My Favorite Things

I got a lot of wonderful things for Christmas this year, but two things I have absolutely loved and have been using on a regular basis - a new lens for our camera, and a tablet PC thing (the Android version of an iPad.)

No one could understand why I wanted a super expensive camera lens so badly.  In fact, I even had a hard time justifying it, because I've never had an expensive lens, and didn't know for sure whether or not the cost would actually be worth it.  But my parents agreed to get it for me if it was what I really wanted, and I decided that after thinking about it for the past two years, it WAS what I really wanted.

And I am SO glad I decided that, because I love it.

The lens is a Nikor 50mm f1.8.  I am too new to photography to really know what that means, but just using the first time, I noticed some drastic differences.  First, the 50mm lens is considered to be a "prime lens," which means that there is no zoom in/out feature.  It also means that when you put the camera to your eye, the subject seem sooooo much closer than it really is. Since there's no zoom in/out, this means that you need to move your body to get the shot framed like you want it.  This can be annoying at first - especially when you're trying to take a picture of a toddler that is always moving - but once you get used to it, you find that the quality of picture is totally worth the efforts.

The second main difference is that a lens with a f1.8 aperture, when set at the right settings, can give your pictures that really awesome central focus point and background blur that you probably see and admire in professional photos without really understanding what's going on (I know that was the case for me.)

Here is a great example of what I mean:

That is EH's fire truck.  See how sharply in focus the front of the truck is?  And did you notice how the background is blurred a little, even something as close as the rear wheels of the truck?  If I had taken this picture with my Olympus point and shoot camera (which I absolutely love for it's small size and great picture quality - it's my go-to if I want to be able to carry a camera around in my purse or pocket) the entire picture would have been in focus, foreground and background.  There's nothing fundamentally wrong with that, but in the picture above there's a strong focal point and yours are drawn to that point because of the crispness - something that doesn't happen as naturally with a photo that is totally in focus.

As I like to say, "It's subtle, but awesome."  And I also like to say that I love my camera lens.  Love it. Totally worth every penny (that my parents spent.)

The other "favorite gift" from this past holiday season was my Asus tablet.  For those of you who aren't familiar, it's the Android version of the iPad.  As someone who finds Mac products to be way overpriced and not as user-friendly, I think the Asus tablets are way better.  It syncs with all of my apps on my phone, and with the detachable keyboard it's basically a mini-laptop that is half the weight, less cost, and let's me do everything I want to do in a small, functional machine.

DH gave me this as a gift.  We had decided on a $20 limit for a gift (so that we can save our money for a summer vacation or something like that), so I bought him a sweater from Old Navy, which was 5% wool and thus deemed "too scratchy" and promptly returned.  DH, unable to come up with a gift idea for $20 decided to spend 20 times out limit (and that's just a guess, I don't even want to know exactly how much he spent) and get me this tablet.  So unfair, DH, so unfair.

But, it makes the "favorite things" and considering that he didn't feel he could share any of the 3 laptops that we have access to (2 that we own and 1 that he was given from his school) it was a fair trade.  I get a tablet and he gets the unlimited use of 3 laptops.

Instead of posting a picture of the tablet itself, I'm going to embed a video that I made with EH and sent to his nana and papa. We like to sit at the dining room table and talk about things.  EH answers my questions, and it is the most adorable thing ever to play back these videos to him, because he answers in exactly the same way, and he gets so excited about it.

This was taken about a month ago, so he's definitely quicker at responding to these sorts of questions at this point, but it's still too cute to not share!


Post a Comment