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Knowlesville      

The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

February 2006

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Tue, Feb. 14, 2006 - Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day

Just a little lingerie shot for today.

Thu, Feb. 16, 2006 - Kodakrap

Kodakrap

Make no mistake I'm a big fan of digital photography. After I purchased my Kodak DCS Pro SLR/n which is a 14 megapixel full frame camera, I even sold off my medium format equipment because the quality of this camera under the right conditions exceeded my 645 film camera. Unfortunately, Kodak, like too many other companies these days has crappy quality.

I purchased this camera new in October of 2004. In May of 2005, Kodak announced they were discontinuing this camera along with all their other professional digital cameras. Seems they weren't making any money selling $5000 cameras. October 2005 rolled around and my warranty expired. Ever since I had the camera I noticed that pictures with a definite horizon in them always came out crooked. I thought maybe the shape of the body was making me hold it crooked, but even when I used the grid lines in the viewfinder I experienced the same problem. Something I should have checked before the warranty expired, but it turns out the sensor was never aligned properly so even when the camera is level, the picture comes out about 1 or 2 degrees off. Doesn't sound like much but it's certainly noticeable.

The next month I started having sporadic problems with it during photoshoots. But I could never duplicate the problem or figure out what set it off. Since it was out of warranty, I didn't want to send it back to Kodak and have them not be able to recreate the problem. So I lived with it in frustration. Fortunately for me, it only seemed to fail during my shoots, and I never lost any clients work from the problem. Finally, earlier this month it failed for good, and I started doing research online about it. Seems a lot of people have had problems with this camera's main circuit board failing.

When I called Kodak to inquire about a repair, they gave an estimate of $800-1500 to fix it. I explained to the technician I had read online that a lot of the circuit boards had failed and asked him if he knew what component was failing and had Kodak fixed the cause of the problem, or could I expect the repair to only last a year or so? He replied that there were any number of failures that it could be. That gave me a lot of confidence in their product.

I did end up sending it in after debating whether I should cut my losses or not, but since Nikon hasn't introduced a full frame digital camera, I figured I didn't have much of an option at this point. I received the camera back today, but the paperwork included with it didn't say what the final repair cost was, so I have to call them tomorrow to find out what the damages are going to be to this month's profits. Whether it's $800 or $1500, I doubt I will ever be buying any Kodak products ever again. Kodak in their marketing of this camera said "It's the last camera you'll ever need". Yeah, right.

P.S. Found out the repair was $1200.

Fri, Feb. 17, 2006 - Where's the snow?

Where's the snow?

The weather reports led us to believe that we might see snow in Ferndale, or at least on the surrounding hills down to 500 feet. I heard earlier in the week there was a light dusting on Bunker Hill so I was hopefull. What the weather folks failed to realize that in order to have snow you need two things, cold and precipatation. We had the cold, but the little storm that came through barely managed a sprinkle at our house. But it has been cold enough the last week to make the mornings very, very cold (by coastal California standards anyways). So as the lows were dipping into the 20s, our heater decided to go out. Today we finally got a new heater installed and it felt really nice to be warm again. In case you're wondering about today's photo, it's a field of ice crystals on the hood of my truck.

Sat, Feb. 18, 2006 - Even Colder

Even Colder

I had planned to get up early to check for snow, but once again it didn't even rain. But it sure was cold. I went outside to take pictures and after about 5 minutes my hands were frozen. Definately need gloves for this weather, and a carbon fiber tripod (or even an old clunky wooden one) would be a lot easier on the digits. Cold aluminum hurts.

Sun, Feb. 19, 2006 - Fireman's Games

Fireman's Games

Well once again it was time for the annual Fireman's Games in Ferndale. I had three goals this year, one personal, one for Company One, and one for the department. My personal goal was to not do anything embarrassing or hurt our effort with any penalties. Check on that one. For Company One, I didn't want to come in last, because then you have to cook the hamburgers for everyone else. We came in second. Finally, I was hoping at least one company would prevent Company Two from doing a sweep of the three events. Fortunately, Company One beat Company Two in the water polo event. Good going Josh, Shannon, and Don! So all in all it was a great day, and it was actually pretty warm if you were in the sun (and weren't getting dunked or sprayed by water).