Archive for January, 2010

I just love this grip! It fits into the existing battery slot and then screws into the tripod mount, it totally transforms the handling of my camera. It is so much easier to rotate to portrait orientation with the additional shutter release and other controls which are on the battery grip.

I am currently using it with one original battery and am planning to get another one for longer shooting time when out and about.

The only downside I can think of is that the camera has increased in size and has lost it’s relatively compact size. Some people may see this as a benefit though 🙂


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Hbx tuning

Had time to go to the track a couple of days ago to work on the tuning. 3 packs of batteries were charged the night before and I got to the track at about midday. On to the test runs….

X-ray tyres 35degrees at the rear. The car handled good, with a slight oversteer into the slower corners and especially the hairpin at the end of the straight. Anyway, it was much better than I expected and I proceeded to run the pack down, just to get familiar with the car and practice on my lines. It had been years since I had last been to a track – and it showed

Pretty much the same settings for the second pack as I just wanted to improve on my driving skills but I noticed that the car was getting more loose at the rear. I would spin out in more corners and more often. Hmmmm not sure why?

For the 3rd pack I went out to the track, again, with no changes to the car and it was still loose a the back. After 5 laps I pulled in and decided to put on the original tyres on the rear. And what a change this made! The car gripped well at the back and I was able to get some smooth laps in. The original HBX tyres are harder than the X-ray 35degrees so I am not sure why I had more grip? The only thing I can think of is that the track was getting warmer through the day and the X-ray tyres were getting slippery?

Called it a day after the 3rd pack and ended up with a setting I was happy with. HBX tyres all round. Of course, I could do with more speed down the straight, but don’t we all want that?

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Looking around for a new lens for my 1000d. So many to choose from but I wanted something that I could use in low light and gave me great bokeh. After reading review after review and asking friends, I singled it out to the EF50mm f1.4. It has a more solid feeling than the kit lens, quieter autofocus motor and sharp images. The images are more “contrasty” too, when compared  to the kit lens.

Once mounted on the camera, there is a good weight balance between body and lens and the whole camera sits comfortably in your hands. I have used this combination for indoor shots, portraits, and as a walkabout lens. Even though it sometimes feels a bit “long” on a crop sensor at 80mm, this lens is the one that is most often mounted on my camera.

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Weapon of choice

After going though various point and shoot cameras, I decided to buy my first DSLR, the Canon 1000D. It is the cheapest Canon DSLR currently on the market and thought it would be a good camera for a beginner such as me. The camera comes with the EFS 18-55mm IS kit lens which has Image Stabilisation (IS) and I am very happy so far.

The quality of the pictures are so much better than my previous cameras and I can manually control all the settings to get the outcome I am looking for. Bought the camera with a Hoya UV filter and a 3rd party lens hood. I can happily recommend this camera for DSLR newbies.

Canon 1000d with 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens, Hoya UV filter and Lens Hood

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1st Drive

Finally got to the track and got a few runs in to test out the car and…… it’s loose at the back. So some tuning to do then. Added some toe-in, some stickier rear tyres and a body that i “hope” has more rear downforce. It then proceeded to rain and that put an end to my test session. Not even one battery pack and off home I went. Well, at least I could go back and put on the new parts. I’ll have another go tomorrow

New Porsche X-Ray body

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Over the weekend my kids were out playing in the garden, blowing some bubbles and I caught these pics of the colourful bubbles floating in the wind. The camera was set at manual focus with a fast shutter speed.

Bubbles in the wind

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Setting up the micro

In the pursuit of speed, and therefore Happyness, I have done some massaging to the car.

  • Removed the shields of the internal bearings and removed the grease that was inside. This grease has been replaced with a light oil
  • Used my Sanwa M8 inplace of the original AM radio
  • Took the wrapper of the batterypack to allow the cells to sit lower in the cut-outs in the chassis
  • Put some thick oil into the friction shocks to introduce a little damping

Now all I have to do is get some track time.

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