Atelier
10 minute read

It seems like sharing your work setup is a trend in tech community. So here is my take on this. I include everything I use for the posts in this blog plus a few personal devices, so this is probably a much wider description than what people usually intend.

I think I will make this an alive post, so I will update it time to time to reflect my work environment.

Computers

I have three personal computers. Main one is my desktop PC which I mostly use. Second is a Mac mini which I use with audio/music software only. Third is an old but still very usable Macbook Air that I only use if I need mobility.

I have various Raspbery Pi’s that I mostly use for projects involving a direct TTL/SPI/I2C connection to an embedded hardware, a sensor etc.

Desktop 1 - PC

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 3700. Why not 3900 ? Because I think I do not need more than 3700 most of the time. Why AMD ? No particular reason, I have not used AMD since early 2000, I wanted to give it try.

  • Mainboard: Asus Prime X570-PRO. Why ? I wanted to have the latest chipset (X570), and I do not overclock.

  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance LPX 4x16GB. No particular reason. The most important is the total capacity, 64GB.

  • SSD: Corsair Force MP600 (1TB + 2TB) NVMe. 1 TB is my system drive. 2 TB is for things I need fast extra storage. I will probably need a larger normal SSD soon.

  • GPU: Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX Vega 56. No particular reason. I may need to change this to an NVidia when I need CUDA.

  • OS: It is running Windows and Linux is installed in a VirtualBox VM. I use Windows and Ubuntu Linux almost always simultaneously.

  • Display: Eizo CG248-4K. This is probably the most overkill and expensive computer peripheral I have ever bought. Basically the reason is I want color fidelity. It is an awesome, and quite expensive, self-calibrating, 24”, 4K, wide-gamut (99% of Adobe RGB), brightness and chromaticity uniformity correcting, rapidly stabilizing (3 mins), 10-bit simultaneous color capable monitor with 16-bit hardware and 3D LUT.

  • Keyboard: Das Keyboard 4 Professional. Definitely recommended.

  • Mouse: Logitech MX Master 3. It is nice but I think I still did not find a mouse that I am very happy with.

  • Extras: Tobii Eye Tracker. Not using it extensively, but it is an interesting device.

Desktop 2 - Mac Mini

I have a 4th Gen (2019) Mac Mini. This was my main computer before switching to the desktop PC. Now I use this only with audio/music software.

  • CPU, RAM and SSD: i7, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD.

  • External SSD: Samsung Portable SSD X5 1TB. This is an extremely fast Thunderbolt connected drive.

  • Display: Dell P2415Q 24” 4K Monitor.

  • Apple Wireless Keyboard and Trackpad

  • Audio Interface: RME Fireface UCX

  • MIDI Controllers: Novation Launchpad Mini, Native Instruments M32, Roli Seaboard Rise 25. I also use a Yamaha AN1x synthesizer mostly as a midi controller if I need 61 keys.

  • Monitor Speakers: PreSonus Eris E5.

  • Headphone Amplifier: Graham Slee Solo UL.

  • Headphone: Sennheiser HD600.

  • Audio Recorders: I have a few handheld recorders for different purposes. I am interested in binaural records, so I have a Sennheiser AMBEO Smart Headset and a Zoom H3-VR Spatial Audio recorder which can also record (or record in Ambisonics format and then converted into) a Binaural audio. For non-binaural records, I use a Zoom H5 with XY and MS microphones. I also use the Zoom H3-VR for experiments in Ambisonics format.

  • VR: I have an Insta360 EVO camera which can record in VR360 monoscopic or VR180 stereoscopic format. For headset, I am using an Oculus Go.

Printer

I am using an Epson SC-P800. I would like to print as large as possible at home, A2 is I think the maximum size a home printer can do -I wish A1 would be possible-. I would like a printer with large ink tanks and user replaceable maintenance tank. I also would like to be able to print on canvas paper which requires roll paper support. SC-P800 is I think the only home printer that have all these features.

Networking and NAS

  • Wi-Fi Access Point: Unifi AP AC LR. I am using it as a standalone AP. Connected to access switch below.

  • Ethernet Room/Access Switch: HP 1920-8G. 8x1G ports. Connected to core switch below with 2x1G trunk ports.

  • Ethernet Main/Core Switch: HP 1920-24G. 24x1G ports. FTTH internet connection is also terminated at this switch using an SFP module.

  • Router/Firewall: Unifi EdgeRouter 4. I can also terminate FTTH here but terminating at the switch gives more flexibility and I did not observe any performance penalty for doing so.

  • Internet Connection: FTTH 1G/1G.

  • NAS: QNAP TS-431+ with 4x3TB WD Red in RAID-5 configuration.

I sometimes need to configure VLANS, that is why I am using HP 1920 series, quite happy with them. EdgeRouter 4 is a great little fanless device that can handle 1G connection without any problem.

I think I will switch to 10G home network at some point but still waiting, the main reason will be to improve the performance when using network storage.

I use NAS very lightly, only for storing some temporary files and mainly for streaming videos to TV or Oculus Go. I do not use it for backup or to access files I need often.

Electronics

I sometimes need to experiment with some simple electronics, mainly based on Raspberry Pi or similar controllers. There are naturally many small devices that I use but the main ones are:

  • Oscilloscope: Rohde & Schwarz RTB2004. It took me so long to buy an oscilloscope and very happy with this purchase.

  • Power Supply: Rohde & Schwarz NGE103. I did not use it a lot still, but its features are perfect for my experiments.

  • Soldering Station: Weller WX1011. I do not need soldering often, but I naturally need one, and this is a temperature controlled unit. Probably an overkill for my tasks.

Audio / Music Listening

I do listen music or podcasts etc. often and mostly it is with wireless/noise-cancelling headphones, but I also have a different setup for music listening with headphones.

  • Headphones used with PC and mobile devices: Bose QC-35 II wireless over-ear. Bose SoundSport wireless in-ear. Probably not the best sound quality but I am quite happy with these Bose products.

  • Music Streamer: Volumeio installed on a Raspberry Pi connected to my DAC below via USB.

  • DAC: Chord Electronics Qutest. FPGA based DAC up to PCM 768kHz 32bit, DSD512.

  • Headphone Amplifier: spl Phonitor 2, 120V Rail Headphone Monitoring Amplifier.

  • Headphones used with the Amplifier above: Hifiman HE-560 and AudioQuest Nighthawk Carbon.

Microscopy

It is not a microscope as most people would first imagine, but I do have a low-magnification (0.63x to 5x) stereo microscope, Zeiss Stemi 508. This is great for looking into things that you can see, but cannot see in detail. Since it is stereo, it is also amazing to look through the eyepieces which shows the 3D structure.

I also have the 2x front optic, so its maximum zoom range can be extended from 5x to 10x. If I need to take photos, I use Fuji X-T2 without any camera adapter.

I use a Zeiss double goose neck and Zeiss ring light.

Photography

I do like many different things related to photography (including printing them at home), and because of this, I do have too many equipment.

Cameras

  • Fuji X-T2, Fuji X-H1. If you like the controls of old 35mm film cameras, I think Fuji X-H1 is the best camera giving this experience. It is my go to camera.

  • Sony A7R II

  • Cambo ACTUS-B Mini View Camera System. This is actually not a camera but you can use a camera like Fuji or Sony to capture the image and ACTUS-B provides the view camera movements. It has various camera and lens plates so different type of cameras and lenses can be used. It is an expensive unit but it is pretty unique and extremely well-built.

  • Raspberry Pi HQ Camera. I use it to create long timelapses.

Macro Rails and Controllers

When DoF is very small (when the object is very close), there is a need to automate focusing and triggering the camera. I am using Cognisys StackShot 3x controller and StackShot macro rail for this purpose. It can be used with any camera like Fuji and Sony.

For high-speed photography, there is a need to be able configure sensing the event and triggering the camera in a great precision. For this purpose I am using Cognisys StopShot controller.

Lenses

Micro

I use Mitutoyo M Plan Apo 5x LWD microscope objective with Thorlabs ITL200 tube lens in a Thorlabs SM2 based lens tube connected to Fuji or Sony cameras.

Macro

I have 3 macro lenses, 2 of them are normal, other is for the view camera. All of them are 1:1 macro lenses.

  • Fuji XF 80mm f/2.8. The best thing about this lens is Fuji cameras can do Focus Bracketing so this lens can even be used without a macro rail at 1:1 magnification.

  • Sony FE 90mm f/2.8. I like this lens, but most of the time it has to be used with a macro rail.

  • Nikon AM 120mm f/5.6 ED. This is an apochromatic macro lens with symmetric construction. It is very rare to find such lenses for normal DSLR cameras. Since it is a large format lens, and I am using it with the view camera, it can also be used with larger magnifications than 1x.

Normal / Tele

  • Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8. I would normally say I like prime lenses, but I do like this one and 50-140mm below.

  • Fuji XF 50-140mm f/2.8. It is a bit heavy, but zooming does not change the length of the lens. I use or I want to use this lens more often than the 16-55mm above.

  • Sony FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA Zeiss Sonnar T. Great little lens.

  • Raspberry Pi 16mm (35mm equivalent 91mm) lens for its camera.

  • I also made a few pinhole lenses with 0.15, 0.2, 0.3mm precision pinholes.

Converters and Extensions

I have Fuji 16mm macro extension and Fuji 2x tele-converter.

Accessories

Obviously if you are interested in photography, you need tripods and possibly filters and lights.

I have two tripods:

  • Gitzo Traveller Series 2.

  • Gitzo Systematic Series 5.

I have two tripod heads:

  • Gitzo GH1382QD ball head that came with Gitzo Traveller tripod.

  • Arca-Swiss D4 Classic geared head. This is an awesome but expensive head which I use for macro shots or with view camera.

I do not use filters much, but I do have protection filters on all my lenses. I also have a few ND and polarization filters. All the filters are from Hoya and B+W.

I have a Godox V1 and Sony HVL-F43M flashes and two Aputure Amaran AL-F7 LED lights. I use flashes for high-speed photography and sometimes for macro, and I use the LED continuous lights for macro. I try to use optical triggering when possible.

Software and Services

There are naturally many software I use but some major ones:

Linux

  • Ubuntu Linux distribution
  • i3 window manager
  • vim

Windows

  • Chrome
  • Lightroom & Photoshop
  • Premiere Pro
  • Helicon Focus

Mac

  • Cubase
  • Wavelab
  • Native Instruments Komplete Suite
  • Ableton Live
  • Arturia Analog Lab
  • Roli Equator

Services

  • Dropbox
  • 1Password
  • Google Docs
  • Google Cloud
  • Hover
  • Netlify

Other Useful Devices

  • X-Rite i1Studio Spectrophotometer. It is a spectrometer for monitor (and projector) and printer calibration. It can do reflectance (e.g. light reflecting from a paper) and ambient light measurements. Using a basic tool like spotread from Argyll CMS package, you can use it to measure the spectrum of any light source. There are many such devices but I think it is unique at this (affordable) price. It can measure between 380-730nm in 10nm bands.

  • Mitutoyo ABS Digital Micrometer: Very handy to measure small things.

  • TI-30X Pro Pocket Calculator: Because I am tired of trying to use calculator apps on mobile.

  • Kern EMB Weighing Scale: A bit overkill, because I have the high-resolution -10mg- version, but very handy for cooking/baking and whenever you want to know the weight of something with precision.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.