How much kit?

Recently I watched a video about some wonderful magnetic neutral-density filters. I thought: “I have neutral density filters, but do I ever use them?” The answer is “no”. I have all sorts of gear in fact, and most of it stays home all the time even after switching to the Canon DSLR which doesn’t have all the built-in capacity of the Nikon bridge. Hmm. Let’s think about this.

Deadhead. (Canon T100 & Sigma 150-600mm)

I have often read one of my favourite professional photographers writing about how he went to a gig and brought these four cameras and those six lenses – and ended up using two of each if not less. He’s not alone in that either. How often do you schlep around a bag full of kit and never take it out? Let’s be honest, for all the fun specialized gear is it’s simply easier to just shoot with a basic set up and get what you can out of it. This is why we are often happiest with the point-and-shoot pictures we grab when “playing” with simple cameras rather than agonizing over getting just the right camera-lens-filter-settings combo – and then going mad in post-processing trying to decide over +1 or -1 variations of brightness/contrast/colours.

Angels’ hair. (Canon T100 & Canon 55-250mm)

In truth I only ever take out the special gear when I have a specific idea in mind, such as shooting in infrared. Otherwise I have favourite camera/lens combinations and take one or maybe two and whatever happens for pictures happens. Whatever doesn’t, doesn’t. No sense getting all worked up over it, eh? One of my often-used sayings is: “If only things were different they wouldn’t be the way they are”. You’d be surprised how often that is true. Or maybe you wouldn’t.

So here’s to serendipity, kismet, chance, and fate. The artist should embrace them as friends, not view them as enemies.

Oh yes, and as an engineer that goes entirely against the grain!

Photography’s Future?

This is a case of my speculation triggered by others’ speculation – and my own journey to re-learn photography owing to failing eyesight. (Insert an analogy about photographers’ metaphorical eyesight in general here if you must, but we’re going down that rabbit hole anyway.)

Where are we going with this?

The first speculation surrounds the tentative announcement that Pentax will be building new film cameras, and what people think they may be like. It is a given that they won’t be re-issues of the good ol’ Spotmatic, or even a close derivative thereof. More than likely those who expect it to be some sort of electronic-laden monstrosity are correct. I’m thinking they’ll basically be removing the CMOS sensor and installing a film carrier, adapting the processor segment to handle fixed ISO, and of course eliminating the digital recording pieces. In other words they’ll try to keep as many of the digital camera’s parts as possible in order to save money. If you’re among those who lament the passing of quality camera micro-mechanics you probably have nothing to anticipate here.

One person brought up Leica as an example of the continuation of that tradition, but have you priced their equipment lately? To say it is aimed at a niche market is an understatement; even among those who can afford it not everyone would pony up the Deutsche marks when a lower-priced Sony or Nikon can produce just as good results.

Mysterious equipment.

But we already have had, many times, the declaration that even digital photography is dead: at first replaced by ‘smartphonography’ and more recently almost entirely eliminating the human element with the advent of ‘artificial stupidity’ imaging. Just as a million amateur automatics kicked professional photographers in the business, so the smartphones hammered the true digital camera market nearly to death; people simply can not tell the difference, even when the difference is there. Film photography had been relegated to the trash but was resurrected for artistic purposes, and even now real digital camera photography is falling into that same limited venue of appreciation.

So then, is this where all camera and/or human-derived photography is headed? Will the ignorant masses have their artistic desires sated by computer-generated phoney photos? Worse; will they accept such images for documentary purposes? Too late: they already do; the Internet is rife with ‘deep fake’ photos and videos misleading the gullible and naive public into believing any sort of lie the creator wishes to promote (a trait which people tend towards anyway).

Whither real photographers after this chaos of unreality takes over?

It’s going to be crowded in the artists’ field, with anyone who wants to use actual equipment and real brains to produce images vying for the attention of an ever-shrinking audience of discerning viewers.


The equipment itself may become limited to non-existent, or all outrageously expensive as Leicas. Lomography, the ‘cheap photography’ solution, isn’t all that cheap already; anyone desiring higher quality has to pay more even now, and later it will be worse. You may not even be able to get the film you want, much less the cameras and lenses. Photography will become a rich man’s hobby.

Which is where it started out.

Before the Bulls-eye, the Kodak, and the Brownie.

Original Kodak Brownie

Is that where we’re going? Making emulsions at home and coating plates of glass to be put in cameras we build out of wood and leather? Will we even have those raw materials available to us, or will improvisation step up with suitable substitutes?

It just may be that we go back to the beginning and start all over again.

Equipment comments (random)

Squawking again.

While working with what I’ve got, it occurred to me that most of the major digital camera brands are represented in my stable: Canon (3), Fujifilm, Kodak, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic/Lumix, Pentax, and Sony. About the only one I don’t have is Leica, and that’s because for what they cost they should have four wheels and a motor to drive them around with. I had a Leica film camera once; I didn’t like it. Good lens, but a fiddly camera to use. When it comes right down to it, there is no way any camera can out-perform others sufficiently to justify the kind of prices they command. (Okay I haven’t got a Hasselblad or Sigma or Ricoh either, but those are arguably not major brands.)

Here’s why I don’t like lens extenders:

28mm with 2X extender: 56mm equivalent.
100% crop of above image.
Same lens, zoomed to about 56mm, no extender.
100% crop of the above image.

Sure there are better extenders out there, but the underlying flaws remain the same. (Prompted by someone boasting about how many photos they’d take with an extender – a Canon extender on a Canon lens, which we’d expect better performance from). BTW that lens is the Sun Actinon I gave a “poor” rating to when used on the Sony a6000. Oddly it performs much better on the Olympus E-410 with its smaller, lower resolution sensor. Bigger and more pixels is not always better!

Another couple of things I thought of: it would be possible to build a camera with a built-in ‘extension tube’, especially with the mirrorless type. A lever that would move the lens mount forward 10-13mm would be the equivalent of a #1 tube. But it would add complexity and cost while eliminating at least some sales of tubes to those who want them, and most people wouldn’t go for it. The fact is most people don’t use many of the features on their cameras. Manufacturers know this, and tend to keep the bells-and-whistles down to those things which sound like a bonus but can be added cheaply – usually by a bit of programming.

The second thing is; why not an exposure compensation push button? I realize some cameras may have this, but I don’t get to test every camera out there (not that I wouldn’t want to). On several of the cameras I have the EV is so buried in menu layers that it’s not worth finding. Being a function that is used often, it should have its own dedicated button (I’m sure some cameras have an ‘F’ button that can be programmed to this but …). Think of it: next shot, push button once for +1, twice for +2 … resets with the shot. Or a toggle +/- button. You could preset increments in the menu, perhaps. I was think of this lately because shooting in snow conditions … well the difference between sun and shadow gets quite extreme. It was easier in the old days with ‘match needle’ metering; you just adjusted the aperture or shutter speed so the ‘needle’ was + or – from the ‘correct exposure’ (18% grey) center.

Ah but manufacturers of cameras do not listen to photographers. At least not to this one.

End of squawk.


Switching to plan … what comes after ‘Z’?

Preview of things to come.

Believe it or not, it’s been about a year since I first started out on this journey of trying to find a way to fulfil my photographic desires in the light (ha, ha) of my fading eyesight. I’ve evaluated all my old equipment and reviewed potential replacements, all the while trying to stay within the constraints of a fixed-income budget and rampaging inflation. Not the easiest mission to accomplish, to say the least.

After exploring innumerable possibilities, all of which have flaws, I’ve come up with a plan I can follow. It is not the best plan, as there probably is no “best plan”, but rather the only one that meets any of the necessary criteria. Therefor it entails using existing cameras and a minimal expenditure on new equipment.

Mysterious equipment.

The goal first of all is to make best use of my cameras with optical finders as the electronic ones, even the best ones, are nearly useless to me now. In fact I had occasion to try the P610 in monochrome mode and – I could see no image at all. By the same token, even the Canon’s external LCD is nearly invisible in daylight (to me anyway) and so it’s optical finder or nothing at all. (I can see myself collecting additional optical finder digital cameras, if I’m not careful.)

The second important factor is to make as much use of automatic functions (including focus) as possible because, guess what, in addition to not being able to see sharp focus all the tiny little symbols and letters on the controls are becoming invisible to me. As mentioned above this includes the EVF/LCD displays, which is a bit of a problem when using either aperture or shutter preferred mode (never mind full manual) unless I pre-set it before venturing out. Fortunately I’m quite comfortable with Program Mode most of the time.

What the future looks like?

So optical finder and automatic settings to do … what? Well, make up for the incredible focal length and focusing ranges of the Nikon P610 (65X) mostly. This means the need for an extremely long zoom lens, and possibly a better mid-range one as well (the Canon lens is good, but not great). Plus some method of switching to close focus in the field. That last one is difficult as it involves either using diopters, extension tubes, a lens-reversing ring (the cheap solutions), or a macro-capable lens (the expensive solution).

On top of this I want to press the Olympus E410 into service again in some way, so that it is not wasted sitting in a drawer. Despite what some of the eBay listings would indicate it really is not a highly valuable camera due to its extreme lack of range in lenses. However, I believe I have found a way around that (albeit in a limited capacity). Thus the camera selection will be the Canon T100, the Canon G11, the Canon 1Ds, the Olympus E410, and yes even the Pentax K100 Special on certain occasions.

All of which means purchasing some new equipment, but not a lot and not all at once. Stay tuned!


The question that doesn’t get asked

I see a lot of posts on various platforms discussing which digital cameras are best for “that film look”. Immediately Fujifilm’s offerings come to mind, as some have film simulation recipes built-in with the additional ability to enter and save your own. To some degree you can make similar adjustments to most digital cameras, at least the ‘higher-end’ ones. But there is a question which no one seems to be asking, and that is this:

Just what do we mean by “that film look”?

It’s about the final image, not how you achieved it.

You see if you have a Fujifilm X-series and you want a recipe for Kodachrome 25 you’ll probably find not the recipe for it, but a half-dozen different ones. That’s because ‘what film looks like’, even (or especially) a specific film, is subjective. When there was no choice but film, you could use two rolls of the same type and get different results from each. This is because in addition to the variables of your picture-taking there were inevitably further variations due to different emulsion batches and processing. So even though you shot the ‘same’ film with the same camera at the same time and had it developed by the same lab – the results might be noticeably not the same. Now add to that the vagaries of personal optical interpretation (and sometimes memory), not to mention differences in digital displays, and you have a recipe not so much for perfect film-like pictures every time but rather something that falls just short of being photographic chaos. Frankly it’s a wonder we get a recognizable image at all. (Honestly it’s really easy to mess a shot up so that you don’t get anything usable from it.)

Don’t believe me? Do a search for colour discerning tests. Those are the ones you see promoted with titles like “Can You See The Numbers?” or “What Colour Is The Dress?” and such. Even discounting the fairly common blue-green colour blindness in its many degrees, we don’t all see alike. There really is no objective standard for what a film looks like; it’s more art than science. We are all about art, but … it’s time to dive into the science. Just a little bit.

In order to determine what is meant by “film look” we have to examine the similarities and differences between film and digital imaging.

Digital images depend on pixels being ‘on’ or ‘off’. Arguably film is also digital in that it depends on grains of silver being turned black or not depending on how much light hits it. Okay there’s shades of grey in between, but the higher the contrast the fewer intermediate tones. By the time you hit lithography it’s 1’s and 0’s just like digital. Even before that, much of the grey scale is implied rather than absolute as it is based on how many black or white dots are seen in a tiny area which our eyes observe as contiguous. This is the basis for half-tone printing, btw, and is not unrelated to resolution (which varies with eyesight as well as with camera lens quality. TRUST ME ON THIS! *LOL*)

When we add colour in to the mix we get further similarities between the two media. Film uses dye layers to separate red, green, and blue tones (and then re-blends them in viewing) and digital uses a filter (usually Bayer) on the sensor to separate the pixels into individual colour receptors. The number and combination of them in any given area determines what colour is there, as per the grey scale analogy above. In viewing the reverse happens; a screen is red, green, and blue LEDs near each other and turned on or off to make an area appear some shade that is a composite of the base colours (you can examine this with a magnifying glass). One of the flaws of this system is that the colours are separated side-by-side with digital (except for with Foveon sensors), but layered on top of one another with film. This affects digital resolution, and is the reason why I have a camera that takes terrible colour images but does okay in black & white (try it on your own camera and see if you notice a difference).

Now back to the subject at hand.

Okay, both media have an ISO rating. Film is fixed, digital is variable from shot to shot. Both have contrast, which tends to go up with ISO. Film has grain, which also tends to go up with ISO, whereas digital arguably has both grain and ‘noise’. The difference? Noise is random colour dots which do not fit with the over-all colour tone of the picture area in question appearing as, say, a bright red speck in the midst of an otherwise greenish field. In monochrome it’s not so noticeable, showing merely as additional grain (which in digital is separate ‘dots’ of the area in a like tone).

With colour we have more factors: Both types of images will have colour temperature. What is that? In digital it’s called “white balance”. In film it’s a misleading statement like “daylight” which means some degree of Kelvin that the manufacturer of the film thinks is daylight wherein white appears as, well, white and not yellow or cyan. For that reason some “daylight” film is a little warmer, and some a little cooler. There is also colour saturation, which is how intense the colour is, and colour bias; the tendency to favour one base shade over another. An example of this would be Kodachrome 64 vs. Ektachrome 64: the first is warmer, more saturated, and favours red whereas the second is cooler, less saturated, and favours blue (cyan). Or at least that’s how it seems to me; your interpretation may be different. Digital sensor will have similar characteristics based on the the filter, sensor, and not least of all processing engine.

When it comes to digital film simulation recipes there are, if your camera has them, settings that adjust most of these factors and perhaps even the dynamic range (how well the camera handles shadows and highlights); the fine-tuning of these characteristics can vary from one model to another. What changes you can make, and how effective they seem to be to you, are individualized. For example you might have sharpness, grain, and clarity all playing a part in simulating the ISO/contrast/grain aspect of film. I have noticed some of these ‘recipes’ cheat and let ISO and/or white balance go automatic. To me fixing those is the first step to getting ‘the film experience’, if not the actual results. Your opinion may vary. One thing I would suggest is to start out by changing nothing, then take the same shot over and over making one adjustment at a time (and be sure it’s enough of a change to be noticeable; +/- 1 when there’s a potential variance of 100 won’t show much) and see if it gives you an image you like more – or less. One of the best parts of digital is that you can shoot a lot of pictures and delete them if they’re not up to par; you’re out only your time. In the meantime you’ll get a better understanding of your camera and how to get the results you want out of it.

Here is an example of four cameras rendering the same (monochrome) scene differently:

Here is an example of a digital camera producing images that, in my opinion at least, look like old film:

To my way of thinking the cameras that do the best film-like rendering ‘right out of the box’ so to speak are lower resolution, CCD sensor ones. These are invariably older as well, as that type of sensor is no longer used as far as I know, and the industry has become obsessed with high pixel numbers and outrageous ISO values. I have four working cameras that meet the criteria; the Fujifilm Finepix F80 EXR, the Canon Powershot G11, the Pentax K100D Super, and the Kodak Easyshare P850. In addition to those, the Canon 1Ds and Olympus E-410 both do a fairly good job of producing pictures that look like film, despite having CMOS sensors (both are ‘lower’ resolution by today’s standards). On the whole, I wouldn’t say any of the other CMOS cameras I have do it well at this, regardless of how you change the camera settings. I think the reason may be that the CCD sensors have a smoother tonal gradation than the CMOS ones, allowing for more subtle differences in colour across the spectrum. I have no way of testing or demonstrating this though, and so I could be completely wrong.

Fuji F80
Canon G11
Kodak P850

“Film-like” images from three different cameras, all unprocessed except for sizing.

I came across one photographer who described Fujifilm’s in-camera film simulations as “cute” but unnecessary, as he could make any such adjustments post-shooting as he saw fit. I understand what he means, although selecting a particular film style before using can force a certain way of looking at a scene on you and thus can be useful at least for learning artistic application. In any case it’s clear that when we talk about digital “film simulation” we are discussing a characteristic that is subjective and mainly a matter of personal taste.

Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece, not the final word on film simulation for digital photography! It took me a long time to write, and as such I kept losing the thread of what I was trying to say. As such it may still be highly inaccurate even as a matter of opinion. One of the failings of ageing, I’m afraid.

I’ll need a lime and a coconut

Or; staving off a GAS attack.

All full, and it’s not all. Believe it or not.

I don’t know how this happened. I seem to have accumulated some camera gear over the years. One of those cases has only lenses in it, by the way. But not all the lenses or even all the cameras are represented here!

In my never-ending search for a way to compensate for my fading eyesight, I keep coming up with different ideas. So far none of them have worked, but hey … you never know, right? I’ve always had this condition: the notion that any problem can be solved if you just think about it enough. This isn’t true, by the way, but I keep trying it.

Unfortunately along with that effort can come an attack of Gear Acquisition Syndrome, partly because I like camera equipment. I’ve had quite a lot of it over the years and still have a fair bit of diverse stuff, albeit nothing like the 1,000-ish cameras and related items it used to be.

The path of reasoning, such as it was this time, went something like this:

I should get an adaptor that would allow me to use my Canon EF lenses on my Sony a6000, thus increasing its level of practicality. Sounds sensible so far, right? After all, Sony lenses tend towards the expensive and I’ve already got the Canon lenses. Okay, adaptor = either a no-name Chinese-made probably-won’t-work-at-all for <$100, or a name-brand still Chinese-made but just-might-work for >$200. A gamble either way. Do some research on the best ones and … make that >$800. That’s a lot of money.

Okay, if we’re talking that kind of dough maybe I should replace the a6000 with a different camera which would be more practical. For example, an Olympus OM-D. Same sort of money, albeit without a lens. Never mind; I have two Olympus four-thirds lenses that, with an adaptor, will fit to the micro four-thirds mount. Plus I could get an adaptor for the Canon EF lenses too, for less than the EF to E-mount unit. This gives the advantage of extra crop factor to extend the telephoto aspect even more; 2X versus 1.5X. Great! All in for … uh, a lot more money.

Hey, you know what would be nifty? A Canon brand micro four-thirds camera! Too bad there’s no such thing. But there is the low-end mirrorless M50 model which is less money than the Olympus and takes the EF lenses with an adaptor which is included! Oh, they don’t include the adaptor anymore. Rats. But still, having all Canon equipment would be nifty, even if it’s not all as compatible as it should be. I mean I’d have the G11 for every day carrying, the T100 for more professional shooting, the 1Ds for special circumstances, and an M50 for … er … adapting lenses to?

Hi there. It’s me; your conscience. What lenses do you need to adapt?

Well the EF lenses of course …

You mean the ones that you already have two cameras that they can mount to?

Um, yeah. But there’s also the classic Super Takumars …

You mean the ones that you already have an adaptor to fit to the T100 and 1Ds? Not to mention the Sony a6000 and Pentax K100.

Yes but …

What other lenses do you need to adapt?

Well, I’ve got one Canon FD mount Super Albinar.

That’s all? Just one other lens?

For now yes, but I might get something else later.

So you expect to spend more money on old lenses you have to pre-set focus and aperture on because they aren’t automatic and you can’t make out the controls?


And you want to buy a new camera and several new adaptors just to use lenses you can already use?

*more silence*

How is a new camera of any kind going to compensate for your failing eyesight? Especially another one with another small, dim EVF?

Suppose my eyesight gets even worse; I’ll need a more advanced camera to …

No, if your sight gets worse you’ll need something like a Pentax K-70 with its bright, 100%-sized pentaprism viewfinder as the last step in seeing the world through a lens before you no longer can.


Also it could take the M42 screw-mount lenses with the adaptor you already have for the K100, and it’s about the same money as either the M50 or OM-D.

*even the crickets go silent*

So you don’t really need a new camera at all, do you? Use what you’ve got.

Oh how I hate it when logical reasoning ruins my mad scientist plans! Besides, I like playing … er, experimenting with different equipment.
Of course what I could use to further compensate for not having the Nikon’s range of function would be some automatic extension tubes for close-ups. Hmm, let’s see what they’ve got in those …

A choice of five.

Stay tuned to find out what happens!

Little is big

This past weekend’s ‘Full Snow Moon’ was a “micromoon” because of its distance from Earth.

Looks big enough to me.

I’ve been toying with some old equipment in the apparently never-ending search for a solution to my photography future. This including some shots with the Olympus E410 …

Marley, up to her knees in snow.

… and the Sony a6000:

Duncan, getting a move on.

The Olympus is of course an ‘orphaned’ camera now, with fewer than 50 lenses ever made for it and (as far as I know) no adaptors. Even trying to search for four-thirds lenses brings up micro 4/3 results instead. It’s a pity, because that is a nice format for my kind of work – if only they made the equipment affordable. Anyway, the battery is dead; it takes seconds to recharge and minutes to discharge.

I clear the drive, the plough fills it in again. (E410)

The Sony has lens issues too, mainly the affordability factor. As in even a mid-range zoom costs 3X what I paid for the camera, never mind a long one. I thought about getting an adaptor for the EF lenses, but that’s almost as much money as buying the camera again. Besides which it is still difficult for my eyesight to see the EVF. Why can’t they make a big, bright finder? Actually they can, so the question is “why don’t they?”

How is this comfortable?

In an age when butter is $9 a pound, what hope is there? Interestingly it seems prices only go up on things we need to buy every week, like food. And every week the prices go up. Let me check the map again and see if I’m living in Ukraine. Nope; still Canada. Artificial shortages and all-too-real price hikes. Gasoline is back up to $1.69/Litre. Good thing I’m not going anywhere for a while.

Last week was a painfully interesting one, and I’m glad it’s over. Over for now anyway. No word about the future. That’s always the problem, isn’t it? Can’t even get an accurate weather forecast for tomorrow, never mind anything else.


Two ravens. Canon T100 & 50mm f1.8 EF

I was wading through HyperboleTube and came across a claim I hadn’t heard before: apparently we’ve all been lied too, having been told that we must use only ISO 100 … or else!

Hmm. That’s odd. Never heard that one before. It’s almost as stupid as the unfounded claim made by an infamous and allegedly professional photographer couple that ISO doesn’t matter.

Please tell me the majority of photographers in this world aren’t stupid enough to believe either claim!

Anyone who does has utterly failed to learn the underlying basic mechanics of photography.

Now personally I’m an old (very old) film-trained photographer and I like to use digital cameras as though they were film cameras. This means I tend to fix the ISO setting, usually at some standard film rating like 100 (as per the first claim). I have a couple of cameras that won’t go below 200 (which I often use even on the ones that do) and one that goes down to 80. There are not many times I’ve ever cranked it past 1600, except when experimenting.

So here’s the thing: ISO set too low means; 1). you may find yourself having to shoot at a large aperture and thus lose some depth of field sharpness; 2). the aperture needed may not be the best for sharpness;  3). you may find yourself having to slow down the shutter speed to where the image blurs even with stabilization; 4). you may not have enough light to get the shot at all. Whereas ISO set too high means; 1). you may need to use too small of an aperture to control the depth of field the way you want; 2). the aperture may not be the best for sharpness (which falls off in both directions from the optimum one for any given lens); 3). you may find the shutter speed ‘maxed out’; 4). you may have too much light to get the shot at all.

Okay, that’s the basics. The ol’ ISO/Aperture/Time business you probably already knew. Ergo ISO does matter, and only a moron thinks otherwise.

Now let’s look at the trickier aspect of it: how ISO relates to a particular camera.

First up, my almost dead Nikon P610. Great camera. Great lens. Tiny 1/2.3 16MP sensor. At ISO 400 the image noise is already noticeable. At 800 it becomes, for me, unbearable. Keep in mind that ‘noise’ is not the same as ‘grain’; an image can be grainy without being peppered with incorrect coloured dots in the field. Second up, my Canon T100. Great camera. Acceptable lenses from Canon, great if I stick an old manual Super Takumar on. Medium-sized APS-C 18MP sensor. It can manage ISO 800 without too much objectionable noise. Go above that and … not so good. Third, my Sony a6000. Great camera, aside from the tiny-size-accidental-button-pushing problem. Kit lens sucks, but I mostly use it with manual lenses anyway as it adapts them so easily. Again medium-sized APS-C 24MP sensor. This one can handle quite outrageously high ISO without the noise being a big problem. Why? Partly the pixels, but mostly a different sensor/processor/programming that handles the image information.

Three different cameras with three different abilities on ISO handling.

So, low ISO? High ISO? Let the camera choose? Which to use?

That depends on you; your shooting style, your camera, and the results you want/will accept. Just because I turn AWB off and fix ISO at 200 to shoot mostly telephoto images of wildlife in Program mode doesn’t mean you have to. Use P, A, T, or M as you see fit. Let the ISO and white balance go on automatic if you prefer. The reason why cameras have all these different setting is to get different results under the same conditions*.

Learn the rules, then learn when and how to ignore them. But don’t let any so-called ‘professionals’ tell you what you ‘must’ do, because that’s bovine fertilizer in a bag.

*I realize this is very close to the definition of insanity; repeating an action and expecting different results. But it is photography, after all, and it is an art form: some craziness is to be expected.

It’s cold

Okay so not taking photos or even going outside. It’s -37C (-35F) this morning; the coldest yet this Winter. And it’s predicted to get colder this week – right before it warms up to freezing by next week. Weird weather this year. In fact so cold this morning inside (despite the furnace firing every few minutes all night) that the Nikon’s battery was ‘too low’ to take a picture of the thermometer.

Older photo from before the severe cold hit.

My photo project that I’m not getting at is to get used to using the Canon, due to the problems with the Nikon and my eyesight. Obviously not working on that just now. I did make a start, but the results are not good so far: one acceptable image out of twelve. This isn’t the camera’s fault, it’s mine. Hence the need to practice and see if I can find a way to use a camera ‘blind’, as it were.

Oh the secondary eye test didn’t go well either, which was expected. Now I wait to hear if I get an appointment with the specialist – probably in six months.

Warmed up the battery and got the (fuzzy) shot.

Plans? What are they?

Right. Had it all figured out. Monday, mow lawn before it starts raining Wednesday.

Er, starts raining Tuesday.

Uh … didn’t even get the mower started before the sunshine turned to dark clouds and the rain began – on Monday.

So much for plans.

Now for other things.

Pileated on a poll. Nikon P610.
Same spot after bird flew off. Canon T100 & 250mm.

This is the reason why I looked into longer lenses for the Canon (more on the Nikon at a later date). I had some fun looking at ‘bargain’ long lenses, reading and watching reviews. Well what do you expect from a $150 lens? Right. While the reviewers put their best faces on and try not to say anything bad … well one of the lenses bent noticeably in the middle like a wet noodle. Yeah, that’s quality build! *LOL* Some of what I looked at were mirror lenses. I had one once. Guess what? The laws of physics haven’t changed since then.

The apologetic reviews were about how you can fix the flaw in post, ’cause you know everyone is willing to spend hours correcting images that took a fraction of a second to make. Hmm. Might be easier to just draw the scene by hand on a piece of paper with a pencil.

Anyway … no new lenses. Oh and from when I started looking a week or so ago until this post the prices on every one went up about 33%. I make that 1700% annual inflation rate. You know, every time I go to the store at least $100 disappears and yet even in my feeble state I have no problem carrying the bag in.

Never mind. At least it isn’t snowing. That’s scheduled for tomorrow.

Canon 1Ds & 300mm

Could see the full moon eclipse Sunday due to clouds. This is half a moon taken with the big camera. Another reason why I want a longer Canon lens.

Leftover winter shot taken with the Olympus E410.

So it’s “play it by ear” from now on as I try to sort the many little and some not-so-little jobs of Summer into a scheduled fraught with rain.