I have a problem with things: I like them. And when I say “things” I literally mean objects and stuff.
When I buy something I consider that thing to have entered my life, and as such it becomes a part of me. It could be a bicycle that I use for years for all my daily riding, or a heavy jacket that I only happen to wear twice a year when I have hiking trips to cold mountains, or a pair of shoes that I wear when going shopping etc etc. It doesn’t matter what’s the object or how much it costs or how often I use it; it becomes something that I care about.
In recent times, the things that created more memories and with which I’ve spent more time are my cameras and lenses. From the Taipei Universiade 2017 in August until recently I’ve been taking pictures non stop, with the National Top Volleyball League being what keeps me busy during most of my weekends.
Before the Universiade I used to shoot mostly real estate, products and portraits, so my gear wasn’t ideal for indoor sports. With a limited budget I couldn’t afford the Godly Canon 70-200 f2.8 mkII, so I purchased an old prime lens, the 200mm f2.8 L, for around 1/6th the price of the zoom.
The lens in foreground in the above pic is the 200mm, with a Taiwanese flag attached to the hood for the Universiade. This lens was a game changer for me. There were thousands of shots that I would have never been able to take with my previous gear.
It’s no overstatement to say that the main reason why I had great success with my images from the Universiade was that lens, with maybe 20% of the merit going to the 80D that I was using as my second body, and that it was what lead me to the volleyball league.
Which brings me to the problem: the lens started to show me its limits. Shooting indoors with fairly limited space means that very often 200mm is too long. After thousands of photos taken at the Top Volleyball League I came to the conclusion that while my setup was clearly adequate (6D + 200mm f2.8l, 80D + 85mm f1.8, swapping the lenses depending on position and framing), it was far from being ideal and it started to limit my possibilities.
Rest assured, I’m not a pixel peeper. I don’t look at my images at 400% zoom maniacally looking for flaws. When I mention limits I’m talking mostly about framing. Also, swapping lenses around between two bodies is always a waste of time and obviously leads to missed shots.
So I did the most reasonable thing to do: I sold the 200mm f2.8 L and ordered the 70-200 f2.8 L mkII. The business has been good recently, so it was easier for my wallet to take the hit, but owning both the prime AND the zoom makes very little sense, so selling it was the considerate option.
When I handed it over, I felt increbidly bad. I met the new owner in Taipei so we could do the exchange in person. He tested the lens for a bit, gave me some moneyz and left with my lens. At that moment it felt like a friend walked out of my life. I suddenly thought about all the images from the Universiade, about how important they turned out to be for my career, about how often I carried it with me etc etc…
I now own a lens, the 70-200mm, that is on a completely different level. I’m slowly getting used to it and I’m sure that it will grow to become an important part of my life, but I still think of the good old 200mm with a bit of regret. It would be a huge waste to own such a lens and keep it in my dry cabinet staring at a wall, but no matter how hard I rationalize it still feelsbadman.
Is it something I can improve? Is it an actual problem or just a part of my personality? I don’t really know, but I guess I’ll better find out how to handle it better because next year I’ll probably upgrade my main camera body from 6D to 5DmkIV. I’ve been using that camera for 5 years and took tens of thousands of photos, so selling it is…yeah, nah….
Images in this post are just a few of the photos I took with the Canon 200mm f2.8L on my 6D.