Canon EF 135mm f/2 L

Florence flask

Florence flask

Warren, Connecticut. I’ve now done some more testing of the Canon 200mm f/2.8 L lens vs. the Canon 135mm f/2 L lens plus Canon 1.4x extender and while there are some differences, they’re not enough to warrant buying the 200mm lens (which is a great deal).

When you add the extender to the 135mm f/2 lens you get a 189mm f/2.8 combination. Not quite 200mm but the same speed. While my tests are informal I’m happy with both the sharpness, color, bokeh and handling of the 135 and extender. Is the 200mm better? Probably, but not enough to warrant buying it in addition to the 135.

I like the shape of chemistry glassware and I’m going to order some more to use as subjects for photographs.

Small halogen flood

Small halogen flood

Warren, Connecticut. There is beauty in everyday objects and one of the things we can do with our cameras is take objects out of their functional settings and just look at their forms.

This bulb is reminiscent of a Mercury Space capsule as well as a piece of Japanese pottery. There’s something pleasing about the form.

Note: I was experimenting with the 1.4x extender on my 135mm f/2 to see if that combo might make a good substitute for the 200mm f/2.8 for when I need something longer than 135 but shorter than 300. I think it will.

Scratches in the desert

Scratches in the Desert

Above Eastern California. One of the many things I enjoy about looking out the window on airplanes is the evidence of interaction between humans and the landscape they inhabit. I find it entertaining to project "aerial social psychology" onto why some roads go straight and keep going straight right through mountains, while others take a more leisurely approach, end-running a mountain or turning to find a narrower place to cross a river. Built on top of this is the possibility that humans might want to live where two of these roads cross.

Of course, 30,000 feet and not knowing exactly what I’m looking at removes me from the actual history of the place which may explain all of this seemingly arbitrary stuff. For instance, this "town" looks more like a mining operation. Maybe some future GPS device will be hooked up to some future wikipedia and historic google maps so that we can rewind aerial views to see how and why they evolved. I hope I’m still around then.

Gary’s glass

Favorite Glass

My good friend Gary Sharp has been on a roll lately with new Canon 5D camera, new Canon 135mm f/2 L lens, and now a new ballhead for his tripod. All of this is extremely fine gear but the gear doesn’t take the pictures; Gary is one of the finest photographers I know. Some of it is his ability to make seemingly mundane objects regal (like this glass) but it’s also in his attitude as a photographer: he has the confidence of his vision and isn’t swayed much by others. This is not to say he’s hard headed (like me) but more that he has a direction he enjoys and keeps plugging away at it.

Stacked glass bowls

Stacked glass bowls

In the hierarchy of our collection of inexpensive glassware, these bowls are a bit more “regal” than our cereal bowls and get used for smaller or more specialized things. However, they get used daily, not just when guests come over.

The hierarchy of things and how we value and/or revere them interests me. If I gave my father a new shirt instead of wearing it he’d put it away, wanting to “use up” the shirts he already had first. This is a bit different from plastic slip covers on furniture (they look and feel like hell so change the use of the furniture) and he didn’t go that far.

But, I do notice that some people have everyday dishes and save special ones for guests (this is different from, although not unlike keeping a kosher kitchen). At our house, we like to use the things we like every day as well as when guests come over. I’m not bragging about the worthiness of these cheap bowls, just observing that my father would have used the even cheaper ones himself, saving these to impress you.