Nee Sern is...

really really sleepy

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Fixing IKEA Furniture

I spent last Thursday fixing up the MALM 4-drawers chest, which took about 1.5 hours and 2 people. The result was quite satisfying, except that some drawers were quite tight.

Yesterday night, we fixed up the HOPEN queen sized bed frame, which took about 2 hours and 4 people. The bed was much more difficult to fix compared to the drawers. The size of the planks, the minuteness of the screws, and the lack of proper tools led to a very interesting assembly session indeed.

Nonetheless it is a very satisfying experience to fix up my own furniture, and IKEA furniture provides the opportunity for some good old DIY action.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

EF 50mm : f/1.4 & f/1.8

I had the opportunity to get hands-on impressions of these 2 lenses. Also took some pictures and previewed on the 1.8" LCD, which was not much of help. Anyhow, here are the impressions:

1) Build quality - the f/1.4 certainly looks and feels more well built compared to the f/1.8. Metal lens mount, larger focusing ring and filter thread complete the look. The f/1.8 looks like a cheap toy.

2) Focusing action - the f/1.4 benefits from a larger focusing ring, Micro USM silent focusing, and full time manual override. The f/1.8 is limited by the small and awkwardly positioned focusing ring, micromotor focusing mechanism, and no full time manual override.

3) Picture quality - not that I could perceive picture quality using the 1.8" LCD, but overall the effect from the f/1.4 is more pleasing than the f/1.8. Maybe my perceptions were biased, since the four-fold price premium was ringing in my head.

4) Maximum aperture - f/1.4 vs. f/1.8 will really show its advantages in low light indoor ambient light photography, e.g. wedding banquets. It also benefits casual "snapshot" photographers, where most of the action takes place unplanned.

5) Filter size - The f/1.4 also has a 58mm filter thread, which allows me to reuse the UV filters from my kit lens. The f/1.8 on the other hand uses a 52mm filter thread, which is quite a funny size.

6) Price - The f/1.4 retails at RM1350, while the f/1.8 retails at RM320. That's a 4x price difference. However, I look for durability and keepability. Most likely I'm going for the f/1.4, but I'll see if this takes precedence over a Speedlight.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Why would anyone buy a Honda Jazz when they can get a Honda City for RM19,000 less?

The Honda Jazz and the Honda City are derived from the Fit platform. Other than external differences, both are actually the same vehicle, as explained further:

1) Same chassis
Both cars use the same chassis, i.e. the Fit platform. Both enjoy small exterior dimensions with large interior space. Both employ central fuel tank location. Both are cab-forward designs.

2) Same dashboard and interior fittings
Both cars use the same dashboard, steering wheel, gear stick, seats, seat belts, door trims, wing mirrors, etc.

3) Same engine
Both have either the i-DSI variant or the VTEC variant. The same engines are used in both cars.

So why does the Jazz cost RM19,000 more than the City?

Differences as follows:

1) Country of assembly
The Jazz is assembled in Thailand, while the City is assembled in Malaysia.

2) Form factor
The Jazz is positioned as a mini MPV, while the City is positioned as an entry level sedan.

Still, I don't think that these differences justify the large price difference.

Retail prices as follows:
City VTEC :: RM84,800
Jazz VTEC :: RM103,800
difference : RM19,000

City iDSI :: RM79,800
Jazz VTEC :: RM94,800
difference : RM15,000