Yesterday morning found me, once again, wandering around Downtown Dallas, alone, ostensibly as part of a Photowalk: this time a Scavenger Hunt with the North Texas Photography Explorers MeetUp Group.

Good news: I didn’t have a full out panic attack and start frantically texting an old friend.

Bad news: I had a constant, general, and rather intense level of trepidation. It wasn’t bad enough to start texting old friends, but it did prevent me enjoying myself or really taking time to compose, focus, frame, and capture many of the things that I saw.

I suppose it’s a win that I didn’t have an all out attack, but I hoped to feel more in control of my emotional state, and even now, 24 hours after I arrived home from the walk, I’m still shaking internally and finding it excruciatingly difficult to even step outside.

I also didn’t really make any pictures that I’m happy with.

I put this down partly to the anxiety, and partly to my choice of gear: I knew I was going to want to shoot some macro close focus stuff, and initially planned to take along the Vivitar 50mm f/1.8 with its reversing set-up and swap between that and the Sigma 30mm f/1.4, my favorite walkaround lens.

Alas, my step-down rings are stuck together in such a way as to prevent mounting the reversing ring, and I’ll likely need to invest in a filter wrench (or buy another set of step-down or step-up rings, or both) to get things operational again.

I then thought about carrying my bag, and bringing the Zomb-E, but I long ago decided to eschew carrying the bag, and try to be as nimble as possible. I suppose I could’ve carried the Zomb-E in a pocket or something, but that would’ve led to too much ‘is-that-a-1970s-zoom-lens-in-your-pocket-or-are-you-just-a-pervert’ potential for me to handle.

I thought about rocking the Zomb-E alone, and need to do that again in the future, but I knew I wanted flat focal planes and a wider angle.

I had just about decided to say “screw it” and just go with the Sigma, when my eyes fell upon the Tokina AT-X 35-200 f/3.5-4.5. Could it be the solution to my problems? It’s relatively fast, relatively wide (a mere 5mm narrower than the Sigma), and has a close focus function built in for those moments when macro-ish seems like fun.

So how did it fare? Well, I’m working on a review of the Tokina—as there are very few on the interwebs—but it’s only about half-done at present, so I’ll just let the pictures speak for themselves. (Note: I had some focusing issues with the Tokina. I’m not sure if it was me or the lens or the D7000, but I saw the green dot, I fired, and I got some back-focusing in the 2-3 foot range.)

The Scavenger Hunt item list is as follows:

  1. Wooden
  2. Worn, Broken or Rusty
  3. This Makes Me Hungry
  4. Old & New
  5. Shadows
  6. Curved, Curves, Twisted, or Circular
  7. Window(s)
  8. Motion
  9. Alternate Exit or Entrance
  10. Working On It

How did I do?

Everything was shot with the D7000 and Tokina 35-200 f/3.5-4.5, ISO100, Aperture Priority mode, mostly wide open, and at a rather wide variety of focal lengths.

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