Going Rogue

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We recently bought a new car (well, crossover) a few weeks ago for the wife. Her old car (the blue Dodge Stratus Coupe on the left in this photo, with more photos on Flickr) is paid off in few months and was starting to show its age. I only drive less than 2 miles to work, where she drives 30 each way. We decided that one car payment would be much more enjoyable, plus there were some amazing deals going on currently as well.

So we picked up a 2010 Nissan Rogue SL and traded in my 2006 Nissan Sentra SE. My trade (plus two coupons) made us break even on our trade, and 0% financing for the life of the loan made us nearly break even on car payments of my Sentra! We actually test drove one of these Rogues during the ‘Cash For Clunkers’ program – and were not all that impressed. But after running the numbers and comparing quite a few of our options, plus test driving these again – we were blown away. For being a smaller CUV, it is actually more comfortable and has more room (at least feels like it) than the Nissan Altima we were also looking at. And while I originally thought you got more for your money with the Altima, the deals going on with the Rogues actually made them a better deal.

We finally got to take it back to the dealer today to get the spoiler installed (which they threw in for free), plus get it detailed. Since everything was finally complete, I took a few moments to take a few pictures of the new car, and posted them on Flickr.

Testing out the Raynox DCR-250 Macro Conversion Lens

Thumbtacks on cork board next do our desk (click for more on Flickr)

In the February 2010 Popular Photography Magazine, their ‘You Can Do It’ column – titled ‘Breaking Point’ –  they covered a close up shot using a sound trigger, flash, and macro conversion lens ( I tried to find it on their website, but could not). This lens was the Raynox DCR-250 conversion lens, that gives you 2.5 times magnification, and attaches to most lenses (it will work on the 3 I already have).

I have always been interested and amazed with macro photography – but it can be very expensive, especially for an amateur like me. But when I saw the price of this conversion lens – less than $60 – I decided to try this out. My dad sent me a few bucks for my birthday, and this would pretty much offset the cost of a new toy.

I took a few shots around the house tonight, without any setup. I pretty much walked around the house, using whatever available light was there, and took shots of things I thought would look cool close up. I was surprised, because in some cases, I didn’t feel like this conversion was doing much. But in other cases – I was amazed by the cool results I got with no setup whatsoever.

I plan on taking tons more photos with this little adapter soon. Especially with spring right around the corner, I think there will be some amazing opportunities with trees and flowers blooming, as well as insects coming back around.