Search This Blog

Sunday, April 2, 2017

13 Benefits of Photography for Anyone

1.  Historical uses.  Many photos may have several of the benefits combined.  Historical photos will show changes in many areas - fashion, structures, transportation, and on and on.  The top photo is of my great great grand uncle, and the bottom photo is my great grandmother and is a tintype photo.



2.  When looking at your photos, you may see something you hadn't seen when you shot the actual photo.  I've been surprised many times by this.  For example, I did see and shoot this strange cloud formation, but  can also see the street sign so I know where I was, and also there is a readable for lease sign with a phone number, in case I or someone eslse might be interested in that.



3.  It may help you focus more (pun intended) on things that are important to you, such as family, friends, pets, the environment, etc.  The first one is my younger brother, and the other was my German Shepherd, Wolf (from many years ago).




4.  It will help you find more beauty in life, which in turn can help you become less stressed, leading to better health and enjoyment.  This photo is from along the Ballona Creek Bike Path.



5.  It makes memories more vivid.  Looking at past photos can bring you back to that time - hopefully, a good time in your life, perhaps lifting your mood.  The first photo is of my father, mother, older brother, and me.   The second one is of me, my father, and older brother at Jones Beach, NY.  Those take me back a long long time ago.




6.  If the photos are of people, you can see how fashions have changed over time.  If of specific locations, you can see the changes there, too.  From the '60s - miniskirts and bell bottoms.



7.  This is more of a benefit for others, but you can help them to experience things that they may have missed and that they find interesting.  For example, the recent ciclavia in LA or perhaps Halloween in West Hollywood, or performers at Venice Beach, CA.  Photos from Halloween Carnaval in West Hollywood.





8.  It may be good exercise by getting you to explore new places and also to move around to get the best angles.  The below photos were shot at the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook - I went there for the first time to test a new lens.  It was definitely good exercise, even more so because I rode my bicycle to the location.  The bottom photo looks like the stairway to heaven!  I took the trail to the top - a little longer, but not quite so steep.




9.  You may get to meet new people and hopefully make new friends.




10. When you are shooting a particular subject, it can clear your mind of everything else when you are really concentrating on getting the best image.  Lena, in the photo below, always made it easy to get the best image.


11.  You may see details that you normally wouldn't have seen as you are looking for something to shoot.  Well, Halloween in West Hollywood there are always things to shoot, lots of details, too.  I definitely would not have normally seen a scene like this, LOL.



12.  To tell or illustrate a story or event.  This is especially true for weddings.


13.  Show humor - I think these two photos and the change of expression shot at Halloween in West Hollywood are pretty funny.




Pretty much wherever I go I carry a camera with me.  You never know what you may see when you are out and about, whether it's a strange cloud formation, a beautiful scene, a famous person, a beautiful young lady, or the odd and unusual.  Below is a current photo of my first camera, which I got as a present at age 7 (probably still works) and used until I was around 22, when I got my first semi-professional camera, and a couple of years later bought a Nikon while in the Air Force.


Hope you've enjoyed this post.  The photos go from probably the late 1800s to the present.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Vaccinations, Eczema, and New Eczema Drug - Oh, and Fake News, Too! (And More)

Before getting to the subject of this post, I was sitting and thinking about these posts and came to realization that at this point in time, although posting these subjects (vaccines, health) gave me hope that perhaps a few people might change their views or at least research the subjects further, I don't believe there is anything else I can add.  I know because of my research how I feel about these subjects, and that I will never get a vaccine unless they are safe and effective, and probably not then as I really have no need for them thanks to a healthy lifestyle (diet, supplements, exercise, sleep, etc.). I hope I've gotten at least a few people to at least do the research and get educated about their health.  If I continue with this blog, and not sure I will, it will be about only photography from now on...after this post.

It seems every few days I hear something on the news that ties things together.  Today, for example, I heard about a new eczema drug that will cost $37,000 a year.  What is a side effect of vaccines?  Eczema.  What can you do if you or your child gets eczema from a vaccine?  Since you can't sue the company that makes the vaccine, you'll have to pay $37,000 for a year of relief to get back to where you would have been without the vaccine.  Are you starting to see how this scheme works?

Why did I mention Fake News?  Because most, if not all, of the stories about vaccines in the news are fake.  Vaccines got rid of all those diseases - fake.  What about the charts they show and how those diseases went way down in them?  They conveniently pick a set of years where the disease was briefly on an increase before the vaccine came out, and then decreased, just like the chart would have shown without the vaccine.  If you look at charts from the late 1800s to the present and mark the spot where the vaccine entered the population, and you won't see much change at all.  And in fact, you can check the few diseases with no vaccines that also disappeared at the same rate as those with a vaccine.

There are many other areas of fake news.  Any time industry and the government can get together and make more money by claiming some "fact" that is not true, they will, and it will be in the news constantly.  Sometimes they use the same misleading methods as with vaccines.  Pick a range of years to show you one thing, but if you pick a different range of years, you'll see something completely opposite.  They do whatever they need to do to promote their objective.

What can you do?  Never believe the fake news (i.e. - most of the news and other media sources) - do your own independent research, and from independent sources.  And then verify the information you do find.  About the only good thing with all the political news these days is that people are finally becoming aware how much new may be fake.  It used to be you listened to the news and you believed it.  I hope that happens no more.

Now to tie together vaccinations, health costs, and mandatory insurance (Obamacare).  Prior to Obamacare, around 46 million were uninsured.  Those 46 million people - how were they going to afford to pay for the 70 vaccines before the age of 18 on the CDC schedule (plus all the new ones that will be coming along), and the rest of the adult vaccines that are recommended, and how were they going to pay for all the injuries caused by those vaccines?  After all, the drug companies aren't responsible.  They came up with the perfect plan - make everyone pay for the vaccines and the damage they cause and call it "affordable health care."  I guess "fleecing the public" wouldn't have sounded as good.  And the poor diets people eat which is responsible for most of the other health problems.

Speaking of health costs - I had thought it was around one trillion dollars per year, but just read it is three trillion dollars per year!  With the U.S. population just over 300 million, that comes out to about $10,000 per person per year.  No wonder insurance is so expensive and why they wanted it to be mandatory for all.  Unfortunately, instead of trying to promote health, they promote sickness through poor diets, vaccines, environmental toxins (in our food, water, and the air we breath), and drugs.  This is why you must absolutely educate yourself about these things and take responsibility for your own health - no one else will.  Or you can choose to enter their system and be sick and broke.

I wish everyone the best of health and happiness, or as Spock said, "Live long and prosper."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Venice Beach Photography Series Continued

If you've ever thought about taking candid street photographs, Venice Beach is the place.  You never know what you may see there.  This photograph said it perfectly (Venice Beach - Have a Strange Day):


There are three ways (or situations) I shoot photos of people at Venice Beach:  by asking them, not asking them and they are not aware of being photographed, and they are not aware I'm going to take their photo, but then they catch me doing it.  The problem with asking is once they know they are going to be photographed, assuming they agree, they are no longer candid.  Of course, on the other hand, if we relate well with each other, I may get some really great expressions.  So sometimes I'll do a combination - shoot a candid or two, then ask and if they agree, shoot some more.  I always offer to send them copies of the photos for free when I ask and they agree.  If I post a photo, say to FB, and the person in the photo doesn't want it there, I will delete it.  The following shots were all of people who I didn't ask, but who caught me shooting them - you can tell by their expressions.



One of my favorites of the surprise photos. 



Another favorite because she looks like she's having a great time. 

Saw this young lady just as she is here.  Back in the days of phone booths.   We got into a short conversation - short because she was on a long distance call back in the days when people had to pay extra for those.


Never found out who xxxTina was, but thought it was a cute photo.

A much more recent photo series from three years ago was shot at the paddle tennis courts.  Maria Sharipova was eliminated at Indian Wells and came down to Venice Beach to play some paddle tennis in 2014.  Shot very close to the fence for these.





Hope you enjoy these posts.  I think it might be more interesting to mix up my posts on different subjects related to photography (and some on health, too).  But if I can't think of anything else, I will have lot of photos to post of Venice Beach for the past 37 years or so, plus a few of Hermosa Beach, Santa Monica, and other beach areas.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Every Body Should Have an Owners Manual

If you buy a new car, it will come with an owners manual.  New appliances, computers, cameras all come with manuals on how to use them.  They'll tell you what you need to do to avoid causing damage to the item and how to correctly use them for the longest life.  Wouldn't it be nice if humans came with one of these manuals?  One that was divided into years so you knew at each step in life how to stay healthy, what you should eat, and what you should avoid.

It's funny how people treat their cars with loving care but treat themselves terribly.  We've evolved over millions of years, our bodies built with the clean foods that were available all those years as we were fed by nature.  Then for some weird reason, people thought they could do better.  We learned about diseases and how to prevent them, and now ignore what we have learned.  So what do people do?  Instead of getting back to nature, eating healthy foods, adding supplements because our foods don't have the nutrients they should anymore, and getting exercise, etc., it seems they would rather eat chemical laden foods, take drugs, and complain about so-called health care (which is really Sick-care).  Wouldn't it be much better to say, "I don't need no stinkin' healthcare because I'm healthy?"

You probably can if you just had an owners manual for your body, and you and your children followed it.  I say probably because you may have a genetic condition, you may have been exposed to heavy metals, toxins, and other contaminants in your environment that may be causing havoc on your system, etc.  What would be in the owner's manual?  What foods to eat, what non-foods to avoid and never eat, what supplements you can take for general health and also for specific problems, why you should avoid vaccines until they really do work and are actually safe (if that will ever happen).  Also, proper exercise, how to avoid stress, and more.

Think for a minute how much money you would save by being and staying healthy.  Then think of all the pain and suffering you wouldn't have.  If these things don't give you the motivation to follow healthy guidelines, what will?  Perhaps visiting those in the hospital?  If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, don't you think it's time for a change?  Wouldn't it be great not to have to think about Obamacare or Trumpcare (maybe they should be called Obamascare and Trumpscare, LOL)?

I've seen lots of pain and suffering from health problems in my family, with friends, on FB and in the news.  Not to mention my own in the distant past.  The perfect time to start a healthy lifestyle is now.  I started many years ago and got rid of headaches, stomach aches, indigestion, IBS, colds, flu, pretty severe allergies, etc.  If I hadn't changed, who knows what condition I would be in now, assuming I survived.

Maybe I'll write the manual, but until then, all you need to do is go to Google, search independent sources (not those affiliated in any way with the drug companies, the media, food companies, government agencies, chemical companies, etc.) for healthy living.  Keep in mind that each person has a unique biochemical makeup, so what works for me may be different than what works for you.  You may not be able to eat foods with gluten, you may have a nut allergy, you may need a different variety of supplements, etc.  There will be some trial and error until you find what works best for you.  But once you find it, you will be a happy camper.

Whenever you hear about a health related problem in the media, they'll mention a promising new drug, or they'll be advertising an old one.  What you NEVER hear is that by changing your diet to healthy foods and taking supplements that work better than any drug and without side effects, your problem will most likely resolve itself.  No money in that.  It worked for me.  This evening in LA, with the high rainfall totals this past Winter, and today's high winds, they said in the news that allergies are a major problem right now.  I say what allergies?  Thanks to a healthy diet and supplements, no more allergies.  They say for this or that condition, take a drug that can have serious side effects up to and including death.  And you may need another drug to counteract the side effects of the first one.  I say I don't need no stinkin' drugs because I got rid of the problems naturally.  Much cheaper and no side effects from healthy foods and supplements.  I live by what I think would be in a human's owner manual if there was one.

The really nice thing about a healthy diet and supplements that you take for one problem?  Lots of other health problems may also disappear, as opposed to drugs which will probably cause a lot of other health problems.  Many people don't even realize the drug is the cause of their new health problems.  Very sad!

I wish you all good health and happiness.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Venice Beach Photos - a New Ongoing Series (1980 - Unknown)

I've been going to Venice Beach, CA since around 1980.  From 1980 to around 2008, I roller skated Venice to Santa Monica, and sometimes to Redondo Beach and back.  I always carried my camera with me, which until around 2000 or so was a Nikon film camera.  I shot probably thousands of photos.  Don't forget, with film you could shoot B&W or color film.  B&W was less expensive so shot many photos this way, and usually processed and printed my own film.  With digital, there is no difference in cost to shoot in color or B&W, and it is easy to convert color to 50 shades of B&W or more (I know, but I had to make that reference, LOL).  Everything I shoot is now in color as I shoot only digital.

A little more about the transition from film to digital, at least as it relates to my photography.  When I was shooting with film with the Nikon, everything was in manual mode - manual focus, manual exposure, manual ASA (now called ISO) determined by the film you would be using.  The camera did have a built in light meter to verify that the exposure was correct, but sometimes, shooting under rapidly changing conditions and wanting to get the photo, exposures were off.  Sometimes when changing film from one ASA to another, I forgot to set the light meter.  Oops.  There was very little latitude with color film.  If I knew I had made a mistake with B&W, I could somewhat compensate during developing.  That is no longer a problem with digital.  I almost always shoot my walk around images in aperture priority mode with the same ISO, and in RAW mode which gives a bit more latitude than JPG.  With the focus on the Nikon - if I had removed my glasses, the focus might be off.  Or if the subject moved closer or further away.  That problem is also gone for many cameras, although some cameras might have a problem with this.  These days, almost all my exposures are accurate and well focused.  With that said, some of my photos through the year 2000 may not all be perfect, due to the above problems, but I am posting those that I think may be of interest.  Some photos have faded or color shifted with time (another problem gone with digital), and some may have dust spots from the film or the scanning, and with thousands of photos, didn't have time to remove all those spots.  The digital photos will be much cleaner with more accurate colors, too.

Many of the photos have been of movie sets and celebrities at Venice Beach and I will start with those photos here.

With that out of the way, here are the first of the series:


Harry Dean Stanton skating near the old Venice Pavilion and Slalom - probably early 1980s. 





The above three photos are of Playmate Hope Carlton, Photographed during a film being shot at Venice Beach sometime in the 1980s.  The girl getting shot by Hope works at Venice Beach.





The above four photos are of Jana (one with me in it, too) - I met her while doing pictures with Reagan at Venice Beach in the early 1980s.  I used to tell her she should become a model.  I don't know if that's why she became a model, but she became a very successful supermodel regardless and was always a wonderful person.  As you can see from the photo just above, she was a few inches taller than I was.



And finally, I will end this post with Michael Landon.  The bottom photo was shot during a scene they were filming.  The top one was after the filming went on a break and I asked him if I could get a close-up of him.  He said yes, but that he was going to keep walking.  I was skating backward for this shot, which is why the smile on his face.  I don't think he expected that.

Hope you enjoy this series.  Following the movie theme, you will see everyday beach life from around 1980 at Venice Beach.  Many things have changed, many have not.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Stay Healthy or Use Healthcare? Which is Better?

I wish everyone was healthy and didn't need any kind o care.  Well, most people could say that if they would eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, take the right supplements. get a good nights sleep, and avoid stress.  Growing up, I never believed I would be able to say that.  But after 30 years of catching every cold, flu, and virus going around four or more times a year, and having had an ulcer, IBS, allergies, etc., I changed my diet and studied health and now I can say it.  Although I have VA healthcare (I'm a veteran), I've only used it for athletic injuries a couple of times.

Keep in mind that what is called healthcare really isn't "health" care - if you were healthy, you wouldn't need care.  What it is is "sick care."  Drug companies don't want you to be healthy - they would go out of business.  Same for many doctors.  People are worried about research funds being cut for cancer.  They should be more worried about not having access to alternative treatments that might actually work...and cost very little.  Cancer has been researched since before the 1950s.  The result is that cancer rates, when smokers are factored out, are higher than ever, with childhood cancers increasing.  The below summary about cancer is from an article here (should you wish to read the whole article).

"In this interview, Travis Christofferson, author of "Tripping Over the Truth: The Return of the Metabolic Theory of Cancer," and Dr. Abdul Kadir Slocum from the ChemoThermia Oncology Center in Turkey.  They present data from one of the first studies documenting the effectiveness of metabolic therapies and nutritional ketosis in the treatment of advanced stages of cancer.  "I'm very excited for this data to be presented," Christofferson says. "[Cancer] diagnosis has gone up from 1 in 4 to 1 in 3 and is heading toward 1 in 2 ... It's set to surpass heart disease as the No. 1 killer in the Western world by 2020 …  We've been treating this disease a long time. Nixon signed the Cancer Act in 1971 … Radiation and surgery have been around for over 100 years. Cytotoxic chemotherapy was developed right after World War II. [Yet] death rates from treatment have barely budged since the 1950s."  In 2014, no cancer drug was approved costing less than $100,000 for a course treatment.
In 2015, eight drugs were approved that cost over $120,000 each for a course of treatment. As noted by Christofferson, this trajectory will eventually bankrupt the health care system. Adding insult to injury, these drugs have marginal efficacy at best.  Consider Tarceva, for example. This cancer drug was approved about 10 years ago. It has significant side effects, it's expensive, and boosts median survival for pancreatic cancer patients by a mere 10 DAYS!"

There was a new cholesterol drug on the news a few days ago.  They said, as if it was a good thing, that the company who makes it paid for the study.  I have my doubts about any study that is funded by the ones who make the drug.  What happens if your cholesterol levels get too low?  I remember a report from many years ago linking too low cholesterol to cancer.  Here is a link to some more information about cholesterol.  The point is that if you take care of yourself, you should never have to think of taking this or any other drug.  It is possible you may still get sick due to environmental pollution and toxins including vaccines, or genetics, but even some of those problems may be minimized by a healthy diet and the right supplements.

What should a healthy diet have and not have?  It should have a variety of foods that actually grow.  They should be organic when possible, as nature made them.  They should not have chemicals, pesticides, food coloring, sugar, fructose, artificial anything, MSG, anything processed, etc.  Your diet should include a good multivitamin in case you don't get the nutrients and variety you need in your diet, as well as supplements that support your immune system.  If you have specific problems, then supplement for those problems, too.  Unlike drugs, side effects from supplements are practically non-existent.  Doing this has worked for me.  A friend has said to me a few times, "why bother with all the healthy stuff, you're going to die anyway at some point."  That's true, but would you rather live a healthy life or be sick all the time?  That answer is easy!

As I always say, I could write a book on this or that subject, but on this subject, the bottom line is that everyone needs to take responsibility for their own health - to do their own research from independent sources.  Some great resources can be found at foodbabe.com and Mercola.com.  There are much more good sites on the internet.

Sometimes I don't know where these posts are going to go.  This one is turning into a series of random thoughts all related to healthcare and why I believe none of the current or future government healthcare "remedies" will work.  Healthcare costs are out of control, as are needless tests and procedures, resulting in insurance costs that are sky high and going up.  For example, my brother stepped on a nail, went to the emergency room and they gave him a tetanus shot.  The cost for those few minutes?  $1200 for the visit, plus $200 for the shot.  As with other diseases, more people die from the tetanus vaccine (DTaP or TDaP) than from tetanus.  Tetanus information here.  It's the same for several other vaccines.  I've covered vaccines in depth over the past two years on this blog, so won't get into vaccines here.  Please see many of my past posts for that.

So what is the solution to healthcare problems?  Well, if I was the president, I would phase out, over say a 10 year period, all artificial ingredients, all chemicals in food, as well as most or all pesticides and suspected carcinogens.  I would form a completely independent commission with no one who has ties to the drug industry to independently study all drugs and vaccines.  I would separate foods and vitamins from the FDA (which would be made into an independent commission).  I would require all schools to teach good nutrition and natural methods to stay healthy.  And I would form an independent commission to come up with a cap on medical costs.  This would be a start.  But because I will never be president, and no president will do this, the only other choice is to take responsibility and control of your health.  It's really pretty simple and comparatively inexpensive - eat healthily, take proper supplements, get proper exercise, sleep well, avoid stress.  A lot simpler than the 1990 pages of the ACA (Obamacare).  People don't need regulations, the sick care industry does.  To understand why, please read this and check the charts.

How did I start on my road to health?  By reading health books and talking to healthy people.  There was a guy at the beach in Santa Barbara who was the healthiest looking person I've ever seen (he looked like he could have been on the cover of a Greek mythology book).  I asked him what he did for his health.  He told me to get a book called Health Secrets of the Hunza (they are one of the longest lived populations in the world) and follow their diet.  I did, and then over the years, refined the diet and added supplements based on research.  The results have been amazing.  I wish you the same great health.  Keep in mind that if you have health problems, with natural solutions they won't disappear overnight - it may take months or years, but you won't have any negative side effects from eating healthy.  Make sure you have a good health practitioner who knows about diet, supplements, and alternative therapies.

Future posts will tend to be more about photography - I've written pretty much everything I can about health and vaccines already.  I'll be doing a series of Venice Beach photos which I started shooting around 1980 through the present.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Photography - Can One Lens Do It All?

The answer is of course not.  But it can do a lot!  I just recently got a super zoom lens so when I ride my bike to the beach I'm covered because I can't (or wouldn't want to) carry a lot of equipment.  Most articles I have read said these lenses are not very good, but I decided to take a chance on it.  And I decided to test it for different shooting situations.  As mentioned in a previous blog, this could be a book-length subject.  What I'm writing here are just some general ideas and thoughts that you may find helpful.

A few things first about a super zoom, or any zoom - the edges of the images are usually not sharp.  When shot wide open, the problem gets worse, and also at certain focal lengths the same problem.  Also, prime lenses let in more light (can be f/1.2, f/1.4, f/1.8, up to around f/2.8).  Zooms can go from f/3.5 - f/6 range or higher and will change at difference zoom ranges with the widest part of the zoom letting in the most light.

With the above in mind, and with the high ISO in modern cameras, as well as image stabilization, I figured shooting at f/5.6 - f/11 would not be much of a problem, especially in daylight.  But I also wanted to see what would happen shooting in low light with a tripod.  Usually with portraits, you want a sharp subject with the background soft or out of focus (or a solid color where the focus wouldn't really make much difference), so I was thinking this zoom might actually make a good portrait lens.  The reviews say that 85mm to around 105mm are the best lenses for portraits (although there are those that will shoot them at anywhere from 35mm - 200mm), at least for close-up portraits.  For full length, perhaps 35mm to 105mm would be a good range.  This lens includes all those focal lengths.  Below are a few test shots of myself with my new lens on a full frame camera.  One additional note:  if this lens was used on a cropped sensor camera, multiply it by 1.5 on a Nikon or 1.6 on a Canon with a cropped sensor.

The above photo was shot at ISO 1000, 1/6 second at f/5.6, 82mm.  The below photo is a close-up crop of the image.

 The above image was shot with on camera flash, 1/60 sec at f/5.6, ISO 1000, 82mm - was comparing flash to no flash.  The below photo is a crop of this image.


This photo was shot at 65mm at f/4.8 (the widest f stop for the focal length), with flash, 1/60 sec, ISO 1000.  The below is a close-up crop.  I'm about 7 feet from the background, which is enough to throw it out of focus a bit.  At f/1.8 it wouldn't be even recognizable.


 And in this photo, ISO was 1000, at 125mm, 1/60 at f/9, with flash.  The below image is a crop again.

Some other things to keep in mind - from what I've read, some zooms work better on one camera body than another.  There are zooms specifically made for full frame cameras and cropped frame cameras.  Some zooms made for full frame cameras work fine on cropped frame sensor cameras, some do not.  If they work, don't forget to multiply the zoom range by 1.5 or 1.6 or whatever factor is right for your camera.  If you are using one of these, and you can visualize cropping about 10-15% off around the edges of the image, the cropped image should be sharp to the new edges.

As can be seen from the above, even though the lens is a superzoom (28-300mm), it is capable of shooting sharp images and focuses very well, at least up to 200mm.  All photos were shot on a tripod with a wireless remote control, which allows the camera to focus before capturing the image.

Below is a photo of camera I was selling (to help pay for the new zoon lens), shot at 300mm on the new zoom, the top photo was cropped very little, the one under it was cropped a lot from the top photo.  At 300mm the lens is very similar to a macro lens.


This was shot at ISO 1600 with flash, 1/60 sec at f/10.



Is a super zoom worth it?  If you know how you are going to use it and it can do what you want (and maybe more), then definitely, in my opinion.  And it is a lot less expensive than buying a 24mm, 35mm, 85mm, 105mm, 135mm, 200mm lenses.  A 50mm f/1.8 lens is very sharp and very inexpensive.  Also, an 85mm f/1.8 is not too expensive, but again, all those lenses would be a pain to carry around everywhere you go.  If you had an assignment from a large company and were being paid well, then you would carry those with you, along with a variety of other prime lenses.  But for day to day things, or if you can't afford the expensive prime lenses (and they can be very expensive) it would be a good lens to have.  It could also be good for portraits and some wedding shots.  Having high ISO's and image stabilization allows you to shoot in fairly low light even without having an f/1.2 - f/2.8 lens, but you do lose the really shallow depth of field.

The following photo was shot with the zoom lens a couple of days ago while riding my bike down Ballona Creek and through Marina Del Rey on the bike path.  Because you wouldn't be able to see the full size image here, I've successively cropped the image to show that it is quite sharp as shot.


The settings were ISO 1000, f/8, 1/4000 sec, at 55mm.




One last note - while researching this lens, I found out the possibility exists that for the same exact lens one can be sharp while another not so much.  Sometimes people would return an unsharp lens for another copy of it which would be perfect.  Luckily, I bought this one used on Ebay at an excellent price, and it is exactly what I hoped it would be.

Hope you got something useful from this post, or at least enjoyed it.  The past two years I had written about vaccines, but think I've covered everything I can about them.  I will add new links about them from time to time, but meanwhile will be posting about photography.  Thanks for stopping by.