This is the view of downtown from the Pfluger Pedestrian Bridge just west of downtown proper.
We had a lovely Thanksgiving and I hope you did too. But after spending a lot of time socializing it's nice to spend a bit of time doing some walking meditation with a camera. Even if it is raining and a bit chilly.
Natives like to think of Austin as a first tier city where everything is super-cool and something outrageously fun is always happening, but I'm here to tell you that it was like a ghost town in downtown the day after Thanksgiving. I walked through about two miles of tall buildings and shorter shops and only saw a few dozen people out on the streets. Well, a few dozen in addition to the homeless.
I did a few assignments earlier in the week which involved people and some lifestyle and I got a lot of use out of my new über lenses (the Panasonic S Pro 50mm and the Sigma 85mm Art) but on a walk through a quiet urban environment, wrapped on all sides by a gentle, misting rain, I thought a more subdued and understated lens would fit better. I reached across my chaotic desk and grasped my older 50mm Contax f1.7 lens and put it on the front of the S1R instead.
It's actually a good fit. Literally and figuratively. The cheap adapter seems to do the job just right and the lens is really pretty good at making photographs. Okay when used wide open but much, much better at f4.0 and f5.6. Still, in a side-by-side comparison the Lumix lens is like tech from an advanced civilization. Not that you'd really see much difference looking on a website...
The old, Carl Zeiss lens does one thing much better than the Lumix Pro S, it lightens your walk-around burden and makes the camera/lens package pretty perfectly sized for recreational imaging. For some reason I've warmed up to it on the S1R body more so than I have developed any affection for the Sigma 45mm f2.8. But I'll chalk that up to being more comfortable with a lens I've owned across years and camera systems rather than as a mark against the Sigma.
I didn't have a rain cover for the camera and lens but I tightened up the neckstrap so the camera would sit up under my left arm (I wear the strap on my left shoulder). My arm, in my voluminous hoodie, blocked most of the rain and mist and I also cover the top of the camera with my favorite bandana as an extra layer of protection. I understand that the camera is supposed to be splash resistant but the lens and adapter are bare and bereft of casketing and protective engineering so I'm loathe to take chances. No matter. It barely slows me down.
I do love these kinds of days. It's one time at which all the dynamic range in the world is largely meaningless as the water in the atmosphere and the close cloud cover render the shadow/highlight ratio as 1:1. You won't really be worried about blowing highlights on a day like today...
Curious to hear if anyone (besides me) took advantage of the open box sale at B&H on the S1R. I paid $3700 for my first one so I couldn't resist dollar cost averaging and paying $1800-something for a second one. We'll see if "open box" is all it's cracked up to sometime in the middle of next week.... I hope that great return policy is still place. Just in case.