Do I Have a Go-To Walk-Around Lens? Part 1

Not a high quality macro shot, but a nice photograph I'm happy to have made.

Not a high quality macro shot, but a nice photograph I’m happy to have made.

Lately I’ve been carrying too much gear everywhere, and as any experienced amateur will tell you, one shoots less when overburdened. Back in my film days, and early in my digital era, I found myself out and about with nothing but a 60mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor. It was my go-to walk-around lens, and I shot everything with it.

Right now, I don’t have a go-to walk-around lens. When I have an assignment, I bring lenses appropriate to the task. But I think that not having a walk-around lens, one that I know intimately and can see through before I raise the camera to my eye, is a problem. In fact, it may be the reason that I’m not walking around, making pictures.

The 105 does not offer the creamy bokeh of the 85 f/1.4, but it has a sharpness, blur, color and contrasts all its own.

The 105 does not offer the creamy bokeh of the 85 f/1.4, but it has a sharpness, blur, color and contrasts all its own.

So I have decided to select one, and I’m going to spend the next few weeks going on one-lens excursions to see what excites and inspires me when I’m feeling dull and uninspired.

First up, in honor of that old 60mm Micro-Nikkor, is my 105mm f/2.8 Micro-Nikkor. I roamed the backyard with it a couple of weekends ago, and this post includes some of the images, although not a good sampling of the lens’ versatility.  I will make it my walk-around lens for the next couple of weeks and see what happens.  After that, I think I’ll try the 35mm f/2.0. Dang, this is going to be fun…

I lack the patience to get the most out of the lens' macro capability, but with VR, I can get close enough for my own satisfaction.

I lack the patience to get the most out of the lens’ macro capability, but with VR, I can get close enough for my own satisfaction.

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Filed under Camera Gear, Nature Photography, Professional vs. Amateur

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