Archive for July, 2008
July is almost over, and we’ve had the first rains since July 3rd the last few days. Some notes and observations for next year.
* The hot weather stuff is happy with weekly or slightly more often watering, once they’re a decent size and have roots that go down deep enough.
* Seedlings and shallow rooted stuff aren’t as happy and need more water, and the reseeded carrots are really not doing well.
* The infilled beans and squashes are doing well.
* We’re getting our first zucchini flower now, with many to follow soon.
* The corn is still a disappointment. Spotty germination, slow growing, rabbit munching.
* The tomatoes are going nuts. The tomitillo probably needs more support than it has.
* The peas are dying out, and the trellising that we had put together for them flopped over onto the potatoes. We need to run two long rows of peas per bed next year, with a central trellis that we can get to both sides of. Also, more peas. We should have reseeded when the April seeding failed completely.
* Favas are tasty, but one bed is about 1 1/2 meals, if that. Thankfully, we’ll throw down a bunch of fava seed as cover crop for overwinter.
* The potatoes are now showing the difference between the two older plantings. We should plant more of them, and keep them together in the garden for watering purposes.
* In general, we need to think about the watering plan, so that things that need watering more often are closer together, without drought tolerant stuff in between them. Also, there’s one corner that’s in the rain shadow from a couple of firs, and that portion is a lot drier. That would be better for some of the better established stuff, since it’s also farther from where I usually water.
* Spinach & salads should be planted more at 6 week plus intervals, not monthly.
* Raspberries like a little water when their fruit is ripening. Also, ripe raspberries are like nothing else.
* The first of the overwinter and fall stuff is planted. Spinach, Carrots, and Chard, and Beets because we finally got around to planting them. I need to be careful to keep these beds moist. I’m thinking of covering the carrots with clear plastic for moisture retention till they sprout.
* Kale is planted too.
* $3 ‘starts’ of basil are best from Trader Joes. They’re small bushes.
* The cilantro is nuts, and the seeded ones are starting to bolt. I think it’s time to plant more.
I’ve had the 40d for about two weeks of shooting, and in that time I’ve done some plain old outdoor bright sun shooting, some studio/flash with the kids, a photowalk, and some other random stuff.
* Focus is fast and positive. I’m getting shots of the kids that would not have happened on the Rebel because the focus would be hunting. It’s still not great about choosing the right focus point, but thankfully, I’m used to doing that myself, and the method is just about the same.
* It’s fast. And pretty intelligent. It takes a lot of pictures, quickly, and allows review quickly. No more 30 second wait. And I’ve never come close to filling the buffer, except when I just held down the shutter to see how long it took to fill the buffer.
* Noise performance and image quality in general seem really good. It’s a couple of generations better than the old camera, so it’s pretty much as expected.
* Auto Iso seems to be reasonably good. It would be nice if it would go to 1600.
* I can’t get confirmation of good focus on the LCD. Everything looks soft on it, even stuff that is razor sharp when the RAW is opened in Lightroom.
* Who ever designed the on/off/- switch should be fired. In the on position, the big dial and anything that it controls is disabled (e.g., aperture in M mode. Exposure bias in Av/Tv. White balance and drive if you press their buttons). In the – position, the dial can be used. I know that this dates to the 30D at least, since I borrowed one of those and it baffled me then. I understand the possibility of wanting some settings to be protected, but to have the protection be part of a switch that’s touched every single time the camera is turned on — that’s just dumb. It gets in the way in a “Why isn’t this working, what’s set wrong” way. I’d prefer that it was a custom function, or a menu item, or overload the print button for that. Or, even better, just turn it off in any of the modes where the camera assumes that the operator has a clue. (M/av/tv)
* I don’t understand the metering. The Rebel was dumb, but consistent, so I could meter and adjust as necessary. This one has 4 modes, and I haven’t figured out how they differ from what I want. It seems to push towards over exposure more in very contrasty situations, but then again, there’s more headroom on the sensor. It’s a learning curve thing.
* It’s fast. Very easy to outrun the flash recycle time. Also, files are bigger. Fills the cards and drives faster.
* I’d like to choose some focus points, not all, not just one, and have the camera choose from those. e.g., I’m shooting a portrait. I’d like to enable the three top off center ones, since that’s where the face is going to be.
* Mirror Lockup.
* I understand that there’s a great history in custom functions, but really. There’s a menu system. It would be nice for them to be a little more explained and integrated, and most importantly, grouped so that mutually exclusive ones can’t be activated at the same time. (e.g. Extended iso range and highlight priority)
* Bigger cards, laptop hard drive, and storage drives :>No comments