Monday, August 03, 2009

Derision and the Lens

Sling THIS.An otherwise content photog will openly diss the validity of his sticks. He'll question his tripod's very stripes; cursing the three-legged beast for not walking under its own power. Your garden variety shooter won't think twice about casting aspersions on his company-provided ride. He'll point to the peeling logos on the door and the cheeseburger growing under the driver's seat as indisputable proof his news car's a hoopty. That same photojournalist will lament the dents in his light-kit's case. He'll pop the lid, gander at the broken bulbs inside and ask how any self-respecting glass-handler can work with gear used in the production of Birth of a Nation. Yes, though most of us who shoot news for a living do so with other people's property, we're quick to highlight whatever the hell we can find wrong with it. There's only one exception...

We will NOT denigrate the lens.

Why that is I don't rightly know, but I suspect it has something to do with the camera's proximity to our noggins. Walk around with a fancycam covering half your face for very long and you tend not to turn the other cheek. After all, any videocamera that will power up, white balance and record is all a man (or woman) needs to bring back a picture. In theory, at least. Truth is, even if said shot looks likes a dirty fishbowl, we as a breed are reluctant to trash-talk our glass. Panasonic, JVC, a boned-up Sony; no matter the veracity of our glass, we tend to give those magic machines on our shoulders get a pass. Our lenses' abilities are strangely sacrosanct. To call them into question is to ridicule the very eyesight of the person squinting through that logoed tube. It's been that way since minicams the size of Buicks roamed the Earth.

Me - I love my Sony XDCam, from its pockmarked, hollow cheekbones to its to its three batteries a day habit. Will I still feel the same way about my rig when it fits inside my teenage daughter's iPod sleeve? Will it endear the same warm feelings when it more closely resembles my garage door opener? Hard to tell, but I'm pretty sure it will still be easier to use than that unholy live truck they stuck me with. Damn thing smells like a urinal and drives like one too! Why just the other day I was coming off the interstate and almost got the thing on up on two wheels. I'm tellin' ya it's a first class piece of $#!&@*$%!...

1 comment:

turdpolisher said...

got a one-word answer for that last question about the babycam. . . NO.

the damn things suck. we big raggedians freely admit that almost every day. hell, just ask us. even if you don't you'll probably find one of us off in a corner somewhere bad-mouthing our baked-potato lens to anyone that will listen. . . beancounters never do.