My Canon 24-105 L lens is broken.
Well, maybe not broken exactly, but it’s developed a habit of creeping. If you point it straight up, for example, and set it to 105 mm, it will slowly creep down to 24 mm because the mechanism that holds the zoom at a fixed focal length apparently has become loose. I’ll be sending it in to Canon for warranty service, but in the meantime I’ve been needing to hold the barrel by hand if my exposure is more than a fraction of a second.
For the image in this post, the lens was pointed up fairly steeply at the cross on the roof of the old St. Vincent’s hospital (now a hotel) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but I checked it before I tripped the shutter and it seemed to be holding steadily in place. I was wrong, though. Over the course of the exposure (probably somewhere in the 10 to 30 second range, I forget exactly), it crept back a bit, effectively zooming out as the exposure was made.
Turns out I like the result. This troubles me a bit, because I’ve never thought of myself as someone who would seek to achieve optical effects by moving the camera around during the course of an exposure. It’s always seemed kind of gimmicky to me. Nevertheless, I think the image here has some emotional impact, at least for me. Though the effect in this case was produced by accident, certainly it seems possible to do the same thing intentionally. I may have to rethink my position on moving the camera around during long exposures.