Time Change

For once I’ve remembered to change the clock on the four digital cameras – two Nikons and two Fujis – that I use regularly before taking pictures with them. Most years after we have either put the clocks on or back it has been a month or so before I’ve got all of them sorted out, which has occasionally given some odd results, particularly when I seem to have taken things before they happened.

I had to make another time change around a week ago, as the clocks on the two Nikons – D700 and D800E – don’t keep good time. Both had gone a minute or two out, though not by the same amount, which was beginning to get annoying when editing work taken when using both of them.  It’s useful when you use ‘Sort by date’ in Lightroom to have the times more or less the same.

Back in the old days, we didn’t have to worry about such things. Cameras didn’t even have batteries let alone clocks. And when cameras did start having batteries, all they powered were exposure meters. Then you had to remember to change these at least on an annual basis – I used to make my birthday a day to do this. Then came cameras that had auto-focus and power wind and you needed to pack spare batteries in your camera bag, though they were small and took up little space. Now with the Fujis you need to change the batteries every hour or two.

The Nikons are rather better, and I can only remember having to change a battery while out taking pictures once in the past year. When I get home I look at the battery level and if it is below 80% it gets recharged. With the third party batteries (cheap replacements) if I’ve not taken much they can still be at 100%, as they have higher capacity than the genuine Nikon ones.

Batteries are one thing that puts me off changing entirely to Fuji-X. Not just their low capacity but also the lack of a proper battery level indicator. A warning when at best you have one or two exposures remaining isn’t enough.

Of course it is useful to have cameras that know the time, at least when you have it set correctly. Once after I’d had to do a complete reset of a camera I got the year wrong, which rather upset the  agency I sent the pictures to who rejected the work. Fortunately Lightroom or other software can change the date.

But looking back at some old work on film, particularly on colour transparency, it can be hard to know which year it was taken, let alone which month, day or hour. Some transparencies are in mounts with a date stamp showing when they were processed, but many are not.

With colour neg or black and white I’ve usually put at least a year and month on the negative filing sheets – indeed it is the basis of my filing system. Occasionally I’ve added a date and a place, either there or more often on the contact prints. Where I thought it appropriate I’ve added more details, sometimes including street names and grid references, but geotagging would have saved me many hours of work and probably have been more reliable.

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