Zeiss 85mm f/1.2 has arrived

I was arriving at work when I got the email that UPS had just delivered my new (old) lens .. at home ! :p

As you can imagine I was anxious all day to get back home so I could play with my new toy

And here is it, the Zeiss 85mm f/1.2 “50 years” edition, in great condition, this lens is from 1982, it was a special edition that Zeiss did for Contax to celebrate their 50 years as a company, only 2000 were ever made, it’s considered the pinnacle of 85mm lenses.


There is some serious glass on this thing !


I will now do some tests against my 85L II, the lens I put for sale in order to grab this one, but here is a quick handheld shot on the A7R, nothing fancy and just handheld, but I wanted to check the bokeh .. I am not disappointed :)


And last, her is a picture of it on the A7R .. Does not look out of place at all …


More pictures and further testing coming soon. :)

His & Hers e-Shisha

I have not been a cigarette smoker in 14 years, but I am an occasional cigar smoker, and latelly I started to gather a large cigar collection that I am ageing on my humidor, problem was, I also started to smoke them allot more often.


So to get back into the old habit of only having a cigar every so often, I decided to try these new e-cigars/e-cigarettes, but I hated them, so I decided to try e-shish instead, basically it does not try to be a cigar/cigarette, it’s a completely different experience, one I enjoyed

Its only water vapour, so no nasty tar and other junk in my lungs, and for now I am using  very low dosage of nicotine (8mg) and probably will make it even lower, I got the itaste SVD unit with the Nautilus thank, and since the GF was interested in trying it, I bought her a smaller unit with the Nautilus Mini thank :)

Here they are


Tallship Chronicles – Finally !!!

Back in 2003 I spent 9 months in the Azores, during that time the locat TV station (RTP) ran a show called ‘TallShip Chronicles‘ with a Canadian reporter called Andrew Younghusband spending 18 months aboard a TallShip called ‘Picton Castle’ going around the world on this big sailboat exploring these remote locations, cool stuff.

Back then I fell in love with the show, so much that I made a wish that maybe one day I would do one of the legs on that trip, maybe one day .. who knows.

Anyway, since then I tried in vain to get a copy of the show, but no such luck, it is not on iTunes or any other sites of the kind, and the series was once released in VHS but even that is no longer available even the site that sold it went offline, I also found countless people online looking for it with no luck, I even read somewhere that Andrew Younghusband himself did not had a copy of it.

Well … I have one now !! … after almost 4 years of searching I was able to find it, it’s on it’s way to my iPad and I have entertainment for the next week’s evenings :)



Foggy Morning

This was the view this morning from my balcony, everywhere you looked it was hard to see more than a few meters, fog everywhere.

We live right by the airport, no flights were landing due to it, but amazingly I could hear some taking off once in a while.


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Well … just went from 5D MKII to … 6D !

So for the past couple of years i’ve been using my 5D MKII .. I saw the MKIII come out and waited for the price to come down .. and waited

In the meantime, I got to learn what I could with my MKII and just yesterday I decided .. ok, it’s time to go for the MKIII, woke up this morning and was ready to buy one, told a friend (who actually owns a MKIII) and he told me “why don’t you get the 6D instead ?” .. my first reaction “I don’t want 1.6x cameras” .. I had no idea the 6D was a full frame

I was shocked when I actually looked at the 6D .. I was just days away from blowing £250+ on a Camranger so I could get wi-fi remote control, this thing has it built in !, I LOVE GPS tagging, I constantly tag my photos manually, I did the whole ‘carry a GPS unit and then sync the times later with the photos’ but it’s a PITA, no such thing on the MKIII

So whats the catch ? do I really NEED the MKIII ?

lets see:

Focus: The MKIII has more focus points … I’m the kind of guy that disables all but the centre point, don’t know why, but I only like to focus with the centre point and then reframe the scene … so more focus points .. not needed

CFII Card: meh !

Low Light performance: my main reason to move to the MKIII .. I HATE flash, thats why most all my lenses are very fast primes, the 6D is just as good as the MKIII in low light ? some cases marginally better ? …

GPS Tagging: gimme gimme gimme !!!!

1/8000 vs 1/4000: checked my photos .. never used anything even close to 1/4000 .. let alone above it

Wi-Fi: I signed for the Helicon Remote iOS beta program .. when I am in this beauty will make focus stacking with my iPad/Iphone easy as pie .. gimme !!

5D Pride ?: Yes .. that is my sore bit, I love being part of the 5D club, feel like the guy on a Lotus Esprit in a race with Ferraris … I can beat them, but I’m still in a lotus .. but heck, screw it, Ill have fun doing it !

So .. Im sitting here with a 6D next to me, let the fun begin :)

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Crowd-founding Watch ?

I just saw (and snagged the black one) this interesting watch by Egard, it has quite a different case and was designed in collaboration with Captain Kirk (William Shatner), it has a real cool looking oblong case and moon/sun phase.

What surprised me the most was that it was offered via a Crowd-foundign site first, they placed the first 50 watches at a ridiculous discount (about 69% Off) to get it going, it seems I grabbed number 13 of the limited edition (999), will be delivered in March .. should be interesting :)

LINK to pledge page

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My Magrette ‘Bronze’ … sort of

Ive had this watch now for a little over 6 months, I had been looking for a reasonably priced watch that was versatile, different and with a story .. I think I got it with this one!


So here goes the story of the watch, between September 2011 and March 2012, the New Zealand watch company “Magrette” sold a special edition watch made out of Bronze and limited to 1000 pieces, compared to the likes of the Panerai Bronzo ‘383′, with it’s price tag of over $40K USD, this one was way WAY cheaper (albeit not quite of the same calibre or mechanism) and of a small but reputable watchmaker, it also had some quirky elements like a window on the back that you would see this New Zealander wood panel with the serial, mine is number #93.


It seems this wood (ancient Kauri wood) is a protected species and forbidden to be cut down, you can only pick pieces that have fallen off the tree on it’s own.

Unfortunately after they started shipping the watches, somebody did a metal test on the bronze and found out that the metal was NOT bronze but brass instead !!

The story goes that the supplier of the alloy sent Magrette the wrong type, and it seems these two alloys are actually quite similar and hard to tell apart unless you do a metallurgical test on them, so immediately Magrette issued a recall of all sold watches and stopped production on any new ones, exactly how many of the proposed 1000 actually went out the door I don’t know.

This was part of the notice that Magrette put out:

The results of this test show that also our alloy is not the CuSn8 (Copper/Tin) compound referred to as “bronze”, but an alloy of CuZn (Copper/Zinc). This means our cases are made from high quality “brass”, the same material that, for example saxophones and trumpets are made of.

They also offered to swap the current brass case for a bronze one, but that never materialised and Magrette scrapped all plans for a bronze watch (for now anyway).

So a few didn’t returned theirs and for some enthusiasts like myself, the idea of owning a “mess-up” like this is awesome, first and foremost Brass is just as good of a material, it’s patina develops slightly more gold than red than bronze, it means the watch will have quite a distinct look, and how often can you wear a watch and tell of such a story ?

So in the aftermath I was able to snag one for myself from a frustrated owner for a real good price, added to it is a ‘Doneriz Vintage Green Canvas’ strap and a ‘Rolko’ brass (or is it bronze ?) big buckle .. the combo is just stunning.


Both the watch and the buckle are showing a real nice patina, giving it an aged but cared look, and of course no two watches will ever be identical because of this process.

Once in a while you can still find a few of them out there for a real good price, and they worthy to snag, with this story and time they bound to become only more valuable, but that should not be the reason to own one, having such a cool looking piece and a great story behind it’s the real reward.


For now this is my daily wearer, I have 3 other straps and 2 more buckles that I switch around to change it’s look once in a while, but the green canvas remains my favourite.

A little photography session fun

I haven’t had much time lately to do some of my hobbies, nor I seem to find my way to WordPress to blog for that matter, last week I started to learn the guitar, we shall see if I stick with it, but one of my hobbies I’ve never given up is photography.

I don’t pretend to be a good photographer, but I do love it, a few months back I bought a light box/tent and had never had the chance to use it, so tonight I’ve decided to take some pics of my Bronze Brass watch (good story for a future post).

Instead of just working directly with the camera, I took the chance to download the Canon EOS utility and use the laptop as live view, this proved a bit frustrating as Canon seems to only publicly release the updates to the EOS utility, but not the installer from scratch, after some googling I found that in the Mac version you just need to remove a file inside the package to make it into an installable app … Why not make it like that from the get go ? Just a frustrating futile exercise, but no matter what I got it going.

The light setup was actually quite nice, I was able to get some cool photos and a bit of fun in the process, I need to do more of it, it’s a good way to unwind and not think of day to day challenges.

For this session I used my Canon 5D MKII and the Canon 180L Lenses


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A true grail – JLC Master Compressor

What a watch, the name is incredibly long “Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs“, but hey .. it’s a JLC :)

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Omega x2

Omega Z-33 next to the PO Chrono 9300 … what a PAIR !

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