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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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85L

I got a new toy.

Sorry for the nasty photo, I wasn’t trying very hard. Even with that photo, it’s kind of hard to understand how much bigger and heavier the 85L is than the 35L, which I normally found heavy to carry around all day in the past. Thus far, it’s the only lens I’ve used other than the 70-200/2.8 IS that makes me wish I had a pro body, in terms of form factor; trying to handle the 5DII with a kilogram of nose-heavy glass out front is a bit of a chore. This lens makes me want a power booster, which is a first, since I hate them normally. Just strolling about the apartment with it out front of the mark 2 makes me wish I was doing more wrist exercises.

AF speed is excruciating, as expected. The laggy focus-by-wire is irritating, the feel of the barely damped focus ring completely silly, and the lack of full-time manual control is irritating. The rotating bayonet is just plain goofy. The thought that I’d ever be shooting in enough cross light that I’d need the hood absurd.

And, as completely impractical as it is, the thing is marvelous. I love it.

I’ve also been enjoying the Canon S90. The multipurpose ring is amazing. Canon’s menu system is still complete shit. About the biggest problem is that, with two control rings, I still need to hit the func button to change critical camera settings. Like if I’m shooting RAW or not. Otherwise, it’s got good optics, good low-light performance, good image quality otherwise, and a lot of portability. Especially compared to my kilogram of glass above. If you want a point and shoot camera right now that has a non-prime lens out front, this is the one to buy. Go, now, and get one.

Update: As long as I can shoot a picture of the 85L with the S90, I may as well shoot a picture of the S90 hand-held with only the backlight of my computer’s LCD. Because I can.