Posts tagged ‘camera’

Say Cheese

I mentioned previously that I’ve had a camera since age 8. About five years ago, I made the big leap from 35mm to digital.

I know we are not supposed to love things. But. I loved my Olympus, like an adorable pet, like an old comfy friend, like a cherished Christmas-morn toy.

It took a lot of convincing to get me to set my beloved Olympus (and it’s wonderful zoom and macro lenses purchased over the years) aside, and it took a lot of money to get a digital camera that would give me the quality and versatility I was used to. The keys to purchasing something new were the assurances (from the camera seller at Ritz Camera) that (1) digital cameras had become capable of providing the same quality and (2) the camera I was purchasing offered a variety of lens attachments that could be purchased later.

Now, I will admit the quality is there. And of course, the ability to know you got a shot before waiting to get pix developed is fantastic. Similarly, eliminating that sickening moment of realization that the film had not caught and advanced properly is beyond awesome.

Yesterday, I decided it was time to pick up an accessory lens. I’m heading on a vacation of a lifetime soon (walking tour in Ireland). And, if that doesn’t warrant a bit of a splurge on camera accessories, I don’t know what does.

I returned to Ritz. Not the same store where I bought the camera, but the same chain. They’d be able to help, right? They’d be able to fulfill the promises they made when I purchased the camera, right?

I began by asking if there was any possibility to get an adapter to put old Olympus lenses onto a Canon. Clerk 1 says no. I ask if it’s possible to buy a digital Olympus base that would take old Olympus lenses. She said maybe but she’d need to see the lenses. (Okay, you’re a kid who doesn’t know cameras all that well, that’s fair.) I asked what lenses they had available for a Canon G5. She told me that camera won’t take any other lenses.

I explained that, when I bought the camera (at a Ritz), I was assured I’d be able to buy lenses.

Clerk 1 asked Clerk 2. Clerk 2 explained that my camera can sort of take other lenses but you need an adapter and the lenses aren’t very good and the lenses are quite expensive for the quality you’d get.

Okay, well, can I see what you have?

“No, we’re in a tiff with Canon and aren’t selling any Canon lenses right now.”

Hmm. Can you show me any of the newer cameras that WILL take additional good lenses?

Clerk 1 gestured at the display case and then looked at me expectantly. I asked her to please pick one out to show me.

So, I looked, but there was pretty much no way I could rationalize buying an entirely new camera (plus lenses). It’s not just the cost; it would feel wasteful when I’ve already got a “good” camera, y’know?   

I was about to leave and had a thought:  Do you have any kind of trade-in program? They do! Can you tell me the trade-in value of my G5? Well, it depends on the condition. Well, can you give me a ballpark? Um, no. Well, could you look it up? Let’s pretend it’s in mint condition, just to give me a ballpark number.

I waited 10 minutes for “the program to load.”

And, going just short of a giving me a drumroll, Clerk 1 announced . . . $36.

I laughed out loud. Yes, you could characterize the sound as a guffaw.

I bought a good camera for nearly $800. A replacement plus a lens attachment is going to cost me about $1,000. And the trade in (for the camera you sold me by telling me I’d be able to purchase a variety of lenses) is $36?

Clerk 1 did not see the humor in this. She even felt compelled to underline the fact that I’d only get $36 if the camera was in mint condition. I really did try to stifle the next laugh. She looked a bit offended, poor thing.

Boy, it seems crazy that Ritz stores are going out of business everywhere, don’t it?

So, for now, I’ll stick with what I have. I have no tiff with Canon. But I still love my Olympus more.

Are there any good camera stores left? You know, some small shop tucked away somewhere, run by some old guy who actually knows something about cameras and appreciates photography? If you know of one, please share.

May 29, 2010 at 2:04 am 1 comment

Wish I Had a Camera in My Head

I wish I had a camera in my head.

No, I don’t mean a photographic memory. I mean a camera. In my head. Lens (with zoom) in the middle of my forehead and wires and stuff all connected so that I just had to hard-blink or push a button embedded in my thumb or carol-burnett my ear lobe to capture images.

I have stated this wish for years and I don’t think it’s completely insane to think that, someday, probably, the technology will exist. And somebody better be willing to push my wheel chair to the hospital if it happens in my lifetime.  

I have been fascinated with photography since my gramma and grampap gifted me my very first camera (black inset with faux wood paneling) at age 8. I’m on my sixth, somewhat sleeker camera now, and through the years have developed a bit of an eye (or enough dumb luck) to capture some good shots every now and then.

The problem is, I “see” pictures all over the place. And pretty often, I don’t have the camera handy or I don’t have hands free to click. Like tonight, for instance, as I was leaving the office.  

As I sat at the end of the office driveway, waiting to pull out, I noticed the  stopped car. A rare sight at 5:00. With cars spilling out of every driveway in the office park and everybody going 50 in the 35 zone. Yes, there was a lot of honking, but not, as you might guess, from the other cars lining up behind the stopped one.

Next to that car, above the high curb, on the lovely grass lawn, stood a mama goose, a papa goose, and four goslings. Below the curb, on the road, waddled gosling number five. The little guy’s family was honking like mad. He was walking fast but, you know, fast is relative when you’re about 4 inches high with really teenie feet at the bottom of some stubby new legs. There was no end to the curb in sight and his nubby wings weren’t ready to fly.

Kudos to the driver who managed to see a little goose. Thanks for stopping. And God bless you for your extreme patience.  We waited. We sat and watched.

Then mama goose gave a big wild honk and kind of flapped her wings. I don’t know if it was a maternal freak-out or a very timely lesson, but suddenly the little guy kind of lifted his nub-wings and hopped and somehow crested the curb to join his family. 

Traffic got moving.  And I imagine those other drivers were grinning from ear to ear. And perhaps swallowing a wee lump in the throat.

I wonder if any of them wished they had a camera in their head?

Would you get one? If the technology existed?

May 6, 2010 at 11:43 am 4 comments

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