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The Death of the 50mm

I stuffed my 50mm lens—wrapped in a yellow handkerchief—into my left, 16oz boxing glove and placed the boxing glove deep in my 40L backpacker bag for safe keeping during transportation from JFK to the Dominican Republic. I thought I was so smart.

16oz of padding. Saving space in my bag. Genius, I thought.

It was over a week after arriving before I went to my bag, on a total whim, to pull it out. Maybe take the lens for a spin around the block on my new camera in this foreign place.

I unlaced the dark red glove and began pulling at the handkerchief wrapped lens, all the while thinking to myself I almost never use this lens. I shoot almost exclusively with my 30mm.

Just as these thoughts passed through my mind, the lens rolled out of my hand and crashed right into the tiled flooring.


I stared at it on the ground.

Maybe it’s okay, I thought.

I scooped it up. Rattling. Crunching.


I took off an end cap and glass and parts exploded to the ground.

And that’s how I came to shoot exclusively with a 30mm lens.

Dominican Republic. July 17, 2016.