Bunker bunkum day 108


Gion district, Kyoto 1992.  © PJ Croft 2020

What a glorious day, warm sunshine, clear blue sky, about 23deg. Winter?

But did you notice – last month was our warmest June on record, at an average max. of 21.4degC. Global heating is real.


Aaaarrrrgh, this Lenovo laptop is getting annoying. After my friend’s wasted trip out here yesterday, this morning I’d nearly finished getting it set up with him as the user and installing several free programs when he phoned and said he’d come out here again (I was going to drive it in to his place, but he said no, he’d come out here).

I forgot to say on the phone that I’ve discovered that the camera set into the screen seems to be faulty.


The image from the Lenovo laptop camera. It varies a little when you wave your hand in front, but never gives any more than this.

That’s it. That’s all you get from this Lenovo laptop camera. My friend said, “I’m not going to accept that. Unless it works 100%, it’s faulty. Send it back and I want a refund.”

I tend to agree, but he was annoyed again, and I was embarrassed, and it was another wasted drive, and I’m the one who has to do the return and get a refund. I  tried going to on-line support, but their support section is down for the weekend for maintenance. Yes, THIS weekend.

I was tempted to say that this is what you get when you choose a low cost computer, but I was the one who recommended it, knowing his price range. On paper, it’s great – Core i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, 15″ Full HD screen and a DVD drive built in for $742. Good specs.

But a faulty camera. So back it goes, with me having to do the repacking and sending. I won’t dare ask for reimbursement of the shipping cost. Bugger!!!!


There was pretty bad news for photography fans like myself this week – Olympus are folding their tent and giving up.

It’s not a complete abdication – they’ve sold their photo hardware manufacturing business to a company called Japan Industrial Partners. What this means, we don’t know yet. Will Olympus equipment continue to be manufactured? We don’t know. A press release or two suggested it will continue in some form, but we don’t know.

I first bought into Olympus in the early 1980s with the OM2-SP (Spot Program) and over the years I bought quite a bit of their gear, mainly second hand. At one stage I had the 18mm, 21mm, 28mm, 50mm, 135mm and a couple of Tamron zooms with the Adaptall mounts – the 28-50mm and the 70-150mm Tamrons. As a matter of fact, I replaced a dropped and damaged 70-150mm Tamron just recently for $50. It’s a very handy lens and sharp enough, though not up to modern standards. My OM2-SP is sitting up on my shelf now.

Mainly, I wanted Olympus for their macro and flash systems and I found almost all of these second hand: T28 flash, T32 flash, T-Power control 1, T8 Macro flash (one side of a pair), and the T10 Ring Flash. Plus several adapters, connectors, cords and a tilting flash handle that got hot and drained its batteries each time I tried to use it. It was stolen in my burglary in 1991.

I still have almost all this gear in a box in the garage. The OM2-SP sits on the shelf collecting dust, and it’s even still got a half finished Fuji slide film in it. I must finish it and get it processed, if I can find an E-6 processor in town. I think there’s one. I have no idea what’s on the first 20 or so frames. That’ll be interesting to find out. Even though the film has been sitting in the camera for 20 years or so, I’m sure it will still give me results. They may be not as good as when the film was new, but with scanning and digital processing, I’m sure I’ll be able to get good results from it.


By the way, on my Japan trip in 1992, this very same OM2-SP was one of the cameras that took all these shots I’m posting. I took the OM2, its 28mm Zuiko lens and the 50mm Zuiko, I think. And I took a Nikon FE2 with the 75-150 Nikon Series E lens.

PS: no, I forgot – the Nikon I took was the F601 and the main lens was a Tokina 20-35mm, with the 75-150 Series E. The 20-35mm was a great choice – it’s ideal for interiors and hand held shots in low light. Wonderful results.

Can’t remember what else – maybe a Nikon 35mm lens? And for the first time, I shot the entire three week trip on Fuji Reala colour negative (print) film, buying rolls of it as I went from shops in Japan. I shot about 36 rolls, mostly 36 exposure. Each roll of film cost about A$8-10 (?), so the cost of the film alone was substantial (36 x $8 = $288), but when I got back to Perth it all had to be processed and prints made. Each roll cost about the same – $8, so another $288. In 1992, that was big money.

The interesting thing is, at the time I liked the prints and put them all into those sticky-paged albums. I was pretty proud of the results.

But after I “retired” in 1999, I had the time to spare, and I bought a Nikon LS4000ED film scanner. I’ve still got it here. That 4000 means 4000dpi, meaning high resolution! The files are about 35MB for each image.

I spent about four months, maybe more, and I scanned every single one of those 36 rolls x 36 exposures, and the results were magnificent! If I thought the prints were good, the scanned images were a revelation. I can’t show a comparison because the prints are long gone, but this:

r14-007 print ver

was flat and dull in the store print, but it leaps out from the screen. Likewise:

r14-005 print ver

I still have all these Japan images stored on this PC and as you can tell, I like ’em.


Speaking of Japan, the gardening program on the ABC last night was on Japanese gardens and in particular, the Kenrokuen gardens in Kanazawa. (I’d almost forgotten those names.) We went there and I have these shots:


Kenrokuen Gardens.   ©  PJ Croft 2020


Kenrokuen Gardens, Kanazawa. With tongue firmly in cheek, this is the Japanese Olympics Garden Viewing Team on a training exercise.    © PJ Croft 2020


They were posing for some group photo, but I stole the shot. Lovely girls, but look at the top left girl’s expression.   © PJ Croft 2020


Likewise, I’ve had some old slides sitting in plastic slide pages (remember them?) for many years and I pulled some out a few days ago. Some have stuck to the plastic and deteriorated badly, but they look like abstract paintings now. I need to set the scanner up again to get them into the computer, but I’m quite excited about it. ASAP.

I’ve also got some shots of places that family will recognise from long ago, but shot on infra-red film. Interesting.


There’s a full moon tomorrow night, and it will have Jupiter and Mars aligned with it. Now that I have my Nikon P950 with its 2000mm lens, I would be able to get some good shots. However, the weather forecast is for cloud and rain, I think. Same for Monday when the alignment repeats, but again it’s 100% forecast for rain. Ho hum.