Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sandakan Heritage Trail Photography Contest

Click photo to see large
Download entry form 

Rules and Regulation
1.Eligible participant must be a Malaysian citizen. 2.This contest is divided into two (2) categories:
Category 1: Student (secondary schools Form Six & below)
Category 2: Open
3.Each participant may submit a maximum of 3 entries of any of the Sandakan Heritage sites within the trail, namely:

  1. Masjid Jamek
  2. William Pryer Monument
  3. Stairs with Hundred Steps
  4. Agnes Keith House
  5. Remains of Old Staircase
  6. Goddess of Mercy Chinese Temple
  7. St. Michael’s & All Angels Church
  8. Sam Sing Kung Chinese Temple
  9. Malaysia Fountain
  10. Wisma Warisan
  11. Sandakan Heritage Museum
Category 1 (Students)

First Prize: ................... RM500/= 
Second Prize: .............. RM300/= 
Third Prize: .................. RM200/= 
5 Consolation Prizes ... RM100/=

Category 2 (Open)

First Prize: ................... RM1,000/= 
Second Prize: .............. RM500/= 
Third Prize: .................. RM300/=
5 Consolation Prizes ... RM100/=

Certificates and goodies from Nikon & Sabah Forestry Dept. will be given to the winners. 

5.Entries should be in digital based format and must be taken from January, 2014 onwards.
color prints (8”X10”) will be accepted and should be mounted on a black card board (12”X14”). A CD must be submitted together with prints.
7. All entries must be original (must show original image file of 1 MB and above) and have not been published. Optimization of images, such as colour contrast and brightness are allowed. The entries are NON-RETURNABLE and deemed the property of the organizers. Participants retain the copyright of the photographs submitted. However, the entries may be used or reproduced by the organizers/sponsors for promotional purposes.
8.It is the responsibility of the participants to ensure all photographs are free from restrictions for entering this contest and for reproductions.
9.There is no restriction on the make of camera used.
10.The organizers will not be held responsible for any loss or damage to an entry.
11.All entries can be sent to
Sandakan Foto outlets (town or Mile 4) and
should reach by
31 July, 2014.
12.The organizers have the right to accept or reject any entry without having to justify their decision. 13.Prizes are not transferable or exchange with cash.
The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entertained.
15.This contest is open to the public except the Committee Members of the organizing agencies. 16.A prize-giving ceremony and an exhibition will be held after judging.

For enquiries, please contact 218728 (Irene Chong Sandakan Foto), 275400 (Irene Johnny MPS) or 537886 (Arthur Chung Sabah Society / Skan Heritage Trail) 

Thursday, November 22, 2012



* Session 2: 07-08.12.2012 (Friday / Saturday), Tawau Hills Park
* In Collaboration with Borneo Bird Club & Sandakan Foto (Nikon)


1. BIRD RACE: (Recommended Equipment & accessories)

* Binocular (essential) / Telescope/Digiscope / Digital camera
* Zoom / telephoto lenses
* Guidebook - Birds of Borneo (author Wong Tsu Shi / Quentin Philips)


* Spot or watch and identify species. (Field Guide Bird Book encourage)
* List or record as many bird species. (Logbook provided by organizer)
* Marshals verification at each checkpoint or whenever necessary.
* Submit logbook to organizer. (Event secretariat booth)

2. BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY RACE: - Equipment & accessories
1. Digital camera
2. Zoom / telephoto lenses
3. Guide book - Birds of Borneo (author Wong Tsu Shi / Quentin Philips)

1. Photograph as many bird species.
2. Submit pictures to organizer (secretariat booth).

1. Please keep personal copies of photographed birds for cross-reference.
2. Both contests can be participated simultaneously.

Monday, October 8, 2012

"The Vanishing" Photo Exhibition by Jollence Lee

Sandakan Foto recently are sponsoring a solo photographic exhibition by Jollence Lee at South Sea Sanctuary in Kota Kinabalu. He is featuring 30 of his landscape images capture all around North Borneo. The exhibition was started on the 22 September to 22 October 2012. Admission is free.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42 Binocular Review

20th February 2012

When I first tried this model at Rainforest Discovery Centre last year during the Foresty Open Day, I could not believe my eyes how sharp and it has better contrast and well controlled Chromatic Aberration (CA) than the current Monarch series. Then I went to Fraser's Hill with the gang for the International Bird Race on the same year, tested it against the grey sky with Monarch III. It does confirmed my finding.

I have been using 8x binocular for many years and couldn't get better view with 10x binocular even though I have tried few models and different brands. But with Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42, it was different. There were one time I was at Raganan - Timbuk mudflat with Joe waiting for the White-browed Crake, from the other bank about 80 metres, there were a Sandpiper which looked either Marsh or Common Greenshank. The weather was cloudy that time.

I was thinking of detaching the Nikon FSA-L2 adapter from my Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 and replaced it with my favorite 25LER eyepiece. But the 10x42 I had really helped me in ID'ing the bird (Marsh Sandpiper). I am used with the habit of using my scope after getting the subject on my bino even when the birds was really close.


Other feature I like is the weight. Even though both is heavier than Nikon Monarch III for 8x42 and 10x42, from my daily usage, it was not a problem and sometimes I did not realized it was hanging on my neck ! No more shake on my hand too hahaha :)

I hope if Nikon could incorporate fast focus for all models in the Sport Optics lineup like the legendary HG L, that would be the trademark for Nikon compared with other competitiors. It is a bit slow for my taste the Prostaff 7 series because my favorite 8x32 SE a bit faster.

Overall,  I would recommend the Nikon Prostaff 7 10x42 for beginners in birding and for those who do not own a fieldscope because the extra 2x you get from the 10x42 will benefits you in getting those ID right especially for smaller Waders and Raptors. But you will get smaller Field Of View (FOV) than the 8x42. More info about FOV, click this link http://www.nikon.com/products/sportoptics/how_to/guide/binoculars/basic/basic_08.htm

Thanks to Irene Chong from Sandakan Foto for the demo unit. Selling price is around RM 1188 for 8x43 and RM 1288 for 10x42.

Link for Nikon Prostaff 7 at Nikon Vision Japan website.

On going discussion about this binocular at Birdforum :

Happy birding !

Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 VR Review

29th January - 11th February 2012

Nikon Vision Japan introduced the world's first Fieldscopes featuring Nikon's lens-shift type VR (Vibration Reduction) system for EDG 85 both angled and straight scope on the 6th October 2011. From my brief test at the previous Borneo Bird Festival in October 2011, the VR works when there were slight shake or vibration caused by wind and non-stable platform such as wooden walkway. Other methods tested by tapping on the tripod that hold the VR scope.

 Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 VR on Jobu BW Pro Gimbal head and Velbon 830 carbon fibre tripod. Estimated weight around 7.75 kg

Battery compartment under the EDG VR wording

Green LED when VR is ON

I did a test within 2 weeks for Nikon Malaysia and I was shooting mainly with my D300s and other D7000 body coupled with FSA-L2 adapter at my favorite mudflat concentrating on Waterbirds and Kingfishers.

With this EDG VR scope, it was possible to get sharp images while shooting around 1/60s at 500mm F/5.9 using Continuous High (CH) and with Timer modes. Out of 18 shots taken in sequence with CH, I got more than 9 sharp images which is almost impossible with my current EDG scope ! More with cable release on Timer mode.

EXIF : ISO 100, Shutter speed 1/60s, 500mm F/5.9 with FSA-L2 on D300s. Images were cropped 50% and resized only. No sharpening applied

Other usefulness of the VR, while focusing at 500mm up to 1750mm, it helped me in obtaining faster perfect focus while focusing on the helical through the viewfinder without getting back and forth. No shaking on the images and videos even at 1750mm ! This is one of the important aspect by having VR scope when recording videos at high magnification where a slight movement by wind etc could caused shaking and blurring on the recording itself.

The VR scope uses 4 x AA batteries and could last for 17 hours. After 30 minutes of non-active usage, the VR will turn off itself in order to save power consumption. I didn't really feel the weight differences between my EDG85 and EDG85 VR. Plus it looked like the EDG85 VR seems to have better better contrast than my EDG scope ...

Mike Freiberg and Bill Schmoker from Nikon Prostaff USA tested the VR scope on windy day at :

Summary : I like this scope very much ! Is it worth upgrading to EDG85 VR scope ? Yes and for those who wants to take Digiscoping and Videoscoping to another level plus for visual use especially when you do lots of sea watching !

Thanks to Tee at Nikon Malaysia for the loan unit.

Digiscoped with Nikon Fieldscope EDG85 VR via FSA-L2 on D300s and D7000



Happy Digiscoping !

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Organized By : Sandakan AIDS Support Group Association

1st Prize --- RM500.00 cash + certificate.
2nd Prize --- RM350.00 cash + certificate.
3rd Prize --- RM200.00 cash + certificate.
5 Consolation Prizes

1st Prize --- RM250 cash + certificate.
2nd Prize --- RM150.00 cash + certificate.
3rd Prize --- RM 100.00 cash + certificate.
5 Consolation Prizes


Lot 7, 2nd floor, Block 40, Phase 7, Bandar Indah
Mile 4. Sandakan.
Tel : 089-226410.

Town Center, Sandakan Tel : 089-218728.
Bandar Kim Fung (Mile 4), Sandakan
Tel : 089- 238728.

Jalan Leila, Tanah Merah, Sandakan.
Tel : 089-612521.

Batu 4, Bandar Indah, 90000 Sandakan.
Tel: 0128067065

or Download entry form Here

Entrant Criteria
1. The competition is open to Sabah resident only.
2. Photo must be taken within Sabah ONLY.
3. Committee members of organizer cannot
participate in the contest.
4. The photographs, in its entirety, must be a single
work of original material taken by the competition
5. For Open Category: RM10.00 per photo
6. For Student Category: RM5.00 per photo
7. Each participant may submit no more than 5
8. Photo-retouching, super imposition and photoshop
adding are not accepted. Only minor
adjustment of color, brightness, contrast and
cropping are allowed.
9. Model of camera, titles of work, participant’s name,
contact number and email address must be fully
stated on the back of the mounting board clearly
which must correspond to the entry form.
10. Photographs must have been developed on
quality photographic paper, without a date or other
imprint on the front, and with no border around
photograph. Photographs printed from home
printers are usually not to best standards for state
judging. Using a professional print shop is
11. All photographs submitted must be in color print,
8R in size (8” x 12”) and must be mounted on
black color mounting board.
12. Each entry form must come with photos and a
CD/DVD-ROM containing all the image files. All
the image files must be in JPEG format with
minimum file size in pixels of 1800 x 2700/300 DPI
13. The CD/DVD must be labeled with the serial
numbers and the participant’s details.
14. An esteemed panel of judges will determine the
winners. The judge’s decision is final and no
Correspondence will be entertained.
15. All entries must reach the collection center on or
before 5pm, 11th May 2012.
16. All photos will be exhibited and prizes giving
ceremony on 20th May 2012, 8.00am – 12.00pm at
Sabah Hotel Grand Ballroom, Sandakan.
17. The participant is entitled for 1 prize only.
18. SAGA will be the sole propriety of all image files
mounted in CD/VCD and photos which had been
handed over for the contest and will not be
returned back to the owner.
19. The organizers shall have the exclusive right to
disqualify any entries for any violation of the rules
set herewith or forthwith.
20. The organizers reserve the right to amend or
modify the terms and conditions of the contest as
require without prior notice.

Rights of the Organizer
SAGA as the organizer reserves the permanent
exclusive right to use the photos for any purpose
without obtaining prior permission of the owners and
without offering any further compensation in any form.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Borneo Bird Festival Oct 14th - 16th 2011

The 3rd Borneo Bird Festival would be held at Rainforest Discovery Centre, Sepilok from the 14th - 16th October 2011. Talks, guided walks, bird photo competition, bird race and many more activities awaits everyone.

Sandakan Foto with Nikon Malaysia will be displaying the latest equipments for photogaphers and birdwatchers. See you all there.

Links below for more info on