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john schroeder

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Posts posted by john schroeder

  1. <p>It's a good little camera. There are cameras out there with better image stabilization but until recently NO camera had image stabilization. My criticisms would be the lack of a viewfinder and the LCD screen is smaller than other cameras in this price category. I think the EXR ability of the sensor more than makes up for these short comings. I suggest you go to your local camera store and play with the camera. Take some photos using the EXR modes and print them out. If you are happy with the results then buy the camera.</p>
  2. <p>Several weeks ago I had the unfortunate luck of dropping my D70. The camera, with my 50mm f1.8 lens, hit the concrete floor of my garage with a sicking thud. The body was fine but the lens was hosed; or so I thought. The focus mechanism was stuck and the aperture wouldn't open fully. I went to work and tossed the lens onto the back counter. My only consoling thought was that it wasn't my 50mm f1.4 that had just bit the farm. Over the passing weeks I must have thrown the lens in the trash a dozen times only to pull it out again. Today I decided to open it up and see exactly what I had done to my little buddy. <br>

    The lens is disassembled from the back to front.<br>

    Beginning with the two little screws which hold the electrical contact onto the lens mount. <br>

    Followed by the steel mount and then the center, black portion, of the mount.<br>

    The aperture ring is removed next followed by a steel washer thingy.<br>

    The aperture lock will come out along with a tiny flat steel spring. It looks like a "V".<br>

    Underneath the washer there are four screws holding the lens unit to the outer barrel assembly. <br>

    There are also two steel fingers which lock the inner assembly in place. Each one is held in with two screws. <br>

    After all this the lens assembly comes out through the front of the lens by rotating it.<br>

    There are only three types of screws used. Three large headed screws for the mount. Two tiny screws for the contacts. All the rest are exactly the same. No mystery extra-long screw to mess you up. I hate it when there is one screw of an odd length and you can't remember where it went.<br>

    I was very surprised at the design of this lens. The lens elements are cemented into one sealed assembly with the aperture diaphragm. This is a bullet proof design. Over engineered and designed to be mass-produced with extreme precision. There is no way for lenses to be knocked out of alignment.<br>

    I examined all the components and discovered a tiny piece of plastic had broken from the outer assembly and jammed the inner lens mechanism. I dropped this lens from an honest five feet; with my D70 attached; and it hit concrete. It hit hard; And it bounced! All it did was chip some plastic inside the lens. I cannot believe how over designed this lens is. Where it only needs three screws it has four. Where it only needs one screw it has two. The only weak spot in the design is the main focusing ring gear is plastic. It's good plastic though. Re-assembly was very straight forward. Just reverse the steps. It took me a few tries to get the lens assembly aligned properly for minimum and infinity focus. After taking this lens apart I can see why it is so sharp. I wish I had taken some pictures. The happy ending is that my 50mm f1.8 is now fully functional and as good as new. To think I had written off my little buddy as a lost cause.</p>

  3. <p>In my experience 99% of failures like this can be attributed to dirty seals. (There's a joke in there but I will leave it alone.) I always make a point to remind my customers to inspect and clean the silicone gaskets before they go in the water. I wish the manufactures would put big orange stickers on the cameras telling people. It would avoid lots of grumpy customers. Obviously you would have clean the gaskets if you knew they were dirty or needed periodic inspection. No one like to go in the water with dirty seals. (Okay, I couldn't leave it alone.)</p>
  4. <p>I'm not trying to start a Nikon vs. Canon debate. Canon makes great gear, but; If you compare Nikon's 50mm f1.8 to Canon's 50mm f1.8 there is a huge difference in build quality. The Nikon only costs $30.00 more. If Nikon can do it why won't Canon? Please note that I said "won't" not "can't". The difference is in willingness not in ability here.</p>
  5. <p> I would recommend the Tamron SP 17-50mm f2.8. I own that lens I can't find any faults in it. You don't say what camera you are using. If you are shooting "full frame" then I would look at the Tamron SP 28-80mm f2.8 or the Tokina 28-80mm f2.8 lenses.</p>
  6. <p>I have always preferred smaller cameras to larger ones. Back in the film days I had a F100 and the vertical battery grip which I never used because it made it too large and heavy. When I was in India I used a Nikon D700 and a 24-70mm f2.8. The 24-70 ended up parked in my camera bag and I shot most of the trip with my 50mm f1.8 to save weight. Pro bodies are huge these days and I find them very unwieldy and obtrusive. I think Pentax has the right idea with their pro bodies being smaller and more maneuverable.</p>
  7. <p>Would I wear a Tux? If the client wanted me in a Tux I would wear a Tux. At $500 for the wedding the client would have to pay the rental fee. My personal opinion is that the client gets what they pay for. If they pay for a tux they get a tux. If they don't pay for a tux then they get shirt, tie, and slacks. If they want flip-flops, shorts, and a Hawaiian shirt that's what they get. (I'd give a discount for that) </p>
  8. <p>Zorki's are fun cameras. The designers made them easy to service and adjust. I guess they knew they would need to be serviced and adjusted by the owners. The most difficult thing you will ever need to do is shim the lens mount for proper flange to film plane distance. That's not that hard to do either.</p>
  9. <p>If I were shooting a $500.00 wedding I would provide the couple with a DVD of the images in RAW and JPG format. The majority of the JPG's would have a minimal amount of processing while a few shots would be given full attention to detail. I would still the absolute best job possible. Just because a couple is on a tight budget doesn't mean they deserve unprofessional results. It just means they need to think carefully about what they do with the images. If they want a photo album then they can print it themselves later when their budget allows. I would make darn sure that everyone knew exactly what they were and were not getting. I'm sure a lot of you professional wedding photogs out there might not agree with me. Would you shoot a $500.00 wedding? I bet you wouldn't. Are you really loosing any business to the beginners/amateurs who will? </p>
  10. <p>Howard; I hope you meant the 50mm f1.8 when you said "50mm f2.8". I would pick up the 50mm f1.4 for the trip if it's within your budget. You haven't said where you are traveling? If you end up in Goa I can recommend the Hotel Cavala. They have very clean rooms and Western style bathrooms. They are off the beach and very reasonably priced. You MUST eat at the "Ritz Classic" if you go to Goa. They have the best sea food I have ever had in my life.</p>
  11. <p>If you go to the Taj carry extra water. The place is a heat island. The women in our group had the biggest issues going through security. Men were processed through will little problems while the women were treated will little respect. Large handbags or purses should be left in the hotel or someplace secure.</p>
  12. <p>I was in India last summer. My recommendation would be the 24-70mm. I would also bring a 50mm f1.4 for when you need extra light. Some tips for India. Carry lots of 5 rupee bills for beggars. 5 rupees is a good tip for a photo taken. If it isn't hot DON'T eat it. Carry Imodium just in case. Wear a hat. Carry sunscreen, bug repellent, and hand sanitizer at all times. Drink lots of King Fisher! Good places to eat in Mumbai are; Pop Tates, Urban Tadka, Timbuctoo, and Happy Singh (The Curry King). In downtown Mumbai stop in at Leopold Cafe for a cold one. There are lots of friendly street sellers here for all your souvenirs (bargaining is the rule) and tons of photo opportunities. The best Chai is served on the street. It's served boiling hot so be careful. Exact change is the rule. Get change at your hotel before leaving. Tip generously. 100 rupees is only 2 bucks to us but it's means a lot to somebody making $100 a month. Be VERY careful crossing the street. Remember the game Frogger? You're the frog! If it's hot drink soda water with lemon and black salt. It puts back the electrolytes back into you that you sweat out. </p>
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