Author: Uncle Dick

This is not about the C.E. Rental Department. They are a fully professional division of our organisation and can hold their own in the commercial world. If you need to rent something , go see them or contact them via computer. Do not expect a lend, mate. Expect a formal contract, deposit, identification, and proper rental charges. Do not expect to get away with keeping things over time, treating the goods roughly, or losing items. It is a professional contract. But the giz-a-lend? You'll still encounter it all over the photographic world - from camera club members wanting to borrow your gear to economical end users wanting to burrow into your stash of images. They want them for their own purposes but generally do not want to stop at the cashier on the way in or out. No names, no pack drill...

Recently a member of my scale modelling club asked me for advice on tabletop photography and computer processing of artwork for kit building. He wants to make his own decals with a laser or inkjet printer. If you can get the specialised paper to do this, it's quite feasible. The results don't equal a good quality Italian or Czech decal sheet, but if no-one makes what you want, needs must. The photographic point of the exercise became interesting when he trotted out the various image-editing programs that have been loaded into his laptop. I provided some initial images of club models and we tried to manipulate them. It was a disaster - the old and assorted programs refused to do what we wanted. I explained that I use the Adobe products - LR, PS, and PSE - and recommended that he purchase the PSE. He did, but oddly enough, it is PSE 7. Rather an old version of the goods. His explanation was that it was the version that would run on the old software in the laptop. Umm...

My curiosity satisfied about the silver-coloured titanium body of the new Fujifilm X-Pro3 camera, I drifted up the stairs and through the hallway past the new storage cabinets - and was taken with the collection of old Leica bodies and lenses that have washed up on the self there. These were chrome finished and blackened before the modern digital era and i was curious to see how well they were made and whether they had lasted. Take note that these are collector's bodies and lenses - not intended for work any more...

This week I got to satisfy my curiosity about the light-titanium coloured Fujifilm X-Pro3 - there was one ready in the sales cabinet in Stirling Street. I popped it out and attached an XF 50mm f:2 R WR lens - one of the silver-finish models. I wanted to see how close the two light colours are. Well, not that close. The phenomenon of a silver-finish body having a different appearance from the lenses that are made to go on it is not just a Fujifilm thing. You can see it with Olympus and other cameras. My dear old Leica M2's chrome finish didn't exactly match the barrel on the 50mm collapsible Elmar back in the day either. The closest I ever saw were actually Kodak Retina Reflex cameras and some Contarex models. If you are afflicted with OCD - Obsessional Chromatic Disorder - you can always opt for plain black for both body and lens. Like Coco Chanel, you'll never be out of fashion. You decide whether the appearance is for you. Be aware that the toughened Duratect finishes are very tough indeed...

We had 'em then but we don't have 'em now - not unless we make 'em specially. Every camera my family owned, from Grandpa Sheedy's Kodak 3A to my Mom's Brownie 620 and the family Magazine 8 Kodak had a hand strap permanently attached to the top of it. There were no lugs at the side of the cameras and no thought of a neck strap. That was reserved for the leather cases that held the cameras and accessories. It was old-fashoned, but useful. Cameras in those days ( after dinosaurs but prior to Elvis ) were special-event things. They got hauled out of the case for the family or travel record and then put back carefully. Nothing dangled around the neck - it was all hand-held. And oddly enough the cameras were lighter than the current crop of mirror-less and DSLRs that are dangling around our necks. Our increasingly sore necks...