Archive for May, 2009

30
May
09

New SSD boot drive

I just installed a new boot drive in my Mac Pro, a OCZ Vertex 120MB SSD drive.

Oh boy how that made a difference. The computer just became so snappy now. Startup, login and application startup is so much faster, and I don’t have to listen to that harddisk sound all the time. I still have ordinary drives for my image files and all the other data I store, as well as for the TimeMachine drives, but the system and applications are on the SSD drive. Below is a table of different operations using the new and the old drive. And by the way, the old boot drive was the standard 320GB drive that came with the computer. It’s a Western Digital 7200rpm drive.

Operation WD 320GB OCZ 120GB
Start from pressing button to the login dialog show up 38sec 25sec
From entering password until the desktop is completed 8sec 3sec
Launch Photoshop 18sec 5sec
Launch Firefox 4sec 1sec
Launch Safari 2sec <1sec
Launch LightRoom 15sec 9sec
Launch iTunes 6sec 2sec
Launch Mail 4sec 1sec

This is not a very accurate or scientific test. I only did it once for each drive, and it is kind of difficult to determine when some operations are finished, but it gives an indication of how it went.

The subjective impression is that things suddenly happens instantly. The icons in the dock hardly gets to bounce when an application is launched. All this joy is of course a result of the close to zero access time on these disks. There is no speedup on cpu intensive operations, like LightRoom development operations or Photoshop work, but all the small daily tasks suddenly became much more enjoyable.

Just a note on the OCZ drive. The Vertix has got some very good reviews, but don’t mix it up with the Apex model. Even if the Apex drive seems to give faster read and write speed, the controller circuit does not handle large amounts of small files very well. The performance drop in such cases are dramatic. The Vertex has a different controller with a cache, which handles this very well.

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29
May
09

twitter ??

well, Ive been looking at it for a while, trying to get what it’s all about, and I finally decided to give it a go. I’m not sure if it’s my cup of tea, but why not try it out.

29
May
09

Pentax nostalgia

My first SLR way back when, was a Pentax. I think it was a Pentax P30n. Then I hit the mark when I got hold af a Pentax LX and a MX along with a 100mm f/2.8 Macro and 35mm f/2.8. I was completely sold. I also owned a couple of autofocus models. First the SF7, which was crap, then the Mz5 which was a really nice camera. Before I sold out, the Mz5 was the companion camera for the LX. It had a traditional shutter wheel, and control ergonomics that felt much like the LX.

The LX was the nicest (is that a word??) camera I’ve ever owned and used. It was small and fairly light. It had moderate weather sealing, and very robust. The auto exposure was very unique, used only by Pentax and Olympus, with TTL reading for ordinary exposures as well as flash. The meter measured the light that reflected off the film during exposure, and closed the shutter when it was enough. Really good for low light shots. It also had a very precise film advance mechanism that enabled you wo rewind to a previous shot on the roll and do a second exposure. On lots of other cameras you could see the spacing between the frames vary, but not on the LX. The handeling was excellent, and the controls was very traditional. It was a camera I could use very fast. Unfortunately I sold it off during my student days. I needed the money to buy into a sailplane (yes, a real plane you sit in and fly, but without an engine).

When I started my quest into digital photography, I instinctively headed over to the Pentax shelves, but at the time it seemed like Pentax had wandered into the dark age with both their dSLRs and their lenses. I went for Canon instead. My Canon gear have seen a lot of use. The 5D is a work horse that produces really nice images, and the lenses are stellar, which shouldn’t come as a surprise as I went for L-glass. But there are some issues. As much as I want to like it, the ergonomics of the knobs and buttons are not quite fit for me. I just can’t get used to it. Also, the gear is very bulky. The lenses, apart from being big and heavy, has only one slight disadvantage. The multicoating is not as good as Pentax SMC. Even the old glass I used to have behaved better when pointed at the sun than the expensive modern Canon glass I own.

Oh, and the viewfinders; The Canon 5D has a very good reputation for a big and bright viewfinder these days. A couple of years back, I found my old Pentax Mz5, which I didn’t sell for some reason, and I was shocked when I looked through it. the Mz5 is a very small camera, smaller than all of todays “small” dSLRs, more like the Panasonic G1. The viewfinder, on the other hand was way bigger and brighter than the Canon 5D. I had a comparable lens on it, a 28-70 f/4 vs. EF24-105 f/4. The prism house was so much smaller to look at than on the Canon, and Pentax also managed to squeeze in a pop up flash as well. But the view …… aaah .. somthing to kill for. And worth mentioning, this was the low end model at the time. I had about the same viewfinder experience when I looked through a Canon 1Ds mkIII the other day, but this camera was also equipped with the 85mm f/1.2 lens.

Well, a couple of years has passed by, and Pentax has found their way back into the sun. The lens lineup is better than ever, and the newly announced K7 seems like a real killer. I’m going to be first in line to try it out when it hit the stores this summer. The K7 with its weather sealing, small size and 100% viewfinder. As much as I like my Canon lenses, I will definitely consider the K7 when it comes. Combine it with a 16-50mm f/2.8 and a 50-135mm/f2.8, it should be a good replacement for my Canon gear. Add the 55mm f1.4 and the 21mm as well, and it may well be a killer kit.

Good thing the camera isn’t in the stores yet so I’m forced to think it through.

If I’m going down that path, maybe I should start with the K7 and only the two mentioned primes. It could be healthy for my photography.

28
May
09

So far, so good

So far, everything goes remarkably well in out little family. Jonas is eating well and sleeps throught the night (except for a couple of feedings), so we get a fair amount of rest. While I certainly could have blogged more, I have pulled back on purpose to focus more on family these first weeks, but I miss writing, so I think I will start again. Probably not very frequent, but at least some.

Except for a fair amount of baby shots, there hasn’t been that much photography lately. I have managed to sneak out a couple of nights, but I haven’t found the inspiration to shoot. The mood has been more to sit down pondering.

Anyway, I’m back on the blog.




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