This week's column by Ctein
Gentle readers, this is another one of those odd 'n' ends columns in which I revisit topics of previous discussion. This time, it's mostly about correcting errors in what I've written previously.
Yes, it does happen! I'm not infallible. Shocked, you are shocked. I'm sure.
Super Focus glasses
Back in this column, I talked about how unusually scratch-prone the SuperFocus flexible lenses seemed to be.
Nuh-uh; user error. It took a bit of work to figure that out. My lenses continued to acquire fine scratches. It was starting to really bug me. I was being super-careful cleaning them, never wiping them when they were dry, and patting them dry after washing them instead of rubbing them. The only time they ever got wiped was with a microfiber cloth after washing and pat-drying, and that was a circular motion. The scratches were vertical. It didn't make sense.
I finally caught a clue. All the scratches were on the rear, exposed surface of the flexible lens; there were almost none on the front surface that was between the flexible lens and the hard plastic lens. It couldn't be a result of my washing technique; both sides of the lenses got washed.
I thought. Then I thought some more. Finally I figured it out.
Those slip-on sunglasses I'd been using? I'd been sloppy, just jamming them over the glasses while I was wearing them. Sometimes I wouldn't get the angle right and I'd have to reseat them. Well, when I wasn't getting the angle right, the edge of the sunglass plastic was scraping against the inner surface of the eye glasses. Very lightly, but still...
Given that there are almost no scratches on the front side of the flexible lenses, I'm now entirely convinced the scratches I've been getting are mostly due to my mishandling of the glasses, and that the flexible lenses are not unduly soft (although they are likely a bit more scratch-prone than the hard plastic lenses).
Mysterious ink loss in my Epson printer
In this column, I described how I got several partially-filled ink cartridges from Epson.
Nuh-uh; a mechanical problem in my 3880 printer. I figured that out because when I installed the third photo-black ink cartridge, I weighed it before putting it in the printer to make sure it was a full one. Two weeks after I put it in it was almost empty, although the indicator (which matched well with my usage) said it was over 80% full. When I pulled the cartridge from the printer, I heard a momentary hissing noise, like a partial vacuum had been released. I didn't hear that noise when pulling any of the other ink cartridges. Apparently a check valve in a line somewhere wasn't quite doing its job and there was a small amount of ongoing suction on the black ink line.
Epson sent me a new printer and I'm not seeing any anomalous ink consumption. You can all stop worrying about accidentally getting saddled with half-full ink cartridges. I know you'd been losing sleep over that.
Lastly, something new...
The going out of darkroom sale
Having finally shut down my darkroom, I have large items I'd like to get rid of locally, to avoid the hassles of shipping.
- Beseler 45 V-XL enlarger with wall bracket and film carriers for everything from 110 format through 4x5. Light corrosion on the unpainted parts (as you'd expect after 20 years) but it works perfectly.
- Beseler Dichro 45S color head with several replacement bulbs and 6x7 and 4x5 mixing chambers.
- Beseler 810 cold light head for the 45 V-XL chassis, along with glass and glassless carriers for same and the standard 240mm Rodagon lens.
- Durst RCP20 tabletop processor, for prints up to 8" wide (by whatever length), that I've regeared for RA-4 color and B&W RC paper processing. (Plus, a bonus spare unit for replacement parts.)
I'm not looking for top (used) dollar, just a reasonable price and minimum hassles. Make me a plausible offer for any or all of this and I'm not likely to haggle. Obviously, you can (and should) come by to inspect the stuff before tendering an offer.
If you're nearby (I'm in Daly City, CA) and interested, contact me at email@example.com. Or, if you know of someone still doing darkroom work who might be interested, feel free to pass this information on to them. Serious inquiries only, please.
©2013 by Ctein, all rights reserved
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