Archive for March, 2009

Polarizer Filter problem.

Hmm..something doesn’t seem right with my new CPL filter. When fitted, everything seems o.k. until between 250-300mm range where I start to encounter problems with focusing. Manual focus is  slightly off and auto focus just whirls around searching until finally giving up and displayed an error on my camera’s LCD – Something about having problems communicating with the lens. I refitted the lens just to be sure everything was o.k. without the filter (which is was) but still no luck when trying to focus with the filter attached.

I researched a little via Google this evening and am I’m still none the wiser. The amount of available light seems to crop up a bit and also the use of cheap filters. When testing on Saturday it was a very bright sunny day.

This evening I thought I’d fit the polarizer again and zoomed on a few items dotted around my study. The only light being from the ceiling lamp.  At full zoom (manual and autofocus) everything was perfectly tack sharp.  So, can bright light effect polarizer filters? I don’t seem to have this problem with the other polarizes I have.

Maybe because this one was a bit cheap it’s not very good? More research and testing I’m thinking!

I’ll try again in daylight and see what the results show.

The remote switch works a charm and is much better than using the shutter release or auto timer when tripod mounted – highly recommended!

I’ve still not had chance to play with the flash gun yet other than getting it out of the box and having a good look.



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I think we’re going to need more B.L.T’s

A beautiful Spring day today and a day for many visitors. First to arrive was my drill…sorry my dad. He whipped out a huge drill bit and with a wicked smile went off  to secure the the greenhouse to the ground…or maybe to drill for oil!  Suffice to say, with the amount of  pegs, bolts and screws he used, I really don’t think it’s going to blow away now.

Second (and third) visitors today were Curstie’s Mum and Auntie who offered to give the garden a spring clean in exchange for our legendary B.L.T torpedoes. These two are seasoned pros and with flash of  trowel and spade they soon got things whipped into shape.

Fourth, Fifth and Sixth visitors were my older brother Dave, his wife Cath and daughter Katie. Katie has been having problems with her the laptop and brought it round for me to have a look at. Specifically she’s having problems with the internal wifi card. I’ll take a look and if all else fails I have a spare USB wifi dongle she can have.  They also dropped off a couple of birthday presents for me. One was a Blueberry tree, my favorite fruit and one was an Olive tree, my favorite side order!

In between catching up with family, having lots of brews and those amazing  BLT’s, I managed to get stuck into a few jobs.

I’ve lifted and re-sited the paving slabs so they lead to the greenhouse door now and whilst weeding behind the garage I found a huge plastic pot I can use as a makeshift waterbutt.I just need to attach the greenhouse downpipes now.

Water butt

I also managed to erect the garage racking, I just need to decide where to put them now. Maybe I’ll line them all together against the back wall?


All in all, a great day in the garden 🙂

Cherry Blossom

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Garage shelves and new toys arrive.

About a week ago I met with Graham, one of our IT contractors,  during a site visit to discuss a new project I’m involved with at work. We got chatting and he mentioned he’d acquired lots of metal storage racking from a previous contract who was having a clear out and didn’t need them anymore. He asked if I wanted some because he’d been given so much he was struggling to store all of it in his workshop.

Yesterday, Graham delivered the racking and we transfered it to my car. We managed to get it all in with about an inch to spare – no sharp braking on the way home!

On to this afternoon, I unloaded everything into the garage and set about rebuilding them. They’re about 7ft high by about 3ft wide and have five wooden chipboard shelves each. I’ve built two and will finish the remaining three tomorrow. Now I can really get the garage in order.

….oops nearly forgot the post title…My camera toys arrived this morning! Well two out of three anyway. The third was a ‘failed delivery’ due to the size of the box according to the note dropped in the letterbox. I would have missed it if it wasn’t for  vacuuming near the front door.

It was 11:45am and the post office shuts at noon (and is closed until Monday) …vroom up the driveway, vroom back down the driveway – I wasn’t wearing any trousers! Vroom back up the driveway and off to the post office. Despite fighting for a parking space I made it with a minute to spare.

I’ve not had much time to have a good play but I did fit the Polorizer and had a quick go with the remote shutter cable. Hopefully, I’ll have time tomorrow to have a good look at the flash gun and shoot a few pictures.

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An afternoon pottering

Although there’s been showers all afternoon, which seemed to falling on queue every five minutes, I spent a few hours warm and dry inside the greenhouse sowing seeds into trays and pots. At times the rain was very heavy put it’s good to know that there’s no leaks.

So far I’ve planted –

Three varieties of Tomatoes – Money Maker,  Sweet Million and Roma (for cooking sauces).

Courgettes – Black Beauty

Two varieties of Cucumber – Telepathy F1 and Socrates F1

Sweetcorn – Sweet Bounty F1

Peppers – Sweet Reds

Runner Beans – Enorma

Sunflowers (I’m in a competition with Curstie’s mum to grow the largest)


French Marigolds (hopefully to keep the whitefly out of the greenhouse)


Sweet Peas

There’s many more to follow but I’m running short on compost.  I’ve brought all of the trays inside and covered with the propagator lids I brought a few weeks back and put them on a tables window sills.

Curstie’s Mum and Auntie are coming round tomorrow to help give the garden a spring clean whilst I carry on with the veggie patch. My father’s also popping round with his drill to help secure the greenhouse to the ground – There’s something quite not right with my own drill 😦
Hoping the weather is a bit better!

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New camera toys

I’ve just ordered a few bits for my camera to experiment with.

Firstly a flash gun. It’s not an expensive Speedlite, however being my first, I thought I could experiment with the basics. The head swivels vertically and comes complete with a diffuser kit.


Second up, is a  Canon RS-60E3 Remote switch.


Thirdly is a new circular polarizer filter. I brought one for my Fuji last year and thought it was really useful.  I have one for my Canon 450D kit lens but not for the Tamron 28-300mm which has a 62mm thread.

Hopefully they should arrive in a few days.

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Signs of change.

Walking around the garden these past few evenings I can see spots of colour emerging against the usual drab of winter – which is one thing I need to think about for next year !

The mild weather we’ve been having of late seems to be kick starting some of the pond plants too.

water-harnthorn-largeWater Hawthorn


Caltha Palustris ‘Alba’

More spring bulbs, which I can’t remember what they’re called, are starting to appear en mass under the conifer trees. I don’t think they’re bluebells ???



..and of course, my favorite tree is starting to blossom


Monday was a very windy day and I was concerned about the new greenhouse  not being fixed the the ground yet. When I arrived home from work  the first thing I did was to go and have a peek.  It looked like the wind had moved it about a foot backwards as it was parttially sitting on the gravel path. This weekend I’ll defiantly be fixing it in place !

I really thought is was quite sheltered around the back of the garage…if this keeps up I’ll have to plant the peas, beans and sweetcorn in concrete 🙂

Adding to my list of to-do’s, I need to construct the framework for the netting to sit over and around the raised beds. I picked up the material last weekend but as Curstie spotted Mr Heron circling these past few early mornings, I might need to use the netting for the pond instead.

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Mother’s Day

As with all mum’s, they’re the best so off I drove to see my dearest early this morning.  On the way, I had to stop by the garage to fill up and couldn’t believe they were selling bunches of four scruffy tulips for £15.50 – has the world gone mad! Mind you, they were all being snatched up pretty quickly by forgetful sons and daughters who seemed oblivious to the jacked up prices.

My parents had just returned home from an early holiday and my dad was keen to show me the photos he’d taken. Ever since I’d brought my DSLR  he has shown an interest in photography as a hobby and had wanted something similar but smaller. Last Christmas I brought him a Fuji Finepix 5800 bridge camera which, from owning one myself, would be a great upgrade to his point and shoot.

Here’s mine, with fitted wide angle converter and polarizer filter I brought from eBay


….and here’s a few pictures we took of the Freesias I’d brought my mum.




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