A coworker of Ted’s is upgrading his camera kit to professional lenses, and thus is looking to get rid of several of his older ones. Ted brought them home for a trial run this week, and the past couple mornings I’ve put a different lens on and gone out. I shall continue to do this for two more days, with the rest of the lenses.

I took the 50mm out yesterday. The last time I shot on a 50mm lens might have been high school, when I was learning the art of photography. This possibility is heavily backed up by the fact that when I brought the viewfinder to my eye, I immediately manually focused the lens, which I haven’t had to do in, um, a really long time. But it seems that what I saw through the lens said “manual focus” to me, which is kinda cool.

I’d forgotten how much fun a 50mm is. They (They) say it’s the closest approximation to what the human eye actually sees, and aside from the middling detail of frame edges, I think that’s quite true. I did keep being surprised at how reduced the view was from up close, but it’s got great depth of field, and the human-eye element really pleased me.

The second one I took out was a 40mm macro lens. The reviews online said essentially “A truly awesome general use lens that will do macro stuff as well,” which seems to pretty much nail it. I spent some time climbing around statuary this morning taking pictures, none of which reflected the macro effect at all but a few of which I like enough to present as Kitsnaps in a bit here, and repeated several of yesterday’s photos to see what differences there were. (The answer: for distance shots, not many.) I didn’t find much I wanted to try macro-ing, but I did do one pair of shots that illustrate how shallow the depth of field can be with it. What I *really* want to do with that lens is go back out to wherever Kate took me a few years ago and take pictures of the bluebells this May.

Tomorrow I’m taking the 10-20mm wide-angle lens. I don’t even know what you’re supposed to do with a lens like that. :)

Comparison pictures behind the cut.

Canal & Croke Park, 40mm:

Canal & Croke Park, 50mm:

Garden of Remembrance, 40mm:

Garden of Remembrance, 50mm:

Young Indiana, Squinchy-Faced, 40mm:

Young Indiana, Squinchy-Faced, 50mm:

As you can see, there’s no significant difference between the two in distance shots (except for the light, which I could have adjusted for but didn’t; the 40mm lens has a fixed F-stop of 2.8, so I expect it’s inclined to let more light in by its nature). As it happens, the depth of field in the picture of Young Indiana is much better in the 50mm one, but I couldn’t get him to hold still for the 40mm one, which affected the quality of the shot somewhat. :)

In theory, however, the depth of field with the 40mm can be brought in like this:

…which is considerably closer and more agile at tight changes of focus within a small area than any other lens I have.

This is just a nice snapshot of the Millennium Spire, taken with the 50mm.

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