When I first enrolled in my photography class, one of my friends told me that I would soon be desiring to spend immense amounts of money to upgrade my current equipment. I figured he was probably right…but little did I know how quickly the photo-sickness would strike. Suffice it to say that I have a serious case of Lens Envy — specifically, a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR lens! But since the price on that beauty is a bit more than pocket change, I might have to wait until we rack up enough points to get one through a membership rewards program.
Why this particular lens? My daughter is an ice skater. The sport is wedged down deep in her soul. Although I have a VERY nice 18-200mm zoom lens for my camera, it does not have an aperture (think: pupil, as in the pupil of your eye) large enough to let in the amount of light the camera needs to capture her skating in motion at fast shutter speeds. In order to compensate for my smaller aperture, I have to set the ISO to the maximum setting, which leads to grainy photos. The more I zoom in, the smaller my aperture gets…so then I have to lower the shutter speed…which induces blur….and it’s all a mess. Indoor sports on ice present a challenge to a novice photographer like me.
But bulldog that I am, I took my 60mm Macro lens to the skating rink this week to see if its larger aperture (f/2.8) would allow me to take better photos. I found that I could capture shots at a much higher shutter speed than I can with my zoom lens. I’m not posting any of these photos because the skaters look like featureless zombies. The Macro froze the action, but the action was so far away that it was hard to tell who was skating! The lens I have my eye on would fall somewhere in the middle of the Macro and my current zoom.
For now, I’ve been learning how to use the Macro lens. We bought it when we first got our camera, but I quickly became frustrated with the amount of blur and the limited focus. Now that I’m in the “Advanced” class, I brought it out and used it successfully with portraits. It took me awhile to get the hang of moving the camera back and forth until the focus is just right, but I did manage to get a few Macro shots that I liked:
Next week my photography class is taking another field trip. Our objective will be to capture wildlife at an area nature preserve. I’m looking forward to another field trip. I’ll be using my handy dandy 18-200mm lens as there should be enough light outdoors to alleviate my lens-itis. Don’t want to get up close and personal with snakes!