All photos on this blog, Wildlife on Wheels, are taken by me. If you want to use any of my photos for anything other than personal use, send me an email and we'll talk about it. The email address is listed in the sidebar on the right .

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Monday, February 16, 2009

The Disabled Photographers,

At 10am or so, I was told that the go-ahead had been given to Panasonic to do the repair of my poor and lonely camera. (doubt she'll be lonely though., LOL, with handsome men bent down over her inards)
Jim, from Halls Cameras, also gave the prices to the tele converterlens, adapter and polerartic filter. ( € 189.-- €27.50, € 29.95)

Having asked another birder with a Lumix FZ18, if he had the lens, so that I could find out the weight. Although Allan did not have the lens himself yet, he was able to tell me the weight. And at 454gram, it is hefty. Not as heavy as most ordinary DSLR lenses, but still, with 360gram of the camera, it will be a lot harder already whenyou are having only the use of the one arm plus a dodgy hand on top.

While googling about, I found a very useful lot, where I will learn more I hope. Such as if the screwing on/off will be difficult, or rather "how awkward when you are having your camera on your lap in a bag. If I get the lens I think I will make a bag myself. I have a good sturdy denim bag, which I can line with very thick padding (the bag is big enough to hold camera and the equipment. And I can hang it around my neck and place it on my lap, making sure it doesn't pull at my neck.

The website I found is that of the Disabled Photographers Society and having looked at their forum, there seemed to be all kind of topics raised here, so perhaps we can find a Lumix FZ18 owner with a similar disability to mine. (I absolutely hate using the word Disabled, which is why I readlly try to avoid it, if I can at all. Simply because I am not disabled at all. I might have lost the use of my left side, use wheels to go from A-B, but my mind is in perfect order, despite 2 brain operations.
Even so, when you want to reach people or use a term to describe a large group of people with very different disabilities, it is the best word to use.
Which is why I used Disabled Birding Ireland as a byline for my other blog, Birding on Wheels. which is much more geared at providing information on accessible reserves and National Parks.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Irritation, Patience and Last year's photos.

On Thursday I called Halls Cameras in Dublin, to see what the update is with my camera. It had been a week since I had sent an email with my card details so that Panasonic could get paid and go ahead with the repair. I was stunned to learn that they were still waiting for the money to be paid! A very sick feeling started brewing in the pit of my stomach, and it was a pity that I was 6 hours from Dublin, because I was very angry.
I had been asked to send this email with these card details and now I get a whole speech on why these details are useless. He might have asked for the three digit security code on the back of the card, but the 'card reader' in the shop had no facility to enter these. Thus, it was declined by the bank.
Anyway, I raided my house yesterday and although I had written out a cheque already, I then realised that Panasonic might not start any work until this was cleared with the bank. So I sent a postal order in the end. With a letter for not only an explanation but also for more details on the Panasonic tele lens, adapter and polarizing filter. Panasonic makes separate models for each Lumix model, apparently.
So here is those for the Lumix DMC-FZ18 including of lens and adapter onto the camera.
And another
Problem is of course, that my camera's slim 350gram will increase to a weight too heavy for my single hand probably. Yet I am seriously thinking about obtaining the lens. Am I mad? Buying something before trying it out? You see, a tripod is simply out of the question. There is no way that I can transport one from A-Z, and certainly no way I'd be able to set it up by myself. And by that time the Bird will have flownn, if not scared away by my many awkward and scary movements with my arm. No, I think I might follow up the advice of a friend at one of the birding forums, Rolf who had suggested a beanbag already by the time I bought my camera in December 2007. I think I might need to talk with my OH first before I start spending our money which we do not really have. Yes, I know, I only order once I know I'm getting my camera back.

I've been trying to start organising my pictures. And will post some of them now and then. Being taken before I started this blog, they won't overlap.

So here's a few from the archives..
These two Tits were taken in the first week of April 2008.
Coal Tit, (Parus Ater (Hibernicus))

Blue Tit (Parus Caeruleus)

One of the Jackdaws, (Corvus monedula) born in summer 2007, and one of the flock on our estate.

Head of the tribe of Jackdaws, or at least very high status. (as you can see at his/her "wig" which suggests this Jackdaw is of high standing indeed. Also taken last April,

Rook, (Corvus frigileus,)

And one of my favourite spring blossom, is Blackthorn, or Sloe. (Prinus spinosa)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A bit of good news

While I was watching ten or twelve Rooks plus about 6 Jackdaws, I really missed my camera, one of the Rooks was searching me behind the window and staring intently to see if there was any sign of protest against him filling his crop to the brim if a crop has one, that is.

You see, they can (well they do anyway!) feed here, but not fill their crop. I understand that they are hungry too, but I shoo them away pretty soon, once they are "over the limit" and need to leave the rest for the smaller birds.

I phoned Halls Cameras in Dublin, where I bought my camera, and your man was ever so friendly again. ( I am really glad I paid this bit extra because their service is second to none. )
It had soon been picked up by Panasonic and he was now waiting for their estimate, after which he will phone me to give me the option of going ahead or not.

When I asked him for a time estimate, he said that it would either be one, or two weeks, which realy surprised me.
According to him, any of the other companies would take months before he could get it back, but apparently Panasonic is very good at this and this ghives me hope that I will my treasured Lumix back before spring has been too far gone. I'm hoping for a month, because I don't want to get up my hopes too much.
I think I might treat myself to a filter and tele lens, also. The ones Panasonic made specificly for the Lumix FZ18.

On the other hand I miss it even more now, because the Irish spring starts on the 1st of February, the first day in the Chinese New Year.

Apparently, Panasonic is based here in Eire; the repair 'shop' is in Sligo, and the sales departmenrt in Dublin. No wonder that they can keep repair short and sweet.

Tomorow we might get the remnant of the cold weather which has been hitting the UK, yesterday and today. I'm a bit worried though because Francis is supposed to go to town tomorrow.