Jonathan Stroud’s Heroes of the Valley is fantastic. Since purchasing the audiobook two days ago, David Thorn’s incredible narration has consumed every moment in which my ears weren’t needed for something else.
The story employs one of my favorite devices: a seemingly impassable, highly dangerous boundary which must inevitably be crossed. This is archetypal of the hero’s journey and Stroud deftly wields it in setting the stage and driving the development of his characters and their story forward.
With not a little difficulty, I recently acquired a telephoto prime lens for my camera: the fabled Canon 135mm f2l. Preliminary testing raised serious questions. Is it actually legal to point something this sharp at other humans?
Update 2009-04-08: To further expand on the test shots above and the 135mm f2l lens: I was a little over a meter from the subject for each of those shots. The minimum focusing distance on the 135mm is selectable — either .9 or 1.6 meters. The actual focal length on my camera — a 20d — is about 216mm due to the crop factor.
I should note that the lens does tend to hunt for focus in low-contrast and low-light situations — sometimes racking to either end of the focus range before locking in. This appears to be dependent on the minimum focusing distance setting — at .9 meters there’s generally more hunting than at 1.6 meters.
The 24-70mm f2.8l is quite a bit more certain under similar conditions.