Friday, August 31, 2012

The Merdeka Eve

To all fellow Malaysians, Happy 55th Merdeka Day. The country is celebrating its 55th anniversary of independence. 

On this beautiful eve of the celebration, as usual, me and my mates were attacking the streets, and it was more like a mix of relaxing, catching up, eating, drinking, and a little bit of shutter therapy. And while the world is rushing for the next best camera or that newly launched huge lens, I was happily snapping away with a lowly Olympus PEN E-PL1, with an extremely cheap manual focus CCTV lens. Any photographers who walked by me and saw me using that tiny camera, miss-matched to an even tinier lens, might have thought that I was using nothing but just a toy that was not capable of producing anything decent. To a certain extent, I do agree, but hey, for the strangest thing in the world, I actually LOVE using that tiny toy-like CCTV lens. I have no reasons to explain it, but it was such a fun lens to use. And I find myself coming back to it more and more these days. 

All images in this entry were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and CCTV Lens 25mm F1.2

On the floor

Mobile Generation

A Gun

Motorcycle Space

Stranger headshot

Sitting at the bar

Beneath the giant cube

Blow the Horn


Luke Ding trying out his new Nikon 85mm F1.8

Nick Wade with his superb Voigtlander 28mm F2.8 lens. 

Everyone's got a new toy but me !!! No fair. That new external flash. Nice. 

Choon Wee joined us for the night shooting as well. 

Where we had our dinner

Beef Noodles

CHATIME to complete the night

I often find it strange how so many people who have chased for the best of the best photography equipment, spending a fortune, yet at the end of the day they would never be satisfied with what they have, and still yearning for something better. I think there is no finish line, or an end point for the gear lust to stop. The cure? Strip down to basics. Forget all the advancement of technology. Pick up a film camera (no I have not done so). Or if you aren't into film, like myself a digital boy, stay with the simplest setup you can find. Focus on the subjects and shooting techniques to get the shot that you want, instead of wondering which camera to use or what lens could have improve the shot better. Pay attention to your own photography execution and how you bring out the best of your photograph while shooting, regardless of your gear choice. When you get the shot that you wanted, you will be happy knowing that the shot was accomplished by your own hands and vision. It was you in the photograph, it was you who took the photograph, NOT the camera or gear. 

I think the CCTV lens is teaching me a very important lesson. Best photographs are not necessarily produced by the best camera or lens. It is important to challenge oneself, pushing boundaries, and going the distance. Working around the technical flaws of the CCTV lens, and the absence of Autofocus were truly challenging, and helped me appreciate my Olympus gear even more. 

Long weekend started, and that only means one thing. Shutter Therapy marathon begins. I shall be back with MORE photographs. 


  1. Excellent post and examples Robin. I have the ccctv 25 1.2mm lens which I have been using on my original e-p1, I also have the omd. My local camera shop has just had a promotion of the pen mini with the 14-42 and 40-150 lenses, at the bargain price of GB 299 pounds, I thought the camera would be a great combination with the ccctv lens, so of course that was a bargain to hard to resist., it is a perfect small, compact combination.

    1. Thanks George,glad to see another fellow using a CCTV lens. that PEN mini was a great bargain indeed. what a steal!! I would not mind getting one too if I come across similar price here.

  2. Some great photographs Robin.Look forward to the Shutter Therapy Marathon.


  3. Wonderful thoughts Robin and great photos too. Someday I want to visit you and your friends in Maylasia, have a few drinks and take on some shutter therapy. And if you ever come to Seattle, Washington we can do the same here.

    1. Hey Tom,
      thanks for the kind compliments! please do let me.know when you visit Malaysia. would surely be glad to bring you to the usual street hunting grounds, you will see and experice the local culture more than just going to the touristy places.

  4. Got GAS bad..........must stop thinking hahahaha

  5. Wa...Luke and Nick adding new toys.

    1. Yala, no fair, I was the only one using old toys.

  6. Mr Robin,
    Thank you for sharing.Just wanted to ask you Can e620 use cctv lens.I'm interest with cctv lens because I cannot go with expensive lens due budget :)

    1. hi Awang,
      Unfortunately you can't use CCTV lens on any DSLR. The reason why the PEN can use CCTV lens is because the distance between the sensor and back of lens was reduced, due to removal of mirror.

  7. Hy Robin,
    I am realy a fan of your Blog. I even have an E-Pl1 and a 50 f1.4 cctv and the 26 SLR Magic toy lens.
    You'r right on that what you thing abaut the running for more and better Equipment. The most amateurs (just like I am) are looking for new technik and Lenses. An what do they do? Have some Photos from Holyday just like you kan take it with every low-budget Camera. I like your street-shooting, while there are storys an humans behind.
    The cctv-Lenses bring mutch fun and the "unperfectness" is what makes the Photos so characteristic.

    Great blog

    1. Hey Michael,
      Thanks so much for your kind words, but I don't think I deserve a fan !! I am merely a learning photographer, who loves to share my photos and thoughts online, nothing more really.
      The flaws and imperfections are what made the CCTV lens so fun to use, you were right. It gave the photographs certain characteristics, that they were unique on their own.

  8. ...with that, I shall stick to my worthy Canon which I just got, and Im not into film due to inability to check my shots.

    1. Hey Cyril,
      No worries, I am sure you can do wonders with that Canon of yours !! Any camera is a good camera, the most important thing I want to highlight here is that the photographer is the one to make the difference.

  9. Heh Robin, what's the name of that beef noodle place. It looks like the place my dad used to take me. I tried to google it but my dad said it was the wrong one. thanks.

    1. I don't think the place I went to was the on you were looking for. it was a stall in the tood court at lower ground floor of Lot 10 shopping mall.

  10. Hi Mr. Robin,
    i really love your blog, i am a new user of pen.
    I ve bought cctv lens 25 mm f 1.2 on my E-P3 ( after read your blog hehe.. )
    But how to get an infinity sharp picture , like yours (for example : mobile generation ) because mine always blur and bokeh everywhere :( . Thank u so much