approx. 83mm dia. x 106mm or 3.3 in. dia x 4.2 in.

1735mm (10k image)So i got a call from one of my co-workers on monday. He said that Penn Camera (a small independently owned camera shop in rockville) got some demo lenses direct from Nikon. Woah! So i called them up and asked if they had any Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 AF-S EDIF lenses. Of course they didnt as you rarely find one even used for sale. But he said he would call me back if another Penn Camera in the area had one. So i hung up the phone in a slightly sadened manner. Pooh. Not more than 2 minutes later Duane called me back and said, “Yo, we got one in Virginia at our Tyson’s Corner shop!” I asked if it could be shipped to the Rockville store and he said it could be there by 7pm. Hot damn. I now referred to him as, “Duuuu-wayne”. Then i got a call at 5pm. It’s in the house. I dropped everything i was doing and headed to my favorite camera shop. I walked in there and asked for Duane. He walked over with a box that in my eyes was glowing like a gift on Christmas day. (Cos i know Jesus) He opened the box and pulled out a slightly smaller lens than my Nikon 80-200 f/2.8 that Emily now refers to it as, “The Dildo”. This lens he pulled out will now be called, “The Butt Plug” due to it’s slightly smaller size but larger diameter. He asked what body i had and i said, “F100”. It also came with a cool purse (like the 80-200’s, but a little smaller) and a lens hood. Then he put that 17-35mm on the F100. I fiddled with it for no more than 2 minutes and pretty much had to change my pants. I was sold. Plus is was a demo and it was $500 cheaper than a new one. How happy could i be?! My Jewish genes were on fire! He even threw in a top of the line Nikon 77mm UV Filter that sells for $130 for only $40. Duane is the man. I left the store and then a day later took some shots of Emily talking on the phone to test it out.

I got the prints back last night. One thing i was worried about with my 16mm f/2.8 prime lens was that in low light with longer exposure times was that you would get this rather nasty grain, even with 200 or 400 speed film. But after looking at the prints, the 17-35mm had no such grain. Camera peeps always talk about “sharpness” and whatnot and i never really took that to heart until i saw the results of this lens. Night and day my friend. Here are some samples:

emily1735 (13k image)

5 sec exposure :: f/2.8 – notice the clarity in the leaves and lamp to the left of Emily, as well as the texture in her hair. Please disregard the speckles. That is due to the fact that Emily’s scanner is dirty as a mofo and even my Windex cleaning spree didnt do much to help. And of course these pictures are just scans. The detail is exponentially more intense and crisp in print. PS. Click the image to see it larger

emily1735 (13k image)

4 sec exposure :: f/2.8 – not too interesting of a frame, but notice again the detail in the plants, the couch arm, and the lamp pole. Pretty weird depth of field for the f-stop. Crazy. PS. Click the image to see it larger

So all in all, this new investment was more than i ever expected out of a zoom lens. The idea behind “lenses make the camera” is totally true. You need good glass, first and foremost. The camera is only a box with bells and whistles. Never thought i would ever say such a thing. Now i am going to go enjoy my day off.

You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline – it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer. — Frank Zappa

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