Since I have begun to dangle off the deep in when it comes to photography, I have found myself frequenting the camera stores more and more.

Always on the prowl for the right accessory and taking every opportunity to pic the brains of other photographers so I can better educate myself and improve my technique.

It’s very reminiscent of when I first took a sincere interest in computers. Who knows, maybe I will have the same success if I am lucky. I have already started to ponder working in a segment on digital photography into the radio show. The idea is quite nascent but I am pondering it sincerely.

As I was poking around the Camera Exchange and talking with Charlie the subject of used lenses came up. One of the things that did not occur to me when determining which camera to buy was the second hand market. It’s obvious now that I think of it. The two most popular brands of digital SLR cameras are Nikon and Canon. Regardless of whether they are superior or inferior to any other brand is not the point. The point is that since there are so many on the market there tends to be more used lenses for these cameras than any of the others.

What this means to me is that there are practically NO used Sony lenses and relatively few used Minolta or Minolta mount third party lenses available. This is something I would encourage anyone looking to purchase a camera to consider. Being able to buy a used lens can save you a bit of money when you want something maybe a bit more specialized and you don’t want to plunk down the full price for it.

Of course I can buy anything I need brand new and heaven knows there are some damn fine lenses available for this platform. I hungrily lust for the just released Sony Carl Zeiss® Sonnar® T* 135mm f/1.8 Telephoto Lens and when and if I can ever justify the $1500 price tag I’ll just run down to the camera store and pick one up. Then I’ll show you all! Muahahahahaha!

Ahem, but I digress.

As I was saying, second hand lenses. Not many interesting lenses to be had on the second hand market (yet). None at the Camera Co-Op and a very limited number at The Houston Camera Exchange, and the ones they had were not terribly exciting with the exception of one that caught my eye. It was the Sigma 20mm f/1.8 EX ASP DG RF prime lens. What I found interesting was the high speed and the wide angle.

The Sony 50mm 1.4 has been my go-to lens and my favorite by far of any of my lenses. That being said, the limitations of the 50mm lens really reveal themselves in a small space or when trying to get a good group shot of a band or similar.

The idea of having a fast wide angle lens was very appealing and the price of this one used was way more affordable than buying it new in the box so after contemplating it for a week I went back and purchased it.

I’ve not taken the definitive photo yet. Most of the pics from the last few blog entries are using that lens and I did take it to the Big Top for the Light Rock Express show and the debut of Disco Expressions. If you’ve ever been to the Big Top you’ll know what a photographer is up against in this space. Very dim lighting and what lighting there is tends to be red. Thank heaven for good custom white balance settings.

Light Rock Express

Just add horns and voila! Disco!

I like it. I can get up close and personal and still capture a lot of what is going on. And not having to use a flash makes me far less irritating to the performers.

Of course now it’s going to be a more difficult decision when I trying to determine which lenses I will travel with to any given destination.

Wide and fast
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2 thoughts on “Wide and fast

  • December 25, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    Yeah, I picked up a new SIgma 20mm f/1.8 at Camera Co-Op back in October, and am really enjoying it. I’ve never been a huge fan of the distortions introduced by a wide angle, but it’s growing on me, and I’m still figuring out what I can do with it.

  • December 28, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    I was tempted by that 20mm for quite some time before they came out with the 30mm f1.4 that I eventually got. If it’s anything like that lens it will be your “concert” lens from now on.

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