amateur photography page

Welcome! this site has been visited

since 05MAR99!
last update : 11MAY99

My photography gears

Manual SLR Cameras 

Minolta XD-5
Minolta X-300s


Vivitar 28-210mm/3.5 zoom lens
Minolta 50mm/1.4 Prime Lens
Tokina 28mm/2.8 Prime Lens

Tripod System 

Manfrotto 455
- Trimino Duo Tripod Legs
Manfrotto 410
- Junior Geared Head
Slik Vertical Plate (Large)



Meade ETX-90/EC
-> serves as a 1250mm/13 zoom lens!


Hewlett-Packard Photo Smart Photo Scanner

sample pic

singapore's central business district
taken from millenia towers
Minolta X-300s/28-210mm

some thoughts

Minolta XD-5 w/ 50mm lens - this body was given to me by Boy Seng (landlord at blk 420). i got it cleaned up and repaired by Minolta and the result was fantastic. the lens is still dirty and 'full' of fungus. i plan to get it cleaned 'sometime' >:P i still have to come out with comparisons on the performance of the XD-5 and the X-300s. even though XD-5 is very old (ceased production on 1985), i find that it produces better result than the X-300s (ceased production some time in the 90's). i wanted to get a Nikon FM-2 but i had no more budget to get one. so far, the sharpest pictures that i have are produced by this tandem.
- this body offers multiple exposure, bulb mode, aperture and shutter priority. there other modes available but i am not aware of how to use them. the metering uses batt power. in the aperture priority mode, the shutter uses batt power to work, but in the manual mode, the shutter doesn't need batt power anymore.

Minolta X-300s - with the Vivitar zoom lens, this camera will produce 'good' pictures but not on par with the XD-5/Vivitar combi. prime lens do make a diff. when used with the 50mm, pictures are appears sharper with added color saturation.

Vivitar 28-210mm/3.5 - i've read some reviews in a photography magazine that Vivitar's zoom lens is a good buy - though they recommend Tamron and Sigma to give better results than the Vivitar. so far, i have no complaints with this zoom lens. it is affordable and it is very reliable. kudos to 'mang kit' who helped me buy my first camera KIT >:P with the 28-210mm - i seldom need to change lens during some outings and group photographies. at times, it can produce sharp pictures comparable to the 50mm.

Tokina 28mm/2.8 - i recently bought a Tokina prime lens for my Minolta bodies. i bought this primarily for my astrophography sessions but it will come in handy on group pictures. i will post some comparisons between my Vivitar and Tokina lens when time permits.

Manfrotto 455 Trimino Duo Tripod - bought this tripod leg primarily for my ETX. it is very sturdy and heavy-duty but relativiely light. it is very versatile which can go as low as 10cm(?) off the ground and can go as high as 160cm(?). the center bar can be mounted horizontally for micro/macro photography.

Manfrotto 410 Junior Geared Head - again, bought this primarily due to my ETX. this head is so COOL! locking is unnecessary with this head. it's application is very convenient not only for SLR cameras but also for video camera and portable telescopes. imagine the convenience that you will get when don't need to lock the head of your tripod - simply turn the knobs and you can finely set your viewfinder to your target. even vertical positions are a snap as there is a 'quick release' knob to quickly release the knobs for each direction.

Slik Vertical Plate - another accessory for my ETX but will be very useful for my SLR.

shopping in Singapore

shopping for camera (anything for that matter) in singapore is tough although you can get good bargains if you have 'good' connections'. BE SURE TO CHECK THE PRICES OF WHAT YOU WANT TO BUY AT OTHER SHOPS LIKE;
1. Mohammed Mustafa, Serangoon
2. Carrefour

also, if you are looking for a good manual SLR body, you can check out the second hand/used shops at Peninsula Plaza and Adelphi. imho, you can invest your money with prime lenses and get a used body in a good condition.

Cathay Photo, Marina Square - i bought my tripod system from cathay courtesy of SAM JEVA. he is a nice person and i find that the prices that he gives me are reasonable. true, there are some irritating personnels there but not sam. who is receptive.
- before i bought my tripod, i went there and sam was not in. there were some ladies that won't even bother answering my questions such as 'where is this made?' (referring to the minolta 505si super). the reply: 'i wouldn't know! i don't know where these cameras are made now a days'. there are other guys there but you have to look for them. good luck to us customers! i think they 'gauged' me with what i was wearing that day >8P

John 3:16 - yes, the shop's name is a verse from the Holy Bible which i find weird since they are not selling anything related. anyway, there's another SAM here (son of the owner) which is quite nice as well. he is also reasonable and helpful - provided he's not very busy entertaining their customers. weekends are tough going there to buy something as it is packed.

Mustafa, Serangoon - bought a Minolta Riva 70 from their shop last 1996 for my brother. the camera is still working up to this day and the results are very good for a point and shoot.

Pertama - I WILL NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM THIS SHOP AGAIN! my experiences with this shop is very depressing and 'horrible'. stay away from this shops as much as you can. stay away from shops at PEOPLE's PARK and LUCKY PLAZA as well, you will have to haggle/bargain a lot with vendors in these shops and in the end, you will still feel at lost because you really wouldn't if the stuff that you have just bought is in a good condition.

i will be posting more pictures when time permits so please do check this site once in a while.
please do e-mail me for suggestions and comments

visit my astronomy/astrophotography page

some important photography links

quality tripods and heads for professional use

this will be the temporary site of samahang pinoy photographers
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