Gearing up for a new trip

To keep up with the tradition, we decided to go on a long trip abroad again this year! This time, we’re heading down the globe nearly vertically to find ourselves in the southern part of Africa once more.

We generally need a lot of millimetres when we’re over there, and this time we’reΒ  tied to weight limits a little more than usual. That’s where this apparatus comes in handy: it’ll sacrifice some light to gain twice the focal length. The trusty 70-200 f2.8 will double to a 140-400 f5.6, which will suffice in replacing the humongous 150-500 f5.6-f6.3 weighing in at around 2kgs. At 330 grams, that’s a nice trade-off. πŸ™‚

Initial testing is nothing less than satisfactory, with the occasional excellent, making me confident that we won’t regret this decision.
I know for sure the destination will not let us down!

Adding to the family

It has not been a long time since I last spent a good amount of money on my cameragear, and yet that time has come again: I bought a new toy!

Not a FF-body, or a new body of any kind but some real glass.
Due to pure chance I ran into an amazing reduction on a lens favorite amongst the professionals: the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II. That is quite a mouthful for this beasty.

AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

Needless to say, I’m chuffed to bits about this purchase. The lens performs absolutely amazing and simply outperforms all other lenses we own in all ways fathomable. That is despite the fact the lens is *really* expensive. πŸ˜‰

New gadget, now with more mm’s!

Very recently, I’ve acquired a new gadget.

As some of you know I’m quite an avid photographer, and combined with my tendency for getting new gadgets it yields a combination which is deadly for my finances.

A long story short: I bought the excellent Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG OS HSM.

Below are two of the pictures I took with it. Both at the not-so-busy Blijdorp today. πŸ˜‰
Warning: both images below are in full-quality, which means they’re pretty big. (4288×2848 px) Best viewed in a new tab/window!

Hammering my budget

So, after a very considerable time of trying to figure out whether it is worth the money, I couldn’t resist it and made up my mind.
Forget about the third-party lenses. No Tamron, Sigma or Tokina lens for me.
A Nikon it will be for the very first dedicated lens I will own: a macro.

So, I went out, and spent a full 2 years of saving my birthday money on this baby:
A Nikon AF-S VR 105 f/2.8G IF-ED Micro

I’ve got just the next thing to say. It’s awesome. Nothing less. And expensive. πŸ˜‰
Lest not forget: heavy. It’s quite the beasty there. But I LIKE!

Hardware 2010 – part IV

Finally, after some time, I’ve come around to get you guys the low-down on the brand new hardware.

It’s awesome, in the most true form of the word.

Comprising of a Intel Core i7-950 processor running at 3.07 GHz on an X58 motherboard with 12GB of RAM and an 80GB SSD, it’s fast. Very fast. And then some. πŸ™‚

For all techies out there:

  • Intel Core i7-950
  • Asrock X58 Extreme3
  • OCZ Gold DDR3 PC3-10666 Triple-Channel kit (3x4GB)
  • Intel Postville X25-M 80GB (2nd generation)
  • Asus EAH5550 1GB Silent
  • Samsung F4EB 2TB (2x)
  • Scythe Mugen B rev. 2
  • HP ZR24W
  • Antec Sonata III
  • Logitech S520
  • Logitech Z323

Especially the H-IPS panel in the monitor is superb, I’ve never owned a monitor with such quality and colours.
Buying the set certainly wasn’t cheap; but it’s the best I could get with a certain budget.

As it’s running on Win7 Ultimate 64bit, there’s nothing there’s to be left to want on it: fast, stable and looking good.
How about you guys, any thoughts on the setup? πŸ™‚

Hardware 2010, part II

The mailman arrived late today, giving me the chance to get my two packages from him!

#1: 585 x 400 x 230 mm, with a total weight of 6795 grams
#2: 650 x 440 x 335 mm, with a total weight of 10740 grams

These packages combined make up for the most awesome PC I’ve ever assembled. πŸ™‚
Unfortunately, there’s only 1 delivery left which has some pretty important parts in it: the case and the power supply. I could do without the case, but without the juice, assembling it would be quite useless.
Oh well, we’ll see when the mailman rings my bell again…

Hardware 2010, part I

It’s been quite a while since I last upgraded my computer hardware as my main computer is my Pentium-M 1.6GHz laptop with 2GB of memory. My former workstation, aka server, is an AMD Duron 1600 with a whopping 1GB of memory. Both are definately old. πŸ™‚

Therefore, after much debate and some very serious budget discussions, the very first package arrived at our house today!

I don’t have a picture for you guys yet, but all I can say the box is 245 x 200 x 185 mm, and wheighs 490 grams. And it holds only one of the components that make up the new machine. πŸ™‚

Stay tuned!