Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!! While my Mexican customers and suppliers find it hilarious that we celebrate Cinco de Mayo with much more furvor than they do here in the states, any excuse to have a good time is good enough for me. As I listened to the Giants baseball game on the radio this afternoon, I heard my favorite radio broadcaster, John Miller, discussing the history behind Cinco de Mayo and the battle of Puebla. I thought it was great that he could possibly educate a captive audience regarding a holiday so misconstrued here in the US. Nope, it’s not Mexican Independence Day, but the celebration of the defeat of the French army by a small revolutionary band of Mexicans in the hilltop town of Puebla that were able to drive the French forces back to the coastal towns from whence they came. As victorious as the events were to be remembered and celebrated 150 years later, what is usually left out of the story is how the French army regrouped and laid waste to all of Mexico almost one year later. But, what the hell, let’s have a Corona!!
So, the weatherman had said that it was going to be a weekend full of sun and fun, and my son had a birthday party for one of his classmates planned at Crissy Field in San Francisco’s beautiful Presidio Park. Knowing this, I trotted over to my favorite neighborhood camera equipment rental spot to see what they had in stock to take advantage of the time off down there while he was at his party. My best option was a Canon 28-70mm f/2.8 L series lens. Yes, the 28-70mm and not the 24-70mm. For those that don’t know, the 28-70mm was Canon’s badass walkaround/portrait lens up until 2002 when the model was revamped to the 24-70mm that everyone covets even today. Well, that was all they had and I had read rave reviews about it, so I jumped on the chance to test it out.
Not to make this a lens review, I’ll just give it a thumbs up and confirm it’s badass-ery!! My one gripe is that I noticed when I downloaded the images that I did tend to get a bit of vignetting at f/2.8, but that was quickly taken care of in Photoshop. This thing is tack sharp and on par with the 24-70mm. Yep, it’s just as heavy. After looking real quick on eBay, I was able to find a few 28-70mm going for a little over $800, but yet the 24-70mm goes for a minumum of $1200. Is 4mm really worth the $400 price difference? I guess that all depends on whether your thing is landscape photography or not. If you are using the lens as a walkaround catch-all lens, I don’t see where the 4mm would be worth the extra $400. If I need to buy one of these, I’d opt for the 28-70mm and keep the $400 and buy myself a falcon just like all those guys on the State Farm commercials.
So, here are a few of my favorite images from today while walking around Crissy Field and Fort Point. I bet you can’t spot the Golden Gate Bridge in any of them…