Sunday, December 18, 2011

camera repairs

I've been kinda sick this week and last night I didn't sleep much. I was actually too tired to drive to church. Not cool. I did get some things done today. There's nothing like fixing something to make me feel better. Lately I've spent way too much time reading about photography. So I fixed my old camera today. My Nikon D40 has a stuck shutter mechanism problem that I've learned is fairly common when its wearing out. So I opened it up and oiled two gear shafts. Its the second time I've done this, so it may not last to long. First time was in Africa, a cactus thorn worked to reach inside to place oil. 60757 clicks so far, I've got to get a few more out of my first dslr! After that I finally got apart the two filters I had cross threaded a while ago. I was in a hurry and put a circular polarizer on top of the uv filter. Not smart! I took apart the polarizer, there is a retaining clip that holds the glass in, then pulling on it separates the rotating ring from the threaded ring. with just that cross threaded ring in the uv filter, I tried gripping it in various ways with padded pliers and a kitchen lid opener. Turns out the lid opener and my hand worked. The polarizer went back together and both filters still work. I sure am happy I didn't bend or crack something. These filters are 72mm, a Hoya HMC Super UV and a Hoya circular polarizer. Expensive filters and now they're back in service! When these where stuck I put on a cheap uncoated Quantaray UV I just happened to get in a box of misc stuff I bought on Craigslist. It was very obvious how much better a coated filter is, there was tons of flare with the Quantaray. I never use lens hoods, and multicoated filters make that work. After having the D7000 almost a year, I reacquainted myself with the D40. Its tiny! When I upgraded the D7000 felt odd in my hand, and now its the opposite. The pictures are smaller and lack the quality of the D7k, not that it matters for most pictures, I'll still be using it. The biggest difference was the three autofocus regions vs 39 with intelligent subject tracking. I set up a flash and was shooting the dogs, it was way easier to follow and frame the action. If I put in more practice the D40 would perform as well, a newer camera just has a lot more convenience. And the dials feel nicer. At the moment the D7k is the best balance of features and improvements though the more expensive pro bodies have a few things it doesn't. The next Nikon full frame camera will likely have the image quality and software enhancements to beat the D7k, but it will cost a lot more and doesn't exist yet. As all the best advice-writing pros say, go make pictures with what you have. One camera might beat another by some measurement, but it rarely effects the final product if you put in the practice to master your tools. My resolution for the coming year is to focus on practicing specific forms, mainly landscape and portraits. I'll keep working on editorial style shots of the farm as well. The other thing I keep looking at is making my own lenses. I made some measurements today, the Nikon f-mount doesn't look that hard to make!

Update: after using the D40 for a few days and thinking about why I chose the D7000, the only glaring deficiencies of the D40 is the lack of extra buttons for changing settings quickly and photo quality in low light. I'll probably just use the D40 for strobe work and as a secondary at well lit events. It still has the legendary 1/500th flash sync!

Can you tell which pictures came out of which camera? Lens was the same. A one year old camera doesn't make better pictures than a six year old one.
This was disappointing that I missed getting the focus right. I'm out of practice with the D40.