Thursday 29 March 2018

Mountain Hares - The True Story

Monday 13 July 2015

Nikon D5100 'Error Press shutter Release Button Again'

and the story of a helpful repair agent

There is nothing more frustrating than error messages, especially those that aren't listed in any manual with a fix next to them.  Last week I accidentally knocked my D5100 off my desk onto the thickly carpeted floor.  Only a tiny bump really but it was enough to cause a few problems.  Initially when I tried to use it the camera kept hunting to focus and failed each time.  I put it in Live view mode and that is when I got the error message to press the shutter release button again.  Needless to say, pressing said button made no difference at all.

I decided to look it up on the internet as one does and found many forums where people had had similar issues with this camera.  I also found a site showing you how to fix it on a D40 by taking the back off but the D5100 is totally different and taking the back off was not so straight forward.  Another site showed me how to achieve that but it does not show where the shutter release mechanism is located so I decided to abandon that idea.

finally I decided I would have to send it to a repair agent so I Googled for a local one.  I came up with one that I phoned straight away, but it was answered by a not very enthusiastic guy who sounded like some regular Joe.  He asked me to supply an e-mail address and he would send me a quote for fixing this problem which he did almost as soon as I put the phone down.  £96 including vat but an extra £15 for the courier unless I could deliver it myself.  Second hand this camera isn't worth much more than £100 now so I felt a bit despondent.  I decided to try another agent.  This time I got through to a very professional sounding man who, after I had explained the problem, asked me if the mirror was stuck.  I remove the lens and sure enough the mirror was down at 45º.  He told me to see if I could flip it up as it should go really easily.  I carefully put a fingernail under the bottom of the mirror and pushed up.  It didn't want to go at first proving that it was indeed stuck but then it flipped up back in place.  I put the lens back on and checked to see if the error message had gone.  It had.  Not only that, but the camera was now focusing and taking photos as normal.

So, if any of you reading this have this problem you know what to do but more importantly, if you have any problems with your DSLR, live in Kent and feel you need it to be repaired by a professional then I would recommend these people "".

Tuesday 14 January 2014

Special Character Keyboard Shortcuts for a Mac Running Mavericks

Having recently converted to an iMac from a PC I have had to get used to using a completely new keyboard.  OK so the querty layout is the same but many of the other keys have been moved around.  Especially as I am using the Apple wireless keyboard which is a lot smaller than the standard keyboard and is missing a number pad.  When I used to use the PC keyboard I had a laminated chart of all the special character keyboard shortcuts, most of which utilised the num pad.  For me, being able to type the copyright sign © without calling up the Special Characters window and then scrolling through them until I find the one I want, was important, to use an example of just one.  So I did what most modern people do these days, I Googled it.  That was relatively successful but not completely.  Yes I did come across a number of sites where there were tables of all the special characters and their associated keyboard strokes but none of them were totally accurate.  The most accurate was this site for the Language Learning Resource Centre.  There had been a recent operating system upgrade to Mavericks so I can only assume that certain shortcuts were changed during this upgrade.  Either that or the shortcuts are specific to the mini wireless keyboard.  As a result I set about creating my own table and I have published it here so that anyone who finds themselves looking for the same information will be able to find it here.  I hope it is of as much use to you as it is to me.

Tuesday 4 June 2013


Saturday 1 December 2012

Pet Portrait Stories Chapeter 4

This is Monty. He was a prize winning Arab who was used to being shown in hand. so used to it that when he was brought out to be photographed he just stood in the ménage and didn't move at all. He would have stood there all day.
This portrait was spotted on the internet by some unscrupulous advertising company who turned it into a pub sign for a pub called the Nags Head. Luckily I spotted it, got a solicitor involved and they settled out of court.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Nikon 35-70mm f/2.8D

This lens is no longer in production but that doesn't mean it's not worth seeking out.  On the contrary, this is a little gem and I bought mine recently second hand.

First Impressions 

This first thing I noticed about this lens is the build quality.  This was no kit lens. It's metal casing gives it a solid reliable feel in your hands.  There is no lens creep or play in the moving parts.  This lens was built to last.  
The finish is quite glossy compared to the current lenses which might make it look a little dated to the sharp eyed among you but you'd have to be very shallow to let that put you off.


The lens will take a 62mm screw on filter, however, as the front part of the lens rotates during focussing it would not be suitable for a circular polarising filter unless you were prepared to adjust it every time you re-focussed.
The front part of the lens contains the focussing ring for manual focussing although this lens will auto focus provided your camera is compatible.  The closest it will focus in normal mode is .6m but there is a 'macro' button, which if pushed in when the lens is set to 35mm, will allow you to manually focus to a distance of .26m.  Although this is referred to as a macro setting it's not a true macro as it will only give a ratio of 1:4.  A true macro ratio is 1:1 so it would be more accurate to call this a 'close-up' setting.
The larger grip area is for the zoom.  this lens is back-to-front compared to modern zooms.  It's default setting is at full zoom of 70mm and you have to extend the lens to 'zoom out' to 35mm.  This is totally counter intuitive and takes a bit of getting use to as does the way it zooms. You don't twist this grip to change the zoom, you pull and push it.  It's a bit clunky at first and not easy to select a distance in between.  You would not want to use the zoom feature whilst recording video as it is difficult to get it smooth enough.  The fact the lens slides out as it does is something you need to remember if you are in the habit, as I am, of picking your camera up by the lens.
At the back of the lens is another small ring that allows you to set the aperture.  There is a sliding lock that will lock it at f/22 and I suggest you do this if you are using on a digital camera body that allows you to set the aperture on the camera.
There is no vibration reduction as this lens was made before that feature was developed.

Lens Test

I have used this lens on my D300s and D5100 cameras.  The former is the better camera for this lens as it has an auto-focusing mechanism built in so it will auto-focus with this lens.  The D5100 does not have this so all focussing has to be done manually but this is relatively easy if you use the built in AF assist icon.
The lens fits nice a tight on the body and the grips feel comfortable in the hand.  The auto-focus works well with the D300s and the images are very sharp with no discernible drop off at the edges.  At the 35mm end there are some very slight signs of chromatic aberration but this is barely noticeable and easily fixed in post processing.  Distortion too is very low which makes it perfect for portraits.
Being a fast and with it's 35-70mm zoom range this is a brilliant portrait lens in most lighting conditions and I suspect it will quickly become my main workhorse for my pet portraiture as it gives me a little bit more flexibility over my 50mm f1.4 prime but is faster and distorts less than my 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom.

Landscape at 70mm

Same landscape at 35mm

100% crop of the top right hand corner of the last image showing slight cyan/yellow CAs  around the trees.

Portrait taken at 70mm f5

 35mm f8 'Macro' shot at closest focusing distance.

35mm f14 in normal mode at closest focussing distance.

Saturday 13 August 2011

Photographer for the Day plus Photo Books

I am now available for daily hire for that special event.  No matter what the event you can get me to record it from start to finish, setting up to packing up.  I will follow your brief throughout the day taking candid and posed shots of everything that makes the day special.  Once done I will add copies of all the images* to a DVD for you to keep.  You can use this DVD to select as many images as you like to be included in the layout of a Jessops photo book.  The layout design will be professionally designed, tailor made to suit the occasion and the images selected.  The layout fee for one layout is included in the daily rate and you can use this to order as many books as you like.  The books will be charged as cost price so the prices you see on the Jessops web site are the prices I will charge you.  Should you wish more than one layout, either because you want different images in a separate book or you want books of different shapes, that can be arranged for an extra fee.  
Apart from photo books, you can also use the images on the DVD to order prints, large canvases, pet portraits or any of the products offered by Sally Jane Photographic Art.  
All images on the DVD will measure 700 pixels along their longest edge making them more than suitable to share on the internet.  Please reference the images as taken by Sally Jane Photographic Art if you do out of courtesy. 
For further information and prices visit the Sally Jane Photographic Art web site.

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