Thursday, October 29, 2009

Planet X Tibo

Hardy the venue I want to use for this, but it's not being used, so it's time to sell it.



2006 Planet X Tibo - Like new condition - rarely ridden - extremely minor scratches.
Very smooth feel with great balance.

Hussefelt cranks on FSA platinum BB,
Sun Mammoths w/ LX hubs [72pt engagement!] - single speed via No-railleur [please note, front wheel is not as pictured, that's the wrong wheel]
30'' handlebars, Norco Team Trials fork, CNC Azonic stem, Magura HS-33's (gold levers and archs)

http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m84/epictro/PX-1.jpg
http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m84/epictro/px-2.jpg
http://i102.photobucket.com/albums/m84/epictro/px-3.jpg

$900!

If you want to get into Trials, then this is too good of a deal to pass up.

Low Ballers will be ignored as will be scammers
Serious Offers Only - don't waste my time or yours

GOLDEN HORSESHOE AND BUFFALO AREA ONLY

Saturday, October 24, 2009

How to make Facebook better.

First step: Go to your Applications page and start getting rid of all the stupid applications you added and never use. I ended up removing something like 20 this morning alone, and I've done this a few times in the past. Remember! Removing the application, does not remove the content. If you used an application that can be potentially embarrassing, well... too bad for you.

Second Step: Go get greasemonkey
Note: YOU MUST INSTALL GREASEMONKEY FOR ANY OF THESE SCRIPTS TO WORK.

Now... to make Facebook pretty and fun again!

1) If you hate seeing Quizzes and Mafia Wars and other dumb crap like that, and install fb purity.


2) Facebook tends to screw up Firefox on occasion. Get "UnF*** Facebook" [Warning... it's actual name is NOT censored.]

3) Let's make Facebook a little more user friendly, shall we? Install "Facebook Manager Plus"

4) And while we're at it... if you like photos, but hate thumbnails... Install FB Large Photos

5) Let's face it... If you like something, You'll find it on your own, right? Get rid of those stupid sidebar "your friend is a fan of" boxes. "Not A Fan"

6) Since, you don't like that stuff, there's no reason for you to NOT be able to block applications as well right? Click here for a script to add "Block App" to any invites/requests you may get

7) While we're at it... Let's kill ads on facebook too. Remove Facebook Ads or Facebook Ad Killer

8) Let's remove the tedium of accepting stuff, one at a time. MASS ACCEPT. This guy is nice cause it adds checkboxes to all of your requests, allowing you which you'd like to accept.

9) Speaking of accept... Want to change the color of people's names? Well, this will let you have those that aren't friends, show as red instead. Link Color Changer

10) This one, probably sucks, but it's name is awesome: Facebook NewsFeed ShamWow

And lastly... Making Facebook Pretty
Facebook Colour Changer

That about wraps it up. After adding some of those (or even all) scripts, you should have a pretty sweet arrangement on your facebook page. Enjoy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Second Passion...

Music, is my second passion. Actually, I really should consider it my first passion as I'm always listening to music. I only look at so many photographs. I guess it's a passive/active matter. I passively listen to music, but actively look at photos. Music can go on, in the background. Photos, demand attention.

Lately, my thing has been seeking out remixes of older tracks. Anything pretty much older than 5years, cause quite frankly, for about 5 years I didn't listen to much new stuff. That was roughly between 2002-2007 - so anything that came out in that period, in my mind is not worthy of classic status. Though, there were certainly many tracks in that time frame that were really good. I will not discount them outright - but they don't qualify for my taste of updated remixes.

Needless to say, I've really been enjoying listening to the following three tracks for reasons that were mentioned in the last paragraph, and for reasons i cannot explain.

Yvan and Dan Daniel - Silence (a remix of the depeche mode track by the same name)
Blur - Song 2 (Micky Slim "yeah to the woo booty" remix)
2 Bit Thugs - Block Rockin Beats (Chemical Brothers original)
IIO - rapture (Starkiller's remix)
Public Domain - Operation Blade (not sure the name of the remix... but it itself is a remix of the Pump Panel reconstruction remix of New Order's "confusion")
Yello - Oh Yeah (Lutzenkirchen remix)

In my mind, I think that if you're gonna get anywhere these days in the music industry as an artist, you need to start somewhere, and you need to start somewhere solid. The classic track is a great place to start. People like classics. They're favourite songs from (whenever). Take a good track from "back in the day" and fix it up, and you're guaranteed to bust out with a hit. When in doubt... default to nintendo music. We all like that stuff but for the love of god, leave Tetris, Zelda and Super Mario alone... they've all been done to death. Do Excitebike instead. Do Ghosts N Goblins. For extra creativeness, use a melody from a sega game instead. use the theme(s) from Wonderboy, Alex Kidd, Out Run, Phantasy Star, etc. Hey! the Theme from Sonic the Hedgehog hasn't been done a while... try that!

Try anything... really. Just don't screw it up, and you're all good. Cause nothing pisses off a music fan more than hearing their favourite song mangled. but more over... no one will want to hear your take more than once, if it ends up sucking. Sorry, that's the way it is.


An apology - I like to link stuff when i see it appropriate, but I wrote this post on my laptop. Linking, when working without a mouse, is a bit of a pain. That's why there's only 2 links this time.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Yashica YUS vs DSB (vs. MC)

Going through my stats, It appears that many have stumbled upon my blog by virtue of seeking out information on Yashica and Contax lenses. While I can only comment on the 2 that I have, I'm sure the information can be used and extrapolated upon.

Let's revisit the info I was able to find on the YUS.

Focal length: 28mm
Nearest focus: 35cm
Aperture blades:6
Aperture stops: 2.8 - 4.0 - 5.6 - 8.0 - 11 - 16
Length/diameter:

Weight: 260g
Lenses/groups:

Filter diameter: 55mm
Angle of view:

Max. magnification:
Remarks:
Source: Yashica.org

Now... that's the info for the YUS version of the 28mm lens. Info on the DSB is more or less the same, except one minor detail. The YUS was North American Market only (hence the name, Yashica US). The DSB was everywhere else. Here's the stickler, while it's not readily apparent, the YUS (in most opinions) is the better version of the 2 lenses. For some unknown reason, or at least a reason that hasn't been documented on the internet, the North American version was given better glass and coatings*. Though, I have also read that this is bunk and they ARE the same. It should be noted that the YUS brand no longer exists, having gone the way of the Dodo or Polaroid Camera. I'd imagine Yashica closed shop in the US some time in the 80s.

Construction-wise, they are virtually identical. Except in the 28mm case, where the DSB is a touch smaller. Nevertheless both are 6-bladed 28mm lenses with MFD's of 35mm and 6 aperture stops with a surprisingly wide angle of view. It throws me off sometimes how wide and shallow this lens can be. I've taken pictures of things were I was 1-2 feet away, only to switch and end up needing to be 3-4 feet away with my 18-55, zoomed to 28mm. I'll have to get to taking an example shot some day...

So, having said that... I did manage to find info on the difference betwen the DSB and ML. I will repost it again. However, this info does not address the issue of MC lenses, I will address that after.

4.1. What's the difference between Yashica DSB and Yashica ML lenses?

Yashica DSB lenses are single coated, ML lenses are multi coated (ML stands for Multi Layer). As usual, a marketing department messed things thoroughly up by introducing another designator, MC for Multi Coated, for later multi coated lenses. Contrary to the quality jump from DSB to ML, there is no distinguishable quality difference between ML and MC lenses. For quite some time, Yashica offered both DSB and ML lenses; later on, DSB lenses were sold in package deals with bodies (like the FX-D Quartz SE and the FX-7).

If that's too small, then i will quickly summarize.
DSB = single coated*
YUS = single coated* (but a better coating than the DSB)
ML = Multi Coated

Basically, if you have the option between DSB and YUS. Take the YUS. If you're choice is between the ML and YUS, take the ML. If money is no object, then why are you even considering an old Yashica lens? :P

So where does MC fit in? MC has nothing to do with coatings. It has to do with lens construction. The C actually stands for Compact; meaning these lenses are smaller than their equivalent ML counterparts. MC lenses also have an interesting feature that means absolutely nothing. The minimum aperture is engraved in green. Interestingly enough, MC lenses can only be used in Av/Ax and not in Tx/Tv... at least, when used on older Yashica bodies. If you're using them with an adapter on a Canon or Nikon, then chances are you're using Manual. This naturally, doesn't address the issue of MM lenses. Those, as far as i can tell are Multi-Mode and are more or less useless to anyone not using a Yashica body (100-series).

ADVICE/RECOMMENDATION:
When buying an adapter, make sure you get the right one. Further to this, spend the extra few dollars and get either a Happypagehk or Big_IS adapter. The difference between their stuff and the other guys is AF-confirming, which means the difference between shooting and ERR 99.
Also, they make adapters that can be adjusted for your largest aperture. My Yashica is a 2.8, but the adapter confirms 2.0. This is somewhat annoying. The Zeiss i have confirms 2.8 (which it is).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Self-Portraiture

Feeling creative, yet bored, I decided that I needed to try my hand at self portraiture. The following are a few of the results. All in all, in 2 sessions, I probably took about 100+ photos. The bulk were from yesterday, with today's numbering a total of 25+. Out of all of them, none from yesterday were worth a damn except the cat head.


The pics from today were a little more technical in approach, with me setting up my camera and measuring out my minimum focusing distance (MFD), and angling my flash and flood for best lighting. It wasn't until I did all of that, that i realized that I would never be able to get results I like without a stand-in. As a result, I used my flash tripod and got my focussing... bang on!

Camera: Canon Rebel XT
Lens: Contax Zeiss 135mm 2.8
Fstop = 8 Shutter = 100
Flash = Nikon SB24
Other equipment: Cactus Trigger
Lastolite 45'' reflector
Ikea flex lamp w/ 13w fluorescent
Sateen Flat Sheet from Target... 250 thread count. :P
Adobe Photoshop CS3 with TLR Sharpening

In a weird way, without really trying to, I got a annie-leibowitz/vanity fair type vibe in a few shots. Only 1 was grayscaled, and only so i could make my eye color stand out a little.


After firing a few test shots, I began to use a few props. A Lightbulb, Daha's "straw", my fire extinguisher, a can of lysol... Random things not usually seen in photo shoots... at least, I've never seen them used in a photo shoot. I also changed shirts for different effect and set-up. To see the rest of the pics, you'll have to go to Facebook or Flickr.




The only way I could have possibly improved on these shots is if I opted to slow down the shutter to allow a little blur, to bring out the magic that the Zeiss lens is so good at making.




Of course, I could not, not take a picture with a lightbulb. After all... the whole idea was a bright idea.



At one point, I was trying shots with the raybans on, and thought of the CSI one-liner meme picture and thought... what the hell, let's do one with that too.



YYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Please note: the skyline photo is not mine. I googled for an image and photoshopped it accordingly.
Feeling creative, yet bored, I decided that I needed to try my hand at self portraiture. The following are a few of the results. All in all, in 2 sessions, I probably took about 100+ photos. The bulk were from yesterday, with today's numbering a total of 25+. Out of all of them, none from yesterday were worth a damn except the cat head.



The pics from today were a little more technical in approach, with me setting up my camera and measuring out my minimum focusing distance (MFD), and angling my flash and flood for best lighting. It wasn't until I did all of that, that i realized that I would never be able to get results I like without a stand-in. As a result, I used my flash tripod and got my focussing... bang on!



After firing a few test shots, I began to use a few props. A Lightbulb, Daha's "straw", my fire extinguisher, a can of lysol... Random things not usually seen in photo shoots... at least, I've never seen them used in a photo shoot. I also changed shirts for different effect and set-up. To see the rest of the pics, you'll have to go to Facebook or Flickr.



The only way I could have possibly improved on these shots is if I opted to slow down the shutter to allow a little blur, to bring out the magic that the Zeiss lens is so good at making.



At one point, I was trying shots with the raybans on, and thought of the CSI one-liner meme picture and thought... what the hell, let's do one with that too.



YYYYYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Herding Kittens... or taking pictures of them

Hi again... It's me.

So, the other weekend I was introduced to a lovely little storm-cloud coloured kitten by the name of Myla. Myla belongs to Steve and Sarah, good friends from Brampton. They got Myla a few weeks ago, after suffering the loss of another kitty: Rocky. Rocky was a birthday present (so to speak) for Sarah last year. He was a handsome little fellow, Maine Coon-ish in appearance. Unfortunately, he succumbed to health problems. More unfortunate was that i never got to meet him, and more importantly, take a few pictures of him. However, my unofficial photographic mentor did get a few beautiful shots of him.

So... enter Myla.
Myla, everything a kitten is like, is a curious and energetic little thing. Taking photos of her was a bit challenging, given that I usually have problems with flash-lighting at Steve and Sarah's. Not sure why i do... when i figure it out, I'll write about it.

Nonetheless, I did manage to fire off one really good picture of her, though it is a bit on the soft (fuzzy) side. This is due to my working with a relatively unfamiliar lens: the Contax Zeiss mentioned in the previous entry. Nonetheless, I know my abilities when it comes to taking photos of cats, and Myla is the newest entry in the challenge bin. The other entry, is Queen Beatrice - a cat that I haven't been able to take photos of, on account of her preference for where she likes to sleep. Awkwardly in corners and in other small, dark areas.

Myla is only 3-4 months old at this point. I can see her maturing into a gorgeous little kitty. Here's hoping that I can take more, great photos of her. And believe me when i say it... getting a Kitten to pose like this, is not easy. At least, not when you're using a manual focus lens, and trying to get their attention with a dangly-toy-on-a-stick.


































D'aaaawwwwwww....
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