Old is new again

Back in the 80s, Dad let me use his Nikon F with the photomic finder. Here is a slide from that era:

(Remember, these sat around for ~30 years before processing. This was taken near the wreak of the Cherry Venture, at a guess Dad shot this with his F3)

Much later I’d use the same camera with a 55mm macro to make many of the pictures in my PhD thesis. I wonder where those negatives are?

Now, with new light seals, and the meter back in working condition, I’m having a blast shooting the back yard.


Has it really been that long?

You SHOULD own (lots of) gear

It seems it’s all the rage now to wax lyrical about how you dumped 20k of canon/nikon gear, got a M4/3 (or whatever) and “found” your artistic vision. Whatever works. Stop trying to persuade others though.

I’ve got lots of nice film gear. And lots of nice digital gear. And some cool medium format and rangefinder stuff. At a stretch I can do 4×5 with some salvaged technical microscope cameras too. I love it all. I want more of it.

I don’t take it all out with me. That would be madness. But seriously. An 200/2.8 makes nice portraits. But it does lots of other stuff too just walk a bit. Take one camera/lens and shoot. Then think about it. And shoot some more.

At five, my daughter had started to pose. This had made the natural photos harder to get. But I’m getting more opportunities to shoot carefully. I don’t see me reducing the amount if gear anytime soon.

I still want a big format camera too.


Toys are fun

D300 ISO200

Nikkor 70-210 f/4=> 210, f/4, 1/640

Picasa 3 25102014 94657 AM

Nikkor 75-300 f/4.5-5.6 => 300, f/5.6, 1/320

Picasa 3 25102014 94719 AM

Nikkor 75-300 f/4.5-5.6 => 190, f/5.3, 1/400

Picasa 3 25102014 94752 AM

Nikkor 300 f/4 => 1/400

Picasa 3 25102014 94733 AM

Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 => f/4, 1/800

Picasa 3 25102014 94806 AM

Nikkor 80-200 f/2.8 => f/2.8, 1/1600

Picasa 3 25102014 94822 AM

It’s no fun replacing the antenna on an AU Falcon

Snapped the antenna mast on my car. New masts are ~$25. How hard can it be?


In the hope this helps someone else…

Put the car in the garage and turn out the lights. You’ll see later.

Turn the steering hard left to access the inside of the wheel bay.
Try to undo the 3 Philips head screws that hold the splash guard in.
They are actually a screw that expands a plastic tie. In my case one undid and could be pulled out as expected. One tie snapped. The bottom one has a slot in the splash guard, so it pulled over the screw head. These have been in place for 15 years. It’s not surprising they don’t work like new. I guess a proper mechanic would just snap all three and replace with spares….

Ok. Now pull the splash guard down and off the inside of the arch. Also work it off the triangular metal tab that goes through a slot in the splash guard.

Get a torch. Do this inside so you can see up in the dark arch. You should see the antenna assembly. It is held on by one nut at the bottom bracket. Undo the nut and try to thread the thing out of the car.

My antenna was bent half extended. I snapped it off to get enough play so I could get it out.

Undo the strap attached to the top of the mast. Ignore the black moulded plastic one.

Undo the lock nut on the top of the antenna mast housing.

Remove the Philips head screw at the bottom of the housing.

I broke the glued guide tube off the pulley housing and pulled the rope out.

Now, the mast should be pushed back down the guide tube. If you’ve snapped it, it won’t fit.

I bet the $100 complete assembly looks good about now…

I used a dremel to cut it off clean and pushed the remains out with a screwdriver. If yours is snapped too close, you might not get it out. Which will frustrate you no end after the time you’ve put in. Also the reassembly required to be able to drive the car.

The instructions that came with your mast have you covered from here.

I’m happy with the outcome. But dirty and with sore fingers from trying to get the now old and stuff splash guard back in place.


Why! Oh why?

see, cleaver people are able to keep their wits about them even when so many other things (and 5 year olds) are vying for their attention.

Not me, I slipped up and opened the 4 roll tank “a bit”. Maybe I’ll get something off the bottom roll. I hate myself right now. Slicing life a bit on the thin side I think.

Time will tell.

[update] top roll is toast, next is badly streaked, bottom two might be usable…

[next update] streaks not so bad. Need to find scanning time. Quite behind… But in general I think I got lucky here.

My favourite camera

I like to campaign them. I was keen during my teens ( the 80s… ). Dad had a Nikon F, F2, and F3. I’d been given my mother’s Yashica 35, but I notice lots of photos from that era show me with the F.

Fast forward to today. I have a 5 year old and a D90. But Dad gifted me his film cameras, and I picked up some “dream” bodies for a song too. So my walking around cameras tend to change often, but whatever made the last “favourite” photo tends to be the go to body.

Now that my daughter can handle long city walks, I’m going for more cityscapes and street photos. So small and quiet are popular. If only I was any good…

I love my FA at the moment.


Here: industrial chain near where I work. Fuji 64D cross processed in C41. Nice texture. Sloppy remjet removal.

Pity my Lamy?

I needed a note taking pen that could handle life in a dust environment, perhaps being dropped and it not being the end of the world if I lost it one day. So, a Lamy Safari seemed a good choice. A quick purchase from ebay and I had a nice charcoal pen with a black EF nib.

This pen has survived several years of daily use. The molded plastic texture by now starting to go smooth from daily use. The nib is not “buttery” as these things go. But it has a nice resistance that suits note taking in a diary positioned on a knee in meetings. It is not scratchy and certainly not a wet line. This is just as well given the cheap paper supplied in many work places that is only good for ball points.

This pen was a nice work piece. So much so that my wife started “borrowing” it for extended periods of time, The solution was obvious, buy her one of her own. In due course, a white safari again with an EF nib arrived and immediately disappointed. A very slippery nib that skipped badly,

Fine. These are at least inexpensive so I tried again. The second white safari was an improvement, but still not as nice as the original pen. This has been followed by a Noodlers Ahab, which despite repeated cleanings as advised, still skips and gives a quite uneven line.

What now? Commit to a more expensive purchase with extensive pre purchase testing? Crash course in pen adjustment? Probably the latter.

I’ll continue with my parent’s Conway Stewarts and Parkers in the interim and keep a lookout for something nice for my wife.