Last friday I met up with Eunice (omg I KNOW RIGHT) like finally!
Eunice is my advisor/mentor/bestfriend/elder sister, I love her so much. 🙂 We went to the Media preview of ‘Say Chiizu’ together followed by htht at Coasta Coffee.
I’ll talk about our meetup another time since today’s focus is not on us!
Say Chiizu’s famous cheese is made with specially imported Japanese milk, thus resulting in a deliciously premium flavour. It is then mixed with a blend of fresh cheeses such as mozzarella to create the optimum texture for that unmistakable ‘cheese puff’, while staying true to the brand’s emphasis on using ingredients with no addictives or preservatives.
The toast comes in 3 flavours currently and they are Charcoal, Chocolate and Original, each priced at an affordable $3.80.
We tried the original and charcoal toast and look! Check out the cheese!
It is so stretchy!
Even Eunice decided to play with the cheese too!
If you are a cheese and toast lover you really have to try this! This will definitely satisfy your cravings!
The official opening of the 313 Somerset outlet is on 16th January and there is a 1 for 1 promo on the day itself!
Now you may think this hotel does not look like much from the outside, expecially when compared to the other spanking new buildings popping up in Singapore over the years. But you’re in for a surprise dear friends.
We stayed a night in one of their Courtyard Club Room. We dropped our luggage in the room and head straight to the Executive Lounge for coffee. The access to the Executive Lounge is included in the room price, where complimentary breakfast and evening cocktails are served.
I think this is a great incentive, looking as to how atas (means: high class) this lounge look and feels. A staff attended to us as soon as we opened the door, and apologized that there wasn’t any food available at that time. We came just before evening cocktail so they were still preparing in the kitchen. Then she made us our coffee like a barista. I feel like a boss in the lounge.
The lounge is furnished with modern designer furniture makes us feel like we’re in a hipster cafe.
We sat for half an hour till the kitchen laid out a spread of complimentary refreshments. To be honest, the spread is good enough to serve as our dinner, an atas dinner at that.
Different types of cheeses too atas for me to recognize.
Cheese cake canapes
The satay was really good! The dumplings so-so.
I love the sweet potato sticks, croquette taste like.. croquettes..
They also serve a limited selection of alcoholic drinks.
I think getting one of the Club Rooms at Furama is great value because they give you access to the Executive Lounge. We can basically spend the whole day lazing in the lounge and waiting for food to be served.
After the lounge, we went back into our room and started really exploring every corner of it.
Claire thought the natural light was great for touching up her make up and a selfie.
The courtyard of our courtyard room. Well if you’re looking for absolute privacy then you can stay under the table. Because this area is open air, only a few vines to serve as a ‘roof’. This also mean that if it rains, which is like a daily affair in tropical Singapore, you’ll be drenched, unless you really hide under the table. Other guests who stay on higher floors will also be able to see you, if they choose to spy on you, when you sit in the courtyard. I don’t really care that much though, just chill.
The courtyard also has a zen pond full of water hyacinths, the sound of flowing water from the pseudo bamboo water outlet is calming, to some degree.
There’s a large bathtub in the ensuite bathroom.
Here’s an overview of the room. Its got all you’ll ever need for a short stay in a hotel, and a huge bed with a super large duvet. Now I won’t have to worry about Claire stealing that blanket away from me because its just too big. Comfort level 5/5.
All Courtyard rooms also has direct access to the pool. And there will always be a few giant floats in the pool for guests to play with. Here you see the one-winged flamingo, the left wing is gone, unfortunately. There’s also a dolphin. The floats were a big draw to the kiddos.
Here’s the door from the room to the pool. Cool right? There’s also a water slide playground in this area, but because its too crowded with kids up there so we didn’t manage to take a nice pic. Just FYI so you couples with kids can bring them there for a fun day.
Well we don’t have all day, because we are going to have our dinner at The Square @ Furama! Its a buffet restaurant and we are going to stuff ourselves silly there!
Once we’re shown to our table, we headed straight to the food! Please enjoy the following photos.
Dory fillet with sun-dried tomatoes i think…
Might be congee with a nice spread of condiments.
Sashimi and raw seafood!
Assorted sushi, and that’s me with that huge lump of wasabi.
They even provided Nanyang style kopi and teh. Not expensive but a nice thought nonetheless, I love it!
And of course, coffee and tea for the ang mo guests.
After we’re nicely stuffed, we took a cab to Orchard hoping to soak in the Christmas vibe. Bought ourselves Thai Milk Tea and entertained ourselves by teasing each other. That’s what we do everyday anyways. Nothing special here. LOL.
Thus ends the night.
Good Morning Folks!
Here’s day 2, well there’s nothing much to talk about for Day 2s of a typical staycation right? It’ll just be waking up, going for breakfast buffet, then prepare to leave the premise. Its the same thing with us, only that we requested for late check out and the hotel allowed it. Win.
We, of course, woke up late and nearly missed breakfast. That explains why our photos of the buffet breakfast at The Square @ Furama looks kinda pathetic. I’m 100% sure it looks darn awesome when they started the breakfast session, its our fault for being late.
Well here goes:
This dish is bacon, not the bread. I think they include a layer of bread to absorb the excess grease. Thoughful!
DIY noodle station.
I can never resist prata with curry, so I filled half my plate with it.
After breakfast, we still have plenty of time before we check out, so we went exploring again. The Gym is quite well equiped, but its quite small though. Laundry is expensive in my opinion, I think that’s the standard price though.
After that we just stayed in the room and watched a movie before having to leave, finally.
I must say, this Waterfall Lounge near the main lobby where they have a bar and an impressive artificial waterfall outside. We could’ve spend all day sitting here staring at the waterfall. I know I could. Next time, maybe.
And so that’s the end of ourstaycation. Its about 3 or 4pm in the afternoon at that time, Furama Riverfront is a great choice IMO. Its great value covering many grounds, so much so that we feel we actually didn’t have to leave the hotel at all during our stay. Maybe just stock up on your favourite snacks before coming and just stay in your room all day. When you start to feel claustrophobic, drop by the Executive Lounge (provided you have the access) or chill at the Waterfall Lounge. We were told that there’s another restaurant here that’s quite popular: Kintamani Indonesian Restaurant. Its usually fully booked on weekends. Sounds cool.
If you ask me, when the going gets tough and you feel like you can’t go on, just book a stay at Furama Riverfront and chill your stress away!
From now till 31 April 2018, you can book your stay and enjoy 25% off Flexi for Executive Club & Courtyard Club and 10% off FuramaKids Package – Family & Theme Room when you use the promo code: claireaudreylim!! You can make the booking via this link – https://goo.gl/Bpgrq2 – definitely a good steal!!
I’m sorry I don’t mean to brag, its just that I love this country so much I’m spending my savings to boost their economy. Its really bad for me financially, but I’m still willing to do it just so that I can be there and experience living (temporarily) in Japan. I kinda feel its worth it.
ARRIVAL AT KIX
From Kansai International Airport, we were in a bit of a rush to save as much time as possible. So we went and buy a few travel passes that we’ll use in the coming days.
For today, we bought the YOKOSO! Osaka Pass that covers for the Limited Express Rap:t train by Nankai Railway straight to Namba station. I really must say, Osaka’s public transport is seriously confusing, they have a few stations named similarly. And they are written in hiragana なんば on the signages in the stations, but officially its in kanji 難波. Its easier for me to read the kanji because its actually Chinese characters so it made sense to me, but when you give me katakana or hiragana, even though the suppressed otaku in me read enough of them to know a few characters, I’m really far from being fluent in them. So. I’m lost.
But luckily I already studied the maps enough to know where we should go, as with any other trips we went to, so I managed to get ourselves to our hotel. I believe Claire will talk about the hotel more. As for me, I’ll talk about the sights and maybe about the places we went and any issues we encountered along the way.
So after we drop our luggage for safekeeping, we head straight to Osaka Castle. There are a number a ways to go there that I found via the internet, that’s why I got a little confused here. The danger of the internet, too much information, so you either sieve out the useful one or get lost in the sea of words.
OSAKA CASTLE AND THE WALK TO THE CASTLE GROUNDS
I decided to head to Temmabashi 天満橋駅, if you’re a Japanophile like myself, you’ll probably notice that the romanji they use here in Osaka is a bit different than in Tokyo. In Tokyo, 天満橋 will probably be written as Tenmabashi instead. Not sure why, never found out either.
The underground networks that expand out from the various stations are maze-like. Both Claire and I keep having trouble reading the signage and getting ourselves to the right exit. So we finally got out to ground level and we see the mirrored sky. Its almost evening-like, but its only 2pm, what the heck.
2pm in Singapore is still freaking hot and the sun won’t show any sign of relenting till like 4-5pm.. But then this means its great lighting for photography. So because this is like the first location of the trip, we got excited and went trigger happy and took lots of pictures of the nearby ginko trees. wasted like half an hour on the overhead pedestrian bridge. laughs.
Then another 15mins circling the outer moat of the castle from its West side towards the South before we see a large stone bridge full of people, Google told me its the Otemon. Walking in we see a high wall made of GIGANTIC ROCKS. I think they are like minibus-sized solid rocks. Makes us wonder how the craftsmen cut and shifted them into place.
We then reach this large path, the entrance to the Nishinomaru Park. But there’s a fee to enter so we skipped it.
And then we see food stalls.
This giant pork skewer is the best thing we had for a while now. Actual hot food, but it cools really quickly in this weather… I wanted to have beer too but because this is a tourist attraction so the food here was really overpriced. So we had.. erm.. ice cream instead. LOL It was great, but its also very very cold.
We basically stand where the sun shines, because all the shades were too chilly. Pardon us coming from the equator living in hot and humid tropical climate. The castle came into view and we hurry towards it.
We need to buy tickets to enter, duh. It costs us 600 yen per person but I got a 10% discount after showing the receptionist our travel pass for today.
Inside the castle, the first few floors were blueprints of the castle and how its being built. Photography is proihibited on the first 2-3 floors, the security will stop you if you try. We have limited interest in all the exhibits and after queuing for so long, we just wanna go straight up to the viewing deck. We got up and went out, the chilly autumn wind greeted us before the awesome view all around the castle, watching the hordes of tourists like ants on the ground.
So after the castle we join the ants on the ground and took more photos like this.
Its only 4pm and the sun is already setting. Google tells me the sun sets around 1710hrs everyday. That’s a bummer. We walk around the area and took like 50 pictures but for me, only these inspires me. So we found a Lawson convenience store, we of course went in and waste our money on instant food and coffee. But hey, the 24hrs convenience stores in this country must be the best in the world IMO. They sell cooked food that actually taste good everywhere and as long as you have like 500 yen, you can have a feast. A simple one though, at that price. Can’t deny this place is expensive.
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS JAPAN
Night came and we went wandering around lost in the maze that is the public transport network. We walked to Morinomiya Station 森ノ宮駅 and took the Chuo Line to Kujo station 九条駅, which I thought we can change to another line that goes to Nishikujo station 西九条駅 where we can then change to the line that will bring us to USJ. Complicated, yeah? But it only gets worse…
It turns out that the line that links Kujo to Nishikujo was owned by a different railway company, that means we have to ‘tap out’ and ‘tap in’ to go to Nishikujo, and do the same again to go to USJ. That way, we would have to pay a fee each time we ‘tap out’ and ‘tap in’. No go.
In Osaka, there are like 7 private train companies plus JR. And to change lines you’ll have to exit the current line and pay to enter the other line. I find the most convenient line is actually the JR Osaka Loop Line, but all the passes available here does not cover JR lines… So.. It gets really confusing when we’re trying to save money by sticking to a few train companies that our rail pass covers…
So after some hiccups trying to find the right rail line to ride on… We finally arrived at USJ! But don’t get too excited here, we didn’t go in, we just took a picture at the door because we feel like it, deal with it.
This is also where we had our first MOS burger meal outside of Singapore. We eat a lot of MOS burger in recent years and I love its MOS Cheese. But over here in Japan, their menu is different of course. And they even sell beer! Asahi draft beer! The best tasting beer and the only beer Claire drinks! I love it! So we had one with our Burger meal.
SHINSAIBASHI STATION – MIDOSUJI
After that, we wanted to go back to the hotel and rest because we intend to wake up at 5am tomorrow morning. But as we were riding the train and I was reviewing our itinerary, I realized we won’t have time to look for Luke’s Lobster. So when the train pulls up at Shinsaibashi, the nearest station to the Luke’s Lobster outlet in.. erm.. Shinsaibashi.. I dragged a sleepy Claire out.
We were, of course, first greeted by the chilly winds of Autumn. Before our eyes gets to feast on the light show along Midosuji. The streets were lined with neat rolls of ginko trees with bright yellow leaves of autumn.
Check out Claire’s face, she looked like the lady in the billboard right? That blurcock look. LOL!
We then found Luke’s Lobster and we got ourselves a Lobster Roll to share. It looks tiny and it cost us about S$13 for it… But dang.. The taste of liquid butter on a generous serving of lobster meat is PRICELESS!! Go try it people, when you chance upon Luke’s Lobster anywhere, no matter the queue, just join in and waste your time! Its worth it!
Then we decided to just walk to Dotonburi, where all the colourful billboards are. Asahi Super Dry, the best beer in the world (IMO).
And the iconic ‘Glico Man’ is here too. Everyone is posing in front of it trying to get a nice shot. To be honest, the boards are so bright, its really tough exposing Claire’s face with all those backlighting. But a bit of post-processing did the job for me.
Dotonburi is too touristy in my opinion, and we didn’t really explore that much because we were really full and our legs were tired.. But worry not friends, we will be revisiting it properly in Day 2 also.
Here are some products I want to share for December and I know I haven’t been very consistent but I promised going forward I will ensure that I share on a monthly basis.
Do watch my video here otherwise you can read the below 🙂 I also talked about some of my resolutions for 2018. Not in full details though. For full details please refer to here.
The first product is the ISA KNOX cushion foundation which was sent to me and I really like it because it’s non oily and has really good coverage. I am using shade 23 and it suits my skin tone really well. For you guys who have fair but also dull skin, this is the right cushion for you.
The 2nd product is the Hydro Cushion Blush from Thefaceshop, I went to check and if I am not wrong, it is around $22.90 for one. I think it is a little costly for a blush but I like that the orange shade is very natural and the product is very lasting too.
The 3rd product is the Supernova Eyeshadow from Colourpop in shade Firecrackle. Even though a little sticky I still love how the plum shade brings out my eyes, and do I need to mention about the sparkle 😀 It is about $6 usd or lesser so this is definitely a good buy!
The 4th product is this essence mist from Altopalm the real barrier range. It is a spray on hence very easy to use and other than that it is moisturizing as well.
The 5th product is the magic snow sun stick from Aprilskin. I really love the packaging it is damn cute and unique!! I have never seen a roll on sunblock before! And the product has a spf of 50 which is amazing! I do not really like the smell but overall it is still okay.
And as for the last product? It is a lipstick obviously. There will always be a lipstick in my monthly favourites! I got this from 3CE and even though it can be a little dry I really love this shade!Yes #114 rows.
So here you go my favourites for December! Can’t wait to share more for January. hehe
Hello people! Time flies isnt it! Once again its the end of another year and a start of a brand new year.
2017 had been a blast. I have worked with brands that I have never thought that I would ever worked with before and I have travelled quite alot this year too.
I went to Penang and JB in January, Taiwan in February, Cameron Highlands in March, Perth in May, Tokyo in June, Osaka and Kyoto in November and Montigo Resorts Batam in November. Quite crazy isn’t it!
Recently my colleague asked if my husband is very rich because she is quite surprised why I am able to travel so frequently when I’m already married. Actually I was quite upset because one thing that I hate the most is that people think that I’m using my husband’s money to travel. In case you are wondering, I am not.
I am quite against the idea of using someone else’s money to travel, (even if the person is my husband) because I am also working and earning money myself, so why would I need someone else to support my travels?
I am glad my grandmother brought me up well, I think I would have been another person if not for her. I also paid for my own poly and university education fees which sums up to a total of $30k so I don’t see why I can’t pay to travel.
Maybe everyone has different thinking but I strongly feel that if you want to travel the world, you should use your own money to do that. I’m lucky Simon likes to travel too. If he doesn’t like to, I would save my own money and go solo on my own, for real. If you have a boyfriend or a husband, that doesn’t mean he has to pay for your every single shit.
Sorry but I am quite a independent person, especially when it comes to money I draw a very obvious line. If I want something I pay for myself, I don’t go to my husband and say please can you buy me a chanel bag or a ticket to europe please? Nah that’s not me.
And oh another thing, alot of people actually think that I don’t save money at all!!! Only friends that are close enough know how much I save and I don’t really want to go into this la.. As long as I know I got save can already. :p I can only say that my situation is different from you.
Anyway rants aside, I am really grateful for everything that has happened in 2017. Even though I don’t have a official religion because I am a Omnist, I really want to thank God for granting me the wishes that I have prayed for when I was young.
Do you remember what you wish for when you were younger? So many things I want to be, to achieve, to provide when I get older. Recently I suddenly remember the goals I set for myself during my teenage years. I remember I want to xxx before 25, xxx before 30 and xxx before 45.
This year is a special year for me because I have met the goals I set and I am really happy. The last one would be the one before 45 and I am working hard towards it. 😀
I hated my life when I was young, but I’m really happy with the things I have now. I have a house, a wonderful husband, a stable job, savings, a sideline and the ability to have fun and travel. Sometimes I still want more but they are not that important, most importantly is that my family is healthy and happy.
So I am really really really grateful for all of these and I will never take these for granted.
I am also super thankful for all the jobs and opportunities in 2017. I have accepted at least 45 ‘p’ campaigns for this year and it is the highest number of jobs for me so far. I feel the happiest when clients or PRs told me I am very nice to work with and that I am very hardworking. I am really happy when I hear these comments because I know that my hard work and insufficient sleep did not go to waste. :’)
For 2018, there are a few things I want to do.
To bake and cook more. I still remember those days when I bake banana cakes and sell them just for fun. Baking and cooking were so fun, I always have that sense of satisfaction whenever I finished the dishes and when people looked at me and say ‘wow this is good!’
To stay away from crazy and toxic people
To go to CPF and readjust our repayment amount. 🙂 After close to 2 years, there were a few changes so now we can repay more. I can’t wait to finish this, I think after adjusting we are left with 14-15years? And if you adjust every year, the term will get shorter too. I think we can finish this before I turn 40? Thank god I apply for this flat when I was still a student!!
Learn to say No. This can be quite difficult but recently I’ve start to say alot of Nos.
To publish one video a week!
Cut down on carbs because I have been eating alot of cakes in 2017 :O
Cut down on traveling The reason why I want to cut down is because I start to feel that I am starting to get a little excessive when it comes to traveling. I mean normal people travel once or twice a year right but mine is like an addiction whereby I want to step out of the country every 2-3 months. As I grow older I realize that this is unhealthy and I suddenly remember how I used to be able to travel only twice or thrice a year.
Frequent traveling makes me hate working and makes me really tired as well. I don’t think this is feasible in the long run. And I think I will appreciate travelling a little bit more if I start to travel lesser. I am starting to take this for granted.
Another new beginning. :p
So far I have only confirmed 2 trips in Feb and March and I don’t intend to travel anymore until November/December. I can do this! Talking about the trip in November, YES I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED I CAN’T WAIT. It’s going to be our first time!
Lastly I want to thank you my lovely readers and followers for following my blog and IG for so many years. I really appreciate your support. <3 Let’s all work hard in 2018 and I wish you all the best in whatever you do!
Now I am going to end my post and continue writing my posts for the other topics. It’s going to be a busy start for the year and I am already excited. 😀
Welcome back to Part 2 of the post! Today I’m going to talk about the Common Man Coffee Roasters!
Before that, watch the video of our hotel room tour if you haven’t yet. 🙂
So after checked in, take photos and what not, we went to Common Man Coffee Roasters for lunch!
We wanted to visit this cafe since forever and it was awesome that our hotel was so near to this great coffee place!
Here’s the menu for your reference!
The beautiful and relaxing interior!
I think you can go up to the second floor too? I didn’t..
I took more photos as I was testing out my new camera, hehe.
Here’s my strong mocha.
and Simon’s usual flat white!
We shared a burger because we are not sure what we will eat later. 😛
We ordered the Common Man Burger Grilled wagyu beef patty, provolone, sweet onion jam, crisp lettuce and house-made pickle on fluffy brioche bun, served with fries!
You should order this if you visit! It’s damn awesome! Almost ordered another serving of this! The patty was so juicy and good!
After this we went to Suntec City!
Went to 2wo at Suntec and this place feels alot like Miniso and Daiso!
We tried the sparkling Mango drink and it tasted really funny and weird.
After Suntec City, I got tired so we head back to the hotel and realized that I forgot to bring my makeup remover hence we went to 7-11 to get expensive remover wipes.
So fast forward to breakfast at M Social the next day! I really love hotel breakfast buffet! I’m always looking forward to it!
There were my usual favourites like croissants, sausages and scrambled eggs! The croissants here were really good by the way!
Check out the fancy table!
I really like the vibe of this place.
Overall it was an awesome stay and I will definitely go back again with my friends! I think I booked the loft room for about $200+ which was a great deal considering the fact that breakfast was provided!
Interesting utensils too!
And further more I really love loft room. I hope to own a loft apartment next time, will work towards this goal. 🙂
Good things must share, so now I’m telling you all about this Unlimited Data Tourist prepaid cards in Taiwan! How about that? IG story anywhere you go in a foreign country, check Google Map on where to go next and update your FB in real time!
The cards were offered by Taiwanese telecommunications company Far EasTone
Telecommunications. Far EasTone was ranked no. 1 in terms of network coverage in all of
Taiwan! And because they also own the most number of high speed cell towers, they also
offer the best network speed in Taiwan.
Isn’t this the best? Seamless high speed data connections directly with the local network, you won’t experience any frustrations of dropped connections or what not while using their sim card!
Base on the quality of their data service, they have a clear advantage when comparing with the competitions. Even if they offer same unlimited data for the same price point.
Tourist Prepaid Card（FET Taoyuan airport store only）
Pricing are as follows:
As you can see, no matter you’re going for a short trip or an extended one, there will always be a card that suits your needs!
Like all sim card registrations, you’ll probably need to show them your passport and/or boarding pass to sign up for this tourist sim card. Above is a guide to set up your phone to connect to Far EasTone’s network and start surfing!
You can find them at Taoyuan Intl Airport Terminal 1and 2, below is a simple graphical map if it helps you visualize better.
Visit their website here for more information! Visit Taiwan with ease by signing up there and then!
Local call ：02-449-5888/449-5123；Toll Free：0800-058885 Pay line：0936-000-777
Now its time for a small giveaway! If you’re going or planning on going to Taiwan soon, FarEasTone is giving you one day FREE unlimited data to your existing Far EasTone Overseas Visitor Sim Card!!
Simply dial 777 after getting your sim card, key in the pin code I will be sharing with you and you get to add one more day to your unlimited data plan! That’s great value!
Now, to be one of the 10 people who will get the pin code from me, you just need to follow me on instagram at @claireaudreylim, and leave a comment on the below photo telling me why you love taiwan. Good luck!!
For the past one week, I have been using the Neuro Soundwave Therapy to aid in my sleep. You must be wondering what is Neuro Soundwave Therapy? Neuro Soundwave Therapy uses an innovative technology of frequency modulation to help restless minds to relax and get into good nights of sleep.
It has been tested extensively and proven to be effective for people with sleeping problems and stress issues. I am someone who wakes up often at night and am really happy to share that I finally found a solution to this problem.
I’m glad that this works for me. I think if there’s anything bad about this would be that I really hate to wake up in the morning. 😛
If you have the same problem as me and are looking for a remedy for your problem then go check this out at http://bit.ly/ArteSg 🙂
Good morning! Today I’m back here to talk about Lomography’s remake of a classic optics. It is the LC-A Minitar-1 2.8/32 Art Lens aka the lens on a LC-A compact film camera. In case you don’t know what’s a LC-A: click here.
I’ve been longing for a LC-A for a long time now. I wanted one to know why and how it achieved its cult status among Lomographers or the casual street photographer who’s got money to burn via film, if you catch my drift.
But because its a camera that’s achieve cult status, its pricing is steep. Therefore, I just can’t justify the purchase of one, unless I win the lottery, I’ll just ‘whack’ all the lomo-cameras and Pentax 67II etc etc etc. I love film cameras, how they look and how each and everyone of them has their own character, even if you load the same medium into them, they still come out looking drastically different. Its like magic.
And so I heard Lomography made a lens based on the fixed lens on a LC-A, I just have to get one… Well, I can’t justify the purchase yet again.. So I emailed them and ask if its possible for me to loan one for a couple of weeks. They agreed and so here’s the loan copy at my door! Let’s open that tastefully designed box and dig in!
It was a small box, so I expected the lens to be small too. But I was still surprised when I opened it. This is smaller than my ‘small’!! Its like a miniature lens model someone made during their free time. I thought this was a prank!
Then I open the lens cap and saw the optics..
Oh my goodness, its real…
Yeah, let me put aside all that drama. The controls are simplified, the aperture ring has a tiny nub for you to turn. The ring rotates smoothly without any stops, so most of the time, I’ve no idea whatsoever what value I was on unless I check the dial.
Focusing is done with the outter nub and the focus throw is super short. The scale only has 4 values, 0.8m (min), 1.5m, 3m and INF (Infinity). If you need to fine tune your focus, you’ll find it challenging with such a short focus throw. But do know that this lens is build for other purposes rather than shooting in a studio, so most times I’m totally fine with its controls.
The lens is really really tiny, I have to emphasize that point, because I really haven’t seen a lens this small made for full frame cameras..
See how it measure up with my Voigtlander Super Wide Heliar 4.5/15 III and Zeiss Batis 2/25? Both lenses were not really big compared to those DSLR zoom lenses, but the Minitar-1 looks like a miniature abomination borne out of the other 2 lenses…well I meant it in a good way.
Its made of mostly metal and yet weighs next to nothing. I couldn’t find any info about its weight, but I think it hardly matters right? On my A7II, I think my M-mount adapter is bigger and weights more than this lens..
One thing I don’t like would be the metal screw-on lens cap. For one, its really small. Like a local 50 cents coin, and the screwing-on part is like what-the-heck? Try screwing a coin onto the lens, I bet you 8/10 times you’ll drop it. So I just kept the lens cap at home and go out with the lens naked all the time, like a true exhibitionist lens.
Focal Length 32mm
Aperture f/2.8 – f/22
Lens Mount Leica M-mount
M-mount Frame Line Triggering 35/135
M-mount Rangefinder Coupling Yes
Closest Focusing Distance 0.8m
Filter Thread Measurement M22.5×0.5
Construction Multi-coated lens, 5 elements 4 groups
USING IT FOR REAL or REAL WORLD USAGE
So I’ve already told you how this thing works, but for me when I’m out shooting with this lens, I usually just ‘zone focus’. That’s like me putting on a generally middle of the road aperture like f4 or f5.6, then I left the focusing nub on 1.5m or 3m. Then I just go out and snap away.
When you meet situations when you need to dial to INF, just turn it all the way down. Then once you’re done, just turn it back to the focusing distance that you’ll most likely use.
This way it just makes you stop thinking too much about all the technical stuff like what aperture you should be using and whether is it in focus and so on. You just go out and shoot with just your eyes and your instincts. You see a scene, you feel intrigued, you snap, and you move on. Simple. Its blazingly fast and really fun to shoot this way. Too bad for the really loud shutter slap of my A7II, if not I’ll be out in a crowded place and snap at those clueless buggers going about their daily routine.
The Sony A7II doesn’t even have a mirror in it but when I take a picture, Claire could hear it like 3 metres away, in a crowded street. She likes it that way though, so she will know when I take a picture and she can adjust her poses. This loud noise is so not stealthy, I get lots of stares when during our travels when I try to take some street photos thanks to that. I kinda miss my Canon 6D that I sold off, its got a ‘silent shutter’ function that I love. I hope the next A7 budget model will address this issue… the A7r series are too expensive and the file size are too big for a casual hobbyist like myself.
Ok back to the Lomo lens, its got the potential to be the ultimate street shooter’s lens IMO.
While I know this quality thing can be affected by the camera and the setting used, I can’t be bothered to do a scientific study on this topic. So I’m just gonna list my equipment and show the photos I took, you be the judge.
Sony A7II camera – set to ‘A’ mode and ISO between 100 – 3200
Hawk’s Factory M-E mount adapter with close focusing helicoid ver.5
erm, if it matters.. Topo Design Camera Strap with Peak Design Anchor Links
Below are some photos I took over the week with the lens:
Well I like bokeh so I like shooting wide open at f2.8. The thing I noticed is that even at f8, the vignetting is still there. And at f2.8, you can see the obvious lost of sharpness in the corners. But everything in the centre is still really sharp IMO.
I especially like the swirling bokeh effect when the background is really messy as seen on the 5th image.
Overall this lens is not a high-end performer, hence the moniker ‘Art Lens’. That must have been an indication that this is a flawed lens. But to me, the lens isn’t flawed, the ‘flaws’ are its ‘character’. Just as how i loved the soft focusing Zeiss C-Sonnar 1.5/50 lens, I love this Minitar-1 Art Lens already.
Alas, its a loan unit, so I have to part with it real soon. It will definitely be in my shopping list though, when I got the money to burn.
One of the recent saturdays, we decided to travel to the West for shopping and food. We also wanted to get some items for our home and the upcoming holidays!
While we were looking at tablets and drones at Courts, @jurongpoint, the sales person came to us and inform us that there’s a Mall Promotion which we can stand a chance to win a trip to Maldives!
Basically we just need to spend $150* (max. 3 combined same-day receipts) to receive a lucky draw chance *Double spending is required at NTUC FairPrice, FairPrice Xtra and/or its subtenants.
Osaka inspired japanese street!
Also, if you spend $300 in a maximum of 4 combined same-day receipts, you can redeem a free delivery of your purchases to your home! With Christmas and New year coming up, it is so easy to hit the minimum amount required! So what are you waiting for? Go give Jurong Point a visit now!