Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

(Not) In the Pink

Pink Flower (660, EM5)

I’m not complaining, but over the last month or so I’ve lost a bit of my usual mobility.  Somehow I managed to hurt the plantar fascia on my right foot (that long tendon that runs from the heel to the toes and helps to form the foot’s arch).  I have no idea how I did it, but to put it bluntly, it sucks.  It makes simple walking a little bit painful.  Worse, it’s not something that heals quickly (especially for us old guys).  I remember when I used to be a regular runner a few years back.  I’d hear about people with this kind of injury.  And I still read about professional athletes who have to endure it.  But I’ve never had to deal with it personally – until now.  Which has forced me to cut down on my walking and hiking regimen.

Again, not a huge deal.  It ain’t going to kill me or make me an invalid.  But it does impact the kinds of things I can do (comfortably) photographically.  I’m happiest when I’m walking around with a camera.  I’m even happier if I’m hiking somewhere that’s at least a little isolated from the rest of the world.  However, hiking isn’t all that much fun if you walk like Chester on “Gunsmoke” (my apologies to anyone who isn’t old enough to remember this ancient TV show).

Especially if you’re trying to get some experience with a new lens.  I recently purchased the 9 – 18 mm f/4.0 – 5.6 wide angle lens for my OMD EM5.  Until I received the 9 – 18, my widest piece of glass for that camera was the 17 mm f/1.8.  A good lens, but not nearly wide enough for what I needed in southern Utah next month.  Remember, a 17 mm lens on a 4/3 system will “act” like a 34 mm lens does on a full-frame 35 mm system.  Not good enough for a slot canyon that narrows down in places to a few feet across.  An effective 18 mm focal length should work fine, though.  But it would be nice to be able to test the darn thing in a similar environment.  Which, of course, would require a little hiking.  Which brings me back to problem #1.

So I’ve been taking pictures of flowers and stuff just to see how it focuses and acts.  While I can say that it seems to behave very well and certainly appears to be sharp enough, it’s not the same as walking through a narrow gorge somewhere down in the Finger Lakes area.

This image, by the way, is severely cropped (I removed more than 50% of the original image).  At 9 mm, it’s still too wide for a closeup of a flower at the minimum focusing distance.  It’s still pretty sharp, though.  All in all, I really like this little lens (it weighs almost nothing).  And weight is very important for certain areas on this next trip.  I could, of course, carry the Canon 5D MK II with a very good 17 – 40 mm wide angle attached, but that “little” system is like carrying an anchor around your neck.  Not to mention the fact that I’d also need my big tripod.  With the EM5, things get a lot lighter and a lot easier.

Especially if one of your “wheels” ain’t working so well.


10 Responses to “(Not) In the Pink”

  1. oneowner

    When my wife had plantar fasciitis a few years ago she had some insoles made that relieved most of the pain associated with this condition. Some folks have good luck with massage therapy but the insoles provided instant (but not complete) relief, at least until it heels (heals?). BTW, I remember Chester!

    • Paul Maxim

      Yes, I’ve been thinking about seeing a podiatrist and getting some custom insoles, Ken. They’d probably help. But I keep putting it off………

  2. Earl

    Paul, I injured my plantar fasciitis in late 2011 and was nursing it back to health for all of 2012 — I still don’t know what I did to cause it. The right shoes or insoles can certainly help (I hobbled miles around Italy on a vacation in July 2012) but only time cures it. Hopefully, yours will be a quicker recovery.

    I happen to have that 9-18mm lens and I like it a great deal. As with any extra-wide lens it takes a little “forethought” to get the most out of it.

    • Paul Maxim

      A whole year, Earl? Damn. That’s a long time to be “hobbling” around! But I think you’re right. Only time can fix it. Probably takes so long because not very much blood flow gets all the way down there.

      I know you’re right about the lens, too. Wide angle lenses take a little getting used to. If you’re not paying attention, all you get is stuff that looks like it’s about 3 miles away.

  3. c4minor

    That’s a nice pink, Paul! Lovely shot. But more importantly: Get well soon! Take care, Christian

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Christian. Yeah, that was a seriously pink flower at my daughter’s house. I know nothing about flowers, but I’m told that each individual flower only blooms for one day. They’re big and bright and then they’re gone. Must be a metaphor in there somewhere……

  4. John Linn

    Paul, I have been lusting after the 9-18mm for awhile now… your good reports is giving me a push. I really like the idea of a superwide on my OM-D. My widest zoom is 12mm, so my only hesitation, will 3mm make that big a difference? But of course it is not 3mm, it is really 6mm on MFT.

    I bought some off the shelf orthotics at the Foot Performance shop on Brighton/Henrietta Townline, and they work quite good… as good as the prescription orthotics that were made for me at a much higher cost. They are still not cheap but a good value. You might want to give them a visit (no, I do not have any connection to the store).

    • Paul Maxim

      I think the answer to the question, “will 6 mm matter?”, is yes. At that end of the focal length spectrum it does matter. I can say from experience that 24 mm is visually different from 18 mm, both on on a full-frame DSLR and MFT. I used the 9 – 18 again yesterday, John. It’s really wide!

      I’ll have to check out that store. My little problem isn’t as bad as most people’s, I’m sure. I really don’t want to spend a lot on prescription orthotics if I don’t have to.

  5. Cedric Canard

    That is a rather unfortunate turn of events for you Paul and I certainly hopes it heals quickly. I haven’t experienced plantar fasciitis but I did have what is commonly known as tennis elbow and while nowhere near as inconvenient I did find holding a camera up to my eye for any length of time quite uncomfortable. It took almost a year to get better but hopefully you’ll heal more quickly so that you can bring us back some awe inspiring landscapes from the west with that new lens.

    • Paul Maxim

      Thanks, Cedric. It’s funny, but ever since I developed this little problem there’s been a bunch of stuff in the papers about it. USA Today had a big one a couple of days ago. That one talked about the large number of professional athletes – in all sports – who are currently dealing with it. Based on the descriptions I found there, I don’t have it anywhere near as bad as they do. Some describe the pain as walking on glass or needles. Mine’s more like walking with a stone in my shoe. And it already seems to be getting better. So I’m hoping that when we hit the “Big Sky” country in a couple of weeks it’ll be gone.

      As for getting any “inspiring landscapes”, that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms ain’t it……..


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