Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cross Behind Scaffolding

I don't remember where, other than I was in Manhattan:

When I was taking Sight and Sound at NYU, our standard issue camera (as it is today), was an Arriflex 16, with the three turret lens system. We weren't allowed zoom lenses because of young students' proclivities to abuse that privilege (imagine everyone trying to pull off the Kubrick zoom out), and instead to make due with our fixed lenses (which we did, by gum).

I'm thinking about that now because today I bought my very first zoom lens. Up to now, every camera I've been shooting with has had a fixed lens. I got it for my K1000, which like the Arri 16, is a beast that can be taken into any conditions. Yes, I know this isn't motion pictures, but it's a bid deal for me anyways. I also think they don't allow lenses in beginning photo classes. All the students I see walking around have fixed lenses on their class-issued Canons and Minoltas. I guess they want them to learn how to frame an image without just zooming in to find it and changing the whole depth focal perspective thing. As you can see, I've never taken a photo class.

By the way, it's a 100-500mm lens. When it's fully extended, it really is a penis replacement. It's the equivalent of a middle aged dude rolling around in his Corvette. Though the lens is a Promaster (made by Vivitar), so it's not the Rolls Royce (or even Corvette) of zoom lenses (if it were a Leica or a Sigma or even a Tamron...) so it's like the kit car of zoom lenses. You know, those little cars that are usually convertibles and they look all retro but you can't tell what make they are because the body comes in a kit that you put on a VW Bug chassis? That's what I got. I got the middle aged guy driving the kit car trying to impress with something that looks way fancier than it really is.

And I thought I just wanted to be less intrusive when I shoot people on the street...

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