Camera Tales

30 Aug

When we were married we bought as a present to ourselves a good Nikon single-lens-reflex camera.  Not that I knew that term until the middle of last year.  What I knew is I could effectively control what the final photo would look like.  We took multiple hundreds of pictures on that camera. Beautiful photos.  After we learned how to correctly load and unload the camera.  That was on our honeymoon to the Pacific Northwest, where we exposed a roll of film with pictures on it trying to take it out correctly.

It was well used.  It went through life with us. It got old, it had a crack in the housing that duct tape would sometime prevent light from seeping in, and sometimes not.  Digital cameras came along. Two years ago Mr. Monte gave me one of his older Kodak digitals.  All of a sudden I could edit photos immediately!  I could post them online! Angela told and taught me about Gimp and Adobe Photoshop Album Starter.  Both are free, and though I use them all the time I am sure I use only a minute fraction of their tools.  But–the Kodak digital did not allow me the control of light and distance to take the kind of photos I was used to taking with my old Nikon SLR.  It was restricting, annoying, maddening.

Then Angela told me of digital SLR cameras.  She finally convinced me that one would actually take photos as good as my old Nikon.  Seeing the beauty of pics she put on her blog convinced me.

Last Christmas my (very large) present was a Nikon D40 digital SLR camera, which has been a joy and delight to learn to use.  It came with two lenses!  I bought some more magnifying lenses with Christmas money and have been happily taking flower and insect pictures ever since.  As you may have noticed.

But then, this week the boots I was wearing slipped on the wet morning grass of a short steep slope near the house and I fell on my back, camera in hand.  Something did not sound right afterwards (in the camera).  And then the lens stopped moving except for a fraction of its range.  I removed it from the camera body and a plastic part fell off.  Oh, sadness and gnashing of teeth!

It has been sent to the Nikon camera hospital.  I am in picture taking withdrawal.  I am trying to use the other lens, sometimes.


4 Responses to “Camera Tales”

  1. John 31 August 2008 at 8:35 AM #

    I am trying to decide if a DSLR camera is worth it. I know the quality of pictures is obviously higher, but still not sure if cost is worth it. Did you find your Nikon D40 was worth the higher price? What is the blog you used? This site seems to indicate a DSLR is worth it and prices are coming down, but I read conflicting things, so not really sure. Thoughts? Thanks

  2. origamifreak 31 August 2008 at 11:04 AM #

    Deb: What lenses did you get with your camera? Which one is in the hospital?

    John: I know you asked Deb, but I would like to suggest that you start by reading this excellent article about DSLR systems at

    If you’re not sure yet whether you want/need a DSLR, you might want to read this article: and maybe this one:

    FWIW, I have been very impressed with the pictures I’ve been getting with my digital point-and-shoot and it’s so much more convenient than my DSLR, that I’m getting much more use out of it (Canon SD750). There are plenty of useful features like a macro mode, a high ISO setting, the ability to turn off the flash, and other fun things like movie and time-lapse modes. And it cost 10x less than my Canon 5D.

    Another thing that people are often surprised about when they move to a DSLR is that they have to compose the shot through the viewfinder. The picture won’t show up on the screen until AFTER the photo is taken. Only really expensive high-end DSLRs are starting to have real-time screen viewing. It has to do with the technology inside the SLR (the whole point is that the mirror shows the viewfinder what the lens is seeing) and the fact that point-and-shoot digital cameras evolved from video cameras.

  3. jpm14 8 September 2008 at 8:03 PM #

    With the camera came an 18-55mm lens –which is the broken one, and a 55-200mm lens.

  4. origamifreak 10 September 2008 at 2:18 PM #

    Those zooms that come with the camera are frequently kind of inexpensive and slow (high # F-stops). For example, the one that came with my first film camera (and is my current primary zoom) is 28-105mm f/4-5.6, and the one that came with my Digital Rebel was 18-55/3.5-5.6. Neither of them was particularly good in dim light or for stopping motion.

    Hope it doesn’t cost much to repair the 18-55 – you can get a new one for around $100, depending on which one it is:

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