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Hector Sanchez Pulled It Off in the 11th and the World Is As Right As Rain

For those of you that don’t know me, I’m a HUGE San Francisco Giants fan and have been for a little over 5 years now. So, no, I didn’t jump on the bandwagon when they won the World Series in 2010, but was biting my nails and riding the torture train all the way to the end to be rewarded by the sweetest prize of all in the baseball world, the Commisioner’s Trophy. I wasn’t always this dedicated of a fan, but thankfully my wife didn’t give up on me and helped me see the light. For those of you that do know me from my growing up in Miami, this may come as quite a bit of a shock. I do remember the days when I couldn’t have even told you the city where the Giants played. But, luckily, that was many moons and farts ago. I now consider myself as part of the Giants faithful and have unconditional love for them through the wins and losses. Obviously, I’d rather see them win, but…

During baseball season, we live out the 162 game season either at the park, on TV or on the radio. Today, we had stuff going on and didn’t make it to the game. Damn, did we miss a good one!! We went ahead of the Brewers early on only to have them tie it up in the 9th. We went scoreless for another two innings when the Gods of Willie Mays’ birthday said, “Hey, we need to pull one off for the Say Hey Kid!!” The way it went down was Buster Posey with a lead off single that led way for Emmanuel Burriss to pinch run. Pagan dropped a BADASS bunt to advance Burriss to 2nd and Brandon Belt was walked intentionally. Then the Gods intervened when Ryan Theriot was walked unintentionally and Hector Sanchez sealed the deal with a single out to left field with a full count. If you’re a Giants fan, you know all about the torture, and this one was NO EXCEPTION.

We had originally planned to go to the game, and probably would have been creaming my pants after the win, but my son had baseball practice scheduled. I have my priorities, so of course I would just tell the coach of his little league team that he wouldn’t be there, but he had missed the previous day’s game down in Half Moon Bay due to a classmate’s birthday party. So, inxnay on the Giants game, but the radio was always on while we were out and about. After practice, my son asked if he could use our old point and shoot camera to take pictures and asked to go walk the Golden Gate Bridge for me to give him some pointers. Now that I’ve decided to write this blog, he seems to have been bitten by the photo bug as well. I think it’s great, so I’ll encourage it. Who knows? Maybe one day he’ll grow up to be the next great Penthouse model photographer. I hope he’ll give his old man “on location” access!

Anyway, so we headed over to the Golden Gate Bridge and found it to be a popular spot today. Of course, the weather was beautiful again in the Bay Area, so everyone was out!! Ocean Beach was packed and Golden Gate park was overflowing. Luckily, we found a parking spot fairly easy at the bridge parking lot and walked right up. Even though we were in the area yesterday, I welcomed the idea of trying out the Canon 28-70mm f/2.8 L lens that I rented for the weekend again and see if I liked it as much as I did yesterday. We happened to be down there as the late afternoon light was starting to come in, so I was anxious to see how the lens would respond to the warm light. Although I was focusing at times in giving my son direction on things that might catch his eye to photograph, I did manage to do quite a number of test shots geared away from the tacky tourist shots that everyone sees all over the place. Yes, I did take those same shots as well, but I’m an artist so it’s okay!! I just called myself an artist, so just deal with it.

I have rented the 24-70mm f/2.8 L lens, but continue to be very impressed with the quality coming out of the 28-70mm f/2.8 L. Unfortunately, I didn’t have them both to provide a side by side comparison, but looking at the specs, they are nearly the same in size and weight. The 24-70mm extends a little more (due to the additional 4mm), but both use a similar hood. I would venture to say that this would be a more effective hood for the 28-70mm to provide for less flaring when compared to the 24-70mm, but this may just be my opinion. Needless to say, the 28-70mm is just as tack sharp as it was yesterday and I love it all the more. Yes, it is a heavy lens, but if you are going to fork out $800+ for a used lens, it better look and feel substantial along with having superb performance. The 28-70mm does have a fair number of plastic parts to it, but if I recall correctly, the 24-70mm did as well.

Mounted on a 1.6X crop sensor body, I would then have to think real hard on going with the 28-70mm, as you would be giving up a lot more on the wide-angle range than you would when mounting it on a full frame or 1.3X crop body. Luckily, I have a 1D body and I was able to take all the wide-angle landscape shots that I felt like both yesterday and today. If you have a 1.6X crop body, just take a few more steps back and you’ll be fine. Well, assuming that you aren’t standing on the precipice of a cliff side overlooking the beautiful Pacific Ocean. That would suck big time…

You’ll always find a snob with a stick up his ass that will tell you that if you don’t have the latest and greatest (and most expensive) camera gear, you couldn’t possibly be a good photographer. Well, they can kiss my fat Cuban ass!! I am all about the guerilla photographer and wherever you can pinch a penny to get you closer to additional gear you want, I say take it!! The funny thing is that the majority of the folks that have the “BEST” are just trying to make up for things they lack in other places. Now, does that mean that the pros that have the $10K + setup in the media pits at the Giants game suck? Absolutely not!!! They wouldn’t have all the stuff to begin with if they weren’t good at their job. But, you get what I mean. Everyone that took a look a my gear today (and all photophiles check out other people’s gear) and knew what a 24-70mm looks like probably thought I was shooting with that. Was I going to wear a t-shirt that read “Oh no, it’s an older 28-70mm lens”?? Hell no!! I’ll let them have lens envy, even though I have it myself since it’s just a rental.

I give the Canon 28-70mm f/2.8 L lens two guerilla photographer thumbs up on value, build quality and image quality. My one recommendation would be to stay away from shooting wide open at f/2.8 if you are not fond of a lot of post-processing to diminish the vignetting. I spend today shooting in f/4.0 and found absolutely no trace of vignetting in any of the images taken at that aperture setting. When I moved back to f/2.8, the vignetting came back. Did I care?? No, cause I removed it in Photoshop after. Why did I bother shooting wide open if I knew about the vignetting? Cause the bokeh is smoother that a toddlers ass at f/2.8, assuming that the kid hasn’t shit all over the place. Duh! The real pain in the ass would be finding a good copy of one of these puppies in the second hand market. They are out there, but their owners won’t a treasure go, so they’re scarce.

So, here are a few images shot today with the 28-70mm f/2.8 L lens before it goes home tomorrow before noon. I’ll see it again soon, but I miss it already…

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