Sunday, 7 June 2009

Busy election Sunday

The day started with a visit to the Camera Fair at Stodoła (a shadow of what it once was, but still the best place in Warsaw to buy photographic kit). I went with fellow snapper and Nikon user, Bob, each of us armed with a shopping list of stuff needed and stuff wanted.

The battery memory issue detailed in earlier posts meant that a new EN-EL3a battery for my Nikon D80 was a priority. Another was a decent tripod head. Yesterday's B&W shoot convinced me of the need for something more flexible in the field than the two-way cine head attached to the top of my solid, sturdy and otherwise excellent Polish wooden tripod. The old head has a busted screw which means the platform's loose; the camera is at risk. Bob recommended a joystick-style grip which gives infinite control over the camera position. A Chinese-made one was available for 140 zł - very well made and rock-solid (and a lot cheaper than the $100 Bob paid for his!). Next up was a nearly-new secondhand bargain - a Nikon D40 with basic 18-55mm lens. A second back-up body is becoming a necessity, something light, cheap and reliable to ensure no missed shots due to lens changing or battery failure. And six times cheaper than my D80 and 18-200mm lens combo.

Next: Going to vote. Most important. Ensuring that Poland is represented in the European Parliament by people who are not going to make it a joke.

Above: to the ballot box at the school on ul. Sarabandy. Turnout was surprisingly high (less than 20% was forecast). Still, the Warsaw district of Ursynów always has always been among the best in Poland when it comes to voting. Photo taken on Nikon D40 with 18-55mm lens.

The European Parliament voting system encourages one to vote for the best known name on the list of candidates from the party you support. Voting for a less-well known one is the equivalent of voting for the party you don't support. Tactical voting in EP elections is something that Polish voters have yet to learn (and parties have yet to explain).

Exit polls suggest that the nutty parties (likely to sully Poland's reputation in Brussels) received one percent or less of the popular vote. So - a good result.


Anonymous said...

Michael - very enjoyable morning with you at both the photo and computer markets. After all my time in Poland it was a first for me but not the last!

Lens hood does not fit - stupid of me - mine is 80-200 2.8 not 70-200 2.8. As a result the fittings do not match so I'll take a file to the hood and see if I can make it fit - the low price makes it a no brainer to do the surgery on my own. (what I should do is print out my gear inventory and specs and carry it in my wallet)


Anonymous said...

All this time in Warsaw and I didn't know there was a camera fair down the road! Is this a regular event? I heard Stodola sometimes held a computer fair, is this combined?

Going to Paris in a few weeks and would like to purchase a lightweight tripod.

Any info would be appreciated. Many thanks!

Michael Dembinski said...

Yeller - the camera fair takes place every Sunday except Easter Day. There are two stands specialising in tripods, you'll get a better choice and lower prices than in the shops. The computer fair is in the grounds behind Stodoła and takes place on Saturdays and Sundays; worth going to both. (Camera fair costs a few zlots to enter, computer fair is free)

Anonymous said...

Thanks again - I'll have to pop down before my hols.

Knowing my lack of restraint when it comes to all things camera-related, sounds like it might be expensive!