Monday, September 24, 2007

The $1,400 Mistake

Hello, and welcome to 1972.

Well that was my approach anyway. I wanted a good zoom lens, but as Beaver Cleaver might have put it, "Lenses are kind of expensive and junk." Gee whiz, Beav. You're right, you little goof.

"Quit bein' such a creep" he'd no doubt retort, and skip off to go toss the football around.

And I'd be there trying to take picture of it, except I didn't spend four figures on one of them fancy-ass lenses that it seems everyone else on the sideline owns (and "Leave It To Beaver" was totally NOT set in 1972.)

Nope. I went to the cutout bin and, for $75, pulled out Old Ironsides here.

Their lenses have ultra-fast autofocus. They have built-in gyroscopic stabilizers to reduce camera shake. They have electronic aperture control. They're impressively huge. They're impressively sharp. They're incredibly expensive. And they seem to be everywhere.

I went out to take a sunset picture and for Christ's sake, that dude's even got one. It's just laying on the rock there.

Cripes. Wish I had that lens so I could take a nice sunset picture. My lens is only good enough to take pictures of people taking nice pictures.

Right. Old Ironsides doesn't autofocus. There's nothing electronic in it. It won't even let my camera use its own light meter. It doesn't even let my camera know that it's attached. It weighs like five pounds and just sits there like the load that is Eddie Haskell. It doesn't do anything I don't take the time to make it do. I have to actually set my focus and exposure and then click away.

Oh, right - and not only does my $75 lens NOT autofocus... also doesn't zoom. or out.

Yup. Doesn't take much to make Old Ironsides look like a complete waste of money.

Except sometimes it works.

...and when it does, the reward is twice as sweet.

Especially when you get a look at a picture taken through one of those $1,400 lenses and see that , hey sure, maybe it's horribly framed, but it's also totally out of focus.

Hell, at least mine is only a $75 mistake.

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