Friday, December 20, 2013

Confession of a Gear Junkie

Forgive me Father for I have sinned... I have spent many a night with my thoughts wandering through a maze of equipment, hyper focused on thoughts of acquiring a shiny new camera coupled with equally shiny and vastly more expensive lenses. 

Instead of sleeping, my mind would fixate on a 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom, envisioning the weight of the lens in my hand and seeing the beautiful photos I would take with the lens zoomed to 200mm @ f/2.8. The mind may then drift to dreaming up scenarios in which a 105mm f/2.8 Macro lens would come in handy. Time would tick by and instead of my unconscious mind rendering random dreams that would only leave a vague impression in the morning, my still very conscious mind would be rendering dreams of self centered spending on my hobby of choice.

But it wouldn't stop there... A simple trip to Costco turns into a derailment of intended purpose as my eyes are drawn to the camera display with new models beckoning my eager curiosity to come hither and explore. Enticed to pick up the display model, to feel the balance and ergonomics in my palms. Compelled to trace the contours of the textured plastic and feel the subtle resistance of the dial as it rotates and clicks into place for each available shooting mode. And then, to press the soft rubber eye piece to my eyebrow: peering through the viewfinder at the uninspiring landscape of a shopping warehouse. And now, with the focus set it would be time to depress the shutter release and hear the symphony of a mechanical shutter and the nuances of how the sound differs from the familiar actuation of my trusty D5100. As if that was not enough, I would repeat the whole process with nearly every shiny new model on the display line: how does the D5200 sound? Or the D3200? And does the shutter of the new Canon T5i still have that familiar high pitch sound possessed by many of its predecessors?

I confess, I am a gear junkie: I like to know what's new, what's available and especially whats exciting in the world of digital photography - even if I am unable to afford it (either now or ever). I am also realistic in what my budget allows and will never put my hobby (especially spending on that hobby) above my family in importance.

For me, being a gear junkie mainly entails a drive to know whats out there and how I should expect it to perform should I ever be blessed to purchase it. This can come in handy for making recommendations, or can even lead to conversation pieces that could alert a fellow enthusiast to a previously unknown option. Either way, inquisitive minds want to know and learn which is a nature that is rarely satisfied.

Unlike some, my fascination with newly available technology doesn't mean the currently owned gear gets relegated to a dusty shelf while new gear is acquired to the peril of the Visa bill. No, the current gear is used as much as possible while I learn and grow in my photographic abilities - but a man can still dream about available possibilities should the budget change to favor a future purchase. And when that time comes, you can bet I'll be informed and ready for it.



Saturday, December 14, 2013

Tamron`s Recently Announced 150-600mm - I Would Like This Lens!

When I first read about Tamron's new 150-600mm lens my gear junkie radar went crazy and I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know more, and of course see sample photos. I also instantly wanted it (provided it was a decent lens and not prohibitively expensive). The lens looks to replace their 200-500mm lens and should make a great "budget" super telephoto for all of us with out unlimited amounts of expendable money laying around - it is also set to be shipping mid January in the new year. 

The rumored price of $1,069 is especially amazing considering there is no super telephoto zoom lens near 600mm from Canon or Nikon and the offerings they do have: such as Nikon's 80-400mm, 200-400mm f/4 or Canon's 100-400mm are much more for less range (significantly more for the Nikon's). And to top that off, if you want to get 600mm lens from them you will be spending enough to buy a decent car for the 600mm f/4 offerings.

Of course being on a budget, even the rumored price is likely out of my attainable level for who knows how long, but I would still love to try out this lens - I just might have to give or a shot when I have some extra cash, some time to play and some 600mm subject material. I know this lens would have come in quite handy on our whale watching trip for sure, though I would definitely want to invest in a monopod for a long reach lens like this.

This sure looks like a winner to me, and it will definitely be interesting to see how it competes with Sigma's existing 150-500mm and what we might see come out of Sigma once this lens has had some time on the market.