Monday, November 26, 2007

Gearheads and junkies: what a scratched lens can do

My first Nikon lens, a 28-105mm ( It was bought brand new and without the scratch)
It didn't sound like anything at all, as much as it sounded like silent fingernails on a blackboard. I saw the scratch and I could actually feel the blood drain from my face. It was my only 'real' lens at the time. Which means that it was the only one that metered, and auto focussed, that Nikon would approve of and which had burned an ugly hole in my grad student size pocket*. Oh my God, what was I going to do? Not much, all my money had leaked out then. I covered the scratch with a black permanent marker (mostly worn off now) and kept making pictures and saving money. Eventually I bought new lenses and other gear. I still use this lens, by the way, although I do contemplate replacing it.

It works, not always, its bad for some situations, notably with on or just off axis light. When I stop it down the scratch has a greater presence in the final image. But mostly it's usable. If I use it less than I should, it's because my stomach still turns at the sight of that scratch. The images below were all made using this lens in this state. So repeat after me, it's-not-the-gear.

*(The other one was just this stupid Minolta 50mm which I reversed with a piece of metal, it never amounted to much that lens, just a few odd unimportant shots.)

A Sausage flower bud

Off at the deep end

Jumping jack flash

Hetropogon grasses
(The flare isn't from the scratch, it's from the lack of a hood, and I actually like it!)

PS: Jumping Jack flash there is Vivek, my labmate. We were having some fun with the empty swimming pool a while back. Anyone who's up for being my guinea pig for experimental shooting, shoot me a line, we'll have some fun.


joy said...

hi natz,
really love those pool shots..[:)]
vivek saz u have kept the best pics for selling!! why dont u upload them for the good of the public? [;)]


Natasha said...

My favourites are here :)