Hmmm. Decisions decisions.

I finally got a new lens for my camera yesterday — I say finally because for various reasons I won’t bore you with, I’ve been waiting for one for months now — and I’m now not sure about it.

It’s a wider-angle lens (28mm, so equivalent to about 45mm on a film camera) and it’s not as fast as my old lens (f2.8 compared to f1.8). Of course I knew it wasn’t as fast when I bought it, but it was still a bit of a shock: it was really struggling yesterday in the gloomy conditions and I actually started to wonder whether I’d got a bad copy of the lens: I took about 60 test shots and none of them was really sharp.

Well, in today’s glorious sunshine it’s working much better, so I no longer think there’s actually anything wrong with it. But still, having a lens which is dodgy in low light conditions might be all very well in California, but it’s less wonderful in the UK, where the poor light often lasts from about September to April. I was really hoping to use it as a standard lens to just carry around with me, but if it only works when the sun’s out…

So I was considering returning it. On the other hand the only real alternative for a faster lens is the 35mm f2.0, which isn’t really that much wider than my old 50mm; unless I’m going to spend a lot more money. Which I don’t particularly want to do.

2 replies on “Hmmm. Decisions decisions.”

Many, many photographers, for many, many years have used an f2.8 “as a standard lens to just carry around with” them, in Europe, at that. If you took sixty shots and they were none of them sharp, then you may have a problematic lens. Or some settings that need looking to. An f2.8 is little use indoors without a tripod (that’s what 1.4s are for) but outdoors, even at this time of year, it ought to be performing okay.

My 2c.

I have now taken a few hundred shots with it, and although plenty of them have been adequate, I just don’t like it very much, so I’m going to return it. I may not be being completely rational, and if I lived with it longer and played around with it I might come to terms with it, but I think I’d rather return it before the retailers 7-day returns policy expires.

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