Zoom Zoom

Zoom Zoom

May 14, 2013  |  Photography craft


My current challenge is to find a camera or a camera/lens combination that will allow me to enjoy the experience of photography, capture the kinds of images I want, and not drive the (non-photographer) people I love crazy. When I go out with my camera on my own I generally take my time. I don’t mind carrying my lens bag and switching things up as needed. I’m not very good company on these outings. The conversations I have are with myself as I look for the right perspective, move closer or farther away, and try out some “what ifs”.

But when I’m with family and friends, I need to lighten up in every sense.

I thought the solution might be to get a compact camera. I’m a Canon shooter, so I bought the Canon G1X and took it along when Todd and I went to London last year. The experiment was not a success. I still have not bonded with that camera. The viewfinder is pretty much useless, and I don’t like composing on a screen. It doesn’t feel good in my hands. I’m sure it’s a perfectly fine camera; it’s just not for me. The pictures from London came out okay, but the experience of taking them was frustrating and un-fun. That’s not compromise. That’s defeat.

I like my Canon 7D. We understand each other and usually play together nicely. I like how it feels when I put my eye to the viewfinder. I even like the sound the shutter makes. Yes, it’s big and heavy. But it’s reliable, and that’s what I want in a traveling companion.

So I just bought an all-in-one zoom lens. It’s a Tamron 18-270 and so far it looks like this could be the answer. It’s much lighter than my beloved L-Series lenses, for which my aging back is grateful. At 3.5-6.3, it’s not as fast as I’d like, but that’s part of the compromise. I’m very satisfied with the image quality. For the picture above, I wanted the compression and shallow depth of field that a long focal length provides, and I was able to get it with a minimum of fuss and bother. This is one of my favorites from a long day of playing tour guide with a friend from the UK. The day wasn’t “about” photography, but photography was an integral and fun part of the day. Success!

So I’m a zoomer. Unapologetically.

And everyone is having a good time.


  1. Dorothy, I too have a 7D and the same Tamron lens. It is a great ‘walkabout’ lens. I’m also using the Canon L 24-105. Not quite as big a range, but not too bad. Having a good zoom is GOOD!!

    Being with other people and photographing? They have no understanding why it is totally necessary to move only 5 feet and stop to take another image. My little camera is a Canon Powershot S100. Cute and easy to carry. Works well as a backup camera (although my ‘real’ backup is the 40D) and I can take it everywhere with me.

    I think we need to give a course on “Living with a photographer” for those who want to be with us!! :)

    • Well, that’s encouraging, Deb, since you are able to tell wonderful stories with those tools. I especially like this one about tea: http://lotuslightimages.com/?p=541
      Since I had so much fun with my friend’s iPhone 5, I’m thinking I’ll upgrade and use that as a backup. Maybe I’ll start to enjoy composing on a screen more that way. My family is remarkably patient and supportive, but everyone has their limit. :-)

  2. I love what you said about bonding with your camera because it’s so true. I think about Jay Maisel and how his Nikon and the 28-300mm zoom are such a part of him, extension of his eye and arm as it were. Glad you’ve found something that suits you!

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