…and all I got was this lousy photo.
35mm, ISO 400, f/4, 25 seconds
At least it made some interesting colors!
Well…that is the short story anyway.
Longer story: I have always wanted to try to capture lightning in a photo, and a surprise (very severe) thunderstorm popped on the radar last night. I took my camera, tripod, remote, and rushed out the door to a nearby field (not a barren one though). I was expecting one of those slow-moving normal summer storms that produce a few good cloud-to-ground strikes. Those would typically give me about a 2 minute lead-time to run inside before the rain hit, such as being able to hear/see the rain in the distance.
This was not that storm.
About 2 minutes after this photograph was taken, which was lit up only by multiple cloud-to-cloud strikes, the skies completely opened up. I ran to a nearby awning and buckled-down for the long haul. Any attempts to get more photos were dashed when the rain was consistently blown sideways into the awning as well as strikes occurring solely within the clouds . Winds gusted at around 70 mph, and there were about two cloud-to-cloud strikes every second, for a good twenty minutes straight.
Thunder boomed, skies flashed, and an almost-wet camera later, I now know to pick my storms a little more carefully, and to have a better failsafe than a 6 foot wide awning.
Learning every day. Maybe I’ll get another chance before summer’s end. Have a great one guys.
There are 8 lenses total in the “consumer” lineup of Nikon’s Series-E’s. You can take this post as a bit of a guide for help choosing which lens may be right for your photography. Lenses are arranged from wide-angle to telephoto. Links to the full reviews are located in the headings. Also, below two pictures are in a much bigger size than they are displayed here. Click on them to see more detail. First up, the 5 primes in the series:
Left to right: 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 100mm, 135mm
I’ll admit, the widest focal length in a prime lens I had ever shot up until now was 50mm. Due mostly to a lack of necessity I simply never purchased anything wider. Seeing as sports photography for the summer has generally dried up for me (which require the use of my telephoto primes), I feel that expanding my focal range on the wider end can also help me expand my creative possibilities. Using the 35mm focal length, new perspectives have opened up, wider shots are now possible, and the general feeling of attempting something different for my shooting keeps things interesting.
In this review, one of Nikon’s simplest (and cheapest) 35mm SLR lenses is put to the test on a modern APS-C camera, the Sony NEX-7 via an adapter. Part of Nikon’s Series-E lenses (for detailed info, see my first impressions of the lens and mir.com), the 35mm f/2.5 is an extremely lightweight, compact, and inexpensive optic; in good condition you should be able to find one for about $50/€40. The question is, can this little lens from the past stand up to a modern-day digital sensor? Let’s find out!
Back in the “glory days” of Nikon’s legendary AI-s lenses, which provided outstanding optical and mechanical quality to film SLRs, there were so many great optics to choose from. Though the zooms provided good results on film, it was the primes that have maintained much of their resale value, due to their still stellar performance on today’s digital cameras (that said, Nikon’s old zooms are still “good” for the most part). Even today, a full set of a supposed AI-s “dream-team”—such as the 24mm f/2, 50mm f/1.2, 85mm f/1.4, 105mm f/1.8, 135mm f/2, 180mm f/2.8 ED, and 300mm f/2.8 ED—will still set you back a very pretty penny (all depending on the condition of the lens and the current demand, of course). There was a problem for photographers who didn’t necessarily demand top-tier performance: there were no cheap AI-s lenses to be found, and third-party options were always hit-and-miss. For this crowd, who still wanted to buy Nikon, their only option was to save up and acquire one or two lenses in their kit—though in fairness this can help improve one’s photography in some ways. In 1979 Nikon finally made more affordable options to the “general photography” crowd, their Series-E line. A more thorough explanation can be seen here, but basically, the Series-E lenses use similar optical formulas as their AI-s Nikkor counterparts (worth noting that all Series-E lenses are technically “AI-s” in function), use some plastic in their construction, and can be had at a bargain in an online auction house of your choice.