Tidying up

A couple of days in town doing errands and chores like visiting three hardware stores to get six items and mowing the lawn (steps one and two – three will have to wait ’til next trip). Nissan is loaded with garbage for the dump and supplies for the cabin so … back out Saturday to have at it again. This would all go faster if I could stand to work more than 4 hours a day. It’s been an interesting few days, with one really odd event which I won’t say more about.

In the mean time … some images leftover from the Canon T100.

Ice Blossoms
Turquoise ring from the jewelry shoot.
Diamond ring from the shoot.
Grape holly in its Winter colour.

On to more adventure.

You know, I think sitting on a tropical beach watching the sunset while someone brings me cool drinks would be a good idea.

Two from three

So much going on I didn’t know which way to turn. It has taken me days to decide just what the “weekend post” would be of/about. Thus it’s a sampling because I couldn’t make up my mind.

Canon T100 55-250mm lens
Canon T100 55-250mm lens

I’ve been ‘trying out’ the Canon lately to evaluate it as the next ‘main camera’ to use. I like using it but it simply can not do the things the Nikon P610 ‘bridge’ camera can, so I find myself repeatedly grabbing that instead when going out.

Nikon P610
Nikon P610

I have stopped using the Olympus for now. Not just because the battery is failing and I’m loathe to put money into it, but also because I need to force myself to evaluate the future of photography for me and it is unlikely the E410 is the answer no matter how much I like using it.

Olympus E410 40-150mm lens
Olympus E410 40-150mm lens

What with everything everywhere being as bad as it is (yes, my wife is still in England with no return date even guessed at) switching to “artistic” photography only is about all I can do. I loathe the idea of it as I do very much like taking wildlife photos. You know: pictures of birds I can’t actually see because they are small, far away, and hidden in tree branches. Do I need to mention the failing camera + failing eyesight thing again? No. Not going to say anything about the triple digit inflation rate around here either.

Just trying to keep my sanity together. Remind me again exactly why I should do that.

More analysis coming up. Er, camera analysis that is. I could probably do with the other kind as well, to be honest.

Sony Albinar

These pictures were taken with the Sony a6000 and the FD-mount Super Albinar 28mm f2.8 lens.

Antlers
Sideways Ice
Monochrome Sunrise
Surface Ice
Snowscape

The camera is for sale, by the way. There’s nothing wrong with it and it is a good camera, only I have difficulties using it with my large hands and poor eyesight. I will include the Super Albinar & adaptor as well as the M42 adaptor and one of the not-so-good ‘classic’ lenses recently tested: Opticam f2.8 135mmm, Cunor f4.5 200mm, Sun f2.8 28-80mm, or Prakticar f4.5 70-210mm. Or not if you’d prefer. Frankly that Sun lens is pretty bad and the others only a step above it. Asking price is $600 not including shipping which is pretty outrageous to anywhere even within Canada.

All these pictures were taken in colour and converted to black & white. Sometimes post-processing is your friend. For example here’s what ‘Antlers’ started out as:

Original version of ‘Antlers’

If you think these photos are all no good, well I’m not surprised: I can’t actually see what I’m doing anymore so every step from the initial composition to the finish product is largely guesswork.

Problems: 610

There are so many problems in my life right now that not only am I unable to keep track of them I can’t keep on top or ahead of them. Problems, problems everywhere and not a drop to drink. See? I can’t even find humour now. Well when a $3 box of cereal costs $7 and 5 lbs. of potatoes is $6 and … well that’s just part of it.

Even Duncan dog has problems.

For the sake of your sanity if not mine, let’s just look at one problem: my Nikon P610. It’s still my main ‘go to’ camera, but it is going. Lately the zoom has begun stopping/starting instead of running smoothly. One day the whole thing locked up with no response from any control, including turning it off. I had to remove the battery to ‘reboot’ it. It has become unreliable. Regrettably it is also irreplaceable.

Camera says this shot is 3 stops overexposed.
Camera says this shot is correct.

Yes I realize that is a snow scene and thus needs more exposure (I’ve only been doing this 50+ years so don’t mind me). It’s just that in addition to needing every shot tweaked on contrast it has now begun to habitually underexpose everything, regardless of reflectivity.

Nice effect but not what I was shooting.

I have other cameras, but none of them can do what the Nikon could. Namely this:

The moon in its tower.

So there’s that to contend with, alongside worsening eyesight. I know: I’ve been told to go see the doctor but I already know the results of such a visit because he told me the last time; there’s nothing can be done.

At least the dog got out.

All things considered, I hardly notice the toe I broke last week. Yes, really. Trying to walk on this nightmare of ice that is renewed daily … well see what trouble Duncan got himself into? Yeah, like that.

Something good happening for a change would be nice. About as likely as a chocolate tea kettle, but nice.

Low-cost lens cavalcade BONUS!

This is not one of the lenses from the Great Deal. I bought this off ego-Bay before they branded me Public Enemy Number One and forbade all interaction. It wasn’t as cheap as the deal lenses on an individual basis were, especially not after having to buy an adaptor for it. What is it? It’s a Super Albinar 28mm f2.8 in Canon FD mount:

Odd lens out.

This is one of those “store branded” lenses made by who-knows-whom, in this case for photo retailer Albi’s. I originally got it thinking it could be adapted to the Canon T100, but to do that correctly requires an expensive adaptor with a piece of questionable-quality glass in it to get the focusing re-aligned to where infinity isn’t 2″ away. So I ponied up another $20 to fit it to the Sony and tested it alongside the other lenses.

As a ‘scene lens’ it does alright. Try to ignore the recurring spots on the image sensor.

I usually do not shoot with wide-angle lenses. Yet I seem to have collected up two 28mm ones, an M42 mount and this one in Canon FD, as well as a 24mm Vivitar. All three, it turns out, are perfectly good lenses. That’s the thing with store-branded equipment; you never know until you try it if it is any good. It could be made by a quality company but the price-point demands of the retailer can compromise performance. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t.

Nothing to complain about here.

In this instance the luck is with us. Nothing wrong with the colour or contrast, and the controls work fine (even though the adapted mount is fiddly and you have to check to be sure everything is locked and the aperture actually stops down properly when you turn the ring). But is it sharp?

Full image
Crop 640 x 427 from 100%
Larger than life.

Uh, I think we’ll take that as “yes it’s sharp”.

Under some circumstances there is ‘fringing’ and other signs of chromatic aberration. But it is not a dominant characteristic that shows up all the time.

Odd tracks.

Over-all I’d rate this lens as very good and even though it’s not a focal length I typically use I have got some pretty good pictures out of it – some more of those coming later. Of course I’m going to keep it, because I can’t actually unload any of my surplus equipment now (thanks ego-Bay, may you rot in hell).

I would like to do some more ‘testing’ of some of these old lenses, but circumstances right now are extremely limiting and the future isn’t looking very good either.

Winter lingers

Well we had a spell of days where the highs were above freezing and lows below, which coats everything with fresh ice daily. Now it’s cold again, but not the frozen brass monkey cold it was. In fact the air is frozen fog, which I have discovered is impossible to reproduce on camera (so far). It is weird to look out at “white air”. Nevertheless, some images want posting.

Frosted bird seed.
Spiky spikes.
Crowned king & queen of ice.
Ghost branches.

That last one I couldn’t reproduce if I wanted to. It is serendipitous in its generation, as the camera failed to fix focus on the right spot and for some reason this eerie, x-ray like image came out instead.

These were all taken with my Nikon. There are plenty more coming up, and even more than that being discarded as it continues to mis-focus without producing intriguing phantom shots like the one above.

Other than that, our store shelves are bare, the disease is ravaging the population, idiots abound, and my wife is still trapped in England. The most frustrating part is the sheer lack of predictability to any aspect of life these days.

Oh and the highway crew plowed huge chunks of icy snow into my driveway. It’s zero Fahrenheit, and I’ve got to figure out some way of moving them so I can go out tomorrow.

Life is not fun.

The photographer as a kind of musician

It doesn’t matter how good your instrument is if you don’t know how to play it.

It doesn’t matter how good your camera is if you don’t know how to use it.

High-priced, complex equipment with lots of ‘features’ will not overcome a lack of photographic knowledge just the same as a tin-eared rock star wannabe can’t get a song out of a Gibson Les Paul. If the player has the talent though, a Silvertone will sing for him.

Here’s me playing my ol’ Sears Silvertone, as it were. I make no apologies about the boast.

Eyes in the dark.

 

Dendrite.

 

Black-capped chickadee-dee-dee.

 

Last drops.

 

Another galaxy.

 

The reason I love this camera.

Pictures taken with the Nikon P610; the camera I keep coming back to despite its ailments. I think manufacturers should be really embarrassed that their much-more-expensive ‘professional’ DSLRs can’t do any better than this low-dollar, ten-year-old ‘bridge’ camera.