Thursday, November 7, 2013

The itch for new equipment

Just like other photographers, every now and then, I got this itch of wanting a new equipment.

And my excuse this time?  I'm bored of my travel photos, just shooting skyscrapers or city scenes. With our Hong Kong trip coming up in a few weeks, I need a new set of city photos for this very urban travel. Lesson learned from Australia trip, from which I came back with nothing spectacular enough.

So, I'm eyeing Fisheye lenses this time for a significant change. I have never been a fan of wide-angle lenses or distortion because I get dizzy just by looking at them.  My vestibular system is very sensitive to any sort of distortion. But I'm unsatisfied enough of my latest urban travel photos that I'm thinking about super-wide lenses for a totally new perspective. So here are my options of fisheye lenses.

Sigma 8mm f/3.5 (circular fish eye) $800 
Sigma 15mm f/2.8 (diagonal fish eye) suitable for the full frame photography.  ~$609
"A circular fish eye condenses the whole image into a circle on the image sensor it has a 180 degree field of view. A diagonal fish eye still distorts the image to a circular form, but it fills the whole image sensor."
Sigma 12-24 super wide angle. Not fisheye ~$650
Canon EF 15mm f/2.8.  $700
Rokinon 8mm fisheye $250
The Sigma 8mm is the only circular fisheye on offer. 

With Fisheye lenses I can't pre-visualize what I'll get without trying it out, especially some fisheye lenses has hood petals appearing in full frame sensor. So I'm really not sure if I'll jump. 

With this new window, lensbaby also comes into my equation now. But I don't think the results of lens baby are my taste. Again, it's hard to say without trying it out. Speaking of trying, I am not so keen to renting lenses. I used to rent a few lenses from But the rental adds up quickly and I didn't get enough use to made a conclusion during rental period.  I once rented a ultra wide lens that got returned without taking any picture at all. 

So I started buying and selling them back a year or two later when I no longer need them. Thanks to the lens keeping their value, I didn't lose much, or none at all compared to the rental costs I would have paid. Of course, I buy with the intention of keeping. Otherwise, it still requires some work to sell anything back. 

I start to realize the trend that I always buy new equipment before my travels. Somehow my travel dates always serve as the final push to get the equipment right before I take off.

I bought a Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 lens before our Europe trip, justifying that I need a wide enough single versatile lens so that I don't have to carry around many lenses. (I ended up selling it after I upgraded to FF.)

I finally pulled the trigger for my exisitng FF camera before our India trip, telling myself that I can't live with poor low light performance during travels and don't want to carry the strobe around on the move.

Now I'm on a hunt for new drama.
I know I know. Full of excuses. :-)

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