Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Happier days in Taksim Square, Istanbul, Turkey


As it all kicks off with protests, tear gas and government crackdowns, all I can say about Istanbul is that it is one of the most tourist friendly, cleanest and well-run cities I have visited.

Yes, the place is rammed full of traffic. It can take hours to get across the city in a car.

But the main city itself is easily negotiated by foot - if you don't mind hills - and has an excellent tram service.

The temples are sensational, the views across the Bosphorus brilliant. Food is sensational, culture coulorful and the city is safe. Which all makes the current (May/June 2013) troubles all the more disappointing for what is a progressive, developing nation.

Images taken in September 2011.

More on Istanbul here.

And there is also a Love Town travel video podcast This Is Istanbul here on iTunes.

Or it can be viewed online here.

DON'T READ IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR FUN IMAGES ETC: Mozilla Firefox, Apple Mac, image processing, jpegs, bleaching problem, colour profile

Having a few image processing problems with Mozilla Firefox again.

This problem first arose over two years ago where images uploaded on to this blog were being bleached ot in some web browsers, mainly Mozilla Firefox.

The same problem is happening again, though strangely not with every image I process.

This latest batch - all jpegs - were being viewed in Firefox on an Apple Mac.

To cure the problem, simply re-save your image in image-editing software, and when the Save As box pops up, uncheck the box called:
'Embed Colour profile: Nikon D2Xs Generic'

NOTE: BOLD ITALICS denotes my camera - yours may be different.

Thanks now. Bye. 

Penwortham Town Gala (2013)

Parade! It's parade season in Britain where communities come out in force to watch floats full of kids, brass bands and outrageous self-promotion by local businesses.

I ignored the children wearing estate agent's signs and, as usual, focused on the crowds. Most of these images were taken on Cop Lane and Hurst Grange Park, both in Penwortham, near Preston, Lancashire, England.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Nikon will fix grey market cameras! Broken camera, broken lens - and how to fix them (Nikon and Tokina)

NOTE: This factual blog post is about servicing and fixing your Nikon camera and Tokina lens. It includes important information about grey market cameras (those bought outside the country of residence).

My six year-old Nikon camera needed a service. My Tokina lens needed a clean, plus the helicoid (a thin plastic guide which the front of the lens runs on) was also damaged.

Finding someone to do both jobs was not easy. I received quotes of varying prices. For the lens cleaning alone quotes ranged from £80 to almost £200.


The major problem for my camera was that it was bought from Hong Kong and falls outside Nikon's UK warranty service.

On their USA website, Nikon state:

'Nikon Inc. USA cannot provide any technical support or warranty service on Gray Market items. Additionally Nikon Inc. USA cannot perform any fee-based repair work on Gray Market items. Please do not contact Nikon Inc. USA for help with any Gray Market products. Please contact the reseller or importer of your Gray Market items for warranty and service information as well as software updates and downloads'

Their European website says the same:
'Nikon European offices cannot provide any technical support or warranty service for Grey Market product, additionally they may not perform any fee-based repair work on Grey Market products. Contact the reseller or importer of your Grey Market products for warranty and service information as well as software updates and downloads.'

Basically Nikon refuse to deal with grey market cameras. However, I emailed Nikon UK and got a positive response.

I got this email from Nikon Europe Support:

'Dear Garry,

Thank you for your email.

I am sorry to learn of the problems that you have been experiencing with your Nikon D2Xs. I would like to confirm that we provide out-of-warranty service regardless of the original region that the equipment has been purchased in.

We request that you register your camera for repair via the URL listed below. Once you have completed the form you will receive an email advising you to print the return label, giving you free postage through your local postal service. The return address will be included on the label.

Please note that the Service Department will need to inspect your D2Xs before they can submit an estimate or quotation. We can therefore unfortunately not advise regarding cost at this stage. The turnaround time for professional equipment is approximately 10 days, however may vary due to part availability, testing requirements, etc.'

I promptly downloaded the repair request form and sent my camera away to be fixed. A full service cost around £100. They even left some test images on my memory card from their service tests (below).

Tokina lens

I contacted Tokina's official European service team, which their website says is Kenro. However, Kenro no longer service Tokina.

I eventually found an independent repair man called Alan Marlow (cam-rep.co.uk). An ex-Konica service technician, Alan has been running his business for 27 years.

With excellent email communication, Alan quoted me a low price for cleaning my lens and then also advised me on my faulty helicoid which he fixed also. Total price £85, which I was very happy with. Below is an image Alan sent to me to help explain the helicoid problem.