Fred A Levy Haskell (fredcritter) wrote,
Fred A Levy Haskell
fredcritter

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My New Toy!

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I’ve wanted a long lens (≥300mm) for many years now. This was not so I could call lots of attention to myself by slinking around beaches and pretending pretty … um  … “girls” wouldn’t notice I was taking photos of them if I were using a telephoto lens; rather, it was because I kept noticing segments of the world that would be visually interesting were I to photograph them with the kind of back-to-front compression a long lens imparts.

Lately I’ve been seeing even more of these potentially interesting vignettes, which amped my desire more than a little.

Alas, the cheapest Nikon 300mm lens costs $1.5K (and the Sigma 300mm is $3.3K!!), and the longer lenses appear to top out at around $9K. Urf!

I finally decided that enough was enough and that I’d check out used lenses. The one slight problem here is that while the basic Nikon lens mount hasn’t changed in well over 40–50 years, Nikon has changed the way the meter links to the lens (links, that is, so as to detect the lens’s maximum aperture so the meter can calculate the correct shooting aperture and shutter speed for the scene). And, of course, they’ve added electrical contacts for autofocusing. The autofocus part didn’t concern me—I’ve been doing my own focusing for longer than autofocusing has been around—but the meter linking could be a problem. I mean, I reckon determining the right f-stop and shutter speed wouldn’t be that hard—I still have my trusty old Sekonic incident light meter after all—but programming those settings into the F-100 to override its automated system would be a pain in the patoot.

So I was poking around the used lenses on the B&H Photo site and saw this 500mm f/8 Reflex Nikkor which was priced within my range. There was a large disclaimer that it was a non-AI lens (meaning that it was made before the current meter-linking system had been introduced), but I thought, “Hmmm. That f/8 isn’t a maximum f-stop, it’s a fixed aperture. I’ll bet I could simply set the F-100’s meter to aperture-priority auto and have everything work out just dandy.” So I bought the lens.

I wuz right!

So this is one of the test shots I did to ensure that my theory was correct. It was hand-held—I’ll use my tripod in the future and pick more fascinating subjects, but it at least gives you a peek at what’s in store.

Tags: photo by da fredcritter
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