Fall In Love with Your Old Lenses Again
This is my first blog post ever. I remember thinking that if I ever put together a photography website, I’d probably never do a blog because, of time, and content, and any other excuse you can think of. The truth is, while I’m a budding photographer with limited experience, I figured there were things in my head that I just wanted to put on paper that might just help somebody else out. So here goes.
I want to talk about pulling out some of your old, trusty equipment and put them to use again. I can’t speak for every photographer, but I'm always looking to upgrade equipment, when I can afford it. I think I've probably bought two brand new lenses in my lifetime. I buy quality used gear, and when I do, I want to get to know it right away. Sometimes I forget that I have other lenses sitting in a closet, begging to be pulled out once in a while.
I have a solid Nikon AF-D Nikkor 28-200mm 3.5-5.6 that I pulled out of the trunk last week. I was going to an event where I just wanted to carry my Nikon D7100, with one mounted lens. Most days I would opt to mount my Sigma 50mm 1.4, or my Nikon 50mm 1.8 prime, and then carry my trinity in my camera bag. But I wasn’t in the mood to be loaded down, and miss a moment while swapping lenses in a crowded place. The Nikon 28-200mm, while not the fastest lens, had plenty of range for this event. Plus it was broad daylight so I wasn’t too worried. While at the event, I snapped a few pictures to warm up, but there was nothing spectacular calling out to me.
When a friend of mine and I decide to leave and walk back to our cars, I happened to notice three ladies in big floppy hats, riding these retro bicycles towards us. They were in a hurry! Pedaling as fast as they could, while holding on to their hats. Seeing the moment developing in front of me, I raised my camera, focused, and fired off three shots. They noticed me, giggled a bit, and continued on. They were in a good mood, and I was very pleased to have been a part of that moment, and captured it. Sometimes when you go looking for the moment, you need to let go and let it come to you. The Nikon 28-200mm did not disappoint. I was very happy looking in the viewfinder to see the results.
Later on that very hot afternoon, I found myself downtown walking Main Street, again searching for a moment. I was just about to head home (again), when I ran into one of my friends and his girlfriend. I knew that when I saw this guy, his best buddy was somewhere close by. They are like brothers. Sure enough, I found his other half in a bar chatting with a young lady, Lauren. After greetings and introductions, I started chatting with Lauren I noticed that she look comfortable, and confident, and she had one of those faces that you might see on TV. I actually said this to her, right before asking if I could take a couple shots…pictures. Had to be specific here, since we are in a bar. She asked me what should she do, and I replied just keep talking. We were actually right in the midst of talking about how she ended up as an extra in a commercial. Even though the bar was dark, Lauren was sitting a couple tables down from a huge front window. The light coming in was hitting her skin and dark hair just right. I took my first shot, while still chatting, pumped up my ISO, and fired off about seven or eight shots. Lauren laughed at our impromptu photo shoot. I captured that too.
I love these photos. I really do. I love the moments. I love the colors, and the contrast. I love the smiles. These are true, natural moments! I knew the Nikon 28-200mm AF-D would work well during the day, but I wasn’t sure how it would handle the dark bar scene. After all, this lens is relatively old…introduced in 1998, and discontinued in 2006. But combined with the Nikon D7100, the results are pretty darn good. I'll let you be the judge
As photographers we can sometime fall in love with our newest piece of gear. But sometimes it’s worth it to reach back in that cool, dry, dark place, and dust off some of those old tanks, and put them back into action.
Fall in love with your old lenses again from time to time.