I was going to post this B&W shot on my store, to be available to purchase. However, I was just checking it finely for spot imperfections and I kept coming across little tiny black specks to be spotted out, just in case anyone ordered a print large enough to be able to see them.
The more I looked, the more of them were popping out at me and then the reason struck me.
I have finally bought a new lens. It is sharper than the approximately 25 year old Minolta one I had been stretching the usage out of. It had to go in the end because some clumsy oaf had managed to take a tiny chip out of the front element, and that was creating a white flare spot in some conditions. (This is the reason sales staff always offer you a UV or Skylight filter when you purchase a new lens; if you chip anything, it’ll be the filter and it’s much cheaper to purchase one of those than another lens. Ex photographic salesman apparently think they’re above that sort of thing and so don’t bother buying one.. ahem.)
This more modern one (a Sony 18-105 f4 G OSS for the inevitable ‘what gear do you use’ question) is sharper than that fungus colony supporting old thing and, it appears, is capable of rendering, in full ‘cloud of individual little black spot-like things’ detail, the little midges that were dancing in the skies above the hedgerow and field, unseen to my naked eye and even at normal non-zoomed size on my monitor.
So, you can’t buy this as a print, because the new lens is too good and, after doing about 120 of the things and realising there were still about 1200 more, I haven’t got enough patience to smidge out all the midges.
But I can always revert to this sort of thing, when nobody can see what the heck was supposed to be there or sharp in the first place anyway. And you can buy this one because midges don’t appear to be able to photo-bomb these. And ‘lens quality’ doesn’t really come into it much.