Rusty shutters #13.

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Fujifilm X100S.

July 2013.

As soon as it was released, I’d had my eye on the X100 but wasn’t ready to make the purchase.

And then when I was ready, Fukishima happened. So I waited some more, which turned out to be a good thing, because I was able to get my hands on the X100S, its successor.

The X100S is a classic camera in its look, it’s feel, and its operation. Everything you need to operate in full manual mode is available on the outside of the camera. I love that.

The Fujifilm menu system is one of my faves. It’s intuitive and just plain simple to use.

All the buttons and dials on the camera are easy to access and add greatly to the functionality of this camera. Smooth.

The only issue I had was holding the camera comfortably, but a silver LensMate thumb rest took care of that problem.

Plus I added a black Gariz half-case and the silver JJC lens shade.

Fun camera.

Resolution: 16 megapixels
Max image size: 4896 x 3264
Display: 2.8in LCD @ 460,000 pixels
Viewfinder: Electronic and optical, 2,350,000 pixels
ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Shutter Speeds: 00 sec – 1/4000 sec
Aperture: ƒ/2.4
Focal Length: 35mm
Macro: 3.94in
Metering: Multi-segment, average, spot
Dimensions: 5in x 2.91in x 2.13in
Power: Lithium-Ion NP-95 rechargeable battery
Memory card: SD/SDHC/SDXC

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Rusty shutters #12.

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Leica D-Lux 4.

June 2009.

I saw a picture of this camera in Kelly Castro’s Flickr stream, with the 24mm viewfinder. I had to have it. So cool.

And even though it’s a Leica branded clone of Panasonic’s Lumix LX-3, it’s still the only Leica I’m likely to own.

I had to add the Franiec grip. As much as I like the simplicity of design, without the grip it was hard to hold. And I also purchased that viewfinder at the same time.

It’s a great little camera with awesome macro capability. Leica glass, too. Duh.

It was my first digital camera that had a switch on the lens barrel for image size settings, and though it couldn’t shoot 1:1 when I purchased it, a firmware upgrade made that possible through the menu system.

I still use this little guy.

Resolution: 10.1 megapixels
Max image size – 3648 x 2736
Display: 3in fixed LCD @ 460,000 pixels
Zoom: 4x digital
ISO: Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Shutter Speeds: 60 sec – 1/2000 sec
Aperture: ƒ/2
Focal Length: 24-60mm
Macro: .4in
Metering: Multi, center-weighted, spot
Dimensions: 4.3in x 2.3in x 1.1in
Weight: 8 oz.
Power: Lithium Ion rechargeable battery
Memory card: SD/SDHC

Rusty shutters #11.

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Nikon Coolpix P300.

March 2011.

One of my all-time favorite cameras is the original Nikon One•Touch 35mm ƒ/2.8, compact autofocus. We got ours brand new back in the 80s and it lasted well into the 90s before it died. It was a simple, easy to use camera that made great pictures. I was heartbroken when it stopped working.

The Nikon Coolpix P300 has that same simple feel. I was drawn to it because it’s such a basic little pocket camera. Super easy to use, feels good in the hand, and has a small, but useful, built-in finger grip on the front and a thumb grip on the back. The LCD display fills the back of the camera and controls are minimal.

I shoot in aperture-priority mode, and ƒ-stops are easy to change using the rotary multi-selector on the back of the camera.

This little point and shoot produces really great images.

Resolution: 12 megapixels
Max image size – 4000 x 3000
Display: 3in LCD @ 921,000 pixels
Zoom: 4x digital
ISO: Auto, 160, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 2000, 3200
Shutter Speeds: 8 sec – 1/2000 sec
Aperture: ƒ/1.8-4.9
Focal Length: 24-100mm
Macro: 1.2in
Metering: center-weighted, multi-segment
Dimensions: 4.1in x 2.3in x 1.3in
Weight: 6.7 oz
Power: Rechargeable Li-ion Battery (EN-EL12)
Memory card: SD/SDHC/SDXC

When something’s broke.

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Fix it.

I did it. I finally sent my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX100 to The Panasonic Factory Service Center just down the road in McAllen, TX for a good sensor cleaning.

Over the past year or so I’d noticed a few little – and not so little – specs showing up in images that I’d made while using smaller apertures.

I didn’t mind too much, as they could be cloned out or I could do a content-aware fill to remove them. Shooting macros at ƒ/1.7 wasn’t an issue, either. I do a lot of that.

The dust doesn’t show when shooting wide open. But recently I was trying to get some good star flare in a sunset shot, at ƒ/16, and when I looked at the image in Photoshop there were so many specs that cloning or a fill just wasn’t feasible.

… a dusty sensor is kind of a thing with the LX100.

I started doing a little research online and found that a dusty sensor is kind of a thing with the LX100. Plenty of threads on the various forums had complaints. And a few whacky solutions.

One person came up with a device made from a plastic soda bottle that slipped over the lens barrel, with a vacuum hose attached to the other end, and after turning the camera on he’d zoom in-and-out while the vacuum did its thing. Some folks claimed success.

I was hoping the repair department of our local camera store, Austin’s Precision Camera, could do a proper cleaning. I called. It was worth a shot, but no, they suggested sending it to Panasonic.

A little research turned up examples of folks who’d sent their LX100 in to Panasonic. Some under warranty, some not. I couldn’t find what Panasonic charged for out-of-warranty sensor cleaning on any forum.

And finding the page on the Panasonic web site for actually initiating the cleaning was not easy. It’s Service and Repairs on the shop part of their site.

After a few back-and-forth emails, I learned that they’ll do a complete inspection of the camera for free. The sensor cleaning is $100 US. And coincidentally, that amount was kinda’ the threshold for me. Any other issues cost extra. It works fine, so I hope it just needs the sensor cleaned.

… my questions were answered by Agent 5 and Agent 4.

A funny side note… the folks who communicated with me via email didn’t use their given names. Instead, my questions were answered by Agent 5 and Agent 4. A bit quirky, and something I have not previously experienced with any customer help.

The forums all had stories about folks getting back their LX100 and, after use, the dust returning. And there were many questions about the latest version having the same issue.

All I know is the LX100 is probably the best digital camera I’ve owned and after 4 years of use, the $100 is worth making the camera usable again. Hope fully I’ll get another 4 years out of it.

Now, if Panasonic decides to add a flip-up rear display to the LX100III, whenever that might happen, I’d definitely upgrade.

I’ll do a follow-up post when my LX100 is back in my hands.

My desk.

The utter chaos that is my desk

Utter chaos.

Sometimes more, sometimes less, but without a doubt, always a mess.

1 > Olympus Stylus XZ-2 & Sony RX100III battery chargers
2 > An unexposed roll of 35mm Ilford XP2 Super 400 I pulled out of an old Canon SLR
3 > Fuel
4 > An unopened box of Fomapan 100 4×5 film (soon!)
5 > iPhone 8
6 > Blood pressure log & calendar
7 > Zero Image 6×9 pinhole camera
8 > Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1
9 > Western Digital 320GB external USB powered hard drive
10 > Apple Mac Mini, 2012 vintage (16GB RAM)
11 > Nikon P300 point and shoot
12 > A pair of Newer Technology 2TB hard drives
13 > 8Banners pinhole camera
14 > Apple Magic Mouse
15 > Nikon One•Touch Zoom90 AF Quartz Date 35mm camera
16 > Thingyfy Pinhole Pro S11 pinhole cap
17 > Olympus M.Zuiko 15mm f8.0 body cap lens
18 > Sekonic Flashmate L-308S light meter
19 > Minolta XG-1 w/Rokkor MD Rokkor-X 28mm ƒ/2.8

There are a few other things that’re just out of view, like an ATT wireless router, a Kodak instant photo from 1984 of my future wife and I (35 years this month), 2 Fuji FP100c prints from the Shen Hao, a 1970 nickle, an ‘R’ scrabble tile, a blue mini-armadillo toy, an Ilford 120 Pan F Plus ‘unexposed’ paper band, a Minolta lens cap and body cap, a Lumix lens cap and body cap, my Epson V500 scanner with a bunch of stuff stacked neatly on top of it, another stack of external drives, an aging Drobo, a really old Mickey Mouse coffee cup that has a Tokina 28-108mm ƒ/3.5 Minolta mount lens in it, an Apple USB Super Drive, an old Sekonic Twinmate L-208 light meter in its storage bag, and those are really nice Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers flanking a pair of ViewSonic LED monitors.

Wild.

Out with the old.

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Convergence.

Rusty Shutters is turning out to be a bit cathartic. And productive. Pulling out all the old film cameras and doing a little technical research is a good thing, it turns out. I’m finding new info, learning about history, and checking out some really useful videos on YouTube.

My Hasselblad 500C/M is a good example.

I was about to load up my ’84 Hassy with a roll of expired (2009) Pan F Plus. I have a roll of the same film in one of my Holgas and it made sense to develop two rolls at once, now that I have the Paterson Multi-Reel 3 Tank.

I took the A12 back off, then pulled the slide out just to have a look see. Never hurts to check how everything is functioning. Part of the light trap had gotten to the point where it was so thin it broke away and was resting on the pressure plate.

Not good. Must be replaced. No light leaks, please.

Just a little bit of Web research turns up a number of videos demonstrating how the replacement is done, and some even had dimensions and materials needed for DIY types to do their thing.

I took the easy way out. I ordered a replacement trap seal from Dick Werner. He’s blackbird711 on eBay, but I found a web link for Dick’s kit that worked just as well.

Dick promptly sent an email with details about my purchase and delivery. It arrived via USPS in just a few days.

I tackled the replacement this morning. It only took a few minutes. All my research paid off, giving me absolute confidence going in. The entire process was a total success.

Now, time to load up that roll of film.