Oh, the goodness!

Generally speaking, the Manpet and I are not big spenders. For a start, we don’t have the dosh and secondly, we both seem to have a somewhat limiting Calvanistic work ethic that says save…save…save and don’t spend a cent that you don’t have to. Well, slight exaggeration, but compared with, say, Paris Hilton, we are definitely at the thin edge of the spending wedge.

So to get not one, not two, but three items of life-bling all within a twenty-four hour period is nothing short of spectacular.

Yesterday, we visited Schmoo and her Man, who is in IT and he provided us with a beautiful wide screen LCD monitor to replace our old, donated 15″ CRT monitor. The new one, 19″, isn’t huge by todays standards by any means, but it will be ideal in the bus, as anything larger would be too big to put on the narrow, wee desk that we use there for our computery stuff. We did consider a 22″, but it would have been a little overwhelming from close distance.

This new monitor, one of the very few new things we have had in this line apart from some RAM, is an LG Electronics Flatron Wide. Not a common make in this neck of the woods, but apparently used by some of the local graphics guys, who swear by it. Certainly it is clear and bright – my digi-pix display perfectly, including all of those out-of-focus ones that I couldn’t really see before, even when zooming in Firefox or Photoshop. Clearly, my technique needs some tweaking! Using Photoshop is so much easier on this, as it allows me to see the photos without having all the clutter of palettes sitting over the top of them. There is room for them all to sit nicely off to one side. DVD’s display very nicely, thanks, compared with the 15″ that we used to use to watch them with. And, to top it off, it was insanely reasonable to buy. We did get a bit of extra help on this, as it was part of a bulk buy for the Man’s business, but they seem to be a lot cheaper than comparable models in other brands.

The other two bits of bling are lenses for my somewhat elderly Nikon Coolpix 4500. We have had it for around four years now, and paid an astounding $1200(NZ) – that’s around $870(US) for it – a huge lump of money for us at the time. Of course, nowadays, you can get a lot more bang for your bucks camera-wise for much less money, but I’m really happy with the excellence of the macro on this little camera, as well as it’s unique swivelly body that allows me to take pix in stealth mode. You can just have the thang sitting in yer lap with the swivel…er…swivelled and whack off pix of people totally unobserved. To the onlooker, you just look as though you are reviewing your pictures. Little do they know…

One of the disadvantages of the camera is that it only has a four times optical zoom. The experts say “Just get closer to your subject.” but that ain’t always possible, is it? A distant mountain is always going to be a distant mountain unless you walk a very long way and a wee bird in a tree is going to take flight right now, if you take one more step.

It also has a somewhat narrow feild of view in certain circumstances and this has been a disadvantage a few times. Panoamas and clever software stitchery are generally the answer to that, but sometimes, distortion puts paid to that.

I had looked at the price of wide-angle and converter lenses, but the new ones bought locally were collectively going to be just about as much as a whole new camera, so I was very happy to be recommended a website in Usa that sells secondhand, new and near new camera goodies. The guy who recommended them had bought from them a number of times and said that he had always been very happy with the quality and condition of their second hand stuff, so I went ahead and ordered a 2X teleconverter and a wide angle lense.

They just came today after much anxious waiting and chewing of fingernails. I like to be able to see what I’m buying, to hold it in my hand and take it away when I hand over the $$$, so inline shopping is a bit of a biggie for me. I’ve done a couple of books before, but never a big item that would sting if it failed to turn up. But yeah, here it is, beatifully packed and protected with extra cushioning as requested. I still have to try them out, but they look to be in great condition with clear, unmarked lenses.


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