Today ushered in a new chapter in my photography, and simultaneously closed another.
A new lens joined its brethren here in my photography den; and an old friend parted ways.
Now, I am not one to buy gear very often. My days of ‘Gear Acquisition Syndrome’ (GAS) are well and truly behind me; and I have settled on a photography rig which allows me to achieve what I want to achieve.
Being in a position whereby gear is not a limiting factor, is indeed a good position. Sure, there is always something that would be nice to have; but something that is nice to have, as opposed to something that is necessary for my photographic objectives, is quite a different matter, particularly when it comes to spending money to placate a want rather than a need.
However, every now and then, a new piece of equipment joins my rig, often unexpectedly and rather suddenly.
Today, the spectacular Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM lens found its way into my rig under those very circumstances.
For some odd reason, I had read The Digital Picture‘s comprehensive review of this lens (amongst others) quite recently, and I had pondered, both recently and a number of times throughout the years, the possibility of replacing my beloved Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM with the wider, 14mm prime lens.
For years it was one of those “it would be nice…” scenarios, but today it became a reality.
At 4:16pm I declared that I was actually thinking about doing this.
At 5:33pm, l declared that I had actually done so.
I have never progressed from “I’m thinking about…” to “I just bought…” so rapidly.
The plan I had was to visit my main photographic supplier on my way elsewhere to see what kind of a deal I could get. When I visit (which is maybe once every year or two), the guy there always recognises me, talks to me for a while, and gives me a good deal on anything I buy.
The visit was purely for research, but it went a bit further than that, as the lens was there (which I did not know before visiting), and the price was right. I solved two ‘problems’ in one hit.
Firstly, he discounted the listed price of lens for me; and secondly, he gave me a good trade-in deal on my Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM.
As the 14mm prime was intended to replace the zoom, I did not want to spend a significant amount up front and then need to sell my nine-year-old Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, which has recently been superseded by a Mark III version. A trade-in was perfect.
The salesman was surprised at the remarkably good condition of my Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM, to which I responded by stating that I take good care of my gear. Indeed, I do.
The combination of the initial discount and the trade-in value put the price firmly in the “I can do this right now” category rather than the “tempting, but I cannot justify the expense now” world of misery.
So, the deal was done. My beloved Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens stayed in the shop, and a brand-new Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM departed with me.
I honestly did not plan any purchases this year at all, and while I periodically think about lenses and cameras I would like (there is always something), there is a massive difference between the wishful thought, and the cash-depleting reality.
So far, 2017 has started off quite nicely in the photography department, with two pleasing shoots having taken place.
Tonight, I had plans to expand upon that. And now I was armed with a new lens and all the kid-in-a-candy-store excitement a new toy brings.
Some people’s photography becomes re-invigorated upon acquiring a new camera or lens; some people’s photography becomes re-invigorated as a result of shooting a pleasing image. In my case, a combination of both scenarios was achieved tonight, and my initial impression of theCanon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM is that it is a brilliant lens.
I have shot extensively with my Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens over the past nine years, and according to my lens utilisation statistics, it is my most frequently used lens.
However, I wanted an even wider lens for a more expansive view, and I also wanted to switch to a prime. Most of my lenses are primes (now seven out of a total of eight), and even though the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM is a zoom, I rarely ever used its zoom capability, sticking fairly religiously to the 16mm setting, and at times forgetting that the lens’s focal length could be changed, which I realised after moving my tripod rig to a slightly different position.
So, now I have a new Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM lens which opens up new possibilities and has given me a psychological boost. Additionally, I took it for a shoot only a few hours after purchasing it, and I landed a pleasing series of images (about which I will post separately).
I hope my Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM finds its way into the home of someone who will love it as much as I did, and that it will bring years of rewarding images.
I look forward to getting back into photography, and a new lens may just help do that.