Monday, 18 February 2008

Some Butchered Binoculars, A new grape and a Macro Camera

This was my wine last night. A very nice Rhone Valley wine made from the Tannat grape, a little used grape found in France and Uruguay wine making I'm told. I was recommended it as a one step sideways from my usual 'big' Aussie shirazs, while still being in the realm of the bold and fruity. It was lovely and full of buttery blackcurrant, I spent double the time drinking it just smelling it. Accompanying it was a Chaplin film (my dad is currently into the Chaplin collection), although I forget which one - it was about factory work and criminality, a bit disjointed and without much conclusion but enjoyable nonetheless.
[Chateau d'Aydie, Madiran - between £8 and £9 in Nicolas]

As you can see from my picture above the quality of my new digital camera at close range is not great (even though it is a 7 megapixel and supposedly has a macro function). I was wondering over this and thinking I may have to take it back to argos (it was only around £50 but seeing as I got it for blogging I really need it to be able to do macro). Ever the engineer I decided I would give modifying it a go before resorting to such drastic measures as searching for the receipt, and what a success!

Here is a photo of some saffron before my modifications:

As you can see the saffron, which I am trying to take the photo of, is completely blurred but the stuff in the background is in focus. This is the cameras 'macro' setting.

Here is a photo (taken on the camera of my eepc) of my modified camera along with the pair of binoculars that I had to rip apart to get a lens - it started with me trying to do it without breaking anything but in the end I had to split some plastic. Now I have an awkwardly shaped telescope.

The lens is stuck on with electrical tape which I have stuck double thickness, sticky bit to sticky bit, and then attached to the camera with blu-tak, so that I don't get the sticky stuff from the tape on the camera permenantly.

Anyway, importantly here is the resulting photograph. I am very impressed how much clearer it is than before (even though I didn't do it with very great lighting):

All in all, a success, and definitely worth breaking my binoculars which, lets face it, were very cheap from a market in Palafrugel, Spain, several years ago and which I've only ever used twice.

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