My camera – the very same camera that I have been so nice to and raised from a pup -tried to commit hari kari yesterday. The – formerly – trusty camera is a Canon 5D is SLR which means that it has a little mirror inside that directs the image from the lens up to the viewfinder, when I take a picture, that little mirror flips up out of the way so that the image travels directly from the lens to the sensor. The mirror weighs, probably, less than a 1/10th of an ounce and is a beautiful piece of engineering, or was until it fell off the flipper. Now I don’t have a viewfinder. Or a lightmeter, because the lightmeter is somehow dependent on the mirror.
When I was in Basic Training at Fort Ord, a typical retort to a complaint like They made us run all the way to the rifle range, was Are you braggin’ or complainin’? Of course it was a little of both and – of course – that is what I am doing about my broken mirror. Not having a viewfinder or a lightmeter is a huge pain in the ass, but there are work-arounds. Sort of.
I first started using a camera before they had built in lightmeters so, to look official, we would carry a separate lightmeter (usually tethered to us by a cord hanging around our necks). Using the lightmeter was cumbersome and we would take a meter reading for the scene, put the setting in the camera, and then shoot the whole series at the same setting. An even easier way was to use the Sunny Sixteen Rule. The Sunny Sixteen Rule was to set the lens aperture at f16 and the shutter speed to match the film speed on a typical Sunny day. It actually works pretty good as the pic below shows.
Fortunately, the LCD monitor on the back of the camera still works and the 5D has all sorts of additional exposure feedback, so I can point the camera in the approximate direction, take a picture, and then adjust which is what I did in the shot at the top and the shot of the dinosaurs below.
So far, so good. Of course the only other choice that I have is to start screaming at the camera, but I am afraid that, if I start screaming, I might throw the stupid %&$#@ across the room and then I would be even more frustrated.