Saturday, September 22, 2018

I need to emulate the bee...

...and get busy.

Friday, September 21, 2018


I met up with my friend who uses the nom de blog "Global Village Idiot" today to do some fun hanging out here in the Circle City.

The centerpiece of the day was a tour of the Scottish Rite Cathedral downtown.

One recent addition to the camera bag really came into its own...

Scottish Rite library, full of books on how to take over the world by organizing pancake breakfasts, no doubt.
 I did a lot of interior shooting with the Fuji X-E1 (rapidly displacing my Pen E-P5 as my favorite "LookaLeica", thanks to its controls.) And the reason I used it so much was because the 7.5mm f/2.8 7Artisans fisheye may not be the sharpest lens in the world when run wide open, but it does a bang-up job for shooting interiors with iffy lighting. For the price, I don't think you can beat it.

The lens is available for Fuji X-mount, Micro Four Thirds, and Sony E-mount and is stupid cheap.

Real men don't shoot mouseguns!

I have no idea how Chris stays so poker-faced through these.

Lost the knack...

After sitting in its case, untouched, since late April, the Smith & Wesson 4046 came along to the range yesterday. After putting a hundred rounds through the Wilson EDC X9, I put a box of fifty rounds through the Smith.

Obviously, I have lost the knack for the gun's trigger in the five months since I last pulled it. Nevertheless, it ran through all fifty rounds with no problems.

This makes 300 rounds through the Smith since it was last cleaned and lubricated. 1,700 rounds to go.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

More Huck...

This was shot with the Sony a7 & Sony 24-240mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens. Zoomed all the way out to 240mm, the f/6.3 max aperture doesn't allow for the dramatic background defocus of faster lenses, but it still takes an okay picture with a well-lit subject.

The Eagle Has Landed...

FedEx showed up at 5:42PM yesterday. No unboxing video, sorry. Here's the end result:

KEH called me and said they'd invoice me for another $200. That seemed fair to me.

It's money I wasn't planning on spending and really don't have to spare, but a week or two on ramen is good for the character. Besides, a couple hundred bucks for a clean conscience is a bargain. Now the camera is mine fair and square and I don’t feel like I’ve put one over on anyone. And $499 for an excellent-in-the-box 1Ds Mark II is still a screaming deal, as a quick perusal of the used ones on Amazon will show.

Here's the comparison I promised with the equivalent field-of-view lens on the Micro Four Thirds OM-D E-M5. One is a walking-around lens, the other...not really for just casual roaming with a camera by your side.

I have a Lowepro Apex 120 camera bag that's a leftover from when my go-to camera was a Canon Rebel XT with an 18-135mm travel zoom, and there's no way it will accommodate a massive pro body like the EOS-1Ds Mark II, no matter what lens you put on it, but it'll swallow the little Olympus, complete with 35-100mm zoom and the battery grip, no problem at all.

By the time the lens got here, it was cat-feeding and dish-washing time. So it was headed for dusk when I threw it on the camera and took it into the back yard where there were squirrels who could serve as models for some test shots...

Hey, little fella! Pose for the camera!

I was impressed by how easily it grabbed focus through that little gap without any hunting or confusion by the tree trunk or vegetation. I am going to have fun with this setup next month!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Back-Saver...

The Online Photographer is spot-on with the observation he makes in this post. I have been extremely impressed with the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 so far, and its size makes it easy to tote pretty much anywhere.

Here it is with a pint glass for scale...

When the Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L gets here, I'll get pictures of them side-by-side.


My review of the Sig Sauer P365 is up at Shooting Illustrated...

...and so is my review of the Gen5 Glock 26.

I want to buy both review guns, but I can't afford both and only need one. Argh.

The future is surreal...

1,300 rounds.

Yesterday morning saw me back at Indy Arms Company with the Wilson Combat EDC X9 and another two hundred rounds of ammunition.

I'm trying to work up speed again, which is requiring me to try and get some grip strength back into my left hand. On round number 1,279 I got my left thumb in the way of the slide closing fully, so I'm not going to count a user-induced malfunction against the gun.

This makes 1,300 rounds down, 700 to go.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

QotD: I Don't Get It Either Edition...

"“Unboxing Videos” are an internet phenomenon I will never understand. Rank them up there with eating Tide Pods and finding Kardashian women fascinating."
I absolutely don't get the fasincation with sitting there and staring at a box while listening to someone drone on about what's inside it. It's even less explicable than the painfully dull "tabletop review".

Well, that explains it...

Looking at the sticker on the box, the camera somehow got inventoried as a 1Ds and not a 1Ds Mark II. They're probably scratching their heads over why some woman keeps calling and claiming she owes them $300. As a friend of mine noted, once a bar code is on something, to the average employee it might as well be engraved in stone.

I last spoke with customer service yesterday afternoon about 4:30. They said they'll call back.

Even with the thoroughly mediocre EF 35-135mm f/4-5.6 lens I had laying around, this thing does okay. I can't wait to slap some real glass on it.


Monday, September 17, 2018

Doing the Right Thing can be tough...

I've just made the phone call to KEH and now I'm waiting on them to call me back, so I suppose I can tell the story in public now...
"So, I had posted on my blog a couple weeks ago about how I wanted a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens for shooting action stuff and indoor sports and such, but they were too expensive. 
Well, one of my blog readers emailed me and said he had an older non-stabilized Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L lens that he'd sell me for $250. Even these old ones are bringing $600 on eBay, so it was very generous. Because lens is more important than camera, I took him up on the deal. 
I stopped shooting Canon several years back. I still had the Canon 20D in the house, but I'd given it to Bobbi, and it's an APS-C camera, and this lens deserves a full-frame sensor.  On a lark, before shopping for a Canon-to-Sony adaptor, I went to go see how much the oldest Canon full-frame bodies were going for used. KEH Camera Brokers had the EOS 1Ds (state of the art in 2002!) for $299. 
"What the hell," I thought, "Blogorado's coming up and PNC has raised the limit on my card. It might be fun to play with out on the range.
The box arrived Saturday, and when I opened it up it was like that scene in True Romance where they open Patricia Arquette's suitcase to find a fortune in cocaine instead of dirty laundry. 
KEH had sent, not an EOS 1Ds, but an EOS 1Ds Mark II. This is the next generation of pro-grade Canon from the one I bought. I checked the invoice and the serial number matched, but this was definitely a Mark II, and according to their catalog should have been $625 instead of $299. 
Now I have to call KEH in the morning and see what they want to do. Even though it's going to be a financial kick in the ribs, I'm tempted to ask if they'll let me just put the difference on my charge card. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying holding what was an $8000 pro-grade top-of-the-line camera in 2007."
I sometimes wish my parents hadn't raised me right.

Travel Hassle

On longer trips, like the ones to New Mexico or New Hampshire, my carry-on bags are stuffed with my MacBook Air for work, my iPad for entertainment and light writing chores, and a heavy Dell gaming laptop. If it's just a short trip for work, I leave the gaming rig at home, but that's still two items I need to drag out of the carry-on at the Security Theater checkpoint.

Yeah, I'm that person who waves you around her as she struggles getting all the crap out of her bag and into the trays.

That's why this was good news:
The next time you fly, your bag may undergo a computed tomography, or CT, scan. 
Indianapolis International Airport is one of 15 airports using technology similar to a medical imaging scan to look inside your luggage.
It would be way more convenient to just toss the bags on the conveyor and scoop them up on the other side without having to unpack and repack them.

I've considered paying for one of those pre-probulating services, but I just don't fly frequently enough to make it worth it. I don't know where the tipping point is, but currently I'm only flying three or four times a year, and that ain't it.

Sunday, September 16, 2018


The nobles and rich people back in the day didn't know what they were missing when they let the kitchen help make off with the shanks and tails and suchlike...

Yesterday's dinner started out with some beef shanks and ox tail browning in the big stew pot. All that marrow and connective tissue was going to make for a super-savory stew.

Here Bobbi has added the stew beef and some diced rutabaga...

After adding white onion, fennel root, carrots, beef stock, crushed tomatoes, and other stuff, the final result looked like the picture above and tasted absolutely delicious. Bobbi has a more detailed recipe up on her blog if you would like to duplicate this repast.

Stay In Your Lane


I really didn't want to go out there and walk this morning, but I guess that's part of it, the doing of things you don't want to do.

I'm debating going to the range today and grinding out more round count on the Wilson EDC X9. I need to finish that up and start writing it up so I can get started on the Autumn of DA/SA.