Photo

Yashica vs Nikon

My Yashica Electro 35 GSN has a 45mm f/1.7 lens which makes for a comparison with my Nikon D300s with a 30mm f/1.4. My DSLR has an APC sensor which with the 1.5 crop factor makes the 30mm equivalent to 45mm.

It’s not often when I can compare a digital camera with a film camera like that and recently I took both cameras to a family event. In good light most cameras will perform well and that restaurant was well-lit.

I like shooting with film cameras and using a rangefinder is cool. The focusing is completely different from a DSLR. With the Nikon I look through the lens but with the Yashica I need to frame the image in the view finder and line up an overlaid image.

The experience also different because with the DSLR you get instant gratification. It took me over a week to get the roll of film developed and copied onto a DVD but with the digital camera I was able to upload the images the same day.

In the rangefinder I ran Fuji Superia XTRA 400 through it and shot the Nikon at 200 ISO. I also used a fill flash on the Nikon since the background was really bright.

The film images are good but if you have a good DSLR (and I do ;-) ) you can get just as good results without the wait.

Yes I know that’s obviously the case but I’ll continue to shoot with film and the DSLR. For me shooting with both is fun. I like taking photos and collecting old cameras and occasionally I capture some really good images.

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Photo

First roll from the Yashica Electro 35 GSN

When I get a new camera I usually pop in a roll of Fujifilm Superia X-TRA 400 and just quickly take photos. My recently acquired Yashica Electro 35 GSN is no exception.

My focusing needs work as I’m too used to working with a zone focus camera like the Olympus Trip 35. :-)

It’s not a big camera but oddly enough it feels like a real camera. It’s very well built and solid. One roll of film isn’t enough for me to describe the pros and cons but so far I like it. A full review will be in a later post.

Tonight I’ll take it to a family dinner and shoot some more with it. I get a kick out of taking photos in a Chinese restaurant, I hope they have a tank of live crab and fish.

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Photo

Yashica ME 1 Camera: Not bad for $4.88

Yashica-ME-1

I got my test roll back today from Costco for the Yashica ME 1 and I’m sharing the ones that I like below. I bought this camera at a thrift store last week for less than $5 so I can’t really be unhappy with any of the results.

The Yashica ME 1 camera was made in Brazil in the 70s and except for the fact that is has a built-in battery powered light meter and a 38mm f/2.8 lens I don’t know an awful lot about it. The Yashica Guy has some info on his page but the ME 1 is just not a popular model to collect.

It’s an all plastic model but it doesn’t feel cheap or poorly built. It’s light and sits in my coat pocket easily. Unlike my favorite Olympus Trip 35 it doesn’t weigh my coat down.

Like the Trip 35 this camera uses zone focusing and has a “Judas window” so you can see what the aperture setting is well as the focus distance are from the view finder.

The metering is different from what I’m used to. With the Trip 35 if the camera thought there was not enough light then you just set the aperture to f/2.8 manually and took a 1/40 second exposure. I did the same thing on this camera but some of the results were really underexposed.

This  photo came out alright so I may just need to practice some more.

I don’t think this will replace my current walkabout camera but it’s not bad either. When spring arrives I’ll use up a lunch hour or two and walk around Union Square. There you can see some real interesting sights when the weather gets warmer and having a small black camera might be more inconspicuous.

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Photo

Latest camera additions

It’s called “collecting” and I’ve got it under control and can stop at any time…

collecting

I had been looking at the Yashica Electro 35 GSN for a long time and on Saturday I purchased one from a seller on eBay. It arrived Tuesday and it’s in amazing condition.

I selected this seller because he’d described what he does to make sure it’s fully operational. Part of his routine is to clean out the viewfinder, check for the Pad of Death, replace the battery, etc.

The quick picture I took above (it’s the one on the right) does not do it justice. It looks like a brand new camera and not one that was made in the 70s. It’s gorgeous and the viewfinder is bright and sharp. I’ll take and post some more photos of it this weekend.

The black camera on the left is a Yashica ME1 all plastic camera made in Brazil after 1977. Monday Lily and I stopped in the thrift shop and I picked up that one for less than five dollars. It’s a zone focusing camera with a battery powered light meter.

The ME1 has a judas window just like the Olympus Trip 35 but does not have the solid feel that the Trip has. Like the Trip it has a fast f2.8 lens but I’m pretty sure the similarity ends there.

After I cleaned it up I put in a LR44 battery and have been shooting with it. I’m not expecting too much from it but I’ll see how the photos come out.

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Geek, Software

Better living through WordPress filters

codex

Every now and then you find an interesting support question in the WordPress forums. A member wanted to take the HTML YouTube oEmbed code and modify it to suit his needs.

It was an easy set of requirements.

  1. Replace ?feature=oembed with ?wmode=transparent
  2. Append add wmode=”Opaque” to the end of the start iframe tag

My solution was to find all of the embeded YouTube <iframe…> tags in the post and modify the_content via a filter with some preg_match_all code.

You can see the code I came up with via this pastebin.com link.

It’s a nice enough solution and really highlights the point I was trying to make:

You do not have to hack existing code in WordPress to get the results you want.

Just use the available WordPress filters to modify the output as you need.

Jan? You do know you got that completely wrong right?

Yes. Yes I do. Well maybe not completely wrong but the code I posted was not the best solution.

I filtered the content because I’m used to playing in that space and it’s so easy to do. But my solution did not work for the person asking because what he was referring to did not output via the_content. He had to add another filter to make it work.

The original question was about how to modify oEmbed output. That’s a completely different filter and using the right one gets you a targeted solution that will work (should work anyways) at any place the oEmbed output is used.

Last year Mika Epstein posted a plugin called Rickroll that does exactly what it sounds like. It takes oEmbed video and replaces it with the Rickroll video.

You can learn a lot looking at other people’s code. It also has exactly what I needed to examine and make the modification to the YouTube oEmbed html.

Here’s the new code in a plugin.

add_filter('embed_oembed_html','mh_adjustyoutube',10,3);
function mh_adjustyoutube( $html, $url, $args ) {
if ( strstr($url, 'youtube.com') ) {
	// Replace ?feature=oembed
	$mh_new = str_replace( "?feature=oembed" , "?wmode=transparent" , $html );
	// Append wmode="Opaque"
	$mh_new = preg_replace( '/\><\/iframe>$/' , ' wmode="Opaque">' , $mh_new );
	$html = $mh_new;
}
// Modified or not return $html
return $html;
}

This has fewer lines, simpler logic, and it is a solution that specifically filters the oEmbed output. It directly addresses the original question and can be used where ever the oEmbed code gets outputted.

You can see an easier to read version via this new pastebin.com link.

The lesson I learned is this: using WordPress filters is a powerful feature but using them correctly is even better.

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Geek, Software

Jetpack Carousel for Themify themes

This is probably documented somewhere but I’m posting it here so I don’t forget (again).

I wanted to give Jetpack’s Carousel module a spin but the built in Themify Pretty Photo lightbox kept getting used instead.

To disable the PrettyPhoto lightbox add these lines to your child theme’s functions.php file.

add_action('wp_enqueue_scripts', 'mh_remove_pretty_photo', 20);
function mh_remove_pretty_photo() {
        wp_dequeue_style( 'pretty-photo' );
        wp_dequeue_script( 'pretty-photo' );
        wp_deregister_script( 'themify-carousel-js' );
}

That will let another lightbox be used instead such as Jetpack’s Carousel. The 20 argument in the add_action() is to make sure my function gets queued after the parent theme function.

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Family, Geek

Just don’t use it one handed

note-ii-phone

I’m not sure how it happened but my blog has been possessed by Android smart phone posts. I’m pretty sure I have an add_filter('the_content' , 'my_function') WordPress post in my head waiting to get out. Or at least a post about a small plugin.

When is a phone not a phone?

After Lily’s Note II came back to life we realized that her phone developed an odd condition. It stopped being able to make or receive phone calls. To fix this we called up Verizon on Sunday and spent way to much time with some nice people trying to make it work.

Did you know that Verizon’s tech support can with your permission remote desktop into your Android smart phone? I had no idea and it’s weird seeing someone else run apps and make menu selections. That didn’t really solve anything and eventually Lily and I were told that they’re escalating her problem to engineering.

Me: Engineering? That’s great, let’s get them on the call.

Verizon Support: Oh no sir. They will call you back in 24 to 72 hours.

That went over well. I asked them to create the ticket anyway and to see if we could visit a local Verizon store and swap out the LTE SIM card as that was suspected to be the problem. That didn’t solve anything but at least we got out of the house.

It’s all part of a Grand Plan, I’m just not privy to it

While at the Verizon store I took advantage of my upgrade option and purchased an iPhone 5. I then had them put my number on Lily’s not-a-phone Note II and she got the new iPhone 5. Seriously, that happened.

Lily and I commute into Manhattan together so as soon as she got her Note II smart phone I was playing with it. It’s got good battery life, the display is fantastic, and with a 1.6 Ghz quad core processor it is fast and zippy. I used it to tether my laptop during out commute and it worked fine. I told Lily that I’ll get one for myself from Costco.

Lily: That’s just not acceptable and we can’t have the same phone. Why don’t you get the iPhone 5?

Me: Sure I- What?? I’ll spray paint the back of it red. You’ll never mistake mine for yours. And I don’t want an iPhone.

Lily: You just don’t understand. Get the iPhone 5 and we’ll switch numbers.

Me: . . .

poor-marvin

I don’t claim to understand but years of conditioning have done me in. In another dozen years I’m going to be like Marvin in RED.

Monday morning I called Verizon back with “Nice one! Now when can you get me my replacement phone?” and on Thursday FedEx delivered it. This new one actually can makes and receive  phone calls.

Yeah but what about the Note II?

It’s a great smart phone. The one I had before it was an HTC Thunderbolt and it’s night and day in comparison. My old phone was giving me well deserved grief and was working very poorly. This one is fantastic and works like a charm.

There is one draw back though. This phone is ginormous. The screen is 5.5″ diagonally but that doesn’t convey it properly. Think of using the iPad Mini as phone  and you’ll get the idea. You have to operate it with both hands or you will either hurt yourself or drop the phone. It’s just too big and my hands are too small.

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