About Me

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No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

N is for New Camera!

I have really needed a new camera for over a year, and meant to get one back in the Spring, last year, or at least I said I'd explore the possibility of re-instating Adsence to see if it might pay for one ('on paper' is should have!), but it turned out Adsence isn't as easy as it used to be and the appeal process takes up to six-months, not that I bothered.

Then, about this time last year, I was walking in the woods at the back of the pond on a hot day photographing wildlife when I lost the grip on the camera and it flew-off, mercifully landing in some soft pine-needle leaf mould under a Scot's Fir.

I didn't notice for a few days but the large jigget on the lens (which had become an obvious problem) had been knocked out of the way, bargain! So I carried on with it for another year, but recently the lens opening/closing mechanism had been playing-up (a common problem with them), so I knew it had to be replaced and was hoping it would last until after the storage unit move (8 weeks Wednesday if my sums are right) - when it's battery housing went phutt!

I umm'ed and arrh'ed at what to get, popped into Farnbourough and looked around, checked Argos (four day wait) and ended-up getting basically the same machine from a Swiss dealer off Amazon - yeah! Kill the High Street!

The reason I picked the same machine is because the dead one (which can still serve in an emergency) was four years old to the month practically, and was therefore the longest-lasting of the six I've had since 2007. They all died (with the exception of the first, a Fuji) because they are carried 24/7, bare, in my trouser-pocket and get hard-knocks and lots of fabric-lint and other dust working into their bodies. They also get a lot of use, I may pull them out several times a day, in addition to actual toy 'photo-sessions'.

But, - as you can see from the above - the worst problem with a long-lived one, is electronic dust. You can format the SD-card occasionally, or even get a new one, but there is a build-up of electronic 'crap' on the camera's own brains, both the main memory and the exposure screen/sensors and there's nothing you can do about that.

Those two photographs were taken a few seconds apart - as long as it took to remove the elastic-band and swap the batteries and SD-card - with identical settings (macro and two stops down on the exposure) with unchanged artificial light.

The same thing, just like with humans - the fog of age!

It was still taking OK pictures, but I had 'excused it' to you a few times since the autumn, usually when shooting in poor light. Soooooo . . . should be some improvement in pictures for a while, but there's a lot of old ones in the queue and other peoples images, scans &etc, so it shouldn't actually be that noticeable?

Cover the lower image with a book or your hand and the upper image is acceptable, but comparing the two is sobering! You have no idea, with digitals; how the camera is slowly degrading.

I'm going to try and keep it in a little self-seal bag (or series of self-seal bags, they won't last long in a pocket either!), this time, to cut the ingress of particles, but they weren't ultimately the problem, it was the battery trap-door catch, killed the camera!

The Second Fuji was OK, three years, but it's brain went very suddenly and while there had been global recalls of the same units a year or two earlier, I was in another legal battle at the time so couldn't be arsed to pursue Fuji (who claimed they couldn't find the crappy images of the rose I put on the blog which showed the problem!), and when that battle settled I bought a Samsung (in cherry red to match my 'phone! Tart!) in late 2011.

When the lens-winding mechanism on that one failed in 2013, I got a similar Nikon, on offer at Argos for 40-odd quid, that was an L27, and when the lens-wind went on that; within a year, I rushed up to the local Argos with the warranty (and the receipt - always keep it for the first 12 months!) and they happily gave me an upgrade/replacement for nothing.

As the 29 did so well, I've stuck with the Nikon's, all three - L27, 29 and A10 - are 16.1 mega-pixels; I toyed with a 20.1, but the extra expense didn't add up to the limited extra image size, so I went with the same again!

This problem with the winding mechanism probably is connected to the dust and pocket-fluff - wearing down the very fine bayonet-fit channels and the little ears that travel in them, telescoping the lens's; in the end the ears pop-out of the channels and the micro-motor rattles like a dying thing!

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