Crumbs, there’s also blogging addiction. I’d no sooner posted that last one than I realised there were some extra points.
1. One lesson I’ve learnt over more than 40 years of photography is that the more gear you have, the heavier the camera bag gets and the less likely you are to carry it. It’s no use having long, heavy telephoto lenses if you’re not going to carry them around. That’s a problem and one reason zooms have become so useful – lots of focal lengths in one package. The lens I’m buying still weighs 1.75Kg, though, so it’ll go to Bali with me but I’ll need to plan when to use it – a trolley bag or something.
2. Still cameras also shoot hi-definition video these days and mine certainly does. That 120-400mm zoom will be excellent for video, provided I use it on a tripod. So there’s another heavy item to carry. You have to plan and be dedicated.
3. Why do I need such extreme focal lengths? To get shots like this:
|Americas Cup racing, 1986 with Rottnest Island in the distance © PJ Croft 2012|
|USS Missouri off Fremantle 1987 © PJ Croft 2012|
|First Fleet replica ship, Fremantle 1988 © PJ Croft 2012|
and for the extreme wide angle:
|Musee D’Orsay, Paris © PJ Croft 2008|
To me, the cost and effort are worth it.
|During the storm 5:40pm|
Well, it huffed and it puffed last night, but it didn’t blow my house down. It was windy and wet, but the power stayed on and I had no trouble, thank goodness. The forecast is for winds easing.
That opening shot above was taken in near darkness last night. It looks like daylight, but I assure you I could hardly see the viewfinder. I shot at ISO3200 hand held. In film days, that was simply not possible and there would have been no shot to show.
Ever heard of GAS and LBA?
They apply to photography, the hobby/recreation/vocation, that is. GAS stands for Gear Acquisition Syndrome and LBA stands for Lens Buying Addiction 🙂 I think I’ve definitely got both.
Gear Acquisition Syndrome is the constant need to buy new cameras and gadgets. You think, gee, if I had that, I could do so much more, and so-on. Pretty soon you’ve convinced yourself that you need it and the danger point is reached of actually getting prices and finding “the bargain”.
Luckily I’ve been through that stage many times and can fairly easily stop myself before too much damage is done. I haven’t bought a camera for nearly two years now.
LBA is Lens Buying Addiction (no, not Leg Before Arse for all you cricketers). All photographers go through the stage of needing to build a collection of lenses. In the olden days of fixed focal lengths, this got pretty expensive because besides the 50mm that came standard with the camera, we needed a 28mm, a 35mm, a 135mm, a 200mm, a 400mm, a 100mm macro, a 21mm, and so-on and on.
Then zooms came and we only needed a 70-210mm, a 28-80mm and maybe one or two fixed lenses.
I’m still in the grip of that one and my present kit is a 24-70mm and an 80-200mm for the Pentax K-5, plus an old 1980s vintage 50mm f1.7 manual focus.
For some reason, lens bargains are popping up at the moment and so I’ve given in to temptation. I’ve ordered a Sigma 120-400mm APO zoom (180-600mm equivalent) which costs only about half what they wanted two years ago.
Then yesterday I ordered a Sigma 10-20mm (15-30mm equivalent). I used to own this lens for my Canon, but I sold it along with all my Canon gear last year. Now it’s being offered again in Pentax mount for only 58% of the price I paid four years ago.
So LBA! That gives me a focal length range (in full frame terms) of 15-30mm, 24-70mm, 80-200mm and 180-600mm. That should cover it! With the Pentax’s in-body image stabilisation, they are ALL image stabilised, too.
I’m not quite complete. I want a Pentax made 21mm f2.4 which becomes a 31.5mm lens equivalent. It’s a very small, light lens, all metal construction, which is a “walk around” lens when you want quality but don’t want weight and bulk. Unfortunately it costs nearly $800 so I can’t justify it.
Or maybe, maybe, a Carl Zeiss 21mm f1.8 Distagon, a jewel-like lens of the utmost quality which would match the quality of the Pentax K-5 sensor, one of the top three on the market. But it costs $1,400. Not likely unless I win Lotto.
Photography is GREAT these days.