Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN (C)

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Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN (C)
Reviewed by Editor AL

Image: Editor AL at a local farm with his Sony a7R & Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN (C).

13th September 2021, Singapore – I was planning to go downtown to review the Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN (C) & do my usual street photography – then an idea struck me. There’s a private Farm who had extended their invitation to me & our group to visit them so I decided to review the Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN (C) via a farm visit instead.

This review also doubles up as a “Part 3” to the “i” Series lenses that I had reviewed (or still reviewing). We had reviewed the 45mm F2.8, 65mm F2 and now the 35mm F2. (We will be doing the 24mm F3.5 soon too while waiting for the 90mm F2.8).  These new DG DN lenses are designed to be extremely tough with its “mostly” metal construction, the retro yet elegant design & lastly compact and small despite the bigger aperture. Designated under Sigma’s popular Contemporary (C) line of lenses, these DG DN lenses had been widely touted that it is much more premium than the earlier (C) lenses and the overall build & image quality are really closer to Sigma’s Top-of-the-Line ART (A) line lenses.

 

 

The Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN (C) – like its “brothers”, are super compact. I was issued the  Sony E mount which measures only 70mm × 67.4mm (the L Mount version is slightly shorter) and weights only a mere 325gm. For a F2 lens, this is considered very light by most standards. As mentioned earlier, the lens barrel is made from a mix of TSC, Aluminum and even the lens hood (LH636-01) is made from metal too.

 

The Design is (expectedly) similar to the other 3, with a selectable aperture ring, an oversized MF/AF switch and a metal focusing ring, which had proven to be very functionable with great ergonomics being thought out for handling. I like the rounded hump on the MF/AF switch which was very easy to locate while keeping my eye on the viewfinder, it is also very comfy to the touch.

 

 

Inside the lens, the optics are arranged in 10 elements in 9 groups including 1 SLD glass and 3 aspherical glass that helps a lot on cutting flares and ghosting while rendering incredible sharpness. The aperture are made from 9 rounded blades that opens from F2 to F22 which is pretty standard. The minimum focusing distance is a mere 27cm and has a magnification ratio of 1:5.7 , very very decent in my view.

 

 

The front of the lens takes 58mm circular screw-on filters which is common. Personally I like the metal lens hood a lot. Sigma claimed that it is a magnetic lens hood, but you still have to screw-click this hood. Still I like it cos when I sling my camera to a side and walking on the street, those senseless people who expect you to give way to them or tried to walk straight onto you while walking past you will be sure to walk away with a bruise or a cut, thanks to the threaded grip design on the metal hood. People should learn to walk on the street and avoid photographers’ cameras – Sigma thanks for this.

 

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While many people cannot really get along with 35mm and opted for 50mm or 24mm, the 35mm range is one of my favorite as it is very good for framing street subjects, the F2 aperture allows quick focusing in low light condition and the bokeh from this 35mm is awesome too.

Instead of shooting street photography, I brought this 35mm out to a local farm over the weekend and tried to shoot whatever I came across just with this lens. Check out my images below!

 

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Above: The above are not your regular food chicken. These are prized pets!

Below: I am shocked that farmers here had managed to climatize Grape vines for our crazily hot Singapore.

The Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN (C) was fast in focusing and great to use for this visit. The short minimum focus distance really helps a lot for my close-ups.

 

 

The color – when the Sigma 35mm F2 was paired to my Sony a7R, both complimented
each other like a perfect match. I got great colors, lots of details, high quality and contrasty images. Really a joy to use!

35mm is also a great focal length (for me) as I always rather pick 35mm over 50mm due to the slightly wider angle of view so that I may frame both near and far away subjects easily.

 

After the farm visit and a quick dinner, I decided to take the Sigma 35mm F2 to Chinatown for a walk and check out the light-up for Mid Autumn Festival. The 35mm turned into a night monster easily. The F2 aperture just gave me lots of added advantage in low light.

Above: Positioned my camera on the floor and got the above shot with a slow shutter.

Below: Bumped into another Photographer (Janice) who was out cycling so took this chance to test the bokeh too.


In Summary, the Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN (C) is definitely my favorite so far after I had shot with the 45mm and 65mm. 35mm has always been an “in-between” range (between 24mm & 50mm) and it is also a very popular focal length for street photographers. The fast & silent focusing is accurate and the big aperture coupled with a close focusing distance and a high magnification ratio, this is the One lens that you need to cover a lot of genre and shooting  in various situations.

Like my previous review, I strongly feel that Sigma should have given these new DG DN lenses a new naming convention rather than just designating them under the Contemporary (C) line. They are really more ART (A) then just being Contemporary (C) – pun intended.

Buying this Lens
If you are feeling adventurous & curious about this Sigma 35mm F2 DG DN (C), then you should go ahead & buy this lens. Buy from our accredited merchants for a peace of mind!

Renting this Camera/Lens – (Please check for availability first)
For those of you who wish to try out this lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this camera & lens is probably available for rental at our appointed rental merchant:

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Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: https://camerarental.biz/

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Reviewer: Chief Editor AL Lee
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Chief Editor & Founder of Ourshutterjourney.com Worldwide and Principal Trainer at Ourshutterjourney Photography Academy. AL is a commercial photographer as well as an educator who believes in the art of digital memories. An ambassador of several photography brands, AL is well versed in many camera systems. Someone once told us AL’s man cave looks more like a camera store than a bedroom.

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

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

apd

Posted in Accredited Merchants, Brand: Sigma, Group Test & Reviews, Ourshutterjourney Reviews | Leave a comment

Camera Rental Centre Promotion Extended to End 2022

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Camera Rental Centre Promotion Extended to End 2022
Text by Lee Shi Qing

07th September 2021, Singapore & Malaysia – We are pleased to announced that we had received news from our rental Partner – Camera Rental Centre Singapore – that our partnership for rental deals for Ourshutterjourney Card Members will be extended till 31st December 2022!

Ourshutterjourney Card Members
– will continue to enjoy 20% OFF for your first rental and subsequent rental* will be fixed at 10% till 31st December 2022! So remember to quote your card number when you are booking an equipment for rental!
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*Limited to Photography Equipment ONLY!

 

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Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: https://camerarental.biz/ 

 

 

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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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Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN (C)

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Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN (C)
Text by Editor AL

Image: Editor AL with the new Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN (C) paired to a Sony a7R posing here with Masterpiece Megatron somewhere in Singapore.

06th September 2021, Singapore/ Cybertron Recently Sigma Singapore sent us the Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN (C) lens along with the 24mm & 35mm which we will be reviewing them separately. The 65mm F2 is part the new “i” series lenses from Sigma that are super compact, built like a tank & promises performance. Following the success of the 45mm F2.8 (C) which we reviewed last year, Sigma releases the 65mm F2 (C), 24mm F3.5 (C) & the ever popular 35mm F2 (C) as part of the “i” series lenses from Sigma.

Although designated as a C (Contemporary line) lens, the 65mm (and the other 3 too) feels like a wrongly badged lenses as they produces great images, fast apertures and built super solid. This review unit is a Sony mount, let’s start from the size – measuring at 72mm × 76.7mm (L Mount is slightly shorter), this is a tiny lens given that the focal length is 65mm and a mid-telephoto.  At the front, the 65mm take 62mm circular filters and comes with a dedicated metal lens hood. (Sigma LH-656-01)

Also read: Sigma 45mm F2.8 DG DN (C) here.

 

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The aperture ring reminds us of an era from another dimension. I like how the aperture ring clicks when I want to adjust it manually but most of the time, I left it in “A” as I personally like to adjust my aperture using dials.  The whole lens barrel are made from Sigma’s TSC compound along with aluminum making the lens very weighty but still pretty light at 405gm.

 

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Inside the lens, the optics are arranged in 12 elements in 9 group with a 9 blade (rounded) aperture. The 65mm starts focusing from as close as 55cm and has a magnification ratio of 1:6.8 which is very decent. The aperture opens from F2 to F22 and the sweet spot for this lens has to be around F2.4-F2.8 as that was when I got the best bokeh and the focused subject is the sharpest. I am not sure if this is limited to this Sony mount example or it applies to the L mount example too – this I am not too sure.

 

And so I took the 65mm out to Evolution Garden at Botanic Gardens and doing a dual review as I am also reviewing a toy at the same time. Let’s check out the images!

 

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At 65mm, it’s a “weird” focal length since most will likely go for 50mm or 85mm for full frame users however, when I was on the review, I discovered that 65mm with a close focusing distance was actually very useful and in fact purposeful.

I super like how the colors turned out when I paired it with my Sony a7R. And the 65mm focuses really fast and super quiet. At some point during my walk, I came to a part of the garden which was eerily quiet. Still, I can’t hear the lens focusing, well I am impressed.

 

 

And to add, the 65mm focuses very accurately and very fast. I will give it “less than half a second” and the focus landed accurately every single time. As my expectations of Sigma lenses had increased over the years (since I started reviewing Sigma back in 2008), I felt that Sigma had upped the ante a lot over the years too. In simple words, Sigma has kept up with the demands of photographers throughout all these years.


Image: Uncle Koh (OldKingKoh) taking a shot of Serene from Serene|Digital|Crafts who was also present at the Evolution Garden when I was doing the review.

 

I am not exactly a portrait person when I am not shooting commercially although I provide portrait services for various genres, you can say that I prefers to separate my work with leisure. The 65mm in my view – is more than just a simple mid-telephoto lens, it is also a superb street photography lens, a good walkabout lens if you are someone who likes to take a closer view to small subjects, while wanting a better range to shoot faraway subjects (and crop later).

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OK, let me reveal a shot of the toy that I was reviewing. It’s a Masterpiece Megatron from G-Mierch.

 

In summary, the Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN (C) lens gave me more than I expected. In fact, I hope Sigma will start a new line for the “i” lenses as it definitely feels much better quality than the earlier “C” (Contemporary line) lenses and it is very close to the “A” (Art line). Quiet and super fast focusing, light weight and solidly built, I almost forget I was using a Sigma, it’s an experience that you have to experience it yourself to understand how I came to this conclusion. The 65mm is inexpensive and definitely a great lens to use with my Sony system!

OK here’s a part shot from Serene|Digital|Crafts. Do check out my sweat! Hahahaha!

Buying this Lens
If you are feeling adventurous & curious about this Sigma 65mm F2 DG DN (C), then you should go ahead & buy this lens. Buy from our accredited merchants for a peace of mind!

Renting this Camera/Lens – (Please check for availability first)
For those of you who wish to try out this lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this camera & lens is probably available for rental at our appointed rental merchant:

crclogo-small.jpg
Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: https://camerarental.biz/

=========================
Reviewer: Chief Editor AL Lee
IMG_7567.JPG
Chief Editor & Founder of Ourshutterjourney.com Worldwide and Principal Trainer at Ourshutterjourney Photography Academy. AL is a commercial photographer as well as an educator who believes in the art of digital memories. An ambassador of several photography brands, AL is well versed in many camera systems. Someone once told us AL’s man cave looks more like a camera store than a bedroom.

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

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

apd

Posted in Accredited Merchants, Brand: Sigma, Brand: Sony, Group Test & Reviews, Ourshutterjourney Reviews, Photography Articles & Videos | Tagged | Leave a comment

Random Rent & Shoot Outing with CRC

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Random Rent & Shoot with CRC
– Text by Melody Tan

Image: Team Ourshutterjourney at Camera Rental Centre Collecting Pre-assigned Gear 

30th August 2021, Singapore – We decided to do something different and interesting for our August 2021 outing. After much thought, the Editorial Team suggested to our Chief (AL) why not do a “Random Rent & Shoot” outing. He accepted the idea citing this will be a good test of one’s ability to adapt and operate other brand’s gear and so the outing was planned for August’s official outing. Due to the foregoing restrictions on social gathering up to 5 pax, the team was split into 2 teams of 3 pax.

The concept of this outing – photographers are usually very familiar with the gear that they are using (native) and there are always fear of using another brand’s equipment – unfamiliar menus, camera/lens behavior, finding settings etc. So this outing is to get the guys to rent a camera/lens that are not familiar to them. As usual, we roped in our rental partner – Camera Rental Centre – and shared with them this idea. They requested for the attendees’ current system so that they can planned and issue a set of equipment that is NOT native to the user. (sounds like Fun!) It’s like the good old “Tik Kam” – its like a lottery.

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The 2 teams went to collect the gear from Camera Rental Centre  at their given time slot and they were in for a surprise!


Image: Peggy Teo collecting her “tik kam” gear from CRC.

 

Peggy is a known Sony user and Camera Rental Centre  decided to issue her a Fujifilm XT-4 with a Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8R LM WR lens.

 


Image: Uncle Koh a.k.a OldKingKoh collecting his “tik kam” gear from CRC.


Uncle Koh is a known Fujifilm/Nikon/Samsung user and Camera Rental Centre decided to issue him a Canon M6 Mark II with a Canon EF M18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM lens.

 

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Image: Nash collecting his “tik kam” gear from CRC.


Nash is a known Olympus user and Camera Rental Centre decided to issue him a Nikon Z6 Mark II with a Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 S lens.

 

Image: Serene collecting her “tik kam” gear from CRC.


Serene (Serene Digital Craft) is a known Olympus user and Camera Rental Centre decided to issue her a Canon R6 with a Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM lens.

 

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Image: Kennedy (KK) collecting his “tik kam” gear from CRC.

Kennedy is a known Olympus user and Camera Rental Centre decided to issue him a Nikon D4 with a Nikon AF-S 35mm F1.8 G lens.

 


Image: AL collecting his “tik kam” gear from CRC.

 

AL (our Chief Editor) is a known multi-brand user and Camera Rental Centre decided to issue him a surprise Medium Format Fujifilm GFX 50R with a Fujifilm GF 32-64mm F4 R LM WR lens. (Thanks Jason for the surprise!)

 

And so, after collecting their “Tik Kam” gear, the team spent about 5 mins orientating themselves with the new gear and there was so much laughter as suddenly this group of season photographers became “beginners” again. Apparently lost, everyone tried to find the usual controls for their shutter, aperture, ISO etc and in 5 mins, they are good to go.

The route selected for this outing is from CRC (CMO Building)> Clarke Quay> Clemenceau & back. Time given was 2 solid hours to use the “Tik Kam” gear and shoot whatever the attendees wants. Let’s see what they said about their “Tik Kam” gear and check out some of the images they shot during this outing.

AL LEE
Let’s start with our Chief Editor, AL. He was issued a Fujifilm GFX 50R with a Fujifilm GF 32-64mm F4 R LM WR lens. Let’s check out some of his images and his comments below.

AL: “I was surprised when I was issued the Fujifilm GFX 50R with a Fujifilm GF 32-64mm F4 R LM WR lens. Its a digital Medium Format camera. Although I have a few Fujifilm mirrorless cameras, the GFX is a monster by any standard. From a first time user, I find that everything is easy to navigate and definitely user-friendly on the GFX50R. Its quite a sizeable camera (medium format camera hallo?!?!)”

AL: “Walking through Hong Kong Street to Clarke Quay, I realised the GFX is actually quite a superb street camera – the amount of details captured is unimaginable. Apart from the size which I kinda got used to, this is a very enjoyable camera to use. To add, since the Pentax 645D, the Fujifilm GFX is another great medium format camera that one can use for street or even portraits.”

AL: “I chanced upon an interesting restaurant – WINGS Bar – the facade features a replica 1942 bomber which is a crowd-puller – then I met the service staff – super friendly when I asked about the menu and also invited them for a photo – they happily obliged. Their service uniforms are air force inspired too. They serves various types of chicken wings, beers and lots of finger food options as well as main courses! Do check them out!~ They are located at 3D, River Valley Road, #01-02, Singapore 179023 (near the centre main fountain area).”

 

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Peggy Teo
As a native Sony user, she is known for her experimental shots and a great lover for Sun rise/ Sun set photos. She was issued a Fujifilm XT-4 with a Fujifilm XF 8-16mm F2.8R LM WR lens. Sony to Fujifilm is not (quite) easy given the menu layout is very different, so let check out Peggy’s images & her comments below!

Peggy: “Without prior information nor knowledge nor a manuel, it was indeed daunting to handle an unfamiliar camera. A quick run through the camera with the help of Mr. Koh, I did a quick check to figure out the settings/dials, to understand some quirks and hidden functions i might not otherwise be aware of in this unfamiliar camera.” 

 

Peggy: “Went out on my rounds to gain real shooting experiences, tikam tikam to see how lighting changes, understand the characteristics of the camera/lenses, with much assistance from along the way. It was nonetheless fun to live out the challenge!”

 

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Uncle Koh Lye Huat a.k.a OldKingKoh
One of the famous photography Uncle in Singapore, JB and some say Batam, he is an all-rounder photographer although it is noted that he loves shooting flowers & historic sites in Singapore. He is also widely known as a huge fan of Fujifilm but he also uses Samsung & Nikon often too. For this outing-challenge, Uncle Koh was issued the Canon M6 Mark II with a Canon EF M18-150mm F3.5-6.3 IS STM lens. Let’s check out his images & comments!

Koh: “The event was officially announced to be held on the 28th August 2021 – coded named “Random Rent & Shoot” and in a group of 5 fully vaccinated participants. The gear will be rented from Camera Rental Center on a totally random basis – means I won’t know what I will be getting until the collection time. Totally random & unexpected, they gave me a Canon M6 Mark II.”

Koh: “The above shot was shot from opposite the river. The 18-150mm was surprisingly good in terms of image quality and details. I had not used this camera before since whatever gear we were given, we have to use & shoot.”

Koh: “We went on a rampage around the area around Clarke Quay and blasted away. Some of us even came back with 2000+ shots, but as for me I was armed with an unfamiliar Canon M6 Mark2 with an 18-150mm lens.  Honestly I did no justice with it as I came back with only 117 shots at the end of the day. But it’s quality over quantity right? Anyway the Canon M6 Mark 2 is a very manageable camera for walks like this.”


 

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Nash Teh
An Olympus user who had tried almost every Olympus Zuiko lens ever made, he was issued the Nikon Z6 Mark II with a Nikon Z 14-30mm F4 S lens. The Z6 being a very different camera (Nikon), switching between Olympus & Nikon is by no means an easy task. The handling, the layout and menu is contrasting on a different level. Let’s check out Nash images & comments below.  

Nash: “My hunch was right, I will be getting a NIKON! But I never expect to be given a Z6 mark II. I was thinking maybe I’d get some other Nikon models – comparing with my current system, the Nikon Z6 Mark II is indeed much superior in many ways. I am so happy about it.”

 

Nash: “The Z6 Mark II is light-weight, comes with touch screen, and a flipable screen. Best of all, it is not overly-sensitive when my face touches the camera screen. Although the Z6 is optimized for video shooting, it is very competent for still photography too. In addition, the multiple-focus points on the screen is very useful when it comes to shooting street with people.”

 

 

Nash: “As an ‘Electronics-Savvy’ person, I would say, it did not take me a lot of time to master the basic controls of this camera. It is an easy camera to use. I would really love to get my hands on this camera one day.”

 

 

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Serene Ong
Widely known as “O Se Re” or “Serene from Serene Digital Crafts”, she is also our contributing Editor for gear reviews. An avid Olympus user, she was issued a Canon R6 with Canon RF 50mm F1.2L USM lens. Some say seeing Serene without an Olympus on her hand is weird, (actually) we agreed to that saying too. Let’s check out her images & comments below.

Serene: “Before the camera was issued to me, I was nervous and worried as I do not know which camera/lens I was going to be issued. Especially if its a camera that was unfamiliar to me.”

 



Serene: “
However, After receiving the camera (Canon R6), I was able to feel less anxious as (luckily) I was once a Canon user. With Uncle Koh’s kind assistance, I was able to familiarise fast. The R6 was easy to operate and manage.”

Serene: “Overall, the experience was extremely enjoyable and exciting. This ‘Tik Kam’ outing is superb and very fun! Thanks CRC for co-organising this event and I was able to get a cheaper price for renting a camera beyond this outing as an Ourshutterjourney Card member.”

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Kennedy Lim (KK)
One of the few photographers that we know who lives, eat & breathe Olympus cameras, probably the best way to “sabo” him will be to issue him a completely different camera. He was issued the mighty Nikon D4 with a Nikon AF-S 35mm F1.8 G lens.

 
Kennedy: “I was surprised & excited when I was issued the Nikon D4 with a 35mm prime lens. The D4 is a legend camera when it replaced the D3 and the specs are way ahead of time. Although the D4 had aged, it is still a very competent performer a definitely made for the pro users.”

 



Kennedy: “The FPS are crazy, just imagine, when the D4 was launch a few years ago, it was the industry’s fastest FPS DSLR with a ridiculously high dynamic range. I used it for this outing and I like the crazy speed.”

Kennedy: “While many cited that the D4 is a great sport or birding DSLR, I personally think it is also a superb Street Photography camera. I love the images that I’ve gotten from this outing. The ‘Tik Kam’ idea was damn good and creative. Else I do not think I will have a chance to use this camera.”

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Well it seems that it had been a very fun outing for the group! Renting a camera randomly and learning it within minutes is definitely challenging but also fun at the same time!

Thinking to rent a camera or lens to try before purchasing? Do check out our appointed Vendor Camera Rental Centre!

THANK YOU CAMERA RENTAL CENTRE FOR MAKING THIS HAPPENED!
– from ALL of us at Ourshutterjourney.com

PS: Ourshutterjourney Card Members Enjoys Special Rental Deals!

Here’s a Parting Shot~

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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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Posted in Brand: Canon, Brand: Fujifilm, Brand: Nikon, Brand: Olympus, Brand: Sony, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pang Teng Lin (冯廷莲) Featured on 银色嘉年华

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Pang Teng Lin (冯廷莲) Featured on 银色嘉年华
Text by AL Lee

Image: Pang Teng Lin in Action.


Featured Video after the jump

10th July 2021, Singapore
– One of our group Trainer (and Senior Member) – Pang Teng Lin got featured on 银色嘉年华 (or Silver Carnival) on 7th July 2021. It was a special feature for seniors in Singapore who live life to the fullest after retirement. Feature includes seniors who live their lives differently after they retires & those who hone their hobbies into professional level.

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Tenglin first joined the group in 2016 and she had been with us since, rising up from a regular member to a trainer in the span of 5 years. She had won multiple awards – including awards from our competitions and her work had also been exhibited in our national-level exhibitions (SnapShots Series) winning accolades from other photographers. To add, she was also a graduate from our Academy’s Street Photography Masterclass which she graduated with full competency.

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I first met Tenglin in 2013 during an event by Canon Singapore that I was leading. She came across to me as a very humble learner as well as someone with a great learning attitude. It was much later that I found out that she was a retired educator herself.


Image: Can you spot Tenglin & AL?

 

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Let’s check out the Featured Video!

 

Tenglin is active with many photography groups in Singapore and she has built up a following for her work throughout the years. Her images are mostly on public view so you may wish to check out her work here.

A little snippet, I once asked Tenglin why she never stopped learning despite having gained lots of experience in shooting and had followed many photography teachers over the years. Her answer is:

“I never stop learning as I believe no one will be able to learn everything, so I continue learning as much as I can, for as long as I could.”. – Pang Teng Lin

Personally as an Educator, I have seen my fair share of learners who are stubborn, refused to embrace new things, new skills, new technologies but Tengling is definitely a different breed. From her former background as a Teacher, she fully understood what educators had gone through. Thus she is very appreciative of all her photography teachers as she views those knowledge that she has gained is far more precious than gold.

Some of her teachers are:
(in alphabetical order)
Allan Lee (SJS/OSJ)
Andrew JK Tan (Mentography)
Edwin Koo (KIO)
Francis Lee (Private)
Goh Kim Hui (PSS)
Goh Koon Peng (PSS)
Guohaoshui (Private)
Jeffrey Wong (PSS)
Paul Hui Man Yan (PSS)
Wilson Wong (SPIN)

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Despite all the awards that Tenglin has won in photography, she remains humble and is always ready to share what she knows with fellow photographers. She is selfless and most willing to teach if anyone is keen to learn. We got a lot to learn from Tenglin. Congratulations Tenglin for the recognition & keep up the good work!

Do check out her work or follow her here.

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Reviewer: Chief Editor AL Lee
IMG_7567.JPG
Chief Editor & Founder of Ourshutterjourney.com Worldwide and Principal Trainer at Ourshutterjourney Photography Academy. AL is a commercial photographer as well as an educator who believes in the art of digital memories. An ambassador of several photography brands, AL is well versed in many camera systems. Someone once told us AL’s man cave looks more like a camera store than a bedroom.

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

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

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Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mitakon Zhongyi 20mm f/2 4.5x Super Macro

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Mitakon Zhongyi 20mm F2 4.5x Super Macro
Reviewed by Editor AL Lee, Guest Reviewer Koh Lye Huat (OldKingKoh)

 

19th June 2021, Singapore – Following our recent interest in China-brand lenses, we did a run with Mitakon Zhongyi 20mm F2 4.5x Super Macro. This lens belongs to Uncle Koh (more fondly known as OldKingKoh), which I invited to co-review the lens. Why? I just can’t seem to shoot anything with this Super Macro from Mitakon.

This Mitakon Super Macro was originally designed for use with DSLR systems however, mirrorless versions were made available and for the review, it’s a Fujifilm X mount. So the 20mm focal range became 30mm (APS-C) on our test cam. So what were we expecting? 20mm is wide angle, but coupled with a 4.5X magnification, this is one confusing lens (at least for me. Specialized super macro lens is designed for working with close-up subjects and provides a maximum magnification of 4.5x and a minimum magnification of 4.0x.

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Like most China-brand lenses, the Mitakon Super Macro came as a full metal constructed lens – but with a weird twist. The front of the lens are super tiny while the barrel are much larger giving it a weird proportion. It kinda feels like a microscopic lens attached to my camera.

The Super Macro is average-size, measuring at 62 x 60mm with the weird tiny dick-like head, and weighs a mere 230gm. As light as it is, it feels solid and weighty during use, but not heavy enough to tires you out.

Inside the lens, there are 6 elements in 4 groups which apparently does nothing except to magnify the magnification – although Mitakon claimed this optic arrangement is to provide edge to edge sharpness, I will say, this is utter nonsense. This manual Super Macro has a “fine-adjusting” of aperture from F2 to F16 and the focusing is also very fine and sensitive. Having said that, if you have shaky hands, you can forget about shooting anything decent with this lens unless you have a focusing rail and tripod. (I even added a LED light to help out with the exposure).

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The Super Macro has a minimum focusing distance of 0.8 inch (about 2cm) – this means it will be challenging if you are attempting to use this lens to shoot anything that moves – yes, this lens is not friendly for your little insect friends unless they are dead. And the Super Macro does not have an infinity focus so basically this lens is only good for anything that is near and requires a super magnification. While this Super Macro offers a 4X to 4.5X magnification, trust me, more is less, it makes everything super near and the slightest wind or movement will guarantee you a blur image.

 

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And so, before I fucked up the review, I invited Uncle Koh to join me for this review. Let’s check out the images. I had combined images of how close each of the review shots were done.

The lens/camera are mounted on a focusing rail and on a tripod. It is simply impossible to handheld this lens and shoot. Additional lights are useful giving the images an added constrast/ shadows – and since the depth of field is damn shallow, you need to to focus stack. However for this review, I simply fuck care and shot as it is. Because whatever I am getting right out of the camera will be the same if you buy this lens so I will rather show what you will be getting.

 

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I never enjoyed this lens throughout the review. I find it terribly hard to use this lens and a lot of patience is required. If you do not have patience, I will suggest NOT getting this lens – as it will drive you crazy starting from your first shot. However, this Super Macro may be a great “in house” lens – where you shoot little stuffs around & inside your house, with little wind movement and probably with a large LED light panel.

 

 

 

anigif

 

 

Well, I won’t say this Super Macro is completely useless, but you have to learn & understand this lens before you bring this out to the field. The 20mm (30mm) wide angle with a 4.5X magnification may sounds interesting, but using it for anything practical is far from easy. Not forgetting that this is a manual-focus lens and it simple makes everything much harder. Buying this Mitakon Super Macro is cheap, but you may end up having to buy 2 x focusing rail, a solid tripod and additional LED lights etc which may adds up to a lot. Now think twice if you want to buy this lens.

Here’s a parting shot from us.

Buying this Lens
If you are feeling adventurous & curious about this Mitakon Zhongyi 20mm f/2 4.5x Super Macro and needed to burn some money, then you go ahead & buy this lens. But I am sure our accredited merchants will rather not sell this lens!

Renting this Camera/Lens – (Please check for availability first. CRC sometimes do not carry nonsense gear like this lens)
For those of you who wish to try out this lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this camera & lens is probably NOT available for rental at our appointed rental merchant:

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Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: http://sg.camerarental.biz/

=========================
Reviewer: Chief Editor AL Lee
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Chief Editor & Founder of Ourshutterjourney.com Worldwide and Principal Trainer at Ourshutterjourney Photography Academy. AL is a commercial photographer as well as an educator who believes in the art of digital memories. An ambassador of several photography brands, AL is well versed in many camera systems. Someone once told us AL’s man cave looks more like a camera store than a bedroom.

Guest Reviewer: Koh Lye Huat aka OldKingKoh

Senior Group Member & Outing Trainer of Ourshutterjourney.com – Koh Lye Huat is known to many photographers as “Uncle Koh” or “OldKingKoh”. He loves shooting flowers, macro and street photography especially at heritage area of interests. If you are a photographer in Singapore do not know who is Uncle Koh, you need to know this legend. Follow Uncle Koh at https://oldkingkoh.blogspot.com/

 

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Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye

sigma

Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye
Reviewed by Editor AL Lee

Image: Editor AL with the new Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye mounted on a Fuji Camera.

 

13th June 2021, Singapore – And so, recently I have been dabbling with quite a number of China-Brand lenses. One of them recently caught my attention – its a diagonal Fisheye eye lens, fixed aperture at F8, tiny Pan cake design and costs only SGD $55.00 via Aliexpress. the construction of the lens are uncannily similar to the Pergear 10mm F8 Fisheye but with a little twist. The distance selector on the Pergear are at the front of the lens bottom facing outwards while the Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye distance selector are on a focusing ring like a regular manual focus lens. Before we deep dive, check out the unbox video below. The review and images will be after the jump.

 

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First and foremost, this new Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye appear on eBay and soon all other online platforms somewhere between Oct-Dec 2020. It was quite costly back when it first came out as from our research, it costs around SGD $120 back in 2020 and today it costs merely SGD $55.00 – and delivered right to your door.

Let’s get to the specs. Not much information was available on the internet about this lens so I have to do a little more work than usual. The Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye is a tiny lens measuring (estimated) 50mm x 12mm buts weights a weighty 80gm (other mount may differ). This little pancake is made from a full metal construction thus explains the weight.


Image: Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye mounted on a Fuji Camera. 

 

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As mentioned in the unbox video above, there isn’t any distance scale on the lens except two markings – left 0.3 to right Infinity. I dismantled the lens to confirm the elements and it turned out to be an exact copy of the Pergear 10mm – there are 5 elements in 4 groups and 2 of the elements looks like special elements (sorry I forgot to take some images of the elements). There are 5 fixed aperture blades which I wondered why wouldn’t they just made it as an aperture ring like Lensbaby.

The lens starts focusing from about 35cm when I set the focusing to the “0.3” marking and there is no filter thread so no screw-on filter can be used. Even the lens cap are the friction-lock type. The front element are tiny, about 1.4cm in diameter and the lens are finished with a red ring that does nothing to the lens except to make it look slightly more special than the Pergear 10mm.

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Let’s take a look at the images!

I noticed that the colors rendered are terribly wrong. My white balance are set to Automatic most of the time and I realised the Rockstar 10mm F8 really screwed me on the color department. There are strange & uneven hues of purple at corners and there is also very visible vignetting (light fall off) on the corners. No choice but to keep changing my white balance settings at the later part. Conveniently I just edit the images to monochrome.

 

Noticing the weird color rendering, I continued with the review and try to use this lens to shoot whatever I came across during the walk.

It is really an unpredictable lens, some of the colors came out correct while some simply looks like they are shot in Pluto.

The Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye gave me 16mm on my camera (crop factor) and I am using it like a distorted ultra wide angle lens rather than a true blue Fisheye. The distortions are mild and not exactly visible unless shooting architectural images from a nearer distance.

The 2-mode (near or far) focusing does allows me to quickly change focus distance to shoot random subject easily though.

 

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Using the Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye, I used it as a mild-distorted-Ultra-Wide-angle lens. Kinda have the love-hate feeling. It is a competent lens as an UWA but I cannot accept the surprises from the unpredictable color rendering. Gave myself a mental note that I should never use this lens for any serious assignment but as a leisure lens or for days that I am drunk.

 

 

 

I was trying to “like” this lens through the whole review process and it had been hard. I was not able to resonate with it no matter how I tried. The only thing that I enjoyed was the tiny size and the curious look of other photographers whom I met on the streets. They kept staring at my camera. 

The color rendering was so unpredictable to the point that I simply try to concentrate on the framing and composition rather than checking on the colors or sharpness. Yes I was very irritated and frustrated at that point.

 

anigif

 


Image: Bon Jovi was here.

In summary, the Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye is a Nonsense-lens. Yes, it may be cheap (SGD $55.00), small pancake design which you can put in your pocket, a futuristic looking external design, but, the “surprise” color rendering which 80% of the time are inaccurate, the not-so-easy to focus which may get your subject blur even with focus peaking, the crazy vignette, which I almost wanted to throw this lens into the Singapore River.  I will say, don’t waste your f**king time with this lens. Save your money or check out the better China-Brand lenses here.

Buying this Lens
If you are feeling adventurous & curious about this Rockstar 10mm F8 Fisheye and needed a good spank on your butt, then you buy this lens. But I am sure our accredited merchants will rather not sell this lens!

Renting this Camera/Lens – (Please check for availability first.)
For those of you who wish to try out this lens before purchase, we are pleased to share that this camera & lens is probably NOT available for rental at our appointed rental merchant:

crclogo-small.jpg
Camera Rental Centre is Conveniently Located at:
50 South Bridge Road, CMO Building,  (very near to Clarke Quay MRT)
#02-18. Singapore 058682
Website: http://sg.camerarental.biz/

=========================
Reviewer: Chief Editor AL Lee
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Chief Editor & Founder of Ourshutterjourney.com Worldwide and Principal Trainer at Ourshutterjourney Photography Academy. AL is a commercial photographer as well as an educator who believes in the art of digital memories. An ambassador of several photography brands, AL is well versed in many camera systems. Someone once told us AL’s man cave looks more like a camera store than a bedroom. 

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

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Hawkers v.2021

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Hawkers v.2021
Text by AL Lee
Contributing Photographers: Audrey Wong, Nash Teh Peng Wee, Peggy Teo & Serene Ong (Serene Digital Crafts).  

Image: Pasir Panjang Food Centre by AL Lee

 

30th May 2021, Singapore – Due to an increase of unlinked cases, Singapore announced the Covid-19 Phase 2 (Heightened Alert) which takes effect from Sunday, 16 May 2021 through to Sunday, 13 June 2021. One of the restrictions includes “No Dining In” to which we saw all the tables and chairs are (once again) sealed/blocked just like our Phase 1 in May 2020. On 19th May 2021, I announced to our Telegram group that I am intending to do a project on Hawker Centres without the actual brief then I was informed that the idea had been plagiarized by other photographers. I cannot imagine what would have been if I had shared the full project brief.

Back to the project, there are many things that will definitely go down in Singapore’s image history, one of them will definitely be how our Food Centres looks like right now. Already the businesses are suffering due to the restrictions, and our hardworking hawkers have to take another blow due to the recent increased cases. It is akin to what we saw during Phase 1, tables & chairs are sealed up/ cordoned off or blocked. And so, I decided to combine a few elements together for this project.

1. Silence of the Night – This project was carried out after 11pm at night and all images are shot between 11pm through 3am. A busy place in the day that turns creepily quiet and solemn in the cover of the night.
2. Tables & Chairs – Different Food Centres uses different ways, different methods, different materials to enforce the restriction. We noted the use of Safety Tapes, White Tapes, Cling Wraps, Black Trash Bags, Cloth Tapes and many others. And these were utilized in many ways and patterns.
3. Heritage Food Centres – While there are certainly many hawker centres/ food centres in Singapore, these hawker centres made it to this project list for several reasons. Many are famous food centres, some dating back to the 1970s, some are popular due to the offerings and some are places that holds dearly to my heart.

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The selected Food Centres/ Hawker Centres as below;

  1. Pasir Panjang Food Centre
  2. Maxwell Food Centre
  3. Amoy Street Food Centre
  4. People’s Park Food Centre
  5. Jurong West Hawker Centre & Market
  6. Taman Jurong Market and Food Centre
  7. Seah Imm Food Centre
  8. Tanjong Pagar Plaza Market & Food Centre
  9. Hong Lim Market & Food Centre
  10. Boon Lay Place Market & Food Village
  11. Yuhua Village Market and Food Centre (Jurong East)
  12. West Coast Market Square
  13. Clementi 448 Market & Food Centre (Clementi Central)
  14. Tanglin Halt Food Centre
  15. Redhill Food Centre
  16. ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre
  17. Holland Village Market & Food Centre
  18. Bukit Timah Market & Food Centre
  19. Chong Pang City Wet Market & Food Centre, (Yishun)
  20. Ang Mo Kio Central Market & Food Centre
  21. Toa Payoh Lorong 5 Food Centre
  22. Circuit Road Market & Food Centre
  23. Bendemeer Food Centre
  24. Old Airport Road Food Centre & Shopping Mall
  25. Eunos Crescent Market and Food Centre
  26. Bedok Interchange Hawker Centre (Bedok Central)
  27. East Coast Lagoon Food Village
  28. Marine Parade Central Market and Food Centre
  29. Pasir Ris Central Hawker Centre
  30. Changi Village Hawker Centre

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That’s 30 Food Centres/Hawker Centres to cover! So I decided to rope in some help from a few photographers. The project team was formed with Audrey Wong, Nash Teh, Peggy Teo, Serene Ong from Serene Digital Crafts & myself.

So each of us will visit 6 locations (total 30) after 11pm at night and try to capture the current situation with the above theme at these locations.

Let’s Start!

Pasir Panjang Hawker Centre – by AL Lee
121 Pasir Panjang Rd, Singapore 118543

 


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Boon Lay Place Market and Food Village – by Serene Ong (Serene Digital Crafts)
 221A Boon Lay Pl, Singapore 641221

Chong Pang City Wet Market & Food Centre, (Yishun) – by Peggy Teo
105 Yishun Ring Rd, Singapore 760105

 

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Ang Mo Kio Central Market & Food Centre – by Audrey Wong
724 Ang Mo Kio Ave 6, Singapore 560724

ABC Brickworks Market & Food Centre – by Nash Teh Peng Wee
6 Jalan Bukit Merah, Singapore 150006

anigif

Maxwell Food Centre – by AL Lee
1 Kadayanallur St, Singapore 069184