Fast wide-angle lens

So, I’ve been working down in London for a couple of weeks and, as a result, even though I’m still hugely overdrawn and in debt, I can now see a way to paying it all off, something which eluded me as recently as three weeks ago.

As a result, as always happens when I know that I’ll have money coming in soon, I got credit card happy. Lots of little treats all week (books, meals out), plus one very big treat: the lens I have been lusting after for many months now, a Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L USM. I got it second hand (a mere £690, including hood) from the Camera Café in Museum Street.

My only problem was that, for once, I was travelling without my camera (I had a lot of other stuff to take to London, and my back has been playing up so I wanted to keep my kit to a minimum). Plus what started out as a 2 day placement stretched out to 9 days in a row. So I’ve been carrying this lens around with me, itching to use it, but with no camera to put it on.

I’m back home now, and initial results are… interesting. With such a wide aperture, auto-focus is an absolute pig, and manual focus at f/1.4  with a crop digital viewfinder is next to impossible, but it’s a challenge – I need to improve my focusing skills anyway, and this is an ideal way to do it. I may get myself an ST-E2 to help with those dark moments, but ultimately I’d like to get better at getting a proper feel for focusing distances, and doing it manually as much as possible.

I’ve been feeling a bit ambiguous about my recent use of Flash – the results look great, but somehow it feels like I’m not being entirely true to my roots. The f/1.4 gives me a chance to go out and try some flash-free photography again with more flexibility. I shall try to avoid the flash as much as possible for the next month or two, and see where the ambient light takes me…

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