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Amateur Photographer - - Tech Talk -

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Lens choices for a Dy­nax 800si SLR

QI’ve just re­newed an old in­ter­est in film and have a Mi­nolta Dy­nax 800si. I’m think­ing of get­ting a Tam­ron Macro zoom (AF 18-200mm f/3.5- 6.3 XR Di II LD) and won­dered if a Di lens (I or II) can be used with a film cam­era? The cur­rent lens is the Mi­nolta AF 35-70mm f/4 so I as­sumed another AF would be OK. Ol­lie Jar­dine

ATam­ron’s ‘Di’ des­ig­na­tion means Dig­i­tally in­te­grated. This was meant to re­as­sure pho­tog­ra­phers that their lenses were good to use with DSLRs. Early Di lenses were sim­ply mod­i­fied ver­sions of ex­ist­ing film SLR lenses. The Di la­bel meant there was an up­graded anti-re­flec­tion coat­ing to ad­dress mir­ror-box re­flec­tions off the sur­face of the sen­sor that were ab­sent with film. Later Di lenses are op­ti­mised to ad­dress cor­ner-shad­ing is­sues with dig­i­tal sen­sors, es­pe­cially with widean­gle lenses. There are two prob­lems with your query. The most fun­da­men­tal is that Di II lenses are de­signed for APS- C ‘crop’ sen­sor cam­eras. Di II lenses won’t cover the en­tire 35mm film full frame of your Dy­nax 800si. Don’t even think about Di III lenses; they are for mir­ror­less cam­eras only. The sec­ond prob­lem is that your Dy­nax 800si can only aut­o­fo­cus lenses that sup­port Mi­nolta’s longestab­lished shaft- drive fo­cus­ing sys­tem. The fo­cus mo­tor is in­side the cam­era body and op­er­ates the lens fo­cus­ing via a drive­shaft that links through the lens mount. Mi­nolta Smooth Aut­o­fo­cus Mo­tor (SAM) and Su­per­Sonic Mo­tor (SSM) lenses, with fo­cus mo­tors in the lenses, were in­tro­duced in 2009, much later than the Dy­nax 800si, which was launched in 1997. SAM or SSM lenses can be used, but only man­u­ally fo­cused. Check that a prospec­tive lens sup­ports the shaft drive if you want to avoid fo­cus­ing man­u­ally.

Keep­ing my pho­tos safe

QMy dig­i­tal pho­to­graph col­lec­tion is on the verge of pass­ing the 1TB thresh­old. That’s about 75,000 pho­tos from the last 15 years. I keep a backup of my pho­tos on an ex­ter­nal 1TB USB hard disk, but it’s al­most full. Should I con­sider back­ing up to the Cloud? What about ded­i­cated com­puter backup soft­ware like Acro­nis True Im­age 2018? I see that Win­dows 10 also has a backup sys­tem built-in. It’s all rather con­fus­ing. Caz Thomas

AU­pload­ing all your pho­tos to the Cloud will take a long time and could be ex­pen­sive. Un­lim­ited free photo stor­age is of­fered, for ex­am­ple, by Google, but your orig­i­nals are likely to be com­pressed. The built-in backup tool in Win­dows 10 cer­tainly works, but it’s not quite in­tu­itive to use. Acro­nis True Im­age is very flex­i­ble and pow­er­ful, and it has a backup to the Cloud op­tion. It can be com­pli­cated to set up, partly be­cause it has so many op­tions. Us­ing True Im­age you can go back to pre­vi­ous ver­sions of files that have been backed up. A dis­ad­van­tage is that your stor­age can be eaten up sur­pris­ingly quickly. A sim­ple so­lu­tion is to make sure your pho­tos are in a folder, prefer­ably us­ing a sub-folder struc­ture. Then clone this to an ex­ter­nal drive. You can then syn­chro­nise the folder on your com­puter hard drive with the backup on the ex­ter­nal hard drive us­ing a file syn­chro­ni­sa­tion util­ity, for ex­am­ple from https:// freefilesync.org/. For max­i­mum se­cu­rity make a third copy on a sec­ond drive and keep it at a dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tion. Another op­tion is a Net­work At­tached Stor­age (NAS) drive us­ing sev­eral hard disks man­aged in a disk fault­tol­er­ant RAID ar­ray. It’s more ex­pen­sive, and you’d need a USB drive to back the NAS up, but it adds another layer of re­silience. Q&A com­piled by Ian Bur­ley

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