06 January 2009

Peering into the viewfinder: 2009

Robyn and I successfully shot our first 2 weddings in 2008, the first gratis (our dress-rehearsal, AKA my sister's wedding), and our first paying gig, which I've written of herein previously. So far follow-up gigs have not presented themselves, but my lack of weekend photographic activities is not the thrust of this post, though a few weekends shooting photos for folks would definitely fund further photographic gear efforts.
Friend(s), I feel compelled to share with you my wish list of photographic gear for 2009. By this time in 2010, I'd like to have the following elements in my gear bag, and hopefully drooling over a completely new set of stuff:

The Nikon 18-200mm VR zoom lens
So far I've been dragging around my 18-55mm kit lens and either my 50mm (takes such crisp shots) or my 55-200mm zoom when I'm fully loaded. I want to replace the 55-200 with the 18-200; I might sell the 18-55 as well, and roll with the 18-200 and my 50. Yes, there's better/ more expensive glass out there, but I'm angling for bang-for-my-buck. I'm willing to be convinced to try Sigma/Tamron/etc. if anyone feels like trying.

The Lensbaby
The $150 model, mind you. I'm cheap, but even I recognize the value of glass over plastic in my lenses. This essentially a neat toy to use in place of my 50mm when I'm feeling froggy. Portrait sessions, or maybe an afternoon walkabout in the woods. This isn't my must have gadget for 2009, but if we make enough $$, I'll be seriously be thinking about picking one up. Maybe it'll be the birthday/Christmas gift for '09.

The Orbis
I've been drooling over this since I first read about it a few months back. Sure, I could make my own ring flash out of some plastic bowls and aluminum foil, but I'm aiming to at least look professional, and for another $150, I'm sold. With this and a lensbaby, and my 5-in-1 reflector on hand ... the possibilities are astounding!

A new strobe (Google for flash/speedlight/etc.)
The Orbis fits over your existing strobe (it doesn't contain a strobe itself), and I love my SB-400 but the Orbis needs a more traditionally shaped strobe to work properly, or so the site says. I had an old non-ttl Vivitar that worked well enough, but in the name of fostering photographic growth in others, I passed it along to a friend who seriously needed another light source (he was using in-camera flash). This is my most likely and earliest purchase. My main criteria are: fits in the Orbis, recycles conveniently (a very long recycle time kills my mojo), lets me bounce it, and is inexpensive. If a $50 Vivitar from 1998 fits that bill, sign me up.

I'd also love to pick up an iPhone and a newer Macbook this year, but those are another post altogether, even if tangentially related.

There you have it, as much for my personal needs as your desire to know my every thought and desire, my short list of photo-gear goodies for 2009.

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