New lens, new photos



A visit to Hidalgo Street in Quiapo can be a costly adventure. Yes, you got that right, but I wasn’t robbed. I just sort of spent way more than I should be spending on this photography hobby. 😉

Last week, my ‘el cheapo’ 1GB CF card decided to finally die after less than four months of not even frequent use. I was actually expecting it, with the very slow write and read times it has been giving me since the day I bought it. Unfortunately, it decided to say goodbye when it was keeping a very important chunk of data — the latest Pop Ratio sessions. They’d kill me if they’d find out, even if we weren’t playing our best. Even if it wasn’t even half our best. There’s one keeper I can remember, Jonas singing Mr. Big’s “To Be With You” which was his trademark song way back in high school. Hopefully by some voodoo magic the card’s data gets recovered by the binary witches.

Okay I’m no longer making sense so let’s get back to the story.

Anne was joking it wasn’t a good idea to be in Quiapo with some money in the ATM ready for withdrawal. I should’ve listened to her. While we were there, I realized it would take some time before my 1GB CF is fixed or replaced, so I might as well get a new one since I have a shoot at the beginning of June. Henry’s had the Ridata Pro2 1GB at 2200, surprisingly low! But thinking about their offer, I just couldn’t wait to get to my favorite shop Mayer’s and see if I could get it for even less.

But then it happened. Displayed on the shelf was the very last stock of the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5 DC Macro, a new lens I’ve been eyeing since the day it was announced. Mounting it on my D60 and a few test clicks later, I found myself crossing the street to the BDO ATM. In no time I was considerably poorer with a happy smirk on my face. 😉

I’ve been shooting with this lens for around a week now, and it is well worth the price. It is listed around 20k locally but you can get it a little cheaper if you know where to look. 😉 The focusing is much quieter compared to my Sigma 18-125, and most likely as fast and as quiet as the Sigma 24-70 f/2.8, though still not as good as Canon USM in both respects. Resolution and detail is very good, and focusing with the less than stellar D60 AF system has been predictable and spot–on. But this lens’s main strength is its macro shooting. You can get as close as an inch away from your subject and still get a focus lock, quickly! You have to be careful not to get too carried away shooting too close lest you want a broken filter or worse, a chipped front element.

I still have to take this lens to an actual shoot so I’m still waiting for Karl and Mimi to give me a call for another wedding gig. If it proves to be a keeper, and I think it will be, I might be selling the 18-125. 😉

Hey wait, you’re wondering what this entry is really all about? 😉 I will be posting more samples soon.

16 Responses

  1. Is the Quipo shop you’re talking about Watson’s Photo by any chance? That’s where my dad gets his equipment, he gets pretty big discounts.

  2. Gail, I usually get my stuff from Mayer’s though I do buy from Watson’s once in a while. Maybe you could help me get some discounts next time I go shopping? 😉

  3. wow, i’m also planning on getting the same lens as an all around walking lens, plus it will cover my wide angle needs then a good 70-200L will cover for zoom needs… but i am still saving for both.

  4. But once you try the Sigma 10-20 you just might want a real wide–angle lens. 😉 If only it was cheaper, I’d get one for myself. I also have a 70-200 2.8 in my plans but it’s just too expensive, even the Sigma one. And I think I need a new body now that I’m slowly getting bogged down by the D60’s limitations, notably its predictive (nanghuhula, hehe) AF and buffer/processing limitations. But I still love this cam! 🙂

  5. Thanks for coming up with that creative arrangement, pwede pala maging maganda ang effect ng mga lantang dahon. 😉

    I don’t really think I’m more impulsive, but unfortunately my impulse buying triggers itself only for expensive things. Hehe. 🙂

  6. Hehe. I think you’d get along with my dad if you met him 😀 Watson gave him his Nikon D200 at P90k, which is low daw sabi nung mga kasama nya at the Inquirer (you’ll see my dad’s name at the sports section, August Dela Cruz). My dad gets all his equipment from Watson kaya may discount lagi.

    When we have time na to get together sometime for WP, pakilala kita 😀

  7. Gail, I didn’t know he is your father. I do see his name in the Inquirer, I’d love to meet him. Sana makapag-meet na tayo for WP Philippines soon, we really need to get that running.

  8. Dogears, I got it for 21k with a UV filter and a circular polarizer. The lens alone is supposedly priced around 19k.

    Thanks for dropping by. I corrected your email by the way.

  9. Dogears, I forgot to add, I got it from Mayer’s. I get most of my gear from them, unless they don’t have it in stock or they don’t sell it at all.

  10. haha.. i had a similar experiece like yours.. i went to hidalgo just to get my contact prints. however i passed by a shop who was also selling a lens at a really low price so i had to get to the nearest atm, also poorer but with a happy smirk on my face. hehe.

  11. JC, I think Hidalgo visits shouldn’t be done with a fat wallet. I guess I should just carry enough money for what I intend to buy when I go there next time — no ATMs, no credit cards. Hehehe.

    So what lens did you buy?

  12. hi, may i ask how much you got the sigma 17-70mm lens for? (please? ;-)) stumbled upon your blog while google drifting, i like it here! do pay me a visit at my blog if you have time. thanks!

  13. imogen_ph, Mang Ramon of Mayer’s quoted me a price of 18,800 though I got it packaged with a CP-L and UV filter, all for 22k. I think it’s a little more expensive these days. JT Photoworld sells it for 20,500.

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