20 – gear catharsis

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo I’ve decided to sell my E-1. It’s not in pristine condition. For that matter, it’s not even in good condition. It was a workhorse. I think it was used professionally in a previous life, and then it got to me, and I only managed to use it for those times when I wanted to actually take pictures, which, unfortunately, wasn’t an opportunity of great frequency this year. On a scale of 1 to 5, I’d rate it a 3…this rating of 3, or so I’ve learned from Gallup, is actually a “polite no/disagree” if you’re rating things on a 5-point scale. Food for thought.

Anyway, here’s the ebay listing. Since I have a feeling that there will be a very specific buyer interested in this camera, I figured I might as well entertain them. No boring ebay listings for me, no sir.

The text of my listing is pasted below…

First, the specifics:

For sale is my workhorse camera – my Olympus E-1 with HLD-2 grip. It comes with two BLL-1 batteries, 4GB Sandisk Extreme II CF card, Olympus charger and AC cable for the BLL-1 batteries, a body cap, and a USB cable (it’s an HP cable, but it works just as well). What you see is what you get.

This was my THIRD E-1, so I’m very familiar with these cameras. I have NEVER taken this particular camera out in the elements, so it was never exposed to rain, snow, sleet, hail, or extreme temperatures.

Second, the details:

Since this was my camera that I used for ‘serious’ photography, it has been through its ups and downs.

    The good things:

– Nearly new front grip. Try finding an E-1 with a better front rubber grip – I triple dog dare you. This was my THIRD E-1, and I personally replaced the grip earlier this year. I don’t believe you can find a replacement grip anywhere in the USA anymore – you’ll have to contact Luton Camera Repair in the UK for a replacement grip.
– BLL-1 batteries hold a very good charge. They just don’t quit. Seriously. You can smack it up, flip it, rub it down…but there’s still ample power.
– That shutter sound is music to my ears. It’s well-damped, and *quiet*. If you want to imagine what the shutter sounds like, think of Justin Bieber singing, then think of angels whisking him away to a deserted island, never to be seen or heard from again, then think of the appreciative oohs and aahs that will result. Those oohs and aahs – that’s the sound of the E-1’s mirror slap. Dear Justin Bieber and your lawyers and your PR team: I was just joshing with you. It’s not like I was spitting on my fans or anything…
– Still takes awesome pictures. As expected, ISO 100 is like buttah all the way up to ISO 400. Beyond that, it’s noise like it’s nobody’s business, but then again, it’s expected for the Kodak CCD sensor of this vintage. See the four sample pictures to see what kind of pictures I was getting with this particular E-1.
– Color output is still unmatched by modern cameras, in my opinion. Proof: I’m a camera junkie – in my house right now, there are about six cameras, three of which I use on a normal basis while the rest either sit hidden away in a bag, forever to be bag queens, or are beaten and abused by my kids…don’t worry – this E-1 was never in their hands without my supervision. I should probably get some help or go through an Intervention.
– All of the weatherproofing seals still appear to be good and are soft and pliable – with one exception (see the first item in the list below). So, if you do decide to take pictures in the rain or whatevers, you probably can, but don’t take my word for it.

    The bad things – in order of badness (bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good):

– CF card door doesn’t open anymore because the latch is broken. There’s a 4GB Sandisk Extreme II card in there…the card is about three years old, but it’s dependable. You can try opening the card door (and I’ve done it), but you need to remove the latch and fiddle with the mechanism using very small tools. It’s possible, but it’s frustrating. I have better things to do on my Saturday night – note: this auction is being listed on a Saturday night.
– Since I can’t open the card door to check for number of shutter releases and error codes, let’s just say that the last time I looked, it was between 1 and 150,000 clicks (probably more towards 20,000) and there were no codes. Additionally, I don’t remember what the firmware was – I think it’s 1.4 since there was no value in upgrading to 1.5. FYI – the shutter for the E-1 is rated to 150,000 clicks.
– The exterior of the camera is like a mullet – business up front, party in the back. Basically, the front of the camera looks great, but the side where all of the user interaction occurs is definitely well-loved. I’ve placed velcro in key places to avoid buttons from being pressed and/or for extra padding.
– The ‘play’ button is extra sensitive. I’ve surrounded it with velcro and this kluge works.
– I lost the hotshoe cover and the PC-sync port cover. Since I never use PC-sync with remote flashes (come on, wireless!), I cut out a piece of leather and put it in the PC-sync-port as a makeshift cover. It looks nice.
– The sensor could probably use a cleaning. I’ve never cleaned it since I’ve always depended on the SSWF to keep dust off…but since the E-1 is probably close to ten years old (this is my guess), it deserves a cleaning.

    Who this camera is NOT for:

– First time photographers who want to upgrade from their P&S to a digital SLR.
– Photographers who need bells and whistles. This E-1 is as simple and pure of a photographic experience as they come. Any simpler and it would be called daguerrotype.
– Photographers who need lots of megapixels. This has FIVE. Letter ‘V’ if you only understand Roman Numerals. Even though it only has five megapixels, they’re very good megapixels. proof: my sample pictures. Seriously, search the Interwebs and the E-1 has a cult following among the cognoscenti. Whenever an E-1 is sold to someone who won’t appreciate it, I think a kitten dies. So please, don’t kill a kitten.
– Photographers who value sharpness above all else. Who cares about subject, composition, exposure, color tonality, and capturing the moment when it’s all about moire and the lightest AA filter possible.
– Photographers who will be taking pictures of shadows in the dark, night-time available light photographers, and photographers who frequent places that don’t enjoy the gift of lightbulbs and artificial light and INSIST that a camera take a GREAT picture in the dark. It’s 2013, people. We no longer need whale oil to fuel our lanterns and lamps. You no longer need candles throughout your house. Turn. On. the. lights. Better yet – use a flash.
– Photographers who don’t own a 4/3-system lens. That’s right – no lens is included. You’ll have to supply your own.

    Who this camera is for:

– 4/3 system owners who have always wanted to get an E-1, but never felt compelled to do so.
– Photographers who love ISO 100.
– Photographers who enjoy the act of taking a photograph and get personal satisfaction out of getting a picture exactly as they intended.
– Photographers who realize that post-processing can easily sharpen the E-1’s output and for that matter, can clean up the noise at higher ISOs.
– Photographers who are amassing a collection of E-1’s to prepare for the apocalypse.
– You, since you’re read this far and you’re obviously interested in my E-1.

Anyway, what you see is what you get. Take a look at the sample pictures and take a look at the pictures of the camera.

Hopefully, I won’t regret selling this, but hey, there’s a finite number of these on earth and I can’t be selfish and hold on to it. However, once this is shipped to you, it’s yours. I won’t take it back. When I break off a relationship, I won’t stick around just to be friends. I’m like that with people, and I’m like that with cameras.


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