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9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

 

Poppies in the field, or in this case, our visit to a Hillsborough Garden, seem so fitting on Memorial Day. Today we honor the men and women of our armed services, especially those who have passed. My father served in WW II, my husband in the US Navy, my son-in-law and the men of his family still serve in the National Guard - for these, and so many others, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank them - for keeping our country safe, strong, and free.

 

THANK YOU ............

  

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Fly free little bird, stay safe and return to us.

I made this from two photos as a farewell card for our daughter leaving today for 6 months travel. Kiwis (the people) often travel for the great OE (overseas experience). Some come back and some stay. We are hoping she will be of the returning variety :)

Back to 'safer' zones..

This little fella played with me for about an hour, a 'hide and seek' and 'catch me if you can', he was not shy, did not run away but flew away all the time; he seemed to enjoy with this play..

May we be safe. May we be whole.

May the earth be safe. May the earth be whole.

May all people everywhere be safe and whole.

May all creatures everywhere be safe and whole.

May we feel a deep connection to the earth and to each other.

May the earth feel honored and loved by us.

 

Thank you for the kind words and emails on the passing of my Uncle... your kindness touched my heart.

 

click if you'd like to view on black

 

© All rights reserved.

   

“Somewhere far in the colors,

I made your mind rearrange love

for those furry paws of mine,

My all demons are hidden in the box,

You and me are now free to flee…”

 

New post on little virtual keyhole ☂ featuring Comic Fair, Pose Fair & Cosmetic Fair.

 

Enjoy & Stay KAWAII

≧◉◡◉≦

A little bit out of inspiration these days, so maybe I'm taking a break from flickr what the uploading concerns. I will try to visit your photos every day, and from time to time you will see some of mine. I don't know yet. So keep posting those magnificent shots, and hey...if you miss me... just mail me :-)

See you!

XXX

  

You see I can't stay away from here that long :-)

 

Listen to this great Belgian artist: Ozark Henry - Free haven (excellent choice for this photo):

www.goear.com/listen.php?v=9dd8490

9" x 12"

Arches 140#CP

Montrose Gardens, NC

 

For all those who have served to keep our country free, our familIES safe, and our nation strong --- HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY! And a tribute to our brave, courageous and selfless men and women.

 

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

  

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From driving in Europe I saw plenty of street kids living in shacks on rubbish tips. I wanted to recreate the memory. We took a windswept Leona in contrasty light with and a look of indifference and wrapped in a shawl. I then took another image of an old shed and blended the two images. The monotone helped with the mood.

The shed would actually be a bit off a luxury to the kids I saw but I’m sure you get the mood of the memory.

Pic by Tanechka Gossipgirl

 

Cary Brothers - "Free Like You Make Me"

 

Tell me a story

Tell me the violence

And were there noises?

And were there sirens?

It'll be ok

And I'll make it right

 

'Cause I know what's coming

And I know why

Because tonight is far too

Perfect for your pain

Because the secrets

That you told

To me

 

I'll take your place when the world ends

And you take mine

I'll break us out of this

Jail and get you high

'Cause when it all ends,

I want you to be free

Free like you make me

 

What were the feelings

There in the silence?

And were you safe or

Was it defiance?

It'll be ok

And I'll make you smile

 

Cause I know what's coming

I saw the signs

Because yopur eyes in this

Moment can't contain

All of the secrets

That you told

To me

 

I'll take your place when the world ends

And you take mine

I'll break us out of this

Jail and get you high

'Cause when it all ends,

I want you to be free

Free like you make me

 

And I understand your way

Please Darlin'

Don't you ever change

And I'm understanding

That you're the one for me

 

I'll take your place when the world ends

And you take mine

I'll break us out of this

Jail and get you high

'Cause when it all ends,

I want you to be free

Free like you make me

 

  

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A young girl collects arsenic free safe drinking water from community deep bore pump in Rajput Colony in Bahoodipur Kureshina Union of Rahim Yar Khan District in Punjab province.Since arsenic is detected in water source in the village, UNICEF installed 387 feet deep bore or submersible pump, however, community pays for electricity, as well for maintenance. Villages use other water source like shallow hand pump, or canal water for other purpose, but for drinking and cooking purpose, everyone in the village collect arsenic-free water from the tank.

I went to the garden store to buy a tree

When this pretty thing I did see

I wanted to buy this just for me

But I had to buy the new tree

Can I take a picture asked me

The man said that it is safe and free

I took some pictures for you to see

Then left with my new tree

 

Sono andato al negozio per comprare un albero

Quando questa cosa bella che ho fatto vedere

Sono andato al negozio per comprare giardino un albero

Ma questa cosa bella che ho fatto vedere

Volevo comprare anche solo per me

Ma ho dovuto comprare il nuovo albero

Posso fare una foto mi ha chiesto

L'uomo disse sicuro e che è libero

Ho fatto alcune foto per voi a vedere

Poi a sinistra con il mio nuovo albero

 

I think you can see I am not a poet

I can write sometimes but this is not my best

Well enjoy the picture, maybe my poem

Next time I will try to write a better tome

 

Penso che si può vedere non sono un poeta

Riesco a scrivere a volte, ma questo non è il mio migliore

Beh godere l'immagine, forse la mia poesia

La prossima volta cercherò di scrivere un tomo migliore

It is Memorial Day today in the USA. In honor of the occasion, here is a view of the Pacific Theatre section of the United States World War II Memorial on the mall in Washington, DC. At the back left can be seen the Washington Monument – dedicated to the memory of the first commander-in-chief of American forces and later the first President. Next to this can be seen the US flag, and below it the POW-MIA flag, in remembrance of all those who were prisoners of war or missing in action while fighting for their country. I wish you all the best on this Memorial Day, and I join with you in honoring and showing respect for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in order to try to make the world a better, freer, safer, and ultimately more peaceful place – in every nation and corner of the earth.

43/365

 

Like the weight's gone off my shoulders

From the top of the world and I can finally breathe

And do you feel like me? Have you been through what I've been through?

Cus from the top of the world where you can finally see,

it's safe to just let go..

 

Valencia - Free

 

The rest of my 365 Project

You're safe from pain in the dream domain, A soul set free to fly. A round trip journey in your head, Master of illusion, can you realize your dream's alive, you can be the guide....

********************

www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhat-xUQ6dw

  

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The sun sets right at the end of an old pier. What luck!... or was it?

 

Free wallpaper for over 100 of my images in 6 different screen sizes is now available!

  

---------------------------------------------------------

Settings etc.:

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Feb. 5, 2009: I just noticed that this picture was displayed in a Flickr blog about 100 million geotagged photos!

 

blog.flickr.net/en/2009/02/05/100000000-geotagged-photos-...

or

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30-second exposure @F22

LEE soft ND grad 0.9 angled 9:30am-3:30pm

I used Lee 150x100mm soft ND grads with a Cokin z-pro holder.

Canon 5D

Canon 17-40L

ISO 50

RAW file processed with Capture One by Phase One

TIFF file processed with Photoshop

 

A few days before I made this image, I noticed how the sun would soon be moving over each day until it was setting right behind this old eroded pier as the summer solstice approached. So I knew to return to make a long exposure at sunset. It is good to arrive at a location with an open mind because you never know what to expect. I set aside my expectations and observe what elements attract the eye. In the RAW file, this image had an overwhelming amount of color, so I had to de-saturate the sky in order to get back the details, which had become lost in blobs of bright orange.

 

In October of 2005, Hurricane Wilma scored a direct hit on this island with category 5 winds gusting over 200 miles per hour. Many beaches were stripped of their sand, revealing old features not seen in many years, like this old pier on the north side of the island. I was told that before the hurricane, these pilings were under many feet of sand and that the beach used to extend well past the last post seen here.

 

On the first day of my trip, the sun had set to the left of end of the pier, but I knew that over the next few days, the sun would move a little to the right each day. (In landscape photography it pays to know how the natural world works, just as a bird photographer must know the habits of the birds to get the best shots.) On the last day of my trip, the sun set right at the end of the pier. I was ready and had an image in my head of what I hoped I could capture. Fortunately the sun dropped below the clouds at the last minute and became visible right as the sun set. I had taken photographs on the previous evenings just in case this evening turned out to be cloudy just to be on the safe side.

 

So, I was lucky to be on vacation during this time, but the rest was planning!

  

When Attila King of the Huns invaded Italy, and the Empire of the West being weakened, did destroy the same, the said Henetians cam out of Histria, now called Frioli,...and other Italians came from adjoining parts, into certain Ilands compassed with marshes, that they might be safe from those Barbarians; and about the yeere of our Lord, 421, began to build a City, which proving a safe retreat from the tyranny then continually oppressing Italy, in process of time by civill Arts grew incredibly.

[from the records of Fynes Moryson, English traveller, 1617]

 

Venice

textures are my own

FREE AT LAST - by Sylvie Benice

 

the living is not easy for any woman or for any man

 

but those of us in North America have it good if you compare

 

us to the other countries in the world - countries that have it much worse

 

famine and drought in Africa - combined with horrible politics

 

let the thousands die and thousands more to remain sick

 

existing, not living is their curse - which when put into perspective

 

makes it hard to find - peace of mind - about the nature of man

 

we are so violent - more violent than beasts - and we have mistreated each other

 

since the time God made us exist - God tried to make us perfect

 

but we failed - by killing each other - we kill our brother

 

everybody had their own point of view - blames the others for what they do

 

but we all are not innocent - for by doing nothing - they have our consent

 

to bomb, rape and pillage - all for some worthy cause - and war is hell

 

a hell that never stops - nobody learns - that there are no victories in war

 

it is all about - evening the score - the strong oppress the weak

 

until the tables are turned - and then then the underdog becomes the terrorist

 

life is still nasty and brutish - but not often short

 

we have succeeded to keep the suffering alive - because we think that is what God wants

 

in North America - we are living so long - dementia so prevalent

 

shows you when you play God - you make mistakes and you cannot repent

 

in other countries, babies die fast, girls are sold into marriage at an age

 

which we would call statutory rape, the evening news brings this to our attention

 

but with so much junk to watch, they lose their impact, another person dies

 

under horrible circumstances, we sigh and change the channel

 

in our inner cities people starve, live out of garbage cans, this is a disgrace

 

by telling the world how we have helped them - brought democracy

 

brought food and guns, let the people speak - but we are a poor role model

 

for other countries - if you count the violence and the rape

 

as for myself i do not watch the news, avoid reading the papers

 

for reading them causes me so much distress

 

just knowing others are suffering causes me unhappiness

 

i look forward to the day - when the Lord will give me peace

 

and I can be free from this evil world with its evil people

 

not that i am innocent - a sinner for sure i am - but i look forward

 

to the freedom of being detached from my sick body

 

which has brought me continued suffering and no repast

 

then i can say - THANK YOU LORD - I AM FREE AT LAST

   

What if the brilliant, twinkling stars

that bring the dark night sky to life

are windows looking out of heaven?

And at the very moment when

we're wishing on those stars,

hoping that the loved ones we have lost

are happy, safe and free ...

Maybe they are looking

at those same stars

from the other side,

making the same wish for us ...

Sending us all their love.

 

~ Sharon Valieau ~

 

Thank you for these lovely words and hope, Chris (rapt_in_mistletoe).

 

Thank you ALL for the unending support and care that you show me. It is greatly felt and appreciated.

 

  

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Wild Horses of the Outer Banks

One of the highlights of our vacation to the Outer Banks in North Carolina was our tour of the Wild Horses that roam free on the beaches of Corova. They descended from the Spanish War Horses that swam to shore from Spanish Explorers sinking ships around 1500.

At one time there were thousands of Outer Banks horses roaming a large portion of the 200 mile barrier island, however today their numbers have dwindled, as the Outer Banks became populated. Additionally, the National Park Service classified them as “Free Roaming Livestock”, which allowed for many of the horses to be captured for private use. They have since been reclassed as “Protected”, and sightseers must stay fifty feet from any wild horses.

Today the wild horses of the Outer Banks live on the beaches of Corova; relocated in 1995 to a section of the Outer Banks that does not have a paved road. They live safe and free on beaches that are only accessible with four wheel drive vehicles.

  

We just launched PHLEARN, our FREE, daily photography and Photoshop instruction show! Check it out for FREE content :) www.phlearn.com

 

Strobist: WhiteLightning X1600 cam right into 86' para @f/5.6 Whitelightning x800 cam left into strip box gridded @f/6.3 power via vagabonds, fired via PWII

 

Model: Leah Powell

Hair: Mandy Richardson

Assistants: Ed Frazier, Avery Carlton

Makeup: Avery Carlton

Photo: Aaron Nace

 

Sometimes you need someone to protect you. Who better than a 10 ft cat.

This was a fun shoot we did in an abandoned barn. Let's just say that Leah was much more cooperative than Spartacus :D

 

I hope everyone has had a safe new year with wonderful celebrations, as I just came back from a 2 week break with some family down the coast, and I'm feeling quite refreshed.

 

My laptop and tripod have decided they don't want to work anymore, and so I've decided to try and push my print sales a lot more than I have ever in the past to try and make up the rest of the money to buy my laptop before the school year starts; the first 10 people to order an 8x8 print will receive a free 6x6 as a gift. I appreciate any help you can give.

 

| Formspring | Tumblr | Facebook Page | Twitter | Blog |

 

I was invited to a rather "free" halloween party, so a friend suggested I go as "peter pan".... wearing only a pan. It was cold, so I also added a "robe", and warm hat. The trickiest part was how to wear the pan... so i created a rope "g-string"! Not the most comfortable, but definitely a fun costume! :)

 

Opdate: 7-7-2013, I finally wrote the blog about this night...

enterwithanopenmindorclosedeyes.blogspot.com/2013/07/clot...

Now amazing Capture One pro 10 is out, and for Sony users the express version is free.

The Capture One 9.4 before it was simply outstanding RAWC, much better than anything from Adobe or Raw Therapy.

 

Unfortunately, the free version of C1 does not handle Canon, Nikon or Olympus RAW, only Sony or DNG(Pentax and Leica).

 

So I guess It is another big reason for many of us to choose Sony over anything else. If you use Sony, you can get a full copy of Capture One pro 10 for just 50 USD.

AS far as I am concerned, this is an incredible deal, great Christmas gift for us from Phase One, the greatest company in Photography ever.

 

I think both Capture One 10 Pro and DXO 11 produce a bit better color than LR CC or LR6 for Sony, Canon,Olympus, or Nikon.

 

I suspect that Adobe programs are optimized for Canon but even for Canon CR2 files, LR6 and CC are not good enough, never produce the amazing amount details that Capture One 10 or DXO 11 does.

 

Seriously C Oen 10 pro for just 50 US is an amazing deal. nothing beats it for that price.

Capture One 10 is a much better more serious program than the LR crapware, and the biggest deal here is not need to deal with the Adobe subscription stuff. Many many Adobe users used the license and repaid it to re-activate it, it is really terribly unstable. I had one time could not use it when I was editing my images on site in a mountain area and they say my account is just trial although I paid it for full CC version.

So after coming back from the mountain, I decided to cancel all Adobe CC crap, and I just got Capture One express 8.32 for Sony free,then later in the same month (last April)I upgraded it to the pro version. I could not be happier.

Now, also DXO is offering me a copy FULL copy of DXO 11 Pro version for just 99 USD. I will get that too.

Honestly, there are still times we need Photoshop but I do have full copy of CS6, so I do not need CC anymore, and I've found life without Adobe CC crap is really much more relaxing and easier.

So in the long run, may Sony E mount be the most expensive system out side of the Leica SL and MFDBs arena?

 

Well it seems like that considering terribly expensive Sony service charge and repair price, and of course their lens prices.

 

As far as lenses are concerned, I can only compare the lenses that have been tested scientifically. Now please keep in mind that these tests were done with the A7R not version 2, but when Nikon introduces their higher resolution camera this will increase the final numbers for Nikon system as well, and Canon already have even higher resolution camera than both Nikon and Sony, but oddly enough DXO and most of others refuse to use the high resolution Canon body for testing their new gen lenses.

Sony 35 2.8, Nikon 35 1.8, Canon 35 2.0 tested with A7R, D810, 5DIII, oddly DXO refuses to test Canon lenses on the 5DS.

Anyway though,the Sony Costs $800, Nikon Costs $600, despite the Sony having less resolving power and a full stop slower than the Nikon. So we see how expensive Sony system actually is already here at the very first comparison below.

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-AF-S-NI...

To be fair to Sony, there is also the Loxia 35 mm f2,which I recently sold off for some new macro lens for my Olympus. The Loxia 35 is a fairly good lens but not an amazing lens, not exceptionally sharp, not extremely well corrected either. It has a bit of serious coma issue at f2 and on, though it is still a better lens than the Sony 35 mm f2.8 in the areas of center resolution and longitudinal CA and Vignetting. But the Loxia is worse than the Sony 35 mm f2.8 in some significant areas such as coma, edge/corner sharpness and focus accuracy at infinity.

So in Sony 35 mm Full frame world , there is no value 35 mm prime at all.

Now move on to value 28 mm primes: Sony 28 2.0, Nikon 28 1.8, Canon 28 2.8, they are close enough to say the difference is irrelevant in real life use.

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-28mm-...

 

So move on to 70-200 mm f4: Of Sony 70-200 f4, Nikon 70-200 f4, Canon 70-200 f4, the Sony again is the most expensive despite the Nikon having more resolving power if we are to trust DXO lens rating. I personally do not trust their lens tests although I trust their sensor tests and I think their sensor test results pretty much mirror my own findings quite often.

But in case of the 70-200 mm f4 lenses, many other sites like SLRgear, lenstip tested and came to the same or identical conclusion to the DXO comparison. I also tested them at my work place with my own copy of DXO analyzer and got the same results.

If I have to pick the winner here, I would pick the Nikon for its obviously better resolution at 200 mm f4 setting. But it is more complicated than just optical quality, since the latest generation body IS of Sony is much more effective than most of in-lens VR or IS I tested.

So, while the Nikon is a bit better lens optically, I doubt that in real life handheld photography we see the better resolving power of the Nikon. The Sony 70-200 mm f4 comes with an excellent tripod collar that would cost 120 US if we buy it separately. Canon and Nikon do not include a tripod collar in their respective 70-200 mm f4 shipping package.

So maybe, is the pricing of the Sony actually reasonable?

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-70-20...

 

Now move on to 35 mm f1.4 lenses comparison:Sony 35 1.4, Nikon 35 1.4. Interestingly in this test the Sony did a little better in resolution to the Nikon although its 22mm longer and 30 grams heavier than the Nikon and 26mm longer and 50 grams heavier than the Canon, so not so compact for a compact system any more.

What this fact tells us about is if you ask ultimate resolution in any current FF system, regardless of your camera body size, your lens must be big and heavy, thus your system won't be small or cheap or light at all.

 

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-Carl-...

But in case of this 35 mm f1.4, we have to consider the extremely bad copy to copy sample variation issue of the Sony. The biggest issue of the DXO and the other typical online lens test sites is that they test only one copy supplied by the company.

But there is a great man testing literally 10-100 of copies of each lens and reporting his results most of times.

www.lensrentals.com/blog/2015/10/sony-e-mount-lens-sharpn...

 

Personally, I take Roger's opinion much more seriously than any other lens test site's so-called review. I work at a mall which also sell cameras and I have tested many returned lenses before sending them back to the respective manufactures, we found that the copy to copy variation is much more significant than many people online think, it is sometimes even more pronounced than lens A to lens B difference.

So testing one copy of each lens is not enough, definitely in the case of any super complex modern optics such as this FE 35 mm f1.4.

I know the best copies of it is a fantastic lens, but about 75 percent of times you get a bad one or just an ok kind of one. It is really really deplorable, sad.

But no one so-called review site besides Roger's report it, and I smell something very fishy here.

 

Now move on to 50 mm -55 mm value primes: the Sony 55 1.8 vs the Nikon 50 1.8 vs the

Canon 50 1.8 STM

 

The Sony beats out the Nikon and obviously the Canon because of the limited megapixels, but the interesting thing is when you compare pricing...$1000 for the Sony, $219 for the Nikon. Weight was another thing with the Sony coming in at almost 100 grams heavier than the Nikon and the Canon. In terms of Absolute resolution, the Sony is quite a bit better, though if you care about the money, then the cheap Nikon gets you about 90 percent of the expensive Sony performance at 1/ 5th of the Sony price.

 

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-Carl-...

 

now finally move on to 90-105 mm macro lens:

The Sony 90 mm macro is reported to be a better lens by likes of DXOmark, but according to Roger Cicala's extensive optics bench testing with many many copies of it, it is not as good as we all once thought it must be because of the DXO result for it below.

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-90mm-...

But it is obvious if you get a good copy of the Sony FE 90 mm f2.8 G lens, it is sharper than anything else in the market, actually it even beats the over-sized over priced not much useful awkward brand lenses like the Zess Otus 85 mm f1.4 APO or the Zeiss 135 mm f2 APO Sonnar,which I sold as soon as I found it useless in real life application ,especially for travel photography and street work. I loved it for studio work, but for that use I do not need to actually own any lens, just rent it from my boss's studio.

Anyway, my point here is if you get a decent Sony Fe 90 or 55 mm then it even beats the super-heavy ,awkward no compromise in design kind of d-SLR lens that priced about 4 times more than the Sony lenses.

The 90 macro is a cheap lens for what it is, there is no comparison to that lens in that relatively modest range of it.

 

So while I agree that Sony has made some very positive moves in recent years,it has come at a cost in pricing, f/stop and in the compactness to the system.Even then, the Sony lenses are not necessarily the best, especially when you take the fact that the Nikon/Canon Lenses often out resolved the Sony equivalents with faster f/stops for less money into serious consideration. The Canon lenses were at a deficit due to megapixels, and even with the obvious sensor resolution disadvantage, quite a few Canon lenses actually still out-resolve Sony Nikon equivalents, it was,to me,quite amazing.

So, I think if you need the ultimate best for now or the absolute best, most promising tech into foreseeable future, then the Sony system makes real sense here, but if you just need 90 percent of what the A7RM2 can do at the 1/4 of the Sony system price, then Nikon still makes better sense(value).

In my area it is even more glaringly clear, the A7RM2 body alone costs about 378000 yen, the Nikon D810 kit with the AF-S24-120 mm f4 VR costs 321000 yen,the Sony does not seem to be a great value although it may well be the absolute best camera in current camera market.

And most of people just go with the almost 95 percent as good as the absolute best kind of system that costs much less than the absolute best.

I chose the Zeiss Batis 85 over the Zeiss Otus 85 although I knew the Otus would beat the Batis in resolution(at a lab)..........but for me the much more manageable size and the weight saving, and more importantly the better overall practicality/usability of the Batis beat the absolute tripod resolution of the Otus. I think the same logic applies for choosing the right camera system.

Although, IMO, Canon still has the edge in lens line, flash,etc, and as a company most stable and profitable with a lot of key-core patents in this ILC technology, I personally never consider any of current Canon cameras seriously. The 5DS is just simply too overpriced, the 6D is just too long in the tooth, the 5D3 is about to be replaced, so no current Canon cameras make great value.

The 5DS-R costs 2 times more than the D810 and I think it is just too crazy, and that makes it absolutely the worst value camera for me. The 5DS at least a bit cheaper than the A7R2 to really justify its market position since it does not have the IBIS of the Sony, the 4k capability of the Sony, the high ISO performance of the Sony.

In the end, after comparing the prices of the lenses I need for the 3 systems carefully, I kind of realize that it is most logical to just stay with my current Sony system, just because I already have it. I guess I will hold on to my A7, A7M2, A7R for as long as I can, and see if Canon, Fuji or Samsung will answer to the a7R2.

The above logic just works for me, but I think for more budget minded people the Nikon may still hold the value king title with the D750..

The D750 is really attractive for event photography on a tight budget, and it is very very cheap now in the many many areas of the world, especially in my area.The Nikon D750 or D810 based system is at least 30 percent cheaper than the A7M2 or the A7RM2 based system with a few primes and a couple of zooms. But if you are a kind of person always wanting to shoot with a Otus or similar IQ lens and always carefully manually focus it, then Sony would suddenly become a much more logical choice for you.

The FE 55 mm f1.8 is sharper than the Otus 55 mm f1.4 at 1/4 of the Otus weight.

I do not have problem paying the Otus price for a great lens but the weight is.

The Sony FE 90 mm f2.8 G (assuming you get a decent copy) beats the both Otus and Batis in resolution and a few more areas.

I know the greater resolution alone does not make it a better lens than the Otus since Otus beats in the areas of CA, distortion and coma at wide open,etc.

But to me the better resolution of the Sony at 1/3 or the weight of Otus is very attractive.

The Batis 85 mm f1.8 is a great lens, honestly it is a bit different kind of lens than the Otus is with a bit more CA, a bit more distortion,etc, but it has the unique Zeiss look as with the other great Zeiss primes, and it is definitely sharp enough for its obvious intended use.

For landscape type of corner to corner sharpness, it may not be able to match the best primes in that focal range such as the FE90 mm f2.8 G , the Otus 85 mm f1.4 and the Leica 90 mm f3.5 APO, but still it handily beats all zooms and most of primes ever made in that specific focal range.

Many people compare the Batis 85 mm to the Nikon AF-S85 mm f1.8 G just because they both share f1.8 f numbers, but are they really comparable in quality?

Actually, in terms of sheer resolution and optical quality the cheap plastic Nikon may be comparable to the Batis. But it is weaker in a few key areas compared to the Batis.

The Nikon has much worse Lo-CA, much worse weaker flare resistance, a bit more distorted.

But the Nikon is smaller, lighter comes with 62 mm filter thread rather than the big 67 mm one on the Batis, it has a bit lower distortion and seems to have a bit lower amount of light fall off.

So it is actually closer match than we once thought it would be, and I see many many people mostly shooting all AF prefer the Nikon over the Zeiss in this case.

But unfortunately for me, the Batis is a better looking lens for my type of shooting since I am a manual focus kind of person, seldom use AF and having good MF ring is very important to me. So as my old man always said when I was a kid, it is always horses for courses, there is no one absolutely better camera system for all of us.

 

Finally as a side note, many many people guessing a lot of the technology inside the Leica SL seems to be from Panasonic.

I think Leica/Panasonic are testing the waters, with their first FF CSC with modern design more sophisticated UI than that of the Sony A7X.

I wouldn't be surprised, if less than a year from now, Panasonic makes a shot directly at Sony A7 series with a cheaper and more practical version of the Leica SL.

If Canon and Nikon don't come up with competitors in the meantime, Sony-Panasonic will be pushing this market very hard very far so that the old leaders will find themselves 7 laps behind all of a sudden. It may be easy for Canon to come up with something similar since they have all the tech needed to make something similar to the Leica SL, but is Nikon still safe, some how able to manage it to survive?

I know many Japanese Mega camera dealers that think in a matter of a several years Nikon won't be around in this market.

If they are correct, I wonder if the new Tokyo Nikon camera museum was actually built by Nikon as their own camera indoor cemetery?

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

  

UPDATE2:Another serious issue all the camera makers will have to face but I did not really realize before is that all ILC cameras are big to most of NORMAL non-photographer people, and they are very intimidating to most of NORMAL people(I mean regardless of mount type or sensor type).

I never realized it before but while walking around down town Fukuoka with one of my long time friends here forced me to understand it. A friend of mine told me that he thinks all interchangeable lens cameras are huge and intimidating to most of average people regardless of sensor size or format, it's just simply annoying!

I guess a big lens scares or annoys people more than a big body......I never saw it his way but I got his point and I decided to carry my tiny Canon G5X when I just walk around the city area with other people. If I am alone shooting something, then I usually carry my big camera, and I think it does not matter it's a m43, a FF, an APS-C, it is all big to most of NORMAL people, anyway.

Then why not just go all the way up to FF or MFDB, or at least APS-C?

 

So maybe the one really doomed is not Nikon F or Pentax K or Sony A but m43?

Nikon and Pentax have historically had very enthusiastic and even fanatic core shooters and they are usually too old to adapt themselves fast to new EVF based gear even if they understand it is the more logical thing for them as they are aged. So D-SLRs may survive as antique cameras, but m43 or Nikon One?

  

UPDATE3:Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their digital-imaging division(Sony DI) and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use-only. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.....and Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many armchair experts in many camera fora think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. No one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features... I think Sony should try to be an Intel of camera.

 

After all, a good camera system requires a set of great glass and speed lite system and determination to support it.

If the body alone performance is everything then the A99MK2 is selling like hotcakes every where, but in reality no one takes that high risk.....because no one trusts Sony that much.

I think sometimes public perception of a manufacture is very important, and Sony needs serious effort to improve their brand image, just a couple of great bodies do not do all the bad name fix for them.

 

So now I am not very positive about the current form of mirrorless and strongly doubt any of these Sony, Fuji, m43,etc would survive......say more than 5 years....

It is basically the same boring tech used as in the D-SLR, nothing new or revolutionary at all.....and so I think Nikon still has some time left to figure the best way to do mirrorless out for the longer term future since none of the current mirrorless doing it right. In other words, if they ditch the F mount and go all electronic mount like the FE or EF but with a bit wider mount throat design , then they would have the best FF mount system in the market. But they must do it very quick and do it right at the very first try just like when they did it with the D3/D300 launch......back in 2007.

  

UPDATE4: I think Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) now as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

The D850 won't change anything, it is just another boring D-SLR iteration, nothing more!

  

UPDATE5:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

      

Thank you to those who have served our country and paid the ultimate sacrifice to keep us safe and free. We remember and honor you today.

Last year I had a lot of Red Mason Bees (Osmia bicornis) nesting in cardboard tubes with paper liners. I removed the cocoons from a number of the tubes and have kept them safe in the hope of witnessing the bees emerging.

 

The process started this week. I missed the first few emergees but then captured a few (including this one); both stills and movie. It took several minutes for this male to struggle free. As soon as he was out he had a quick "wash and brush-up" and then flew off.

Today i was snowbound on the A14 northbound for over 7 hours. I thought that the lone tree might make an interesting shot :)

Japan is a very dark and oppressed society, a lot of oppression there. I think it may be the real hell.

It was cold and very dark gloomy , a very bad day.

  

Now amazing Capture One pro 10 is out, and for Sony users the express version is free.

The Capture One 9.4 before it was simply outstanding RAWC, much better than anything from Adobe or Raw Therapy.

www.flickr.com/photos/izumiflowers/16739211041/

Unfortunately, the free version of C1 does not handle Canon, Nikon or Olympus RAW, only Sony or DNG(Pentax and Leica).

 

So I guess It is another big reason for many of us to choose Sony over anything else. If you use Sony, you can get a full copy of Capture One pro 10 for just 50 USD.

AS far as I am concerned, this is an incredible deal, great Christmas gift for us from Phase One, the greatest company in Photography ever.

 

I think both Capture One 10 Pro and DXO 11 produce a bit better color than LR CC or LR6 for Sony, Canon,Olympus, or Nikon.

 

I suspect that Adobe programs are optimized for Canon but even for Canon CR2 files, LR6 and CC are not good enough, never produce the amazing amount details that Capture One 10 or DXO 11 does.

 

Seriously C Oen 10 pro for just 50 US is an amazing deal. nothing beats it for that price.

Capture One 10 is a much better more serious program than the LR crapware, and the biggest deal here is not need to deal with the Adobe subscription stuff. Many many Adobe users used the license and repaid it to re-activate it, it is really terribly unstable. I had one time could not use it when I was editing my images on site in a mountain area and they say my account is just trial although I paid it for full CC version.

So after coming back from the mountain, I decided to cancel all Adobe CC crap, and I just got Capture One express 8.32 for Sony free,then later in the same month (last April)I upgraded it to the pro version. I could not be happier.

Now, also DXO is offering me a copy FULL copy of DXO 11 Pro version for just 99 USD. I will get that too.

Honestly, there are still times we need Photoshop but I do have full copy of CS6, so I do not need CC anymore, and I've found life without Adobe CC crap is really much more relaxing and easier.

So in the long run, may Sony E mount be the most expensive system out side of the Leica SL and MFDBs arena?

 

Well it seems like that considering terribly expensive Sony service charge and repair price, and of course their lens prices.

 

As far as lenses are concerned, I can only compare the lenses that have been tested scientifically. Now please keep in mind that these tests were done with the A7R not version 2, but when Nikon introduces their higher resolution camera this will increase the final numbers for Nikon system as well, and Canon already have even higher resolution camera than both Nikon and Sony, but oddly enough DXO and most of others refuse to use the high resolution Canon body for testing their new gen lenses.

Sony 35 2.8, Nikon 35 1.8, Canon 35 2.0 tested with A7R, D810, 5DIII, oddly DXO refuses to test Canon lenses on the 5DS.

Anyway though,the Sony Costs $800, Nikon Costs $600, despite the Sony having less resolving power and a full stop slower than the Nikon. So we see how expensive Sony system actually is already here at the very first comparison below.

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Nikon-AF-S-NI...

To be fair to Sony, there is also the Loxia 35 mm f2,which I recently sold off for some new macro lens for my Olympus. The Loxia 35 is a fairly good lens but not an amazing lens, not exceptionally sharp, not extremely well corrected either. It has a bit of serious coma issue at f2 and on, though it is still a better lens than the Sony 35 mm f2.8 in the areas of center resolution and longitudinal CA and Vignetting. But the Loxia is worse than the Sony 35 mm f2.8 in some significant areas such as coma, edge/corner sharpness and focus accuracy at infinity.

So in Sony 35 mm Full frame world , there is no value 35 mm prime at all.

Now move on to value 28 mm primes: Sony 28 2.0, Nikon 28 1.8, Canon 28 2.8, they are close enough to say the difference is irrelevant in real life use.

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-28mm-...

 

So move on to 70-200 mm f4: Of Sony 70-200 f4, Nikon 70-200 f4, Canon 70-200 f4, the Sony again is the most expensive despite the Nikon having more resolving power if we are to trust DXO lens rating. I personally do not trust their lens tests although I trust their sensor tests and I think their sensor test results pretty much mirror my own findings quite often.

But in case of the 70-200 mm f4 lenses, many other sites like SLRgear, lenstip tested and came to the same or identical conclusion to the DXO comparison. I also tested them at my work place with my own copy of DXO analyzer and got the same results.

If I have to pick the winner here, I would pick the Nikon for its obviously better resolution at 200 mm f4 setting. But it is more complicated than just optical quality, since the latest generation body IS of Sony is much more effective than most of in-lens VR or IS I tested.

So, while the Nikon is a bit better lens optically, I doubt that in real life handheld photography we see the better resolving power of the Nikon. The Sony 70-200 mm f4 comes with an excellent tripod collar that would cost 120 US if we buy it separately. Canon and Nikon do not include a tripod collar in their respective 70-200 mm f4 shipping package.

So maybe, is the pricing of the Sony actually reasonable?

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-70-20...

 

Now move on to 35 mm f1.4 lenses comparison:Sony 35 1.4, Nikon 35 1.4. Interestingly in this test the Sony did a little better in resolution to the Nikon although its 22mm longer and 30 grams heavier than the Nikon and 26mm longer and 50 grams heavier than the Canon, so not so compact for a compact system any more.

What this fact tells us about is if you ask ultimate resolution in any current FF system, regardless of your camera body size, your lens must be big and heavy, thus your system won't be small or cheap or light at all.

 

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-Carl-...

But in case of this 35 mm f1.4, we have to consider the extremely bad copy to copy sample variation issue of the Sony. The biggest issue of the DXO and the other typical online lens test sites is that they test only one copy supplied by the company.

But there is a great man testing literally 10-100 of copies of each lens and reporting his results most of times.

www.lensrentals.com/blog/2015/10/sony-e-mount-lens-sharpn...

 

Personally, I take Roger's opinion much more seriously than any other lens test site's so-called review. I work at a mall which also sell cameras and I have tested many returned lenses before sending them back to the respective manufactures, we found that the copy to copy variation is much more significant than many people online think, it is sometimes even more pronounced than lens A to lens B difference.

So testing one copy of each lens is not enough, definitely in the case of any super complex modern optics such as this FE 35 mm f1.4.

I know the best copies of it is a fantastic lens, but about 75 percent of times you get a bad one or just an ok kind of one. It is really really deplorable, sad.

But no one so-called review site besides Roger's report it, and I smell something very fishy here.

 

Now move on to 50 mm -55 mm value primes: the Sony 55 1.8 vs the Nikon 50 1.8 vs the

Canon 50 1.8 STM

 

The Sony beats out the Nikon and obviously the Canon because of the limited megapixels, but the interesting thing is when you compare pricing...$1000 for the Sony, $219 for the Nikon. Weight was another thing with the Sony coming in at almost 100 grams heavier than the Nikon and the Canon. In terms of Absolute resolution, the Sony is quite a bit better, though if you care about the money, then the cheap Nikon gets you about 90 percent of the expensive Sony performance at 1/ 5th of the Sony price.

 

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-Carl-...

 

now finally move on to 90-105 mm macro lens:

The Sony 90 mm macro is reported to be a better lens by likes of DXOmark, but according to Roger Cicala's extensive optics bench testing with many many copies of it, it is not as good as we all once thought it must be because of the DXO result for it below.

www.dxomark.com/Lenses/Compare/Side-by-side/Sony-FE-90mm-...

But it is obvious if you get a good copy of the Sony FE 90 mm f2.8 G lens, it is sharper than anything else in the market, actually it even beats the over-sized over priced not much useful awkward brand lenses like the Zess Otus 85 mm f1.4 APO or the Zeiss 135 mm f2 APO Sonnar,which I sold as soon as I found it useless in real life application ,especially for travel photography and street work. I loved it for studio work, but for that use I do not need to actually own any lens, just rent it from my boss's studio.

Anyway, my point here is if you get a decent Sony Fe 90 or 55 mm then it even beats the super-heavy ,awkward no compromise in design kind of d-SLR lens that priced about 4 times more than the Sony lenses.

The 90 macro is a cheap lens for what it is, there is no comparison to that lens in that relatively modest range of it.

 

So while I agree that Sony has made some very positive moves in recent years,it has come at a cost in pricing, f/stop and in the compactness to the system.Even then, the Sony lenses are not necessarily the best, especially when you take the fact that the Nikon/Canon Lenses often out resolved the Sony equivalents with faster f/stops for less money into serious consideration. The Canon lenses were at a deficit due to megapixels, and even with the obvious sensor resolution disadvantage, quite a few Canon lenses actually still out-resolve Sony Nikon equivalents, it was,to me,quite amazing.

So, I think if you need the ultimate best for now or the absolute best, most promising tech into foreseeable future, then the Sony system makes real sense here, but if you just need 90 percent of what the A7RM2 can do at the 1/4 of the Sony system price, then Nikon still makes better sense(value).

In my area it is even more glaringly clear, the A7RM2 body alone costs about 378000 yen, the Nikon D810 kit with the AF-S24-120 mm f4 VR costs 321000 yen,the Sony does not seem to be a great value although it may well be the absolute best camera in current camera market.

And most of people just go with the almost 95 percent as good as the absolute best kind of system that costs much less than the absolute best.

I chose the Zeiss Batis 85 over the Zeiss Otus 85 although I knew the Otus would beat the Batis in resolution(at a lab)..........but for me the much more manageable size and the weight saving, and more importantly the better overall practicality/usability of the Batis beat the absolute tripod resolution of the Otus. I think the same logic applies for choosing the right camera system.

Although, IMO, Canon still has the edge in lens line, flash,etc, and as a company most stable and profitable with a lot of key-core patents in this ILC technology, I personally never consider any of current Canon cameras seriously. The 5DS is just simply too overpriced, the 6D is just too long in the tooth, the 5D3 is about to be replaced, so no current Canon cameras make great value.

The 5DS-R costs 2 times more than the D810 and I think it is just too crazy, and that makes it absolutely the worst value camera for me. The 5DS at least a bit cheaper than the A7R2 to really justify its market position since it does not have the IBIS of the Sony, the 4k capability of the Sony, the high ISO performance of the Sony.

In the end, after comparing the prices of the lenses I need for the 3 systems carefully, I kind of realize that it is most logical to just stay with my current Sony system, just because I already have it. I guess I will hold on to my A7, A7M2, A7R for as long as I can, and see if Canon, Fuji or Samsung will answer to the a7R2.

The above logic just works for me, but I think for more budget minded people the Nikon may still hold the value king title with the D750..

The D750 is really attractive for event photography on a tight budget, and it is very very cheap now in the many many areas of the world, especially in my area.The Nikon D750 or D810 based system is at least 30 percent cheaper than the A7M2 or the A7RM2 based system with a few primes and a couple of zooms. But if you are a kind of person always wanting to shoot with a Otus or similar IQ lens and always carefully manually focus it, then Sony would suddenly become a much more logical choice for you.

The FE 55 mm f1.8 is sharper than the Otus 55 mm f1.4 at 1/4 of the Otus weight.

I do not have problem paying the Otus price for a great lens but the weight is.

The Sony FE 90 mm f2.8 G (assuming you get a decent copy) beats the both Otus and Batis in resolution and a few more areas.

I know the greater resolution alone does not make it a better lens than the Otus since Otus beats in the areas of CA, distortion and coma at wide open,etc.

But to me the better resolution of the Sony at 1/3 or the weight of Otus is very attractive.

The Batis 85 mm f1.8 is a great lens, honestly it is a bit different kind of lens than the Otus is with a bit more CA, a bit more distortion,etc, but it has the unique Zeiss look as with the other great Zeiss primes, and it is definitely sharp enough for its obvious intended use.

For landscape type of corner to corner sharpness, it may not be able to match the best primes in that focal range such as the FE90 mm f2.8 G , the Otus 85 mm f1.4 and the Leica 90 mm f3.5 APO, but still it handily beats all zooms and most of primes ever made in that specific focal range.

Many people compare the Batis 85 mm to the Nikon AF-S85 mm f1.8 G just because they both share f1.8 f numbers, but are they really comparable in quality?

Actually, in terms of sheer resolution and optical quality the cheap plastic Nikon may be comparable to the Batis. But it is weaker in a few key areas compared to the Batis.

The Nikon has much worse Lo-CA, much worse weaker flare resistance, a bit more distorted.

But the Nikon is smaller, lighter comes with 62 mm filter thread rather than the big 67 mm one on the Batis, it has a bit lower distortion and seems to have a bit lower amount of light fall off.

So it is actually closer match than we once thought it would be, and I see many many people mostly shooting all AF prefer the Nikon over the Zeiss in this case.

But unfortunately for me, the Batis is a better looking lens for my type of shooting since I am a manual focus kind of person, seldom use AF and having good MF ring is very important to me. So as my old man always said when I was a kid, it is always horses for courses, there is no one absolutely better camera system for all of us.

 

Finally as a side note, many many people guessing a lot of the technology inside the Leica SL seems to be from Panasonic.

I think Leica/Panasonic are testing the waters, with their first FF CSC with modern design more sophisticated UI than that of the Sony A7X.

I wouldn't be surprised, if less than a year from now, Panasonic makes a shot directly at Sony A7 series with a cheaper and more practical version of the Leica SL.

If Canon and Nikon don't come up with competitors in the meantime, Sony-Panasonic will be pushing this market very hard very far so that the old leaders will find themselves 7 laps behind all of a sudden. It may be easy for Canon to come up with something similar since they have all the tech needed to make something similar to the Leica SL, but is Nikon still safe, some how able to manage it to survive?

I know many Japanese Mega camera dealers that think in a matter of a several years Nikon won't be around in this market.

If they are correct, I wonder if the new Tokyo Nikon camera museum was actually built by Nikon as their own camera indoor cemetery?

  

UPDATE : now, Canon has just announced its new sensor development policy. Canon seems to have built a new sensor plant in Mie prefecture of Japan. It seems like Canon is going on new 65nm process rule and all upcoming Canon sensors will be produced at there.

I think the 1DX2 and the 80D sensors are processed at the new plant.

Sony is still leading the CMOS imaging industry, but giants like Samsung are in close pursuit. Also big players like Panasonic are forming joint ventures with the likes of TowerJazz to offer 12-inch wafer fabrication with state-of-the-art quantum efficiency and dark current performance at 65 nano meters, and additional 45nm digital technology, and added available capacity of approximately 800,000 8-inch wafers per year in three manufacturing plants in Japan, according to TowerJazz.

 

The stakes are huge. The CMOS image sensor market will reached the historic $10 billion milestone in 2015, according to Yale, and with new applications popping up in automotive, medical and surveillance, while smartphones begin adopting high-definition front facing cameras, the industry is likely to hit the $16 billion mark by 2020. So nobody is just sleeping and Sony has to consolidate its position ASAP, or probably Sony will lose it again just like its short-lived TV business.

  

UPDATE2:Another serious issue all the camera makers will have to face but I did not really realize before is that all ILC cameras are big to most of NORMAL non-photographer people, and they are very intimidating to most of NORMAL people(I mean regardless of mount type or sensor type).

I never realized it before but while walking around down town Fukuoka with one of my long time friends here forced me to understand it. A friend of mine told me that he thinks all interchangeable lens cameras are huge and intimidating to most of average people regardless of sensor size or format, it's just simply annoying!

I guess a big lens scares or annoys people more than a big body......I never saw it his way but I got his point and I decided to carry my tiny Canon G5X when I just walk around the city area with other people. If I am alone shooting something, then I usually carry my big camera, and I think it does not matter it's a m43, a FF, an APS-C, it is all big to most of NORMAL people, anyway.

Then why not just go all the way up to FF or MFDB, or at least APS-C?

 

So maybe the one really doomed is not Nikon F or Pentax K or Sony A but m43?

Nikon and Pentax have historically had very enthusiastic and even fanatic core shooters and they are usually too old to adapt themselves fast to new EVF based gear even if they understand it is the more logical thing for them as they are aged. So D-SLRs may survive as antique cameras, but m43 or Nikon One?

  

UPDATE3:Many people including myself thought Nikon is dying, if not already dead by now, but in reality Nikon still sells many many more units than Sony and Nikon is now working on new type of sensor design and they may collaborate with Pentax and Olympus to set up a new sensor company. If this plays out well, then Sony will be the loser since they will have no one to sell their so-called Fullframe sensors any more. And as a result their highend camera prices will go up significantly.

And now Sony has just announced they've just decided to spin off their digital-imaging division(Sony DI) and now it is an independent business under Sony corp's supervision, just like their sensor group.....

This means now Sony imaging is not a part of Sony but their subsidiary, and therefore, to Sony device group, the imaging group is just a customer,nothing special, in fact,considering its size of market share in relation to that of Nikon, Sony imaging group is a lower class customer to the device group.

So there is no more reason for Sony device technology to keep the best sensor for in-house use-only. In fact now Sony device tech must compete with the new sensor company Nikon Olympus Ricoh have just established here and some European sensor designers such as CMOSIS, who makes the Leica SL sensor and M sensor.

And do not forget there is always Canon if Sony does not sell anything to Nikon.........Canon will start selling it and there will be Panasonic and Tower Jazz also........so Nikon will not have any problem choosing sensor suppliers any more.

Sony must sell their best sensors to Nikon, Olympus, and Pentax , or Sony will lose them, Sony cannot choose customers any more.

If Sony is smart, it will not compete with Nikon or Olympus in camera market. After all, Nikon is the biggest customer of Sony.....and Sony also buys steppers from Nikon anyway. So Sony is not dominating the sensor market, or controlling Nikon as many armchair experts in many camera fora think..........and the just announced Spun-off of their imaging division makes Sony camera business less trust-worthy........... Sony thinks every business as a short term investment and runs it to make it temporarily profitable and then spins it off.

After that? of course sells it to anyone willing to buy it.........like Sony did with the Vaio PC business, TV business, etc,etc.

That is why no one really trust Sony in the long run, we long term Sony users just use its cameras but always know it is a back-up plan or step-gap solution......

After all no serious camera buyers are as obtuse as many spec-chasers and review sites think they are. No one buys into a big expensive camera system just for an amazing set of features in a body or two...................there are many many more important aspects to a system camera than just a set of great features... I think Sony should try to be an Intel of camera.

 

After all, a good camera system requires a set of great glass and speed lite system and determination to support it.

If the body alone performance is everything then the A99MK2 is selling like hotcakes every where, but in reality no one takes that high risk.....because no one trusts Sony that much.

I think sometimes public perception of a manufacture is very important, and Sony needs serious effort to improve their brand image, just a couple of great bodies do not do all the bad name fix for them.

 

So now I am not very positive about the current form of mirrorless and strongly doubt any of these Sony, Fuji, m43,etc would survive......say more than 5 years....

It is basically the same boring tech used as in the D-SLR, nothing new or revolutionary at all.....and so I think Nikon still has some time left to figure the best way to do mirrorless out for the longer term future since none of the current mirrorless doing it right. In other words, if they ditch the F mount and go all electronic mount like the FE or EF but with a bit wider mount throat design , then they would have the best FF mount system in the market. But they must do it very quick and do it right at the very first try just like when they did it with the D3/D300 launch......back in 2007.

  

UPDATE4: I think Nikon fans are getting really desperate(paranoid) now as you can see it at Nikon Rumors and Photorumors sites.

They constantly bashing any Sony, Canon, Fuji, and m43 products, before that they used to bash Samsung too.

They usually say CanonNikon to put Canon and Nikon in the same class or league, but what they do not realize is that Canon has stated many times their rivals or what Canon considers its rivals are Fuji and Sony not Nikon, Canon does not even care about Nikon.

This is the reality that Nikon fans cannot see but everybody else sees clearly.

 

I went to Nagasaki in last week end and this week to cover their atomic bomb events and festival, and I have noticed clear sign of the ILC market trend might really be changing that I did not see many Nikons that I used to see at this kind of events and tourists venues( actually, Nikon was the dominant player at this event for many years, until maybe this year).

 

I saw many mirrorless cameras this time and this was my first time that I saw more mirrorless shooters than D-SLR guys. And the most worrisome trend I saw for the D-SLR community(especially for Nikon community) was that all those still shooting with a heavy ugly Nikon D-SLR seemed to be really old retired men....

 

Another seriously worrisome trend I saw for Nikon community was that all rich Chinese and Arab tourists had a Canon 5D4 or 1DX2, some with the A9...or even GFX50s or Hasselblad X1D( but no one rich was shooting Nikon).

 

I also met a several Sony A7X shooters some were shooting with a A7 original but ,to my surprise, most of them had A7R2 or A7S2.

 

Oh even more shocking change was that many many people had Panasonic GH5 or very expensive (for the sensor size) Olympus EM1MK2 with 40-140f2.8 pro zoom........and a few Chinese tourists I had some conversation with had a Olympus EM1MK2 kit plus Fuji GFX50s kit or Sony A7R2 plus Fuji XT20 or X-Pro2 kit.

But still Canon seemed to be the dominant player here by a huge margin.

And I think Nikon seems to have been the biggest loser here and it getting worse and worse for them since the young really feel the name Nikon as obscure as Konica-Minolta or Pentax.

 

Some local students I met told me that they do not know what Nikon is and to them good popular camera makers are Canon, Sony, Fuji, Olympus and Leica.

 

I was a bit surprised that they knew Leica and I was so happy to know that, however, they did not even know Nikon and its legend even though they were Japanese.

 

Now, Nikon is quickly becoming an old man brand here in Japan, and no young people do not even know the name of it any more.

 

The D850 won't change anything, it is just another boring D-SLR iteration, nothing more!

  

UPDATE5:Now the D850 has been out, available for us to test it at many shops in Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Fukuoka, etc, here. And I have tested it a several times, it is a great camera indeed as a D-SLR as we all expect, but is it a game-changing camera for Nikon?

No. It may be the opposite, game shuttering camera for Nikon since this shows clearly how Nikon has wasted its very limited resources(for mirrorless) on something really do nothing great for Nikon in the long run.

 

And as I have written it a week or so back here, Nikon has changed its mirrorless plans. It will not be announced until 2019.......and this is really terrible, showing us how little Nikon managers actually understand their company's current situation and what they actually need to change the rules of the game they've been playing against Canon and Sony.

 

It is not the D850 that may save Nikon as it is just a incremental iteration of the D810, or can I say a more refined version of it?

Make no mistake here, the D850 is a fantastic camera and I probably buy it myself in this winter. But as Thom Hogan and others have rightly pointed out, the highend FX D-SLRs Nikon has released were all good, nothing really terrible at all , however, it is not the line they desperately need to change the rules of the game they have been playing against Sony , Fuji and to a lesser degree Canon.

 

I think it is too late for Nikon to enter big sensor mirrorless market since the top dog in the race has changed and now it is Canon that Nikon or any one tries to be in this race has to beat, no longer Fuji or Sony.

 

I think when the main rival was Sony, Nikon had chance, but now it is more and more difficult for Nikon since the one to beat here is no longer Sony or Fuji but Canon.

 

This is the reason why Nikon managers are so desperate and their fanboys going crazy, making a terrible system comparison vid like below to bash all the other brand FF systems but Nikon.

 

nikonrumors.com/2017/09/02/what-is-the-most-expensive-ful...

 

I think this comparison is hilarious.

Very unfair and very stupid, clearly showing how desperate the Nikon fanboy community has become.

 

Plus, as I said it rightly many times, the idea of "SYSTEM" should die, not every body needs to get a set of super teles or super wide, or even the 70-200mm f2.8 kinda zoom.

 

Personally, I think a FF with super wide to around 85mm plus TSE lenses make more sense than usual 24-70 plus 70-200 plus 50/1.4 type of kit that NikonRumors deliberately chose to make Nikon system look nicer than the others.

 

Anyway the point here is Nikon guys cannot see the fact the situation is changing, the rules of the game is changing, and now they are the only ones left out there without the new weapons that the others are all allowed to rightly possess.

      

Explore, relax, row a boat, dance, make love. Safe. Totally free. This parcel is just a part our 3-sim estate. All three sims are open to you. See eotia.org for more information.

 

maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Crow/174/153/26

May this photograph reflect some peace and tranqulity in your life

during this Labor Day weekend. To those who have loved ones

overseas serving our country to keep it free, this photograph is for you.

May we remember those who gave their lives before us as well.

  

Sailing at Hilo Bay thinking of C&K's 35th concert reunion

In Hawaii tonight.

~C&K Sailing~

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksuPnjQYfLk

 

Aloha,

Moana :)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from Hong kong)

 

Hong Kong, officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China, is an autonomous territory south to Mainland China and east to Macao in East Asia. With around 7.2 million Hong Kongers of various nationalities[note 2] in a territory of 1,104 km2, Hong Kong is the world's fourth most densely populated country or territory.

 

Hong Kong used to be a British colony with the perpetual cession of Hong Kong Island from the Qing Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). The colony expanded to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and acquired a 99-year lease of the New Territories from 1898. Hong Kong was later occupied by Japan during the Second World War until British control resumed in 1945. The Sino-British Joint Declaration signed between the United Kingdom and China in 1984 paved way for the transfer of sovereignty of Hong Kong in 1997, when it became a special administrative region (SAR) of the People's Republic of China with a high degree of autonomy.[15]

 

Under the principle of "one country, two systems",[16][17] Hong Kong maintains a separate political and economic system from China. Except in military defence and foreign affairs, Hong Kong maintains its independent executive, legislative and judiciary powers.[18] In addition, Hong Kong develops relations directly with foreign states and international organisations in a broad range of "appropriate fields".[19] Hong Kong involves in international organizations, such as the WTO[20] and the APEC [21], actively and independently.

 

Hong Kong is one of the world's most significant financial centres, with the highest Financial Development Index score and consistently ranks as the world's most competitive and freest economic entity.[22][23] As the world's 8th largest trading entity,[24] its legal tender, the Hong Kong dollar, is the world's 13th most traded currency.[25] As the world's most visited city,[26][27] Hong Kong's tertiary sector dominated economy is characterised by competitive simple taxation and supported by its independent judiciary system.[28] Even with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, it suffers from severe income inequality.[29]

 

Nicknamed "Pearl of the Orient", Hong Kong is renowned for its deep natural harbour, which boasts the world's fifth busiest port with ready access by cargo ships, and its impressive skyline, with the most skyscrapers in the world.[30][31] It has a very high Human Development Index ranking and the world's longest life expectancy.[32][33] Over 90% of the population makes use of well-developed public transportation.[34][35] Seasonal air pollution with origins from neighbouring industrial areas of Mainland China, which adopts loose emissions standards, has resulted in a high level of atmospheric particulates in winter.[36][37][38]

Contents

 

1 Etymology

2 History

2.1 Prehistory

2.2 Imperial China

2.3 British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

2.4 Japanese occupation: 1941–45

2.5 Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

2.6 Handover and Special Administrative Region status

3 Governance

3.1 Structure of government

3.2 Electoral and political reforms

3.3 Legal system and judiciary

3.4 Foreign relations

3.5 Human rights

3.6 Regions and districts

3.7 Military

4 Geography and climate

5 Economy

5.1 Financial centre

5.2 International trading

5.3 Tourism and expatriation

5.4 Policy

5.5 Infrastructure

6 Demographics

6.1 Languages

6.2 Religion

6.3 Personal income

6.4 Education

6.5 Health

7 Culture

7.1 Sports

7.2 Architecture

7.3 Cityscape

7.4 Symbols

8 See also

9 Notes

10 References

10.1 Citations

10.2 Sources

11 Further reading

12 External links

 

Etymology

 

Hong Kong was officially recorded in the 1842 Treaty of Nanking to encompass the entirety of the island.[39]

 

The source of the romanised name "Hong Kong" is not known, but it is generally believed to be an early imprecise phonetic rendering of the pronunciation in spoken Cantonese 香港 (Cantonese Yale: Hēung Góng), which means "Fragrant Harbour" or "Incense Harbour".[13][14][40] Before 1842, the name referred to a small inlet—now Aberdeen Harbour (Chinese: 香港仔; Cantonese Yale: Hēunggóng jái), literally means "Little Hong Kong"—between Aberdeen Island and the southern coast of Hong Kong Island. Aberdeen was an initial point of contact between British sailors and local fishermen.[41]

 

Another theory is that the name would have been taken from Hong Kong's early inhabitants, the Tankas (水上人); it is equally probable that romanisation was done with a faithful execution of their speeches, i.e. hōng, not hēung in Cantonese.[42] Detailed and accurate romanisation systems for Cantonese were available and in use at the time.[43]

 

Fragrance may refer to the sweet taste of the harbour's fresh water estuarine influx of the Pearl River or to the incense from factories lining the coast of northern Kowloon. The incense was stored near Aberdeen Harbour for export before Hong Kong developed Victoria Harbour.[40]

 

The name had often been written as the single word Hongkong until the government adopted the current form in 1926.[44] Nevertheless, a number of century-old institutions still retain the single-word form, such as the Hongkong Post, Hongkong Electric and the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation.

 

As of 1997, its official name is the "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China". This is the official title as mentioned in the Hong Kong Basic Law and the Hong Kong Government's website;[45] however, "Hong Kong Special Administrative Region" and "Hong Kong" are widely accepted.

 

Hong Kong has carried many nicknames. The most famous among those is the "Pearl of the Orient", which reflected the impressive nightscape of the city's light decorations on the skyscrapers along both sides of the Victoria Harbour. The territory is also known as "Asia's World City".

History

Main articles: History of Hong Kong and History of China

Prehistory

Main article: Prehistoric Hong Kong

 

Archaeological studies support human presence in the Chek Lap Kok area (now Hong Kong International Airport) from 35,000 to 39,000 years ago and on Sai Kung Peninsula from 6,000 years ago.[46][47][48]

 

Wong Tei Tung and Three Fathoms Cove are the earliest sites of human habitation in Hong Kong during the Paleolithic Period. It is believed that the Three Fathom Cove was a river-valley settlement and Wong Tei Tung was a lithic manufacturing site. Excavated Neolithic artefacts suggested cultural differences from the Longshan culture of northern China and settlement by the Che people, prior to the migration of the Baiyue to Hong Kong.[49][50] Eight petroglyphs, which dated to the Shang Dynasty (c. 1600 BC – 1066 BC) in China, were discovered on the surrounding islands.[51]

Imperial China

Main article: History of Hong Kong under Imperial China

 

In 214 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of a centralised China, conquered the Baiyue tribes in Jiaozhi (modern-day Liangguang region and Vietnam) and incorporated the area of Hong Kong into his imperial China for the first time. Hong Kong proper was assigned to the Nanhai commandery (modern-day Nanhai District), near the commandery's capital city Panyu.[52][53][54]

 

After a brief period of centralisation and collapse of the Qin dynasty, the area of Hong Kong was consolidated under the Kingdom of Nanyue, founded by general Zhao Tuo in 204 BC.[55] When Nanyue lost the Han-Nanyue War in 111 BC, Hong Kong came under the Jiaozhi commandery of the Han dynasty. Archaeological evidence indicates an increase of population and flourish of salt production. The Lei Cheng Uk Han Tomb on the Kowloon Peninsula is believed to have been built as a burial site during the Han dynasty.[56]

 

From the Han dynasty to the early Tang dynasty, Hong Kong was a part of Bao'an County. In the Tang dynasty, modern-day Guangzhou (Canton) flourished as an international trading centre. In 736, the Emperor Xuanzong of Tang established a military stronghold in Tuen Mun to strengthen defence of the coastal area.[57] The nearby Lantau Island was a salt production centre and salt smuggler riots occasionally broke out against the government. In c. 1075, The first village school, Li Ying College, was established around 1075 AD in modern-day New Territories by the Northern Song dynasty.[58] During their war against the Mongols, the imperial court of Southern Song was briefly stationed at modern-day Kowloon City (the Sung Wong Toi site) before their ultimate defeat by the Mongols at the Battle of Yamen in 1279.[59] The Mongols then established their dynastic court and governed Hong Kong for 97 years.

 

From the mid-Tang dynasty to the early Ming dynasty (1368–1644), Hong Kong was a part of Dongguan County. During the Ming dynasty, the area was transferred to Xin'an County. The indigenous inhabitants at that time consisted of several ethnicities such as Punti, Hakka, Tanka and Hoklo.

European discovery

 

The earliest European visitor on record was Jorge Álvares, a Portuguese explorer, who arrived in 1513.[60][61] Having established a trading post in a site they called "Tamão" in Hong Kong waters, Portuguese merchants commenced with regular trading in southern China. Subsequent military clashes between China and Portugal, however, led to the expulsion of all Portuguese merchants from southern China.

 

Since the 14th century, the Ming court had enforced the maritime prohibition laws that strictly forbade all private maritime activities in order to prevent contact with foreigners by sea.[62] When the Manchu Qing dynasty took over China, Hong Kong was directly affected by the Great Clearance decree of the Kangxi Emperor, who ordered the evacuation of coastal areas of Guangdong from 1661 to 1669. Over 16,000 inhabitants of Xin'an County including those in Hong Kong were forced to migrate inland; only 1,648 of those who had evacuated subsequently returned.[63][64]

British Crown Colony: 1842–1941

A painter at work. John Thomson. Hong Kong, 1871. The Wellcome Collection, London

Main articles: British Hong Kong and History of Hong Kong (1800s–1930s)

 

In 1839, threats by the imperial court of Qing to sanction opium imports caused diplomatic friction with the British Empire. Tensions escalated into the First Opium War. The Qing admitted defeat when British forces captured Hong Kong Island on 20 January 1841. The island was initially ceded under the Convention of Chuenpi as part of a ceasefire agreement between Captain Charles Elliot and Governor Qishan. A dispute between high-ranking officials of both countries, however, led to the failure of the treaty's ratification. On 29 August 1842, Hong Kong Island was formally ceded in perpetuity to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland under the Treaty of Nanking.[65] The British officially established a Crown colony and founded the City of Victoria in the following year.[66]

 

The population of Hong Kong Island was 7,450 when the Union Flag raised over Possession Point on 26 January 1841. It mostly consisted of Tanka fishermen and Hakka charcoal burners, whose settlements scattered along several coastal hamlets. In the 1850s, a large number of Chinese immigrants crossed the then-free border to escape from the Taiping Rebellion. Other natural disasters, such as flooding, typhoons and famine in mainland China would play a role in establishing Hong Kong as a place for safe shelter.[67][68]

 

Further conflicts over the opium trade between Britain and Qing quickly escalated into the Second Opium War. Following the Anglo-French victory, the Crown Colony was expanded to include Kowloon Peninsula (south of Boundary Street) and Stonecutter's Island, both of which were ceded to the British in perpetuity under the Convention of Beijing in 1860.

 

In 1898, Britain obtained a 99-year lease from Qing under the Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory, in which Hong Kong obtained a 99-year lease of Lantau Island, the area north of Boundary Street in Kowloon up to Shenzhen River and over 200 other outlying islands.[69][70][71]

 

Hong Kong soon became a major entrepôt thanks to its free port status, attracting new immigrants to settle from both China and Europe. The society, however, remained racially segregated and polarised under early British colonial policies. Despite the rise of a British-educated Chinese upper-class by the late-19th century, race laws such as the Peak Reservation Ordinance prevented ethnic Chinese in Hong Kong from acquiring houses in reserved areas such as Victoria Peak. At this time, the majority of the Chinese population in Hong Kong had no political representation in the British colonial government. The British governors did rely, however, on a small number of Chinese elites, including Sir Kai Ho and Robert Hotung, who served as ambassadors and mediators between the government and local population.

File:1937 Hong Kong VP8.webmPlay media

Hong Kong filmed in 1937

 

In 1904, the United Kingdom established the world's first border and immigration control; all residents of Hong Kong were given citizenship as Citizens of United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKC).

 

Hong Kong continued to experience modest growth during the first half of the 20th century. The University of Hong Kong was established in 1911 as the territory's first higher education institute. While there had been an exodus of 60,000 residents for fear of a German attack on the British colony during the First World War, Hong Kong remained unscathed. Its population increased from 530,000 in 1916 to 725,000 in 1925 and reached 1.6 million by 1941.[72]

 

In 1925, Cecil Clementi became the 17th Governor of Hong Kong. Fluent in Cantonese and without a need for translator, Clementi introduced the first ethnic Chinese, Shouson Chow, into the Executive Council as an unofficial member. Under Clementi's tenure, Kai Tak Airport entered operation as RAF Kai Tak and several aviation clubs. In 1937, the Second Sino-Japanese War broke out when the Japanese Empire expanded its territories from northeastern China into the mainland proper. To safeguard Hong Kong as a freeport, Governor Geoffry Northcote declared the Crown Colony as a neutral zone.

Japanese occupation: 1941–45

Main article: Japanese occupation of Hong Kong

The Cenotaph in Hong Kong commemorates those who died in service in the First World War and the Second World War.[73]

 

As part of its military campaign in Southeast Asia during Second World War, the Japanese army moved south from Guangzhou of mainland China and attacked Hong Kong in on 8 December 1941.[74] Crossing the border at Shenzhen River on 8 December, the Battle of Hong Kong lasted for 18 days when British and Canadian forces held onto Hong Kong Island. Unable to defend against intensifying Japanese air and land bombardments, they eventually surrendered control of Hong Kong on 25 December 1941. The Governor of Hong Kong was captured and taken as a prisoner of war. This day is regarded by the locals as "Black Christmas".[75]

 

During the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, the Japanese army committed atrocities against civilians and POWs, such as the St. Stephen's College massacre. Local residents also suffered widespread food shortages, limited rationing and hyper-inflation arising from the forced exchange of currency from Hong Kong dollars to Japanese military banknotes. The initial ratio of 2:1 was gradually devalued to 4:1 and ownership of Hong Kong dollars was declared illegal and punishable by harsh torture. Due to starvation and forced deportation for slave labour to mainland China, the population of Hong Kong had dwindled from 1.6 million in 1941 to 600,000 in 1945, when the United Kingdom resumed control of the colony on 2 September 1945.[76]

Resumption of British rule and industrialisation: 1945–97

Main articles: British Hong Kong, 1950s in Hong Kong, 1960s in Hong Kong, 1970s in Hong Kong, 1980s in Hong Kong, and 1990s in Hong Kong

Flag of British Hong Kong from 1959 to 1997

 

Hong Kong's population recovered quickly after the war, as a wave of skilled migrants from the Republic of China moved in to seek refuge from the Chinese Civil War. When the Communist Party eventually took full control of mainland China in 1949, even more skilled migrants fled across the open border for fear of persecution.[69] Many newcomers, especially those who had been based in the major port cities of Shanghai and Guangzhou, established corporations and small- to medium-sized businesses and shifted their base operations to British Hong Kong.[69] The establishment of a socialist state in China (People's Republic of China) on 1 October 1949 caused the British colonial government to reconsider Hong Kong's open border to mainland China. In 1951, a boundary zone was demarked as a buffer zone against potential military attacks from communist China. Border posts along the north of Hong Kong began operation in 1953 to regulate the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory.

Stamp with portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 1953

 

In the 1950s, Hong Kong became the first of the Four Asian Tiger economies under rapid industrialisation driven by textile exports, manufacturing industries and re-exports of goods to China. As the population grew, with labour costs remaining low, living standards began to rise steadily.[77] The construction of the Shek Kip Mei Estate in 1953 marked the beginning of the public housing estate programme to provide shelter for the less privileged and to cope with the influx of immigrants.

 

Under Sir Murray MacLehose, 25th Governor of Hong Kong (1971–82), a series of reforms improved the public services, environment, housing, welfare, education and infrastructure of Hong Kong. MacLehose was British Hong Kong's longest-serving governor and, by the end of his tenure, had become one of the most popular and well-known figures in the Crown Colony. MacLehose laid the foundation for Hong Kong to establish itself as a key global city in the 1980s and early 1990s.

A sky view of Hong Kong Island

An aerial view of the northern shore of Hong Kong Island in 1986

 

To resolve traffic congestion and to provide a more reliable means of crossing the Victoria Harbour, a rapid transit railway system (metro), the MTR, was planned from the 1970s onwards. The Island Line (Hong Kong Island), Kwun Tong Line (Kowloon Peninsula and East Kowloon) and Tsuen Wan Line (Kowloon and urban New Territories) opened in the early 1980s.[78]

 

In 1983, the Hong Kong dollar left its 16:1 peg with the Pound sterling and switched to the current US-HK Dollar peg. Hong Kong's competitiveness in manufacturing gradually declined due to rising labour and property costs, as well as new development in southern China under the Open Door Policy introduced in 1978 which opened up China to foreign business. Nevertheless, towards the early 1990s, Hong Kong had established itself as a global financial centre along with London and New York City, a regional hub for logistics and freight, one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia and the world's exemplar of Laissez-faire market policy.[79]

The Hong Kong question

 

In 1971, the Republic of China (Taiwan)'s permanent seat on the United Nations was transferred to the People's Republic of China (PRC), Hong Kong's status as a recognised colony became terminated in 1972 under the request of PRC. Facing the uncertain future of Hong Kong and expiry of land lease of New Territories beyond 1997, Governor MacLehose raised the question in the late 1970s.

 

The British Nationality Act 1981 reclassified Hong Kong into a British Dependent Territory amid the reorganisation of global territories of the British Empire. All residents of Hong Kong became British Dependent Territory Citizens (BDTC). Diplomatic negotiations began with China and eventually concluded with the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Both countries agreed to transfer Hong Kong's sovereignty to China on 1 July 1997, when Hong Kong would remain autonomous as a special administrative region and be able to retain its free-market economy, British common law through the Hong Kong Basic Law, independent representation in international organisations (e.g. WTO and WHO), treaty arrangements and policy-making except foreign diplomacy and military defence.

 

It stipulated that Hong Kong would retain its laws and be guaranteed a high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years after the transfer. The Hong Kong Basic Law, based on English law, would serve as the constitutional document after the transfer. It was ratified in 1990.[69] The expiry of the 1898 lease on the New Territories in 1997 created problems for business contracts, property leases and confidence among foreign investors.

Handover and Special Administrative Region status

Main articles: Transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong and 2000s in Hong Kong

Transfer of sovereignty

Golden Bauhinia Square

 

On 1 July 1997, the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to the People's Republic of China took place, officially marking the end of Hong Kong's 156 years under British colonial governance. As the largest remaining colony of the United Kingdom, the loss of Hong Kong effectively represented the end of the British Empire. This transfer of sovereignty made Hong Kong the first special administrative region of China. Tung Chee-Hwa, a pro-Beijing business tycoon, was elected Hong Kong's first Chief Executive by a selected electorate of 800 in a televised programme.

 

Structure of government

 

Hong Kong's current structure of governance inherits from the British model of colonial administration set up in the 1850s. The 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration states that "Hong Kong should enjoy a high degree of autonomy in all areas except defence and foreign affairs" with reference to the underlying principle of one country, two systems.[note 3] This Declaration stipulates that Hong Kong maintains her capitalist economic system and guarantees the rights and freedoms of her people for at least 50 years after the 1997 handover. [note 4] Such guarantees are enshrined in the Hong Kong's Basic Law, the territory's constitutional document, which outlines the system of governance after 1997, albeit subject to interpretation by China's Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPCSC).[95][96]

 

Hong Kong's most senior leader, Chief Executive, is elected by a committee of 1,200 selected members (600 in 1997) and nominally appointed by the Government of China. The primary pillars of government are the Executive Council, Legislative Council, civil service and Judiciary.

 

Policy-making is initially discussed in the Executive Council, presided by the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, before passing to the Legislative Council for bill adoption. The Executive Council consists of 30 official/unofficial members appointed by the Chief Executive and one member among them acts as the convenor.[97][98]

 

The Legislative Council, set up in 1843, debates policies and motions before voting to adopt or rejecting bills. It has 70 members (originally 60) and 40 (originally 30) among them are directly elected by universal suffrage; the other 30 members are "functional constituencies" (indirectly) elected by a smaller electorate of corporate bodies or representatives of stipulated economic sectors as defined by the government. The Legislative Council is chaired by a president who acts as the speaker.[99][100]

 

In 1997, seating of the Legislative Council (also public services and election franchises) of Hong Kong modelled on the British system: Urban Council (Hong Kong and Kowloon) and District Council (New Territories and Outlying Islands). In 1999, this system has been reformed into 18 directly elected District Offices across 5 Legislative Council constituencies: Hong Kong Island (East/West), Kowloon and New Territories (East/West); the remaining outlying islands are divided across the aforementioned regions.

 

Hong Kong's Civil Service, created by the British colonial government, is a politically neutral body that implements government policies and provides public services. Senior civil servants are appointed based on meritocracy. The territory's police, firefighting and customs forces, as well as clerical officers across various government departments, make up the civil service.[101][102]

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