If you’ve been reading my blog for the past few months, you know that I’ve really enjoyed diving into the genre of street photography. One of the great perks about this genre is the fact that lenses are not as pricey as they can be for other genres. Sure, I could spend a thousand dollars on a new lens that would do a great job capturing moments on the streets, but honestly, I don’t need to. I recently added a 35mm f/1.8G lens to my camera bag. Its size and weight mean I don’t have to worry about being weighed down.
Since this is a fixed lens, I have to be fairly close to a small subject if I want to really focus on intricate details. But if I’m really going for architecture, signage and land- or cityscapes, the 35 is a winner. And boy, is it sharp! I love the fact that I can use this lens for portraits if I want. That’s not really a genre I care for right now, but I’m sure at some point I’ll want a portrait or two and I’ll choose this lens for it.
Here is a quick shot I took as soon as I pulled it out of the box the day it arrived. Honestly. I was at the kitchen counter, put it on the camera body, and snapped this.
You can see how sharply I was able to focus in on the toaster dial. And I would never have been able to lean in that closely if I were using my 50mm. I was sold. Stay tuned for my next weekly Project 365 update for some street photos with this new baby.
Another recent addition to my camera bag is the Herringbone Heritage leather camera hand strap. I chose the Camel Brown color, but a friend in my photography group saw my post about it and ordered the red one. I have to say, I love the red, too! If they were easy to change, I might just go for the red (oh, and the olive!) color as well. I guess it’s a good thing they take a while to put on!
The leather is great quality, and it’s exactly what I was hoping for when I ordered it. No more annoying neck strap that gets caught on other items in my bag when I pull it out. No more putting the strap over my shoulder (I don’t care for wearing a camera around my neck) and hoping no one bumps into me. The fact that I can just reach into my camera bag and easily pull out my camera easily and quickly means that I am able to capture fleeting moments on the street without manipulating the neck strap, too.
If you like having the option of using the neck strap or the hand strap, there is an extender ring that comes with this strap for you to attach the next strap as well. I opted to leave mine off. I’ve been using it this way for over a month and I don’t think I’ll go back to the neck strap at all. I can still attach my camera base to my tripod by removing the plate on the bottom.
The only complaint I have about this strap is how poor the online videos are about how to attach it to the camera. I agree that a video is probably better than including a package insert in the box with photos and numbered instructions, but I wish that Herringbone would put some time into making better quality videos for customers to use. I had to figure out most of it myself and only used the videos to make sure I had the buckles in the right places when I was finished. I know my friend who bought the red strap had a hard time as well.
If you choose to get a hand strap for your camera, I would suggest making the strap tight enough to fit securely around your hand, but leave enough slack (not much!) to allow you to change the dials on the front of the hand grip. If you make it too tight, you won’t be able to move your index finger to easily reach the dials and shutter button. Also, pay attention to the types. Type 1 (which is what I have) is used on Nikons, because the Nikon models don’t have a ring on the bottom to attach the strap. This is why you need the plate that comes with it. I believe most Canon models can be used with Type 2.
All in all, I have to say that I’m really pleased with my two recent purchases. Without spending too much, I’ve added a couple of very useful pieces to my camera bag. Can’t wait to share my new shots with you that I’ll take with my 35mm!
Do you have a 35mm lens? What kind of photography do you use it for the most? Do you prefer a hand strap or neck strap (or neither)?