A fling with an old flame

I admit it. I always go back. They say you shouldn’t but as Oscar famously said, I can resist anything except temptation. Somewhere in my head I heard the whisper, “Go on, you know you want to……” And I know I can pick her up any time.

So my wife and I went into town to do some chores and I smuggled my beloved in the back of the car. Every now and again I just have to play with the M9. And yes, the Noctilux was my first choice lens. So no birds today, just a few images taken as we did our chores. I get far fewer scores with my M9 – all that manual fiddling….. I either miss the moment or the critical focus. I always try to zone focus – F4 or maybe a stop either side and set the distance to about 3m. It is alas a bit hit and hope, especially if I shoot from the hip or the 1-pack that protects my hidden 6-pack. Some are passable and here are today’s survivors.



The Abacus

The Abacus

The Reader

The Reader

A Drama in Three Acts?

A Drama in Three Acts?



Animal Crackers

I was out again today playing with 2 cameras. Warming up for Cambodia. Wandering around I found some new wall art on the walls of the vet’s surgery. He has just added a spa for the small animals of Sai Kung and here are some wonderful ‘adverts’. Unfortunately they are in a narrow alley, not on the front of the building. This gave me perspective issues with the 35mm lens but I hope you will forgive them.Cattery


ScrubdogI also found a slightly larger animal out on my walk.LoadofbullAnd there were a few other odds and ends that caught my eye. Cambridge for example!Cambridge And the Chinese chess playersChinese-chess Ciggy time for the girlsciggytime A derelict houseDerelict The local viewSKTownX100s And Uncle Mak still going strong at 96-ish.UncleMak Another run down wall scene to finish up with.WallX100sSome of these were shot with the new X100s and some with the Noctilux 0.95 on an M9. Not really a fair comparison. The Nocti retails in B&H for a knee-trembling US$11,000 minus 5 bucks. Mine was a birthday gift 3 years ago from Mrs. Ha (funded from the joint account I suspect). That’s without the body!!!! The X100s on the other hand is a comparatively miserly US$1,300. All in. Both cameras are going to Cambodia with me.

Apart from that I was extremely unhappy at denting the rear bumper on my car. I was carefully parking between a pillar and another vehicle when I heard a nasty crunch. It transpired that there were metal pipes jutting out next to the pillar. I couldn’t see them in any mirror as they were too low. The parking sensors also missed them because they were low. Result – one dent. Not too bad but frustrating. I am slowly coming to detest my Q5. The side mirrors are very odd. When you reverse the left one angles down so you can see the ground as you reverse – curbs, obstacles, yellow lines, they are all visible. The Right hand one does not. And of course the pipe was on my right hand side.  You can put the left mirror back up again by moving a button and you need to do so. If you don’t you get a bizarre optical perspective of how you are aligned. It means you have to make the switch as you reverse. Whoever thought of that? If you want to see downwards with the right hand mirror you can position it to do so but then you can’t see the road behind you. Rücksprung durch Technik as we say in Sai Kung. It is going in to be serviced this week ad the laundry list of warranty fixes includes rattles, pulling to the left when braking, sticky petrol tank cover (the Esso guys have given up trying to open it – I have to do it myself now) and wind noise with the windows closed. Never again. I’ll have my Lexus back please. Roll on Thursday and Cambodia.

Oh and if you are interested, Benjamin is doing really well, flying short distances and should fledge fully tomorrow I would guess. He’s a tough old bird, young Benjy.


The agony and the ecstasy

Its been an odd sort of week. I bought a second hand laptop to take with me to Antarctica and that resolved my back up conundrum. I saw some people I hadn’t seen in ages and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. I even started a new project as part of my part time work. All to the good. And yet I still feel restless. Maybe it is the constant flow of money leaving the bank and very little going in.  A stock market that resolutely refuses to bounce always irks me. Strangely I am not afraid of volatility but it would be nice to see some respite. I did get out with my camera on Friday evening while Mrs. Ha was playing mahjong but there was nothing to write home about.

Nevertheless as that is all I have to offer and my good humour has gone astray, here are a few shots from my wanderings.

A typical dai pai dong

Breaking up for the evening

Lonely this Christmas (no Elvis)

Loyal Dining



These are all shot on a Leica M9 using the Noctilux 50mm wide open at F0.95 and at ISO800 – so lots of noise – and very shallow DoF. No flash. I don’t like flash for street photography. The processing is using some film replicating software and I have to say I quite like it but I am still experimenting. Not 100% sold on it yet.

Have a good week.