Close-up and personal -- photos, that is

... for 100 bucks, I bought this handy-dandy 1.8 lens

from Don Norris

Some many years ago, I bought a new Canon all-things camera, which came
with a really neat all-purpose zoom lens -- a 24-to-135 millimeter capacity
-- and it turned out to be the perfect all-round set-up for a wandering
journalist. So just a short while ago, I saw on Amazon a "50mm, F-1.8 lens"
for a hundred bucks. Delightful, I thought, for this would be the perfect
companion to the original tele.

So what you see on these pages are a home-grown group of pictures that I
shot immediately after opening the package. They are all shots while seated
at the computer station or on the living room couch, all close-up, all
personal. They were the test to see if I got my hundred bucks worth ...

I think the point of buying another lens was to get one with lots of low-light-
capabilities, one that can "see" better in fading light -- with a wide-open
capacity of f1.8. For you non-photographers, that means the lens allows
much more light to reach the, ah "film" -- or the modern-day receptors.

So I loaded the new lens on the Canon (a model 60-D which I bought for
around $1500 several years ago), sat in my chair at the computer, and, with
the new f-1.8 lens mounted, shot what I saw around me. The computer
screen, the piles of pencils and papers, my books, pens and pencils --
everything but my highball.

The first thing I noted was that the F-1.8 lens was all it had. It contained NO
diaphragm to close down. Whatever I shot, was shot at F 1.8. It's a good
thing for camera-automation these days, for the Canon simply jacked up the
shutter speed to compensate for all that light.

The results were good -- at least in the darkness of my computer room, they
were. Even in the living room, the photos came out pretty much as I expected
-- bright and shiny, with a very narrow depth of field. There is no closing
down the aperature to get a longer depth of field -- because there is no
diaphragm to close down. This is a F1.8 lens, and that's it.

The photos you see here are for-real, although they have been put through
Adobe Photoshop -- normal for a photo-journalist. That foot-picture is kind
of personal, but it's the good one -- the other was pretty banged up when I
hit a bedrock while competing in a cross-country enduro. Motorcycling, that

I was surprised at the depth-of-field I got with this F1.8 lens. Notice above
that much of the scene -- the part that is important -- is in focus, while the
foreground and the background are getting fuzzy.

I admit, I had to sharpen the type in the novel I was reading. Adobe is the

So there you have it: an inexpensive decent-quality lens that works okay for
my needs. I believe it is still available at Amazon.

July 3, 2015

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