Aug 062008
 

Two images for today and not more in common than technical data. I shot both images with the Nikon 18-200 VR at 200mm and f10. I still go “long”. I even pondered about buying a new lens.

Of course this would be frivolous, considering that I bought the 85/1.8 only – what? – two weeks ago, but, to be honest, that was not what held me back. What really held me back were two things:

First, I have no idea which one. The Nikon 70-300/4.5-5.6 VR seems like a good idea. It is mostly considered a good lens, and it would buy me an equivalent of 450mm in a very light piece of plastic for a moderate price. But then, of course there is the Sigma 120-400/4.5-5.6 OS for not so much more. OS is Sigma’s equivalent to Nikon’s VR, Canon’s IS and Tamron’s VC. Oh well.

Or better the also new Sigma 150-500/5.0-6.3 OS?? Both of these lenses have not many reviews online, and what there is is rather less than favorable, but on the other hand, there is so much Sigma bashing on the forums with everybody complaining that these lenses do not compare well to pro grade lenses that are at least twice the price, my experience simply does not correlate. Yes, autofocus is off at times and frequently slow, but for the first problem I can compensate in-camera, and the second does not bother me. Apart from that, all my Sigma lenses are razor sharp. So what? You see, not knowing what you want can really hold you back 🙂

Second, this is even amplified by the fact that I do exactly know what I want, and that is really none of these lenses. The long weapon of choice is of course the Nikon AF-S VR 200-400mm 4G IF-ED, and what holds me back in this regard is only a tiny detail: €5720 for the cheapest offer. Uuhhh, and another detail probably: this beast weighs 3.275 kg. Right, with my camera body I would have to haul around about 4 kg. Well, at least you can’t complain that you didn’t get anything for your money.

OK, considering my confusion and the obscene price for my dream lens, it may not come as a surprise that I ended up buying nothing at all. Instead I went photographing (not a bad idea, really), pulled my meager 200mm to the limit, and that’s what you get for today. A reflection of some old architecture in some new, this time in color (see “645 – The Price You Pay” for something in B&W), and a man on the street using his mobile.

It’s not so long ago that almost nobody had a mobile. I remember 1996 when I got my first one, and at that time they were just getting cheap. Well, for some time I had two of them, and now I am back to one. Funny, for the still biggest part of my life I didn’t have such a thing and I didn’t miss it at all. So, these are the two fundamental technological advances of our time: mobile phones and the internet, and both are communication related. Seems like a pretty elementary need 🙂

The Song of the Day is “Everybody’s Talkin’“, a Fred Neil cover by The Beautiful South, released on their 1994 album “Miaow“. See a TV version on YouTube.

  2 Responses to “663 – Everybody’s Talkin’”

  1. Recently I have been using a lens borrowed from a friend. As you know I lean heavily toward wide glass. But the borrowed lens is the Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens. The image stabilization is wonderful. But it has a problem, one out of perhaps seven times the interface with the auto focus is imperfect and the results aren’r quite discoverable until I get it back onto the monitor screen.

    But I understand you are looking at Nikor lenses. The results I’ve had, particularly using the 300mm as a portrait lens is powerfully rewarding. And the IS gives me almost a full two stops of hand holdable usefulness.

    I’m tempted to buy the long lens, especially given the weight. But since my friend no longer seems to take pictures, I have almost spontaneous use of the thing… but that word “almost” is a rather large one.

    As you know, I rarely use a tripod, but given your work habits… the longest lens sounds VERY attractive. And given what it will do re. compression and DOF… well, if you are looking for a fresh eye…. There’s a lot to be said about going to the far pole, no? The only worry I’d have in with the Sigma 150-500/5.0-6.3 is the way light could bounce around inside of that barrel. Have you seen the contrast tests? Under oblique light? And if you have to shut down at all to max out sharpness… well even with a tripod – this could be an, um, handful.

  2. I have a “love/hate” relationship with Sigma. For a long time I was using a Sigma DG 28-300mm on my D50 but I am now using a Nikon 18-135mm and loving it. I just never got the satisfaction I expected from the Sigma.
    Don

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