Monday, April 28, 2008

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] New Toys! New Toys! New Toys!

Look what came in the mail today!

It's my brand, spankin' new Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 prime lens, and does this little puppy ever rock!

Technically, it's an autofocus; however, since I have a Nikon D40 which lacks the screw-drive required to make these particular autofocus lenses work, I have to dial it in manually. Which is a freakin' breeze to do, and one of the biggest reasons why I bought the little fellow. I kind of wanted that feel of a throwback to the good old days of film SLR's.

Aside from that, it's a fast lens with a nice, big, friendly aperture of 1.8, so it's outstanding in low-light situations (in other words, Wisconsin). Plus, it weighs nothing, and there's a certain feel of elegance and finesse when dialing in a focus (which, I'm going to be working on for a bit since, as a result of my other two lenses that actually do autofocus on the camera and have Nikon's Vibration Reduction, I became a little lazy and reliant upon the lens and camera and less upon myself and my own technique.

In other words, I'd forgotten how just a little twitch can utterly trash a shot. However, so long as the shutter is fast (which, again, requires a lot of light that Wisconsin simply doesn't have at the moment), blur is not an issue.

To make things even better, the pictures are razor sharp, and this little lens is about one-third the size of your average soda beer can.

Anyway, off to your left, you'll see the very first picture taken with this little lens which I am certain will fast become my favorite lens for portraits and landscapes. Unfortunately, that slow, Wisconsin exposure I was telling you about led to some slight blurring. Plus, Confucius still has a scalp-full of dust. I've decided that with the cats shedding, and with me losing my hair, watching a Sixth-Century BCE Chinese philosopher grow a nice, Rogaine-free collection of flowing locks may, in fact, give me and my shiny head a little hope. By the end of summer, Confucius might actually look like a member of the Beijing chapter of the Hell's Angels.

Nonetheless, I'm going to be out trying to get a feel for the ins and outs of this neat little piece of glass. That fixed 50mm perspective is going to take some getting used to since I'm used to knocking around with zooms which give me the nice luxury of not having to move nearly as much.

The thing is, since I am going to be out, I'm not going to be able to give you the answer as to which video game character is represented in The Clone's ink job.

So far, no one's gotten it right (including Wil Wheaton). I'm surprised by that; however, on the plus side, now is your chance to out-geek the Prince of Geeks (or king of geeks?). So, get to work on it!

The only other clues I can give you is that the game was available on the Commodore 64 (Winnar!), the Atari 400, and the Nintendo Entertainment System, and I believe that it's one of the very first sci-fi strategy video games ever made (I wish some company somewhere would mine the old, dead software to make a wild, new version of it).

Ah well... I've got to run and find some available light.



Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 4/28/2008 11:57:00 AM


  1. Enjoy the new toy Dan. As for the video game character, if it ain't pacman or space invaders I haven't got a clue.


  2. Have fun with the new lens!

    I'm stumped by the little video guy. I can hang with the best of 'em when it comes to the original Star Trek, but video games aren't my strong point. I even Googled various possibilities, and looked at our Atari Classic PS2 game (which I obviously have not played much), but in the end it was proving to be too much work, so I stopped. When obsession changes from fun to work, then it's time to call it a day.