davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
So I get back from a lovely holiday to Istanbul and Cappadoccia, with only a minor delay at the airport because my indefinite leave to remain is on a passport I've not seen in 10 years (although my parents do still have it), so of course I'm not on their computer system, and didn't think to take it with me. Fortunately the nice lady allowed me back in the country, but they're very good at making it sound like they're doing you a favour, and its all your fault for not leaving the country often enough, and its your fault for wanting to leave the country. I mean, how dare you have dual nationality, and not go abroad very often...

And I get home and the computer decides it can't find the network its plugged into, even if it will read emails. So a virus search and destroy later I decide to repair windows. Which of course leads to the next clusterfuck. Windows won't accept my activation code. The automated telephone  system doesn't work, none of the supposed work-arounds that relate to IE6 being a pile of crap don't work, nothing. I manage to get through to a technical support bod, who basically says your code has been used on too many computers so its probably counterfeit, report it. Which I'm pretty sure is bollocks because I'm looking at the disc and all the holograms seem absolutely fine. If its a copy, its a really effing good one, and besides I got it from one of the reputable shops in TCR. So I fill out the form anyway, but there's no way they'll send me a replacement disk, because I don't have a receipt for four year-old software.

I have often found that it pays to ask more than once, as the first person you talk to will often be completely wrong. Such as for instance the bizarreness with Natwest and Virgin Media a few years back. The second guy gets me to restart windows, makes no mention of the block on my code, and sees that it doesn't work, so he forwards it to a technical bod. Said technical bod does the logging into your computer thing that they do and finds that its the "System Builder OEM" version, for which he will charge £60 to do anything to. Stuff that I thinks, I can get a copy of Windows 7 for about that (oh, how wrong I was).

So a trip to Tottenham Court Road, where I discover that Micro Anvika have gone down the swanny, and no-one sells Windows 7 other than as the OEM system builder version- which, surprisingly enough I don't want to buy, in case I have the same problems X years down the line. PC World, despite listing it on their website don't sell it anymore. So I'll be picking up a copy in-store having bought it online. And its costs about twice what MS wanted to charge to fix bloody XP. Still, at least I've got something they'll still be supporting this time next year.

However, Nikon stopped supporting their film scanners back when Vista came out, and don't have a driver for 64-bit OS's, or indeed any version of Windows after Vista. Their proposed solution is to fork out another £80-£100 for third party software. Which is pretty bloody stupid really. Especially when it turns out that there's at least two free work-arounds that exist, one of which certainly means you can use their own software, and Epson are still supporting my flatbed that's about the same age.

Its almost enough to make me give up and run Linux. Except I'd almost always be getting it to pretend to be windows. Which rather defeats the object...
davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
Given that there's a new one, and the price of the old one has dropped a bit on the second hand market I've decided to get a used Canon EOS 5D. Its a full-frame camera, so all my lenses do what they did on the old EOS-1 film body I have, rather than having a 1.6 crop as on the cheaper bodies. Also it won't be killed by the voltages from the flash kit I own too. It'll only work manually, but given the instant feedback that digital gives you that's not something I'm too unhappy about. I'll probably look out for a dedicated flashgun eventually, (and it looks like some of the modern flashguns will still work on a T90, which is a real bonus) but for now its all good, as they say.

I also finally found a hotshoe adaptor so I can use the long flash cable I have. Which is very useful, as you can see...


Now the only thing I need to look out for is one of these, an EOS to FD adaptor, without glass, so I can use bellows and fancy close-up lenses. Knowing there and then if the lighting or focussing are right is really helpful. Much as I'd love one, I just can't afford the MP-E65.

So am I abandoning film? Hell no. I'll still use it for lots of things- especially situations where I know what I'm doing with regards to lighting, etc. Plus I love the feel of the old cameras. I think the F-1 might see rather more use compared to the T90 now. With digital I shoot more, but think less. Which doesn't necessarily make for better photographs. With film I pay much more attention to what I'm seeing in the viewfinder.

But when it comes to experimentation? Digital is much more convenient.
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Shinylust!

Mar. 11th, 2008 06:56 pm
davegodfrey: Cyberman: The Future is Shiny (Shiny)
I like macrophotography. And by like, I mean its one of the first things I wanted to do with a camera. One of the first lenses I bought for my SLR kit was a Tamron 90mm lens, which is perfect for plants, and excellent for insects. I have either extension tubes or bellows for all the cameras that will take them, the Bronica, the EOS kit (although I don't have a macro lens for this one), and both for the Canon FD kit.

Getting out of work at 4 means I got the chance to pop into York Cameras ('round the corner from the BM). Where I found both these lovely lenses in for £199 each. I'd never seen them other than in the catalogue. They only work on a set of bellows, but I have those. The 35 looks relatively easy to use, giving me between 2:1 and 6:1 reproduction (2x to 6x life size as reproduced on the negative). The 20mm goes from 4:1 to 10:1 magnification! Holy Giant Insects Batman!

So much for the "saving money plan". I haven't bought either of them. Yet.

Must Resist The Shiny...

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davegodfrey: South Park Me. (Default)
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