Monday, August 21, 2017

Stan Ray

I always like a double front or double knee.  So I finally got myself one.  Wow, it's going to be twice as durable.

When you buy online for apparels, you are still pretty much live in the dark ages.  Most, I say most retailers won't give out the actual measurements.  They figure they rather process more returns I guess.  It would give you the size like 34x32.  You know, I know, and everybody knows the 34 is not the garment measurement.  So it's a guess.

It's YKK, my friend, sign of good quality.  The pull is not extra large or anything, so don't pull with your gloved hand.  Not supposed to anyway.  Unlike a jacket's or outergarment's.

The hickory is more expensive but the loop in the back is missing.  No loop there.  Both designs don't have back yoke above the back pockets.  But I do appreciate the the number of belt loops, not just one in the center but one above the pocket on each side.  So you feel properly belted.  I personally think that's the way it's supposed to be.  The loop is long enough to accommodate wider belt which is a good thing.  Some work pants have narrow belt loops for narrow belts, what's that about?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Nikon SB-800

My first outing using the newly acquired SB-800.  It was 100% AA battery powered so it had a hard time keeping up with the action.  You use what you have, that's about it.  (I bought a Godox PB-960 just so I can shoot my finger off without the wait or the change of AA batteries)  This wasn't done with the high speed sync I bought the flash for.  I think I was shooting more like 1/30 and panned with the action.

This one was done with high speed sync probably 1/1000s.

When you have a flash you end up shooting everything with flash.

EDIT 8/21/2017:
subsequently, I shot the SB-800 with power pack PB-960 hoping that there's virtually no wait to recycle.  Alas, there is.  Between shots the flash ready light was blinking so the flash was capable to go off but whether the exposure was "correct" was entirely a different story.  I tried to use Manual and turned it down to 1/2 and 1/4 but still the recycle is more than instantaneous.  If memories and anecdotes serve me well then I really think the 120J cycle faster whenever it's not at 1/1 power on power pack.  I love my 120J except when it comes to packing and transporting from A to B.  The freaking bare tube and the reflector are just too cumbersome.  Otherwise I think the light is pretty nice, sure it's all subjective, but I think what you believe is important.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Godox or God Ox PB960, Sunpak 120J, Nikon SB-800

The Chinese name is actually literally God Ox.  What a strong brand.

As a owner of two good old Sunpak 120J's, I always want some power pack.  Even I have the original pack in form but not in substance.  I use some rechargeable battery to power the pack.  It's a bit cumbersome I have a separate branded charger to charge the battery and when fully charged I put it back into the holder.  You probably don't know what I am talking about.  I am too lazy to take any pictures.

Universal Smart Charger.  Not just phone could be smart.

Not all sync cords are created equal.  Some are obviously better.  The one on the right is better, which is a Paramount cable by the way.  The one on the left is the original Sunpak cable that has bad contact with the PC outlet on the D810 camera.  Bad.  I think the locking one is the best but I have yet to try one.

My SB-600 is kind of broken, the battery door has bad contacts when I don't use reputable branded batteries.  I think there is some play to the battery door which can result in bad connection with some batteries.  The hot shoe is cracked and the knocking pin is ruined.

And so I bought a SB-800 which is similar but better than the SB-600.  It accepts external battery pack.  It provides more option and plays.

I did some research and in the end, I bought the Godox PB960 pack with a cable for Nikon.  The connection as I understood it is a Quantum cable connection.  Though I can't find any affirmation online that the Godox PB960 can work with the Sunpak 120J I decided to give it a try.  Lucky me I was able to find a Quantum CS4 cable connecting the PB960 to the 120J.

The items arrived and everything just works.

Moving on to some other distractions.

Recap: now I can power two 120J with external powerpacks which definitely provide more flashes and much faster recycle time.  Or I can shoot my SB-800 using high speed sync with instantaneous recycle time, almost.

Sunday, August 13, 2017


It's not hard to get distracted at all.

I can easily spend hours and hours on those items.

I can never have enough storage space.  I can never fully understand backup, mirror, RAID 0 and RAID 1, RSYNC, JBOD.  Just when I thought RAID 1 is a good idea then maybe not.  My USB external hard drive is very iffy.  I can't be sure if the hard drive is the culprit or the enclosure or the computer.  Sometimes I see it and more often than not, I don't see it.  Can I even trust it?  Would a NAS serve me better?  Or just another piece of hardware I need to baby sit going forward?  Nothing runs itself.  It always needs some intervention.  Should I get a NAS harddrive for a NAS when I know I won't do RAID?  Would NAS be a good file server, fast enough?  Does it even matter?  5400 or 7200 rpm?

At the end of the day, I usually end up not knowing where my files are.

Should I get a power pack for my flashes?  I can look at them for hours and days.  What cable should I get?  What power pack should I get?  Are they compatible with my good old Sunpak 120J and Nikon SB-800?  Would the power pack toast them all?  Is Godox good or good enough?

Whenever I feel like I need the distraction I look those things up.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Relaxed Fit

I have my quirks.

I am no fan of slim or skinny fit jeans for the simple reason that I basically am too thick read fat and too old to wear any.  I can't stand any jeans that market as relaxed fit.  What is that?  If I want to feel relaxed, I wear sweat pants.  Why do you need to feel relaxed when you wear a pair of jeans?  Plus isn't relaxed more of an attitude than a fit?  I just wear them regular fit jeans loose; that would be my "relaxed fit" jeans.  I think relaxed fit is an oxymoron.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Lifestyle, Danner, and Nikkor

I have a vague sense of what lifestyle means.  Nothing too negative but nothing too positive here.

I notice Danner, the boots manufacturer actually lists some or actually many of its boots under the Lifestyle banner.  For me that's a questionable classification.  Lifestyle as in fake, wanna be?  I think it's really a brave move.  I mean I wear biker jacket and I don't even own a bike.  I wear tennis shoes and I don't even play tennis (not anymore).  But to explicitly state your products as lifestyle I think it's a brave move especially considering Danner, I think, has a history of manufacturing genuine goods for the military and the like of hunters and gatherers from way back.  For me, lifestyle is almost like a dirty word.

While I am on this topic and in the spirit of one always needs to find something to complain about ...
I can't help but notice NikonUSA likes to classify their lenses into categories, not objectively by focal length or zoom range or max f/stop, but PEOPLE & EVENTS, SPORTS & ACTION, NATURE & WILDLIFE, MACRO & CLOSE-UP, VIDEO, AND SPECIAL PURPOSE.  To me, the only category that kind of makes sense is MACRO & CLOSE-UP.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Optex England 16:9 No 5086

This is an anamorphic adapter that can squeeze the picture from 4:3 to 16:9 or from 16:9 to 16x4/3:9.

I put this adapter in front of my Nikon taking lenses.  Basically I have a hard time getting any subject focused.  Despite what I read or my impression of what I read, this adapter is supposed to work best with longer lenses.  Not my experience.  I have tried my 50mm and 105mm lenses.  And it's just impossible to focus at any distance.  The image just goes blur and won't align.  The only exception is my 28mm AIS f/2 lens.  For some reason, I am able to focus with this image taking lens, I mean not great but better than any lens I have.  The camera I use for this is my Nikon D7000 camera which is a cropped 1.5x sensor.  I applied my hack to it so it has a higher bit rate.  I think the hack site is down or forever gone so I don't know nor do I remember what exactly the hack is.  I don't know the upside of the hack.  The downsides are the file is bigger and I can't play the footage on the camera.

I got this Optex thing a while back and I really think it's border line garbage for my intended anamorphic use as I can't really focus on the thing, not on center not on the edges, not with most lenses.  It doesn't work well with my D810 full frame at all.  The only combination that works is the D7000 and 28mm f/2 lens.  And even that it's not great.  The image is a bit fuzzy and there is no detail to speak of.  I don't remember how much I paid for it.  But I think it is much less than the real thing or even comes close to the more popular model.  So perhaps the price is fair.

The video software that can desqueeze the footage and I have experience on are Final Cut Pro X, Hand Brake and DaVinci Resolve.  I mean I got it to work without fully understanding how it works.