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Tuesday, 17 October 2017 Dereel → Ballarat → Dereel Images for 17 October 2017
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More water pump problems
Topic: general Link here

Yvonne slept badly last night worrying that Chris Bahlo's mares might die of thirst: it seems that some of the troughs didn't fill properly yesterday, something that she hadn't told me. OK, over there again before breakfast to take a look.

Everything looked OK. It seemed that Yvonne didn't realized that the tap had to be open...

While I was there, tried again to get the bore pump running. It seems that cleaning the contacts had worked: when I turned on the switch, the other pump stopped running. Repeatedly. Jammed pump motor? The pump is about 50 m below the surface, so nothing I can do much about myself.

Contacted Chris in the afternoon and arranged to call UPI and get somebody to come out. Jarrod said that they'd try to make it next week, but I was able to make it clear that this was an emergency, so he said he'd try to make it on Friday.

An hour later, Nick called. Could he come in an hour? Could he! So over there, and he tried turning it on, just the way I did, and... it worked! On the one hand a good result, but it made me look silly, and it bears all the signs of a bug gone into hiding. Hopefully it stays that way. Nick tells me that if you try too often in quick succession, it will block, but it's not clear whether that means physically (and thus drawing lots of current, as I experienced) or none at all. In any case, he measured the pump current, and it was correct.

While he was there he also addressed an long-standing issue with the house water pump: the pressure switch didn't work. He first took apart the non-return valve, for reasons that I didn't understand, but found some junk in it:


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Those are scrapings from the inside of a water tank. Potentially they had stopped the non-return valve from working, so the pump wouldn't cut out. But after removing it, things still didn't work. So he dismantled the non-return valve and found the entrance clogged with mud. Finally it worked.


Yet another new lens
Topic: photography Link here

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100 mm f/4 IS PRO lens that I bought last week has now arrived, so in to Napoleons to pick it up. While so close to Ballarat, also went to UPI for a tap for Chris Bahlo's irrigation system.


More orchids
Topic: gardening, opinion Link here

On the way back from Ballarat, took my almost usual diversion down Misery Creek Road, mainly to see if these flowers (from Monday) were flowering:

 
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There's progress, but not much:

 
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On the other hand, I found my Caladenia major orchids again:

 
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In addition, I found a second orchid, which might be a Caladenia gracilis, though the images I have seen of that flower are somewhat darker on the reverse of the petals:

 
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Limits of photography
Topic: photography, opinion Link here

Due to laziness, I had deliberately not taken my tripods and things with me down Misery Creek Road today. It shows. This photo, the very first I took with my new Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100 mm f/4 IS PRO lens, was just a crop of the whole image, and it appears to be marginally out of focus:

 
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And this one of the Caladenia major was taken against a very dark background. Even with -2 EV compensation, it's overexposed:

 
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And it looks like it has lens flare, though it's not clear that it's not the software that's doing that. In any case, none of these images are as sharp as they should be. Moral: take tripod and time.


Wednesday, 18 October 2017 Dereel Images for 18 October 2017
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Lens image stabilization?
Topic: photography, technology Link here

When I bought my Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60 mm f/2.8-4, one of the first things I did was to test the image stabilization. One of the drawbacks of using a non-Olympus lens was that I could have lens stabilization or body stabilization, but not both. And it turned out that the body stabilization was much better than the lens stabilization, so that feature wasn't worth much.

Now I have the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-100 mm f/4.0 IS PRO, my first stabilized Olympus lens, so of course I wanted to see how much difference that makes. According to the hype, it's 6.5 “shutter speed stops”. You've got to savour this. Originally, the term “stop” referred to the detent on the aperture ring of the lens, in those days clearly 1 EV apart. I've never heard it applied to the shutter before. But basically it's the base 2 logarithm of the amount of light, just like EV is. So what they're really saying is that you can extend the shutter speed by a factor of 2 raised to the power of 6.5, or about 90. That's quite impressive, if it's true. Conventional wisdom has it that you can hand-hold a lens at 1/f, where f is the full-frame focal length equivalent. So at 45 mm (90 mm equivalent) I should normally be able to hand-hold the camera at 1/90s. With the promised image stabilization, it's 1s.

Testing proved more complicated than I thought. With the IS switch turned on, the camera reported (Exif). Here output first from exiftool, then from my exifx script:

Image Stabilization             : On, Mode 4
Stabilization:  Body

All well and good, but that's exactly what an unstabilized lens reports. What happens when I turn the switch off?

Image Stabilization             : Off
Stabilization:  Off

OK, RTFM time. The camera “manual” doesn't mention stabilized lenses at all. The lens manual is more informative.

IS switch

ON: Stabilizing functions in the lens and camera operate. The IS operates according to the IS setting in the camera.

OFF:Stabilizing functions in both the lens and camera are off.

OK, that matches. But it begs the question why they bother to put a switch there. You can do exactly the same thing from the camera. It's also a lot less control than I have on the Leica lenses, where the switch does make a difference (between lens and body stabilization). My exifx says:

File IBIS-Test-2-detail-2.jpeg
Stabilization:  Body

File OIS-Test-1-detail-2.jpeg
Stabilization:  Lens

Margaret Swan in town
Topic: food and drink, general Link here

Margaret Swan arrived today to look after Chris Bahlo's house until Chris gets back on Friday. Over to the house again to confirm that the pump and irrigation are still OK. In Rev's pen we found:

 
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That's the new tap, and it works correctly, but why is there so much water around the area? We were concerned that there might be a leak under the ground, but we couldn't see any evidence, and Yvonne said that Rev had knocked over his water bucket, so we're hoping that that's the explanation.

In the evening, do-it-yourself noodle soup:

 
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Garden sprinkler failure
Topic: technology, gardening, opinion Link here

It's getting warmer, and I've been keeping an eye on the soil moisture. Today I discovered that the sprinkler system wasn't working At All.

Further investigation revealed an interesting reason: the sprinkler controller was off the net. For quite some time I haven't really been doing much with my “Class C” network block, but it's probably about time. All my systems at home are in the top half, so I can do things with the other half, including migrating the web site to that area.

That seemed straightforward enough until I discovered that our sprinkler system wasn't working any more: a network configuration error. The sprinkler controller was one of the few devices in the first /25.

I suppose that's a first.


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. 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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