A short sleep for friday night as the first thing waiting was the F1 qualifying session. Rather quite interesting to see S.Vettel take on his usual stand of pole position, something that makes me more excited to see Vettel take more poles and even more podiums in races. I waited till it was 10am and ensured I was bang on time to make the first call to Grays of Westminster.
Bang On, I meant it in real terms and I was bang on. Spoke to a female voice:
Female Voice: Grays of Westminster
Me : Good morning
Female Voice : How can I help
Me : Do you still have the 105mm F2.8G AF-S (Mint) condition + TC 20E II
Female Voice : Let me check.. (After 30secs of hold) Yes, we do.
Me : I would like to come and check it before I can buy it. Can you please reserve it for me.
Female Voice : Can I please have your name sir.
Me : Sure, It is Mani.
Female Voice : We are only open till 1pm today.
Me : No problem, I will be there before 12.
Female Voice : Thank you.
Me : Thank you, bye.
My excitement was building up to go and see the Grays of Westminster. As much I have heard and read about them on the website, it was that time to explore it what really awaits me. You can check their website too (www.graysofwestminster.com), they have a very good Nikon range with lots of used lenses and really very good prices with lens conditions specified on the website.
Weather outside shows the colours of wet and cloudy winter day. Not quite a day to go for shopping but the only day for me is Saturday when I can go and shop. Riding my two wheels to the train station, locking it and getting on to the train. Direct victoria line to Pimlico and few minutes of wandering around to search the place. I was about in the right direction till I checked my GPS, that I was wrong. Got back to the right track and Churton street. Here I was standing out Grays of Westminster in London. The shop bears a look of an old house from outside which makes it more of classic one. Standing out from other shops in the vicinity.
I was welcomed by the lady in the shop, Tabitha Hardy. She asked me my name and then instantly remembered me when I mentioned my name to her. She took me to her desk and got me my requested lens along with the TC. She also suggested that I have a look at 200mm F/4.0 Micro-Nikkor. So she got it for me to try it on. Damn, this thing is a little beastie. It’s full metal black rough feel on it and pro lens.
In the meanwhile, I decided 200mm is an overkill for my budget and I will hook on to my needs of 105mm for the time being with a TC 2X. She guided me around to the basement of the place which actually is like a real museum. She told me of something, which I believe you may also not know that – Canon uses Nikon glass in their lenses. Canon does not make their own glass. Now, that was a big fact for me. She was extremely friendly and showed me a glass shelfs full of lenses and the whole manual range of lenses which have ever been made by Nikon. I have never seen such a place in my life. It is a place that has to be seen by a Nikon owner once in their lifetimes. If you live in London or not, you shall make a point to come and visit this place. Tabitha, handed me the 20mm F/2.8 lens that I can try on my D700 body. I was impressed, amazed and super fascinated with this experience. She offered me to use any lens available to try it on. I was more than glad as it only sparked my temptation of trying the wides on it. I was on to the 14mm Fx 2.8 which had this amazing bulb like fat lens glass and super cover on the top. I love the feel of these lenses on my D700 body as it makes it easier for me to plan my next choice of lens.
In my humble decisions, I would love to complete the F2.8 range from 14-200mm via the 3 great lenses of all times. 14-24 + 24-70 + 70-200mm. These are the all time special lenses one can ever have to fully complement the FX frame body. Anything above 200mm needs a rich pocket. I would love to have a 600mm in another years may be but not now. It’s a huge investment of over £6000 with only that glass.
Going back to where I was in reality, in this moment – I have made my choice of sticking to a Macro and TC. Oh, not to forget the lens filter. yes, that is one thing we must not ever miss when we buy a lens. It is a little investment compared to the lens but it is there for rest of the life on lens. It’s like a buying a motorcycle without buying a helmet. You don’t miss such things, if you do – please ensure you do not do it again.
Time to head back home and go exploring what I have bought and how to make some use of it. I was adoring it now with an experience from Grays of westminster, it makes it even more special.
Reaching train station back and picking up my bicycle it had started to drizzle with those little water drops floating in air till the start drizzling properly I was half way home. Hoping to stay dry, was not an option anymore so had to change my carrying bag into the plastic bigger wrap. Keeping an expensive shopping safe is more important than me getting wet in this rain.
It was about time that I did my video : I was wondering and planning it in my head all the way before I reached home. I was still cold and not before I can have a hot cuppa tea, I could have started with planning the video. Gathered all my lenses and made a proper backdrop reflecting my collection of lenses.
You can find the video here on my you tube channel. YouTube Video.
Some of the shots from the day of trying different lenses and their output attached here.
More shots on my Flickr.