Thursday, 25 November 2010

One weekend, one prime lens

So last weekend I took a trip to London to catch up with some friends and take in a show. I was trying to travel light so decided to take just one lens, my recently acquired Nikon 35mm 1.8 prime lens.

I have been reading lots about how great prime lens with plenty of people saying how the lens never leave their cameras etc. I must admit that since I bought the lens I haven't given it that much use, opting rather to shoot with my 18-55mm kit lens or my 55-200mm. I guess I just liked being able to zoom.

So, off I went and packed my Nikon D3000 with the 35mm lens in my one bag that ryanair allows on the plane. We arrived late on Friday evening and spent the evening in the pub catching up and I forgot about my camera as the ale flowed. My first chance to test out the lens and especially the low light capability was sitting in the Adelphi theatre waiting for the start of Love Never Dies, the amazing sequel to Phantom of the Opera.

Adelphi Theatre, London

I had to open the lens right up to f1.8 and turn the ISO on my camera to 1600 to get the shot. Unfortunately the D3000 doesn't perform too well at high ISO so there was a lot of noise in the image. I couldn't take out my gorilla tripod and shoot again without being told off for using my camera.

After the show we went to find a pub to watch the Ireland v All Blacks but I managed to catch a few handheld shots of Trafalgar Sq on my way past. This was really where the lens came into its on. Using any other lens I could never have captured these photos without using a tripod and remote shutter.

Trafalgar Square, London

Trafalgar Square Fountain, London

After seeing some these photos, I finally realised the potential of this little beauty. I loved the fact that I could walk around on holidays and not be lugging a load of gear with me and be able to capture shots that normally I'd set up on a tripod for. During the day this lens is great, as sharp as anything I've experienced with my other lenses.

Goose, London

The one thing about traveling with the one lens was that I missed the longer zoom when we went to St. James Park beside Buckingham Palace and all the animals that live there were rather photogenic. The 35mm meant I had to get quite close to the animals to photograph them and as friendly as they were, they weren't that friendly. On my final night I got a chance to test the lens with my little Joby Gorilla tripod and some night shots. Being able to shoot at ISO 100 greatly reduced the noise in my shots and allowed me to get some great photos. 

London Eye

The weekend away with just the prime lens, really opened my eyes to the potential of this little beauty and also the benefits of traveling light. Having just the D3000, a light camera anyway, and the prime lens felt like carrying nothing at all while wandering around the big city. This weekend I'll be taking it and it alone to a friends dinner party to shoot the food and guests.

I have more photos of the trip up on Smugmug

Now, back to thesis writing....


No comments:

Post a Comment