by Mike McNamee Published 01/04/2006
Welcome to our monochrome special issue, which is also the largest magazine we have created to date. It has been an up and down couple of months since the last issue. On the upside we had a good Focus, WPPI (more next issue), a fully attended Joe Buissink tour and trips to the Malta and Madeira sunshine. On the downside, Joe was unwell on his return to the US (but is apparently doing fine after some surgery); Bob Carlos Clarke died tragically in an accident at a railway crossing; a few more labs have gone into administration and a number of companies have announced the discontinuation of product lines. The latter principally involves the Haselblad X-Pan and the Pentax medium format range, both sacrificed to the new EEC directive on lead-free products. Apparently the cost of retooling to get around the lead-bearing solder makes the option non-viable. Even organ builders have been affected (you can just see the French ripping out the organ at Notre Dame - I don't think so! You can just imagine people flinging X-Pans into the skip - I don't think so either!). The whole business is the usual European bureaucracy gone mad - the useless bunch of gravy-trainers can't get a few drops of lead sorted with a bit of common sense, while they are terrified of clamping down on polluting motor vehicles and aircraft and have decided, in their wisdom, to exempt lead-acid batteries.
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