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Size does matter!
Lens: 31mm f1.8 Limited Camera: Pentax K-1 Photo Location: Tower Bridge, London ISO: 100 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: Peter Nutkins, 09-17-2016, 07:53 AM


I was in London to go to hospital and on the way took a quick detour to Tower Bridge to take a snap. The 31mm focal length is interesting and gives an unusual field of view...so I picked my spot and headed over to take the shot.

Just in front of me were two rather large photographers, each with a DSLR with a MASSIVE lens stuck on the front. Not having eaten for 16 hours and experiencing a really bad headache I was not in the mood for a confrontation. I had made the decision to only take my tripod and camera bag for my stay over - nobody knows me in London so looking like a dishevelled old man was not a problem for me.

It soon became apparent that these two super professional photographers were in for a big set up. I decided to sit on the ground against the wall and watch the display these chaps were putting on. It is times like this that I am embarrassed to be around photographers. Everyone in the street restaurant were treated to the very detailed (and loud) discussion that took place between the two about focal length. Maybe I am doing something wrong - it never seems that big a deal to me.

Sipping from my water bottle, and trying to stay focussed, I noticed that the diners were intrigued by the theatre these two were putting on. I just had to wait until they had finished so I could take my snap. After 15 minutes I lost it. They had actually started taking pictures. Between each shot they did something to the front of their lenses and cooed over their display screens. When I realised that they were using self timer on 10 seconds and holding people back from walking past that I just had to leave.

I stood up, walked up to them and plonked my very heavy beaten up Manfrotto tripod next to theirs. I noticed that they had cheapo ones with lots of attachments. I smiled deep inside - having converted to Pentax I have become a 'what you need to take the image' kind of photographer. My camera bag contains two lenses, my K-1, a couple of filters, cheapo cable release, blu tak, elastic bands, cardboard, cloth and some water (plus on this occasion a change of underwear).

My tripod just has a screw thing on the top - no fancy plate, no spirit level (I do that in camera). It was pretty dark but the laugh as I took out the K-1 with my 31mm on the front was audible. Another smile...these chaps had no idea! With their monster zoom lenses and theatrics they were all about the kit. They had big bags with every piece of everything in....how thankful I am now that all my Canon kit was stolen - it made me re-evaluate what photography really is. I went Pentax and have not looked back.

If I had been feeling a bit less like I was having an out of body experience I would have talked to them about photography being about taking images not the size of your eqipment. Instead I put my 'little camera' on my tripod, attached the cable release and snapped off 4 shots, each between 20 and 30 seconds. While I was waiting for the shutter I smiled at them...they looked with pity on me...maybe they were thinking perhaps one day I would be able to have one of their great cameras.....no thanks!

I packed up and left. 3 minuets tops. No fuss. I did not need to stop anyone walking past. I am sure none of the diners even noticed me, if they did they would have been thinking "look, a tramp with a camera".

The next day, as I drifted off on the table, I was thinking that size really does matter. They may have had large glass.....I have a small gem. A Pentax one.

Last edited by Peter Nutkins; 09-17-2016 at 10:55 AM. Reason: spelling mystakes
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09-17-2016, 08:40 AM   #2
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LOL! Excellent story and an even better picture.

Back when was deciding which DSLR to buy and looking at every option it became very clear that Canon (especially) and Nikon (to a lesser extent) were designing their cameras using the marketing myth that "bigger cameras must take better pictures." In contrast, Pentax seemed to be distilling all key elements of performance and ergonomics that I wanted into as compact a package as possible.

Needless to say, I've never regretted picking the better camera over the bigger camera.
09-17-2016, 08:54 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
LOL! Excellent story and an even better picture.

Back when was deciding which DSLR to buy and looking at every option it became very clear that Canon (especially) and Nikon (to a lesser extent) were designing their cameras using the marketing myth that "bigger cameras must take better pictures." In contrast, Pentax seemed to be distilling all key elements of performance and ergonomics that I wanted into as compact a package as possible.

Needless to say, I've never regretted picking the better camera over the bigger camera.
Agreed!
09-17-2016, 04:10 PM   #4
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Excellent story and shot!

09-17-2016, 05:05 PM   #5
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Nice shot.
09-17-2016, 08:04 PM   #6
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Really beautiful, wonderful photography.

Many thanks.

Antonio
09-17-2016, 10:54 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by eaglem Quote
Excellent story and shot!
Thank you! Have a great day

---------- Post added 17th Sep 2016 at 10:55 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
Nice shot.
Thank you!

---------- Post added 17th Sep 2016 at 10:55 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
Really beautiful, wonderful photography.

Many thanks.

Antonio
Thanks Antonio, have a great weekend
09-18-2016, 12:11 PM   #8
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Yes that is a beauty of a photograph and a great story as well! Thx for sharing!

09-18-2016, 10:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Urs Quote
Yes that is a beauty of a photograph and a great story as well! Thx for sharing!
It is a pleasure....have a good day!
09-19-2016, 01:07 PM   #10
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Very nice shot. Thanks for your story!
09-19-2016, 01:53 PM   #11
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Excellent capture and the kind of story that kind of makes you 'see' it happening whilst your reading it.
09-19-2016, 10:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Janse Quote
Very nice shot. Thanks for your story!
Thanks Janse! Have a great day

---------- Post added 19th Sep 2016 at 10:49 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Fries Quote
Excellent capture and the kind of story that kind of makes you 'see' it happening whilst your reading it.
Thank you Fries....glad you liked it! Have a great day
09-20-2016, 02:17 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by purplemelon Quote
and on the way took a quick detour to Tower Bridge to take a snap.
Gorgeous photo!

QuoteOriginally posted by purplemelon Quote
snapped off 4 shots, each between 20 and 30 seconds
Is the photo here one photo, or a combination of several of the four shots?

QuoteOriginally posted by purplemelon Quote
3 minuets tops
. Wow, you must be a magician. I can't even seem to get the tripod legs extended inside of 3 minutes, much less actually get any one shot. How do you do that?

QuoteOriginally posted by purplemelon Quote
My camera bag contains two lenses
So, I am guessing the 31 is one of them....what is the other? Just by looking at this picture, I'm guessing that you are getting along just fine with the two.
09-20-2016, 10:47 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GlennG Quote
Gorgeous photo!

Is the photo here one photo, or a combination of several of the four shots?

. Wow, you must be a magician. I can't even seem to get the tripod legs extended inside of 3 minutes, much less actually get any one shot. How do you do that?

So, I am guessing the 31 is one of them....what is the other? Just by looking at this picture, I'm guessing that you are getting along just fine with the two.
I have the 31mm and the 77mm.....out of the two I like the 77 the best - although I have only had the 31 since the summer and am still learning!

The tripod I have has big clips that are quick to unlock...It snaps open and closed and sometimes I catch my fingers which can be painful though. It is pretty ancient but does the job well. It was made by manfrotto - but the sticker has come off and I do not remember what model it is.

The image is a combination of two shots - one of the four was a slightly longer exposure to make the water even more blurred - so I painted that in across some of the bottom.

The difficulty was not getting the light on the towers over exposed.

Have a good day
09-20-2016, 11:06 PM   #15
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Very nice shot
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