Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

In a dark bar with a D700 and 14-24mm f/2.8 zoom. ISO 6400

with 4 comments

Single light source in the corner

Single light source in the corner

The other night I was roaming around looking for something to shoot.  No quite sure where to go or what I was going to do.  Suddenly I happened upon a wildly “edgy” bar I had been to once before.

On the earlier occasion, I took a series of photographs of the bartenders.  Luckily I had my Leica M8 and the Noctilux 50mm f/1 lens.  Although my Noctilux has a slight back focus issue, it performed well, given the very dark ambiance of the bar.   And remember, with the M8, we are talking manual focus.  In a very dim bar. The photo below was taken that first visit.

Leica M8 with Noctilux 50mm f/1 lens

Leica M8 with Noctilux 50mm f/1 lens

On the recent visit, I hadn’t prepared for a return visit.  As a result I ended up with the D700 and the 14-24mm f2.8 lens.  Because this lens is only capable of f/2.8, I dialed up the ISO to 6400, hoping that I could compensate for the lens’ relatively lack of wide aperture.  I half expected the auto focus to struggle and that I would have to go to manual focus.  Well, this didn’t happen.  After I turned off the AF assist light, I went strictly low impact.  I used the D700’s spotmeter with “aperture priority” and f-stop 2.8.

Post processing was minimal.  Noise reduction was turned off.  I took the liberty of processing some of the b&w in a high contrast style.

Bottom line, the D700’s performance, including its high ISO capabilities and the extremely fast and accurate auto-focus,  makes it a joy to use.  The only downside was the sheer size of the combination when compared with the M8.




Cropped from above

Cropped from above




Written by leolaksi

June 7, 2009 at 5:07 pm

4 Responses

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  1. Leo, don’t listen to the detractors. These photos are fine. They are edgy, and that is what makes them unique. For someone to compare these to something David Carradine had done is completely unacceptable.


    June 7, 2009 at 10:18 pm

    • Thanks. It takes all kinds. You have to wonder sometimes. Leo


      June 7, 2009 at 10:30 pm

  2. Good stuff!

    I’m surprised that you were allowed to take the photos in the bar, heh.

    Where is this – Q-Bar in Bangkok?

    Roland Dobbins

    June 8, 2009 at 7:54 am

    • These photos were taken in Japan where the attitude about photos are a bit different. However it helped that I took a series of photos there during an earlier visit that I presented to them. They liked the results and wanted more during this visit. I obliged:)

      You’re right that you couldn’t take these photos in Bangkok.


      June 8, 2009 at 8:45 am

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