Something you should know about me...I lose things. Mostly small things but sometimes large ones. I've long ago given up on owning a watch. It's been over 20 years since I last tried, and I don't know where I lost that final timepiece. Gloves fair somewhat better. I've had one pair of Army surplus fingerless liners for 7 years. Before those, I went thru about 4 pair a year. I used to think it was the drinking. But then I sobered up. But I kept losing things. So I figure it's just me, my nature, that certain possessions fly from me like sparrows from a branch.
So where, you may ask, is all this going? Lens caps, that's where. I lose lens caps. (And no, I've never owned a cap that's tethered to the camera. I should, I know.) So, having been without a lens cap for my Canon for a few weeks now, I decided to stop in a local camera shop and pick up a few. I imagined there'd be a big bin of them somewhere in a corner, available to be scooped up like peanuts at 25¢ a pop. I also imagined that there was one standard size for all 35mm SLR lenses. Wrong. On both counts. And my obvious ignorance in these matters earned me all sorts of attitude from the store staff. The conversation went something like this:
Clerk 1: Well, what size lens is it?
Me: 35 to 80mm.
Clerk 1: That's not possible.
Me: Well, that's what it is.
Clerk 2: He means, what SIZE lens? They're all different circumferences.
Me: Oh fuck, I don't know. What's a common size?
Clerk 1: There is no COMMON size.
Me: Look pal, gimme a fucking break. It's the lens that came with the damn camera.
Clerk 2: Well 58mm is pretty typical.
Clerk 1: So is 55mm.
Me: Well, give me one of each.
Clerk 2: [rings up the purchase] Would you like a bag? So you don't lose them.
Me: Yeh, sure. Gimme a bag.
So I walked out minus $13 but with two shiny new caps, 55mm and 58mm. Now you've probably guessed that when I got home, neither cap fit. Well, you're right. My lens, it turns out, is 52mm. Fuck. Shit. Piss. Cocksucker. Why can't these fucking things be one standard size? I even considered taping the one cap on with a bit of duct tape. No, I am not joking.
So, there it is: I am a hack. Because not only don't I bother to look at things like lens circumference before visiting the camera shop, I don't really care about them. Nor do I understand why they are the way they are. I just want to point and shoot. And yes, there are cameras for that. I have one. And from now on, I'll probably use it as my first-line camera. After all, what I photo most is freight trains. And I was able to do that effectively back when I had a Canon Elph that shot APS film.
Those of you who take the art and craft of photography more seriously than I, please know that this is no insult to you. I simply lack the patience to hold all the details of the photographer's art in my mind at once. I enjoy the chase and the catch, but the technical flibbety just bores and confuses me.
So in a way I owe those camera shop clerks a thank you. They have reminded me who I am.
Updated 12/30 to add: Last night Cecily found one of the lost lens caps...in a crate...don't ask.