After a year of doing pretty much nothing to grow my own projects, I decided I never use my camera because the equipment I have is specialist, professional gear. This stuff is great for when I know exactly what I’m going to be taking pictures of, and also great when I know that lugging 50+ kilos of gear around for a day or two will be worth it… because I’ll be getting paid for it at some point.
So I decided to shop for a new (to me) lens, which had to meet the following criteria:
- Be relatively lightweight
- Have a decent enough zoom range
- Be fairly inexpensive
Basically, it seemed I was after a convenience zoom lens of some description so that I can snap away like a happy amateur, whiling away the hours taking pictures of leaves, mushrooms, or touristy things. I narrowed down my choice to the following lenses and trawled through ebay…
All of these lenses meet the criteria I’d set perfectly, in different ways. The 28-105mm’s strengths include close focusing, light weight, compact size and it generally selling for under £100 on ebay. The 28-200mm G lens would be my ideal lens, if it wasn’t so expensive, as it’s small, light and focuses pretty close too. I’m a fan of shooting wide angle, so the 24-120mm has that going for it.
I found a 24-120mm listed, very honestly, with details of a scratch to the front element and a very reasonable starting bid of £69, so I decided to keep an eye on it, knowing many people get put off scratched optics, not understanding that it rarely makes much of a difference to image quality/usability of the lens. Sure enough, the auction came to the end, and I was the only bidder.
The lens turned up a week later and apart from a slightly gritty zoom action (this soon freed up) the lens is fantastic. So far I’ve only taken pictures of Tony (our cat) with it, but as you can see from the images below, this lens was a bit of a bargain!