Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Blackrapid does it right

I have to hand it to Blackrapid. I ordered their R-Strap (love it) last October, and when I did I also ordered their replacement swivel hook they call the ConnectR-2. According to them, it was far superior to the swivel connector on the existing R-Strap, only they were still negotiating with manufacturers, etc., and didn't have the replacement available yet. When we have it, we'll ship it to you and charge your card. Incidentally, they offered it up at $0.01 — though with $4.99 shipping. But what's $5 if it'll help protect your valuable gear?

Months passed, and I forgot all about the ConnectR-2. Then an email came from Blackrapid, apologizing for and explaining the delay. And about a month ago, the replacement finally came. It was a vast improvement, as promised — a spring-loaded clasp was replaced with a locking caribiner-style connector that seems quite a bit sturdier than before.

Today brought a surprise in the mail: Blackrapid discovered a small amount of the new connectors had failed, and since they couldn't identify the lot they simply mailed a new one, along with a letter containing instructions on how to swap out the connectors. And since the connectors appear identical, they wrapped a piece of black tape around the new one to avoid confusion.

This is what you get when you deal with a small, homegrown company that cares about what it does: good customer service and support after the sale. And in return I have no problem recommending their products to other photographers — and other photographers notice and ask about this strap pretty often.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Another 35mm roll from the Holga

Again following the excellent instructions at Squarefrog, I shot a roll of 35mm film through the Holga. This time, I loaded Arista Premium 100, since the day I did it was sunny and I figured the Holga's 1/125 (or so) shutter at f/11ish might overexpose every shot at ASA 400. One key difference between this time and last: I taped the hell out of the camera with electrical tape to block light leaks.

Squarefrog also gives you a handy chart showing how many clicks to wind the wheel between shots. Turns out some enterprising nerd figured out exactly how many clicks you need to wind the film as the spool takes on film (and therefore changes size). It works perfectly to give you 24 frames per roll. Sweet!

Yep, that's the General Lee, parked outside Monticello.