Saturday, November 29, 2008

Ariel Square Four

Some pictures of a stunning Ariel Square Four shot at the Waterfront in Cape Town. These were shot with a Nikkor 24-120VR which everyone says is a soft lens. Not sure the pictures agree.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Searching for the 'trinity'

I have recently bought a few lenses. Firstly because I had specific needs and secondly because the currency had moved from R8/$ to R12/$ and I was jumping in on old stock of lenses that I wanted while I could still afford them.

Nikkor 70-300VR
This one is for my wife to use with the D200. She currently has an 18-70 and a Sigma 50-500 but is struggling to get sharp shots hand held. The 70-300 has VR and is quite sharp. I bought it second hand in mint condition.

Nikkor 24-120VR

I bought this one as a walkabout for my D3 for occasions when the 27-70 is just too heavy. The front lens element has a small chip in it, but it does not show up on shots. It is in excellent condition otherwise and I paid just $150 for it.

Nikkor 14-24

This is one lens I really had to think about. I had a Sigma 12-24 which I seldom used. One of my long term plans was to get the Nikkor f/2.8 'trinity'. The price of this lens was going up by 30% and I had the opportunity to get the last one at the old price. I bought it with the idea that I will surely get my money back if I had to sell it in the near future. It is now fuelling a new found interest in landscape photography. I sold the Sigma 12-24.

Nikkor 70-200VR
I have been holding back on this one due to reports of problems with the D3. After speaking with some pros, I have decided to take the plunge on a slightly used one at a very good price.

I now have the f/2.8 'trinity' comprising the 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200VR!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

USS Theodore Roosevelt

The carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Cape Town early in October. She is too large to enter the harbour, so she moored in the bay. Because of the exclusion zone, it was impossible to get a good shot. Also the ocean mist made long lens shots difficult. This is my best shot:

Afrikaanse Taal Monument

It was a rainy day when we popped in to the Afrikaanse Taal Monument near Paarl. As one of my forebears was responsible for publishing the first Afrikaans newspaper at Paarl in 1876, I thought it interesting to post some pics.

Friday, September 26, 2008

AAD 2008

On Saturday the 20th September 2008 we attended the AAD 2008 airshow at the Ysterplaat base near Cape Town. We have been to a few shows at Ysterplaat and did not expect too much as there did not appear to any new on the program. We were wrong!

The normal highlights of the show are the vintage jets from Thunder City. The yellow Hunter and the black Buccaneer each made a brief appearance, but then we had and excellent display by a pair of Lightnings each breaking the sound barrier. There were so many complaints about this, that it was not repeated on Sunday.

The SAAF showed the Gripen, Hawk and Pilatus (Astra). The Hawk was in an awful colour scheme supposed to reflect the SA flag. The Silver Falcons now have a gaudy dark blue colour scheme. The SAAF museam was going to show a Mirage III, but it suffered a 3 bird strike at Cape Town International the day before. As a wing was damaged, it did not show.

There were also some great helicopter displays from the Augusta 109, Hind Mi24, Rooivalk, Lynx, Puma and Oryx.

The real stars of the show were the airliners! An Airbus A340 accompanied by 4 Astras made several flybys is perfect formation. A pair of Boeing 737s performed formation flying and breakaways fit for a fighter pair. Stunning.

There was also a simulated hijacking scene as well as parachute drops and armour drivebys.

Also some great arobatics:

The Zimbabwean Air Force displayed a Chinese K8 with a Brigadier in the back seat!

Over 100,000 people attended over the two days. A big problem this year was the mud. It had been raining for weeks and the water table was very high. The apron and tarred areas we used in the past were taken up by displays and hospitality tents, so were were forced to sit and stand in the muddy fields. Not fun.

To see more pictures, look here

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ricoh GX100 at Chinese Cultural Evening

On the 6th of September 2008 we were kindly invited to a cultural evening at the Jameson Hall at UCT the celebrate the 10th anniversary of the formal SA/China trade relationship.

I took my GX100 along just in case I was allowed to use it. As almost everyone else was using a cellphone camera, I could have bought my Nikon D3 along! Its low light performance would have been ideal.

The low light and the fact that the acrobats were moving all the time, made it quite difficult to get sharp shots. These are some of my best results.