by Kevin Walsh

It’s all a matter of perspective.

Unlike my pal Mitch Waxman of the Newtown Pentacle, I’m not a professional photographer, and don’t use a high-end camera with plenty of settings; and I do not carry a tripod—if the camera shakes, it shakes. Even so, I have taken thousands of photos over the past 25 years or so, when I first began doing it in earnest and for every photo you see in Forgotten New York, there are two or three I don’t use either because they’re poor photos or they don’t fit my narrative. Perhaps I should take online photography courses! Even before the Great Infection, I haven’t really been permitted into the United States economy because I am a copy editor/copywriter/proofreader over the age of fifty. Way over, in fact, by now.

Here’s a photo of Coney Island Avenue looking north from the Belt Parkway, snapped during an April 2014 visit. The Manhattan skyline has undoubtedly changed — a lot — since then but the Chrysler Building can be clearly seen, and if you glance to the left, the Empire State, King of All Buildings, lords it over all.

Since I used an 18x zoom setting, as far as my Panasonic Lumix would go — the road looks impossibly clogged with traffic, swamped, it seems. Yet, it was only a moderately busy traffic day. It’s easy to fool people into believing things are jam packed with a zoom lens. Remember that the next time somebody on the internet wants to scare you with people not “social distancing.” Chances are, they are.

I’m in the market, perhaps, for a new camera. My old Panasonic Lumix crapped out and my repair shop of choice, Photo Tech at West 36th and 8th Avenue, won’t touch it. I bought a used one, but I can’t get it to focus on zoom. The booklet doesn’t say what to do in that case, so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know in Comments.

Otherwise, I might have to cough up a couple hundred for a new make, maybe one manufactured this decade.

Check out the ForgottenBook, take a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”



Brian Lawson June 4, 2020 - 2:31 pm

I’ve converted to Sony and the RX100VII is pricey but small and take great pix.

josh June 6, 2020 - 7:46 pm

yeah, i actually recently picked up a sony rx100ii for about $200 in ok condition on ebay. very impressive little camera. see my comment below.

Alvin June 4, 2020 - 8:38 pm

Thanks for all the articles you do!

What’s your budget like? You can give a site like dpreview a perusal. They are sponsored by Amazon, but they have a lot of reviews on gear.

josh June 5, 2020 - 7:30 am

I’ve had good luck with lower end sony cameras. you get a great lens for the money and the menus make sense to me. sometimes, i’m not happy with the auto-focus (in low light especially). i find canon’s ez style menus confusing but i must say they do deliver on picture quality and the auto-focus is quicker and more accurate than the sony. i was stunned by the detail when i bought my daughter a canon PowerShot A3500 IS a few years ago and she shot this with it:

Alvin June 8, 2020 - 10:14 pm

I’d also vote for the Sony RX100 series. If you want a bigger zoom range, go for the Sony RX10. If you want small and pocketable, go for the Sony RX100. That being said, they are expensive cameras.

Steven June 11, 2020 - 10:47 pm

Love the Orion VII NG on the B68!

Kevin Walsh June 18, 2020 - 9:20 am

Actually the zoom worked on its own again after several weeks not using the camera, but I bookmarked this page and will refer to it if the problem crops up once more.


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