December 15, 2009

LENS TEST (SONY A350 DSLR with Nikkor 55mm MICRO)

Hotwheels Ferrari F60, maybe the last F1 car driven by Kimi
My old Casio G-Shock

Last time I talked about how I brought grand father's old Nikon lenses back to alive. Now comes the real test. There are some interesting findings with Sony A350 and Nikkor 55mm micro lens during the test:
  • Sony A350 needs to work under "M mod", means manual control aperture and shutter speed, or camera will show "no lens" message. Because Digital camera does not receive any data from traditional lens.
  • Adjust aperture from lens, not from camera. No big deal! just like what I did long time ago.
  • Luckily, the exposure function still works. So set the aperture from the lens first, then find out the proper shutter speed.
  • Now comes the difficult part. It is difficult to use manual focus, because the focusing screen is designed for DSLR, so sometimes I am not sure the camera really focus on the object or not.
  • Also, if you choose smaller aperture, it becomes dark in the view finder or on LCD screen. You need to switch to bigger aperture and focus on the object, then switch to smaller aperture you prefer.
  • After uploading to Flickr, you will get interesting EXIF data, such as F1.0 for aperture and 0mm for focus length.
Though it is not convenient to use the traditional lens with DSLR, but it really save a lot of money for me. Especially some lenses I may just use once in a while.

November 29, 2009


what grand father left: 3 Nikon cameras and 13 lenses
Converter for Sony alpha DSLR to use Nikon lens
Sony A350 with Nikon AF DC-Nikkor 135mm
Aunt asked me to take care of cameras and lenses which grand father left. Even though I have not used traditional camera for a long time, I still take the responsibility for this work.

Those cameras and lenses do not mean only photography equipment, also a part of our memory to grand father. So we decided to keep all of them, though we hardly to use them any more.

Recently, I found a vendor selling the converter for Sony DSLR to adopt Nikon lens, and it is not too expensive (NTD1,600, about USD48). So I got one for my Sony A350 to fit those old lenses. When Sony A350 works with old Nikon lenses, only can work under M mode and no auto focus function. But I am very happy that I can bring those lenses back to alive. They will not be just displaying items sitting in the dry cabinet.

November 28, 2009


新店客運650上的黑狗/a dog on Bus 650
After working at computer show, I took the bus 650 back home. I was surprising to see a black dog sitting at the last row of the seats. After watching this dog for a while, I found this dog behaved well, so I sit at row next to it. Of course, took this photo.

How did this dog get on the bus? Whose dog is it? I have no idea, because the dog did not interact with anyone on the bus. But I guess bus driver is the owner.

November 22, 2009


Tea house at Popiliao/剝皮寮
Taiwanese cuisine; noodle, "sugar heart" eggs, pork and sweet patato leaves

Taipei city is the capital of Taiwan. Like any other big cities, Taipei has its story. Heritage and Culture Education Center of Taipei City (台北市鄉土教育中心) is a perfect place to learn about the life style of early Taipei and the history of educational and medical progress in Taiwan.

This education center is located at Po Pi Liao (剝皮寮) in Wanhua area, Taipei, which the early business district in Taipei. You can experience the old building and living style of Taipei during 40' to 60'. Also, you can visit some heritage sites in Wanhwa, such as Lungshan Temple (龍山寺) and enjoy some delicious traditional Taiwanese cuisine.

More photos
English brochure of Heritage and Culture Education Center of Taipei City

November 3, 2009


Autumn at Kumoba-ike Pond/雲場池 初秋
Autumn at Kumoba-ike Pond/雲場池 初秋
St. Paul Catholic Church
Kyu-Mikasa Hotel/旧三笠飯店
Autumn at Kumoba-ike Pond/雲場池 初秋
a nice biking day at Karuizawa
It is autumn and the season of red leaves. We went to Karuizawa in mid Oct. to enjoy the nice weather and the wonderful view of autumn. The best way to travel around Karuizawa area is by a bicycle. Please be relaxed and enjoy the photos. With these photos, I do not have to say any word about how beautiful Karuizawa it is.

Karuizawa Travel Guide
More photos of Karuizawa

November 2, 2009


My lucky tonkatsu meal at とんかつ三太
Tonkatsu of とんかつ三太
Coming to Tokyo for a job interview four years ago. That was my first time ever in Japan (now 17 times!!!). On the day before the interview, I was walking around in Shinjuku area and looking for a place for lunch. Suddenly I saw a signage with a little pig on it and many food models of Tonkatsu (Japanese fried pork chop) meal set in the window. I decided to give it a try, since Tonkatsu is one of my favorite Japanese dishes. I was satisfied with the taste and the value. That was my first meal in Japan(except the breakfast in hotel). But I did not remember the name of the restaurant and never visited it again.

One week ago when we were in Tokyo, also in Shinjuku looking for a restaurant for dinner. Suddenly I saw the little pig signage again. So I and my wife had dinner there, and I told her this story during my Tokyo interview trip. I think I can say this tokatsu meal is my lucky tokatsu, since I past the interview next day and got this decent job.

By the way, this restaurant is named "とんかつ三太".

November 1, 2009


Seibu Dome/西武巨蛋
2 teams before the game
Wacom Asia Pacific vs. Wacom Japn at Seibu Dome
For most baseball fans, they would dream to have a chance to play baseball at a pro baseball field once in their life time. Even some of my friends play baseball frequently, they never dare to dream about that.

How lucky I was! After 20 years playing baseball in college, I had a chance to play baseball again at Seibu Dome, the home of Japanese pro baseball team - Seibu Lions. It was a very unique and touching experience. I felt I was so small at such a big baseball stadium and I could feel the proud of pro player.

This game was between Asia Pacific Division and mother company, the final score was 9 to 9. All colleagues enjoyed this game, because of playing baseball with colleagues from several countries and also for the wonderful dream baseball field.

October 29, 2009


Nagano Shinkansen at Tokyo Station
Nagano Shinkansen at Karuizawa Station
Nagano Shinkansen at Karuizawa Station
Having taken TGV in France, Meglev train in China, and the Taiwan High Speed Rail, but never Shingansen in Japan. Again, train is the best transportation system for traveling in Japan. We bought JR East 3-day unlimited pass for only JPY10,000. We took Narita Express from airport to Tokyo, Tokyo to Karuizawa by Nagano Shingansen, then to Nagono, and back to Tokyo, and finally back to airport. That is really a super deal, and only for foreign visitors.

JR Shingansen has a very outstanding service record; safe, fast and on time. There are many types of Shingansen, and the one for Nagano is not one of the recent model, so I didn't feel it was comfortable as Taiwan High Speed Rail. Anyway, it delivered the service quality as usual. I would like to try other lines if I have the chance.

October 19, 2009


Narita Express E259
Narita Express E259
Narita Express at Narita Airport
Narita Express 253
Because of business purpose, I need to go back to Tokyo office every 3-5 months. Narita Express became my favorite transportation system because of no concern about traffic jam. For trip to Japan this time, I found Narita Express changed the car model; from series 253 to series E259; the debute date was Oct. 1, 2009. I was pretty exciting to take the new train.

The new train looks trendy and slick. The interior design is nicer with more comfortable seats. I am sure all pessenger will appreciate the better service quality provided by E259. Also, I think the debut of this new train will attract many train maniacs to chase after it.

October 8, 2009


Singapore Airlines A380-800
Singapore Airlines A380-800
Singapore Airlines A380-800

Recently one of my friend who is working at a travel agent gave me a Singapore Airlines A380 model airplane. The scale of this model is 1:200 which is much bigger than the one I have which is in the scale of 1:1000. Because of the big scale, this model comes with detail landing gears and the engines with movable fans. These details are hard to find in small scale models.

Now this model became the flagship of my air fleet.

September 16, 2009


photo taken on 5 Nov., 2005
photo taken on 13 Sept., 2009
Visited the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium again and I was so surprised those "little belugas" have become big belugas. The last time I visited this aquarium was 4 years ago, and belugas were still little and cute. According to the description from aquarium, baby beluga is about 150cm long and weights about 80Kg. An adult beluga may become 5m in length and weights 1500kg. So I think those belugas are still young and they are still growing. Maybe after another 4 years, they will become huge belugas.

Anyway, it is nice to see them healthy, but not sure they are happy.

September 5, 2009


modified KSC Beretta Elite pistol, with an Al Mar knife
modified KSC Beretta Elite pistol, the compensator
modified KSC Beretta Elite pistol, the safety

Beretta 92 pistol may be the most popular handgun in the real world and BB gun world, since it was chosen as a standard sidearm by military forces and police units of many countries. So almost every BB gun fans will keep at least one Beretta 92 series pistol. Mine is a Beretta Elite manufactured by KSC, a Japanese brand but OEM in Taiwan. I got this one more than 5 years ago, and it is not available now.

According to the common appearance of Beretta 92, I decided to give it a plastic surgery when I found a modified kit from G&G. After adopting the compensator kit, I also replaced the original grip by a HOUGE grip which is a real gun parts. Those modification made this normal Beretta look more unique and professional. In the real world, this kind of kit won't be adopted by military units, but only for competition and Hollywood movies.

August 31, 2009


Mobile Starbucks on a truck
mobile shop on a VW T1
mobile coffee shop on a VW T1

There is always something surprises you in the big cities. I found 3 mobile business vehicles at Huashan Creative Park in Taipei. Mobile business vehicle is not really a new idea, but these 3 cars really impressed me.

The first one is a Starbucks Coffee truck, I saw a lot of this kind of mobile coffee trucks, but the first time for Starbucks Coffee. Recently Starbucks is facing strong competition from local chain coffee shops and convenient stores. Maybe that is the reason they created this mobile Starbucks, or it is just for branding?

Another 2 are for personalized products and coffee/tea businesses. They got my attention not because their businesses, but the cute appearance. They are all modified Volkswagen T1 with fancy interior design and lovely painting.

These mobile business vehicles do not only provide service to customers, they also add some flavor to this city.

More photos

August 15, 2009


5.56mm T97 assault rifle, Taiwanese SCAR?receiver of T97 assault rifle, non-dust cover design.soldier with T97 assault rifle and TS96 night vision goggle

In the Taipei Aerospace & Defense Technology Exhibition 2009, the Armaments Bureau of Ministry of National Defense displayed a new assault rifle, the T97. This new designed rifle is in 5.56mm NATO caliber, and also available in 9mm Para. It may replace the current T86 amd T91 assault rifle.

I am pretty sure Armaments Bureau took some famous advanced rifle for reference when they designed T97. You can find some similarities among T97 and HK G36, FN SCAR, and ACR
. Be honest, T97 does not look good from its appearance. I always believe if something does not look good, it won't function well.

T97 is still a prototype at current stage, hope the final design will look much better and does meet the needs of modern ground force.

August 12, 2009


After Typhoon Morakot hitting Taiwan very badly, almost 25% of Taiwan was damaged by flood or mudslide. Hundreds of people are still missing in mountain area. Broken roads and foggy weather are slowing down the rescue missions. The rescue operations and recovery works will be much more difficult than the work after Hurricane Katrina hitting US. The beautiful Formosa will never be the same again.

May God bless Taiwan and may those missing people are safe.

CNN news about typhoon Morakot.

August 8, 2009


Giza Pyramids and Sphinx
Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx
Karnak TempleKarnak Temple
Karnak Temple
After the movie Transformers, Revenge of the Fallen having been at theater for over a month, I finally watched it. As what I expected, there are more transformers and more fighting in this movie, since they got support form Chevrolet and Pentagon. For entertainment purpose, this is really a great movie, full of excitements for two and half an hours.

Except these robots and the sexy actress, two things got more attention from me. The first one is a sports car shown in the Shanghai battle. That is an Audi R8 and is cut into two pieces by Autobots' party. I wonder if Audi paid for showing R8 in the movie, they did not pay enough or did not pay at all?

The second one is the final battlefields in the movie. No doubt the Pyramids of Giza is one of the locations. And I think film makers made another site based on the Karnak Temple, which is located in Luxor, Egypt. Thought Karnak Temple is several hundreds of kilometers away from Pyramids of Giza, I don't blame these film makers. Overall, it is just a scene in the movie.

July 28, 2009


Louis Vuitton Damier Graphite Multiple WalletNina and her pottery artworkNina made pottery artwork

Here are my birthday gifts this year; the Louis Vuitton Damier Graphite Multiple Wallet from my wife, Jane and a pottery artwork from my sister-in-law, Nina. Jane bought this wallet when we were in Athens, Greece, and Nina made this artwork which she claimed as a cup by herself.

Nina is a college student major in fashion design, likes to try new stuffs and to create something different. She came back to Taiwan six months ago as an exchange student at Shih Chien University. Before her going back to Canada, she made this pretty artwork when she experienced pottering at Yingge(鶯歌). The reason she made a crab on the cup because I was born in July which was a Cancer baby. I just received it today after the final processing by the pottering classroom.

July 20, 2009


The Acropolis MuseumThe Acropolis MuseumThe Acropolis Museum

In Athens, Greece, the most famous attraction is the Parthenon in Acropolis. But this time, there was something got more attention from public, the new Acropolis Museum.

Due to the limited space of original Acropolis Museum, so Greek government decided to build a new museum for a better exhibition of precious masterpieces. The construction of new Acropolis Museum started in 2000 and completed in 2007. It has a total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, ten times more than that of the old museum on the Hill of the Acropolis.

The official opening of the new Acropolis Museum was on 20 June, 2009 and opened to public on 21 June, 2009. We saw this news when we were still sailing on the Aegean Sea. We were so exciting to be one of the very early visitors of this museum. But it was not as perfect as what we were expected, because the new Acropolis Museum was only opened to those people who purchase e-tickets on line.

If there was a rule, then we had to follow. Since we could not get in the museum (though it was quite empty), we still visited this museum and walked on the top of a historical site in its front yard. Without entering the new Acropolis Museum, but we still visited Parthenon, Temple of Olympian Zeus and Theatre of Dionysos.

Photos of Athens