Ensign Carbine No 12, Tropical Model. by Houghton-Butcher

Some time ago, while helping my father pack for a house shift, we came across an old 120 film folding camera. I vaguely remember seeing and perhaps playing with this particular camera as a kid, but had not seen it since. It has probably spent much of the last 50 or so years stored in a drawer of the (now fastidiously restored) Bureau. Recalling my parents’ cameras when I was a kid, I remember Dad had a Kodak Retina 1a, and there was a Box Brownie that was possibly Mum’s, but not sure about that. No idea where those cameras are now, so glad to have come across this one and be asked if I would like to have it. The monetary value is not high, but the personal value is, and the history interesting. The leather carry case has the initials HLNC ‘engraved’ (scratched neatly) on it, so the camera came from Harry Cobban on my mother’s ‘Cobban’ side of the family .

Ensign Tropical Nr12

The camera was made in England by The Houghton-Butcher Mfg Co Ltd, London, and is identified as an Ensign Carbine No 12 Tropical Model. At this point, it would appear that the camera is from the mid 1920’s. It seems to be unique when compared to other Tropical Models I have seen cataloged on the web in that it has a timber frame, seen below on either side of the brass frontplate. Most were brass, or other metals, some were leather covered.

Detail 2

Carbines came with a variety of lenses and shutter mechanisms. This one is adorned with a Carl Zeiss Tessar 12cm f4.5 lens, and a Compur 1-250 Shutter.

Shutter Aperture

The casing bears the signs of use and age, although it is in good order and is operable. There is a missing screw on one of the bellows support arms that would be effecting the alignment of the lens to the film plane when unfolded, not impossible to fix. The bellows is in remarkable condition. The simple construction and mechanical design has stood up well for a camera that is heading towards 90 years old.

detail 1

2011 walking statistics

Cardio Overview

298 activities since Jan 2011, totaling 1611km. That’s an average of 5.4km per activity, and including all days regardless of whether I walked or not, that’s 3.9km per day average. Total ascent of just under 80km (79.8) although it may well be more than that as something went awry with the GPS height logging on a couple of my multiday hikes.

Strictly speaking, this includes Jan and Feb 2012, which account for 208km – 4.2km/day, slightly above my daily average to date…

Dave Coffin’s dcraw – Getting the latest version working on Mac OS-X Lion 10.7

Recently, I had cause to tinker about with decoding some Camera RAW files that were unsupported by my usual converter, and I decided to try Dave Coffin’s opensource dcraw. Visiting Dave’s dcraw page, there were links to another site that has nightly builds from Dave’s source. The only problem with that was that the binaries available for Mac were not based on the latest source file. (Dave only shares the source code) File dates on the download are 2009.

So, in the absence of a useful working binary, I decided to download the C source file and compile it myself. Apple distributes the development environment for Mac OSX (XCode) at no charge, how hard could it be? 🙂

Well, it turns out it’s not that hard, just complex to achieve, and many false leads to follow that might deter you in the process. I followed a few myself but as it turns out, if you happen to find the right places to look it will come together pretty easily. The object of this blog entry is to point out one way that works (I’m sure there are others) I’ll make this point form with minimal in depth explanations. If you get stuck or need more clarity please leave a comment. (Comments are moderated, but I do check them so don’t be deterred)

Lets get to work:

1) Install XCode.

On Lion, XCode is no longer on the install DVD, it’s in the App Store as a free App. Just purchase it as you would any other app using your AppleID. Be warned, it’s a fair size download! Also, on Lion Apple has changed the install location, older versions were installed in /Developer, this version is installed in /Applications as XCode.app
Unless you want to keep the old versions in /Developer (if you even have them) you can delete them to save disk space.

2) Start XCode and accept the license agreement.

Self explanatory. 🙂

3) In Xcode, install the commandline tools.

Go to the XCode menu, select Preferences, then ‘Downloads’. Select ‘Command Line Tools’ and click the ‘install’ button.

Note that you need an Apple Developer ID to download the command line tools. This is no big deal, and won’t cost anything. You can add the DeveloperID to your existing AppleID. The download will prompt you for your DeveloperID and forward you to Developer registration if you don’t have one. Once you have registered and confirmed the registration via the email that Apple will send you, you will need to restart the Command Line Tools download from within XCode as above. Once installed, head to the next step:


4) Download and install MacPorts

The MacPorts Project is an open-source community initiative to design an easy-to-use system for compiling, installing, and upgrading either command-line, X11 or Aqua based open-source software on the Mac OS X operating system. If you’ve played with Linux, much of the content of MacPorts will be familiar to you.

The Lion MacPorts installer is here. Download the installer disk image and run the installer from the disk image.

5. Use MacPorts to download, build and install dcraw, including dependancies required to run and build dcraw.

If all goes well, this is the last step. Open Terminal and type:

sudo port install dcraw

You will be prompted for your password and then the process of downloading and building dcraw will begin.

Depending on the speed of your computer and your internet connection, this will take a little while, but at the end you should have a functional and up to date dcraw installed at /opt/local/bin/dcraw (v9.12 at this time)

HTH 🙂