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Friday, 19 July 2019 Dereel Images for 19 July 2019
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Toothache?
Topic: health Link here

For the past couple of days I've had pain at the back right of my lower jaw. That's not the first time, and last time it proved to be due to mechanical problems with my wisdom tooth, which I thought had been fixed. Clearly, though, it's related to the work done on my gums some while back. OK, assume that something is stuck in the gums, clean them out as best I can, and rinse with chlorhexidine before going to bed last night.

That didn't help much. Woke up two hours later with considerable pain. More scraping, pressing (confirming that the pain was on the front of the hindmost wisdom tooth), rinsing, and finally got back to sleep.

To my surprise, this morning there was almost no pain. Did the pressure help? In any case, a good thing that I didn't have to go to the dentist again.


Skin removal
Topic: health Link here

Yvonne has had some skin issues that proved to be related to actinic keratosis (called “solar keratosis” in Australia). I've had that in the past, too, and it was removed with cryotherapy (liquid nitrogen). But Yvonne had left it too late for that, so she had to submit to a surprisingly complicated course of treatment. First two weeks of skin softening, then today to have the lesions removed. She was warned that the first few days would be less than pleasant, and they were right:


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It didn't help that she also has a cold. Not a good day for her.


Range hood illumination
Topic: general, food and drink, opinion Link here

I've grumbled on countless occasions about our horrible SMEG range hood: it just doesn't work as advertised. It has another less objectionable but just as irritating “feature”: the lighting. There are two halogen lamps on the underside of the device:

 
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The first issue is clear: they're halogen lamps, which are not standard, and they burn out. So I had to get them specially about a year ago.

And what did I do with them? I had 20 odd of them, and I put one in the hood. The others? No idea. In the meantime, both globes have burnt out, including the one that I put in over a year ago. Nothing for it, order another 20, which arrived today.

What a pain this thing is! Apart from my ability to lose the replacement globes, we have:

  1. You can't replace them in place, because the position is too complicated.

  2. Removing the inset is complicated by the clips holding it in place. In principle you should pull it straight out, but how? And pulling one side out puts it at an angle that makes it different to get the other side out.

  3. Then there's this rim that holds the glass in place:

     
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    That doesn't come out easily. The best I could do was to unhook one of the three clips, allowing the glass to fall onto the cooktop. Fortunately it didn't break.

  4. Removing the lamp wasn't that difficult, but putting the new one in was: you need to push from a position that isn't reachable.

  5. Then you need to replace the glass and the clip. But the glass doesn't want to go into the right position, preventing the clip from closing.

The whole thing took about 15 minutes, of course not including getting the globes. I should have taken photos, but somehow I was too busy just doing the work.

Why don't the makers think of maintainability?


Equivalent apertures again
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

A frequent objection against the Micro Four Thirds system is that there is too much depth of field. People talk of “equivalent apertures” and such nonsense.

What's an equivalent aperture? People have known about that concept for over a century: if you increase the length of a lens, you must increase the diameter of the aperture in proportion. If you can get a certain exposure on a 60 mm lens with an aperture of 15 mm, you'll need a 30 mm aperture with a 120 mm lens, and a 50 mm aperture with a 200 mm lens.

That's why nobody talks about the diameter of the aperture any more, just the ratio of the aperture to the focal length (f): each of the above apertures are f/4. Of course, people nowadays have forgotten about optics, and they call it F4 instead, which has little intrinsic meaning.

And of course different size images have been around forever too. When I started in photography, “5x4” cameras (12.7x10.2 cm, diagonal 163 mm) were the norm for “serious” photography, and 35 mm was still considered inferior.

Of course, the difference in depth of field between the two formats was enormous. A 35 mm (“full frame”) camera with a circle of confusion of 15 μm and a 50 mm lens at f/4 focused at 10 mm has a depth of field from 8.065 m to 13.158 m, a depth of 5.093 m. For the same angle of view a 5x4 camera needs a lens with focal length of 188 mm, and it will get a similarly sharp image with a circle of confusion of 56 μm. With those parameters, the depth of field at f/4 and 10 m is 1.273 m (9.404 m to 10.677 m). To get corresponding depth of field the 5x4 user would have to stop down to f/15.

The same applies in the opposite sense to smaller sensors than 35 mm. But now people talk of “equivalent aperture”, something I've never heard before. Conveniently, Micro Four Thirds has almost exactly half the image diagonal of 35 mm, so the equivalent focal lengths are also half. And looking at the previous example, the depth of field corresponding to 50 mm f/4 would be 25 mm f/2.

What a horrible disadvantage! That's why Micro Four Thirds cameras need such wide apertures! Of course, that leads to overexposure, so photos taken on a Micro Four Thirds camera at 25 mm f/2 and ISO 200 compare to photos taken on a "full frame” camera with 50 mm f/4 and ISO 800. Some people claim that this is an advantage of “full frame”.

The real issue, of course, is: what's the primary importance of setting an aperture? Set it wrong and you get underexposed or overexposed photos, every time. You also get a different depth of field. But how often is that important? And how often do you want a shallow depth of field? Looking back at the photos I took 50 years ago, a large proportion with the 50 mm f/1.4 Super Takumar, I'd guess that for every one where the depth of field came out well, there were 100 where it was too shallow, and where I missed the correct focus.

All this came out today when I saw something bright red in a Grevillea rosmarinifolia bush. The flowers look like this:

 
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But what I saw was:

 
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OK, I can blow that up:

 
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Damn! Missed the focus, which ended up on the twigs in front of the bird:

 
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If this had been a “full frame” camera, things would have been even worse.


Saturday, 20 July 2019 Dereel Images for 20 July 2019
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Moon landing: jumping the gun
Topic: general, opinion Link here

On radio news today I heard that various people round Australia were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first human landing on the moon.

Why today? The anniversary is tomorrow, as I knew at the time. Checking brought me to this Apollo 11 timeline, which confirmed: landing at 20:17:39 GMT on 20 July 1969. That was 4:17:39 in Kuching (where I was at the time) and 6:17:39 here in Eastern Australia. Interestingly, the time I found (and didn't refer to) when I entered the diary (1 November 2016) was 4:17:40. I'm more inclined to believe nasa.gov.


Cold!
Topic: health, opinion Link here

Yvonne still not feeling at all well today. The main cause seems to have been a cold that she picked up earlier in the week, and which has (hopefully) now fully developed, but clearly yesterday's skin treatment didn't help. She stayed in bed all day and ate nothing, and the dogs and cat kept her company:

 
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What terrible things colds must be!


New dog walk route
Topic: general, animals, gardening, opinion Link here

Walking the dogs by myself, of course, and decided to go up Spearys Road, past where Lorraine Carranza lives. We've been there before, but at a time when we didn't walk such distances regularly. Noted with amazement that the neighbour across the road from Lorraine has installed 16 solar panels (presumably for electricity) facing south-east, on the shed to the north-east of the driveway:

 
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Those light strips are not the panels, which must have been installed later, but that's where they're located. Now why did they put them there? They can only get any sunlight before about 10:00 in the morning, and the north-west roof of the house would have been far more suited.

Didn't get very far beyond there: it's very muddy.

 
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But I found an interesting plant that I can't identify:

 
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What is it?


Towards analemma
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

I'm still thinking about photos of an Analemma, like this one that I considered last week:

The first thing, which I didn't manage last week, is getting a good image of the sun. Clearly it needs much less exposure than the surroundings, but we can do that: just merge two images taken at different exposures.

But photos into the sun are ideal for flare and diffraction artefacts:

 
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Which lens should I use? And at what aperture? I have four to choose from: the Zuiko Digital ED 9-18 mm f/4.0-5.6, the Zuiko Digital ED 8 mm f/3.5 fisheye lens, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 7-14 mm f/2.8 PRO and the M.Zuiko Digital ED 8mm f/1.8 Fisheye PRO. If I continue with my plan to buy a DSLR to avoid sensor damage, I'll be limited to the first two. Tried them all out on the E-PM1, again with less than stellar results. The photo above was taken with the 7-14 mm, and these with the 9-10, 8 mm FT fisheye and 8 mm μFT fisheye PRO:

 
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Ultimately there's small choice in rotten apples. Whichever I choose, I'll have to tidy up the image to make it into a circle again.


Useless historical TV series
Topic: multimedia, opinion Link here

Yvonne stayed in bed this evening, so I tried to watch some of the historical TV series that she doesn't like. After a couple of attempts, I think that I agree with her. The Tudors has so little to do with history that I had difficulty finding a relationship; the second episode appears to refer to the Field of the Cloth of Gold, but it's so vague that I can't be sure. What it does resemble is all these other horribly violent shows that come from the USA, though it seems that other countries are responsible for it as well.

OK, try Harlots. That's fiction, of course, but it is supposed to take place in 18th century London. Unfortunately, it's boring. And why are there so many rich black people in it? That doesn't seem the slightest bit plausible. At least there's no significant violence, at least in the half episode that I was able to stomach.

Leonardo? This one is from the United Kingdom, but it's even more violent than the US American ones. And historical relevance seems to be irrelevant to the plot.

What a pity! A well-thought-out historical series would be quite interesting. It seems that there's another Leonardo coming out this year. Will it be any better? I have little hope.


This page contains (roughly) yesterday's and today's entries. I have a horror of reverse chronological documents, so all my diary entries are chronological. This page normally contains the last two days, but if I fall behind it may contain more. You can find older entries in the archive. Note that I often update a diary entry a day or two after I write it.     Do you have a comment about something I have written? This is a diary, not a “blog”, and there is deliberately no provision for directly adding comments. It's also not a vehicle for third-party content. But I welcome feedback and try to reply to all messages I receive. See the diary overview for more details. If you do send me a message relating to something I have written, please indicate whether you'd prefer me not to mention your name. Otherwise I'll assume that it's OK to do so.


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