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2011 Year of the Metal Rabbit

Mac_Dy_9465In the next few days, about 130 billion Chinese will be celebrating the exit of year of the tiger and the emerging year of the rabbit.

The year of the Tiger was a roller coaster of a ride for many-yes me included and it’s bout time we say bye-bye to the roaring past.

We are now entering into the year of the Rabbit and since this year ends with 1 it is in the Yin metal element. If you are one that’s used to the fast pace in life then the year ot the rabbit will be applying the brakes for you. Just relax and don’t push so much. Go on vacation and sit at a beach front on a comfy lounge chair sipping cocktail. Think in terms of peace and stability, the main traits of the rabbit.

The dragon and lion dances are very common throughout Asian communities during the Chinese New Year holidays. Both do an aggressive dance to the tune of loud drum and cymbals to ward off or evict bad, evil spirits or bad luck.

8555_Mac_Dy_2And 2 phrases that’ll always be useful during the new year season are:

恭喜發財 (pinyin: Gōngxǐ fācái), which loosely translates to “Congratulations and be prosperous”. Often mistakenly assumed to be synonymous with “Happy new year”, its usage dates back several centuries.

年年有餘 (pinyin: Niánnián yǒuyú), a wish for surpluses and bountiful harvests every year, plays on the word yú to also refer to 魚 (meaning fish), making it a catch phrase for fish-based Chinese new year dishes and for paintings or graphics of fish that are hung on walls or presented as gifts.

A happy Chinese new year to all. May good health, peace and prosperity be with you.



Week-Ender #72

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The title of this post is a bit misleading but the lens used to shoot the photos from my walk in Chinatown is a tad old (22 years) and the DSLR is new-EOS 7D. The EF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 II performed way above expectations. The 7D’s iFCL (Focus, Colour and Luminance) Metering Sensor helped to produce stunning photos. They came out sharp, colors beautifully rendered and really surprising that chromatic aberrations were very nicely controlled.

One thing to consider, the 28-70mm on a x1.6 crop sensor of the EOS 7D, 28mm is equivalent to 44.8mm and 70mm to 112mm. The lens just turned into a standard 50mm to a useful zoom. This won’t be such a useful travel lens as the 28mm just isn’t wide enough but for a lens to shoot on a casual day out the weight and range is just perfect.

Another factor to good photos was the great weather. There was a cool breeze and the sun didn’t have the sweaty and sticky qualities associated to walking around in the Binondo/Ongpin area.

All the photos were from RAW files and post processed in Photoshop with a few tweaks. All captured in natural sunlight without any lens filters attached. The slide show is for easier viewing and the gallery below if you would like to see the photos up close.

22 Years Old and Still Counting

Mac_Dy_2470mmNew lens? Old lens? Yes, quite an old lens or vintage-it’s more cool sounding. Got the Canon EF 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 II as a kit lens with my Canon EOS 630 in 1989 around the time the Soviets pulled out of the Soviet-Afghanistan war. Yeah, the Soviets gives up and the Afghans been invaded by others ever since.

Anyway, back to the lens. My old work horse is constructed of 9 groups in 10 elements including an aspherical optical lens making the EF 28-70 II macro capable with a shooting distance of only 15 inches. It’s a great walk about lens that is light (.285 kg or 285 grams), small (at only 3″) and a with metal mount like those of the EF 50mm f/1.8. It also has a focusing distance window making manual focusing easier.

As with old lenses it lacks USM (Ultrasonic Motor) so the lens focuses with a loud whirring sound. The body of the lens does not move in or out during zooming but the front element of the lens does turn, move in and out during focusing (very common with lenses during those days). Thereby attaching any filters useless other than UV’s for protection.

My 28-70 has shot rolls and rolls of negatives-year book photos, family gatherings, small weddings and more than I can count snaps of everyday life of yesteryear.

Since then the USSR has been dissolved to what we know of today as Russia and Afghanistan is still at war. Seems like things don’t change so much. But tomorrow if the weather permits, will be taking this old friend for a walk around the city mounted on the EOS 7D(20th Century Lens & 21st Century DSLR Invades Chinatown).

Sample photos taken just moments ago.


Part of my desk-EOS 7D, EF 28-70mm@70mm, f/4, 1/40, ISO 400


2:30pm outside-EOS 7D, EF 28-70mm@28mm, f/6.3, 1/1600, ISO 125


To everyone, 新年快樂 (xīn nián kuài lè)-a happy new year & 恭喜發財 (gōng xǐ fā cái)– have a prosperous and healthy year of the Tiger.

MacCNY10_8887 FOO

Chinese New Year or Spring Festival is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. It is sometimes called the “Lunar New Year” by English speakers. The festival traditionally begins on the first day of the first month (Chinese: 正月; pinyin: zhēng yuè) in the Chinese calendar and ends on the 15th; this day is called Lantern Festival. Chinese New Year’s Eve is known as chú xī. It literally means “Year-pass Eve”. -Wikipedia



(If you don’t know your Chinese Zodiac sign take a look at this chart for your birth year and corresponding animal sign.)

The year 2010 will be the Year of the Tiger effective from February 12, 2010 up until February 2, 2011. Know your fortune for this year. Take a look at your horoscope based on the 12 Chinese Zodiac signs and its predictions for 2010.

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Featured Posts From the Past:

Total Lunar Eclipse: June 16, 2011

Total Lunar Eclipse: June 16, 2011

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20th Century Lens & 21st Century DSLR Invades Chinatown

20th Century Lens & 21st Century DSLR Invades Chinatown

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Kenko PRO1 Digital S Circular PL Filter

A Maze of People, Buildings and Public Transportation

A Maze of People, Buildings and Public Transportation





Shutter switch assembly: top and bottom view


Mac_3482x Mt Pinatubo Crater Lake


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