Last year, after a shootI was on in the city, I forgot to zip up my backpack camera bag. When you do that things tend to find their way out, not in a cute “kitten stuck in a box” sort of way but rather in a horrifying clash of electronic on a concrete sidewalk kinda way. Prior to this incident the worst case of this I had personally experienced was when Jeff had done the same thing and his brand new Nikon self focusing lens had come crashing to the cobblestones outside the entrace of the gift shop at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I still remember diving for the falling camera from the bench where I had been perched (it felt like slow motion) and not reaching it in time. The sound it made haunted my dreams for years.
This time last year it was my turn, only I fared much worse. My GH4, ROXY (all of my cameras are named after showgirls from the 1930s) has a hardened/sealed case made out of solid magnesium so she is a tough old bird, not so for the lens. That lens was the NIKON 18mm-35mm zoom lens I had inherited from Jeff. It was my favorite general duty lens and also the lens I used on all of my stabilizers and jibs and such. This second fall had two mournful sounds attached to it. The first was the sound of the lens glass and the electronics shattering on the stones and the second was the mournful howl that came unbidden from my lips when I saw the carnage. At that point I knew I had not the resources to replace that lens and that it’s demise put an end to a lot of projects until it could be replaced.
Fats forward to today and the joy that comes from a beautiful summer’s day is accompanied by the invoice from KEH camera telling me the replacement for my lens is packed and on its way to me.
The new (used) lens I bought is a 20mm prime, which translates into a 35mm-40mm lens when you consider the M 4/3 clip of the camera body. Additionally it is a relatively fast lens at 1.7 when means I can not only use it on my Steadicam but also as a general “carry around” lens on the camera as well.
The final benefit is that it is not a manual NIKON lens but a Native Lumix lens which means I can use all the electronic of the camera including auto focus. The latter I will no doubt have shut off most of the time but when shooting in low light at shows and stuff is sure comes in handy.
So it has taken me 16 months to do it but I have finally replace the other lens, which I keep on a shelf behind my desk to remind me to CLOSE THE GODDAM CASE. Now to start tracking the package in a manic fashion until it arrives…