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Canon Announces EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM Lens

06 Apr

Compact and lightweight, the new Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM, announced today by Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is the widest-angle Macro offering in Canon’s popular EF-S lens series. The new lens is designed to help both entry-level and advanced amateur DSLR photographers discover the incredible possibilities of macro photography. Capable of capturing close-up subjects with incredible detail, Canon’s new EF-S macro lens is also the first in the series to feature built-in Macro Lites that allow users to control lighting with ease.

“Macro lenses are an amazing way to explore the worlds that exist all around us, and the new Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM lens is the ideal starting point for amateur photographers eager to capture incredible, up-close details on the go,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Whether capturing a delectable dessert or the subtleties of a backyard flower, users will be challenged to find new colors and shapes that turn everyday moments into art.”

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The new Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM captures stunning images and is a terrific companion lens for entry-level users eager to expand beyond their existing Canon EOS DSLR kit lens. Capable of shooting as close as 30mm from the end of the lens to the subject, aspiring photographers can get up close to a fruit or flower for an entirely new perspective, while capturing high-quality images with beautiful background blur. Additional technologies built into the new Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM lens include:

  • Popular 35mm focal length (56mm equivalent) and wide f/2.8 aperture
  • Hybrid IS system offers up to four stops* of shake correction
  • Smooth Movie Servo AF with Lead Screw-type STM ensures quiet AF operation
  • Full-time Manual Focus

In a first for the EF-S lens series, the new Canon EF-S 35mm lens sports built-in Macro Lites that allow photographers to carefully arrange macro lighting without using special equipment. With built-in LED lights on each side of the lens, users can create compelling shadows on either side of a subject or adjust intensity to give images a sense of dimension. Once the scene is set, the lens uses superb rendering performance to capture high contrast, sharp images.

While specialized for high magnification photography, the Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM is still a versatile option for day-to-day use, easily capable of capturing portraits, landscapes or snapshots. As the latest addition to the lineup of EF-S lenses, Canon continues its commitment to providing a wide-range of affordable lens options for photographers of all levels.

The Canon EF-S 35mm f/2.8 Macro IS STM lens is scheduled to be available in June 2017 for an estimated retail price of US$349.99.

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Posted in New Products

 

FIRST RIDE IMPRESSION: Kawasaki Z650 and Ninja 650

31 Mar

Convoy Ride

My First Ride reviews for Kawasaki Motors Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s (KMSB) Z650 and Ninja 650 got off to a very wet flag-off period. In fact, there was no customary flag-off segment, unlike the morning session, which had the ceremony performed. I was slotted for the afternoon session, which has a higher chance of riding in the wet, as has been the occurrence the past 1 week in Klang Valley particularly in Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya, Shah Alam and Klang areas.

Of course, even the surrounding states got affected too, like Negeri Sembilan and parts of south-west Pahang, since both are bordering the state of Selangor, where the aforementioned cities are located. Still, the wet weather won’t dampen my confidence in trying both Kawasaki motorcycles as I had came prepared for a thunderstorm-type of riding – 100% weather-resistant riding jacket, with Dunlop’s D214 dry/wet rubbers being default tyres of the bikes.

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The tyres provide the necessary grip needed to navigate bends on dry and wet surfaces so riding is the same for me, regardless of the weather condition. However, that’s not the case for the rest of the convoy as within the opening minutes since we left Nilai Springs Resort, I had built quite a gap at the front, with only the escorting traffic police (front and back) as companions (photo below).

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The rest of the media convoy could only closed the gap after the leading police escort was instructed to slow the pace (via bike intercom) to enable them to catch up. Normally, the speed of the leading escort is subjected to how fast the nearest rider is able to keep up, and I happened to be there all along since we left the starting point. The overall pace increased once we rode past Sungai Pelek town as the routes thereafter are mostly straights with occasional bends in-between – not much effort is needed to sample the handling characteristics of both bikes in general.

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Fellow motorcycle media reviewer, Nic Wang, from Ministry of Superbikes was snapped candidly (above) during the scheduled stop at Dataran Morib. And I snapped a photo of both bikes posing together over there (below).

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Bike swapping was done after our revised, first scheduled stop – the original stop for a group photo with the bikes was supposed to be at Bandar Enstek not far from our starting point but heavy drizzle put paid to that idea. The morning session group managed to have the photo session at that area due to the better weather. Nevertheless, the revised stop at Dataran Morib (Morib Square) was the second stop for the morning session group.

I started off with the Z650, and swapped it for the Ninja 650. Once the convoy had resumed, the order of the day was still the same – me as the leading rider (photo below). Took me just a few minutes to get up front as usual, it wasn’t a need to be at the front but each of us is allowed to ride the bikes at the pace we are comfortable with, and the non-braking/non-slowing down style at the bends permitted me to do just that (photo below).

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The routes for the media test ride are as indicated below:

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This wraps up the teaser for the first ride impression of both motorcycles. Stay tuned for the actual review when the photos from the convoy are made available by KSMB.

 
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Posted in Motorcycling

 

Monochrome Snapshots @ Fujifilm X-T20 and X100F launch event

28 Mar

Both the Fujifilm X-T20 and X100F have been announced recently elsewhere much earlier, and today they made their Malaysian debut via a gathering-cum-launch for the local dealers, X-series enthusiasts and the photography/tech media in Petaling Jaya.

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The latest offerings from Fujifilm feature new sensors and processors designed to improve image quality, and in the case of the X-T20, 4K video capture is included to meet the needs of the professional videographers as well as photo enthusiasts and tech geeks obsessed with the high resolution video format.

As the successor to the popular X-T10 mirrorless model, the new Fujifilm X-T20 offers manual operation with the inclusion of a shutter speed and exposure compensation dials in addition to the main dial and other controls that are synonymous with the X-series cameras. The X-T20 features an APS-C 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III sensor and the X-Processor Pro image processing engine. It also features a new tilting touchscreen LCD monitor for multi-angle shooting and responds to quick gestures for a variety of efficient controls and image review. In addition, it also has a built-in Wi-Fi for sharing content on social media and remote capture.

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The new X-T20 is priced at RM4,688 (body only), with the XC 16-50mm kit set retailing at RM5,288 while the other kit featuring the XC 18-55mm lens is selling for RM6,288. It is available in silver and black editions.

The X100F comes with a 24MP sensor, along with an improved 91-point autofocus system and a fixed 23mm f/2.0 lens. Fujifilm also upgraded the camera’s hybrid viewfinder, offering up to 6x magnification and 60fps support. Other features include an AF joystick, built-in ISO Dial, film simulation modes, a silent electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/32,000, HD recording, Focus Peaking and Digital Split image focusing in OVF, 6 AF modes and built-in Wi-Fi. The X100F is priced at RM6,288, and available in both silver and black colour editions.

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Posted in Events

 

Boon Siew Honda Unveils 2017 Honda Wave Dash 110 FI

21 Mar

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The invitation reads as a “special preview of a new Honda motorcycle with fashion show”. Given the way the word “preview” was used instead of the normal “launch” on previous unveiling, this event ignites the imagination of many motorcycle media in the country. All except me. I had a feeling the incorrect term was used, and thus, the excitement level remains normal for me.

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The preview isn’t going to be about any of the motorcycles Honda plans to launch for 2017 albeit in the 2nd half of the year instead of the anticipated 2nd-quarter (April to June). Nope, the said preview is not about the Made-In-Indonesia CBR250RR, the Made-In-Japan CBR1000RR/SP or the Made-In-Thailand Rebel 500 cruiser.

It is just another updated kapchai motorcycle, from the ancient carburetor to fuel injection (FI), this time on the Honda Wave Dash 110. For every 1 model of a big capacity machine launched, there would be several models of the kapchai/scooter in Honda’s line-up for the Malaysian market being launched, and it is no difference this time.

To be fair, there was no launch of any big capacity Honda bikes in Malaysia since July 2014 with the pair of CB650F/CBR650F and a revised CBR250R. The 2016 CB500-series trio quietly made their entrance into the local market in beginning of September 2016 while the 2016 duo of the CB/CBR650F repeated that feat just before the Lunar New Year holiday in 2017. Between the July 2014 event and today’s unveiling ceremony, all the bikes launched by Honda have been kapchai and scooters.

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Almost every specification of the revised Wave Dash 110 is the same as its carburetor version, save for the fuel injection, and pricing. But the switch to fuel injection allows for better fuel economy, enabling the motorcycle to cruise as far as 244km of mileage until the low fuel gauge warning starts flashing. This is an improvement of some 10km over the estimated 234km on the older model. Honda also claims an improved fuel ecoomy of 61km/litre in cruising mode when riding at 80-90km/hr speeds.

The new Wave Dash 110 FI comes in 3 colours: Pearl Nightfall Blue, Pearl Magellanic Black and Vivacity Red as well as the exclusive Repsol edition. It is available in S Type (single disc brake), with both R Type and Repsol edition featuring Double Disc Brakes. The sales prices for all 3 types (with GST) are RM5,860.74, RM6,178.74 and RM6,337.74 respectively. All models come with the standard 2-year or 20,000km manufacturing warranty, whichever comes first.

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Posted in Events, Motorcycling

 

Kawasaki Motors Malaysia announces Sales Price for 2017 Ninja 650 ABS & Ninja 650 KRT

26 Feb

Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd (KMSB) has announced the sales price of the new Ninja 650 ABS (Standard), which is RM37,189.00 (inclusive GST) without insurance. This price is valid for the Orange colour edition. For the KRT special edition, which features the graphics used by Japanese manufacturer’s Kawasaki Racing Team, the sales price is RM38,189.00 (inclusive GST) also without insurance.

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The Special Edition version is fitted with:

  1. Single Seat Cover
  2. Windshield Smoke
  • Radiator Cover
  1. Rim Lining

 

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This model will be available at our GT World Ninja, Ninja Shop and Kawasaki Authorised Premium Dealers by 8th March, 2017.

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Posted in Motorcycling

 

Malaysia Day Contest Ninja H2 Grand Prize Winner Announced

19 Jan

Encik Armadi from the north eastern state of Kelantan in Peninsular Malaysia is announced as the lucky draw Grand Prize winner of a Kawasaki Ninja H2 worth RM158,888 this morning. Armadi, who purchased a Kawasaki Z800 motorcycle from an authorised dealer in Kota Bahru last November, took part in the contest organised by Kawasaki Motors (Malaysia )Sdn Bhd (KMSB).

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He didn’t give much chance to his luck of winning any of the prizes on offer in the contest, which include other Kawasaki models such as the D-Tracker and Ninja 1000. His lucky draw contest form was drawn by Kiyaoki Takano, the executive director of Aeon Credit Service (M) Bhd this morning in a ceremony witnessed by the motorcycling media, Kawasaki GT World/Ninja Shop dealers and invited guests, held in Sunway Putra Mall in Kuala Lumpur.

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KMSB_Grand_5As expected, Armadi is left speechless when told of the good news via live telephone conversation direct from the event. Most of his responses to the emcee’s questionnaires were “Ah-ha, ah-ha, ah-ha…” leaving the audience with laughter.

He was not present in Kuala Lumpur to receive his grand prize but the general manager-cum-director of KMSB, Dato’ Jeffrey Lim told the media that the Ninja H2 would be shipped to the Kota Bahru dealer for the official handover ceremony to Armadi after the Lunar New Year holiday.

Also present at the ceremony were Kazuhiro Watanabe, the deputy GM of Tokio Marine Insurance Malaysia, Satoshi Yanagida, the factory controller of KMSB, Miss Lee Chooi Kiun, senior manager of KMSB and the deputy GM of KMSB, Encik Awalludin Mohamed Lip.

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Posted in Motorcycling

 

2nd Career MotoGP win for Cal Crutchlow @ Phillip Island

23 Oct

Photos: MotoGP.com and MM93.com

Team LCR Honda’s Cal Crutchlow has taken a stunning second GP win at Phillip Island, as the Brit kept calm and kept his gap at the front ahead of P2 finisher Valentino Rossi, with Team Suzuki Ecstar’s Maverick Viñales completing the podium.

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There were no miracle starts for those frontrunners starting further back for the Australian GP, with Jorge Lorenzo getting the best from P12 to move up to P9, and teammate Valentino Rossi gaining two places to P13 – with Maverick Viñales moving up only one. It was Pol Espargaro (Monster Yamaha Tech 3) who got the holeshot P3 on the front row, with polesitter Marquez the biggest loser off the line – before the 2016 MotoGP World Champion swept back around the outside of Doohan Corner to take back P2 and then fight off Espargaro through Lukey Heights and down into T10. Once at the front, the Motegi and Aragon winner set off in his rhythm – soon seconds clear.

The fight for P2 between Crutchlow and Aleix Espargaro saw the Brit emerge on top, as Rossi was charging through the field – picking off Pol Espargaro and Andrea Dovizioso as the rider from Tavullia entered podium contention, then setting his sights on Aleix Espargaro and soon getting past.

Nearly three seconds clear at the front, there was suddenly a Repsol Honda sliding through the gravel at Turn 4 – and Marc Marquez was out of the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix.

Crutchlow then found himself in the lead, hoping the 2014 flashback for Marquez wouldn’t touch him after a last lap crash two years ago – as Rossi began his hunt for the LCR machine, over two seconds back but on an amazing roll from P15 on the grid. As the British rider continued pulling away, Rossi than got a warning shot at Turn 4 that saw him run deep and lose ground, as the new fight for the final podium spot saw Aleix Espargaro locked in battle with Dovizioso – and Viñales soon getting involved.

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After swapping positions in a three-way fight, Turn 4 then claimed another victim as Aleix Espargaro lost his Suzuki machine with 5 laps to go, and teammate Viñales broke the resolve of Dovizioso to take the final place on the podium and head the Italian home.

After his storming start, Pol Espargaro took a solid result as he crossed the line in P5, ahead of a struggling Jorge Lorenzo – who was unable to make up big ground after his good start.

Further back saw Scott Redding and Danilo Petrucci leading a seven rider fight for P7 of home hero Jack Miller, Hector Barbera, Stefan Bradl, Bradley Smith and Nicky Hayden.

‘Kentucky Kid’ Hayden, standing in for injured Dani Pedrosa at Repsol Honda, put in an impressive one-off return to his 2006 championship winning colours as he battled well within the points, before Miller took Turn 4 a little overenthusiastically and Hayden was the casualty, sliding out.

Hector Barbera was another crasher, leaving Redding to lead compatriot Bradley Smith over the line for P7, with the top ten completed by Petrucci and Miller. As well as the solid result for Miller, fellow Australian Mike Jones scored a point on his Avintia Racing machine as he replaced Hector Barbera, impressing once again.

Another Independent Team win in 2016, another win for Cal Crutchlow, and a little glimpse of the old Marquez. A fight back from outside the top ten to make the podium – for both the bikes who crossed the line behind the Brit – and some spectacular racing at Phillip Island once again. Next up is Sepang International Circuit – and another chapter of an incredible 2016.

 
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Posted in Motorcycling

 

Historic 65th pole for Marc Marquez @ Phillip Island

22 Oct

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Marc Marquez delivered another incredible performance in this afternoon’s qualifying session at Phillip Island, taking his 37th pole in MotoGP and the 65th in his career, which is also the new historical record, at just 23 years of age. It’s also Marc’s seventh pole of 2016, meaning that the Spaniard has already won the BMW M Award for the best-qualifying MotoGP rider of the season, as he has done every year since entering the premier class.

Nicky Hayden took an impressive seventh position after displaying a very competitive pace in all conditions and during all of the sessions, including a P1 in FP4.

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The day started with Marc topping FP3, which was held in mixed conditions, while Hayden finished the session with the eighth-best lap time, which put him directly into Q2. FP4 began in dry conditions, which unfortunately didn’t last long, and the session was red-flagged due to heavy rain with 19 minutes remaining, with Hayden leading the way. The session resumed 25 minutes later on a wet track, meaning that nobody was able to improve and the American remained on top, with Marquez in second (though quickest on rain tyres).

When QP2 started at 16:05, weather forecasts were threatening heavy rain in the next few minutes, but it stayed away for the entire session. Marc’s perfect tyre strategy saw him starting the session on an intermediate/intermediate tyre combination and immediately entering the pit to change to full slicks. He was the first one to take the gamble in the changeable conditions, a tactic that allowed him to put in a series of fast laps that nobody else was even able to approach.

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Considering the limited amount of dry track time that the riders experienced during the weekend, Race Direction decided to extend the length of Sunday’s morning warm-up session to 30 minutes.

 
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Posted in Motorcycling

 

Next Bike Sdn Bhd Launches 2016 Editions of Ducati Motorcycles

21 Oct

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BETTER LATE THAN NEVER… for Ducati motorcycles in Malaysia as the franchise holder in the country, Next Bike Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Naza Group, is very late in making the 2016 editions of the Italian marquee available for Malaysian riders, having launched the 5 models today.

These bikes were announced almost a year ago by Ducati Bologna during the 2015 EICMA Show held in Milan, Italy, and the 2016 version of the event will be held at the same venue just 2 weeks away.

The 5 motorcycles launched are the 959 Panigale, Monster 1200 R, Multistrada 1200 Enduro, XDiavel and Multistrada 939.

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Marc Marquez wins race and 2016 MotoGP World Championship in Japan

16 Oct

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Repsol Honda’s Marc Marquez took his first-ever MotoGP win at Twin Ring Motegi on Honda’s home asphalt, securing the 2016 MotoGP title. At 23-years old, Marquez is now the youngest ever rider to win three premier-class World Championship titles and five World Championships over all classes during a period of only nine years of World Championship racing. Marquez has now equalled Mick Doohan, Jorge Lorenzo and Toni Mang’s tally of 5 World Titles in his career.

Marc got off to a brilliant start and immediately engaged in a fight for the lead with Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi. On the second lap he overtook the Italian at turn eight and began to pursue Lorenzo, taking over the lead on lap four.

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He immediately showed that he had the rhythm and speed to make a breakaway, putting in a series of laps in the 1’45 range and pulling a half-second gap on his countryman. Lap six brought the first major turn of events, as Rossi fell at turn seven and was forced to retire. Marc continued stretching his lead until Lorenzo also slid off, with five laps remaining.

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With his fifth win of 2016 and the 55th in his career (across all classes), Marc became the youngest rider in the history of the sport to earn five World Championships (125cc in 2010, Moto2 in 2012 and MotoGP in 2013, 2014 and 2016).

Marc is also the only rider in any class to score points at every race so far this year. Today’s victory also extended Honda’s lead in the Constructors World Championship to 28 points, and it is the sixth Honda victory in the last eight races.

Hiroshi Aoyama stepped in to replace Dani Pedrosa (who broke a collarbone in a fall on Friday and underwent successful surgery the following day) just on Saturday morning, and today he scored a single final point for his 15th-place finish.

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Marc Marquez 2016 World Championship facts so far:

– Marquez is the youngest-ever rider to win three premier-class World Championship titles, at the age of 23 years 242 days, taking the record from Mike Hailwood who was 24 years 108 days when he won his third successive 500cc title in 1964.

– Marquez is also the youngest rider of all-time to reach the milestone of five world championship titles, taking the record from Valentino Rossi who was 24 years 238 days old when he won his fifth title – the 2003 MotoGP championship.

– Marquez won all his three MotoGP Titles riding for Honda, equalling the number of premier-class title achieved by Valentino Rossi when riding for Honda (1 x500cc + 2 x MotoGP). The only rider who has won more premier-class world title riding for Honda is Mick Doohan who won the 500cc title on five occasions.

– There is only another Spanish rider with more World Titles than Marquez and Lorenzo: Angel Nieto with thirteen world championship titles (7 x 125cc, 6 x 50cc).

– With his win in Japan Marquez has won a Grand Prix at least five times per season for the last seven years (across the various GP classes), something achieved previously by only two riders in the 68-year history of motorcycle grand prix racing: Giacomo Agostini and Mike Hailwood.

– During 2016 Marquez has had more wins than any other rider in the MotoGP class (five), most podiums (eleven) and most pole positions (six).

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Posted in Motorcycling