About Now

What I’m up to right now…

On the photography front I’ve only really used three cameras in the last three months. Lumix GF1 for M42 lenses mostly, Lumix LX3 for black and white photography with its cracking little Leica lens, and my Sony Xperia for family snaps.

Though I have just picked up the tiny Sony DSC-L1 again in the last few days, and it’s again amazed me how such a small and humble (4MP) camera can be excellent to handle and give very impressive photographs.

After getting back into biking a couple of months ago with an ebike for my work commute, I’m coming to appreciate its no nonsense functionality. I’ve nicknamed it The Mule just because it’s steadily pulls me and whatever I need to transport to my destination time and time again without fuss, and usually at 13mph.

I also have an old Specialized Rockhopper as a fun off road hacker project bike…

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I had stripped the derailleurs and shifters off and planned to use it as a single speed, but I’m thinking now maybe put the rear derailleur back on and just use the middle cog up front so it’s an 8 speed off roader.

I sold off the FSR I had that just wasn’t getting used and instead bought another Specialized, a Crossroads.

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After a few rides, I’ve now added a rack, removed the full length mudguards (kept catching my foot on the front one) in place of a simple but effective plastic Crud Catcher on the downtube, removed the front derailleur, switched the cogs around so the big one is in the middle and the only one I use, so it’s a 7 speed. Changed the seat for a far more forgiving one, and fitted puncture guard Fat Frank tyres (brown with whitewall plus a reflective stripe for better road safety), so it’s a very comfortable ride, very relaxed. And about half the weight of my ebike.

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I plan to use the Crossroads for countryside exploring and transportation to favourite photography haunts (which I’ve done plenty of already) and for commutes in the winter when it’s too cold and/or wet for the ebike.

What are you up to right now?

Updated Monday 29 Oct 2018

(The idea for this page came from the frequently inspiring Derek Sivers.)

2 thoughts on “About Now”

  1. “This could be the only camera I need…”

    Oh, come now, Sir!

    I’ve just read your … sensualist essays on those Contaxes and Minoltas and their sylphlike adapted lens, and was reminded of Lovelace (Sir Richard, not Linda). I’ve felt that way about a sleek, well-formed and balanced camera myself; there is a tactile pleasure in handling and using such, and you described it well.

    I like my phone, have gotten some solid images with it, and pleasingly tuned them with snapseed. But – ergos aside – it is not a beauteous top-drawer, purpose-built, perfectly-proportioned camera, where the glow of owning, holding it combines with the joy of what it may produce in a singular miracle of mixed pleasures.

    1. Well I completely agree, my favourite cameras I’ve ever used are probably the Contax 139 Quartz and Asahi Spotmatic F. Both with Takumar lenses (the Contax via an adapter of course). Both have an abundance of tactile pleasure – cameras and lenses – and are a joy to hold and use, even without film in. They are both of William Morris’s prerequisite’s of an object in one – I know them to be useful and believe them to be beautiful.

      But… In a perverse way there is even more pleasure in creating an image with a camera that is simple, pocketable and digital, like my Xperia. Currently the minimalist practical side of me is winning out over the lover of divine machines… And the direct simplicity of being able to shoot, edit, process and share in a matter of moments with my phone, rather than it take days or weeks with the old film cameras.

      But I still have the Contax and Spotmatic. 🙂

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