Impending doom, aka, server move…

I’ve been informed by my lovely webhosts that the site is going to be moved to a new host some time in the next week or so, which may mean a small bit of downtime. Of course, it doesn’t really matter, as nobody actually reads this anymore, but last time there was a server move, everything fell to bits, and it took me ages to get back up and running.

Hopefully, this won’t be the case, but if the site suddenly stops working, I’ve not bailed, I’ll just fix it “when I can be bothered”…

A sad death to report.

Bah, I’ve been blogging for less than 24 hours, and I’m already swinging the scythe around. Thankfully, this isn’t the death of an actual person / animal / cellular structure, more an inanimate object. An inanimate object that I loved very much. I’m sad to announce the death of my big Canon camera, or rather the lens that came with it. It met a sad demise at 11AM yesterday morning when it lost a fight with the landing floor.

Annoyingly I was in the middle of preparing for my first proper photoshoot with it. I’d arranged with Gary F, Jamie S and Andy D, to take some photos of the vintage car rally that is brought to Hartlepool every year or so. For many years, I’d wanted to go for many years but unfortunately, other commitments (usually work) stopped me from attending. This year, I obviously didn’t have that to worry about, which meant I had the ideal opportunity to go and point the camera at brightly colured, shiny vehicles.

The morning started out a logistical nightmare to begin with. Jamie S’s car is off the road. Gary was coming to pick me up, but Jamie S also wanted to go. Fair enough. I send a text to arrange the slight change of travel plans.

Text: “Can you pick Jamie S up on the way?”
Reply: “You were meant to send that to Gary, not me”.

Yup. Turns out I’d sent a text to Jamie S, asking to pick himself up. Today was going to be a long day.

So, I go about preparing stuff, dusting down the big camera. Everything was OK. Ship shape, as it were.Gary arrives at the bottom of the long, gravel driveway that leads up to Mercuryvapour Towers. I grab the big camera, and on my way out of the door I think “oooh, I’ll take the little camera too”. I dash upstairs and realise I already had it, it was in my pocket. Gah, wasted trip. On my way out of the SLABJL office, Gary rings me, and in the juggle between answering phone and swinging unweildy camera bag about, the camera leaves the bag, and hits the carpeted, yet still hard, landing floor. “Whoops”, I thought, but the camera has survived harder falls than this. I bundle the whole lot back into the bag, and head off to the car rally. I switch on the camera. It doesn’t “sound” right. And it didn’t automatically focus either. Instead, it would judder around for a bit, the focus would attempt to fix itself, failing miserably. Sigh, the lens was dead. I lugged the camera around with me for the whole 2 hours we were there, knowing I was carrying what I’d class as a “dead relative”. We got back to the car, and I’d take a closer look at my deceased camera.

It wasn’t pretty. I’d tried to zoom in a few times, the lens jammed, I looked through the viewfinder, and was confronted with a broken image, as if part of the glass had shattered. Well, that was that. It was all over… maybe.

I get home, to inspect the damage. The first step was to remove the lens… and something fell out… THIS.

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Now, I’m not expecting any help from this blog directly, but I’m a member of a few photography sites which I’ll add this to, in the hope of knowing what its purpose is. All I know is that it fell out. The lens is just the standard stock / kit lens that comes with the EOS 450D. Here’s what the ITPC data has to say about it.

Lens Type Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS

Anyway, something was clearly broken. While the lens was out, I gave the focus / zoom a go. It didn’t jam up. I looked through it, and it appeared to look normal. No broken glass. I took a photo of Daddykins. It worked. Wow. Obviously, my lens was missing a part, yet still “functional”. Or so I thought.

Obviously, I had to try this out a bit more. I’m sure if I’d lost some of my internal connections, I’d act slightly retarted (What, more than usual? – Ed). Shut up. I went out into the back garden, and the results weren’t pretty. The normally “smooth-for-a-kit-lens” auto focus would judder and jolt, rather like a floppy drive hitting a bad sector, the sounds were similar. Your eyes, using the viewfinder might only pick up the centre of the image. It’s not until you view it through the computer that you get the extent of the damage….

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As my ex-work colleague Spence would say, in his own unique style… “Fuck, shit, piss”. Yup, something was shot. I contacted Andy D and asked if I could try his lens on my camera. I’m pleased to say it passed with flying colours. Or, at least the few shots I’d taken with it appeared to be OK. It means, that the loose part must have came from the lens (unless you know different?) and I’ll have no problems shopping for a new bit of glass.