Here comes the summer sun

The weather's been interesting as of late. It's been a week since the nasty cold disappeared, and yesterday it suddenly started to storm. Very strong winds. I expected a day of rain today, but I was quite pleasantly surprised when I woke up and found a clear blue sky outside. I was ever more pleasantly surprised when I opened the balcony door and realized that it was hotter outside than it was inside! The storm brought heat, and the temperate today was over 20 degrees C. In other words: great weather to go cycling :D

I actually bothered to take a different route to the seaside this time, and I plotted a course that took me along a river which would end up at the ocean at the other side of Hiratsuka, the city near the sea. Usually I end up at the east side of it, but this time I followed the river all the way to the west. On the way back I stuck to the Sagami river that flows back to Atsugi, increasing the distance by 15 kms (making the total 40km), but it was really a great day for cycling and I don't regret it one bit. This has to be the earliest day in any year of my life that I went out cycling in just a T-shirt and came back with a nice sunburn.

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I managed to stuff the Rokinon 800mm mirror lens in the sidebag of my bicycle, and I took it to the beach to take some pictures with it. After playing with the lens for about a week now I can honestly say that it's a piece of crap. I normally blame the bad quality of my pictures on my lack of skills as a photographer, but even I'm not that bad! It's practically  impossible to get a sharp picture with it. Because it's an 800mm lens I don't really have material for comparison, but I did some comparisons with the Canon 70-300mm at 300mm, IS turned off, manual focus, and I get much sharper pictures on the Canon even with much longer shutter times, and even when scaling the 300mm image to the same size as the 800mm image! The 800mm is hazy and unsharp. Then again, I'm comparing it to a Canon lens which costs 3 times as much..

I've seen lots of talk online about the bad bokeh on mirror lenses, but that actually hasn't bothered me much. Although it can be hideous in some situations, I find it quite unique and not distracting in most pictures I've taken so far. The color saturation on the other hand is terrible, and by far the worst part of this lens. Every picture looks like it's been taken in black-and-white mode. That being said, it's not like I'm surprised at the result, really. I already knew it wasn't going to be a good lens, especially when compared to Canon's lenses. It's still a fun toy, even though it's not practical at all. At least I can say that I have a 1600mm lens that fits in a tiny camera bag :D

Here are some photo's of the 800mm lens, direct from camera, no post-processing except resizing.

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yup, pretty good day, all in all. I got a stroke of good luck in the supermarket, although you could call it a case of bad luck too, I guess. As usual I randomly grab stuff from the isles and then go to the counter without checking how much money I brought, and this time I did indeed not bring enough money.. >_<; I was lacking 1500 yen for my weekly purchases! But luck was smiling upon me today, as I took out my point card and waved it at the cashier: 1508 points saved!!! Victory assured and I went home with my head held high and my wallet quite dry. 

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(note to self: don't mix chocolate bread, spicy curry bread and raw fish...)

Last note: I passed JLPT level 3! Hahahaha...

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Posted in Cycling , Daily Life , Photography