Sticky Shutter

The olympus xa2XA2 is pretty much my favourite P&S camera. I’ve travelled with one for years. And i mean years – M. had one when we met…

That particular one died a few years ago. The shutter had started to get unreliable and eventually completely unresponsive.

It was a sad day, but a new one was purchased on Yahoo! Auction, and point and shoot life carried on unabated.

This problem with the shutter is apparently common, and the inevitable is now happening to the replacement. It’s hard to get too upset that a camera that was produced in 1980, and has likely seen hundreds of rolls of film, starts to give up the ghost. However, at this point it’s likely that any replacement that i find is quickly going to suffer the same fate.

Time to start to learn to fix it! According to this “tutorial” it should be simply a matter of opening it up, cleaning, tweaking the contacts, and getting it back together. It’s the last part of that which gives me pause… the alternative is to take it to the grumpy camera repair man and have him do it. Less embarrassing than turning up with a bag of pieces.

Oh, and while we’re on the subject of P&S cameras, there is also the Fujifilm Natura S. Another purchase from Yahoo! Auction… and i have to say that i don’t like it. Some people rave about them, but unless you’re *only* shooting 1600 ASA film, it’s a horrible experience. The flash tends to be very eager to fire, even when you’d expect that it wouldn’t, the menu system is junk, settings don’t survive a power cycle, it has no exposure compensation, which leads to “fun” DX coding hacks (scraping paint of film canisters with your keys…), and to top it all off, the focus on mine is really soft in a lot of situations. Despite some reasonable results over the last couple of years, it has never become the replacement that i hoped it would be.

Advertisements

In Search of a Pair

It’s that time again. I’m trying to convince myself that it’s worth putting my photography on walls again. For the loooooongest time i’m wanted to do something “spectacular” (read: “stupid”) with the ‘Water under the Bridge” series.

Before leaving Japan i took a bunch of these shots on Acros and developed them with Microfine, the Fujifilm developer for smooth grain… probably now discontinued.

The results never did much for me, had trouble getting clean scans, which were never really big enough to consider printing at the size at which it seems likely that these shots would work.

Today as part of my effort to get back on track i scanned the shot to the right. That one is 12000×32000 pixels, printed at 300dpi it would stand 2.7m tall and 93cm wide…

What i don’t really know is what that’s going to look like on paper… looking at that little version over there (40 times smaller than the full scan!) it sure look sharp / in focus / detailed, but looking at the pixels 1:1 it’s not so obvious.

Despite being shot on a tripod, with a cable release, there is a lot that can go wrong. And despite the XPan lenses, whether i manager to nail the focus, and get the film perfectly parallel to the wall… who knows.

2.7m is a little larger than i’d anticipated. Down sampling it down to a size where it could be just 2m might help a little (in terms of making it practical to hang). Which is all very well, but how do i go about getting someone to do test prints for a couple of places in the image.

Oh, and can i find a few more that are similarly interesting / sharp? Still think it’d look spectacular hung one of those unpainted concrete gallery walls that are all the rage in Tokyo…

If you’ve ever printed on this scale and would care to share any wisdom it would be much appreciated!

Update: first suggestion, from @Tug, is C Type prints at Metro

It Takes Time

千代田線

Every now and then, i’ll look at one of these kinds of shots as i’m paging through “past glories” and suddenly stop, wondering ‘what on earth… ohhh! clever!’. This was one of those.

Oh, and look at the light that is parallel to the top of the frame. Not a very smart way to try to get things level / square. Live and learn.

The Lone Man

‘Lone salaryman’ shots, with a film noir look are another part of the repertoire that i’ve picked up from Sean Wood. It’s good to have creative friends. All that said, i don’t think he’d have taken the shot this way… so while the theme might be “borrowed” the execution feels very me (for good or bad, i still can’t say…)

お台場_22-09-09

Sean and i have had an interesting time giving and taking inspiration. I’d like to think that it made both of us better photographers, but even if it didn’t i got a lot of enjoyment from shooting together, and even more from discussing the results over a beer!

This one is another from 2009 (still a good year) and was taken in Odaiba, probably around one of the big wedding hotels.