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Fixing things and my daily thoughts

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  • Fixing things and my daily thoughts

    I have a love for photography much like I do for fixing things with my tools and building stuff.
    Last week my uncle found an old Kodak 600 carosel slide projector a lady was going to throw out at the waste dispoal site. Uncle brought it home for me to use. The slide projector was missing its power coord, had no tray, and the focusing knob did not work.
    I Took an old extension coord, snipped off the female end and soldered it onto the terminals on the back of the projector and sealed it up with some shrink wrap tubing. Turned it on, Works, great!
    I took it apart to find out why the focusing knob didnt work. The shaft has a nylon gear on it over a knurled section. Ofcourse the knurl section was more than the gear could take and it split. Just a standard rack and pinion that moves the lense in and out.
    Now despite the fact that ALL my tools are 250 miles away, I went to enco to look at rotary tables and day dreamed about making a new gear. Then a light bulb went off and thought that maybe an R/C car pinion could work. Went to the hobby store, and wouldnt you know, a 48 pitch, 19 tooth pinion was a perfect fit. I still have to go visit the parents though and drill it out on the lathe to fit the shaft, but I now have a replacement gear.

    Now for my other thoughts. Screw digital, I know all the benefits of it, but screw it, screw it, screw it! Can you easily take a digital image and make it into a nice color slide with the resolution? Print to transparency with the same resolution? Find a LCD projector that is even close to a color slide? I think not.
    My uncle gave me a beutifull Canon FTb camera, it was my grandpas, used only a couple of times and been in storage ever since, brand new condition. Even has the plastic cover over the hot shoe. Obviously the camera needs new light seals and foam, and after my expirience of fixing my Minolta SRT100, I am going to take it to a pro to fix.
    I found a guy upstate NY. This guy knows his stuff. A true master. He is going to recalibrate the shutter, check the tensions of the springs, change the circuit inside to use newer batteries, verify the changed settings over a period of time, clean it up, put new foam and light baffle in, and what ever else he does for a pretty damn reasonable price. He told me that the FTb has ball bearings all over, and is built to last a lifetime, I believe him.
    Then I asked him how digital cameras were hurting his buisness, he told me, "Quite honestly, it is putting me out of buisness, I have to decide by the end of the year if I should close shop up, my partner left 2 years ago."
    So I so humbly say, **** digital.

  • #2
    Tell your repair guy to go into the buggy whip business. There's more call for it. Better yet, I'm in Upstate NY. I can tell him if you want.

    Digital Photography has brought me back to shooting with passion once again. No more waiting and waiting for anything. It doesn't make the art look any better if you season it for weeks waiting for lab work or spend hours of your own time doing it. Digi's will only get better with time.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

    It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.


    • #3
      They need to.........

      The one issue with reasonably priced digitals that is nasty as heck..... is the lack of a focus ring.

      Of course, you couldn't see focus on that little 50 x 75 pixel display, which is why they don't have it.

      But it drives me nuts trying to fool the thing into focusing right on a small item, or one of the wrong color, etc, etc.

      I understand focusable digital is still "rather expensive".............

      But you cannot tell if it focused right.... You can see everything else on the display. But even if it shows a focus box, it may be lying.

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan


      • #4
        Manual focus film SLR's all the way.
        Love my color slides, have 2 professional photo labs nearby, get my slides back the next day or sooner even.
        Im just upset to see film go away, the old guys who fix your slr's and keep them in tune, and everything else associated with film. I still want to try large format at some point.
        Anyone else fascinated by old photographs?


        • #5
          Yeah, screw digital. I only saved over $400 in film and development costs the first year I had my little point-and-shoot. And since I was taking photos for the web anyway, ultimate resolution was irrevelant.

          Recently I picked up a Canon 350D, which is an 8MP true digital SLR. So far I've taken over 10,000 photos since I got the thing in March, and as Ol' Dog noted above, it's rekindled my interest in "real" photography again.

          That 10K in film would have run me, what, $6 a roll for the film, and $12 to $20 a roll for developing? I don't even want to add that up, but it's got to be pushing eight thousand dollars.

          Putting him out of work? A pity. How about the guys that used to service early IBM mainframe computers? Much call for that nowadays? Screw those new, cheap computers. How about the art of rebabbiting a Model T connecting rod? Damn those modern cars and their replaceable bearing shells! To hell with those newfangled refrigerators, they're putting the ice-man out of business! And the guys who bring coal to your house...

          Face it, digital phtography is faster, cheaper, more versatile and easier. And these days, if you're printing a normal-sized snapshot (4X5 or even 8X10) neither you nor I can tell the difference between a 4+MP digital print or a 400 ASA film print, without the aid of powerful magnification.

          I can blow my 8MP images up to 18" x 24" and I'll bet even you couldn't tell the difference between it and a nice film print.

          Every market changes. You can change with it, or you can go out of business.

          Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


          • #6
            <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">have 2 professional photo labs nearby, get my slides back the next day or sooner even.</font>
            -I can look at the image in the onboard LCD in less than a second. If I don't like it, I can dump it and save "film". If I like it, I can walk inside, pop the card in the printer and have a finished print in two minutes.

            I was just fiddling around a few weeks ago and took this photo of the moon. 300mm lens and a tripod. Had no idea what settings to use- automatic mode gave me a white dot on a black background. I played with various aperatures and shutter speeds- even changing my ISO in midstream, let's see you do that with film- until I got one that looked good.

            Got it all done in about 20 minutes, had the printable image in another ten. At around midnight, and at almost zero cost. No film cost, no development costs. With film, I'd have had to record the settings manually (rather than have the EXIF data automatically attached to the image) and just take a barrage of shots at a wide range of settings, then develop it and hope one came out right. If not, I'd have to try again.

            Film is not dead, and never will be. But the majority of the market is and will go digital, because as I said above, it's easier, faster and cheaper. In my SLR, a 1Gb Compactflash card can hold almost 300 images at max resolution. If I kick it down to minimum resolution just for snapshots, that same card holds well over 1,400.

            Find me a film camera- stills, anyway- that can take over a thousand frames on a single "roll". Or a film camera that can adjust the ISO (or ASA) of the film on the fly. Or alter the recorded white balance of the film, or take a single frame and record both an unprocessed RAW image and a ready-to-print JPEG image at the exact same time.


            Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


            • #7
              I often wondered why SLR manufacturers didnt offer a digital camera back to their analog SLR camers. Replace the back cover with a digital one. You get to use all those great SLR lenses and have the convenience of digital and you don't have to buy a whole new system.


              • #8
                Yea Doc, I have a Rebel XT and love it.

                I'll bet if Bill got a digital SLR he'd change his tune...

                Deep Sea Tool Salvage


                • #9
                  I've had a traditional darkroom for almost 40 years. I shoot film in everything from 35mm to medium format to 4X5. I also use digital a little, and must confess, I use it more and more. There are things you can do in digital that are impossible in analog.

                  I took a picture of a male choir and one of the guys wears a really bad toupe. Now everyone in the picture wears the same bad toupe. Hilarious. Impossible (almost) in analog. Simple in digital.

                  I still like the resolution in a 16X20 print from a 4X5 negative. And yes, you can tell the difference in that size from a digital image. I think the equivalent to a 4X5 negative is about 60 mb. A lot of the pros I know have switched to digital. One of the best professional photographers I know uses two Nikon D100's and his flotilla of Hassy equipment is sitting unused.

                  Digital has opened up photography in a way the first film cameras Kodak made opened it up in the early 1900's. If you haven't tried digital yet, you owe it to yourself to give it a try.

                  This is from a staunch film guy. I'll still shoot film as long as they keep making it. I'll shoot digital too.



                  • #10
                    <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Doc Nickel:
                    -I can look at the image in the onboard LCD in less than a second. If I don't like it, I can dump it and save "film". If I like it, I can walk inside, pop the card in the printer and have a finished print in two minutes.
                    And you have absolutely NO IDEA if it was focused on the right thing until you "walk inside"..... that may be 10 miles, or more.... what then?.

                    For distance photos, probably little issue there.

                    For close-ups (macro-type, of things that may be 15mm in size), 3mm wrong focus depth and you may as well have no picture at all. And the on-board display is useless.

                    Even if a "focus box" is displayed, you may not have correct focus. Sure, you can repeat the picture..... but each of the cameras has its own focus oddities.... won't focus on red, likes shiny things far better, etc, etc. You generally cannot get around that.

                    AND if you won't see the picture in full size until you get to a computer, well..... I have had 5 photos ALL not focus right, in slightly different ways. ALL appeared to have nailed the right depth per focus box......

                    I have resorted to a focus target, held in for focusing, and pulled out..... sometimes works, but sometimes the camera "re-thinks" as the target is pulled out. Grrrrrrrr.

                    [This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 09-03-2005).]

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan


                    • #11
                      OKay, I am converted TO digital..

                      BUT.. the projector you have, try this and you can put yourself on through college with it.

                      Take a picture, put the slide into "that" projector, focus it onto a sheet of construction paper. Trace it with a pencil, shade it with your thumb and pencil black.

                      TRACING a projection picture is easy. I used to do it with a air brush. People paid big bucks for it.

                      You can seal them with a clear laquer. Like all other artists use.

                      People won't believe your talent, you won't believe the things you can buy with thier money.


                      • #12
                        Wow this is alomost like the argument's between the CNC and manual crowds. Anyways for a guy like me who basically only takes pictures of family events the digital is great, I used to waste alot of money on pictures because I would get a roll of film back and maybe like 10 of the 30 pictures, now with the digital I only print what I want, and I can even edit and fix the pictures on my computer before I have them printed. The other great thing about digitals that no one has mentioned, is chicks love taking pictures of themselves and putting them on the internet, you got to love that.


                        • #13
                          Guys, I have a 2 mega pixel digital that is great for posting stuff on the net. You can pay outrageous money for Ink to print out your digital images, unless you are contempt at just looking at them on the computer, fine.
                          The difference between the two? One requires utmost skill to get professional results, the other uses a micro processor to ensure even a Baboon can take great pictures.
                          Perhaps it is the hobby of film that I like as well, even if it becomes Esoteric as Evan has said.
                          Yes, I know 95% of all commercial photography is now digital, and yes, that Canon Rebel XT looks like an awsome camera, and yes it is great to not have to go to a photo lab or develop your own film, and yes digital has amazing color, but is your digital camera a mechanical masterpiece inside that any machinist could respect? Hell, you obviously all could care less about that, right?
                          And Doc, Didnt you hear? Its about quality, not quantity. Your taking that many pictures, you must be bracketing a lot, ultimately not the best technique, but hell, digital, who cares.
                          Hell, perhaps libraries in the future will have your digital images archived? Think 100 years from now you images will be readable? Lets hope so. One day only a few people will know the art of film, they will be looked upon as the rest of the world lost another art form. Pretty pathetic that some people will make a name for themself because they held onto a technique that once everyone knew but all now have forgotten. Just like wood boat making, and yes, machining as well. Hell maybe I'll get my own show on discovery channel cause im one of the last few people that know film. I could have JFsmith come on as a guest when my ratings drop to bring them back up as we yell at each other.


                          • #14
                            And what the hell is "REAL" photography?
                            You talking about composition? Putting things into the frame?
                            To me, "REAL" photography is using the skills you developed to get results that most people find very difficult to do.
                            Hell, Let me guess, you dream about your lathe or mill having the star trek computer on it where you can just say, "Lathe, make part 234c, and take into account the modifications described earlier"
                            And if you ever had that, I'd bet i'd hear you say, "I love my digital Lathe, it has allowed me to get back into the "real" art of machining".


                            • #15
                              First off let me say that I'm not a photographer. My last article, in Live Steam, proves that. A lot of what I do is research. Anything, from glass plate negatives to Kodak Brownies to the latest 35mm, is better for my purposes , than digital. When you start enlarging a digital, in search of detail, it just goes to pieces.

                              A lot of you, who think you are recording history with your digital cameras, are just screwing future researchers.

                              My $0.02
                              Greg B
                              If you\'re data is anomalous, you\'ve more digging to do.