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Thread: Oh-oh

  1. #1
    dubaiphil's Avatar
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    Oh-oh

    Well I decided as it is my day off and I'm home alone to go for a photo walk in Dubai this morning. On the plus side, I had a little free time to dedicate to photography. On the minus side, it would be 45 degrees in the shade, intense sunlight and it's Ramadan so there's no eating or drinking in public.

    To set myself a new challenge I thought I'd try shooting hyperfocally for speed. Normally I approach street photography in a slightly more considered and slow way, and shooting at or near wide open requires more critical focus - and time. This way, in the bright light I'd be shooting at f16, allowing acceptable focus between 1.5 metres and near infinity.

    Now to be as discreet as possible, I thought I'd take my D90 out of retirement. Without a battery grip (which I sold earlier) it is far far smaller than my gripped D700 - almost toy like, but ideal for being discrete. Now for the lens, I opted for my 50mm f1.4G. Again, a small form factor and a slightly longer focal length than I'd prefer but I thought it would do.

    To get a good acceptable focus range on the 50mm f1.4 meant shooting at f16, which is as closed as it gets. I therefore changed my mind and resorted to my favourite lens, the Carl Zeiss 35mm f2. With manual focus, a far more accurate aperture ring and focus range scale, not being fully closed at f16 and at just over 50mm equivalent on a crop body, this would be my final choice.

    I had a great photo walk, but at the end I was shooting in a narrow alleyway. As it was so hot the plastic hand grip on the D90 was nowhere near as secure and grippy as my more rubberised D700 and I was shoulder barged by a passer-by just as I was bringing the camera up to shoot. The result - my D90 and favourite lens flew off into a low parabola, hitting the concrete 2.5m away!

    Fortunately (?) the fall of the camera was broken by the lens hood on the Carl Zeiss. The end result: One lens hood bent over double. Camera operating fine, with one tiny scuff mark on the bottom of the body, LCD's fine, focusing fine - everything great. After prizing off the metal lens hood on the lens, the front element, lens mount, focusing aperture ring and everything else are working with no problems. I took a few shots at varying apertures to make sure the internals were working fine and everything's good. PHEW!

    Now if this was my 50mm f1.4, damage to the lens and camera would have definitely been far more significant.

    People often bash Carl Zeiss lenses on internet forums (mainly those who have never used them) but one thing's for sure - they can take a good bashing!

  2. #2
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Oh-oh

    It is enough the take the Carl Zeiss lens into your hands to understand its build quality. The 35mm weights almost half of the Nikon 24-70mm.... There is a reason for this...

  3. #3
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: Oh-oh

    Phil,

    Glad to hear that the end result was not so bad.

    I had a similar experience not long ago with my Canon 70-200 f/4 IS. I was doing night shots on a very windy day, with my tripod legs fully extended. A gust of wind blew my camera over, onto concrete. The distance was smaller, but still about 1.5m. I was horrified--it's my most expensive lens. The long lens hood (plastic) shattered, and that is probably what saved the day. I assume that the hood, in shattering, absorbed a lot of the energy of the fall. The only damage to the lens was a bent filter ring, which had to be replaced. My camera (50D) was undamaged.

    Dan

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Just add 'MacKenzie'

    Re: Oh-oh

    I'm just worried about the passer-by. Did he survive your wrath? Or is barging like that just par for the course?

    Glad to read that all systems are still 'go'.

  5. #5
    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Oh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    People often bash Carl Zeiss lenses on internet forums (mainly those who have never used them) but one thing's for sure - they can take a good bashing!
    I find that the only people that bash these lenses have never owned or used Zeiss (or Leica) equipment. Beautifully crafted, excellent optics, quality components and impeccable construction. As they say, you get what you pay for. Some of my 30+ year old Leica lenses seems to have handled heavy duty use better than some of my much newer Nikon gear.

  6. #6

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    Re: Oh-oh

    I've never owned a Leica but a few months ago, my brother approached me on behalf of a friend of his. He wanted an idea of what to ask for a couple of "old" cameras that had come from his father's attic. One was a Leica M3 with a 35mm (f2.8?) lens on it and I lusted after it. In the end though I decided to be honest and told him what they were currently fetching at auction. The words "Precision" and "Instrument" come easily to mind.

  7. #7

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    Re: Oh-oh

    I and my wife always wear a shoulder strap attached to the camera. If someone accidentally bumps us from behind, the worst thing that happens is that the camera falls safely to our waist.

  8. #8
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Oh-oh

    Lucky you. I am always cautious of making contact with passersby, mainly because I don't want someone's head suddenly appearing in my shots.

  9. #9
    Wayland's Avatar
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    Wayland ( aka. Gary Waidson )

    Re: Oh-oh

    Quote Originally Posted by dubaiphil View Post
    Snip> People often bash Carl Zeiss lenses on internet forums <Snip
    Sounds like you bash yours on concrete... Oh-oh

    Glad it worked out all right in the end though.

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