Friday, October 31, 2008

Chuck the Writer endorses Cameraworks

One of the drawbacks of a Nikon D70 is that if any dust gets into the CCD sensor, the pictures it takes will have spots on them. Noticeable spots. Spots that are too noticeable to use for quality photographs.

Normally, one would send their camera away to a specialty camera shoppe, where they might charge $200 and take three weeks to get the camera back to you. However, I have been fortunate to discover a store in Latham called Cameraworks. Three days a week, they have walk-in service where you can drop your camera off on Wednesday and it will be cleaned on Thursday - for $25 plus tax. And let me tell you, that camera when I get it back is minty fresh clean.

Today I picked up my D70, nicely cleaned, so that the photos I take at the Vocal Group Hall of Fame event will be crisp and sweet. I'm already packing all my camera equipment for this trip, and I hope to use all my lenses - my kit lens, my f/2.8 telephoto, my f/1.8 85mm, my E-series 50mm f/1.8, my Kenko 180 fisheye, even my Loreo 3D lens set.

One lens I'm not taking, however, is my Kiev Mir-24H wide-angle. There's an issue with the lens - if I try to focus out to infinity with this lens, it just won't give me a sharp picture. So Cameraworks is going to go over it and see if the lens needs cleaning or alignment or what. And maybe they can get rid of the foul cabbage smell that all Russian-made lenses seem to be infected with (someone told me the smell comes from the lubrication equipment used inside the lens).

Don't get me wrong, my Kiev lenses are great lenses. Lenses made for Kiev-17, Kiev-19 and Kiev-20 SLR cameras are interchangeable with Nikon F-mount cameras, which makes Kiev lenses a budget-based alternative to Nikon's stock equipment - especially when one considers that Kiev's glass is the same glass used for military-grade applications like bomb sights and binoculars. But the quality control in Russian camera equipment is seriously "hit or miss" - quality control is more of a suggestion than an application.

So if Cameraworks can get this Kiev lens working to proper specifications, I'll put it back in my arsenal. But for now, it's on injured reserve until it gets better, under the care of Dr. Cameraworks.

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