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103 Years and Counting

Posted 2009.10.09 10.08 in Family/Friends by Stephanie

Yesterday was the 103rd birthday of my Great-Aunt Anne.

Three years ago, I posted about her 100th birthday party and how incredible it is, when you think about all the things she’s seen, how the world has changed in her life. Every year that’s gone by since, I’m more awestruck. I mean, when she was my age, the second world war was already over.

The past 3 years haven’t been easy, she’s starting to get a bit frail in body and mind, but she’s still going.

A hundred and three. Unbelievable. Over a century old! That’s something you don’t hear often.

Anne at her 100th birthday party

Anne at her 100th birthday party

Rangefinders On Patrol

Posted 2009.09.30 12.37 in Hobbies by Stephanie

The old Rangefinder cameras have landed. They are crawling around. They are coming for you.

Rangefinder Trio

From left to right they are a Hanimex RF35 of unknown vintage, a Canonet GIII QL17 from the early 70s and a Fujica SE35 from 1959. The photo itself was taken with my Holga then cropped down to just the rangefinder trio.

It’s Film!

Posted 2009.08.29 13.31 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

So I’ve been messing around with film the last week or so – 35mm film. I ran two rolls through my old Minolta X-370 manual camera, and one roll through an old-ish Canon EOS-3000 auto-focus that I got for cheap on eeeebay. Using the Minolta was fun, a blast from the past, it brought me back to when I was 14 or so and first received the camera for X-mas.

The Canon EOS body is much more modern, maybe 10 years old or so, and I mainly bought it to take it apart and see how it works. But I figured, before I destroyed the thing, I’d run some film through for fun. And the most fun I had with it was with my Sigma ultra-wide angle lens. This lens is designed specifically for a crop-sensor digital camera, the image it throws is not large enough to cover a full-frame sensor or film, which leads to vignetting. On the other hand — 10mm is so awesomely incredibly wide on a 35mm frame that I just had to mess with it. But enough talk, on with the pictures!

Camera / film specs: The Minolta is an X-370 manual camera, I shoot mostly set to aperture priority (I set the focus and aperture and the camera sets the shutter speed.) The two lenses I used were a Minolta 50mm f/1.7 and a Magnicon 28mm f/2.8 Macro. The Canon is an EOS3000 (aka EOS88) autofocus and I was using it with a Sigma 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 DC EX HSM lens. I mostly used the Aperture Priority mode on the Canon, although I did let the autofocus do its thing. In both cameras I have been using Fujicolor Superia ISO 200 film.

I have 3 more rolls of film, but will be trying to choose my shots more carefully in the future, due to the cost of buying & processing the film.


WTF is with Big Cameras?

Posted 2009.08.26 5.20 in Photography, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Although I’ve been having a lot of fun with my new DSLR over the past several weeks, I can’t get over the fact that it’s, well, big. I mean, it’s a big chunky body, then my prime lens is a big chunky lens. The lens is almost a pound and the body is probably 3/4 pound. Put them together and hang them from a strap and you’ve got yourself a significant weapon.

It wasn’t till I set my new camera next to my old, that the size difference really hit home. I’d like to show you the difference but that’d require yet another camera to get the picture, so that will have to wait for now. Suffice to say, my old manual 35mm SLR is significantly smaller and lighter – yet it also feels more solid as it’s mostly metal while the new DSLR is mostly plastic.

What makes this even less understandable is that the new camera captures a smaller image – it’s a “crop sensor”, APS-C size sensor. The camera body feels about twice as heavy, and is about twice the size, and all this to capture an image less than 2/3 the size of a 35mm frame. Ok maybe you say, but the new camera has all the technology in it and the old manual camera doesn’t? Well sort of. The old camera has a light meter, electronic shutter and all that, just no auto-focus. But then, we all know how big and bulky technology has gotten over the last 20 years, right?

DLSR on the left, old manual SLR on the right.

DLSR on the left, old manual SLR on the right.

Then the thing that really boggles my mind is these guys on the photography forums, who comment that the consumer DSLRs like mine are too small, that they like the big pro bodies that are larger and easier to handle. WTF?

Even the lenses are gargantuan – below are the two normal prime lenses, without the cameras. The 30mm f/1.4 that I use on the DSLR is a 1-pound monster, compared to the 50mm f/1.7 that I used for years on the old Minolta.

30mm DLSR on the left, old 50mm on the right.

30mm DLSR on the left, old 50mm on the right.

And before anyone starts ragging on me about how I should stop fussing about the equipment and learn to take better photos, I’ll point out that I can’t take crisp clear photos of both of my good cameras side-by-side, without using a third camera! These two pics were taken with my cellphone, in a dark room using only my computer screen for illumination. So thpppppt!

Feeling Old

Posted 2009.07.17 16.29 in Pointless Blather, Work by Stephanie

In a recent post, I briefly went back in time to 1988. It was only for a moment or two, and was kind of interesting remembering what things were like then. Today however, things went the other way and I briefly felt kinda old… and I don’t wanna feel old! I’m not even 40 yet dangit!

What happened was, I had a problem at work where a supplier hadn’t followed my purchase order exactly. It wasn’t a huge problem, but I was annoyed as it was the second time they’ve made this mistake, and since I knew they made the mistake before, this time I noted the special instructions in two different places. Yet they still managed to ignore them.

Anyhow so we had things sorted out, they were going to fix the problem on Monday, and all would be well. But then they call me back with an excuse – it’s still getting fixed and all that, but they wanted to give me an excuse as to why the mistake happened. First, excuses are usually irrelevant, and second, the matter had already been satisfactorily resolved, we’d already moved on, so it was doubly irrelevant. Then the kicker was, their excuse itself – it made exactly the kind of sense that is… not.

And I’m like, “What? Really? Of all my suppliers, nobody else uses the terminology like that.” “Oh yes, that’s how we do it here”, they answer. I’m still perplexed. “You know, I’ve been in this industry for 20 years, and this is the first time I’ve ever heard someone say that’s how they define this term.”

Oh… and then it hits.  I’ve been in this industry for 20 years. OMFG. That’s what old people say. “I’ve been in this industry for XX years (you young whippersnapper)!” And worse – it’s been more than 20 years, I was just rounding down.

Ok in my defence, I technically started working in the industry part-time when I was 14.

Still – I’ve been working for more years than I haven’t worked. I’ve got stories that begin with “Well when I started, if we wanted to XXXXX we had to YYYYY”. Geeze – there’s software applications I’ve written out there which are old enough to drink! In fact, old enough to be getting ready for college graduation!

Bah – I’ll have to find time this weekend to get myself a shawl and a cane, and maybe a cut crystal bowl I can fill with dust and hard candy.

Happy Hundredth Birthday!

Posted 2006.10.08 0.00 in Family/Friends by Stephanie

How many Hundredth-birthday parties do you get invited to? How many Hundred-year-old people do you know?

Today, my mother’s aunt Anne has her one hundredth birthday. How unbelievable is that? Think about what she’s seen, the changes the world has gone through!

– When she was six, the Titanic sunk.
– When she was thirteen, the Great War ended.
– She was 33 when World War Two was getting started.
– When she was 36 — the age I am today — it was the middle of WWII.
– She was 63 when men first walked on the moon – the year I was born.
Holy crap! She’s been a senior citizen, for almost as long as I’ve been alive!

100 Years and Counting
100 Years and Counting