Musings on Photography

Lens Lust

Posted in equipment by Paul Butzi on January 21, 2009


I confess, when it comes to equipment lust, I definitely suffer. I suffer only minor temptation when I look at the EOS 5d mk II. But I suffer from unending lens lust. It just never goes away.

I know that most people, when they suffer from Lens Lust, eagerly pore over the aperture, the focal length. They agonize over how many groups, how many elements. I, too, was once like that. Call it ‘lens specification lust’.

Now, though, I suffer from what I can only call ‘look lust’. We’re Netflix subscribers, so we’ve been watching more movies, and oh, my. Some of those lenses those cinematographers use, boy, howdy. I see those shallow depth of field scenes, or a close focus scene, and I can hear Paula wince as she senses the inevitable comment. “Oh, oh!” I’ll exclaim. “I want that lens! LOOK at that lens, will you! Please, I want to have that lens!” Or, perhaps, if the lens was a poor choice, “Ugh! That lens is UGLY. Why did they use that lens?”

Fortunately for me, the lenses used by cinematographers are unlikely to be found in a form I can hang on my camera. This is good, because those lenses are expensive, and I mean expensive with a capital Expensive.

That doesn’t stop me, though. I love my trusty EF 100mm f/2.8 macro. I love it to pieces. But lately, another contender has caught me eye – the EF 90mm f/2.8 TS-E.

Today I caught myself pricing them on Ebay. This is not a good sign. And they, too, are not cheap. But oh, my, the out of focus drawing. Oh, dear.

9 Responses

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  1. Hugh Alison said, on January 21, 2009 at 10:04 am

    Just love my 35mm/1.4 and my 135/2.0 for the shallow depth of field – I could happily use only those two lenses.

  2. Anita Jesse said, on January 21, 2009 at 10:21 am

    You are a very, very bad influence. Shame on you.

  3. Andrew said, on January 21, 2009 at 10:25 am

    You can always rent before buying. This is a fun, safe way to satisfy the lust.

  4. Jerry said, on January 21, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Far cheaper than lusting after starlets : ]

    Now let me tell you about my walk around lense, the EF 85 1:2L. Caused a sonic boom, but no after shocks.

  5. Brian said, on January 21, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    I ‘d been ogling the Leica/Panasonic Summilux 25mm /f4 since its release but had always managed to convince myself that I didn’t need it and that it was way to expensive anyway. Then just before Christmas I learned Panasonic was dropping its Four Thirds line in favor of Micro Four Thirds and that my local shop had one of the last 25mms available in Canada. The dealer took pity on me and offered it at a price that was merely expensive rather than “capital E expensive”. I now own a lens that I really didn’t need and couldn’t really afford. But that’s how “lens lust” works isn’t it. Beautiful lens though.

  6. Mike said, on January 21, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Very very bad man. Unfortunately I completely understand.

    I just bought two second hand lesnes in 3 days. I do not need (actually need at this minute) an ef135 f2 and I will not look on ebay


  7. Ed Richards said, on January 21, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    85mm f1.2L is the closest you will get to what the cine guys can do. But boy is it a sweet lense for out of focus drawing.

  8. Robert said, on January 21, 2009 at 4:31 pm

    I’m on the other end of focal length scale for lust, but it’s just as strong. Anyone got a used Nikon 400mm f2.8? 500mm f4? Anyone?

  9. Martin Doonan said, on January 30, 2009 at 4:33 am

    Well I’ve fallen in love with my 500 f/4 after 2 weeks in Tanzania.

    Am also lusting after a 6×18 camera for wide-angle work.

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