Benched, and a very regretful garage sale

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In October last year I was in an accident that landed up pulling some ligaments and tearing a couple of discs in my lower back. The doctors say these things are supposed to heal by themselves over time, but a) it could be a long time and b) there’s always the possibility it won’t go back to how it was before. I was also told that prolonged heavy lifting of the photographic sort was most definitely out for the next year at least. I hoped to be stubborn enough to ride it out and go back to normal, but given three months later I’m still on Arcoxia twice a day, things are not looking good. I’m mobile enough to do most of what I usually do, but 20kg gear days are over for me.

It is with great sadness therefore that I have come to the conclusion it no longer makes sense for me to keep the Hasselblad H system since it’s physically impossible for me to shoot with it for more than an hour without serious pain. (Fortunately, I still have a full X system). It’s just too expensive an asset to keep idly depreciating.

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As is usual with these things, my loss is your gain, and what is probably going to be a once in a lifetime chance for the right buyer. The following items are available, and I would much prefer to sell them as a set (or at least the camera body and a few of the lenses first). Multiple items can be bundled and discounted, please (email me). The condition of everything is nearly new, or as new, and fully functional. I have boxes for everything but the H6D-100c (left that in Sweden as there was no space in luggage to bring it back when I collected the camera). I am the first owner. Bonus: all equipment has the benefit of being best-of-sample selected at HQ and lenses were adjusted to match perfectly to the camera with AF being spot on wide open.

Prices are in US Dollars and are reflective of item condition and general market conditions. Payment is via bank wire only above $5,000, or Paypal or bank wire below that. Shipping and insurance to be arranged once we figure out what’s going where; I have corporate rates on both. Please email me to buy, if you have questions or would like additional images of anything.

    1. Hasselblad H6D-100c body with a bunch of expensive extras: focusing screen with 16:9, 2.4:1 and square crop marks (installed); plain focusing screen; 6 original batteries total; additional charger; Markins L bracket; 64GB CFAST card; all cables etc (just no box). This is the same camera that was used in my Thaipusam and Koenigsegg BTS videos. Shutter count is approximately 6,500. Total current value of this is somewhere in the region of $35,000 new.- Sold
    2. Hasselblad HCD 35-90/4-5.6 orange dot – Sold
    3. Hasselblad H Extension tubes 13, 26 – Sold
    4. Hasselblad V-H (CF) adaptor and extra PC sync cable – Sold
    5. Hasselblad HCD 24/4.8 – Sold
    6. Hasselblad HC 100/2.2 – Sold
    7. Hasselblad HC 150/3.2 N orange dot – sold
    8. Hasselblad HTS 1.5x – sold
    9. Hasselblad HC 1.7x TC – sold

Thanks! MT

**Don’t-know-if-you-don’t-try-super-super-long-shot: trade all for an E39 BMW M5, in Malaysia.

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays to our readers celebrating from the mingthein.com team – MT, Robin and Praneeth (behind the scenes). May you have a great day and a full area under the tree… 🙂

OT review: the 2018/9 BMW M2, midterm

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I make no secret of the fact that I’m a bit of a petrolhead; at least to the extent possible in Malaysia given the heftiness of our taxes and limited market affordability leading to a fairly uninspiring range of choices for the motoring enthusiast. That’s partially offset by affordable petrol and lax speeding enforcement, but given the state of traffic in Kuala Lumpur – the opportunities to enjoy it are few and far between. Nevertheless, I’ve often made my transportation choices emotionally driven rather than rational; the last time I did the latter, it was competent but not very fun. My options boiled down to either something completely impractical but fun (like a Lotus Elise) but cheap enough to afford a second family car where I would spend most of my time (and thus itself have to be tolerably interesting) – or something that could do double duty and have four seats (but not necessarily four doors). Some of you may recall I had a Z4 some time back. It turns out the limits of the car weren’t that high, no matter what one did to the underlying oily bits – there remained this delayed feeing to the steering that felt too indirect and vague for my liking. And whilst the 2.0T motor put out a healthy ~300bhp at the crank after tuning and on the right fuel, there was always a feeling of fragility given how often it would knock if not on RON 98 or RON 100. Fast forwarding a bit though several sensible diversions, I arrived at the M2 after a) waiting a very long time for a manual transmission and giving up, and b) somewhat regretting the F56 Mini Cooper S I purchased previously.

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In search of clarity…

…will be the theme and title of my monthly column at Mediumformat.com, a community and e-publication focused on the larger things in photography. Mingthein.com of course continues as normal; I just didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to work with an interesting bunch of people. Registrations are open from today. MT

OT: first anniversary!

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With some relief and a big exhalation of breath, it seems the horological venture has survived the first year; let me tell you it hasn’t been easy given we’re effectively trying to start something in an industry that doesn’t have any ecosystem in our country, competing directly against much better funded and experienced players. There have been no end of surprises – both good and bad – for the moment culminating in a nomination for a GPHG* prize for our flagship 19.01. We’re celebrating with a watch (of course) or more specifically two (one is good, more is better) variants of the automatic GMT 17.03 – both in the ever popular blue, with revised and refined dial and hands, and an experiment – because experimentation is what keeps us going. I heat blued 25 grade 2 titanium cases with a blowtorch, resulting in something rather special (and something I wanted to do with my own Ochs und Junior some time ago, but we had the wrong alloy). We made 125 of the regular titanium cased blue dial, and 25 of the Ultra Blue – unfortunately the Ultra Blue sold out within about an hour of announcement, and we have a very long wait list**, but the Blue is available right now at www.ming.watch. I leave you with specifications after the jump and the customary images; experimented with some new lighting techniques in this set, too. MT

*Grand Prix de Horologerie de Geneve, which is effectively the Oscars of the watch world.
**I seem to be very good at shooting myself in the foot when it comes to estimating demand and edition sizes.

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The continued adventures of the traveling audiophile: going wireless

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As with everything, it’s very easy to go off the deep end with audio – even personal, in-ear audio – and land up in a position where you have an extremely expensive piece of hardware that has zero secondary value (anything custom, for instance) and feel compelled that you have to make that decision before trying all options. And even if you’re lucky enough to be able to try all feasible options, 10-15 minutes of listening and A-B comparisons in an often less that representative (let alone ideal) location simply aren’t enough to make an informed decision. It also doesn’t help that you (I, at least) hit fatigue after perhaps half a dozen samples and can’t really hear the difference anymore – even if I might have fairly acute hearing on a normal day. But, I digress before I’ve even started. Last year’s move to the iPhone 7 and its forced choices of a) no charging with music if you use the Lighting to 3.5 adaptor, b) charging if you use the bulky as hell USB multiport thing and a small amp such as an AudioQuest Dragonfly Red, or c) wireless – has left me with a messy solution when travelling, which with involvement in three businesses in four countries and international clients, I seem to be doing even more of these days.

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Creativity by the yard

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The split

I’ve heard it said more than once that the world is divided into three kinds of people: those who create, those who support, and those who criticise. The former see the world differently and as a result land up being mostly societal misfits; at least until you become successful (which is nearly never, since the deck is stacked against you for reasons I will explain later). The corporate world wants to have the output and the commercial results, but is unprepared to support the infrastructure and requirements. The second group forms the majority of the population: ‘support’ can mean anything from consumption and patronage to supplier of key enablers such a services, environment or tools. And the latter – some serve as useful moderating reality checks and balances, but most just become bitter and jealous internet trolls. Today’s post is several things: an exploration of these roles, a series of suggestions from the point of view of a creative, and perhaps an apology (excuse?) for my wandering attention.

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Off topic: Presenting the MING 17.03

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I’m pleased to report that my horological venture has very much taken on a life of its own, and though it lives on its own site, I’m also aware that there’s quite a bit of crossover between photographers and watch enthusiasts. I also owe a big thanks to those of you who’ve supported this venture in its first and second iterations. Our latest piece is a sportier everyday wearer, with automatic winding convenience and a second timezone for travel. It’s also highly luminous in the dark.

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Off topic: Presenting the MING 19.01

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Many of you will know that I’ve recently brought my interest in watches full circle with the launch of my own watch brand earlier in the year. We were surprised and humbled by the response, but also fortunate as we had another project in the works at the same time: something at the other end of the spectrum, and our flagship: the 19.01. Whilst the 17.01 was designed to be an honest watch that brought a lot of the features valued by collectors to a more accessible price point, the reality is there were a lot of things I wanted to do that I simply couldn’t because of production cost restrictions. This is not the case with the 19.01, which was designed without compromises ad to be something very special in a world that’s already got a lot of very special watches. This is of course not a simple task, and required something special aesthetically, mechanically and stylistically consistent with previous designs so as to fit within the MING lineup.

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Life after Olympus

I left Olympus Malaysia not too long ago, which came as a surprise to many, and subsequently Ming Thein on this awesome photography site as an active contributor. Since then, I’ve been asked by many curious people how my life has been, what I’ve been doing, which manufacturer I’ve jumped ship to (Sony? Fujifilm? *gasp*) and how the hell I can still afford that expensive cup of coffee? [Read more…]