So much frustration right now. *waves vaguely at everything*
There are little things that make me think that the gremlins are just rubbing it in.
I’ve mentioned that I had to get a new “normal” lens for my Canon Rebel XT. The original lens is flaky, at the wide end of the zoom it won’t trigger, just locks up the camera mechanism. The new lens I got is much more new and faster and wonderful, but might be too new and wonderful for the old camera body. It auto-focuses like a dream, but for manual focus like I use all the time in astrophotography it’s just been a nightmare.
I thought that I had figured it out, right up until I didn’t.
One trick from when I had “figured it out” was to go out a few minutes early and take a test picture which I could review on the spot in the camera. And I got this. Recognize the Big Dipper? Maybe? Kinda? Yeah, if you say so…
Ten frantic minutes trying my new “trick” over and over and over – same results. Finally it’s time for the ISS and Dragon to rise, so set up one more time and take my chances.
It looked amazing. I’ve got that memory.
Do you see that streak in the bigger, right-hand oval? That’s the ISS. See that dimmer streak in the smaller, left-hand oval? That’s the Dragon spacecraft.
It’s more obvious in a blink comparison with the images before and after this one. (New thought, stand by – can I do that in Photoshop?)
(thirty minutes later)
YES! I can. (Remember this for a minute, I’ll be back to this in a minute.)
Here’s a three frame animation with a long pause on the third frame so you can see the looping action. Dragon shows up just to the right of the telephone pole in the middle frame.
Frustrated by this failure on Saturday night, on Sunday I sat down with the camera to figure out just WTAF is going on with this new, fancy, somewhat expensive lens that should be perfect but instead makes me want to scream.
And I figured it out.
Short version – the lens is sort of “fly by wire” in that the focusing ring doesn’t move the lens elements, so it doesn’t have a mechanical hard stop when focusing in or out. Instead the lens simply detects motion on the focusing ring and makes the mechanical adjustments to move the lens elements based on that input. BUT, and here’s the key, since this is being run off of the camera battery, in order to avoid draining the battery at an extreme rate (apparently) it shuts itself off after about five seconds. If you don’t know this (I didn’t) you can spin that focusing ring until the heat death of the universe and it’s not going to change a thing. If you do know this (I do now!) you can flick the power off and then right back on to “wake up” the lens, focus away, and then wait for it to “go back to sleep” after about five seconds.
So I was proud of my stubborn ass self. I had figured it out! REALLY really this time! Now to test it!
There was a pretty good ISS pass on Sunday! And it was cloudy.
So try it on Monday, an even better pass! And it was cloudy.
A great pass tonight! And…
Completely socked in.
As I said, the gremlins are just screwing with me because they can at this point.
Which was my original point when I started writing this an hour ago. But then my brain said, “Wait, that looks better in a blink comparison type of GIF, can I make one of those?” And I didn’t have a clue but I tried and asked the question and fought through some so-so tutorials and finally got close enough to just figure it out on my own before I fiddled with it a bit to make it better and when all was said and done, not only did I have a tiny little thing that I created myself and shared with all of you, but that made the existential angst-ish blanket of frustration lift just a little bit.
And that helped.
It also helped that this popped up on my news alerts about five minutes ago:
Change is possible. That’s one absolutely evil, ignorant, guanopsychotic, complete waste of protoplasm down, a few hundred more to go.
It won’t be tomorrow. It won’t be completely done in November or January. It’s going to take the rest of our lives, and maybe our children’s lives and grandchildren’s lives.
But we’ll get there.
One at a time.