I just returned to the USA from my two weeks in England and
Scotland. Thanks again to all the list members who kindly
offered suggestions for things to do and places to see.
The members of this list are the best!
My reason for being in England was to participate in the
1998 Amputee Football World Cup tournament, where I was one
of the goalkeepers for the US side. We lost all our games,
but unlike the able-bodied team in the recent competition in
France, managed to score a few goals. Highlight of the tournament
for me was shutting out Brazil. Unfortunately, I only played in
half of that game :-( The Russians were awesome, and England
was the hard-luck side of the tournament, coming out on the
losing end of _three_ 1-nil games, and also losing to Brazil
on a penalty-kick shootout after playing to a draw in regulation
time and overtime. I'm already looking forward to the next
tournament in Kiev...
Oly stuff: I took my ex-Spirer (former list member) OM-2n
plus 21mm f/3.5 and 35mm f/2.8 Zuikos, and after much agonizing,
left the Zuiko 100mm f/2.8 home and brought my Tamron 70-210mm
f/4-5.6 mini-zoom (why didn't Olympus ever make anything like
this?) instead. I also kept a Stylus in my pocket or equipment
(football) bag -- very handy for those situations when someone
from Uzbekistan appears out of thin air, bearing gifts for your
son :-) I know there have been recent comments on the list
about the Stylus, but I have to say that I have found mine to
be extremely useful, especially for "record" shots...FWIW, I
also own an XA, but I find I prefer the operating simplicity
of the Stylus over that of the XA. YMMV.
As you might imagine, I totally agree with Doris Fang's
comments on the compactness of the Olympus system. I was
able to pack a very capable photographic setup into a very
small volume. I briefly toyed with the idea of taking my
autofocus Nikon setup, which would have been better suited
for the "action" portion of the trip than the Olympus kit,
but decided to leave it home because of its bulk.
BTW, the "official" team photographer was using autofocus
Nikon gear. Since his shortest lens was a 35mm, I offered
him a peek through my OM-2n fitted with the 21mm lens. I
don't think he'd ever seen that "wide" up 'til then :-)
I shot mostly Fuji 800 (my preferred film for sports action,
although it was also useful in the Scottish "sunshine"), with
a couple rolls of Fuji 400 mixed in. Scotland never received
enough light while I was there to use the Provia I brought
along, even with a tripod -- I had also brought along a Leitz
table-top tripod my son affectionately dubbed "the Uzi", due
to it's appearance in the airport x-ray display.
All in all, a very enjoyable and worthwhile trip. I even came
back with a few good photos, especially of my son, who turned
out to be a useful, if somewhat reluctant, model. He was
_perfect_ for those moody Edinburgh street scenes...
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