Evening Shoot at Petaling Street

I remember mentioning that I intended to do more shutter therapy session last weekend, but that did not come to happen due to some unforeseen circumstances. It was an unfortunate incident that happened which completely destroyed the desire to pick up the camera and shoot. Nonetheless, by now I know that I should not have invested too much time on worrying about things that have become hopeless, and start concentrating on the future. The past is there to remind us of where we are and how we got here, but if the past is holding us down, we have to decide what to let go, and stop hurting ourselves. Sometimes, the most difficult decisions in life to make is the right thing to do. 

Moving on is not easy, but I am thankful to have more things in life to look forward to now. My friends were shooting at Petaling Street this very evening, and I was asked to join, and it was the perfect time to just go out there, not to think too much about anything else, and just shoot. That is what shutter therapy is all about. It takes my mind off things, and I get to work my mind, concentrating on producing images. I purposely chose to use the CCTV lens 25mm F1.2, mounted on my trusty Olympus PEN E-PL1, due to the need to do manual focusing, forcing my mind to work even harder. Not having the convenience of autofocus means I have to slow down, and really think about getting my shot. A lot of pre-visualization and planning were required in order to make some of the shots work. 

All images were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and CCTV Lens 25mm F1.2 

Covered in plastic sheets

Backalley Newspaper


Evening Greet

Holy Distortion !!

Stall Operator

Cold tiles




Being comfortable

Apam balik on a trishaw

Kelvin's sexy 45mm F1.8 lens

Street food in KL

Hokkien Fried Mee

Nick giving Olympus OMD a go

Luke Ding and his mysterious camera

Beats for Cheaps

Paper in the evening

Nap after dinner

Keymaker's place

Street Lights

Tiny Chair

Kelvin, what were you doing??

This particular evening, I was shooting with the usual suspects, Luke Ding, Scott Chung and Kelvin Ng. However, this time we were joined by a special guest who came all the way from UK. His name is Nick, and I sure hope he loves the streets in KL. There is so much more to explore, and KL is indeed a great place for street photography, so to Nick, please do stick around, we shall attack more of the streets soon. 

In this session I shot everything in JPEG on my E-PL1. I used the focus assist magnification (7x) to aid in confirming my focus, especially most of my shots were shot wide open at F1.2. I did not have an electronic viewfinder so I did everything through the back LCD screen. I set the aspect ratio to default 16:9 to produce the cinematic effect, and none of the above photographs were cropped, they were almost as good as straight out of the camera, with minor exposure compensation and color adjustment. When you slow down and spend so much time focusing, you have got to have enough time to get your composition right while shooting, hence negating the need to crop later. We were shooting from just before the sunset till dark, and we had very lovely dinner by the street, and continued shooting some more under street lighting. 

There were so many imperfections shown in the photographs above taken with the CCTV lens. Heavy corner softness, vignetting, distortion, flare, and the list goes on. The strangest thing was, none of those issues bothered me. Even the photographs were not that sharp. I think, accepting the flaws and not being obsessed by them is one important step in improving photography. Good images does not necessarily have to be absolutely sharp all the time. Technical perfection does not equate great photographs. Defining great photographs is actually a lot more than that, and I am at the phase where looking at photographs from beyond just technical perfection. 

It is strange how I did a few review works (45mm F1.8 and 75mm F1.8 lenses) at Petaling Street at night, but rarely come here during normal days for shutter therapy. Perhaps, this territory is worth exploring more in the future. 


  1. Wonderful 16:9 cinematic feel. I look weird in the photo...

    1. Haha, I think the color balance was a bit off, and distortion makes you look a little funny. Not a great lens to shoot people.

    2. maybe not a great lens, but great shots!

  2. great fotos and a great lens

  3. Thank you Robin for posting additional pictures using the CCTV lens. I recently bought a Fujian 35mm f1.7 on ebay for dirt cheap and love the flaws immensely. Had my own shutter therapy at Disneyland.

    Maybe in the future, you could share your thoughts on older lens (possibly with the M42 screw on lens).


    1. Thanks Dino. The 35mm F1.7 is a great lens too, might get one for myself as well if I can find one in the used market. Seems interesting too. I might need the extra reach of 35mm.

  4. Hi Robin,

    Your blog and work with the OM-D has truly inspired me. So much so that I have gone out and bought it along with 3 lenses. I am on a wait list for the 75mm. Please keep doing what you do as I truly look forward to your daily posts. I am now embarking on chronicling my journey with this camera as I fumble around with all its capabilities.

    1. Hello Mark,
      Glad that you have bought the OM-D and some lenses !! I am sure you are loving it, and do go out and make more images happen.

  5. Robin, excellent post and a great blog. I bought the 24mm 1.2 CCTV lens to use in a project with my ep-1, but for the life of me I cannot seem to get the settings right, I have used manual and aperture priority, but not much luck. Any chance you could give an idea what settings you normally use, thanks.

    1. Hello George
      My CCTV lens was 25mm, not 24mm, so we might be talking about different lenses. If it is the same, I used aperture priority. I adjusted the ISO manually, and the camera decides what shutter speed.
      Basically, that was all! No other tricks, really.

  6. Hello Robin,
    Thank you for sharing the night street images of Petaling Jaya(PJ). PJ is my area and yet so far I just managed to capture images at the morning wet market at Section 17 and Sentosa. In the future, I may walk around after office hours as it look interesting after light.
    Happy shooting as the weekend is coming.
    John Ragai

    1. John, those are not taken at petaling jaya, but at petaling street at city center. Hope that clears some confusion.

    2. Robin, you pour the water too fast..lol.
      Frankly speaking, Petaling Jaya has a few good location for shutter theraphy such as Section 14, SeaPark, PJ old town, SS2 and also Kelana Jaya. Thank you for giving me idea of new locations for shutter therapy.
      BTW I am still going for my weekly lone shutter therapy in KL tomorrow (Saturday).
      Good evening and happy shooting.
      John Ragai

    3. Robin, I am really sorry for mistaken your 1st image with JayaOne new constructed building and Petaling Street with Petaling Jaya.
      May you have a great evening.
      John Ragai

  7. "Evening Greet"! Oh my, what a shot!

  8. Hi Robin,

    I am a fan of CCTV lenses myself. Have the (in)famous 1.4 25mm China CCTV lens from Ebay and ordered just for fun the 1.7 35mm recently. Backalley Newspaper is my fav shot from your current posting here.

    1. Thanks ! I should be hunting for other CCTV lenses too.

  9. I think the "langsat" you're referring to is actually “Longan” I think...

  10. Excellent photography and that shows what clarity the cctv lens is made for.I think you have also chosen a perfect subject for your pictures.Great job !