Archive for December, 2009

Mini Camera Review: Minolta X-570

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This SLR was my dad’s and it has served me faithful for about a half dozen years. I think it’s one of the easiest cameras I’ve ever used. It’s also one of the most robust built SLRs I’ve come across. But what about the lens? Minolta use to make great optics in the MD and MC format. I also have an M42 adapter, which lets me use screw mount lens. This opens up a whole range of lens from Japanese Super Takamurs to old East German Zeiss Jenas. I’ve added the Autowinder G motor drive to my X-570, which improves the balance of the camera and makes it operate in a fashion that seems more modern. The X-570 came out in the early ’80s and was a less expensive version of the X-700, but is consider a better camera than its more expensive sibling. I tend to use the X-570 in the all manual mode, so I set the shutter speed and then adjust the aperture while monitoring the exposure LED in the viewfinder. Unfortunately, when I’m using an M42 lens, the view is “stopped down”, meaning a dim image. This isn’t an issue in low light settings, because the lens will generally be open all the way. But when shooting, say, around F16, the viewfinder is very dark. In these cases, I usually compose my shot and then dial the appeture down. Really, it’s not a big deal for me most of the time. Of course when using a Minolta mount lens, this isn’t an issue.

Add comment December 23rd, 2009

A Bit of Roseway Christmas Cheer

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It’s been ages since I’ve had a real Christmas tree in the house. I thought it might be a nice change of pace to embrace the holidays this year, so I went to a neighborhood tree lot with Stacy this last Sunday to pick-out a modest sized noble. Of course it turns out I don’t have any colored Christmas lights back at the house, so this necessitated a couple of fruitless trips to some big box retailers. I don’t know what’s going on this year, but I had a really hard time finding basic mini lights. Guess retailers are playing it safe and keeping inventory low given the bad economy and all.

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Once I got the tree up and the lights on, the house was soon overflowing with holiday cheer. Just sitting on the couch and looking the decorated tree makes me feel happy. And the cats are just as jazzed. Clementine enjoys laying under the tree on the soft, snow-like base while sniffing the needles. Cholula is endlessly fascinated by the handful of ornaments on some of the higher branches. Neither has completely destroyed the tree yet, which is kind of surprising, since they can be so destructive with everything else in the house.

Add comment December 8th, 2009


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