Lomo’Instant Wide Camera

We bought Leyna an instant camera for Christmas this year. She loves it. The film arrived today. Here’s her first shot on it. We worked together to get the shot she wanted. I held the camera, since she was in the shot.

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Nikon D810

I’m fed up with the autofocus failing me on my D600. On Christmas Eve, with my Fuji X100T down due to a smashed shutter release, my D600 just wouldn’t take the shot on multiple occasions. The light was reasonable, the camera was set to prioritize getting the shot over getting perfect focus (a feature it seems simply doesn’t work well) and it just let me down.

Add to that that the shot I missed (completely out of focus) of the bride’s father at a good friend’s wedding a little over a year ago, I’m done. I think this missed shot was with my D600, not my Fuji, but I can’t be sure without checking. Anyway, lowlight autofocus matters.

For $1,550, I found a “Used – Very Good” (Adorama grade “E”) D810 body from Adorama via Amazon. It arrived at the office today. I took one shot to get a shutter count. Including that shot, the count is 9,385 shutter actuations. That is a good deal.

The D810 has the autofocus system of the D4s, which I have no experience with. I’ve read in multiple places that the D600 has crap low-light autofocus and that the D810 has excellent low-light autofocus.

I paid $1,320 for my D600 in May 2014 with a 24-80mm lens included. I sold that lens for $325 in October of 2016, so let’s say I paid $1,000 for the D600 body. I hope to get $700 for my D600. $300 for two and a half years of rental is not a bad deal at all. That’s provided I get what I want for it.

First night comment at 22:10: AF-S and AF-C seem to mingle their sub-modes. That is, if I change AF-C’s sub-mode (Group, Dyn, 3D), it changes the sub-mode of AF-S. That sucks. And it seems that if I change AF-C to a mode AF-S doesn’t have, AF-S reverts to its default. I don’t like this. I want to leave AF-C on 3D pretty much always, or so I think today. But I want to leave AF-S on a different sub-mode.

5 January 2018 Update: I tried my Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 Ai-S lens on my D810 today. To my surprise, Auto ISO worked! What? I had looked into this and believed this would be like on my D600 — no Auto ISO for non-CPU lenses. Confirmed by a stranger here, too. This is a massive, unexpected D810 bonus for me.

3 February 2018 Update: The autofocus is pretty good. I sold my D600 last week and didn’t do any A/B autofocus comparisons. But I did do some controlled conditions comparisons between my D810 and my D600 with my 50mm f/1.8 and my (since returned due to center softness) 50mm f/1.4 D. The photos were pretty much the same between the two bodies. Doesn’t matter. I bought this D810 because the autofocus on my D600 let me down one too many times, refusing to lock and fire. The autofocus on this in similar conditions is awesome. I hope the autofocus at school shows is equally impressive. Could really improve what I get at those shows while also increasing my enjoyment and reducing effort.

17 February 2018 Update: I bought a Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 G AF-S lens for use with my D810. I really like this combination.

Raspberry Pi Zero

For years I’ve wanted a Raspberry Pi, but I didn’t have a practical application.

The other day, I decided to use one as a whole-home ad-blocker via the PiHole project. I ordered a Pi Zero W (wireless) kit via Amazon for $36.

Despite looking at photos of the Pi Zero with human hands for scale, I was still suprised at how teensy this thing is!

Anyway, the setup was super easy. The OS came on a micro-SD card via NOOBS and that was a smooth process.

I plugged it into my main TV and it properly determined the resolution.

My AirPort Extreme change involved just changing its DNS servers. Nothing fancy and no troubles whatsoever from that corner.

2 January 2018 Note: Turns out my Airport Express, which extends my home wireless network’s range, has its own DNS settings. I set these to point to the Raspberry Pi this weekend when I discovered this.

There were just no problems with anything.

Now I’m going to get a Pi 3 B as a retro gaming (Nintendo) station.

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3 February 2018 Update: Going strong as my whole-home ad blocker.

9 March 2018 Update: No problems. This thing just runs. I’m a little sickened by how often my Amazon Echo Dots phone home. So much accumulation of blocked attempts that it was skewing my block stats, so I whitelisted the site. Geez.