Monthly Archives: March 2018

March 2018 Round-up

How shocking! March has decided it’s had enough and is sliding away into memory, or something like that. Yes, it’s the end of another month, and we’re a whole quarter of the way through 2018, so it’s time to look back (cue harp sound for flashback)

Weight

It seems my Cunning Plan to lose more weight by not drinking wine might be working:

March 1:  210.7 pounds (15 stone 0.7 pounds, 95.6 kg)
March 31:  202.8 pounds (14 stone 6.8 pounds, 92 kg)

That’s another quite significant drop of 7.9 pounds (3.6kg). It had crossed my mind that my weight loss seemed a bit rapid, but looking at the figures over a month shows it’s working out in the generally recommended sustainable range of 1-2 pounds per week on average, so that’s OK…

The end of a quarter seems like a good time to review progress over longer periods, so here we go. Let’s look at the numbers for this year to date:

January 1: 227.3 pounds (16 stone 3.3 pounds, 103.1 kg)
March 31:  202.8 pounds (14 stone 6.8 pounds, 92 kg)

That’s a quite significant drop of  24.5 pounds (1 stone 10.5 pounds, 11.1 kg)

And just for laughs, a comparison with this time last year:

March 31 2017:  240.9 pounds (17 stone 2.9 pounds, 109.3 kg)
March 31 2018: 202.8 pounds (14 stone 6.8 pounds, 92 kg)

That’s an actually quite impressive drop of  38.1 pounds (2 stone 10.1 pounds, 17.3 kg)

And we can be quite sure this isn’t a case of the scale playing silly buggers – the one that took over weighing duties at the beginning of 2017 seems to be behaving itself quite nicely. Confirmation comes from the traditional source of trousers. There was a pair of jeans that I could only do up with a sharp intake of breath and a distinct lack of comfort. They moved to being actually quite comfortable. And yesterday, I realised that wearing them in public might be a bad idea, as they are now far too loose for my belt to be relied upon to support. Which meant I had to retrieve an older pair that I haven’t been able to wear in years. They’re currently comfortable, but if this goes on, I can see I’ll have to buy some smaller clothes…

Eating

I’ve carried on with the smaller lunches, and walking at least a little bit most lunchtimes. And with the second consecutive drinkie-free month, it seems to be working.

Exercise

I still need to do more of that. I’ve got so out off practice that walking uphill is a bit of a struggle, and we can’t have that…

Posting

Another quiet month, with just 35 posts.

Stuff

I seem to have got yet another lens. And those changes I’ve hinted at are getting closer.

Weight and Stuff Report – 31 March 2018

Weight:  202.8 pounds (14 stone 6.8 pounds, 92 kg)
Steps: 5,357

Down again to a new low for the year. Again.

I did my usual early shopping this morning, visited a friend, then had a slightly longer trip into Newcastle, where  I might have bought a pillow.

Here’s a view of those tasteful ruins at Holyrood:

Holyrood ruins

Holyrood ruins

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/80s
Focal length: 17.6mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 2 November, 2017
Location: 55° 57.1603′ 0″ N 3° 10.3301′ 0″ W

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 March 2018

Weight:  203.2 pounds (14 stone 7.2 pounds, 92.2 kg)
Steps: 2,595

Down again to a new low for the year. Today being Good Friday, I had that rare thing, a long lie in, and didn’t get out of bed until about 10:30. I did have a brief trip into Newcastle to buy some seasonal chocolate[1], but otherwise it’s been a relaxed day, and quite right too.

Here’s another view of Central Arcade:

Central Arcade

Central Arcade

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/70s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 14 March, 2018
Exposure bias: +2EV

Weight and Stuff Report – 28 March 2018

Weight: 204.2 pounds (14 stone 8.2 pounds, 92.6 kg)
Steps: 3,671

OK, I really do need to set up that shortcut now[1]. Down again to a new low for the year.

Here’s another angle on the Tynemouth World War I gun:

Big Gun

Big Gun

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/170s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 24 March, 2018
Location: 55° 1.0552′ 0″ N 1° 24.9718′ 0″ W

 

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 March 2018

Weight: 204.8 pounds (14 stone 8.8 pounds, 92.9 kg)
Steps: 3,540

Hmmm, down again to, yeah, you guessed it, another new low…

This might have been better if I’d had a longer lens with me on Saturday, but I think you should be able to see that the sea was still enough for the ship to be reflected in it:

Waiting

Waiting

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/1250s
Focal length: 55mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 24 March, 2018
Location: 55° 1.0904′ 0″ N 1° 24.9569′ 0″ W

Weight and Stuff Report – 26 March 2018

Weight: 205.6 pounds (14 stone 9.6 pounds, 93.3 kg)
Steps: 3,160

No change today, which makes a change, or something.

Here’s a view of the Tyne piers taken from Tynemouth Priory

Tyne Piers

Tyne Piers

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/13
Shutter speed: 1/550s
Focal length: 48.5mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 24 March, 2018
Location: 55° 1.0332′ 0″ N 1° 24.9784′ 0″ W

Weight and Stuff Report – 25 March 2018

Weight: 205.6 pounds (14 stone 9.6 pounds, 93.3 kg)
Steps: Very few

Down again, it seems. That’ll probably change in a day or two…

After all that activity yesterday, it was time for a quieter day, so that’s what I’ve been having.

Here’s another view of Tynemouth Priory

Tynemouth Priory

Tynemouth Priory

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/105s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 24 March, 2018
Location: 55° 1.0616′ 0″ N 1° 25.0585′ 0″ W

Samyang 12mm f/2.0 lens

If you’re reading this on Facebook, make sure to click through, or you’ll miss some photos, which are pretty much the whole point of this post.
Regular readers and other such mythical creatures may have noticed some wiiiide images appearing here lately. These come from my latest add-on to my Fujifilm X-T2 – it’s another manual-focus lens from Samyang[1], which is also available for other camera makes, but I can’t comment on those, so everything here relates to the Fujifilm x-mount version.

I’d read a few reviews and seen some sample images which led me to think that this  relatively cheap lens might be a nice addition to my kit. It’s a lot smaller and lighter than my Fuji 10-24mm, and unlike my lovely little Samyang 8mm fisheye lens, it doesn’t produce insanely curved images, which aren’t always what you want.

So, I ordered it from Amazon just in time to have day after day of either rubbish weather or no time or energy to take it anywhere. But that changed today. It’s been bright and sunny and distinctly not cold, which gave me a chance to take it to a couple of my favourite places.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The box contains the lens, complete with hood and a soft pouch you can use to carry it around should you be so inclined. It fits securely to the camera (paper metal mount, not nasty budget fittings) and is ready to use. If you’re thinking that manual focus might be a pain, it’s really less of an issue with wide lenses – for most use cases, you’re going to be working with a large enough depth of field for “near enough” focusing to get you there, and the camera’s  focus aids should get you the rest of the way. I leave mine with the default “focus peaking” on, which shows highlights on the in focus parts of the image. If you’re doing finer work, getting up close with the lens wide open, more care will be needed.

Anyway, enough wittering and on with the images. Here’s a view of Tynemouth Priory

Tynemouth Priory

Tynemouth Priory

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/300s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 24 March, 2018
Location: 55° 1.0521′ 0″ N 1° 25.0197′ 0″ W

And of course, there’s one thing I have to do when I get a wide lens:

Wide bridge

Wide bridge

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/640s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 24 March, 2018
Location: 55° 1.0521′ 0″ N 1° 25.0197′ 0″ W

Not quite wide enough to get the whole of the Millennium Bridge in from its centre, but still gets a lot in.

This one’s a repeat, but shows that it’s not just for longer distances:

Wide-angle Tigger

Wide-angle Tigger

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 18 March, 2018
Location: 55° 1.0521′ 0″ N 1° 25.0197′ 0″ W

So far, I like what I’m getting from this lens. I’ll have to let it take me to some more places and see what it does with them. I do feel some landscapey type thingies coming on…

[1] The same lens is also sold under other names, such as Rokinon

Calling the design department…

This is an interesting thing that’s appeared in Newcastle:

Moss

Moss

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/480s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 24 March, 2018
Location: 54° 58.6947′ 0″ N 1° 36.8088′ 0″ W

This is a “moss tree”, which will be absorbing nasty pollution from the air as well as looking quiet interesting. However, being me, I was more interested by the sign on the side, which makes some suggestions on how we can all contribute to reducing air pollution.

Need more icons

Need more icons

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed: 1/850s
Focal length: 50mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 24 March, 2018
Location: 54° 58.6947′ 0″ N 1° 36.8088′ 0″ W

But something seems to have gone wrong with the design. For the bit about using pubic transport, there’s a sort of train icon, which is fair enough, the Metro is quite useful, but I suspect more people use buses, what with them going places where there’s a slight shortage of rail lines. Then for the cycling bit they’ve got,,, the same icon, presumably because they couldn’t find one of a bike. And for walking… yeah, you guessed it.

It always intrigues me when this kind of silliness happens. Surely multiple people were involved? Did nobody notice?