Saturday, 7 March 2015

my Full Frame camera is 35mm film

Fortunatly we've had 35mm around for longer than digital, and while I really DO like my micro43 cameras I am under no illusions that good old 35mm full frame (there was half frame you know, such as the Olympus Pen F series).

At about the time when digital cameras (my main snapshot cameras for 15 years now) were good enough to use as a reasonable substitute, Film Scanners were expensive and their use was poorly understood. By the time that good scanners were at reasonable prices and systems like Noritsu's 35mm development / scanning process machines were around it was too late.

For the enthusiast picking up 35mm gear at bargin prices, and for those pulling out their old images, the quality you can get with a good scan rivals the best of the current Full Frame digital cameras (like the Sony A7 or any of the Full Frame Canon / Nikon cameras). Especially if you don't have shit hot lenses.

I was going through some older shots I took in Tokyo back in about 2002 and liked this one of a temple just up from where I lived

Its a good 20 Megapixels.

I took it with my faithful (still running fine) EOS630 with an EF24 f2.8 lens (still running fine too).

So lets have a look at some details ... at pixel peeping levels ... from over there on the left ... just under the roof

then the gutter above it ...

moving over to the right hand side:

and lastly one from the middle:

Which makes it clear also (judging by the reflections in the windows) that I could have focused a little bit closer than I did (instead I relied on the infinity "stop" on the lens) and the rope would be sharper .... when magnifying this much (which is what a good scan does) the DoF assumptions many people make on 35mm (like what's on the lens barrel) are inadequate.

So, all in all I'm not about to stop using my digital camera but I recognize that its got its place and that there is still a place for 35mm for me (especially for 4 day hikes in -15C where batteries freeze).


Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Petty emotions ruin beautiful things

A little while back APOD (the NASA site) featured this absolutely beautiful SciFi view of the future inspired by Carl Sagan.

I noticed today that the video has had its audio voice over by Carl removed. I am unclear why, but the comments on the original Vimeo link suggest its by his estate or the minions of administering that.

The original can be found here:, now sadly minus Carls powerful words. It seems some who had ownership of Carls legacy wanted that removed.

Terrible, I'm sure Carl would be turning in his grave given his sentiment and his passions.

This is still on Youtube (for now) so get it while you can ... before greed destroys art.

To those with greed and selfish driven motivations who required Carls voice to be taken off this recording I leave you with a quote from Carl from Pale Blue Dot:
Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Sunday, 8 February 2015

T-Max gets a new belt (again)

Well the little light came on on the dash to tell me it was belt change time. So I pulled the paneling off the side (as per the manual) and took off the cover and (as directed in the manual) pulled the belt from the pulleys (sheaves) by inserting 2 50 x 6mm screws into the slots and separating the halves of the secondary sheave (that would be the back one).

As last time the belt looks immaculate ... absolutely no sign of wear either visually or according to the spec.

I compared it to the new one and even on a flat surface (Engineeringly flat surface btw) there was no discernable difference in belt width (measured at the back of the belt btw).

Here is the old one.

Looks perfect to me, with not the slightest indication it would fail.

The folks who sold me the belt (I bought a Dayco, as Yamaha wanted twice the price and didn't have any in stock ) said something like:
Jezuz what is this belt out of? A snow mobile??
Which confirms my opinion that  the belt is well over spec for its needs. I can only assume that Yamaha expect the users to totally punish the belt (can't imagine how in an automatic bike) or that maybe the 20,000Km inspection interval may just rurn out to be 10 years for some people. For me its about 2.

The entire job (including driving over to the belt shop to show them the extracted belt - which was pointless because they are all just afraid to say anything meaningful ... PC shit) took about 3 hours. With about 10 min involved in struggling the belt off and another 10 struggling it back on.

If you are the faintest bit mechanically apt its all do-able with the manual and a few basic tools. I've noted though that many scooter owners are at their mechanical limit putting air into the tyres...

So having gone to all the trouble to pull it down I put the new belt in and have my head to scratch about the whole thing. Myself I reckon that for how I use it, that 20,000 is more the inspection time. Assuming it passes inspection, just leave the thing in place and save yourself $100 and the extra struggle. While removing the belt you need to remove and clean / replace the belt areas air filter, so its good to pull it down anyway. Assuming you're doing the work yourself I'd reckon that it'll last 40,000Km or more.

Or course if you were taking it to a workshop you may feel awkward about paying for two hours labour (or about 2/3 of the total cost) for nothing more than an inspection ... and besides, Yamaha gets to sell you a $200 part.

One note, since replacement the belt makes a "squeal" or "whistle" rather like a deeper version of fan belt slippage but only on rolling off the throttle (that would be slowing down). I can't recall if it did this last time or if its part of the bed in procedure.

I'll report back.


Belt has been returned to Dayco. They think there was something wrong with it. Meantime their technician inspected my older belt and confirmed that it looked perfect, and they would have no hesitation with refitting it.

So I did and its perfect ...

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

learning to love the life I have

Its been some time since my dearest Anita died (it was in August 2012). I have made learned many things since that time and while I still feel her loss deeply I have some things to share which may be of benefit (or may not).

Perhaps I was lucky to be struck with a post operative infection from a heart valve replacement surgery (which was performed 6 months or more before she passed away), but with no sense or irony I say that having to struggle for my life - wanting to be dead but not being dead - becoming aware of getting better and (out of habit) fighting to struggle for regaining my personal fitness has proven beneficial.

Like joining the "Foreign Legion" to forget a broken heart the struggle to survive (even reflexively) has shown me that I go on. Has also perhaps helped me to accept in some ways that is not altogether bad.

Most certainly I have many down days, where I just lay on the couch in my not at work times. I avoid doing things which I know should be done. I feel pain at doing things (which we did together) alone.

However I have come to see that while there is sadness and loneliness there are actually glimpses of happiness and on occasions I feel OK about those things which are not related to what we shared together.


I have reflected a LOT on things including what would happen if by a miracle she appeared alive at home and we could start again. Would I still be able to be the happy person she loved or would my suffering have made me into a person whom she would grow tired of?

If we are to meet in the after life I feel that it is my job in this life to heal myself to be that person whom she loved and respected.

If there is no after life then what harm can come from healing myself in preparation for our (it won't happen) meeting anyway?

my only answer so far

I have come to feel that the pain and fatigue that I feel in the memory of her and what has gone before her death is simply a burden I should carry. I should carry it for I am the primary vessel of her memory and of her spirit in this world.

A song came to my mind some time back by Bob Scott: He ain't heavy, he's my Brother.

I feel now that the burden I feel in her loss and absence is made more profound for me simply because I have no training in carrying it.

Like all fitness training, it just takes time and will power to become strong enough to be able to "lift that weight" or "run that marathon" or "do that maths".

So I do not try to turn away from the pain, or down play the love that I still feel for her. Instead I try to carry that with me and still be able to bring the memories of her to our friends without being struck down. Without making everyone feel uncomfortable.

I've been trying to walk this path for a year now, and while I'm still in training I am getting stronger. There are times when I can laugh with my friends about things we (meaning all of us including my wife) shared.

So while it is indeed "a long and winding road" to "who knows where" I thought I would share this with you so that any who are reading this and suffering grief of your own you can also pick up your load and carry that love forward.

The love we shared should not be a thing which can be overwhelmed by just her passing. She ain't heavy ... she's my lover.

I wish you peace.