Adhesive residue on DVD cover doesn't bother Lulu.
This is probably going to sound whiney and petty and very possibly not worth a blog post even on a slow day, but....
I bought a handful of DVDs the other day, mostly from the "40% Off" bin at the local Barnes & Noble, based on the recommendations people made here (for which thanks). Sitting here unwrapping them all (actually, I'm procrastinating by writing this post) reminded me of why I always hated buying music on CDs: they're so annoying to unwrap. I really dislike having to sit here and pick, pick, pick the infernal plastic sticky $#!+ off the cases. When I used to shop for CDs, if I found I'd picked up six or seven to buy, I'd go put four of them back because I knew I'd just get frustrated having to unwrap so many at once.
DVDs are the same way. The plastic sticks to the spines and the "theft prevention" strip tears at the most inopportune places. I should have put four of these back.
Petty. I told you. I am all thumbs, and have no fingernails.
If that's not bad enough, when you're finished getting all the annoying platic and sticky bits off the package, you end up with patches of adhesive residue on your brand-new jewel box or DVD case (see pics). The upshot is that you don't get a perfectly clean, pristine, new-looking CD or DVD even when it's brand new. There's always that last bit of adhesive gunk you can't rub off.
Thank god for downloads, both movies and music: no irritating unwrapping to do.
This should not bother me. And yet, it does.
Incidentally—this is a detail from the above shot, more or less full size once you click on it—when you have a camera that, handheld, will resolve printer's dots on a 4C DVD cover in what damn near qualifies as "dark" (this was shot in the light of a single 40-watt-equivalent energy-saving fluorescent bulb and an old CRT television set, EV 9 at ISO 6400), you have reached the point at which you no longer need a camera with more resolution or more speed. Crap. Incredible.
In fact, the single problem I've had with the K-5 is that, at extremely low light levels where the sensor is still completely unfazed, the AF throws up its hands and skulks off muttering to itself. My camera and lens won't autofocus accurately at low light levels (which I gather is a known problem), unless I used live view (LV). Even then, sometimes the light is too low and the AF gives up the fight.
This is Zer, a waitress my son worked with at my favorite restaurant, Yokoso, which to my great regret closed down last Saturday. The light level here was really low. Even though I've darkened this and muted the colors in Photoshop, it still looks brighter than the scene looked to the eye—this was taken in less than half as much light as the DVD cover above, ƒ/5.6 at 1/6th sec. at ISO 6400. This is literally right on the edge of the light levels at which the K-5 can focus—when I tried to take a similar shot of Zer with her friend Tia, I couldn't make the camera focus even using live view and with repeated tries. And yet the sensor is still doing reasonably well at this light level. I didn't quite nail the exposure for the look I wanted (I overexposed) but there's still some "guts" to the file for corrections. The autofocus just can't quite keep up with the sensor, is all. It's not that the AF is so bad, it's that the sensor is so good.
But I digress. Back to unwrapping DVDs. Grumble, grump, curmudge.
P.S. While I'm being cranky, can I just mention that I miss "And the winner is..."? The term of art is now apparently "And the Oscar goes to...." I liked the old phrase better. And while I'm on the subject, I have another suggestion for the Oscar people. I suggest that all the nominees perform their acceptance speeches in advance, and the Members of the Academy vote on whose is best, and then the Oscar goes to that person. For people whose best thing is drama, they sure do manage to give some undramatic speeches. The Curmudgeon-in-training's Award for best acceptance speech 2011? And the winner is...Best Director Tom Hooper.
Okay, okay, okay I'll shut up now. Back to pickin' at plastic. Sigh.
UPDATE: Out of seven DVDs, two had broken cases, one had a non-standard case, several had a problem with the plastic wrap sticking to the spine (not removeable with solvent), and one had a sheet of stiff clear plastic stuck to the back with that gummy clear stuff that looks like rubber cement.
Therefore, executive decision:
The advantage of this is space savings. The disadvantage is resale value—nobody likes to buy used DVDs that aren't in their original cases. But I'm not a DVD collector (I own only a few handfuls) and four out of seven of these cost $7.99 or $8.99 from the sale bin. So I'll take the risk. The illustration is actually a little misleading since "Shooting the Past" is a 2-DVD set that I'll keep in its original packaging.
Incidentally, I'm up to two things here: looking at cinematography as a photographic art form (call it my quixotic little acknowledgement of still/video convergence in DSLRs), and researching a post about the best movies that feature photography or photographers—something I've been meaning to get around to for years now. Hence "Shooting the Past" and "City of God."
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Doug Stocks: "I feel your pain. The adhesives used on CD/DVDs is almost too much to handle in the excitement of the unwrapping experience. Be patient, calmly use a penknife and cut the plastic through where one might think the thumbnail would suffice. Use the blade to peel back the adhering offense. Resist the temptation to scratch or pick at it in haste, as this will only permanently scratch the surface. Remove all plastic by gently lifting from the edges with the blade. Then remove any remaining adhesive with rubbing alcohol and paper tissue. Do not use any other solvents. The colder the harder. Slightly warming the label will help. I have removed literally thousands of labels from CD/DVDs and books—remainders, mostly (decades bookselling).
"Patience, warmth and alcohol, don't scratch at it and your life will be a slick and glossy manufactured dream."
Featured Comment by m3photo: "Hugh Laurie would make an excellent living by writing witty acceptance speeches. This one is a classic:
Featured Comment by Kent: "Residual adhesive: get yourself a little can of Zippo lighter fluid (it's naphtha)*, moisten a tissue with it, and rub that #$%()&! crud right off. Works like a charm, and I've never experienced it harming the plastic surface of the case. Try it...you'll like it. *I'm sure there are other sources of naphtha, but that's the one I use because it's available at just about any convenience store...at least where I'm at it is."
Featured Comment by Finger Pain: "While your complaint about CD wrappers is a curmudgeonly annoyance for you, for many of us with arthritis or similar disabilities it is a downright painful impediment to normal living. I have pretty severe arthritis in my hands and anything that involves twisting or tightly clenching my fingers really hurts (not to mention the challenge posed by the loss of dexterity that arthritis brings). The other day while on a plane flight I had to ask the stranger sitting next to me to unscrew the cap on my bottle of water. I should emphasize that I am not crippled by disfiguring rheumatoid arthritis or anything like that; I have the kind of osteoarthritis that plagues millions of our fellow human beings.
"I share your complaint about CD/DVD wrappers but, my particular nemesis is the plastic 'bubble pack' packaging that is so ubiquitously used to sell almost everything that is too small to require a proper box. I suppose this type of packaging is so popular because it displays the item well, makes theft more difficult, and protects its contents. An 'ideal' package, eh? For those of us with painful, clumsy fingers it presents a real obstacle to getting on with the day. I use a box cutter to try to surgically open these things with the least amount of manipulation, but still end up in pain and wishing the package designers a place in Dante's fourth level of Hell. As we boomers age, this sort of disability is going to become an issue for more and more people. I think the companies that come up with a better way will sell more of their products."
Mike replies: I actually splurged last year and got this pair of super-duper kitchen shears specifically thinking of those blister packs from hell (my father was a big fan of Henckels products). They work a treat, though I consider them extremely expensive. And they have to be washed by hand. And don't be fooled by the product description—they do not come apart for cleaning.