Briefly, then

The End

The last of my e-Bay purchases arrived. Disappointment abounds.

They were two lenses meant to augment my photographic arsenal. The one is an absolutely excellent Super Albinar 28mm Canon FD, which does not fit my Canon FD adapter (which does not have the infinity focusing lens in it, but that’s another issue). The lens is flawless, I just can’t use it. Like much of my equipment now, thanks to one thing or another. Anyway I won’t be ponying up any more money for a different adapter. Anyone want to buy a lens?

Make that two lenses, because the other was another 28-70mm Super Albinar in Pentax K mount. Almost Pentax K mount. I don’t know what’s wrong but it doesn’t exactly fit. Besides which it doesn’t exactly work: the zoom is stiff and limited and it won’t go down to macro mode. The diaphragm is sluggish too. I didn’t pay much and wasn’t expecting much, but it could have gone better.

Crop from full size image taken with the second Albinar lens. It shows promise, but …

A lot of things could have gone better lately, but they didn’t and aren’t going to. For example after e-Bay dropped me like a hot potato with no explanation or recourse I found a camera shop that said it was willing to buy used equipment. Fine, since mostly I want to sell off those things I either don’t or can no longer use. Give me an estimate on one item, I said: the very expensive Panasonic Lumix ZS60.

$40 they said.

Goodbye, I said.

I realise they have to make a profit, but that’s absurd. Looking at their used offerings I can see the problem: they’re asking more for a second-hand Canon T7 than I can buy a new one for.

So I don’t see me getting rid of superfluous equipment, which means I won’t be buying any more supplemental equipment – never mind the e-Bay disaster.

Oh and they love to rub salt in the wounds; they continue to send me e-mails about items I was watching and/or bidding on up until they sell. This allowed me to see that I could indeed have gotten another lens I wanted (from a seller I’ve done business with before but who has only e-Bay as an outlet) and a Pentax K200D which I don’t really need but would be a step up from the battered K100D I have. Also there is not much chance of getting a Nikon lens to try that adapter with. Nor could I splurge on a Sigma Foveon sensor camera, which I considered doing.

In other words all my photographic master plans are shot to hell.

Thanks, e-Bay. You suck like a Hoover. I hope you go bankrupt from paying taxes. Seriously. You should be sued, indicted, and left to rot. That terminal policy is the absolute worst (and illegal) crap I have ever seen on any website anywhere since the start of the World Wide Web.

But all is not that cheerful otherwise either. I have huge amounts of work to get done with a shrinking amount of time to do it in. Every little joy I’ve had in life has been removed, and I even have to drive two hours to get necessary medication because they don’t/won’t stock it in town and ordering it in costs even more than the drive.

Anybody want to buy some cameras or lenses? I’m not sure I’ll have a use for any of it now. My vision is permanently blurred, and my inspiration has evaporated. A (working) new piece of equipment might have lifted my spirits, but no. Not even that am I allowed.

Addendum: WordPress no longer functions on my secure browser either. They’ve changed something, and the only way I can get it to work at all is by using an unsecure browser. You know what I mean; the kind that wants you to give away all your info right down to your shoe size.

That can get stuffed too. No reason to take photos, and no reasonable way to share them. What is the point?

Equipment sidetrack

Sydney J. Harris used to write columns about “Things I learned en route to looking up other things”. This is something like that, but not exactly.

Idly I am poking through equipment for sale, wondering if certain items can be fit into the revised Master Plan, and occasionally bidding on whatever I think might. This has included some rather wild detours like Sony a6000 to get the hi-res sensor and mirrorless adapt-almost-any-lens ability to switching to Nikon DSLR for the same hi-res reason or even because I want to try out some of the older, CCD equipped cameras of theirs. None of that happened. A lot of lenses passed as well.

What I did buy was some more lens adapters for the Canon EF cameras, just in case I found a Canon FD or Nikon F lens for such a price as couldn’t be passed up. In essence, the redesigned plan is to reduce the DSLRs to Canon only, because then it’s all fairly interchangeable and a lot of old glass can be easily adapted to it. Also no need to memorize six or eight different control configurations. Makes sense, right?

The only change, then, was acquiring a Canon T7 to get a 24MP sensor (1/3 more pixels than the T100 so worth the switch). I haven’t succeeded in this either, as they mostly go for more money than I’m willing to put into this project at this point. For another thing, selling off the superfluous equipment is proving to be quite a stumbling block.

Anyway, that’s the plan now: Canon 1Ds (too big and heavy for anyone else to want), replace the Canon T100 with a T7 to get higher res on the hi-res camera, keep the Canon G11 and Fuji F80 carry-along cameras, and continue using the Nikon P610 as the “daily driver” until it fails entirely. Hopefully by that point I can save up enough for a replacement like a Canon SX70.

Oh and one other thing: try, try, try to avoid buying any more equipment just because it’s cheap or interesting (and cheap). Sensible, right? Right. Let’s see me actually manage to do it.

Now off to one side I come across this blog by favourite writer Eric L. Woods: A Sigma dp2 Quattro Fascinating camera. The Foveon sensor is built like a layer of colour film, and the results show. Several of the other X3 write-ups I found dismissed the design as though they were written by people with stock in other sensor manufacturers or something. Much of it was confused and contradictory so I guess maybe they didn’t understand it. Personally I like the concept and the results.

I also like the fact they didn’t go crazy on cramming “features” into this camera. It has some faults to be sure, like no EVF. Considering how expensive it is that’s just stupid. But largely it is a digital camera for a film photographer. Too bad about the price. In my “ideal” camera design I can see that Foveon X3 sensor as a key element.

That’s all as maybe. I have to try and focus on my current projects, including the wood harvest that has just started. It’s been difficult as the still-present smoke makes me cough almost instantly when I so much as talk, never mind work. I got a lot done yesterday when there was no smoke about, so timing is vital to success.

In the meantime there’s only a few more things on e-Bay I want to keep track of. Just in case.

First load of firewood for this year.

That which we call a lens

Even though I still haven’t cleaned the sensor on the ‘new’ Canon 1Ds, I have tried a couple more lenses on it. So far I’ve used the two Canon EF lenses I have (40mm and 75-300mm) and the 50mm Pentax Super Takumar. All okay so far.

Now a brief explanation of Canon EF lenses. There are two types: the EF, which has a red alignment dot, and the EF-S which has a white alignment square. Both will fit on a crop-sensor camera such as my Canon T100 (the body of which has both the red dot and the white square), but only the red dot EF lenses work on the full-frame cameras like my Canon 1Ds (which has only the red dot). The EF-S lenses will not fit due to the rear of the lens intruding into the camera body. Don’t try it, you could damage something.

That said, the next lens I tried was my old M42 mount Vivitar 135mm f2.8. It’s a pretty good lens too.

I like this.

How sharp is it? Here’s a portrait of Marley the usually silly dog:

Marley being sensible.

And now we take a 640×427 segment out of the full frame, right around her eye:

Up close and sharp.

It is not the sharpest lens I own, but it’s hard to fault it. There’s no trickery like ‘unsharp mask’ used here either; it’s all in the lens.

But the lens does have its failings. Of course it’s manual, so that means manual focus and manual exposure. So no quick ‘grab shots’ of anything. Also, for most of the things I shoot the focal length is pretty short:

Three snow geese far away.

That is again taking a small segment from the full frame, and the birds are still very small. I even used the unsharp mask to enhance their shape, but no amount of computer processing will make up for the physics. Really: you’ve got to stop believing those TV shows that pretend a satellite in orbit can read a license plate that’s perpendicular to its lens as clearly as if it were ten feet away.

Now back to the EF vs. EF-S issue. I have one more lens in my collection which claims to be EF, in that it has the red alignment dot and will fit the full-frame camera. There’s just one little problem:

Say “nyet” to vignette. (The bird lost in the middle is a black-capped chickadee.)

This is the 18-200mm Tamron, which also has sharpness issues at any setting. Here we see the vignetting that showed up as a minor thing on the APS-C sensor at the 200mm length becomes full-blown-artistic-whatsit whether you want it or not. Yes you could crop this out, but then you’d notice the blurry focus all the more.

It’s a dark-eyed junco. Take my word for it.

Nope. That lens is not good enough for me. BTW it also focuses noticeably slower than the Canon lenses, and sometimes inaccurately.

I still have the 35mm and 28mm Super Takumars to try on this camera. But first I absolutely will clean the sensor. I promise. Or at least make a try at it.

I also need to get a larger CF card because at full resolution I can only fit 11 images on the 64 MB one I have. That isn’t even a ‘half roll’ equivalent.

Recovery week

Leftover shot from the Olympus E-410.

So surgery last Sunday. Doctor said I could go home and resume my normal activities. There were a couple of problems with that, starting with not coming out of the anesthesia well. Also, he must think my normal activities are sitting on the couch doing nothing. Got home Monday.

Then things got complicated. Called GP on Thursday who called the surgeon who called back and … there’s me rushing into town because bleeding isn’t a good thing to do at any time.

Right. Home again. Less pain, not bleeding. This is better.

Meanwhile about two weeks have been lost to this. Several important things have not gotten done, and I’m not sure I’m up to doing them yet.

But the worst part is I saw a lot of nice photo opportunities on the way to Kamloops and back, but couldn’t do anything about them. (“Stop the ambulance! I need to shoot that mountain!”) I also didn’t get to do any shopping, oddly enough. They really don’t want patients wandering around the city on their own.

Things should get back to normal now but … there’s a problem on my other side as well, it just hasn’t reached emergency-surgery level. Yet.

Nevertheless, life goes on. You can debate whether or not that’s a good thing.

In the meantime I polished the lens for the Pentax K100DS, and then realized I can’t go wandering around taking pictures with it to see if it’s any better now or needs another scrub. I spent some time marking fraud camera ads on EBay – same scam tried multiple times every weekend for months now and it never works; the perpetrator(s) is (are) dumb.

Still looking for a decent deal on a Canon 5D. There are many out there, and the prices they want for even the old ones is ridiculous. Supply and demand, I suppose. I’m not investing crazy money in a camera I’ll likely use only for a few occasional shots. The G11 and E-410 I picked up cheap have already more than earned their price, to me anyway. I’d like to be able to wander around town with the G11 some more too. It’d be nice to wander around Kam and maybe Williams Lake with it as well, but that’s two whole other safaris that will probably never happen. Time constraints, you see.

Also still looking for the long zoom that fits the Olympus E-410. Here’s why:

Full scene at 300mm equivalent.
640×480 crop – not as sharp as I’d like.

I think it would make a great birding camera with the 600mm equivalent on it. But they seem to go for over $300, and that’s kind of silly considering I got the camera and the two shorter zooms for a tad over $100. That’s a black-capped chickadee in there, by the way.

I’ve skipped a few ‘bargain’ cameras I’ve seen because I don’t need them. Better to spend the money towards the equipment I’m actually after than buy something just because it’s a good deal, eh? This included a Pentax K10, which I let go because it isn’t that much different from the K100DS – just more MP really, and I’ve proved that isn’t as important as manufacturers would have you believe it is.

The forecast says we will have above freezing every day and below freezing every night for the next couple of weeks, so the snow pack will continue to melt slowly. At this point it would be overly ambitious to think about getting back to the cabin and all the work awaiting me there. Best to take it easy for a while and slowly work my way back up to normal activities. Most of which I shouldn’t be doing at my age anyway, I’m told.

Another ‘leftover’ shot out of the Olympus.

Return of the Mystery Camera!

I’m going to ignore everything that’s been happening lately because most of it is depressing and just get on with this photography stuff. Which is also depressing, come to think of it, because … you’ll see.

Okay so Mystery Camera has had its sensor cleaned – to no avail. The spots are permanently etched in, I guess. Oh well. Not that those cleaning swabs are terribly effective, mind you. Even so, we make … progress? Uh, no. Not really.

In addition to the problems with the intermittent autofocus and erratic exposure, I have determined that the lens it came with is, not to put too fine a point on it, junk. It is not just soft but blurry. I know people pay money for Helios and other such Russian fuzz-master optics, but I can’t see why. This is supposed to be a good lens and maybe it was once, but even after multiple cleanings … it’s had it. I don’t know where this camera was used, but it must have been one filthy environment considering all the dirt damage it’s got.

Another way I determined the lens wasn’t any good was by trying a couple of others. For example the 35mm Super Takumar:

The Whale waits for Spring.
Obligatory test shot.

Much sharper than the equipped lens, even if I do have to compensate for the thorium yellowing. These shots were taken with the lens held in place by hand, as the M42-PK adapter still hasn’t shown up! (Aha! Another clue to Mystery Camera’s identity!) Fortunately I was able to secure a different lens in its native mount (albeit for earlier film cameras) which produced a ‘second opinion’ so to speak:

Marley stalking.
The best picture this camera has produced so far.

So what will I do with this camera? It isn’t very good for using and not worth enough to bother selling. I’m certainly not going to invest in more glass for it, although I’m likely to adapt this one PK lens (more about it in future posts) to the Canon instead.

The wild rose shot. You can see the sensor flaws.
Two ravens in flight. Again you can see the sensor flaws.

Anyway, have you guessed what the camera is yet? There have been clues enough to at least get the make, so I’ll add one for the model: it’s 6MP.

Addendum: I’ve updated my cameras I use page to include the Olympus E-410 (and demote the Kodak P850), but have not yet added the Mystery Camera – which may never make the cut.

Oddments

Or; things I came across while looking for other things.

Search engines aren’t what they used to be, especially on certain websites. They used to work. They still do after a fashion, but you have to want what they find for you. Logical operators no longer function, so instead of meeting specific criteria they return anything that has any part of your request. For example if you go looking for the rare four thirds lenses, you get micro four thirds* by the hundreds – as well as dozens of things you may have trouble figuring out the association with. Amazon is champion at this as almost any search will turn up women’s clothing. This is indicative of the other part of the problem; those listing items not categorizing them correctly, whether by accident or on purpose, in the first place.

As frustrating as it is when you’re really trying to locate something, it has its humourous side as well. And sometimes you find little nuggets of ‘gold’. Here are a few unusual items I’ve come across lately while looking around (for no good reason other than that I’m bored and can’t get out and about to take pictures).

Pentax 110 SLR lens

Back in the film days Pentax made a 110 cartridge SLR camera with interchangeable lenses. My Uncle Roger had a few of them because he thought they were amusing. They were cute little things and they were well made, but unfortunately the film wasn’t: 110C started out with high standards and quickly degraded to amateur camera status as it didn’t make a dent in the professional market. To be fair 126C was basically 828/135 film inside a plastic cartridge and it failed for the same reason (yes there were 126C SLRs such as this; Instamatic Reflex ). Here we have a lens for one of those Pentax 110C SLRs offered as “can be adapted to micro 4/3”! I’m sure it would be a good shooter. By the way, Yashica made a few high-grade 110C cameras too, but not SLRs:

Yashica Atoron 110C

Staying in the field of unusual lenses, we have this for those who can’t decide between a 28mm and a 35mm wide-angle lens; behold the Soligor Dualfocal! At 7mm, the shortest range zoom lens ever!

Soligor Dualfocal

This isn’t really a zoom lens per se as it just shifts between 28mm and 35mm. I can see where that might be handy. Or a zoom with detent stops at ‘standard’ focal lengths perhaps? Such would probably be pricey as manufacturers don’t like to be that accurate unless there’s a lot of money in it for them.

When looking at lens adapters I came across this most unusual one:

Kodak Signet 80 to micro 4/3

The Kodak Signet 80 was a rangefinder camera with interchangeable lenses – to of the 1950s Signet line that included the venerable 35, 30, 40, and 50 models as well. Here we see some clever machine work done to adapt the lens to micro 4/3 cameras. Signet 80 lenses are fairly rare, but it just goes to show that if you want to use a lot of various vintage glass a micro 4/3 camera can probably take whatever antique lens you can find!

Now for the funny stuff. I found not one but two “ghost hunting cameras”! Better known as “full-spectrum” cameras. I have to wonder if they really are modified, or are just plain bad at accurate colour rendering! *LOL*

Olympus “ghost camera”
Fujifilm “ghost camera”

These lead us to ask two questions: 1). do ghosts emanate or reflect infrared and/or ultraviolet? (They don’t have corporeal bodies so they shouldn’t produce heat); 2). if they don’t reflect the visible spectrum, how can you see where to aim the camera? I guess you just point and click and hope for the best. There’s a lot of that style of photography around. *LOL*

If you’re wondering just what it was I actually searched for, you’ll have to go on wondering. When I find it I’ll let you know.

*The ‘four thirds’ sensor size started out with reflex cameras before the mirrorless ‘micro four thirds’ units came along. The difference is in the distance between the sensor and the lens mount: the original was about 39mm to have enough room for the mirror; the micro version is about 19mm because there is no mirror to accommodate and that means it is easier to build external adapters that can connect just about any lens to the camera as the extra distance gives plenty of space to ‘shrink’ a larger lens mount to the micro four thirds’ smaller throat. The other choice for easy lens adaptability is a large throat on the camera, such as with the Canon EOS; this allows a smaller lens to mount within the opening, thus not altering the lens-to-sensor distance and therefor infinity focus. Trivia: one of the tightest lens adaptations is M42 to PK; the Pentax screw thread lenses on to Pentax bayonet cameras. This is because the lenses and mount were adapted over to begin with to create the bayonet ‘K’ series, and are almost identical in size. They really just changed the mount. Why mess with the lens design when all you have to do is update the connection, right? Unfortunately it means the adapters are delicate metal rings and often come with an accessory ‘key’ to twist them out of the bayonet because getting a purchase on them with your fingers alone can be difficult.

Genuine Pentax M42 to PK adapter. Cheaper ones come from China now.

A Tale of Two Teles

Or: another boring lens test post.

A few moments of sunshine have been granted here, so I took advantage of it. The main purpose was to compare the Canon EF 75-300mm zoom to the Canon EF-S 55-250mm zoom. The results were … interesting.

I’m going to spare you the innumerable shots made under various experimental conditions and get down to a few that demonstrate the differences. Keep in mind the EF-S lens has image stabilization, thus to make things “fair” I had the ISO at 400 so the shutter speed could be quick (1/500 and 1/750) and the aperture stopped down a bit (f9.5 and f8.0) to give maximum advantage to both lenses. As usual these are 640×427 crops of the full-size images.

The first two are taken at 75mm and approximately 75mm as this is the minimum focal length of the longer zoom.

75-300mm EF lens.
55-250mm EF-S lens.

This is a very difficult one to call! I think I see a slight edge in the 75-300mm in fact.

The next pair are at 250mm and approximately 250mm – the maximum of the shorter range zoom.

55-250mm EF-S lens.
75-300mm EF lens.

Here the prize goes to the 55-250mm EF-S as there is noticeably better detail in the bark. It is still a very close thing, and in normal size presentation the difference isn’t noticeable. What is noticeable in each photo is that the colour rendition and contrast is the same between both lenses.

Now, would a brand-new edition of the EF 75-300mm lens be better? Maybe, but I doubt it as I don’t see any defects in the glass itself. Certainly a new one would operate more smoothly, but it would also cost 5X as much. I suppose the $600+ version with IS would be better, but … I think I’ll save that money towards a replacement to the super-zoom Nikon. I really only bought this lens so I’d have a long zoom for the Canon 5D if/when I manage to obtain one (the EF-S lenses don’t work right on full-size sensors).

The bottom line with any lens is: can you take a good picture with it? Let’s see:

A raven under power. (300mm)
Icy sun. (75mm)

The answer appears to be “yes”.

Otherwise I have to report no progress on The Plan as of yet.

The forty millimeter, part two

Well it looks like the sun is never going to shine again around here. At least not for longer than a few seconds at a time. So in the slightly less darkness of the past weekend I did some more testing of the Canon 40mm EF prime lens. Let’s see how it went.

Clearest sky we’ve had in a long time.

This sky picture shows that for ‘general views’ the 40mm is more than acceptable, even with the slightly telephoto focal length (due to the 1.6X crop factor on the APS-C camera). It has good sharpness, contrast, and colour rendition even under less-than-ideal lighting conditions. Now let’s see how it does at 100% of image size.

Raven over head.
Cropped version.

The first is the full picture shrunk down to 640×427 (note this is about 53% reduction). The second is a 640×427 crop of the full-size image. Very good results here: the blurring of line detail is due to sensor resolution limits not optical fall-off. In film terms you’d be looking at the difference of the grain versus the glass.

Now for the ‘acid test’. How does it compare to the Canon 18-55mm EF-S zoom shot at approximately the same focal length? I’ll spare you the full size images and just go with the cropped segments of the 100% size.

Segment taken with the 40mm prime.
Segment taken with the 18-55mm zoom.

Not bad at all. In fact we can see the 40mm comes out ahead in resolution, colour rendition, and contrast. The latter two by an almost imperceptible margin, but the sharpness difference is definitely noticeable.

So how is the image quality when you really put some effort into making a picture?

Frost on the wild rose.

Very good indeed. Perhaps as sharp as the Nikon? Well that is something I’ll test next:

Crop of full size image taken with the Nikon P610 at approximately 40mm focal length.
Cropped from full-size, taken with the Canon.

It is difficult to get the Nikon to exactly 40mm focal length, and it does have a slightly less MP (16 instead of the Canon’s 18) sensor. Also we see the colour difference and the lower contrast the Nikon has developed over time (it used to be crisper). In terms of outright sharpness, the Canon has a small but visible advantage. I tried to take a close-up image to compare the two, and the Nikon did its now usual false focus lock. *sigh* One day it is going to fail me when I really need the picture, and that will be that.

One more shot from the Canon:

The ice melts slowly.

All these images were shot at ISO 200 to use a slightly smaller than wide-open aperture to optimize sharpness (shutter speed is not much of an issue at 40mm). Even under the shooting conditions available the 40mm EF lens performed remarkably well. In fact I’m so encouraged by the results from it that I may just spring for a Canon 75-300mm EF lens to see if that is better than the 55-250mm EF-S zoom I’ve got.

Forty millimeters

In an odd detour of my “Master Plan” I have purchased a Canon 40mm EF ‘pancake’ lens. I wanted to see if a prime/EF lens was sharper than a zoom/EF-S lens, and I came across this one for about half the price of a new one. 50% off is always a good deal. Unfortunately the weather has not been good for picture taking lately, so I only have a few test shots to evaluate it with. If the sun ever shines again I’ll try and do some comparisons with the short zoom/EF-S (18-55mm). EF-S lenses are made specifically for the crop sensor cameras and do not work well on the full-frame ones (vignetting). They are cheaper, smaller, lighter, and not as well made. The EF lenses work with either sensor size, but of course cost more. Sometimes a lot more.

My first comment has to be: “What were they thinking with that focal length?” On the APS-C camera it’s slightly telephoto at 64mm equivalent. On a full-frame camera it would be slightly wide-angle. Really 5mm less would have made more sense (56mm on the crop sensor, 35mm on the full-size). As it is I found myself backing up and backing up and backing up more when I took this ‘standard shot’ of the cabin. I wasn’t quite standing in the lake, but it was a near thing. I have taken this same view numerous times with wide-angle and regular lens focal lengths, so the telephoto effect is noticeable to me.

Need to back up a ways to fit the whole cabin in.

The critical test of a lens is how sharp it is. You can always make an image softer, but you can’t make it sharper. I fell back on my favourite subject for lens sharpness evaluation, the thorny wild rose stem.

Full image of the wild rose stem.
640×427 crop of full-size image. Note the grain rather than blotchiness.

Here we see that when you go to 100% the edges fall off not to blur but to the ‘grain’ of the sensor, just as it would be with a film camera. This is the effect we want to see. I’d rate this lens as ‘very good’ for sharpness. Certainly above the two Canon zoom/EF-S lenses I have, but perhaps not as sharp as the Pentax Takumars.

The focus on it is fast and accurate, except in low-light conditions (only full-size sensors really handle low light conditions well). Much faster than the Tamron and possibly a little faster than either of the Canon zooms I have. There are a couple of factors in this, one being the simpler single focal length design and the other being the sharper glass.

This image amuses me.

There is still the matter of colour rendition. This is where the testing conditions were not ideal so I can’t say for certain how good it is. It is clearly acceptable, but without bright light the colour temperature is off and we don’t know how ‘true’ it is.

On the trail.

A hidden yet visible advantage of this lens is how compact it is. True the focal length is limited to 40mm which doesn’t fit with my usual shooting regime, but for use with the ‘experiment camera’ it offers the advantage of being easily carried and donned/doffed which makes it simple to use as a ‘light meter’ to double check my intuitive settings when taking pictures with the purely manual classic lenses. Even the short zoom is a bit of a nuisance to carry just for that purpose.

One small step for a man …

I hope to take some more images with this in sunlight as so far it’s fairly impressive.

As for the rest of the Master Plan, it’s in abeyance. Someone else bought the bargain Sony HX350 and I don’t have a spare $680+ to buy the used Canon 5D with. I shall have to bide my time and see what, if any, other opportunities arise.

BTW, the photos in this series follow the week: the cabin taken Tuesday, the rose Wednesday, the truck & dog Thursday, and the footprint Friday. That’s how the weather has been!

How to talk yourself out of buying a camera

I recently came across a pretty good deal on a Panasonic Lumix GF2 camera: $80 plus shipping. Not bad. I thought maybe I’d buy it. But why? Uh … because it was cheap and I was bored, frankly. Do I really need to spend money on anything right now? Nope. Not a good idea. Okay, so far these arguments aren’t steering me away from the purchase. Time to try harder. Get some Con Points going!

1). It has no lens with it. Even the cheapest lenses for this MFT mount go for more money than the camera. We’re talking “you could buy a decent lens for the Canon with that cash” levels. Oh you might find one used eventually, but a camera without a lens is useless. The Lens Is The Camera. Any other peccadillos you can work around, but not a bad or missing lens. Option: lens adapter that lets me put an EOS lens on it. That’s another $30 and the Canon lenses I’ve got aren’t great. Could then adapt again to use the Takumars, but in either case it would be manual all the way. Hmm. This is a significant Con Point.

2). It had no viewfinder, just an LCD screen. Bleah. My only complaint against the little Fuji is its lack of viewfinder. Those screens are useless in daylight, which is where and when I shoot most pictures.

3). It’s a Panasonic Lumix which I haven’t been impressed with. My one foray into that brand was the worst photographic experience I’ve had so far, and that’s saying a lot. Other people have had great luck with different P-L models, but I am soured.

4). It’s micro four-thirds format. I’m not sure this is Pro or Con. I’d like to see what the format can do, but it doesn’t really hold much promise of adding to my repertoire. A full-frame sensor would be of more use to me.

5). It’s mirrorless. Ah, sensor covered with dust! In just a few experiments with the Canon I have seen how easy it is to bugger up the imager on an interchangeable lens camera. Mirrorless models have not even a mirror to help keep the dirt off. Definitely a point against. And for those who say “leave the lens on”, well what’s the point of being able to change lenses if you don’t do it?

6). It has a touchscreen for most of the controls. Ew. And yuck.

At this point I was pretty much resolved not to buy it. I honestly couldn’t think of anything in its favour other than it being relatively cheap and something to disturb the monotony. That’s not good enough. Especially when my last cheap purchase was less expensive and delivers some fine photos like these (all taken with the Fuji EXR):

Corvair on the go
Dogs pretending to be innocent
Cloudbow
Rose hips