Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thank God for autofocus


I’ve been shooting photos nearly all of my life. Before I went to school, my mom occasionally let me snap a frame or two with her very basic Kodak twin-lens reflex camera.

My first camera was a Kodak Holiday Brownie that my parents bought me to take on a trip to Yellowstone National Park in the summer of 1955.

I’ve used a wide variety of film and digital cameras, ranging from 4x5 Speed Graphics to a Nikon F5 to my current workhorse, a Nikon D200 digital camera. (Yeah, I know it’s seven years old and obsolete, but I can still do pretty good work with it and I’m not in a position to spring for a newer model.)

The advances in photo technology are what’s kept me in the game. I would never have attempted to shoot weddings before digital photography came along. And it occurred to me while shooting a third-grade football game this morning, I would be totally screwed for sports photography were it not for autofocus and the continuous shooting feature of my digital SLR.

My all-around favorite lens for portraiture and action photography is the fabulous Nikkor f/2.8 80-200mm lens that once belonged to Indianapolis Star photographer and friend Joe Vitti before he traded it in at Roberts Imaging in Indianapolis. My favorite story-telling lens is our 12-24mm wide angle. It’s kinda slow at f/4, but the coverage and depth of field are great tools.

For extreme low-light situations, there’s the Nikkor f/1.4 50mm lens that I embarrassingly forgot to take with me on my trip to Las Vegas last month. I also have a 90mm Tamron macro lens that gets used once in a blue moon, usually when I need a close-up detail shot for something I’m selling on Ebay.

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