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Bruce's Photo Blog
Bruce Foreman | Mid April 2012

Caution: Where Do You Send Gear For Repair?
Nikon is defending a decision to no longer supply spare parts to independent repair shops. There is the “usual spin” of delivering the best “service experience to the customer” and they cite the “complexity” of modern cameras and “ill equipped” or unauthorized repair shops causing delays and increasing cost of repairs.
I ran into this once with a Mamiya Sekor 150mm soft focus lens for the RB-67 where the shutter had “cratered”. The old Keaton Kolor sent it to an independent shop that had a good reputation for quality work, but 3 months later I still did not have my lens back. Keaton Kolor gave me the phone number of the shop, I called, and was told they could not get parts from Mamiya!
I called Mamiya USA and was told they could not get parts either, but that I should have sent it to Mamiya USA in the first place. I then asked if they could not get parts, how could they fix my lens. I was told they would have “cannibalized” something off the shelf had I sent it to them. I told them they would have it soon. Called the independent and instructed they send it to Mamiya USA.
A week later I called Mamiya to see if they had it and was told it was repaired and they would be sending it back to the independent. I requested they bill me and send it to me, they refused saying I didn't send it to them, the independent did.
Whatta mess! I threatened legal action so they sent me my lens with a most reasonable bill for repair.
There are excellent repair facilities around the country, Havell's Professional Camera Service in San Antonio is one, and I used to use them for Hasselblad repairs, when I had Wallace Studios. But I look for more manufacturers to begin to take the stance Nikon is and any repairs I have will go to the importers authorized repair center.

“ILC”...What The Heck Does This Mean?
It's another “acronym” that started showing up, mostly in reviews of the new breed of mirrorless cameras. For the longest I saw no definition or explanation of what it stood for. The closest guess I came up with...
...Ittybitty Little Camera...
I finally saw an article that used the full term, “Interchangeable Lens Compact”, so I wasn't too far off. So you'll see this term (and the acronym) applied in reference to the Nikon, Sony, Samsung, Olympus, Panasonic, and other mirrorless cameras that take interchangeable lenses.

Canon's New “Flagship” Compact
The G1X has a lot to offer those who want a compact camera that delivers on images but won't have the user “fiddling” around with changing lenses. It has a fixed 4 power zoom (28-112mm full frame equivalent) that goes from a very usable “workhorse” wide angle to very good portrait perspective moderate telephoto. The sensor is just barely under the size of the APS-C found in many Canons and Nikons, and just a bit larger than the Nikon 1 series and Micro 4/3. This is a very high sensitivity CMOS sensor that goes up to ISO 12,800 for low light shooting.
It has a hot shoe and an optical viewfinder, extremely useful shooting in bright daylight where you cannot see much on most LCD screens. Street price estimated at about $800.

Fujifilm's Pro X 1
And yet another entry in the ILC category is Fujifilms new Pro X 1, a unique camera that brings back the “retro” feel of the Leica rangefinder cameras with lens interchangeability, and blends that with some 21st century digital technology. It features an APS-C sensor with new filtering technology that eliminates the need for the Optical Low Pass Filter (OLPF). Less moire is evident and detail rendition is said to approach that of full frame sensors. In addtion to the 3 inch LCD on the back there is a switchable EVF/optical viewfinder.
When an XF series lens is mounted to the camera the viewfinder magnification and frame size are automatically adjusted for immediate shooting. The optical viewfinder provides the brightest viewing image and keeps shutter lag to a minimum, while the electronic viewfinder provides focus confirmation, exposure information, white balance information, and depth of field indicators, as well as a "Live View" of your composition. Initially there will be 3 Fujinon XF series lenses with 35mm full frame equivalent focal lengths of 27mm (f2 aperture), 53mm (f1.5), and a 91mm (f2.4) macro.
Street price of the body alone will be $1699 (at B&H), the wide and normal lenses priced at $599 with the macro at $649.
Picture performance should be nothing short of excellent. Will I be going for this? While I'd like to, I'm actually taking a slightly similar approach (at much lower cost) with the Olympus Pen E-P3, wide and normal “pancake” prime lenses and a 90mm equivalent on order (all in the Micro 4/3 format).

For Sale Section
Members with equipment for sale can have me list it here. Send the ad to me at biforeman@gmail.com and I'll post it here. It's a good idea to list an asking price, this gets a better chance of response from me.

For Sale: Interchangeble Lens Compact
Olympus Pen E-PL1 with 14-42mm f3.5 – 5.6 “kit” zoom lens. This is the one I've been trying out the Micro 4/3 system with, if you saw the March program at our March 10th meeting you saw several images shot with this camera and “kit” lens. I “caught” the bug and am replacing this camera with it's latest version and the not yet released Olympus OMD E-M5.
It's a 12MP sensor camera with both automated and manual modes, will do HD video (720p) that should be editable on current dual core processor based computers. It takes the full line of Micro 4/3 lenses from Olympus, Panasonic, and Sigma is starting to make lenses in that format. Adapters can be used with many older lenses in manual modes.
I paid $290 brand new, plus shipping, added an “Invisible Shield” LCD protector, added a Hoya SMC UV filter to protect the front lens element, and will include a SanDisk Extreme Class (10) SDHC card and a Case Logic bag. Comes with the original box, manuals, software disk, battery, and charger. I ordered it in February so it's almost new.
$275 takes it. Call Bruce Foreman at (325) 650 8979 or email biforeman@gmail.com