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Me and My Little Lens
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
Me in the only photo of me that I actually like Photo by Stéphane Barbery , from his Flickr stream -- Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Stéphane Barbery
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/3000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Me
in the only photo of me that I actually like
Photo by Stéphane Barbery, from his Flickr stream

So, as evidenced by “Street Photography (Sort of) In Roppongi Hills“ and its followups (parts two and three), I got a new lens last week. Some have asked to see a photo of me with it, so it's fortuitous that Kyoto friend Stéphane Barbery (he of the oft-different artistic sense and some killer Festival of the Ages shots, among much other) actually got a photo of me where I don't think I look horrible. He had been laughing at me for using the new lens, a circa 1983 Nikon 300mm f/2 (“Nikkor ED 300mm f/2 IF”), without a tripod, and I guess I was laughing back.

Normally I'm pretty pathetic in photos, which is why I prefer to be behind the camera.

The next day, Zak Braverman (of Shakuhachi bamboo flute and Gen's daddiness fame) took a shot of me where I had hoped to come across relaxed, with the lens cradled in my arm for loving safety, but instead I look like... I dunno... spaced out.

Out to Lunch? Photo by Zak Braverman stupid look by me -- Overlooking Aragijima (あらぎ島) -- Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Zak Braverman, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Voigtländer 125mm f/2.5 — 1/400 sec, f/2.5, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Out to Lunch?
Photo by Zak Braverman
stupid look by me

But that's not the worst of it. After picking up the lens, I had my camera bag, a monopod that I didn't use much, a pouch with my wallet, iPad, etc., and the big heavy case for the lens, all in addition to the lens. It was so much to lug around that I was tempted to just head home, but I don't get to Tokyo much, so didn't want to waste the opportunity, so lugged it all around as I wandered the Roppongi area of Tokyo.

I felt ridiculous and self-conscious enough with the big lens, but lugging all that stuff around as well, strapped in various kludgy ways to my body.... wow, I had to just jettison all sense of shame and embarrassment. And it turns out my feelings were justified, as I see in some pics that the lady of this couple took, and the guy then sent to me...

Behind Tokyo Midtown trying to stand such that the big silver lens case is hidden behind me Photo by Nice Lady in Tokyo -- Minato Ward, Tokyo, Japan
PENTAX Optio I-10 — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 80 — map & image datanearby photos
Behind Tokyo Midtown
trying to stand such that the big silver lens case is hidden behind me
Photo by Nice Lady in Tokyo
Lens In Action Photo by Nice Lady in Tokyo -- Tokyo Midtown -- Minato Ward, Tokyo, Japan
PENTAX Optio I-10 — 1/640 sec, f/3.5, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
Lens In Action
Photo by Nice Lady in Tokyo

Let me repay each of these kind folks for snapping my picture by offering one of each of them actually taken with the lens....

Photogenic Couple in Tokyo -- Tokyo Midtown -- Minato Ward, Tokyo, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1600 sec, f/2, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Photogenic Couple in Tokyo
Zak Braverman -- Pierre Nadeau's Smithy -- Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/80 sec, f/2, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Zak Braverman
Stéphane Barbery -- Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/3200 sec, f/2, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Stéphane Barbery

I processed Stéphane's photo in what I think his style might look like.

And for completeness, here's the photo I took moments after Stéphane took the photo that leads this post, in what turns out to be a boring picture of a fisherman with a very long fishing rod that you can't quite see...

Aridagawa, Wakayama, Japan -- Copyright 2011 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/4000 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

Comments so far....

Hmmm. Let’s see. Jeff, do you remember that little two-wheeled cart that Dad made for you to pull behind your bike when you had those huge loads of newspapers you had to deliver? Maybe you could make up a little rickshaw-esque contraption you could pull behind you. with fold-up handles that transformed into a huge backpack for when you had to take a train or bus or scooter??? No??
Well, then, do they have shopping carts there like they do for the bag ladies here? Wheeled backpacks like the kids here use?? A burro or pack mule?? A caddy??
I’m just trying to be helpful here.

— comment by Grandma Friedl in Ohio, USA on May 11th, 2011 at 11:23pm JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I just looooove the Stephane Barbery photo!

Joe

— comment by Joe on May 12th, 2011 at 1:41am JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Dear Jeffrey O.M.G.!
You went out in public like that????
Having seen you with That Lens, I am surprised that you weren’t sectioned straight away let alone arrested as a terrorist…but I can see that you do look a tad eccentric, follower of some strange religion and that probably saved you.
Il faut suffrir pour prendre les photos…
Bless.
Annie

— comment by Annie in London on May 12th, 2011 at 3:17am JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

I have previously asked why you used manual focus when AF was available. The images with a very demanding AIS long focus extreme aperture lens certainly answer the question. Some shots are not in focus, and for very good reason. Some are sharp where theu need to be and are unsharp where they need to be. You could edit what you show us but that would not be as instructive. Personally I have given up on manual focus not because auto is so good but the modern DSLR screen is so difficult for that purpose. Keep up the good work.

What I’ve shown in the earlier posts is heavily edited in the sense that I choose what to show and what not to show. I must have taken several hundred photos, but showed only a few dozen. As for the focusing screen, there are aftermarket makers. I use a Katz Eye focusing screen and love it. —Jeffrey

— comment by John Youngs on May 12th, 2011 at 4:58am JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Why do people assume that bad people like terrorists would use a big lens? That always puzzles me.

Because maybe that’s what they do in the movies?? —Jeffrey

— comment by Zak on May 12th, 2011 at 3:27pm JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

So nice to see a picture of you. And to my eyes you do look very relaxed on the “Out to Lunch?” pic. Nice shot.

— comment by Peter on May 12th, 2011 at 6:17pm JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Have you ever considered using one of those camera/lens carrier with wheels like Lowepro or Think Tank?

Those are useful for A-to-B transportation, but seem less so when being out and about with the lens. I picked up a Lowepro Lens Trekker 600 AW II yesterday. It lets me have the camera attached and both lens hoods extended (I didn’t even realize there were two until yesterday), so setup/breakdown time when I’m out is reduced to zero. Haven’t tried going out with it yet, though. —Jeffrey

— comment by James Tuazon on May 13th, 2011 at 3:18am JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

Dunno if you’re familiar with the Lowepro Lens-Exchange Case 200AW but this is handy to have with most zooms to 70-200mil lenses ….. http://products.lowepro.com/product/S-F-Lens%20Exchange%20Case%20200%20AW,2226.htm and a video of it ….. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RsL4znCKO-U

It’d be a tight squeeze, but I could put a 2×2 grid of four of those cases inside the mounted lens hoods of the 300/2. I don’t think I’ve used my 70-200 in a year or more anyway. Maybe I should break it out again…. it’d feel so cute :-) —Jeffrey

— comment by James Tuazon on May 13th, 2011 at 12:00pm JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink

When you use that lens, its enormous scale makes you look like your kid!

— comment by Andrew Shieh, Sunnyvale on May 14th, 2011 at 6:40am JST (3 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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