Monday, 19 February 2007

R.I.P Minolta Dynax 2xi - Long Live the Dynax 500si Super

I dusted off my 35mm camera two weekends ago. I have a Minolta Dynax 2xi which was given to me on my 18th birthday. I hadn't used it in a couple of years, but recently bought a new battery for it and thoought I would take it for a spin. There were three photos left on the old film, and I had a new film in my pocket.
The scene for this photographic resurrection was to be the Horniman Museum in south Lonodon. I cannot recommend this place highly enough. Go and visit it.
After taking the final three photos, I waited to hear the familiar whirring of the camera as it rewound the film ready for the next one. This didn't happen. I got a bit of a whir, and then nothing. Silence. I was very disappointed as we were only half-way through the museum, and I had so many more pictures I wanted to take.
The next day, I took the camera to Jessops where they used a dark bag to open the camera up and rewind the film by hand. It was possible that the emulsion from the old film had degraded and stuck to itself on the spool so I put another film in to run it through. I took some closeup photos with my +4 macro filter (not sure how these will work out, but if any look good you will definitely see them here). Upon getting to the end of the film, the same thing happened, a small whir, then nothing. My beloved 35mm Minolta Dynax 2xi was dead.

One visit to Ebay later...

I have bought a Minolta Dynax 500si Super body. Because it was only the 2xi's body that was kaput, I only needed to replace that. The standard 35-85mm lense I had would work with any of the xi or si range from Minolta. This weekend past I was able to take it out on the town with me, and it was a joy to use. The 2xi was the feature-lite model of the Dynax family. This 500si has lots and lots of features to play with like:
Exposure modes (portrait, landscape, sport, night portrait)
Double exposure
Continuous exposure at 1fps
Apperture and shutter priority
Best of all, the camera has a built in flash. My last camera didn't have one which could be quite annoying having to carry around a hot-shoe flash.
If my new camera takes photos at the quality if the 2xi I will be mightily pleased.

Watch this space.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Lack of Photos

I have not had the opportunity to take and post any new photos recently. I've been struggling with a cold and sinus problem which has meant I have been out of commission for a few days.

I am almost back to full health, so watch this space!

Thursday, 1 February 2007

Night Photography

I seem to be taking a lot of photos at night recently. I guess that is because I have a little bit of free time during the evenings more often than during the day.

I love night photography, particularly in London. Parts of the city come alive at night, or seem to glow in the dark with all of the lights. The Canary Wharf area has many, many lights in quite a small area. As a result, I often find myself staring at the buildings trying to compose photos incorporating the lights, water, and grandeur of the area.

I recently took the photo to the left while walking around West India Docks in the Canary Wharf area of London. I quite like how this photo turned out. It was already in colour, but I used Picasa's incorporated tools to change it to black and white.

Last night I was out in the South Bank area of London. This is the area that contains the Royal Festival Hall, National Film Theatre, and National Theatre, not to forget the London Eye.

The London Eye has been kitted out in new red livery to celebrate the start of Comic Relief 2007. If you have a chance to go and have a look, it is quit spectacular with the trees still wearing their blue LEDs and the London Eye with its new red livery.

Unfortunately my camera is nowhere near capable of doing this view justice, but I think this photo in particular looks nice because you can just make out the two large poles holing up the Eye looking like dim red beams thrusting upwards from the ground.

As always, click on the photos for their larger versions.