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Ybor at One Four

Mar 29

In In The Field at 10:34am


Shot with the 24mm f1.4. I really have been looking forward to this lens. Fast, wide glass is paramount doing what I do. This past year I logged a ton of chopper time for the Geographic, shooting at dusk or flat out nighttime conditions, so chip performance (D3S) and fast glass with edge to edge sharpness  has been hugely important. I’m pushing myself back towards prime lenses. I’m trying to remember how to move my feet. I’m trying not to be on location and stand there like a frikkin’ house plant.

Shot on the streets of Ybor (“Call me Eye-bor”) City during the Safari pre-con get together at PhotoShop World in Orlando last week. Had a hoot out there with a nice bunch of folks, tagging along with my bud the Mooster. Ybor is a real nice, weird place. Friendly people. This gentleman was kind enough to allow me a snap in good light.

Just bought the 24 1.4 from the magic man, Jeff Snyder, at Adorama, which is where I buy all my stuff. He was able to reach into the system and re-direct the shipping so the lens caught up with me on the road. Jeff ([email protected] –go ahead, use it, tell him it’s my fault) routinely pulls gear outta the air and pulls the levers needed to make stuff happen on deadline, which is cool. Tougher to make that happen talking to an 800 number.

I still have my 28 1.4, though Nikon stopped making that years ago. From what I know the construction of that lens entailed the use of lead, hence it was banned in a bunch of countries, and Nikon said forget it. I guess the powers that be in these places understandably wanted to save photographers from themselves, knowing we are insecure babies and when things go wrong on location we just revert to a preverbal state, curl into a ball, and start rocking in the corner while sucking on our lenses. I personally don’t suck on my lenses, I just routinely suck when I use them. There’s a big difference.

But I still have it, even though there’s an incurable aberration on the back element, which makes it less than attractive on Ebay, so I just hang onto it. You can’t see the little ding when you shoot at 1.4, and that’s all I shoot that lens at. Which makes it kinda like my old catadioptric 5oomm mirror lens, which has a fixed aperture of f8. I just look at my 28 as a fixed aperture lens as well, only faster and easier to focus.

Writing this on Saturday night. Another wild night at JFK airport. Non-stop excitement. Bound for Abu Dhabi. Never been there, but I’m sure in its’ own way, it’s just as interesting as Ybor City. More tk….

Hans van de Vorst says:

on March 29, 2010 at 3:18 am

Never saw the connection between a prime lens and a frikkin’ houseplant. :))
Very nice lens indeed, have fun in Abu Dhabi Joe.

Stephen says:

on March 29, 2010 at 3:20 am

New lens. Nice.

Now take it out of the bag and drop it. Get that out of the way early. Haha

Glyn Dewis says:

on March 29, 2010 at 3:25 am

Hey Joe,

Are you ever in one place for more than a week? … lol

24mm f/1.4 is one heck of a lens. Funny but having seen you using the 85mm f/1.4 I went out and got it and it has since become my ‘must’ have lens. If I had to get rid of all my kit (perish the thought) but could only keep one lens, that would be it; love it!

Enjoy Abu Dhabi,
Take care out there,

Richard Hales says:

on March 29, 2010 at 3:57 am

The 24 sure look a killer piece of kit.Just need to think of a good reason to get one so it gets the finance director’s (the wife) nod of approval.

Tito says:

on March 29, 2010 at 3:59 am

See you in Philly soon! Bring pistachios…


Ludovic says:

on March 29, 2010 at 4:01 am

f1.4, now that’s fast ! I would love to try some portraits or evening landscape with this. I see that you regularly shoot at maximum aperture, but I’ve read and heard many times that in order to get optimal sharpness from you glass you have to step it down a bit, which admittedly seems to be a bit of a “waste”. I don’t really have a position on the subject yet, so I wondered what you thought about it ?

And I understand that prime lenses are very good for portrait, landscape or architecture, but from a chopper aren’t they a bit constraining ? I can imagine the conversations with the pilot, especially in very accidented terrain …

Perry Watson says:

on March 29, 2010 at 6:31 am

We visited Ybor after the Outback Bowl this year and did a little street photography. It is a very unique place. Dined at the Columbia Restaurant, which I highly recommend to anyone that visits.

Will Foster says:

on March 29, 2010 at 8:24 am

Jeff is a great guy. He just helped me out when I took the leap and put together a huge order. Great knowledge, great experience, great guy. If you order online look for J.SNYDER in the “Did someone help with your order” in the survey section at the bottom of website orders. He’s the cool one all in caps.

Girish says:

on March 29, 2010 at 8:48 am

That’s a cool shot. Beautiful focus. I am sure it’s a great lens. Am sure.

Photo-Nerd says:

on March 29, 2010 at 9:16 am

Hey Joe… I like primes too, but what makes the new 24mm worth $2,200?

Is it that much better than the 24-70mm f/2.8?

BobbyO says:

on March 29, 2010 at 9:22 am

The Safari was a blast Joe…your way of interacting with the subjects is exemplary and for me was the most valuable lesson. I just need to remember to ask names and take notes on who I have had the pleasure of photographing.

Bob Olsen

Kurt Shoens says:

on March 29, 2010 at 9:33 am

Every lens, no matter how beloved, eventually ends up in the trash and from there, who knows where. Some folks just don’t want poisonous heavy metals like lead going who knows where.

I’ve never understood the “zooms make you lazy” meme. Zooms let you control perspective with your feet and crop with the focal length. What’s not to love? I mean, besides them being heavier, slower, and less optically pristine than primes.

kkjensen says:

on March 29, 2010 at 9:54 am

Quick note: You have a typo in Jeff’s email…cheers!

Kevin Glackmeyer says:

on March 29, 2010 at 10:40 am

You know, it just kills me how you can mention prime lenses and then flocks of followers start talking about dropping their zoom lenses, a if zoom lenses are not good enough for their photography anymore. Primes do indeed have their place in photography and were mostly what I shot for years (50,20,35 and 180mm) Actually the 180mm and 20mm were the two I used the most in my early reportage years and are still fine pieces of glass.I guess if they would invest in one or two it would change their view on photography(no pun intended). I have to agree that the shallow depth of field with the fast versions is an advantage for some types of work especially portraits. Anyway, yet another fine posting from you. kg

Johan Sopiee says:

on March 29, 2010 at 11:03 am

One Four.. gasp.. i remember when you were in KL, i tried my best not to be poisoned by your 28 1.4. i touched it only for a few seconds coz Drew showed it to me. man.. if i held it for a few minutes longer, i’d have blown a huge hole in my pocket if i could even find that lens. now that the 24 1.4 is out.. gasp.. it takes great will power to hold myself back. in the mean time, i look forward to seeing more of your incredible One Four images in the near future, Joe. it might just rip my bank balance to shreds this time. lol

randy baran says:

on March 29, 2010 at 11:37 am

god, being a prime mover – what kind of lenses would he use? i’m thinking the lord would be kind of a point-and-shoot man.

ha-hah! i’m happy shooting my old 24/2.8. amay-zeeing glass, how sweet you are. sorry, it’s the season.

Muzna says:

on March 29, 2010 at 11:44 am

Nice to have you back in our neck of the woods. Hope it all goes well. Abu Dhabi has some interesting architecture and the worlds largest Camel Festival! Enjoy your stay!

Thiago Medeiros says:

on March 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm

Joe, I’d gladly give your old 28mm a nice tropical home, despite the ding on the rear element. I’d love to have a fast wide lens, but my brazilian student budget doesn’t allow it. -Sigh-

Mark Olwick says:

on March 29, 2010 at 10:18 pm

Happy to read that Jay Maisel’s advice about moving your feet sunk in.

Jay Cromer says:

on March 29, 2010 at 11:44 pm

Glad you enjoyed Ybor City. From the street vendors to the old cigar factories, there’s a lot of character to be found. Hope you make it back to Tampa sometime soon.

Owen says:

on March 30, 2010 at 5:31 am

Hey Joe, looking forward to seeing you in Abu Dhabi for the Hot Shoe Diaries talk on the 1st, I hope you had a nice flight on Etihad!

Zerung says:

on March 30, 2010 at 7:20 pm

Great to read you blog. Thank you for the time n effort taken to keep posting.

Using Canon’s 85 1.2L, I wonder why Nikon does not make too many 1.2 lenses any more?
The canon one is a curse and a blessing. i.e. gives portrait with great bokeh and horrible blur should the subject move in the slightest.

Ray Erwin says:

on March 30, 2010 at 7:32 pm

24 f/1.4 I’m sure is a great lens, I just don’t get using it for portraits. I always thought 85mm, 105mm, 135mm were optimal portrait lenses. Am I missing something? I get if you are in a tight situation you have to squeeze wide, but given some room why distort your subject and have to shoot so close to fill the frame? I certainly don’t get the price tag.

David Apeji says:

on April 1, 2010 at 9:50 am

I didn’t know you had to actually buy any Nikon equipment :)

…and you never suck using those lenses!

Thiago T says:

on October 24, 2010 at 4:20 am

Been lookin for some useful information for the past hour thanks for this!

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