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RE: gear questions



>...
> Anybody have any experience with those cheap <$30, light 35 mm cameras?
> How about those single-use ones?  I love my Nikon camera but it seems
> so heavy to take hiking.  I am not a fanatic about clarity, but I do
> want nice pictures.
> Also -- anyone ever use rain "chaps"?
> Thanks in advance.
> Sharon
> ssharpe@wellesley.edu

High humidity and condensation are hell on cameras, especially electronic
flashes because moisture gets inside the high-voltage flash-trigger coils
and causes short circuits.  If I were buying a camera for the Trail I would
consider a weatherproof automatic model; some of them even work underwater
at shallow depths.  Very cheap 35mm cameras might be a good choice because
they contain minimal electronics and are thus potentially more reliable in
harsh climate.  The disadvantage is that their exposure and focus are
fixed, so you have a narrowed range of conditions where they are usable.
"Disposable" cameras are similar, and might be a good choice in 'light' of
the humidity/flash problem.  All single-use cameras I've seen contain
color-negative film; slides can be made from negatives but you may want a
reloadable camera if you prefer slide film.  Some single-use cameras are
"panoramic" (very wide horizontal angle), which might be useful in certain
circumstances.  When you get home, your family will look at your pictures
and mumble something like "they all look the same" but outdoor-oriented
groups will appreciate your effort.

I'm very good at "wilderness electronics" because I do it for a living; I
work for a very cheap organization.  :-]

I've field-repaired lots of electronic wristwatches that got water inside:
Just pry the back off, remove the battery, place the watch in a warm, dry
place to drive out the moisture, then reassemble.  The only tool needed is
a Swiss Army knife.

--  Frank     reid@indiana.edu