Friday, August 06, 2010

Moving on

Ok, I gargled with some dirt, and I'm done with my pity party. It was nothing three more cups of coffee couldn't fix. I've got no place whining about allergies, sinus pain and sore throats when I'm blessed with the use of all my limbs and remain VD free.

I visited my sister and her family last night. My not-quite-2-year-old nephew presented a shooting challenge for the X1. Leica digitals have never been known for the speed of their autofocus. I was trying to use the face-detect setting, but capturing a constantly moving, spastic child was difficult. I abandoned autofocus and started pre-focusing the manual focus, then grabbing the shot when he was in range. I still didn't do a very good job. As you can see here, the pillows are in focus instead of his face.

From Family Time

It was MUCH easier to catch adults in focus. Check out the sharpness of the lettering on the cake. THAT is what Leica is known for ...

From Family Time

Then to my surprise, when I got home I found the vintage Leica Vidom Viewfinder had arrived. The 36mm X1 Brightview Viewfinder is $350! Considering the viewfinder does absolutely nothing except allow you to frame the photo without turning on the LCD, I found this completely outrageous. Many companies have been making these viewfinders for decades, so while I wasn't able to find a 36mm, I did find an adjustable 35mm - 135mm finder on eBay. Going back and forth between the LCD and the viewfinder, I was able to adjust it to the exact frame of the X1. Plus, I can set it for use with teleconverters as well.
From BlogPhotos

From what I understand, the viewfinder was manufactured circa 1933. That puts it at 77 years old, and it still functions perfectly! Now THAT is quality. However, there's a downside. It mirrors the image when you look through it. No idea why, but apparently that was the standard back then. This is going to take some getting used to because first instinct when framing a shot is to pan the opposite direction of that you actually meant to go. Still, for a savings of over $300, I can deal with it.

I'm currently writing a human interest piece about a volunteer who has been teaching French classes for almost two years now, and the class has grown into sort of a high school French Club for adults. He actually has a few students that have made it to a conversational level. Anyway, I'm shooting the class for the article on Wednesday, and that will be my first attempt at using the X1 "for reals." I'm still taking my Nikon as backup, but hopefully the X1 won't let me down.

I want to go work on the boat sooooo bad. I miss it. Unfortunately, I need to help Nikki move out of her apartment on Saturday, and I need to a brake job on my car. The upside to the brake job is that it just happens to coincide with Horsepower TVs call for talent. I was going to videotape the procedure for the Porsche forums anyway, so why not throw my tape into the ring. I've always regretted that I didn't send an audition tape for the first Survivor. Maybe this is my chance to make it to cable.
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