My Old New Toy

It doesn’t really make sense, does it? Either it’s an old toy, or it’s a new toy. How can it possibly be both? Well, dear reader, it can, and it is. My most recent recreational requisition (how is that for alliteration in context?) is an Olympus OM-10 SLR camera.

Designed in 1979, I acquired it a week ago on Craigslist. In fully working condition, it came with a Soligor MK32A flash unit, a 50mm lens, a 70-210mm lens, and another which I’m not sure of. It also came with an auto-winder (as yet unused) and a 2x telephoto converter. Just in playing around, I’ve gone through a roll and a half of film, yet to be developed. I also need to take apart the lens of unknown focal length, as the link to the aperture eye doesn’t work, so I probably have a couple of over-exposed photos having set the aperture below the max width and taken photos.

One might ask – why in this world of digital technology would you buy something so old? Two reasons. Firstly, it’s cheap. All of the above cost me $125. I would pay $600 for a worthwhile entry-level DSLR without any lenses. Secondly, it’s about going back to where I came from. You see, I learnt how to take photos on an Olympus OM-1 with a single non-zoom lens plus a 2x teleconverter when I wanted to get closer without getting closer. That was something like 10 years ago. Since then I’ve owned 2 SLR-like digital cameras, and used a few others. But it’s not quite the same. There is something about the feeling of manually focusing a scene and feeling the “thunk” as you click the trigger. My Fujifilm S9600, while it takes awesome photos, is also designed as a multipurpose camera (as it should be – it has a single non-interchangeable lens) and so the effects that can be achieved with different lenses are simply impossible. Adjusting the aperture gives a depth-of-focus effect, but nowhere near to the same degree as a true SLR – it’s one of the things I’ve been playing with the most with this camera.

Don’t despair, I’m not ditching digital. I realize that film is more expensive, especially in the way I use the photos I take (generally online) but I’m planning on enjoying the 35mm for as long as I can justify it.

Screw You, Nature

Saturday was the day of arrival for my work permit, and today we had planned to go and get social security numbers sorted etc. That would allow Kelly to file her taxes and I start working on a driving permit, as well as getting the bank out of trouble (they were told last month that they had 12 months to get a SSN from me, which was difficult since I don’t have one!)

We probably would have also stopped in at some of the thrift stores and looked at what cameras they had available. But no! It snowed last night. Great news for school kids because it takes less than an inch to get them out for the day, but not so great since most government buildings are closed! Oh well, try again tomorrow I guess 😉

Lights, Camera, eBay

I’ve found myself in the market for a 35mm camera. Now, at the beginning of the week I was looking non-specifically for anything good that worked well and was in good condition. I then progressed to 3 specific brands (Nikon, Canon, Olympus) and then reached a point of favoring the Olympus OM series a little over the Canon EOS series.

I like the Olympus OM series because dad owned an OM-1 (a few years after he’d owned and sold an OM-10 due to financial difficulties – that was before my time though) and it was what I learnt how to really take photos before I bought my Fujifilm S5600. So, I suppose they have a feeling of prior knowledge with me, I know what they feel like and I know what they can (and, to a large degree, can’t) do. But, when I asked dad if he had a preference (he said the OM-10, btw) he reminded me that while they were great cameras they are now getting on a bit, 30-35 years old now for the most part.

I kept a bunch of the Olympus’s on my watchlist and moved on to the Canon EOS series. Now, Kelly and I have discussed and agreed that we both want Canon Rebel’s at some point in the not-too-distant future. Whether it is the XSi (EOS 450D) model or whatever they bring out next will be decided by time, money, and available options at time of purchase. I still want a 35mm camera though.. What I hadn’t realised was that the Canon EOS digital SLR range uses the same EF Lens mount as the EOS 35mm range. There are a couple of differences being added (since the 300D, I believe) in that they are now using an EF-S, but this mount is backwards compatible, so I should be able to use any EF lenses I pick up interchangeably between a 35mm and a digital.

All the Olympus models were removed from my watch list, replaced by various Canon EOS 35mm cameras. It clearly needed to be pruned further, as I want the best deal I can find, preferably the newest camera for the lowest price possible. Time for further research on how Canon did their EOS range, compared with what is available on eBay.

Now, mostly what I’m interested in are a small range of the EOS series: the Rebel G, the Rebel 2000, the Rebel K2 and the Rebel T2. I have very little interest in anything pre-1995 anymore, and it seems most of these may be available with Lens and batteries for ~$30USD. If I have to I’ll spend a little more for a Buy Now, but I’m gonna try my luck at auctions first. I did bid on a faulty Rebel G by accident though, if someone wants to outbid…feel free…

Give Us, This Day, Our Daily Serenity

So, for the last month or so my most recent project has been under fairly tight wraps. Partly for fear all the related domain names would be taken, and partly because I feared someone would take the idea as a whole.

No more shall I fear, as I launch a new website: The Daily Serene Image.

To quote myself:
Daily Serenity was an idea conceived by demigail in 2008. Made into a reality by Zeke in October of 2008, the site went public in the following month.

Accepting any images from both amateur and professional photographers alike, Daily Serenity survives photographically based on its contributors.

Every day a new image is randomly selected from the list of those available (having been screened and approved by administrators). A brief description provided by the photographer is displayed with the image, along with a link to the photographers website (where applicable).

Published images are also archived indefinitely, with a static link available for each one. All published images are also available for download, both in widescreen and standard versions. These are sized appropriately for use as desktop wallpaper/backgrounds.

What Daily Images will be needing is contributors to provide photos and images for the site. Registration is free, and while no payment is provided for images supplied or used, no payment is required either. The terms and conditions of uploads are available when registering to provide photos, and all photos are checked and approved before they will appear on the site.

Are you a photographer? Consider some free publicity by contributing some of your work to Daily Images. If the Daily Serene Image takes off, it may grow into multiple sites of a similar nature, covering different themes.