It’s Here!

Adorama came through with an excellent offer on my old equipment and so now I’m the very happy owner of a Canon EOS 5D Mark II and an L series 24-105mm F4 ISM lens.  I haven’t had a chance to do too much shooting with it and now I’m going to be out of town this weekend and most of next week.  I’ll take it along, but I don’t see much chance to use it…I’ll do my best though.

I doubt there’s much point in reviewing a camera that’s 4 years old already but I’ll give you my initial thoughts:  “Wow”.  “Damnit I wish I’d bought one 4 years ago!”  Stuff like that.

Here’s one of the shots I’ve made with it so far, taken at Houghton’s Pond, part of the Blue Hills Reservation in Milton, MA.

Copyright @ 2012 Adrian M. Benson Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24-105mm f4 L lens Black & White conversion in Lightroom 3.6

I converted the image to B&W because there just isn’t much color in this neck of the woods at this time of year…

And if you are local to the area (Boston, MA) and are a regular visitor to the Blue Hills, check out this group: Friends of the Blue Hills  They spend a fair amount of time and energy making the Blue Hills the great place that it is.


A New Era of Gear

On my equipment page you’ll see that I’m primarily a Nikon shooter and have been for quite a while.  Not long ago, I acquired a Canon EOS T2i and have had a chance to do some shooting with it.  It’s a fine camera and though the controls are different from my Nikons and take some getting used, once mastered are easy and intuitive.  I’ve decided I like Canon and have come to a bit of a crossroads I guess you’d say.

I mention in the equipment post that photography is a gadget intensive pursuit, but that you should try hard not to get caught up in chasing the ‘best’ gear.  That doesn’t mean you should never upgrade your kit though.  I recently shipped my aging D200 and other Nikon gear off to Adorama’s used department for a quote.  Depending on what they come back with will determine my upgrade path.  I can say this: my new stuff is going to be Canon.  I’ve long been interested in the EOS 5D MkII, but price has kept me away.  Now, with the brand new 5D MkIII available and the 6D due in December, prices on remaining stocks of the 5DII are tumbling.  Unless Adorama is able to come in with a truly amazing offer (which they might) I believe my new set up will be a Canon 5D MkII with the 24-105mm F4 L series lens.

“That camera is 4 years old and isn’t much of an upgrade”, some will say.  “Save some more and get the 5DIII”, others will say.  Some will point to reviews of the 5DII and its supposed horrific autofocus issues and ask, “are you kidding?  Pros dropped Canon in droves after that and 1DIII fiascoes!”

Well, it is 4 years old, but my D200 is circa 2005 so, “new to me” as they say.  And old or not, the 5DII is a huge upgrade in image quality over my D200.  Not state of the art of course, but that’s ok.  Could I take the money I get from my sale and save more for the latest and greatest?  Possibly, but my experience with trying to do this is that what really happens is the money I get from the sale will evaporate without me even realizing it and I’ll save nothing.  A man has got to know his limitations.

Apparently, the 5DII does have some issues with its autofocus system.  But reading technical reviews of the system, and reading about photographers using the camera in the field (and I’ve read a lot of both) the problems do not seem to be a big issue generally.  AF tracking in fast action situations seems to be an issue, as does focusing in very low light.  For someone like me whose livelihood isn’t on the line, I don’t think this is a major problem.  As for pros leaving Canon for Nikon, some did.  And they were very vocal about why.  Autofocus was only part of the reason; many were unhappy with Canon’s customer service and felt their concerns weren’t being taken seriously.  Rightly or wrongly, I’m not going to factor that in my decision.

I’m anxiously awaiting a call about the final quote on my Nikon gear.  They’ve already given me a preliminary estimate (that I was quite happy with) which “won’t go down once we see your equipment”, so it can only get better.  I should hear back today or early next week and once things are finalized I’ll post here about it.