Friday, June 26, 2020

Nikon 36-72mm/3.5 Series E

I've written before about the E series lenses from Nikon.  This is another in this consumer series of lenses.  If you'd like to read a professional review here is one from Matthew Durr.

I have found that in using these different lenses you get a feel for what they are good for.  In this case this lens works best when you are just shooting family activities.  This would have been a solid lens for instance to take on a family trip to Opryland.  When shooting people it's easy to focus and the zoom and focus movements are very smooth meaning you can get that shot of your kids as they are coming down the log plume ride.  Where this lens shows its flaws is when you want to do something more artistic.  Nature shots or architectural shots.  

Lets take a look at some photos and talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the lens.  

We'll start by focusing on the positive.  


This picture is a good example of those family pics you can take.  I was able to get a good series of photos on my D3300 using this lens and shoot some good video.  With the good lighting once I set everything up I got very consistent results no matter what zoom range I was in and so that made clicking a series of photographs quite easy.  The picture quality may be better using the 18-55 that the camera comes with, but there is something fun about using a lens like this. 

Another example of something the lens does very well is handle focus and light very consistently across the zoom range.  Here are two pictures I took with no adjustments other than the zoom. 



As I said this makes shooting those family activities much easier.  

Where I found the lens to struggle was in situations where the lighting was not consistent like this photo of a water fountain.  


No matter what I tried I could never get this picture right.  With the lighting it was always going to be a bit tricky, but I found with this lens that it does not do well at all with blended lighting.  I don't know enough about how lenses work to understand this problem, I just know when I experience it and this was a consistent problem with this lens.  

Another problem with the lens can be seen in this photo.  


It lacks a crispness that you want when shooting something where you want to capture detail.  Even though this photo is properly focused, because the lens is not very crisp the picture ends up feeling blurry or busy.  

Last let's talk about the bokeh. Bokeh is a term used to describe the foreground or background of a picture that is out of focus.  


In this example you can see there isn't much bokeh.  I found this to be pretty consistent.  That the sort of blurred effect you are looking for when trying to focus on a single subject just didn't really exist.  And often if the background was lit more brightly it would appear too washed out and distract from the picture.  

All in all I found using this lens to be very similar to what I experienced when using the Nikon 43-86.  Though I have to say I found the 43-86 to handle color a little better than this lens and to me that is an important flaw in this lens.  

I would give this a score of 6.33 out of 10. That's 5 for picture quality, 7 for ease of use, and 7 for usability. 

36-72mm f/3.5 Series-E

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Oh, Kentucky

Back to school? Yes, with social distancing, face coverings, health screenings, sanitation and contact tracing.

Back to baseball? Yes, at Brooks Stadium starting Monday with a league of two.

Upon further Fancy Farm review ... picnicking, yes; political speaking, no. Posted the priest, per The Mayfield Messenger: "The parish of St. Jerome has been in existence for 184 years. During those 184 years, the people have lived and prayed through times of drought, wars, pandemics, times of plenty and times of scarcity and have held steady to the faith and depended on God's providence. We will continue to do the same in our time and in the future."

Expanded racial-bias training for officers and community policing were said to be among the topics of discussion at a second closed unity meeting in Paducah, report Abisola Adeyemo and Mason Watkins of Channel 6.

The state attorney general: "Strong, empowered communities and safe policing are not mutually exclusive; in fact, they must go hand-in-hand in order for the Commonwealth to thrive."

The state ag commissioner: "We must do something to ensure rural Kentucky get its fair shake at connectivity."

The governor: "In Kentucky, we’re going to reopen and rebuild our economy even stronger than it was before COVID-19."

Drive-through hiring today in Lebanon, for Marion and Washington counties.

Merry Christmas 1974/2020

It's six months until Christmas.

Here are the pages I've dog-eared in the Sears Wish Book for the 1974 Christmas Season, which is my favorite book so far of 2020:

-- 46, 48, 49, 182, 186, 188, 189, 191 and 192 (would need to write to Sears and ask if they could specially produce each item in men's XL);

-- 50 (items 1 and 4 for those quiet nights at home with the wife);

-- 187 (both Miniature Football Helmet Kits in the bottom left);

-- 286 (Item 1);

-- 318 (their most popular Butter-Ring Popper, in green);

-- 353, 354 and 355 (all items);

-- 378 (items 3N660893, 3N4295 and 3N4568);

-- 386 (Item 1);

-- 395 (Item C6N10843--and welcome to the team, Gordie Howe!);

-- 408 (11 each of all nine models of the one-piece Helmets of rugged Cycolac(R) plastic);

-- 411 (Item T6N15288);

-- 520 (items 4, 6, 8 and 12), 521 (items 16 and 20) and 522 (all items--especially Sub Search but maybe not Probe, because I might already it);

-- 524 (all items);

-- 526 (Your America);

-- 528 (One-on-One Basketball and (just in case the one I already have breaks) BAS-KET);

-- 533 (Electric Baseball and Baseball-Football Game Set);

-- 535 (all items, about a dozen each, just in case--especially O.J. Simpson See-Action Football Game (!), which I no longer have and is amazing), and

-- 575 (all Evel Knievel toys, again).

Thank you, God, for, Sears, football, Mom, Dad, the wife, fun and Christmas.

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Oh, Kentucky

Daily, weekly and monthly records are falling at Owensboro's 65-year-old Wonder Whip.

At the Nicholasville Road Walmart, to mask or not to mask?

Ten new infections and six additional probable positives June 19-23 in Hopkins County, after nine new cases confirmed May 12-June 18. But state officials say that's not really the metric to be watching, Al Cross reports at Kentucky Health News.

"I want to thank Governor Beshear and Senator McConnell for bringing a positive resolution to this longstanding issue. The $8,043,076 that our hospital will receive could not come at a better time and will make a significant difference in our ability to deal with the ongoing pandemic and its financial impact." I pity the writer of this complicated, delicate press release from the governor's office; I can't imagine it went through fewer than 20 drafts. Chase is that Pikeville Medical Center and 53 other rural hospitals are getting some dough back, perhaps as early as next week.

This press release, on the other hand, does not appear to have been particularly challenging to write or manage through review cycles; it's merely freaking terrifying: "The Department of Justice announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging Ethan Melzer, 22, of Louisville, Kentucky, for allegedly planning an attack on his U.S. Army unit by sending sensitive details about the unit – including information about its location, movements, and security – to members of an extremist organization named Order of the Nine Angles (O9A), an occult-based neo-Nazi and white supremacist group. Melzer is charged with conspiring and attempting to murder U.S. nationals, conspiring and attempting to murder military service members, providing and attempting to provide material support to terrorists, and conspiring to murder and maim in a foreign country."