Friday, June 05, 2009

Bikes and Cameras

June 5th, 2009 - and it's raining in Los Angeles. Somehow, some way, I'm going to head out on my bike (and drag along a camera) before the day is over.

A few days ago, I returned from my bike/photo trip to Arizona. I used a Panasonic Lumix TZ5 for most of the photographs I've posted below. Due to its petite size and its huge zoom range - equivalent to a 24-280mm zoom lens on a full frame camera - the TZ5 is an excelleny choice for taking along on a bike ride.

On the other hand, I also like the results I can obtain from my Nikon 35mm f/2 lens. On my DX DSLR, the 35mm lens is similar to a 50mm lens on a full frame camera, offering what is often referred to as a "normal" field of view. It's the meeting place between wide angle and telephoto optics. With good technique, and with some creativity, my 35mm can simulate the look of lenses short and long.

It's not just the focal length I like - it's the f/2 aperture, which lets me make photographs in dim light, as well as selectively blur the background (or foreground). A prime example is the accompanying photograph, made on the Arizona trip.

My main DSLR is heavy, which is why I don't want to take it on a bike ride. It's also why I would have little desire to take a zoom lens with me - zooms are heavy, too.

On the other hand, I recently purchased a back-up camera body to replace a dead Nikon D70s. My new camera is a refurbished D60, which was relatively inexpensive. And it occurs to me that it's probably light enough - and compact enough if I use a small fanny pack - to come along with me on my bike, especially if I team it with my 35mm lens. So maybe my little DSLR will earn a staring role once in a while, rather than constantly serving as second banana.

It looks like it's clearing a little, so we'll see what happens soon enough....

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