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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Seeing double.

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Twins.

Spotted, picked up, then brought home while walking Annie Bell last Saturday morning. Set up in the garage on my art table using a glass jar, a couple of clips, an LED lamp, mostly natural light, and a white 15″ x 20″ art board.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8 + Olympus 12-40 ƒ/2.8 Pro, 1/2 sec, ƒ/11 @ 40mm.

Plot twist.

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I did not see that coming.

The LX100 saga is finally over.

I got an email form Panasonic letting me know that not only did my LX100 need a sensor cleaning, but that the lens was bad, too.

I called to authorize the work and give them my credit card info. I was told that, in all, it would cost roughly $375 US to repair and ship back to me. Bummer. A lot more than I’d anticipated.

Then I was told I had the option to purchase a refurbed LX100 for less than $200. Yay. Let’s do that. Happy boy.

About 10 minutes after I hung up I got a call from the agent that’d helped me apologizing because it turns that they’re fresh out of refurbished LX100s. Bummer.

At this point my only other option was to purchase a new one for a little more than $100 over the cost of repairs.

The get to keep my old LX100.

I ran all this by the CFO of Morris Enterprises, and she approved the expenditure. The new camera arrived today. So clean!

Here’s hoping I get at least 4 years use out of it!

 

 

Use what you have.

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Spot on.

I’m not quite ready to pull the trigger on a full-blown spot meter.

The model I’m interested in, the Minolta Spot Meter F, has a price range of roughly $100-$300 US on eBay depending on condition, seller, and shipping.

I spotted (!) another option on eBay. It’s the Minolta Viewfinder II 10 Degree Spot attachment for their Minolta Auto Meter IV F. It just so happens that I have one of those little gems. The Auto Meter IV has been in my kit for many a year.

The attachment goes for around $50. I figured it’d be a good investment and learning tool. There were enough decent reviews in forums to convince me to give it a try and since the cost was reasonable, I went for it.

I’ll look into a Spot Meter F again next year, but for now I think this attachment will be useful.

I’ll be loading up the 4×5 film holders with Fomopan 100.

I’m looking forward to getting out with the Shen Hao.

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.

Rusty shutters #9.

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Hasselblad 500C/M.

May 2006.

I bought this camera, and the accompanying Zeiss Sonnar 1:4 150mm T*, from my neighbor at the time. Along with it came an early edition of Ernst Wildi’s The Hasselblad Manual and a healthy stack of Hassy promotional material. I still have all of it.

I added the #10 extension tube, the 80mm ƒ/2.8 Planar lens (plus the plastic Hassy branded bay 50 lens hood), and the more modern looking PM45 prism viewfinder.

The camera is pristine. No flaws whatsoever. I keep it in its own Domke bag for protection.

The camera’s distinctive slap sound at shutter release is one of my favorite things about this shooter.

I use the 80mm lens most. It makes amazing photographs.

Film type: 120
Film back: A12
Viewfinder: prism
Winding Mechanism: manual crank
Body construction: aluminum alloy
Dimensions: 4.7in x 6.8in x 6.8in