[Online adventures] #11 – Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.8

Nifty fifty of the 80’s


How did I end up with this?


I’ve been shooting around with this monstrosity that I bought a while ago – the Konica Hexanon Zoom 80-200mm F3.5 (link)


…and have gotten really good results with it!


However, with such a long focal length all portraits must be shot really far away (which is a good thing in the case of a raging fire). Also carrying this lens is a bit of a workout as it has a combined weight of a laptop > <!

So I thought, what if I had something that had a shorter focal length, smaller, lighter and took great portraits too?

Sounds like I need a nifty fifty!


Okay, I need a nifty fifty, but I also need a lower price… (living the Sony E-Mount life also means paying more for native lenses that cost more than any other ecosystem…)

So I thought, why not grab another Konica Hexanon given their reputation great image quality for its era?

Why not grab a Konica Hexanon nifty fifty?


Wow! The lens + shipping is only 24usd (~32CAD 2017), mint and no bidding required. Done, sold!



Konica Hexanon Zoom 80-200mm F3.5 (left) Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.8 (right)

We definitely solved the size and weight issue, combined weight is now less than 500g. How’s the image quality?


When shot at f 8? Excellent for a glass of this vintage, punchy colors, good sharpness. But who buys a nifty fifty to shoot stopped down at f8? Show me the f1.8 bokeh!


Here you go! f 1.8~ W.O.W for something that costs 32CAD, this image quality is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. What about corner sharpness? Something that cheap CCTV lens do very poorly in? (link)


Not tack sharp, even in this downsized image you can see a bit of “motion blur” effect on the words in the sign. However, very usable! 🙂

Final thoughts

Just like the Zoom 80-200mm, this lens is very well built, almost full-metal. In fact, I wiped out on my bicycle and landed on the camera, the lens is ok, but I took a chunk off my plastic built camera.

Many would consider the 50mm f1.8 to be the defacto first lens to own if one were to get into photography as it is very versatile and affordable. Well, affordable if you live in any other ecosystem other than Sony 😛

However, once again, because the E-mount has one of the shorter flange focal distances, it makes using third-party lenses as easy as getting a simple adapter ring. At 32CAD, this makes the affordable argument even stronger.

Verdict? If you see a Konica Hexanon AR 50mm F1.8 in mint condition, go for it! You’ll fall in love with the image quality just like I have.

Dollar store showdown – Earphones

Jacky, have you not learnt your lesson? 😛


The last dollar store earphone has really pushed me away from buying dollar store earphones ever again. (link)

However, as I was strolling down dollar store, this caught my attention. Clean reusable packaging, nice and simple design and seemingly very good build quality. I am still on my journey to find the ultimate pair of “burner” earphones, so I took a leap of faith 😛

I present to you, the uber sound earphones!

Let’s be real though…

Just like last time. For three dollars, I don’t expect spectacular performance out of these. Remember, I am looking for a pair of good burner earphones. All I am asking for is acceptable audio quality.

That’s it.

Wow o.O


Oh wow, these feel really nice! The matte black finish gives it both a clean look and great premium feel


The logo is not too tacky either. Visually this can definitely pass off as a premium product.

What it is competing against


Electra Earphones

Also from dollar store, these costed 1.25CAD. However, please avoid these at all costs as described in my previous showdown. (link)

The approach

Just like four months ago, I am still not an audiophile so I will continue to use terms that will make them cringe. I apologize again.

Evaluation will be based on the same stuff as last time so we can compare: High, mids, bass, sound stage, pleasantness, design and build quality. Rating each area out of 10.

I am blown away, seriously. Let this graph speak for itself


That’s right, I am so blown away by these earphones that I think it will compete well in the branded earphone market. So I decided to throw in the Klipsch S4 with Comply Active S100 (80CAD) and Denon AH-C50 (50CAD)

Highs: This is the only part of the earphone that still screams cheapo. That signature super harsh high gets it a 3/10 here

Mids: They are definitely there! Much better than the Electra where this is completed removed like a karaoke machine. These are much more comparable to the Denon but only slightly more muted. 5/10

Bass: The bass is definitely there. Again, an area where it completely rolls the Electra as it had lacking or modified bass. However, just like the Denon, it is very overwhelming and boomy. Therefore, it gets the same score as it 7/10

Soundstage: There is definitely a soundstage. It sounds like the song is being performed in a small room. Meaning I still kind of feel that the sound is concentrated and being pushed into my ears. Very similar to the Denon, so same score 6/10

Pleasantness: The Electra almost made me pass out by the end of a three minute song. I am three hours in with these uber sound earphones and I am still alive. In fact I am somewhat enjoying my music even. I am ranking it two points lower than the Denon here because of the harsh highs, 6/10.

Design: Nice, clean, simple, unobtrusive logo and available in multiple fun colors. Matte finish is great as it doesn’t attract finger prints and gunk like the Klipsch and Denon do. So not only do they look better, they do a good job of looking good when in use outside!

Build Quality: Feels very solid, they feel like they will last. The simple design helps as there isn’t much that can break. (Klipsch’s rubber decoration is falling off)

Conclusion

For three dollars, these are great burner earphones. I plan on stocking some up myself as well!

[Bike] – Road trip to Beaumont, by bike

Final exams are done. Like final final exams. Didn’t want to think too much about it, so road trip! Taking my mind off of it and physically distancing myself away from my worries.

While the idea sounds very random, road trips don’t just happen spontaneously on demand. Some planning needs to be done if you want to go there and come back in one piece without giving yourself a heart attack. Guilty >>> (link: Sherwood Park) (link: St.Albert)

Oh well 😛

Good news! This one was planned awhile back and was ready for execution 😛

Bad news, this will be a short post because everything went nicely so there’s not much to write about.

Oh well 😛

The plan:


The execution:


Not bad eh? Just as planned. Getting good at this 😉


Performance data. I am surprised by how consistent the data is despite the incline. I am riding on the road so the dips are caused by red lights. Anyways, photo time!


Haha I really like these “Welcome to” signs. Even though this one looks kind of crappy and welcomes me into a huge chunk of farmland.


So farms really do look like that! I’ve never seen a farm in real life. Why are they red?


Did I mention that I really love “Welcome to” signs? I think I’ll start taking these shots with the method of transportation that I used to get there. In this case, my GT Avalanche 2014.


Fancy looking stuff


Can’t see an end to this road. Good view!


While I was in awe of the view, I decided to fuel up a little. According to my completely scientific calculations (read: gut feeling), my human fuel requirements are as follows:

One mouthful of water every 15km

One energy bar every 30km

Beaumont is 30km away from Edmonton, so that means it time to snack!

The return trip

LOL this wouldn’t be a Jacky’s trip without some curve balls.

Headwind – straight on. I was traveling north and the wind blowing south. * (remember the * means insert your favorite swear word) (link: trail biking) Jacked up my energy consumption enormously and I was feeling empty 10km in on the return trip. It doesn’t feel good, but according to experience, I know I’ve still got some mileage in me before my body gives me the “final warning”. Given the head wind situation, I dropped my gear ratio from 44:15 to 32:18. This allowed me to increase my RPM back to the efficient level of around 100rpm. Sure I was still going a little slower, but I wasn’t burning myself out.

Got home in one piece, but what followed was me making dinner the fastest I’ve ever made it.

Lesson: over pack food a little bit


Other than that, route wise, it worked out very well. The planned route was also very bike friendly too!

Exploring a Brita water filter

“For optimum performance, it is important to change your Brita filter on a regular basis. Replace filters every 151 liters or two months for the average family”


Seeing how they profit from making such a statement, I took it with a grain of salt. Besides, even if they are good intentioned, they are probably giving a safe estimate so they don’t get sued.

Therefore, I resorted to some real world advice from a friend. She said her family has been on the same filter for years. If her family can go off the same filter for years, then mine will probably last forever given that the filter only serves me. Fantastic!

Well, it mysteriously clogged up today. It didn’t slowly clog as one would imagine. It just went nope Jacky, no water for you today. Hmmm…

No idea how these things work, so without further thought, I went out and got a new one.


New one works great, but what do we do with the old one? Since I don’t know anything about these filters, curios Jacky decided to open it up.


This isn’t your causal pop the cap off deal, the top is held on by some strong adhesive. Clearly Brita doesn’t want anyone to do any maintenance here. What kind of “clean” secret is Brita hiding in there?


Since I have already sent this filter on a one way trip down by jamming a scissor into it, might as well take it a step further. For science!


Cap’s off! Well, I was expecting some fancy tech in there. Like layers of different material and stuff. This looks like the soil that was in my plant 😛 (link)


Same stuff all the way down to the bottom


Close up of the material


Hmmm doesn’t look like anything is “clogged” so not too sure why it wasn’t working. My guess would be the pathways in the activated carbon is clogged? But that’s microscopic and not something that me or my camera could see. Regardless, I got to see what is inside a Brita filter 😛

[Bike] – Trail biking

Summer is here and it is time to go trail biking! Just kidding, I didn’t know where I was going 😛


Look at this mess, what caused it?


I was heading home, but then I saw this trail path that I’ve always ignored. Curious Jacky decided to go down this path and find out where it leads.

Had my camera with me that day (this one: link) so I also started a video recording. Most of the pictures here will be frame captures from that video.


Small inclines, not too bad.


What goes up, must come down.


Sign – CAUTION: WATER OR ICE ON TRAIL

My thoughts – Nah, look this beautiful day. Full speed ahead!


How is this ice still here? Oh well 😛


Sign – CAUTION: STEEP DOWNHILL

My thoughts – I am still in Edmonton, how steep can it get? Let’s go!


This steep. Holy smokes* where did the road go? Oh well 😛

* When you see a * in this post, I was most likely (definitely) swearing. I try my best to keep the blog PG13 so I kept the words out.


Holy fudge* got to the bottom, now up!


Where did the road go…*


Well, seeing too much of the road isn’t good either…*


*


What now? This place has horses?


Didn’t see any horses, but saw some trail walkers and their dogs playing around 🙂


Climbing back up after all those ups and downs.


Sign – SLOW: STAY RIGHT CURVED TRAIL

My thoughts: After all that? Okay I believe you.


Look at those curves, that sign is not kidding


This road felt like a dream after all that, what’s behind the nets on the left?


Horses! The signs really don’t joke around here


The view is so nice!


Hmmm a large open area…


Wow, am I still in Edmonton? This looks more like Elk Island National Park…


Eventually I found my way home. Have a mess to clean up, but lots of fun making the mess 😛


Do GoPro stuff without a GoPro


This is a generic flashlight mount. However, I’ve decided to get one of those high lumen specialized bicycle flashlights. Therefore, by the time this mount arrived, I had no use for it.

So with a bit of creative thinking, I decided that it can be a “nature valley” holder.

Then one day… I thought “hey, it looks like I can strap the Pentax Q on there”


… and this is the result! With some ropes, I was able to get this fairly secured on to the handle.

IKEA trip

“Edmonton transit, not giving me any incentive to be lazy”


Needed to go to IKEA to grab some food. Yup food, not furniture. Believe it or not, IKEA food is great!

Given that it is faster to get there by bike than bus, I decided to bike there.


It is final exams time, and I am going to be staying home for a good majority of the time. So I decided to stock up on 10KG of IKEA meatballs. Combined with the two U-Locks that I use to lock my bike, this bag is around 15KG worth of stuff. I suddenly wished that I just took the bus.


Here’s what 10KG of IKEA meat/veggie balls look like in the freezer. Salt and pepper for reference.

Shortcomings of a centralized media server

Realizing the hard way


This is when everything is working, all is good. I have access to all my media everywhere around the house!


When the power goes out, my media goes with it. Despite most of my portable devices have battery power, I have no access to any of my media since the network and the server are not battery powered.

Pros of a centralized media server: One copy for all devices

Cons of a centralized media server: One copy for all devices

Washing machine does the “Harlem Shake”

Title and picture says it all


I came home discovering this and I immediately called the laundry operators, here’s how it went:

Operator: Hi, my name is <name here>, can I have your address please?

Me: <Gives address>

Operator: So what is the issue here?

Me: Ummm, your washing machine disintegrated

Operator: I’m sorry? (Disbelief voice)

Me: Ummm, the washing machine is not in one piece

Operator:

Me: As in your washing machine is completely not working

Operator: oh ok