for a peace of mind.
Click here to visit our Merchant page!

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
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Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.

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About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

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Exclusive Travel Agent Appointment – Chan Brothers Travel

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Exclusive Travel Agent Appointment – Chan Brothers Travel
– Posted by Lee Shi Qing
BY50E
17th July 2019, Singapore – We are pleased to announced that we have Officially Appointed Chan Brothers Travel Pte Ltd as our brand’s Exclusive Travel Agent Partner.
Through our stringent selection process in shortlisting a reputable travel agency, Chan Brothers Travel emerged as the best choice among the other travel agencies who had approached us for partnership.

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“Our members & followers are always traveling to destinations for photography or for leisure trips, it is important to appoint a credible & reputable travel agency to service our members for their travel needs. Chan Brothers Travel is one of Singapore’s largest travel agent that had been long regarded as a “household brand”, along with their wide variety of tour destinations – from mainstream to exotic places and with over 50 years’ experience in the travel business, it is obvious why we selected Chan Brothers Travel over other travel agents.”
– AL LEE  Founder of Ourshutterjourney Worldwide.

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Chan Brothers Travel’s Passion of Service Excellence
Chan Brothers Travel continues to explore new destinations and venture into opening the “roads-less-traveled” and consistently review and revisit existing destinations with new & creative itineraries and customer experiences. By maintaining a strong marketing and communications link with customers, prospects, business partners and the general buying public, Chan Brothers Travel became the “top-of-mind” brand as a trusted & reliable travel agency providing only quality packages at value-for-money prices.

For the past 50 years, Chan Brothers Travel takes pride & satisfaction from surpassing their customers’ expectations with memorable tour experiences that translates into regular returning customers. If that is not enough, Chan Brothers Travel is also the first travel agency in Singapore to set up a sophisticated online travel infrastructure and a dedicated Call-Centre as part of their continuous efforts to offer customers seamless travel experiences from the first touch point to the full utilization of service.

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More about Chan Brothers Travel
Chan Brothers Travel Group of companies:
– Asia Global Vacation
Specializing in affordable good value tours for your dream vacation including the Euroworld brand, your gateway to flexible and affordable Europe travel.
– Chan’s World Holidays
A company-owned franchise shop, a bespoke travel agency offering off-the-beaten-track unusual vacations and Muslim tours.
– Chan Brothers Express
Specializing in Club Med holidays and regional beach getaways.
– Chan Brothers Travel Powerhouse
The iconic brand that fascinates travelers with their widely acclaimed package tours, Free & Easy+ Holidays, Worldwide Cruise Centre, Customized Easy Holidays, as well as flight and hotel online portals.

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With over 50 years’ worth of happy customers, no one comes close to Chan Brothers Travel for perfecting the holiday experience. Holidays are just better with people you know and you are in great company with Chan Brothers Travel who knows the world like no other.

As our appointed Travel Agent Partner, ALL Registered Ourshutterjourney Card Members Enjoys Special Deals when booking your next Tour with Chan Brothers Travel! Pop over to our Lifestyle Merchant page to check out Chan Brothers Travel’s Promo for our members!

Or click here now to book your next tour!

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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
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A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

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About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Spot Our Anniversary Ad Winner!

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Spot Our Anniversary Ad Winner!
Posted by Lee Shi Qing
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01st July 2019, Singapore – On May 09th, we posted an article asking members to spot our 10th Year Anniversary Advertisements that we had put up in 03 locations in Singapore. And so our ads went up on a Car Park Barrier Arm in the Central Area for 03 months, a Roving car with our advertisement for 01 month & a Light Box at City Hall for 01 week. You can see the original post here.

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And so, only 03 members managed to find the car park barrier arm advertisement that was located at Craig Place!  Their entries as above. After our internal discussion with our Staff Team Members, we had all voted for……………..

Ang Cheng Hoe’s Submission! For his Creativity Jump Shot (Which was dangerous, please don’t do this again!) and best portrayed the celebration spirit of Ourshutterjourney!

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Congratulations! Mr. Ang – we will be contacting you for your prize collection – a Sports Camera! Thank you for your support!

Prize Proudly Sponsored by Sgcamerastore.com
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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
SQ.jpg
A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

=========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Winners Announcement & Editor’s Picks – Songbirds Workshop & Competition

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Winners Announcement & Editor’s Picks – Songbirds Workshop & Competition
– Posted by Melody Tan
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25th June 2019, Singapore – Ourshutterjourney.com, Olympus Imaging Singapore & Wildlife Reserves Singapore teamed up for a Photography Workshop as well as a mini Competition surrounding the Songbirds theme on 15th June (Exclusive for Ourshutterjourney/Olympus) & 16th June 2019 (Public).

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Workshop with AL Lee, Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore ,
Founder of Ourshutterjourney.com.  Image by: Lionel Lim

 

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Olympus Equipment were provided on 15th June for Ourshutterjourney/Olympus Members.
Image by: Serene Digital Crafts.  

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Our panel of Invited Guest Speakers for Q & A shared tips & answered questions from the attendees.  (L-R) Miss Eunice L, Mr. Joseph L & Mr. Steven Y.

 

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A sharing of basic Birding Photography tips from AL’s personal experience, Attendees were briefed on characteristics of birds, shooting techniques and some general knowledge on birds. Attendees then gets a hands-on session to various enclosures at Jurong Bird Park to try out shooting.

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Pre-shoot Briefing at Enclosure. (Wings of Asia). Image by: Serene Digital Crafts.  

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Attendees shooting at Lory Loft. Image by Lionel Lim.

 

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The Judges Hilarion Goh & Amos Kang scrutinizing the submitted images while AL does the open photo critique on 15th June 2019

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The Attendees from both days had submitted their images with the given criteria & deadline and we are pleased to announce the winners as below! And All Winners had been notified as we write! *All names are abbreviated due to forgoing PDPA regulations in Singapore.

Judges: Mr. Hilarion Goh & Mr. Amos Kang.
Moderator: Mr. AL Lee

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE WINNERS!

15th June 2019
Exclusive to Ourshutterjourney & Olympus Members 


1st Prize: CT See 

– Olympus E-PL9 Kit 1

Runner-up: CS Eng
– $90 Camera SPA Voucher

Runner-up: Jasmine T
– $90 Camera SPA Voucher

Runner-up: Joseph Y.
– $90 Camera SPA Voucher

Consolation: Kervin N
– Limited Edition JBP Pins

Consolation: Koh LH.
– Limited Edition JBP Pins

Consolation: Haslindah YF.
– Limited Edition JBP Pins
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16th June 2019
Public Session
1st Prize: BH Ong
– Olympus – E-PL9 Kit 1

*All Winners had been contacted at Press Time.
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Thank you everyone who joined us! Congrats to the Winners again and if you did not win, never mind, do better in the future competitions and enjoy the process as learning experience – We assure you there will be a lot more of such competitions (Exclusively) for our Ourshutterjourney Card Members!

We have put together some images (selected for feature by our Editor AL Lee) below from both days’ session below. Enjoy!

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SPECIAL IMAGE FEATURE – Editor’s Pick
The below 18 images are hand-picked by our Editor AL who played the role of a Moderator for the competition. These images are awesome and deserves a special feature! 

DSC03995.jpegImage by: Peter L.

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Image by: Joleen T.

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Image by Hein H.

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Image by: Gerald N.

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Image by: Daniela M.

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Image by: Tarek A.

Judy Wong.JPGImage by: Judy W.

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Image by: Esther O.

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Image by Steven Y.

Henning S002.jpgImage by: Henning S.

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Image by: Kervin N.

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Image by: Aaron Y.

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Image by: Eng CS.

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Image by: Henry K.

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Image by: Cecilia L.

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Image by Bob Y.

DSC_0124.jpgImage by: Eunice L.

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Image by: Ng. TY.

Ourshutter Bird Photography Competition
Image by: Troy S.

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Image by: Lee SN.

 

We hope you enjoyed viewing the submitted images that was selected by our Editor AL for feature on this article. If you are keen to be our registered card member to enjoy more exclusive events & merchant deals, please visit here.

Disclaimers:
– The organizer, partners & sponsors Reserves All Rights (Including Publishing Rights, Legal Rights, Decision Rights & Execution Rights) pertaining to this workshop & competition.
– All Decisions made by the Organizer, Sponsors, Partners pertaining to this event/competition is Final.

– The Views/Decision/Selection of both Judges does not represent the Organizer & Sponsors.
– All Prizes are Not exchangeable for cash or Transferred to another person without Organizer’s written approval.
– This mini competition serves to encourage Photography participation & community learning.

Group Shot (15th June 2019)
– Exclusive Session for Ourshutterjourney & Olympus Members.
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Group Shot (16th June 2019)
– Public Session.
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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
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Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.

========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Ourshutterjourney Lifestyle Merchants

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Ourshutterjourney Lifestyle Merchants
– Posted by Melody Tan
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Image: Ourshutterjourney Membership Card – More than just a Card!
21st June 2019, Singapore – As we celebrate our 10th Year Anniversary, I am sure many of you had been surprised by many Exclusive Events, Special Competitions & Giveaways recently! Adding to the list of celebration campaigns, we are pleased to launch our Lifestyle Merchant Page today!

Our Membership card had always been a Photography-centric card where our members had enjoyed shopping with a peace of mind with our accredited merchants of mainly photography brands and retail. We thought that we can do a lot more with our membership card so we had been secretly approaching lifestyle merchants to speak to them about special privileges for our card members!

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We are pleased to officially announce that our lifestyle merchant page is now LIVE and you can start using your membership card at these outlets. From Massage to Karaoke, from Music School to Restaurants & Bakeries, and from Travel Agency to Car Grooming, we are starting with a small list and our team will continue to source for interesting lifestyle merchants to be added to the list!

So what are you waiting for? Click here to visit our NEW Lifestyle Merchant Page Now!
Not a Member yet? Click here to find out more!


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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.
========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Songbirds Competition Submission Closed

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Songbirds Competition Submission Closed
– Posted by Melody Tan
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20th June 2019, Singapore – The Deadline for submission of Competition Entries was yesterday 19th June 2019 at 23.59pm. All submitted images had been sent to the judges for their reference and rating. Results will be published on 25th June or 26th June 2019.

As shared during the 02-days workshop by our Founder AL – who is the moderator & workshop master for this 02-days event, all images are to be:
– in Landscape orientation.
– in color.
– not over-edited.
– present a “natural state, pose” of the subject.
– basic photography techniques applies too.
– submit ONLY 01 (one) image per pax.

We regret to inform that only images that had met the above will be considered as a successful entry.

Good luck to everyone!

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.

========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Spot Our Anniversary Ad & Win!

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Spot Our Anniversary Ad & Win!
– Posted by Melody Tan
OSJ Advert 2019

09th May 2019, Singapore – As part of our 10 Year Anniversary, we had put up an advertisement somewhere in Singapore. And if you are in luck and spotted our advertisement, take a photo and you stand to win a SPORTS HD DV Camera!

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Since most of you will be asking about clues – well, these are some points that we can share to help you in the search for the ad!

– Central Singapore 
– Visible from the road. 
– Tanjong Pagar Area 
– Mix Development of Offices, Retail & F&B area. 
– “Some Fools Sell, Some Fools Buy”.
– Semi-Conservation “Heritage” Area.

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Here’s an image of our advertisement!
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And so, it is pretty obvious that this is a car park entrance, and so, with the given clues above, start hunting guys!

This SPORTS HD DV Camera is Proudly Sponsored by our Accredited Merchant  Sgcamerastore.com! Your One-Stop Photography & Videography Store & Stockist for hundreds of brands!

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Once you’ve spotted our advertisement, take a photo and share it on our Facebook Group Page here. And add hashtag #ourshutterjourney10 – we will announce the Winner (if any) on 1st July 2019 on this site! Good Luck & Happy Hunting!

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.

========================
About Ourshutterjourney.com
Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

=========================

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Olympus STF-8 Macro Flash

sigma 

Olympus STF-8 Macro Flash
Posted By Editor AL Lee
IMG_8754.JPGImage: Set-up, Olympus OM-D E-M1 MarkII + Zuiko 60mm F2.8 PRO Macro + Olympus STF-8 Macro Flash mounted on a macro rig + Adjustable Arms.

27th April 2019, SingaporeAnd so, recently I was renewed for another term as the Visionary & Brand Ambassador for Olympus Imaging Singapore – as part of my “education tools” for the new term, I was issued some equipment and among the list, there’s STF-8 – an Olympus Macro Flash that I had secretly wanted for the longest time. 

Why I like the STF-8? Here’s why ; the STF-8 is compact, lightweight, dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof down to -10℃.

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Image: You get everything here in the retail box + 02 snap-on diffusers + 03 adaptor rings.

The STF-8 came with a nice pouch that houses everything inside – the flash head unit, the 02 flashes, 02 diffusers, 03 ring adaptor which was design to be compatible with M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro, M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro & M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO. With 3rd party step up/down rings – it can be attached to other lenses too.

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The STF-8 had been around since 2016 and for some strange reasons, I had never requested from Olympus or gotten a chance to lay my hands on an unit to try or review until recently this unit came to me.

Features – (Taken from Olympus website)

Movable flash heads

The angle of the flash heads can be adjusted in a range of 60° upward to 40° downward, and the position of the flash heads along the ring adapter can be adjusted as well. Arrange the flashes to create shadows and achieve your desired level of depth in your photos.

Output ratio control
The output ratio can be controlled from 1:8 to 8:1 between the left and right flash heads. Use the dial for quick output ratio adjustment.

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Image: (Left) Without the supplied diffusers, (Right) With the supplied diffusers.

 

Dedicated diffuser for soft lighting
A dedicated diffuser is included for creating soft lighting effects. The diffuser is designed so that you can select to use or not use it without having to attach or remove it every time.

Designed with working distance in mind
The flash heads are nearly even with the end of the lens for minimal effects on the lens working distance.

IMG_8766.JPGImage: Editor AL using the STF-8 mounted on adjustable arms rather than the lens adaptor.

 

As you can see from the above image – I did not mount the 02 flashes onto the 60mm Macro lens with the supplied adaptor, instead, I mounted the 02 flashes onto an extension/ adjustable arms for more versatility on the light directions and the ratio of flash for each side. Some advantages here for my set-up – your get a more balance & softer flash rather than a harsh straight-kill flash, you get to control the distance, the height and the angle, and with the longer arms, I can also direct the flash from unthinkable angels as compared to mounting straight to the front of the lens.

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Here’s some images that I’ve shot using the STF-8 paired with an Olympus OM-D E-M1 MarkII + M.Zuiko 60mm F2.8 Macro PRO. These images were shot at Gardens by the Bay (Singapore) between 2.00pm-5.30pm and the ambience is moderately bright with sunlight shinning through tinted glass panels. The STF-8 helped me “re-create” sunlight that gives viewers a false sense of time which can easily passed off as the 10.00am sun.
Check out the images!

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Ok, see below for the ambient light when I was shooting the above flower and then look at the flower again. Amazing isn’t it?

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I have a strange liking for shooting the stigma of Tulips. The STF-8 didn’t disappoint a single bit. We all know the petals of a Tulip curves inwards toward the stigma at bloom (and that also formed the unique shape of tulips when you look from the side view) and that kinda blocked certain lights from entering the chamber – the STF-8 – with a little adjustment, got me the shots that I badly wanted. See the examples below.

 

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And when the STF-8 is adjusted to position for non-close-up shooting, it works well as a regular flash too – with added flexibility on the left-right ration and the angle of the flash heads.

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Personally I am thrilled by the STF-8, the ease of use, the flexibility of angle and power ratio, the compact size, the light-weight, the weather-proofing and the images are awesome. I will be trying out on insects soon. If you are using Olympus system and likes Macro or Close-Ups – Get the Olympus STF-8!

Buy your NEW Olympus STF-8 Macro Flash here!   

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Editor AL.
Image by Serene Ong of Serene Digital Crafts.

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Olympus TG-5 Underwater Images

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Olympus TG-5 Underwater Images
Posted by Melody Tan 
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Contributor: Sharon Ng

 

22nd April 2019, Singapore – Following our review of Olympus’s TG-5 TOUGH camera in 2017, we had been searching for underwater images taken by the TG-5 camera and after much effort finally we found Sharon Ng, an avid photographer and also a person who loves roaming the reef.

If you would like to check out our initial review of the TG-5 by our Editor AL at Okinawa Japan & Taipei Taiwan, please visit here.

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And so, we got lucky and finally found Sharon Ng who had taken the TG-5 to the sea and had shot some really cool and nice images from under the sea.

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Before we get to the images, let’s check out Sharon’s thoughts of the Olympus TG-5 TOUGH camera.

MT: Hi Sharon, may I know what’s on your mind when you decided to purchase the TG-5?

SN: I was purely looking for an underwater camera. 

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Image: By Sharon Ng. Shot with Olympus TG-5 TOUGH.

MT: Was weight or water depth limits on your checklist?

SN: Yes to both as I intend to dive with the TG-5 so weight is one of the key factor while the depth limit is another important factor to consider.

MT: So how many times had you dived with the Olympus TG-5?

SN: To date about 06 times!


MT: While Underwater, was it easy to operate the TG-5?

SN: Extremely! One of the easiest!

MT: After using the TG-5 underwater, what do you think of its underwater capability?

SN: Personally I think its a very capable camera be it underwater or out of water.

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Image: By Sharon Ng. Shot with Olympus TG-5 TOUGH.
MT: Have you also used TG-5 for other shooting environment apart from underwater?

SN: Definitely, I had done landscape and I am amazed by the Live Composite function which is a first for an all-rounder compact camera.

MT: Is there any feature that you wish Olympus can improve on the next replacement model?

SN: Not for now.

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MT: On overall, do you think Olympus is a well-rounded camera?

SN: From my personal experience using the TG-5, so far so good. Can’t really find any fault with it.

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MT: Will You Recommend Olympus TOUGH Series cameras to your peers?

SN: Of course!

MT: Thank you Sharon!

SN: You are most Welcome Melody! Thank you!

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Contributing Editor – Melody Tan
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Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.

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Sakura Shooters Singapore (SSS)

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Sakura Shooters Singapore (SSS)
– by Lee Shi Qing
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08th April 2019, Singapore – As part of our 10th Year Anniversary, and by a stroke of luck, we decided to form a new sub-group that is specially dedicated to everything Floral & Fauna! As Singapore is a tropical country with a wide variety of plants, we came to know a lot of photographer who loves shooting flowers and plants in nature.

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The logo carries the 08 blades aperture following our brand identity which is carried through across all our groups logos and page logos. The 05 petals sakura in the centre means – flowers are the main subjects in this special group.
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For now, there will be not specific events for Sakura Shooters Singapore as all our events are still consolidated under the master group Shutter Journey (Singapore) Photography Group. So do look out for our events!

Group posting rules applies and its the same across all our groups.

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Join Sakura Shooters Singapore here!

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Contributing Editor – Lee Shi Qing
SQ.jpg
A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. While she helps out in gear reviews, Qing is currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop.

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$20 Sensor Cleaning for Card Members!

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$20 Sensor Cleaning for Card Members!
– Posted by Melody Tan
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05th April 2019, Singapore – We Are Officially 10 Years Old Today! As part of our Celebration, we are glad to partner our Appointed Authorized Service CentreP & G Photographic Centre – for a Special Deal for all our Registered Card Members!

For the next 04 Saturdays starting from 13th April 2019, we will be doing a Sensor Cleaning Deal at ONLY $20 per camera per member (Limited to 02 camera bodies per member) – Limited to 10 Members per Saturday! Those who woke up late don’t worry – you will still get to enjoy the deal at $30 – Usual Cost is $50.00!

More details after the jump.

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Dates for Redemption – 
13th April 2019 – 11.00am to 01.00pm (ONLY)
20th April 2019 – 11.00am to 01.00pm (ONLY)
27th April 2019 – 11.00am to 01.00pm (ONLY)
04th May 2019 – 11.00am to 01.00pm (ONLY)

$20.00 Sensor Cleaning Service
Limited to 1st 10 Card Members per Saturday.
*Subsequent Card Members pays $30.00
*Limited to 02 camera bodies per member.
*Bring Your Membership Card to Redeem.
*We Reserves the Rights to Turn away Members without a Card.
* Service is ONLY Available for Redemption at the given time ONLY.

Address after the jump

For those who are living in a cave – Our Service Centre is Located at:

The Adelphi
1 Coleman Street,
#B1-04, The Adelphi,
Singapore 179803

Tel: (65)68370696
Fax: (65)68370697
Email : pgcameras@gmail.com

OPERATING HOURS: Mon to Sat from 11.00 a.m. to 7.30 p.m.
Closed on Sunday & public holidays.

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We will be announcing more special deals throughout this year as part of our 10th Year Celebration! It certainly pays to be our registered Card Members!
Cheers!
– Melody

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About Melody Tan – Contributing Editor
melody.jpg
Loves quiet walks along beaches, has a mind of her own and decides everything in life in either black or white with nothing in between. Her priority these days revolves around her 2 lovely kids & teaching them music or photography. A lover of yoga and an avid traveler, Melody aims to visit at least 30 countries before she reach 40 years old – from what we know, she had completed 27 as of 2018.

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New LEE100 Filter System

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New LEE100 Filter System – Available Now!
– Posted by Lee Shi Qing
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16th March 2019, BIRMINGHAM, UK – Setting the standard in filter holders for the past 25 years , LEE Filters announces a new filter system that takes the original design and elevates it to another level. With input from photographers, the LEE100 filter system is adaptable, intuitive and modular, making it a game changer in the field. The LEE100 is available now from the LEE Filters dealer network and on display at stand G81 at The Photography Show, running March 16-19.

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Intuitive to use, with improved aesthetics, the new LEE100 filter system is based on extensive customer feedback and product testing. Its clever new design features ensure an enhanced performance and more ergonomic handling.  “Lee is excited to introduce our latest product innovation at The Photography Show,” says Paul Mason, managing director, Lee Filters.  “We are especially pleased to bring the Lee100 filter system to the market knowing it meets the unique needs of our photography customers.”

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Precision engineered from injection-moulded composite materials, the LEE100 holder is rigid and durable, while remaining lightweight enough that it will never be a burden to add to a camera bag. Crucially, it is compatible with all existing LEE 100mm filters and adaptor rings.

The spring release allows for one-handed operation when attaching to the adapter ring, and the new holder’s most innovative design element is the blue locking dial, which permits it to be used in three different settings:

  • Neutral: Holder can be both rotated and quickly removed or knocked off should it be caught by clothing, for example, thereby protecting the camera and lens.
  • Half lock: Holder can be rotated but is locked to the adaptor ring, and cannot be removed from it.
  • Full lock: Holder cannot be rotated and is also locked in place, so cannot be removed from adaptor ring.

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Also new are the modular filter-guide blocks, which come in one, two and three-slot configurations. Their simplified design means they simply snap on to the holder and remain securely in place until the photographer is ready to remove them. The new tapered profile gives improved resistance when positioning filters.

Compatible with many of today’s ultra-wide angle lenses, the LEE100 system can be used with up to three slot-in filters without the risk of vignetting.

Polarising filter
Slim and light, yet highly robust, and with an improved optical performance, the LEE100 Polariser is easy to use and quick to attach. It simply snaps on to the front of the filter-guide block, where it is firmly secured until ready to be removed again. Constructed using a lightweight, high-transmission polariser glass, the LEE100 Polariser features a subtle warm tone to help intensify natural colours. It can be used in combination with LEE’s 100mm filter range, and when clipped on to the two-slot filter-guide block, has the same wide-angle capabilities as the previous filter holder.

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Existing LEE Filters polarisers can be attached to the new holder via a clip-on 105mm polariser ring. The polariser is simply screwed into the ring and clipped on to the LEE100 filter holder, and can be used either on its own or in combination with other filters.

Brand-new premium packaging completes the look of the LEE100 system.

Pricing*
The LEE100 filter holder retails at £69.95 (SGD $125.00)
The LEE100 Polariser retails at £195 (SGD $347.00)
The LEE100 105mm polariser ring retails at £35 ($62.00)

New kits
Three kits that include the LEE100 filter holder are now available:

LEE100 Landscape Kit:
Includes LEE100 filter holder, LEE 0.6 ND medium grad
RRP £140 (SGD $249.00)

LEE100 Long Exposure Kit:
Includes LEE100 filter holder, Big Stopper, Little Stopper, LEE 0.6 ND hard grad
RRP £299 (SGD $530.00)

LEE100 Deluxe Kit:
Includes LEE100 filter holder, LEE100 Polariser, Big Stopper, LEE 0.6 ND medium grad, LEE 0.9 ND hard grad, LEE 1.2 ND medium grad, 50ml ClearLEE filter wash, ClearLEE filter cloth.
RRP £540 (SGD $960.00)

*All prices excludes GST

About LEE Filters
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Since 1967, LEE Filters continues as the world’s leading manufacturer of professional quality filters, designed for the entertainment, architectural, and photography industries. Ongoing research and development have kept the company at the forefront of new technologies, adapting to the ever-changing needs of lighting designers, cinematographers, architects and photographers. Creating equipment that is capable of producing precise, reliable and repeatable results is what has made LEE Filters the masters of light.

For more information, visit www.leefilters.com.

LEE Filters is part of Panavision’s portfolio of renowned brands, which includes Light Iron, Panalux, Direct Digital and Island Studios. For more information and locations worldwide, visit Panavision.com.

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About Shi Qing
SQ.jpg
A firm believer of Self-Sufficient living and gives no f**k to anyone getting in her way to reaching her goals in life. Kind in nature & Dangerous when provoked. Loves Mcdonald’s Fries and hates all the burgers there. Currently serving as an Online Administrator for Ourshutterjourney.com Facebook Groups and Online Shop. 

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Visit Our Online Store
Join Our Membership.

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Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary

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Sigma 56mm f/1.4 DC DN Contemporary
– Posted by AL Lee
P3100065.JPGImage: Sakura Flower at Gardens by the Bay – shot with Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN / Contemporary.

 

10th March 2019, Singapore – Sigma Singapore sent me the 56mm F1.4 |C| lens somewhere in Jan 2019 and I couldn’t find the right editor to review this lens. Felicia is overseas, Melody is busy, Shiqing is doing part-time courses and Serene is pro-landscape – so ended with no choice, I decided to review this lens myself. The unit that Sigma Singapore sent me was in Micro Four Third mount and I mated it with my Olympus OM-D EM1 MarkII and took it out to Gardens by the Bay where the annual Sakura exhibits are on.

Before I continue, I would like to disclaim (as usual) that we are more interested in how this lens performs rather than the technical part of it. For those information that you might be seeking, you may wish to visit Sigma’ websites to find out more – back here, we just wanna share about our view and user experience of this new lens. If you are cool, read on.

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Image: The new Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN / Contemporary.

The Sigma 56mm came as a tiny lens to me as I was really expecting something much bigger for a F1.4, measuring just ø66.5mm x 59.5mm – I can slip this little monster into my pocket. Weighing just 280gm, this lens will find its place into any camera bag out there. While the lens barrel is is everything Sigma – from the TSC material to the awesome focusing ring which meets my expectations from a Sigma lens, I would like to share that I am surprised that Sigma didn’t made this an Art lens – because it’s so premium looking and feels expensive when handled.

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Image: The new Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN / Contemporary.

 

Inside the lens, there’s 10 elements in 06 groups but wait – Sigma managed to slip in an Aspherical glass and a SLD glass creating sharp and and highly detailed images with near-perfect rendering including the successful elimination of ghosting and distortion. Aperture comes in 09 rounded blades that opens the light gate from F1.4 to F16 and allows the user to focus from 50cm. Not exactly close but with a magnification ratio of 1:7.4, you can always make it up by cropping – if your camera’s resolution is of high resolution/megapixels. The front of the lens takes 55mm screw-on filters and the lens hood + pouch came as part of the retail box.

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Image: The new Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN / Contemporary.

 

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Image: The new Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN / Contemporary.

 

As we all know – Sigma lenses is still manufactured ONLY in Japan today and QC is guaranteed that every lenses that leaves the production line is of the highest quality that Sigma promises. Lastly, since this unit was meant for Micro Four Third mount – the 56mm is the equivalent of 112mm in 35 full frame format. (Please note for Sony SE mount is 84mm). So I am getting a mid telephoto lens with a high magnification and there’s no macro – I decided to review & test the lens at my favourite haunt – Gardens by the Bay.

 

Using the lens, I love the company’s Hyper Sonic Motor (HSM) focusing in complete silence and focusing speed is fast as expected too. While it is not a macro-designated lens, I am pleased with what this lens had produced at my visit to Gardens by the Bay.
Let’s check out the images! (All images are slightly cropped, adjusted mildly for exposure and we added watermarks – everything else is pretty much as it is from the camera. (You may click on the image and view the image as 100%)

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Image: Shot by the new Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN / Contemporary.

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Image: Shot by the new Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN / Contemporary. 

 

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The Stars at Garden by the Bay currently is Sakura – the cherry blossom flowers! The flowers are small and grow in clusters – so it makes shooting kinda hard – but the Sigma 56mm managed to pull it off – like a pro!

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Then, there are other floral & fauna too. Tried shooting some of them. I was holding the camera throughout my hours inside the Flower Dome where the exhibit is ongoing and it was a breeze given the weight of the lens+camera combo. Colors were reproduced nicely and the images captured a lot of details.

 

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Do You like what you are seeing? I love the results! Using the Sigma 56mm had been a joy! We also went indoor to the exhibition area. I forgot to mention, although this lens starts from F1.4, almost all the images on this review were shot between F2 to F4.

 

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As usual, my visit to the Flower Dome will not be complete without visiting the Cactus plots. The Sigma 56mm is indeed a bokeh monster – just too bad its not a macro lens else this lens will be the SUPER LENS for Flowers!

 

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Now let’s see what 56mm (112mm) on an Olympus OM-D EM1 Mark II is capable of.
Below you will see a full size image and a cropped image leaving on 20% of what’s left of the image.

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Quick summary – the New Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN | C | is more than just a Contemporary lens – it has the functionality and quality of an Art series lens. Images produced are very sharp with creamy bokeh and the build of the lens is compact and lightweight but built solid. This is a great lens to have in your camera bag as a telephoto, or a street photo lens. Although I used it to shoot flowers for this review – the possibilities with this lens are endless. And you know what? This lens will not burn a hole in your pocket – not at all.

As we publish this review, it’s noted that on this very same day in 2012, we officially started Reviewing Sigma lenses – looking back, its been an exciting 07 years with Sigma!
I will be glad to have this lens from Sigma for/as our long service award! (Hahahahahaha!)

Buy your NEW Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN | C |  here!   

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Editor AL.
Image by Tommy Chia.

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Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 M.Zuiko Digital ED

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Olympus 12-200mm f/3.5-6.3 M.Zuiko Digital ED
– Posted by AL Lee.
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Image: Editor AL with the NEW Olympus 12-200mm mated to his OM-D EM1 MarkII.


09th March 2019, Singapore – 
Olympus’ latest lens – the mighty 12-200mm – created a new benchmark in Super-Telephoto Zoom lens. It gives users a wide angle equivalent of 24mm to a super-tele range of 400mm making itself the near-perfect all-in-one lens. While many Olympus touted this new lens to be the replacement for the aging 12-100mm, from what we have gathered, this lens will be sitting on a higher rank and possibly selling alongside with the 12-100mm until Olympus confirms that the new 12-200mm will send the 12-100mm for permanent retirement.

Before I continue, I would like to disclaim (as usual) that we are more interested in how this lens performs rather than the technical part of it. For those information that you might be seeking, you may wish to visit Olympus’ websites to find out more – back here, we just wanna share about our view and user experience of this new lens. If you are cool, read on.

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Most Olympus users will know by now that the Zuiko lenses are classified into 03 ranges – namely the top-of-the-line M.Zuiko PRO for the super high performance and build quality, the M.Zuiko Premium range for those who demands more than the M.Zuiko Standard line of lenses – we feel that the new 12-200mm sits somewhere between the Premium & Standard range after using it for a day.

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Let’s take a quick look at its specifications. We were surprised that although the new 12-200mm is not designated as a PRO range lens – it comes with dustproof & splashproof build design – a first for Standard range lens. Given the zoom range – if you done the math you will realised this is really a 16.6x Zoom lens – another first in the Micro Four Third system.

Small & compact – measuring a mere 99.7mm x 77.5mm and weigh only 455gm, this is consider small when compared to the focal range that this lens offers. The lens barrel is pretty much “very Olympus” and carries the same design cue with other lenses in the standard line. As expected from all Olympus lenses, the zoom ring and focusing ring feels good to the touch and operates smoothly. No complaints at all.

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Inside the lens, it has a 7 rounded aperture blades allowing users to use light from F3.5 to F22 which is pretty much standard – but another surprise for us is, the lens elements are not what we expected from a standard lens – it has 16 elements in 11 groups – 3 x Aspherical elements, 2 x Super ED elements, 2 x ED elements, 1 x Super HR element and 2 x HR elements and comes coated with the company’s renowned ZERO Coating – these are the groupings and elements that you can find in most of the Zuiko PRO lenses and this was why we felt that this 12-200mm is something else.

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The front of the lens accepts 72mm screw-on filters and the lens starts to focus from as close 22cm which is pretty good. I like the internal focusing with the HS Imager AF machine which allows a quiet operation but kinda felt strange that the lens focusing motor is a rotary-based unit. It works as how it should work and behaves how it was expected to behave, maybe its just me who are already used to electronic focusing units.

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Image Slides: See lens barrel position at 12mm & 200mm.

 

And so, I took the New Olympus 12-200mm out for a photo outing at Chinese Gardens (Singapore) and spent some time using this lens as the ONLY lens in the bag. Singapore’s Chinese Gardens offers many interesting subjects for various photography genres – landscape, macro, birdings, infrared etc – since the New 12-200mm is supposedly a super lens with a range of wide angle to super-tele, I have 24mm to 400mm at my disposal and off I went.

 

I tried shooting whatever that comes within my range and even shot subjects that are not within my range.

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Did You saw the escaping Fly?

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I kept reminding myself that this is NOT a 40-150mm F2.8 PRO or 300mm F4 PRO. But I used it like as if it is a Pro lens.

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The close-ups were awesome too!

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Then I went into more in-depth subject like birds. Chinese Gardens is a haven for Bird photography. It boost a healthy eco-system that both local and migratory birds can mingle and has their own “territories” within the garden and the garden offers enough food sources for all.

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Although I wouldn’t say these are the best images that the new 12-200mm can produce, but comparing the New 12-200mm to other lenses in the PRO category will be pretty wrong too. I felt that what I had managed to get from this lens is pretty much acceptable and the lens had “done its best”.

Below is a slideshow of images shot at all the focal range stops on the lens.

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Here’s another slideshow below that jumps from 12mm to 200mm.

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A quick summary – the New 12-200mm comes with many features that are previously found in the PRO range which brings smiles to users. The super zoom focal range puts the New 12-200mm into the category of Travel Photography lens and its capability creates possibilities. However, after spending a full day with this lens, I find that users may have to spend a little time to get acquainted with this lens, to understand it better so that you know where are the limits and what limits you – or the lens.

Buy your NEW Olympus 12-200mm here!   

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About Ourshutterjourney.com
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Editor AL.

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