spunktitud3

Musings on Travel, Fashion & Fun


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Photography -Cable Ski Action at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park
I had the pleasure of trying out the new Olympus OMD EM-1 MKII over the weekend at the Singapore Wake Park. It was love at first sight – the continuous shooting at up to 18 frames per second sequential shooting with precision C-AF Tracking was AMAZING. I had so much fun. Now I can go to the safari armed with a very lightweight and EM-1 MK II and a 300mm f4 + 1.4 teleconverter (equivalent to 840mm of goodness!) Did I mention it has a weatherproof body as well? :) #inmyshoppinglist #superwant

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park

Wakeboarding shots at Singapore Wake Park


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Film Camera Shopping – Love at First Sight

Siam TLRI have been shooting with a DSLR for two years now, and I wanted to really get back to the basics of photography with a fully manual film camera, as a way to move on to the next higher level. So I made it a point to visit Siam TLR, which came highly recommended to me by my photography friends, during my recent trip to Bangkok.

I stepped into the shop with nothing specific in mind, and I knew I had found THE ONE when the first camera that the owner showed me was this amazing green ostrich vintage darling. It was simply love at first sight.
Siam TLR
Siam TLR is relatively easy to get to, being located at Mahatun Plaza which is just next to Phloen Chit BTS.Siam TLRTake Exit 2 or 4 from Ploen Chit BTS. You can see Mahatun Plaza from the BTS itself. You do not need to walk into the building; Siam TLR is located at the side of the building where 7-Eleven is.
Photo source: Siam TLR
Siam TLR
I can remember the sense of anticipation as I approached the shop…which vintage hottie will I be bringing back with me? :)Siam TLRThe spacious shop is basically an enthusiast’s workroom –  rows and rows of lovingly-restored vintage cameras sit atop shelves, looking pristine and almost mint. You can feel the love and pride of the the owner, who started out Siam TLR 10 years ago as a hobby and online resource for Thais who were interested in old cameras. Khun Surasak restores all the cameras himself at the workroom, and if you are looking for an Olympus, Polaroid, Lomo or Kodak vintage camera, you are at the right place.
Photo source: Siam TLR (I was so excited, I forgot to take photos :p)Siam TLRMe with the owner Khun Surasak – he is so superbly nice and patient! I think he was rather amused with my excitement as I feasted my eyes on my rare green ostrich leatherette Olympus OM1-N (1972 model – which happens to be older than me!). Khun Surasak told me “10 years in business, and this is the first time I see this green one!”

The bimbo in me asked Khun Surasak many, many questions about how to use a film camera, and he answered every single one of them with ease. He speaks a smattering of English, which really helped since my Thai was limited to ordering food and asking for prices or different sizes lol. It feels very different when a shop owner loves his cameras versus one who is only interested in closing a deal.Siam TLRYou know I am into a serious relationship when I not only get the camera, but a family of lenses. All the equipment were in amazingly good condition, and Khun Surasak threw in the lens filters – how absolutely kind! I am so gonna take good care of this special camera, and everytime I click on the shutter button, I will remember the friendly and kind man who sold me this treasure. I will be back for more, Siam TLR! :)

Siam TLR
Address: Mahatun Plaza Building Ground Floor, Phloen Chit Road
BTS: Phloen Chit
Tel: +66 (0)8 1431 0351
Opening Hours: 11:00AM till 6:30PM daily
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/SiamTLR.Shop


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Guide to Camera Shopping in Hong Kong

Buying Cameras in HKGEver since I got bitten by the photography bug, I have been shooting quite regularly and hence took the opportunity to go camera gear shopping on my recent trip to Hong Kong. I have heard that the prices are 10-30% cheaper, faster in terms of new model launches and the range of accessories much wider than Singapore. So I set out to get my beloved Nikky (my Nikon D7100) more friends…and I wasn’t disappointed. Hong Kong is a camera buff’s heaven (of course the top place for me would be Japan)! I was quite clueless, hence I did a little research before I went, so sharing my own humble experience of photography shopping here…hope this would make your shopping trip to Hong Kong a little more interesting – and painless :)

1. Do your own research before you go. Know what you are interested to get and find out the prices from your local retailers or online so you can compare prices, and if it’s worth hand-carrying the gear back – forget it if the price difference is just a few dollars, save that space for better shopping (think yummy HK confectionery).

2. Ask around on your social networks and read up on photography forums to find out which are the bigger and trustworthy shops in Hong Kong you can go to. I found this compilation of Hong Kong camera shops on Clubsnap a life-saver. It’s last updated in 2010, but most of the shops are still there. These links are pretty good resources as well (do let me know if you know of more good HK camera resources to add on!):
Hong Kong Camera Hunter Pt.2 – Shamshuipo & Mongkok
Hong Kong Camera Hunter Pt.3 – The last day

3. Most of the camera shops are concentrated in Mongkok, and generally open from 11:00AM till 10:00PM.

4. My strategy was to visit 3 stores for a price comparison before making a decision. I ended up visiting more than 3 stores, and these are the recommended stores (which I bought from):

– Echo Photo & Audio Limited
This is my fave shop at the moment. It’s a small and honest shop that looks like its been there forever. The prices they quoted were the best among those I have asked, and if they do not have the stock they will order it for you (arrives in 1 day or 2). Best of all, the shopkeeper Mr Yip (call him Yip Pak, Uncle Yip or by his “gwai meng” Andrew!) is very affable, caring and will make effort to answer all your questions (very important for a long-winded customer like me lol). I felt very comfortable with him.
尖沙咀漢口道19-21號漢宜大廈D
Shop D, G/F, Hanyee Building, 19-21 Hankow Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Opening Hour: 9:00AM to 8:00PM
Email: echopaltd@biznetvigator.com
Tel: (852) 2376 0478 / 2723 9059
MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui (pretty near Silvercord)
Look for: Mr Yip (Yip Pak, Uncle Yip or Andrew)

Echo Photo & Audio Limited

– Tin Cheung
I find the service and product range here the best. Their prices may be slightly higher (but still competitive) than Wing Shing for some products, but if you tell them the prices, it may be possible for them to match them. They are also well-stocked in terms of accessories such as filters, camera bags, tripods – I was drooling and drooling over a neon-coloured Billingham bag…and another plaid bag…and another… :p

Tin Cheung Camera (天祥攝影器材) (Main Store)
尖沙咀河內道 18 號 K11講物藝術館33樓301鋪
Shop 301, 3/F, K11 shopping mall, 18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
Opening hour: (Mon-Sat: 11:00AM to 8:00PM / Sun: 12:00PM to 6:00PM)
Tel: (852) 2722 1265
E-mail: info@tincheungcamera.com.hk
Website: http://www.tincheungcamera.com.hk/
MTR: Tsim Sha Tsui Exit H
Look for: Matt

Tin Cheung Camera (天祥攝影器材公司) (Branch)
旺角山東街 47-51 號星際城市一樓 120-122 & 136號鋪
Shop 120-122 & 136, 1/F, Sim City, 47-51 Shan Tung Street, Mongkok, Kowloon
Tel: (852) 2722 1255 / (852) 2722 1488
Opening hour: 12:00PM to 10:00PM (includes Sundays and Public Holidays)
MTR: Mongkok Exit D2

– Wing Shing/Man Shing Photo Supplies
Wing Shing and Man Shing are the biggest players of camera shops in Hong Kong, and they are owned by the same company. The prices they quote are the same as well, so if you asked one store, I suppose there’s no need to check with another store since they are all reading off the same sales system. The staff are rather distant, and just rattle off the prices rather than strike up a conversation with you. Nonetheless, they are a good price benchmark, and sometimes they may be the only store with available stock.

Wing Shing Photo Supplies (永成攝影器材) (Flagship)
旺角花園街 91-95 號地下(旗艦店)
G/F, 91-95 Fa Yuen Street, Mongkok, Kowloon
Tel: (852) 2396 6885 / (852) 2191 5915
Opening hour: 10:00AM to 9:30PM
E-mail: info@wingshingphoto.com
Website: http://www.wingshingphoto.com
MTR: Mongkok Exit D3

Wing Shing Photo Supplies (永成攝影器材) (Branch)
旺角西洋菜街 55-57 號地下
G/F., 55-57 Sai Yeung Choi Street, Mongkok, Kowloon
Tel: (852) 2396 6886
Opening hour: 10:00AM to 10:00PM
MTR: Mongkok Exit D3

Man Shing Photo Supplies(萬成攝影器材)
旺角通菜街 104-106 號地下
G/F, 104-106 Tung Choi Street, Mongkok, Kowloon
Opening hour: 10:00AM to 9:30PM
Tel: (852) 2396 2996
E-mail: info@manshingphoto.com
Website: http://www.manshingphoto.com
MTR: Mongkok Exit D3

Fortress (豐澤)
Fortress, together with Broadway, are Hong Kong’s major electronics stores. Surprisingly, while the prices are supposedly retail pricing, they offered the best price for my wide angle lens. The service is superb – even when I brought back my lens to clean off some dirt the next day (they gave me a free cleaning kit too). Plus the sales staff are kinda cute-looking, heh :p
荷李活商業中心分店
Shop G7-G12, 610 Nathan Road, Mongkok, Kowloon
旺角彌敦道 610 號荷李活商業中心地下 G7 – G12 號舖
Tel: (852) 3165 1370
Opening Hours: (Mon to Fri: 11:30AM to 11:00PM / Sat, Sun, Public Holidays: 11:00AM to 11:00PM)
Website: http://www.fortress.com.hk
Look for: Penny (it’s a guy)

Digi@Co.
This shop specialises in Sony camera equipment. They offered the best price on the latest Sony lens I helped a friend to buy. You can contact them first to check stock availability if you are interested to get anything from there. Sim City is also a good place to get your 3rd-party camera gear and mobile phone accessories, but do exercise caution (always know what you are buying and the pricing).
Shop 204, Sim City, 47-51 Shan Tung St., Mongkok, Kowloon
Tel: (852) 2782 6289; 9018 8591
Email: cengiz888@gmail.com
Look for: Cengiz Yung

5. After you confirm your purchase, test the equipment before you hand over your credit card. Make sure the serial number on the warranty card and model matches so the warranty is valid back in your home country. Also ask if the warranty is local or international, and if it can be converted to an international warranty so you can still bring it to the service centre in your country if s*** happens.

6. Don’t buy on impulse! Know what you want, and get just what you want even when the salesperson tries to suggest additional lenses, filters, etc. (unless you are familiar with the brands/prices, or have too much money to spare)

7. And also note – there is no tax levy in Hong Kong, so do not ask if there’s Global Tax Refund (I felt like a total idiot – no, not even a bimbo – for asking that!)

Hope this will be a useful resource for the photography buffs out there… Do let me know if you have any resources/stories to share on photography shopping/great photography locations in Hong Kong too – I’ll add them to the list. And I’ll definitely be going back for more goodies! XOXO


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Look of the day – Hasselblad Lunar

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Flight of Fancy
When my friend Aram called to say he had a new S$10,000 fashion-worthy camera to let me play with, my interest was piqued.
I guess the look I had for the day would be – excitement.

Very canary yellow ruffle top – Chloe
Purple ribbon necklace – Marc Jacobs

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Hasselbald Lunar – The ultimate luxury mirrorless interchangeable lens camera
Swedish manufacturer Hasselbald is best known for its medium-format cameras and photographic equipment it has produced since World War II. Its most famous user has to be Neil Armstrong when he photographed the surface of the moon with a specially designed 500EL. Almost all of the still photographs taken during Apollo program missions use modified Hasselblad cameras. And that explains its Lunar name as well as its astronomical (pun intended) price of US$6,995.
For me, it was almost love at first sight. It looked good, and felt good. Just that the price didn’t sound too good :p

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Me: Wow, they even have pink crystals to decorate the buttons!
Aram: Ermm…I believe they are rubies.
Me: Oh, WOW. (And tried to find somewhere to dig a big hole and bury my face in)

This 24 megapixel camera is the first product from the partnership between Hasselblad and Sony. As such it is no surprise the camera shares a lot of similar specs as the Sony NEX-7. Both have the same ISO range of 100-16,000, 25-point contrast detection autofocus system, 2.3 million dot OLED electronic viewfinder and 3-inch tiltable LCD screen.

The Lunar definitely has an edge in the look department, being one of the trendiest cameras I have ever seen – it felt solid and had a well-designed grip. There are currently five models in the collection, which include the use of black leather, brown Tuscan leather, carbon fiber, mahogany and olive wood on the grip. Not to mention titanium dials and bejeweled buttons to match.

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Shooting the Lunar before taking it for a test shoot

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Flight of Fancy at the Flower Dome, Gardens by the Bay
White embroidery skirt – Dolce & Gabanna

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Admiring my nail art which looks, out of this world ;)

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Star motif velvet flats – Topshop
Beaded ankle bracelet – Accessorize

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

With an aperture of as small as F2.8, the Lunar was really awesome for macro photography. Moreover, the shutter response time was close to instantaneous, thus reducing the probability of blur shots.

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Giant Hibiscus. Love the texture.

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

Verdict: I’m liking my photos taken so far, and the camera’s pretty easy to use. It looks darn good as well. Just not the hefty price tag. It’s no surprise that most of its customers are rich Arab sheiks and wealthy Chinese businessmen. That said, the quality of material somehow justifies the price.

If I had S$10,000 to spend, I would get a proper DSLR system though as it’s time for me to upgrade to a better system (that’s the next thing on my wish list). With enough left to get a few more lenses. If I had a few million in my bank account, I would definitely get the Lunar for casual shooting. I will start dreaming about it tonight.

Look of the day - Hasselblad Lunar

I can’t fly to the moon, but I can hitch a ride in a hot air balloon!