Music Appreciation Day

30 07 2009

Screws (real name Mark), Jiggy (Jeremy) and I likes us some music.  We all keep an ear out for new interesting artists and songs and, when we find something we like, we let the others know. 

Awhile ago we started Music Appreciation Day (actually, the first one was Night but it did feel weird saying I was having a MAN with Jiggy & Screws!).  Simple concept.  The three of us get together and take turns playing music that we like – music that we think the others may like.  Typically we hear new albums that we must have and end up at JB HI-FI a couple of days later giving our credit cards a workout.

This time around I kept a few notes about some of the music we played.

Jiggy kicked it off with a track he later tried to deny was a real entry…

Jiggy, first set:

Screws, first set

Matt, first (only) set

Jiggy, set two

Screws set two

 

The last couple of sets were so short because I had to leave early…a pity as the three of us were just getting warmed up!  Still, as always, I had a good time, we’ll have to have more of them!

[Check out Wireless Cranium, Jiggy’s blog, predominately about his love of music.  He’s currently working on his Top 100 of all time!]

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Nikon announcements

30 07 2009

Nikon have been busy recently.  Two lenses I own have been replaced with new models and my current body has also received an overhaul. 

Apart from the drop in value of my gear (if I were thinking of selling, which I’m not!) this is all great news.

The 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 now has the "II" moniker and they’ve reduced the zoom creep (which never bothered me) and added a zoom lock (more useful; keeps the lens locked to the shortest length).  Improvements to the optics system are going to be marginal at best with the only change a different lens coating.  While these are quite minor refinements this was already an excellent lens in it’s class.  For me it’s the perfect travel lens.

The 70-200mm f/2.8 however has been given a completely new optical design.  This is my favourite (and most expensive) lens and it’s sublime on my DX D300.  It has been criticized (by pixel peepers if not commercial shooters) on FX bodies for being soft, particularly in the corners, and an update has been expected for a long time.  I’m sure this update will improve this fantastic workhorse.

The D300S (more info) replaces my D300 and some nice features have appeared.  Video, of course, faster shooting, SD card slot (to complement the CF) and a slew of other refinements.  Although there’s nothing here that are making me think "upgrade" all of the changes are welcome.  New owners are spoiled with a sensational camera.

There were other announcements (particularly the D3000 to replace the entry-level D60) but these were very relevant to me since they upgraded so much of my own gear!  Good work Nikon, these are all solid refinements.