Sunday, March 6, 2011

Four point Eight-Seven

Finally the weekend had arrived. We had torrential rains all week but now the tables have turned. On Saturday morning we awoke to sunshine and clear skies. It was early but only 2ºC . I checked the windshields and roadway for frost and there was none so I hoped onto my V-strom and headed for breakfast with the "guys" down to the Flying Swan Motorcycle Cafe. After breakfast I had some errands to run, well . . . not actually errands but some window shopping.


I was very lucky to find a parking spot right outside the entrance at an Asian Mall down in Richmond. I wanted to check out to see some Asus computers. I actually had two Acer netbooks, a first generation one which was over 3+ years old and it finally displayed the dreaded black screen and would not boot up. I have a newer one I purchased before Christmas but I thought it would be better to have a full computer with me when I go away on my motorcycle. Because of the screen resolution of only 1200 x 600 I could not install DPP (Canon .CR2 RAW converter) or do any video editing. I wanted a full computer but netbook size something like an i3 minimum. I thought that i3 was a standard but I found many small laptops of 13.3, 12.1 or 11.6 which stated they were i3 only had processor speeds of 1.33 or something in that range while larger laptops were 2.4 ghz.


Everywhere I went parking was at a premium but with Lady Luck on my side I managed to squeeze into a parking spot labelled "small car" and I had room to spare.


I actually rode to a few more stores and got a headache looking at all the laptops and decided to go for a ride but where to go, which direction to take. I started to head south towards Steveston but midway I diverted and headed out on Westminster Highway towards Queensboro.

With my newly acquired prime lenses my secondary plan was to find some places to take a few photos. I have been having some fun using alternative lenses on my Digital Canon T2i. On Friday, thanks to Craigslist I metup with a seller and purchased a Super Multi Coated Takumar 28mm 3.5 wide angle lens


I mount this on my T2i using an M42 to EF adapter. Metering is by stop down mode in Aperature priority. As I am shooting in bright sun there is no problem focusing at F8 . Currently you will find SMC Takumars to be very desirable for use on EF Canon mounts or on the popular Lumix M43rds cameras. I have ordered two more adapters from China for my LTM M39 lenses and another Y/C: Yashica Contax adapter for my Zeiss 25mm *Distagon.

I am so grateful that my inadvertent purchase of the Canon T2i led me in this direction as I am now able to use my legacy lenses on my Canon body, which includes my Nikon Ai collection.

(Super Takumar: 35mm F3.5)

I now have 4 Pentax manual focus Takumar lenses. The Super lenses have 7 coatings while the SMC: Super Multi Coated have 9 layers of coating. They produce a sharp image and focusing is very smooth which make them very desirable for people using dSLRs for HD video.

(Super Takumar 50mm F1.4)

This 50mm is an effective portrait lens at approx 80mm (1.6x crop factor on APS-c sensor) with shallow DOP.

(Super Multi Coated Takumar: 200mm F4)

With my camera and lenses in my sidecases it felt so great to be out on two wheels and twisting the throttle, I forgot to take any photos during my travels. It felt like Spring and my Thermometer registered a high of 14.9ºC . The sunshine felt so warm. I am glad that winter is nearly over.

Time flies when you are having fun and soon enough 3-1/2 hours have elapsed and time to head home but first to the petrol station to refuel. I like to keep the fuel tank over 50% to minimize condensation problems

(Regular $1.289/ litre = $4.87 / US Gallon)

now this is $4.87 per US Gallon for Regular. If you require higher octane such as our WRX or "Vette we have to use 92 octane minimum, but we economize a little and use
91 octane as the Supreme grade of 94 octane sells for $1.449 / litre ($5.48 /US gallon)


The Supreme plus grade is dispensed from another pump, so for those of you in the USA are very lucky to have such cheap gas that costs under $4.00/ US gallon

Yesterday was Mrs Skoots BD, and our daughter invited us over for dinner and for dessert where was an assortment of cakes and pastries


The pastries come from a local french bakery where we have been customers for decades


I love the chocolate coated cream puffs. Real whipped cream and real chocolate too.


I purchased the M42 SMC Takumar 28mm to use as a prime lens for digital panoramic stitching. I notice from the photog forums that a lot of people complain of having problems stitching their photos because they are using UWA, or WA lenses. If wide angle lenses are skewed from horizontal they create distortion along the horizons by either being concave or convex depending whether your lens is pointed down or up. Imagine that if you point your lens downward your horizon would be curved downward and the overlapping image would also have a downward curve. This makes it a problem to correctly stitch without some ghosting where images overlap. I read somewhere many years ago that the ideal focal length is that which approximates normal vision which happens to be around 44mm but 50mm would also be okay. Early cameras originally had lenses with FL (Focal lengths) around 45mm but for some reason they adopted the 50mm as being standard, which in reality is slightly telephoto. For a crop sensor of 1.6x the 28mm is effectively 44.8mm which is perfect for my use.

(Self portrait, Spanish Banks: lens M42 SMC Takumar 28mm)

(English Bay: lens M42 SMC Takumar 28mm)


  1. First of all, a belated Happy Birthday to Mrs Skoot! The pastries do look wonderful. An impressive collection of prime lenses from a variety of manufactures. And you know how to use them as well.

    Last summer, I spent a lot for gas in Canada and the prices were as high or higher in places like Ross River and Dawson City. I remember paying well over $5 Canadian several times. But you kind of expect it since it's remote and the taxes are high.

    Glad that Spring seems to have finally arrived!


  2. Nice lenses and it sounds like you have a well thought-out plan for your equipment.

    The shock of your fuel prices was soothed with the photos of the cakes and pastries. Happy Birthday to Mrs. Skoot!

    I was just saying to my buddies at breakfast yesterday that I wish we in the US would switch completely to the metric system. My bike takes supreme... ouch!

  3. Hi Bob:
    A belated happy birthday to Yvonne- did you buy her a Street Triple? Guess not, unless you're writing your blog from a hospital bed.

    I'm surprised how much you're paying for premium gas as it's almost identical to NZ. Thought it was hugely cheaper anywhere in North America. The poor old UK gets royally screwed.

    Chao ong, as they say in Vietnam :-)

  4. Bobskoot, a belated Happy Birthday to your better half! That was a lot of two must have quite the sweet tooth!

    I'm sure we'll be nearing the $4 mark for a gallon of gas soon enough.....


    Redleg's Rides

    Colorado Motorcycle Travel Examiner

  5. My coworker has a bill, her shar e of the health insurance for $54,000for surgery.The hospital bills are yet to come and she has good health insurance as a police officer... Thats a lot of expensive gasoline in a country with national health care.But you lot don't beelive us when we tell you exopensive gas and free health care are worth it.

  6. Happy Birthday to Mrs. Skoot! The pastries and cakes looked great. Some quality time with family is even better. :)

    The ride sounded perfect, even if you didn't pull the camera out as much as you would have liked. Sometimes the ride is the most important thing.

    -Steel Cupcake

  7. How do you like the T2i? I've sometimes wondered if Canon has more to offer in their consumer dslrs than Nikon.

    It's a good ride when you forget to stop for photos. Everyone needs a ride like that now and then. I"m glad you had a good ride!

    A very happy birthday to Mrs Skoot!
    Yummy, I want a chocolate cream puff!!

    I agree with Mike, I love metric. Wish we would change too.

  8. you in the USA are very lucky to have such cheap gas that costs under $4.00/ US gallon

    Not any more it doesn't.

    Scootin' Old Skool @ $4.049/gallon

  9. Hi Uncle Bob,

    Thats very low octane petrol you have there, the lowest here in Europe is 95 with 97/98 being the good stuff!!