New photo of photo setup

I finally made myself a light box (also known as a light tent)  for taking some better photos of small objects, particularly watches.  I would rather spend money on watches than photographic equipment, so I followed these instructions.

So, I finally took some photos of my setup.  I have the light box, a swing arm lamp and my camera on a tripod.  If you ever want to take really sharp photos, you really have to have a tripod AND a remote shutter release.  Why a remote shutter release?  Even the act of pressing the shutter button sets up vibrations in the camera which can last a second or two.  This is just long enough to mess up your photos.   The total cost of the setup is follows:

Florescent swing arm lamp, Ikea: $19.99

Box: Free

Paper: $0.25

Velbon T-3500 Tripod: $25

So, overall less than $50 without the camera.  Considering most people already have these items, the cost is almost nil.

The results, however, are pretty amazing.  You can take photos of small objects and get very professional looking results.

Everything is very evenly lit and glare can be controlled easily.  Considering a professional light tent can cost well into the $100’s, this jury rigged setup works just fine for me.

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5 for less than $500

Here are 5 watches under $500 that I really like (and don’t own):

Orient 2ER00004D

This one is just calling to me. I know it is a Rolex Submariner homage, but it is a pretty one.

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It is an Orient 2ER00004D, a hair over $100, just $110 on Amazon.  It looks remarkably like the Rolex 16613.

16613wrist

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As you can see, on the wrist, they look almost identical.  For your bank account, the Rolex list price is $9300, on-line price is $7626.  The list price for the Orient is $220, most on-line sellers have it for $120 to $130, saving you about $7500.  Both have in house movements.  The Rolex is a true diver’s the Orient, just 100M water resistance.  It is about as close an homage can be without being a ‘replica’ aka fake watch.  It has a bit of bling, but I like two tone watches.

By the way, the photos of the Orient are from this site.  Very nice blog about Orient watches.

Alba Riki AAAA101

It’s the Riki AAAA101.   The lines are so simple, yet elegant.  It is also powered by Seiko’s 7S26m which really makes it a very fancy Seiko 5.  Modern, but not to big 37.5mm across.  It is modeled after Riki’s industrial clock designs, with rectangular hands and easy to see across a room markers.  It also comes in black and a rose gold face.  About $200.

Seiko Alpinst SARB017

sarb017px4.jpg

The Green Seiko Alpinist

Just an amazing looking watch in my opinion. Looks much more expensive than the $425 asking price. It has the 6R15 movement. The 6R15 is a cousin of the bullet proof 7S26, but it can be hand wound and it hacks. The power reserve is rated at 50 hours vs. 40 the 7s26. Though, it is probably better than that. My 7S26’s usually get about 44 hours. This model comes on a dark, leather strap. It also has a compass feature like the Land Shark, but much less obtrusive. A 200m water resistance rating is nothing to sneeze at either. Dress looks with diver’s type water resistance.

This is my grail watch. Someday I will have this pretty.

It also comes in Black and White, but none are as stunning as the emerald green.


Seiko SRP017K1

SRP017K1
Simple, easy to read design combined with a reasonable 38mm diameter case.  It has the new 4R16 movement, which is a decorated version of the 7S26 with one more jewel. All three have a display back to show off the finished movement. About $170 on eBay, almost $250 elsewhere.

Orient CEX0P002

CEX0P002D0CEX0P002DIt’s an Orient CEX0P002, automatic with power reserve indicator.  It has a nice, classic look, 39mm across (not too big) and even comes on a nice leather strap with a signed deployant clasp!  It has a tachymeter scale as the chapter ring, which is a little pointless, but I think it adds to the overall look.  Prices seem to range from $100 to $150 on eBay, which is quite a spread.  It also comes in black or white,  with a brown leather strap.

his one is just calling to me. I know it is a Rolex Submariner homage, but it is a pretty one.Pic054-3

It is an Orient 2ER00004D, a hair over $100, just $110 on Amazon.  It looks remarkably like the Rolex 16613.

16613wrist

Pic062-1

As you can see, on the wrist, they look almost identical.  For your bank account, the Rolex list price is $9300, on-line price is $7626.  The list price for the Orient is $220, most on-line sellers have it for $120 to $130, saving you about $7500.  Both have in house movements.  The Rolex is a true diver’s the Orient, just 100M water resistance.  It is about as close an homage can be without being a ‘replica’ aka fake watch.  It has a bit of bling, but I like two tone watches.

By the way, the photos of the Orient are from this site.  Very nice blog about Orient watches.

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Industrial Designer + Seiko = Cool looking watch

Riki Watanabe is one of the most famous industrial designers in Japan.  He worked with Seiko/ALBA (yet another division of Seiko) to create this watch:

It’s the Riki AAAA101.   The lines are so simple, yet elegant.  It is also powered by Seiko’s 7S26m which really makes it a very fancy Seiko 5.  Modern, but not to big 37.5mm across.  It is modeled after Riki’s industrial clock designs, with rectangular hands and easy to see across a room markers.  It also comes in black and a rose gold face.  About $200.

Thanks Riki for a tempting timepiece.

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Alternatives

Although the 2 or 3 handed watch/clock on a center pivot is the most commonly accepted form of time keeping, this was not always the case.  There are other ways to tell time.  My wife, Tiffany, and my older brother got me thinking about what else is out there.  Here are a few interesting examples.

This is an automatic, mechanical watch with a digital display, including seconds and date!  It has wild, funky looks for less than $75.

This interesting piece is one my wife Tiffany brought to my attention.  It is called “The Infection”   I really don’t quite get how you read it without really fuzzy timekeeping, but it sure looks cool. I wonder what the battery life is like? $183 from Japan.


This is a binary watch.  A true geek tool.   One of my Co-workers actually spotted one in the wild (he is a watch geek as well) and was impressed by how it looks.  A rather reasonable $69.99 on ThinkGeek.com.

Another ThinkGeek watch. This one goes all out, you can do digital, binary, octal or hex.   Only 200 were made and the quality looks pretty nice for $149.99.

This is a classic Casio Mudman with an integrated chronograph.  They are shock resistant, and can have more features than a Swiss Army knife.   It is a simple, low power LCD with backlight.   It is also very much a tool watch.  It tells time and does not look pretty doing it.  They can cost into the hundreds, with all the bells and whistles.

Finally, we have retrograde watches.  There are some which are quite reasonably priced (less than $150.) to well into the $1000’s to $100,000+ range.    Not a huge fan of retrogrades myself, but some do like the look.      The Alpina take on retrograde is my favorite.

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Lightbox

I finally made myself a light box (also known as a light tent)  for taking some better photos of small objects, particularly watches.  I would rather spend money on watches than photographic equipment, so I followed these instructions.

Ironically, I have not taken a photo of my light box yet, but here are some of the resulting photos.   These are very quick and dirty, but I like the results so far.  What do you think?

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