Wednesday, April 04, 2012

PEN Lovers and Pasta Zanmai

It was an ordinary weekday that the group of wacky PEN Lovers (find out more about us on Facebook) decided to have a small gathering for dinner. We headed to Sunway Pyramid, and had Japanese cuisine at Pasta Zanmai Restaurant. We ate and ate and ate, had plenty of catching up with each other, and laughed like we were in a bar drinking beer. Great food (I have always loved Japanese food) and great company, I could not have asked for a better way to spend my Tuesday night. 

I brought along my Olympus E-5 and intended to use the 25mm Pancake solely, with the aid of flash, knowing well the ambient light would be very dim. Unfortunately, the ceiling of the restaurant interior was fully black, negating my usual flash bounced off the ceiling technique. Therefore, for all my shots inside the restaurant, I resorted to using high ISO at shoot mostly wide open at F2.8. The combination of ISO1000 and F2.8 allowed me good enough shutter speed for most of my shooting, but I overlooked a crucial factor in food photography: depth of field. Being in the atmosphere of great friends chattering and bursting with constant laughter, I neglected the importance of stopping down with narrower aperture, and I wished I have paid more attention to have more zone in focus. Nonetheless, this was not exactly a serious shooting session, it was merely a night outing with friends, having fun. No pressure, and surely no worries. 

I intended to shoot the menu page with all our orders on it, but for some unexplainable reasons I have forgotten to do so. I shall not invent weird names and just leave the food descriptions blank. 

Yap Tzee Meng and his trusty E-PL2. I dig the customized skin !!


Gerald Wong and his E-P2, and man, everyone has one 20mm F1.7 !! 

Thian Jin and Mun Keat






Gerald and Yap in action with their PEN cameras. 





Simon Leong and Yeow Chin Liang. And the new wrist-strap designed especially for PEN cameras. 


Jeff Liew and Wilson Mak




The PEN Lovers Group (left to right):
Yap, Wilson, Yeow, TJ, Simon, Jeff, Mun Keat and Gerald


After having dinner, we migrated to a nearby cafe for drinks and desert. To my surprise my friends ordered LARGE deserts, and they all looked so sinfully fattening. 

Looking through the photographs from this entry, I think my food photography seriously sucks. I must do something soon. Jason Lioh, where are you???? Help !!


22 comments:

  1. Your food and friend photography is just great. And tho we also have that gorgeous 20mm Panasonic, since I've got an OM-2N with just another 50mm f1.4, I know I need a 25mm for my (µ) 43rds cameras as well...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Wolfgang !!
      Indeed a 25mm is very important when a zoom lens is not around. But your 50mm F1.4 is just delicious.

      Delete
  2. Japanese food is the best!
    You definitely did the smart thing here and didn't waste too much time on photos. Friends are more important.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to know you love Japanese food too !!

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. Hi Robin,

    I totally agree with Vladimir and on the subject of friends:
    Your friend Yap could be onto something: a new trend by introducing camera covers, with his bamboo style Pen, or is this already an upcoming trend in Asia? I find it very cool anyway.

    At first glance your food photographs look absolutely mouth watering to me. I have just returned from my evening shift at the airport office and after seeing all this my stomach now needs some serious fix...

    Life-like colors and properly exposed shots are remaining strong points even in these more or less casual pictures. Keep 'm coming!
    Will need to eat now:)

    Thanks again Robin & Friends

    Best regards,
    Luke (from Holland)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind compliments Luke !!
      My friends TJ and Simon are bringing in the new strap for PEN cameras. I shall get them to respond here.
      I still think my food photography needs some fixing !!

      Delete
  5. Robin, I really admire your food photography. I find the depth of field in these shots perfect for my taste (no pun intended) and look forward to more! Great to see you with a group of like-minded PEN owners.

    I've been catching up on all your older blog posts the last few weeks (having been reminded of your existence by your fantastic OM-D hands-on review) and fell in love with my trusty E-5 all over again after reading your 2010 review, so thanks for that! I love my E-P3, but if I had to keep just one camera it would be the E-5 for sure.

    Cristie (from California)

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    Replies
    1. Hello Cristie,
      Thanks for your kind words !!
      I do believe a little more depth of field to reveal more details in the food would be great. Nonetheless, the conflict was that I needed the F2.8 in such dimly lit condition, and my hands were not exactly very steady.
      E-5 is a great camera !!! As long as you do not simply push the ISO up to ridiculous zones, you should get very fine looking images. It has never failed me before, and yes like yourself, it is one of the many that I would keep too.

      Delete
  6. looks like everybody brought pancakes! lol

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    Replies
    1. Hello Richard,
      It is a wonderful lens, yet so small and compact. If I have the cash I would go for the 25m F1.4 though.

      Delete
  7. Oh the food always looks so good. Started off in Phoenix, Arizona, USA. I'm in Harbin, China now...will be in Suzhou, China starting at the very end of August. I keep getting closer and closer to KL. Haha. Maybe I will try to make a visit in January 2013 during my winter break.

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    Replies
    1. Hello Eric,
      You should come to KL !! Do look me up if you do drop by.

      Delete
  8. Nice get together and look like fun
    But.... those food don't look like Japanese food it look more closer to our Malaysian food.
    Where are the Maguro Sashimi and cold Soba?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cha,
      Its fusion of European and Japanese food. You get pasta and pizza, done in Japanese style.

      Delete
  9. 20/1.7 clan of The PENographers....=)...as always nice pica....=)

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  10. Hi Robin,

    To all fanboys, foodcritics and people who do have common sense this link:

    http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2012/03/hammerforum-com

    Hope you like this one Robin.

    Best regards,
    Luke (from Holland)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thats a great read Luke !!! A strong reminded to us all that photography is more than just gear lust. Thanks for sharing !

      Delete
  11. Looks like fun! I should start a Pen group in Miami. BTW where can I get that custom wrist strap for the Pen?

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  12. That's a TOMA Wrist Strap from Korea

    http://infinitefocusf28.blogspot.com/p/ths004-all-cameras-hand-stap.html

    ReplyDelete
  13. I've got one for my NEX-5N as well, very nice straps

    available here in the UK

    http://www.lovecases.co.uk/toma-genuine-leather-hand-wrist-strap-for-compact-system-cameras-brown.html

    ReplyDelete