Stephen's Ramblings on Life,Tech, Photography and other things...

Australia Trip Part 1

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Well if you wonder why this site wasn't updated for sometime, it's because i went to Australia for some R&R. There are a few firsts for this trip.

It's the first time I..
Bought a camera at a duty free because my Ricoh decided to die on me when i reach the Airport
Been to Australia
Ride on Singapore Airlines Ride on the A380
Using my new luggage because my old luggage was missing one key and i refuse to go on a trip with only one luggage key
Rent a car and drove around and many more ...

 The first stop was Sydney. The place we stayed was the Pensione Hotel on George Street, quite a small boutique hotel located quite close to Chinatown. My wife opted for the petite room and this is how small our room looked. To be fair, her friend's room was larger, our room is just "petite". And the window over there looked to a air well and on the other side was another room's window, so not much of a view.

Since Australian shops typically closed early we set off for Paddy's market near our hotel. Paddy's Market is looks something like the Army market in Beach room, lots of small stalls but in a bigger place, they sell every thing from nuts, vegetables, clothes, souvenirs, wigs to remote control helicopters.

A lot of the stalls are run by Asians, lots of Chinese mostly since this is Chinatown, i also saw some Korean stall owners too.


There are quite a few wigs and hair extensions shops here at Paddy's, seems like the trend.

Next we headed to another part of Chinatown which was more Chinese. There is a night market every friday night here, i see lots of different food being sold from bak kua (Chinese BBQ meat) which was quite expensive at $4 per piece, takoyaki, pan cakes, fishballs.

Emperor Cream Puff - Lots of people queueing for this, the best way to describe it would be like fried cream puffs.

Every corner of Chinatown have these Chinese gates with different inscriptions.

Hong Kong's "yu tan" or just spicy fish balls

Tako Yaki anyone? 
There are also a lot of Chinese restaurants here, things like Wanton mee, hot pot can also be found. Just don't expect Singapore prices and portions. The portions are generally big and can cost something like $10 SGD for a bowl of Wanton mee (and that is during their late night promotion).

Kuo Min Tang HQ in Australia?

Funny Things with Toilet Training

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Some funny incidents when Chloe is undergoing toilet training.

Chloe: I am going to wash backside liaoz
Me: Huh ? (Check backside, at first see nothing, then some thing long came out)
Me: Next time must give daddy more notice ah

Chloe: (While coloring at the dinner table) Daddy I wan to pee.
Me: ok
Chloe pees all over even before i got time to go get one

Chloe and Me seating on the sofa. Suddenly i felt something hot on my legs.
Me: Aiya pee on the sofa liaoz
Me: Next time must give daddy notice ah

Chloe sleeping with diapers on with my mum-in-law
Chloe tugs my mum-in-law, "Want shee shee"
MIL: It's ok you are wearing diapers
Chloe can't get back to sleep, flips around and turn and tries to sleep on the front.
Chloe tugs MIL again, "Want shee shee"
MIL: ok ok (takes potty and opens diapers, sees that Chloe pooed), Whao poo poo ah
Chloe nods sits on potty and pees

Apparently she don't like to pee in a dirty diaper

A tribute to my Ricoh GX200

Posted In: , , . By Stephen Lee


My trusty Ricoh GX200 for the last 3 years is dead. I dropped it and the next day and part of the CCD is damage i think, all the images taken with it has some black border on the top.And worse is that i found out about it only when i reached Changi Airport about to set off on my trip to Australia,unfortunately Ricoh did not have a GX300 out (it's been like 3 years) although they do have the GR IV that is due but that's a 28mm fixed focal length lens. So i got the next best thing an Olympus XZ-1 but that is a topic for a later post. But for now a tribute to my GX200 and why i think it's one of the best designed cameras not necessary the best quality but the best designed.
Notice the black semi circle spot at the top of the lcd?

The Ricoh GX200 is one of the better designed cameras out there as  evident by how they keep the same look and feel consistent throughout the G series of cameras from the GR to the GXR.

The only really bad thing i would put it as the ISO performance , it is really quite bad, at ISO 200 noise is becoming and issue and 400 its really quite bad.

But that is the only bad thing and it's a shame that Ricoh didn't make the sensor better as compare with the Panasonic LX3 which came out after the GX200.

The other camera should learn from Ricoh in terms of the camera functionality and design. But of course I am looking at the camera from an enthusiast point of view.

This has gotta be one of the nicest grips that I have found in a compact camera. I have big hands and this camera though a bit small has rubber in the correct areas helping you to grip the camera nicely.

Wide Angle ! All 24mm of it!
It allows lots of self take shots of me and my wife. It was the perfect self take camera, lots of cameras at that time only have like 28mm or 35mm at its widest end. This one has 24mm so no only can you see you and your other half, you can also see a lot of the background too!
Self taken during our honey moon with the Ricoh, great 24mm lens

Custom functions
This is what sets it apart from other cameras of its class, there are 2 function buttons, a rock wheel that can access up to 5 custom menus, and 3 custom function settings that you can save your favourite settings. What i like about the 3 custom function settings is that no only it saves your camera settings, it also saves ur zoom settings! So you can have it set to 35mm or 50mm and it will remember it.

Notice the top left of the lcd, you can programmed those to functions that you use often.

Up to 3 custom settings can be saved, the zoom setting is also saved.

Step Zoom
You can make it zoom in steps according to traiditional focal lengths like 24mm to 28mm to 35mm to 50mm and 72mm. So you will always know what focal length you are shooting at.

The step zoom indicator is on the left of the LCD.

I believe this is one of the very first camera to have an auto-cap for the lens. Nice touch although it also cost quite abit, think it was about 20-30 SGD.

Auto-cap = Never forget your lens cap !

Snap focus
Basically this is like hyper focusing, the camera presets the focus from 2.5m to infinity, great for street shooting. Heard the GRD IV has different step focus settings from 1m on-wards. And you can assigned one of the 2 custom function buttons to do this so you can just turn it on or off with a push of a button. No need for complicated menus.

Sadly its time to move on other cameras and even if Ricoh comes out with a GX300 it probably won't be on my shopping list anytime soon. Goodbye dear friend..

Some shots taken during the Mid Autumn festival at my frinds Jingshun's House, it was just a nite with some good friends and our kids, although most of the time we were actually watching our kids more and the conversations often revolve around our kids and what interesting or funny things they did. We had some mooncake's (mm durian), chinese tea and those little pigs mooncakes (I wonder what's the correct term for those things?).

Chloe grew up really fast, this time last year she was still sitting in a stroller holding a lantern as we walk around my mother-in-law's neighborhood. Look at her now, she is walking on her own and carrying the lantern all by herself. I can understand why people say "Children grow up so fast". Sometimes I feel like I am missing out on her every time I go to work. She has come all the way from a small little baby who can only cry and smile to now someone who can actually express her thoughts and desires (who can also throw a big tantrum if needed).

While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt

Shot with my D7000 and 24mm F2.8.

Casey Jingshun's Daughter
Casey and Chloe
Chloe and Wifey staring incident
Sing Kai's son, Kenneth
Pomelo time!
Fishing together

Hey guys I've started a new blog @, in that blog i will basically post photographs and write about stuff concerning photography (reviews , news and so on). There may be some cross posting between this blog and stephenleephoto especially if I talk about photos and family together.

Add it to ur rss readers!


Developing film again.

By Stephen Lee

Finally manage to develop my 2 rolls of film which have been lying around for at least half a year or more (Most likely more :) ). They are HP5Plus and Trix, develop them both in DDX. Whenever i develop old films you always get a surprise at what you get since you can't remember what's on each roll of film. Anyway for those who are into developing film, TRIX in DDX is fantastic, i did 6 minutes @ 23 C.

haha seen here is her struggling against my sis. Its quite hard to take a picture together with her properly even now. Probably between 6 months to a year old.


Just pass one year old I think, playing around with handphones is one of the things she picked up quite early one. she will pick a handphone up and put it to her ear imitating us, now she can hear the phone ring and run over to pick up the pho ne and sometimes say "Hello". Now she will imitate us especially in talking quite well, she will hear something new and repeat it quite accurately. Like my wife one day say "MY GOD !" and the next thing you know she was saying "MY GOD !" too. Gotta be careful nowadays about how we speak.




She has develop an interest in books, her favorite is a nursery rhymes book and her favorite rhyme in that book in "Humpty Dumpty", when ever we get to the "have a a big fall", she will imitate falling down and make a  "pom" sound like that of hitting the floor. 




This year on August 31st will be the 10th year that me and Wifey got together. She asked me to take leave on Friday (26th Aug) to celebrate our anniversary but she refused to say where only saying that parking will be expensive.

Well the day started off really gloomy with slight drizzling when we left, only when in the car she told me we are going to USS to spend the day.

This is our second time to USS, the first time the Battle Star Galactica Roller coaster was still undergoing testing so we didn't have a chance to try but this time round hopefully the weather clears and we can go try it out. The roller coaster wasn't running when we were there i guess cause of the rain, so we went off and took the other rides that we didn't try or wasn't there when we were last there.

We took the Madagascar kiddy ride, quite fun as the ride was all about the story in the first Madagascar retold in a ride form.

Next we went over to the Shrek section where we took a picture with Puss in Boots and saw the 4D show, the last time Chloe was around with us and Wifey had to leave the place cause Chloe wasn't too keen on staying inside the theater. Wifey was enjoying the experience very much with all the water squirting and the creepy air blowing from your back.

The only character we took a picture with. Puss In Boots!

Next we took the Mummy's Revenge, the indoor roller coaster with an interesting twist, it actually slides backwards at one point. This time somehow we were seated in the front and it is really quite different then when you are seated behind somehow the forces acting on your body seemed much stronger.

Then Wifey spotted the BSG roller coaster running and we made a bee line for it. Haha Wifey very on. We tried the Human one. In short it was quite scary and shiok at the same time, you know the climb up before the drop, the BSG ones instead of slowly climbing up, it accelerates up the slope pretty fast before dropping down. The drop was so long you wonderd when it was going to end, then it was turn after turn and soon it ended, Wifey even commented that it ended abit fast.

After the ride my stomach felt quite weird like everything topsy turvy liaoz. Haha Wifey wanted to immediately go for the next one, but i told her i wasn't feeling too good in the tummy. Think Wifey more brave than me in trying out the roller coaster.

The customary photo at the end of the ride.

The rest of the day was quite peaceful, we had lunch at the Shrek area where we ate wraps and went for the Steven Spielberg special effects show, (It's quite good, must stand on the first row) and the Monster Rock show before calling it a day.

At the cafe near the entrance of USS

Super Mum Award

Super Dad!
I like Choclate Syrup

Wife prefers the Strawberry

More photos at my Flickr account.

Chloe and the Saxaphone

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

The Nikon F Story

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Got this from Invisible Photographer Asia: The Nikon F Story, interesting how the Nikon F was designed and the history of it.

Reminds me of the various Nikons that I had.


The first Nikon camera that I bought. Nice little camera, light body, easy to carry around. Lacking many features in more capable cameras but hey it served me well for a long time. It's the only camera in this list that i sold off.

credits, Wikipedia
FM2 was the second camera I got after seeing the one my friend had. Nice little heavy thing, shutter makes a loud "thud" sound. I still have this camera around. I mostly shot black and white film on this.


credits, Nikon Imaging
The third Nikon that i got, bought it second hand too. Basically bought it because the guy was letting it go quite cheap, think was about 180 with kit lens. Shot black and white on this camera, because i was taking a Black and White course at Safra.


credits, Nikon Imaging
First step into DSLRs, nice camera with a great grip. But compared with my film camera it was abit heavy. Didn't really took out much because of the weight, by the time i got my D7000, it has only seen about close to 8k in shutter count (Which is quite little). 

Mainly because i was still bringing almost even single piece of equipment (tripods, 2-3 lens, cleaning kits, filters...) when i go out. When I choose to just using one lens (and using a SunSniper strap), i realise I begin to enjoy photography more, since i was not worrying about what lenses to use, i was just concentrating on capturing the moment.

credits, Nikon Imaging
Got this recently after having my D70 for 6 years, the first impression was.. whao so many buttons, they have buttons for everything! From selecting AF points to bracketing to shooting options. Much much more than what my D70 has.

Quite impressed with the 3D tracking autofocus, useful for taking pictures of my daughter when she is running around. Still meddling around with the functions, love the dual SD card thing, although it means all my CF cards from my D70 is now rendered useless. Gotta try out that Full HD movie shooting too.

That's all the Nikons that I have .... for now

Chloe and Playgroup (Update!)

Posted In: . By Stephen Lee

Chloe not happy at going to playgroup

Well its the second week liaoz... Chloe still cry when we approach the playgroup place. But now she is better liaoz after the initial crying, once she is inside the classroom she will stop crying.

After class when we picked her up, don't know if she is hungry or what, she see other kids got food from their care takers, she buay paiseh will run up to them and try to eat their stuff. One lady was quite kind gave her a packet of those small little white biscuits, then she happily munch on them.

Cute picture of Chloe in her uniform

Saw one of my St John seniors at the playgroup, his son is enrolled there also. Chloe also dont know why keep wanting to hold his hand and walk, but he didn't want to hold. haha Chloe also again buay paiseh keeping wanting to hold his hand.