Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 29/12/2011

172800 seconds….*

September Blooms, originally uploaded by

I don’t know whether it’s the delirium brought on by the proximity of my challenge end or the narcotic effect only too much Christmas dinner can have but all the words I’ve written, or thought about writing are now merging into one and it’s very difficult to separate what has been written and what hasn’t – this is of course, my lead in excuse for all the repetition.

I did a foolish thing yesterday.. I performed open case surgery on my flashgun in an attempt to fix the wobbly hot shoe issue I’ve mentioned before. The warranty has run out on my 580EX II, though of course this issue – self-inflicted – wouldn’t be covered anyway, so I thought I had little to loose providing of course I knew what I was doing (well, there’s a first). Of course, opening up a £300 plus piece of equipment is not something you should do lightly, but thanks to the Internet it seems that someone has had the same issue providing a step by step guide as to how to rectify the problem. Donning my scrubs and having performed a 5 minute deep hand clean, I was set to open up my patient. Maximum precautions were taken whilst the patient was in surgery to ensure that instead of leaving in surgical tools, things weren’t left out – everything taken out of the invalid was placed into a designated receptacle and compartmentalized to ensure that cross contamination of the patients body parts didn’t occur – the last thing I wanted, when the patient was sewn back up was to find left over bits and pieces. Luckily the opening procedure was incredibly straight forward, with only two springs that needed care when handling, however the procedure wasn’t 100% effective, and whilst the patient is doing well, I need to find some new surgical tools to better treat the patient.

I’ve frequently complained, both on the blog and verbally, how expensive I feel the camera gear I own is especially in the current financial climate however when you start to look at the work involved in creating these devices and how much has to be done manually, well it’s not surprising they command a higher price than your average mp3 player (the later will even have a greater profit margin… profit margin… shudder… there’s that Corporate speak creeping in again, but I have a tonic, and elixir even that will hopefully ensure that it doesn’t get too much of a hold on me). Having seen a number of YouTube videos, I was rather amazed how much of the build process involves people, especially as they are built in Japan, you can see for yourself here, and here.

I’ve been using a single website for a good while now as a good resource for checking UK camera gear pricing; I know there are many general price websites such as Pricerunner, Shopzilla and kelkoo but Camerapricebuster is totally photography-centric and lists sites that are genuinely UK based with UK goods, not those sources from overseas (not that these are a bad thing of course). The prices on these sites are regularly updated, including any deals and are a good barometer of global prices. I’ve seen prices rocket dramatically, influenced by the global currency markets, natural disasters, and resource availability and despite the such bleak times prices do seem to have come down a little of late. Mind you, until I start selling more photos, all purchasing is on hold… and only when I’ve also won the lottery, the football pools, euro millions etc. as well (but just before there’s sub zero conditions in Hades).

* two more days left to blog!


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