Wednesday, April 24, 2019


While I was picking up film at the downtown Roberts on Saturday, I asked if they had any inexpensive used telephoto zooms in stock that would work on my later Nikon film bodies. The princely sum of $64 netted a 70-300mm f/4-5.6G that would function fine on the N80 and F5*.

Sunday afternoon, on a whim, I noticed that my old Nikon D1X had a pretty good charge on it, so I dragged my Coleman camp chair into the back yard with a tasty beverage and the new-to-me zoom lens mounted. With the D1X's crop sensor giving the lens an effective focal length of 450mm, you could get right up in Mr. Squirrel's grille...

When I sold off the Nikon D200, I had thought that was pretty much it for me and Nikon DSLRs (I still prefer Nikons for film) but I couldn't bear to part with that tank of a D1. Besides, its trade-in value is effectively nil these days...

*The G-series lenses by Nikon lack a manual aperture ring. This means that if used on an older autofocus film body that lacks a command dial, it will only function wide-open. The N80 and F5 both have dials on the body for controlling aperture like a modern Nikon DSLR. (Or, more accurately, modern Nikon DSLRs have a command dial for controlling aperture like an F5.)

Monday, April 22, 2019

Now do it with one hand behind your back!

Remember this when people talk about how important those tests are.

We had a customer who frequented the shops I worked at in Tennessee who had passed his HCP shooting qual and he was blind. And by "blind", I don't mean that he couldn't see so well without his glasses, I mean dog-and-cane blind.

But you know what? He's got civil rights just like someone with 20/20 vision.

Poor Gremlin!

Leica Fable

Oh my lolz.

So, Leica's ad agency in Brazil made a short video commercial touting Leica's past (its *distant* past) as the photojournalist's camera of choice*.

Said commercial featured photogs running around in sweaty Banana Republic safari apparel, snapping those Decisive Moment shots. The final scene has a photojournalist poking the lens of his Leica R6 at a gap in some hotel room drapes in 1989 Beijing, and the camera zooms in to show the famous Tank Man photo reflected in the business end of his Vario-Elmar.

There may be problems linking the video, because Leica pulled it when the Chinese government flipped its $#!+ and blocked everyone in China** from even being able to use the search term "Leica" on their side of the Great Firewall. I guess that cut into the sales of Safari Edition M10 cameras and Noctilux lenses to well-heeled would-be street photographers in Shanghai. It was downloaded and re-uploaded a couple of places, though.

The irony, here? Pretty much every Tank Man pic you're familiar with was shot on one variant or another of Nikon.

*Leica hasn't been relevant as a camera brand for working photojournalists since probably the mid '70s at the latest. Nikon's F-series SLRs more or less completely supplanted them in the latter decades of the last millennium, and Canon owns that market currently. I've joked at SHOT Show that if you see someone shooting with a Nikon or Canon DSLR, they're working press shooting stills. If they're shooting a Sony or Panasonic mirrorless, they're working press shooting video. If they're using a smartphone, they're a YouTube channel or Instagram influencer. If they're shooting a Leica? They're an orthodontist whose buddy has an FFL and got them a badge.

** Interestingly, out on this side of the Great Firewall, there are a number of comments from folks claiming to be patriotic Chinese who are incensed at Leica for glorifying those CIA-promoted terrorists at Tiananmen Square.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Poor Reasoning

"That's different! Seatbelts are for saving people and guns are for shooting people!"

"That's presuming that there's never anyone who needs to be shot."

Eternal Darnation

Saturday, April 20, 2019


Long night last night. Didn't switch to decaf until late and didn't take any melatonin. Went to bed at 11:00 and fell asleep fine, but sprang wide awake at 2AM and couldn't get back to sleep.

I just stayed curled up in bed and finished reading Cocktails From Hell. Good book. I'll try to remember to write a review this week.

Finally dozed back off sometime just before 5 o'clock and back up at seven. This will not do.

Friday, April 19, 2019


Thursday, April 18, 2019