Tag Archives: Tokina

LUAS at the Red Cow April 2005

400mm View of an Alstom Citadis Tram.

LUAS tram
Dublin LUAS tram backlit near the Red Cow stop in April 2005. Exposed on Fujichrom Sensia 100 with a Nikon N90S fitted with a Tokina 400mm lens.

In April 2005, Dublin’s LUAS light rail system was still relatively new. Services on the Red Line service between Dublin Connolly Station and Tallagh had only commenced the previous September.

The Trams still had that ‘right out of the box’ quality. They were new and shiny and free from dents and day-to-day wear and tear. The yellow safety stripes were still in the future.

The Irish Railway Record Society was working on a special LUAS edition of their Journal and fellow IRRS members Stephen Hirsch, the late-Norman McAdams and myself spent a morning intensively photographing LUAS operations and its trams to help fill this publication.

The morning was bright but had a hazy diffused quality of light, typical of Irish April weather. I exposed this image with my Nikon N90S fitted with a Tokina 400mm lens.

However when I inspected the processed slide, it left me with something of quandary: While I was satisfied with the composition and the subtle backlit qualities, I’d felt that I’d misjudged the lighting and overexposed the image by about a stop. Worse, I didn’t manage to keep the camera level, so, by my normal standards of judgment, I felt the slide projected poorly.

Despite these flaws, I found the slide, scanned exceptionally well. In post processing I was easily able to correct for level, and the exposure looks fine on the computer screen without need for manipulation.

This just goes to show what doesn’t look good on film, may, in fact, produce a better than average final image in other media.

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Amtrak’s Mayflower at South Norwalk, Connecticut, November 16, 1992.


Amtrak AEM-7 911 on the Northeast Corridor.

At 11:11 am on November 16, 1992, I made this image of double-headed AEM-7s leading train 169 The Mayflower passing the interlocking at South Norwalk on the former New Haven Railroad mainline.

Amtrak 911
Amtrak train 169 led by AEM-7 number 911 at South Norwalk; exposed on Kodachrome 25 with a Nikon F3T fitted with a Tokina f5.6 400mm telephoto lens.

This was a routine event. I don’t recall anything unusual or noteworthy about the train itself. I was playing with a Tokina f5.6 400mm lens I’d recently purchased secondhand. I made this photo with that lens attached to my Nikon F3T on Kodachrome 25.

My exposure-notes indicate that the lens was at its widest aperture and the camera at 1/125 of a second. I probably had the camera on my Bogen 3021 tripod as I doubt I would have tried to hand hold the 400mm lens at 1/125th of second.

Telephoto lens compression with truss-bridges under the old New Haven catenary makes for a tunnel-like effect, while giving context to the crossovers.

At that time, Amtrak’s AEM-7s were still in their ‘as delivered’ condition with their original paint scheme. These powerful little locomotives have been the backbone of Amtrak’s electrified operations for more than three decades. Their day in the sun will soon end; replacements are on their way.


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