Goodbye, Rachel. I miss you already.

It’s hard to say goodbye.  You know it’s time to let go.  You have to realize that you’ve experienced every magical moment, every wonderful trip, every special endeavor.

But now it’s time to move on.  You have to break things off.  You have to stop thinking with your heart and start thinking with your brain.  She belongs to another.  And all you can do is wish her goodbye and congratulate the new beau on the new union.

And that’s why I’m breaking up… with Rachel.

“Rachel,” for those of you who are new to my blog, is a vintage Nikon Nikkor 50-300 f/4.5 manual-focus telephoto lens.  It was named “Rachel” after the girl who sold it to me way back in 2007.  I had the lens professionally cleaned, and used it several times over the years.  The pictures captured with it?  Such award-winners as The Three-Two Pitch and Jesus Saves.
So yes, this is an award-winning piece of glass.

But this lens, as much as I loved it, was heavy.  HEAVY.  HEAVY LIKE A CHEVY.  I could use that lens for bicep curls, that’s how heavy it was.  It has its own tripod mount, that’s how heavy it is.

And even though it was my strongest telephoto lens, it just wasn’t as strong as I wanted.  I wanted a lens that could photograph the moon and all the craters on it.  As I’ve said before, I need to be able to photograph Neil Armstrong’s bootprints on Tranquility Base.  And I can’t get it with this lens.

So I’m stepping up my game.  A couple of days ago, I purchased a 500mm f/8 mirror lens and a 2x teleconverter.  Right off the bat, I’ve got a much lighter lens in my hands, which means  I can carry it in my camera bag without worrying about acquiring a hernia.  And the 2x teleconverter effectively turns that lens into a 1000mm monster.

The plan now is to test this bad boy out.  To get really sharp long-distance shots.

And if all works out well…

Then on September 28th, I will be completely prepared for what I’m classifying as Operation Moonshot.  More on that later.

But for now, I have a 50-300 f/4.5 manual focus telephoto lens that I’m not using any more.

So what do I do with it?

Simple.  Yesterday, I dropped the lens off at the Photo Center of Troy.  My theory is that besides the vast collection of photography gear and cameras and books, there are plenty of lenses to borrow or to purchase.  After I’ve enjoyed Rachel for all these years, it’s time to move on and let someone else take some amazing pictures with this glass.

Why am I doing this?

Simple.  Over the years, I’ve been blessed with so many of my friends and blog readers “gifting” me their cameras.  And in the past, I’ve donated my gear to companies like the Film Photography Podcast, who takes old 35mm SLR’s and provides them to photography film students.

So that’s what I did yesterday.

Rachel found a new home.

And hopefully the next person who uses her will take some amazing pictures with that lens.

That’s all I can ask of that heavy piece of glass.

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