Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Scouring the Far Reaches of the Net

Just yesterday I purchased a "new" used lens from the local camera store. Like so many other instances, I was in the store for an entirely different reason when the little gem made itself very apparent to me from behind the display glass. I reasoned, I simply cannot pass up the opportunity! I raced home, googled the name in search of specs, a brief history, anything that would shed a little light on just where this lens had journeyed from.

Unsurprisingly, I was left with but morsels of clues scattered throughout a maze of forums and sites. In many cases, the existing conversation was mere hypothesis. The exact reason for the lack of information on this lens, aside from it's apparent "unremarkability", is unknown to me.

I am a photo equipment hound. Lenses, chiefly, are of incredible interest to me. I am enthralled with their complexity. The lens' contribution to the human legacy is no less than overwhelming. I like all types of lenses. From the most expensive out of reach to the sleepers covered in dust at the local garage sale. All provide a unique experience of seeing the world around us.

That said, I wish to compile data I have found on these more obscure lenses here. I wish to perform my own tests and observations. I want to provide samples. Though the technical capabilities of the lens can be universally compared and stated, it is still for the photographer to choose his or her tool.

"A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety." - Ansel Adams

So let us not cast our older, so-called "optically inferior" glass aside. For unlike any other technology, lenses provide us a veil through which we can visualize the world as it was done so in a different time. They provide us a "new", if not alternative means to experience our surroundings.

To begin this new blog, in searching for a title, I chose to draw from the words of one of the greatest photographers that ever lived.

"...the common term 'taking a picture' is more than just an idiom; it is a symbol of exploitation. 'Making a picture' implies a creative resonance which is essential to profound expression." - Ansel Adams

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