Epson Tag

Every time I go wandering through Camera Electronic I find something more that I want. This is pleasant but dangerous - it can disturb the even flow of my bank account and cause me to look upon my present equipment with a jaded eye. I'm reasonably safe in the camera section right now as I seem to have the camera bodies and lenses that will do the things I want to do. I have my desires, of course, and review the announcements from my chosen manufacturer with close attention. Who knows when a pleasant surprise will appear on the horizon...

I'm great at making my mind up about things, as long as I can dislike them. Negativity is one of my positive traits - it lets me know where I don't want to go and what I don't want to do. I generally discover these two things after I've gone there and done them. Sometimes it's nice to make a change and find out the good stuff rather than the bad - and in the back end of the Stirling Street shop is a rack of producs that will let me do just that - the sample paper packs. I was drawn to this familiar area the other week by the two green packets you see here: They are made of unusual materials - hemp and cotton in one case and agave in the other. Both are listed on their respective packets as fast growing, sustainable, and renewable - an important thought for some photographers. You get three A4 sheets in each packet to to test with colour or monochrome printing. Quite apart from the economic and political aspects of this, they...

As a long-time user of Epson inkjet printers I have been somewhat cynical about my relationship with them. I started out with a biggie - a 3800 model that would print A2 sizes. It was a marvellous machine for some time but my own neglect of it eventually spelled doom. I failed to cycle and exercise it enough and eventually one of the channels in the inkjet head blocked irretrievably. I could do nothing with it and gave it away to someone who only wanted to print monochromes with it. They may still have it, and good luck to them. Chastened by my experience, I bought another - a smaller model that only goes to A3+ size. I've exercised it weekly since purchase and have saved it from complete blockage. But there are times when the jets do clog and there are procedures needed to clean them. However, when all is going well, the results from it are all that I could ever want - and all that the people who receive my prints could ever want as well. The secrets seem to...

When I was working behind the counter at CE - fitfully, I hasten to add - I was often tasked with the job of setting out the inks for the printers. We carried a number of the Epson models - still do - and it was a precision task to match the various supplies with the printers. Fortunately Epson was pretty good about colour-coding the boxes - less so about the various sub-variants of ink. You had to read the label carefully to see if it was the right number. The Epson Ultrachrome inks are actually wonderful. When I set my R 3000 printer correctly, load my paper correctly, and get the computer to correctly send a signal ( Three correctlies in a row...

https://www.cameraelectronic.com.au/epson-perfection-v850-pro-scanner Our current circumstances of lockdown have prompted a lot of photographers to set about scanning their previous analog work and converting it to digital storage - the writer of this newsletter amongst them. I've used an older model of the Epson V-Series flatbed scanners for well over a decade and it has proved to be an invaluable part of the studio. Prior to my digital training at Camera Electronic I shot on many different film cameras with many different sizes of film;35mm, 6x4.5, 6x6, 6x7...

You'll have to refer back to previous columns to see how the digitising of the slide collection started - the equipment and the discoveries. It is still going steadily, and this apparently is a good thing - a number of photography advice sites say that establishing a routine during a lock-down is a good method of maintaining sanity. I'm not sure if sanity and slide digitising in the same sentence is realistic, but so far I haven't heard voices. The silver elephant in the room is not actually colour slides - it's negatives. I started making these seriously in 1965 and that's not an inappropriate word. After serious came chronic, then grim, and it got worse before it got better. I was a person with money to buy a variety of films - and this meant that I chopped and changed about in emulsions all the time. The driving force was not necessity or skill - it was novelty and the blandishments of the advertisements in POPULAR PHOTOGRAPHY and MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY. It was exactly analogous to the business of continuously switching powders,...

The next chapter of the Shut-Away Saga involves finances. If yours are dire you might think of skipping the week, but bear with us. There is light and loose change at the end of the tunnel. How much is this going to cost? Well, reading this column costs you nothing - and boy, do you get value for money. But if you are going to look at the digitising business it will cost something. You'll have to look at the cost of scanners, cameras, lenses, and ancillary supplies. or consider Plan C. Ancillaries first - FVE fluid is about $25 a bottle - surgical spirits or IPA about the same, I should say. Swisspers are about $ 5 for a big pack.The slide files are under a dollar apiece if you get a pack of 100. We'll assume you have a laptop or desktop, and some hard drive storage already, so you've already paid out for that. If you opt for Plan A - the scanner - you'll be confronted with a cost of about $ 999 for the Epson V 800. More if...

I'm still here and not breaking the rules. The idea of digitising my ageing slide collection gains traction. And as we said before, there are lots of ways to do this; I mentioned Plan A - the use of a dedicated Epson flatbed scanner - Plan B - the use of a home-made slide copier and digital camera - and PlanC - hand the slides in to Camera Electronic and let us get them digitised for you. I've considered the thing from several aspects; time, trouble, and expense. We are likely to be spending  a great deal of each of these in the next few months on other things, but let's keep to the digitising right now. I experimented agains a stop clock today to see what sort of time would be required to do the thing. I looked out two identical sets of slides kept in those old sticky PVC sheets, set up a cleaning station, and started the clock. In Plan A  the slides were swabbed with FVE cleaner, cleaned off with Swisspers cotton buds, and loaded into the Epson 12-shot...

Being the old guy in charge of the film and book desk was a good deal at Photo Live events - I got a chance to scoot off occasionally and look at the other exhibits. Now you'd think that I might have seen everything before in the shop, but remember that there are representatives of firms that I don't normally get to meet and they've brought the newest of their offerings. So even I can be wowed by things. Before I go, a word about the Analog Line - the film business. To the surprise of many and the delight of others, film sales are tootling right along very well. There were enquiries and sales all day from our stock box and a half dozen people seeking film and developing information. Of course, for a lot of this I referred them to Fitzgerald's Photo Laboratory - the third stand down - but I was delighted to talk to the two ladies who enquired about normal grain and plate grain films. They knew what they wanted to do and pretty much how...