November 26, 2008 11:33 by Adrian

Hey!

December is soon approaching.. so far there are a few events and photoshoots to be completed which will keep us sufficiently busy during the holiday season.. Speaking of holiday seasons, I've been getting a lot of questions about this year's gift list.. As you see, the Malaysian currency has dropped from a peak around RM3.2 per USD1 to RM3.6 per USD1.. not much but sufficient to have an influx of grey / AP sets into Malaysia..

As a rough guide, the AP/Grey units are usually about 10-15% cheaper than the original Nikon units.. doesn't sound like much but when its 10% of 3k comes to RM300..  sufficient enough to have me write this article in the first place..

Let me start from the top for some of you new to the term Grey / AP units..

So what is Grey / AP units?

Basically any units that aren't imported by Nikon Malaysia (or the Nikon authorized importer of your country) .. by not going through Nikon Malaysia, some of these units could have bypassed taxes / import duties.. so if you bought it in a country in which the currency is stronger than Malaysia and brought it here.. you'll stand to gain quite a bit..  hence its lucrative for people to smuggle in units for sale.. 

So how do you know if its an Original Nikon from Nikon Malaysia?

Well, I can save you the trouble of emailing Nikon Malaysia directly and hassle that wonderful lady called Emily who has to entertain gazillion of similar emails of such nature. First of all, the Nikon Warranty will be of yellow in color with the words Nikon Malaysia Sdn Bhd clearly stamped..

Frankly, if there are people out there who can hack Microsoft Vista, I'm sure they can clone that warranty card.. simply because it doesn't have any hologram or any other easily identifiable security markings to prove to the average joe if its original or not.. Just take a look at a Microsoft Office box and you'll understand of such security markings..   

So what's a better indicator of an original Nikon product?

Its quite simple.. Firstly, buy it from one of the authorized distributor as listed on their website here. Secondly, the sale value. If Nikon Malaysia sells to the dealers RM X, other than they are trying to do a firesale (to clean up old stock) would you think they'll sell those units at a loss? especially when there are still market demand? There's a reason why these are called business and not called charity. 

Of course there should also have Grey / AP going for the original prices but that's slim since its in their intention to sell it immediately at low prices.. 

Is the Original Nikon worth the 10-15% extra that you pay for? 

Of course silly! firstly, Nikon Malaysia won't fix your unit at all even if you want to pay for it.. and they can easily check the SN of the camera with their database..  and I'm pretty sure that the shop you bought it from doesn't have even the slightest clue how to fix a camera.. let alone a dSLR. 

So if you save RM 300 or so, you'll risk throwing the entire camera away (100% loss) in an event of a failure as nobody will want to help you repair it.. I can't imagine a 3rd party repair job would be like..  So I'm sure saving RM 300 makes more sense.. 

And by the way, Nikon Malaysia provides free sensor cleaning tho they hinted they'll discontinue such services soon.. they do jot down the serial number of each unit sent in..  

Conclusion

Well read this article by Thom Hogan here. Judge for yourself if its worth saving RM 300 and risk the entire camera in the years that you'll be using it. This isn't like AP handphones, this is real serious cutting edge technology.. and besides, where would they get specialized parts from? such as mechanical or even the PLCs which are specialized units?

I hope that this helps clarify issues.

Cheers,

Adrian Y. 


November 24, 2008 10:35 by Adrian

Hey Guys & Gals!

     If any of you are interested in good live bands? well then you shouldn't go to Zeta Bar.. but if you are interested in REAAALLLY good live bands? then yeah Zeta's the place for you.. Cool

     Let me take the honors in introducing Exit-T a Canadian based band.. they don't do karaoke.. they take Celine Dion 'I'm alive' and put their own beat to it.. that's right.. check out their song list.. you ought to listen to their version of Happy Birthday.. its awesome.. right up to the point when Junior (Leading Male Vocal) gave the mic to one of the birthday gal's husband/boyfriend? and instead of just giving a short birthday wish.. NOOoOOo.. that dude decided to SING!! the old crappy version of Happy Birthday.. 

     The whole place went silent when he completed his crappy rendition of Happy Birthday to his 'darling _____' my god.. goose bumps.. even the band went silent.. probably in shock.. how I wished everyone heard me screaming "Throw him out!" even if its just in my head..  

      Exit-T will only be performing until 2nd of Jan 09 and Zeta is packed so please do call ahead to make a reservation or you'll be one of many who can't get in because the whole place is full. 

      Ok, these are the pictures of that night.. 

Jacky and Louis (the head of Exit-T who so happen kinda looks like Taylor Hicks .. maybe the Canadianized version.. Cool)  

Breaking with the taboo that photographers don't get their pictures taken, I went and kicked the black cat (I literally so happen to have a black cat in which I do kick often .. lovingly of course.. )  

The picture of the band and how dark the place is.. that's to appreciate how well expose the above pictures are.. Cool 

A good friend of Ardent.. Tik Loon.. posing with the rest of us..  

Of course.. that's Mr. Sugu.. an amazing fella.. as promised I manage to hijack him for a while to have a picture taken with him.. one of a few moments when he stood still! totally dedicated and professional to his work there @ Zeta.. which is probably one of the reason why its so well managed.. kudos ..  

And later outside, the interior of KL Hilton.. amazingly decorated.. 

Ok.. got to head off.. enjoy the pictures.. I'll catch up with all of you soon..

Cheers,

Adrian Y. 


November 24, 2008 09:09 by Adrian

Hey guys and gals!

Last Sat we were at the Curve to check on the status of the Zippo lighter advert.  Ardent's picture is 1 of 3.. and the one holding up the process is a cigar picture if I'm not mistaken.. my zippo advert's been approved long ago.. that damn cigar.. anyways.. targetted to be up in December 08.. so do check it out when visiting Embershoppe which is situated behind the Volksvagen showroom.. 

Well we did had a bit of time and decided to just do some random snaps.. seems like there'll be a big christmas tree .. you think? Cool 

Tho the white christmas tree at Pavilion KL last Christmas was much much larger and gives more of a Christmasy feeling.. unsure if this year Pavilion KL will have it again.. will snap some pics if they do..

Anyway these are some of the random pics taken by Jacky using the AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED to just take some close up of items found at Scarlet.. When things are up close, it just take a different prespective even if its an everyday object.. every object will have its own distinctive marks, nicks and scratches to give character to the object.. like so.. 

 
Or, you can go with a 'what's that?' type of picture.. taking a close up of just a section of an item with enough detail to get one's attention but insufficient to go 'i know what that is' straight out.. 
 
 
The rest of the shots are taken with the AF-S VR Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED lens of the rest of the interior of Scarlet.. Glenmorangie.. one of the better single malt whiskies around.. if you are the type to just bottoms up, then I suggest going with the cheaper Black Label.. good whisky is like good wine, never meant to be bottoms up.. and if you intention is just to get smashed/drunk, suggest just drinking Absinth.. gets there faster .. which is a small step before drinking pure alcohol.. (Absinthe ranges from 45% - 75%)
 
 
And this is how Scarlet looks like
 
 
A well stacked Belvedere Vodka bottles.. Ardent prefers Grey Goose.. tho its slightly cheaper than Belvedere when buying from ColdStorage.. 
 
 
I noticed that many people rarely look up.. well as a professional photographer, everything needs to be observed.. people who frequent Scarlet may not notice this wonderful chandelier..  
 
 
Ok.. that's about it for Scarlet.. afterwhich we headed down to Zeta Bar... Till then..
 
Cheers,
Adrian Y. 

November 21, 2008 09:32 by Adrian

Hey Guys & Gals,

Its already approaching the end of the year.. fast isn't it?

Soon it'll be Christmas.. and the ushering of 2009.. and the whole year starts again from the top..  

December will be pretty interesting and hope that a few projects work out on our side.. nice to end 2008 with a bang! a good one of course.. 

I'll write more of what transpired for Ardent in 2008 at the end of December.. but you are sure to see more pictures of the events we'll be attending.. Christmas & New Years should be good..  

Will be heading down to Zeta tomorrow Sat 22nd Nov 2008.. to meet up with the Canadian based band Exit-t .. the last we saw them was after the CLEO fashion awards 2008.. the big dog Louis.. really so do look like American Idol winner Taylor Hicks.. 

Anyway, till the next update, I'll leave you with Suction bear..  kekek each of his hands has a suction cup.. Cool

Cheers,

Adrian Y. 


November 18, 2008 10:09 by Adrian

Hey guys and gals,

A few weeks back I was at an appartment near KLCC, Park 7 Condominum.. a One appartment per floor condominium that was designed to be earthquake proof (not exactly a big selling point in Malaysia, flood proof would be better but wouldn't that make any building above 1 floor flood proof?) and a 360.. well almost view around the appartment.

Didn't quite have my gear with me so the below snaps were taken with my K800i..  so what type of price do you have to fork out for a view like this? 

Well.. the answer to that runs above RM 2 million easily.. with each square foot being about RM 2k - 4k .. to some, each step is more than a months salary.. Cool It has a nice open space view of KLCC park which is better than having just views of buildings around..  

Cheers,

Adrian Y. 


November 17, 2008 13:06 by Adrian

Hey guys and gals...

After a long hectic, going on with insufficient sleep and changable weather finally KOed us last weekend. Jacky and I are down with the flu.. so we decided to just hang back and just recouperate.. with...  a... delicious.. lunch.. Nasi Bojari.. from Madam Kwan..  I could swear that it has medicinal value.. well I don't need to convince myself since this is the .. erm.. evidence.. 

Seriously if you haven't tried it already, please do, the Nasi Lemak isn't that bad either..

 
Oh by the way, we hanged at at Pavilion last Sunday.. was just recovering and relaxing while taking just random shots .. below are the shots taken with the ever so famous 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G ED-IF AF-S VR DX Zoom Nikkor.. its the perfect event and every day lens due to its immense flexibility... of course its not perfect, nothing in life ever is tho it never fails to boggle my mind to find the number of people that nit pick on every single detail.. 
 
Sure there are other better lenses but when you have an event and things unfold right infront of you.. plus the fact that you can't be everywhere at the same time, a versatile zoom that covers a decent wide to a tele is perfecto.. I prefer to get 'the shot' with this lens rather than switching lenses and lose it.. better safe than sorry... if I've got Jacky to back me up or if I got the time during quieter periods of the event, sure I won't mind switching lenses.. and switch back to this baby when show starts..
 
I have to sallute Nikon for coming up with this lens launched way back on the 1st of Nov 2005.. Canon just only recently launched its own version of the 18-200 f/3.5-5.6.. an almost 3 years later.. tho Tamron and Sigma introduced its own tho its a f/3.5-6.3.. 
 
Anyway, these are the pictures of a EPICentre event showcasing Apple products at the main lobby of Pavilion KL..  
 
 
 
 
Ok, now the zoomed in pictures, can you spot where the pictures below are taken from the wide angle shots above? kekek like hunting for Waldo..  
 
 
Zoomed right in at 200mm.. with a purported 4 stop of VR, one should be able to handhold this baby with up to 1/25sec shutter speed...  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Just took a candid shot of the entrance of Pavilion before we headed back to PJ..  
 
More next time.. hopefully to recover as soon as possible.. till then..
 
Cheers,
Adrian Y. 

November 12, 2008 10:18 by Adrian

 Ah.. attended Rain Bistro's openning last night 11th Nov 2008 with special invitations from no other than our good friend Mr. Marvin. 

Anyway these are some of the pictures taken of that night. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not the official photographer for this event hence am a bit more cavalier in taking these shots.. Not much of group shots of other people as its already been taken by the 2 official photographers on site, no need to have 2 of the same pics if you get what I mean.. it'll just be a total waste of my time to begin with.

On first reaching there, little did I know there were food! damn it.. and I already ate..  

Ahh.. the registration counter..  

Since the two other photographers are flashing here and there, I've decided to go with more natural shots that brings out more of the mood of the place. 

There were no shortage of pretty lass trying to push you one step closer into retirement in bankruptsville... tho personally whomever picked their outfit has good taste as it .. well.. made the guys go ga ga over the gals at the same time doesn't look like a slut.. more like a beach outfit..

That night Ardent met up with friends from Embershoppe, Vincent & Chris.. of course the gal below isn't Chris.. Tongue out

And then we met up with some of our entertainer friends.. below is Ibrahim showing his various tricks..  

That's Vincent's RM50.. serious dude, I could do magic as well, give me that and I'll transform it to a jug of beer! walla.. now to get myself a top hat, coat and a wand. I'm all set.. Cool 

Now this was an interesting shot.. I didn't bring my tripod hence I relied quite heavily on the VR of the 18-200mm lens.. the round lights below? those are flashing randomly and only a slow shutter speed can bring it out and bring it out I did.. even manage to get one of the promotion gals as well..  

Now the guru in action.. fork bending.. Mamak shops beware, better count your forks when you see this dude at your shop.. or it'll end up as a decorative art like the preceeding photo will illustrate.. 

See? mamak utensil sculptures.. 

Decided to head out to see what's going on..  

Food.. foood... its obvious that the caterer isn't a photographer since that chef statue is illuminated from down to up, making it as if its possessed..  other than freaky chef statue, its all good..

Another view of the people outside enjoying the buffet.. 

Ok the next series of shots are of a competition to see who'll win the prize of RM 200.. good fun and games..

Until you get your picture taken by me while doing this..  

or this.. 

or this fella..

the same.. but with creative lighting from the top.. 

and the two finalists.. get to do.. what I'm sure what most boys would have gotten in primary school for misbehaving.. 

and the winner is.. 

Ok .. the picture of Chris and Vincent on our way back to our cars.. 

If you are around that area, Rain Bistro is a nice place to hang out especially after work.. do drop by and say Hi to Marvin the Bar Manager if you get the chance.. 

Thanks dude for inviting us over..

Signing off..

Adrian Y. 


November 11, 2008 07:39 by Adrian

Hey guys and gals!

Hope you all had a great weekend! We covered YTSM's 2nd Annual Graduation & Award Ceremonial Dinner last Sunday @ Tropicana Golf & Country Club.

It was a great event and its good to have parents supporting their children's effort in pushing themselves to excel.. this graduation is to recognize their efforts. 

These are some of the shots taken.. 

Now let me show you a picture thats well.. mysterious.. one for the guys especially Cool 

All I can say is that, you'd better brush up on your Badminton to get passed her uncle who's a former world No 5 doubles champion and runs a successful badminton coaching company to 'qualify' for this lovely lass. Click Here for their website for more information. Cool

Anyway, tonight is Rain Bistro's opening, stay tuned ya! Got to run.

Cheers,

Adrian Y.