review

More from the Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

Here is a companion gallery to my review of the Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR. As I mentioned in my original review, this is a pretty good general-purpose do-almost-everything lens. I have been using it for street photography, a little bit of architecture, some food and still life. Pretty much nearly everything you may need for a travel lens. Even for professional photographers, this lens could suffice for a non-work-related casual day out.

2018 Singapore. Cyclist on Nicoll HIghway on hot day.2018 Singapore. Cyclist on Nicoll HIghway on hot day.2018 Singapore. Cyclist on Nicoll Highway on hot day.

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Real-world Review: Nikon AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

Nikkor 35mm f/1.8g dxThe AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR

2018 July 16 Update: Added an additional image gallery here.

Kit zoom lenses typically do not get a lot of good press because they usually deliver average performance. But it is a disservice to ourselves to dismiss them totally, as different kit lenses from different manufacturers can produce different results. There is also a good reason why the “kit lens” exists – because it covers an extremely convenient and practically useful focal range that satisfies 80% of what most people need. This real-world review of Nikon’s newest DX kit lens (as of mid-2018) AF-P DX Nikkor 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR (abbreviated AF-P 18-55VR for the rest of this review) might change your mind about the usefulness of a kit lens. Continue reading

Do You Need Photoshop/Affinity Photo If You Have Lightroom?

As I mentioned last week, the lack of recent updates is attributed to the fact that I just purchased a copy of Affinity Photo and is playing around with it. Oh, and there is my real-life day job of course. 😛

The topic of today’s blog post is to answer a frequently-asked-question: Do you need a full-featured photo editor such as Photoshop (PS) or Affinity Photo (AP) if you already have a copy of Lightroom (LR)? Continue reading

Really Nice Images All Films 4.0 Review

RNI 4

Really Nice Images released version 4.0 of their RNI All Films Pack in the beginning of July. I actually wrote a preview of it earlier, and didn’t come around to doing a review until now. In summary, if you liked what you read in my preview article, you can go ahead and prepare to make a purchase. My impressions have not changed much between then and now. In fact this review will have a lot of cut-and-paste content from the preview article in July.

To recap, the RNI 4.0 All Films pack is priced at 122 USD and existing subscribers get an email with a half-price offer to upgrade. (If you didn’t get your upgrade offer, check out this page.) RNI now offers the All Films pack in Pro and Lite versions. The Pro version gets you everything, while the Lite version gives a smaller selection of presets at a much lower price of 59USD. Continue reading

User Review: Custom SLR Glide One Shoulder Strap

It is an oversight of mine that I have not talked about one of my most frequently-used camera gear – my camera shoulder strap. It is really a credit to the Custom SLR Glide One strap system that it is so un-obstructive that I have forgotten that it is there. This is as good a real-world user endorsement as any – it does what it does, gets out of your way so you can do what you do while being barely aware that it is there. A worthy rival to the Black Rapid series of quick-draw shoulder straps. Bravo!

To really describe how the system works, we first have to look at the C-Loop, which forms the main pillar of all of Custom SLR’s products.

Having understood what it is, we can now proceed to take a look at how the Glide One system works. Continue reading

Photo Album 2016 Week 18: Seoul – Metro Hotel Myeong-Dong Lobby

Myeongdong Metro Hotel Lobby (2016)Myeongdong Metro Hotel Lobby
Nikon D610, 29mm, f/8, 1/40, ISO 2500

I last visited Seoul in 2014. I certainly was not expecting a return this year. Nevertheless, here I was. Fortunately, things did not go the way of “more of the same” – a pleasant surprise!

Interesting note – the two hotels we stayed with do not provide any dental accessories to guests. This was surprising considering this is rather common practice among most Asian countries and how well developed the tourism industry ought to be in Korea. In fact other than that lack, every other facility of the hotels we stayed in are modern and comfortable. I suppose this would be a trait or practice unique to the hotels here.

Here we have the lobby of the Metro Hotel Myeong-Dong. While it is no luxury hotel, it is clean, comfortable, affordable, pleasingly-decorated, offers adequate services and provides a really good internet connection to guests. Convenient location within the Myeong-Dong shopping and F&B paradise plus close proximity to a subway makes it a really good deal. The default guest room could be a slight squeeze for two, but nothing that seasoned travellers could not handle. There is always an option for a larger guest room at a higher price though.

More to come on Seoul 2016.

Long-term User Review: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5 – 4.5G ED

Descending Escalator In X ShapeDescending Escalator In X
D610, 18mm, f/5.6, 1/40, ISO 100

I will start this review with a glimpse of the conclusion: Sometimes, you buy into a particular camera brand for certain advantages that you are looking for that is not available in the ecosystem of other camera brands. The AF-S Nikkor 18-35mm f/3.5 – 4.5G ED (abbreviated 18-35G) is a wonder that deserves this honour in the current Nikon lineup. There is no other camera system that offers a wide-angle zoom lens covering a full-frame sensor area that can fulfill a 3X criteria of being so light-weight, so high-performing, and so affordable. Nikon FX users who are looking for a wide-angle zoom and know that you will be stopping-down most of the time, just get the 18-35G now. Continue reading

Long-term User Review: Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G

Lighted Path In The DarkLighted path In The Dark
Nikon D610, 50mm, f/4, 1/125, ISO 1800

To repeat myself in all my long-term review articles: This is not a scientific review with detailed graphs, charts, numbers and corner crops. There are already plenty of these on the internet. I believe those kinds of reviews fulfill a necessary function, but we don’t use our equipment in a laboratory. We use lenses to capture all manners of three-dimensional subjects in a multitude of environments at different distances under myriad lighting conditions. Since I always find myself looking for such actual end-user experience impressions, I decided to do one myself. 🙂

I bought the AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G (abbreviated 50G) together with the AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G ED (reviewed here) at the end of 2013, so I have been using it for more than 2 years prior to this review.
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Long-term User Review: AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G ED

Dongdaemun Design Plaza 8Dongdaemun Design Plaza: The Most Photographed Stairs Outside
D610, 28mm, f/8, 1/100, ISO 100

To state the obvious, a long-term user review is a late one. There are already abundant reviews of this lens with detailed graphs, charts, numbers and test shots. I agree that these testing methods fulfill a necessary and much-appreciated function, but solely relying on them is too-narrow minded. We use lenses to capture all kinds of three-dimensional subjects in a multitude of environments at different distances under myriad lighting conditions. Not just in a laboratory of limited size with mundane lighting. There are also questions about rendering aesthetics, which are characteristics that cannot be scientifically measured. When searching for lens reviews, I always find myself looking for end-user-experience articles to supplement those laboratory results.

Hence I figured I should do one of my own. 🙂 Continue reading