Re-learning curve: Canon 1Ds

“Re-learning”? Not with this camera! This is the ‘full frame’ DSLR, and as such has the largest and brightest viewfinder. Seeing what I’m trying to photograph is the biggest problem these days, and with the 1Ds it’s almost not an issue. Likewise the Canon G11 with its optical finder gives similar performance. Only the EVFs and smaller, dimmer optical finders present much difficulty.

Okay this camera still has poorly-thought-out controls, but I know where they are and don’t have to change them often. Also it weighs a lot. But what about the all-important results? Well I took 28 photos and only 6 of them are actually bad. That’s the best post-eye-problem ratio of any camera I’ve got.

All these photos were taken with the 75-300mm Canon EF lens. Some are the full image, some are cropped to varying degrees. This is not the best lens either, but it was cheap and it works.

Landscape view. Or ‘lakescape’ perhaps.
Squirrel!
Shrouded in mystery.
Birds fly in the lake of the sky.
Natural guitar pick. (Stone full of mica.)
Bird in a tree.
First of this year’s wood harvest. (640 x 426 segment of full frame.)
Goodnight.

The success with using this camera reinforces the validity of my revised plan. In fact replacing this camera and the T100 with a 5D Mk II would by viable, but unlikely to happen. At this point I’m aiming for keeping the Fuji F80, Canon G11, Nikon P610 (which needs replacing at a later date), Canon T100, and this Canon 1Ds. Also I will use various adapters to allow the use of classic lenses with either Canon DSLR (the full frame cameras are not quite as good with this due to some lenses getting in the way of the larger mirrors).

To that end I have purchased some new equipment which hasn’t arrived yet but will result in further posts when it does. I’m not doing so well at selling off the superfluous stuff, but then there’s a lot else going on around here now with the start of the annual wood harvest.

Equipment sidetrack

Sydney J. Harris used to write columns about “Things I learned en route to looking up other things”. This is something like that, but not exactly.

Idly I am poking through equipment for sale, wondering if certain items can be fit into the revised Master Plan, and occasionally bidding on whatever I think might. This has included some rather wild detours like Sony a6000 to get the hi-res sensor and mirrorless adapt-almost-any-lens ability to switching to Nikon DSLR for the same hi-res reason or even because I want to try out some of the older, CCD equipped cameras of theirs. None of that happened. A lot of lenses passed as well.

What I did buy was some more lens adapters for the Canon EF cameras, just in case I found a Canon FD or Nikon F lens for such a price as couldn’t be passed up. In essence, the redesigned plan is to reduce the DSLRs to Canon only, because then it’s all fairly interchangeable and a lot of old glass can be easily adapted to it. Also no need to memorize six or eight different control configurations. Makes sense, right?

The only change, then, was acquiring a Canon T7 to get a 24MP sensor (1/3 more pixels than the T100 so worth the switch). I haven’t succeeded in this either, as they mostly go for more money than I’m willing to put into this project at this point. For another thing, selling off the superfluous equipment is proving to be quite a stumbling block.

Anyway, that’s the plan now: Canon 1Ds (too big and heavy for anyone else to want), replace the Canon T100 with a T7 to get higher res on the hi-res camera, keep the Canon G11 and Fuji F80 carry-along cameras, and continue using the Nikon P610 as the “daily driver” until it fails entirely. Hopefully by that point I can save up enough for a replacement like a Canon SX70.

Oh and one other thing: try, try, try to avoid buying any more equipment just because it’s cheap or interesting (and cheap). Sensible, right? Right. Let’s see me actually manage to do it.

Now off to one side I come across this blog by favourite writer Eric L. Woods: A Sigma dp2 Quattro Fascinating camera. The Foveon sensor is built like a layer of colour film, and the results show. Several of the other X3 write-ups I found dismissed the design as though they were written by people with stock in other sensor manufacturers or something. Much of it was confused and contradictory so I guess maybe they didn’t understand it. Personally I like the concept and the results.

I also like the fact they didn’t go crazy on cramming “features” into this camera. It has some faults to be sure, like no EVF. Considering how expensive it is that’s just stupid. But largely it is a digital camera for a film photographer. Too bad about the price. In my “ideal” camera design I can see that Foveon X3 sensor as a key element.

That’s all as maybe. I have to try and focus on my current projects, including the wood harvest that has just started. It’s been difficult as the still-present smoke makes me cough almost instantly when I so much as talk, never mind work. I got a lot done yesterday when there was no smoke about, so timing is vital to success.

In the meantime there’s only a few more things on e-Bay I want to keep track of. Just in case.

First load of firewood for this year.

Canon 1Ds, Part II

(I hate not being able to edit a post with the classic editor; it’s create and go with no going back!)

Okay, now let’s see if this Pro-Cam can deliver a decent photo. I haven’t cleaned the sensor yet, but here we go anyway.

Canon 40mm EF lens.

Not bad, and of course sharper than the 75-300mm zoom. Let’s go for really sharp with the Super Takumar 50mm f1.4 on all manual:

Ubiquitous shed shot is sharp.

This sort of makes me want the Canon 50mm EF now, but that would be further expense and I don’t imagine I will use this camera enough for ‘standard’ shots to make it worthwhile.

Marley has found snow.

I had to ‘fix’ this one a bit as it was slightly over-exposed (f16 is the minimum aperture and at ISO 200 & 1/250 it wasn’t enough). That’s what snow will do to you.

Duncan: less snow = better exposure.

Nice, subtle colour from this camera. It’s a CMOS sensor but it comes across like CCD.

Wood is good.

At full size this image has a lot of detail. The “very low resolution” sensor (11MP) isn’t lacking no matter what the megapixel promoters insist.

Here’s a bit I found on-line regarding the original price. EGAD! Glad I didn’t pay that!

And now for something completely silly:

Fujifilm F80 vs. Canon 1Ds – the small and the large.

One fits in your shirt pocket, the other breaks your neck!

Next experiment includes trying some different lenses and resolution settings. I also hope to try an astronomy shot, as that is one of the reasons I got this monster.

So far I’m happy with it. Also it’s the only exercise equipment I own. I’m sure it’s building up my biceps.

More on a Monday

Well it’s been a couple of weeks worth of “just get through today” living. Nothing much going right in all that time, and the details are boring so you will be spared them.

We had sunshine on Friday. We had sunshine on Sunday. Yes, it’s so bad that any sunny day sticks in the memory. The rest have been just awful. So I took advantage of the sun (and cold: clear skies let all the heat escape) and took a few photos. Nothing much. I used the old Kodak P850, just for fun.

The Master Plan isn’t advancing either. This is due to a lack of co-operation from the world at large. Such as refusing to sell me a Canon 5D at a reasonable price. I keep watching the Ebay auctions, and noticing the trickery, and … nothing. Seriously; if I want to pay that much I can just buy one from a camera store. Beware on-line auctions, folks: there’s some nasty crookedness happening there. It doesn’t help that even when the offer is legitimate bringing the item into Canada (as there’s almost nothing offered here) ramps the price up by expensive shipping and import fees. You can usually bet on seeing another $75 disappear for those, whereas state-side shipping would be $20. Consider also that despite a slight improvement in the exchange rate our dollar is still around 77% of the US$. It’s fun living in this country, but expensive.

Right now I’m waiting for a couple of items I bought to show up. One has nothing to do with The Plan, and the other is an offshoot of it. Waiting. *Drums fingers on table* How far is it from Canada to Canada anyway? (Yes, I bought within the country to try things out. I’m not going to make my first purchase from Albania or anything like that.)

So I’m bored right now, and that’s not a good thing.

Anyway, here are the Kodak picture picks.

Old Reo Gold Comet truck.
How they power the moon.
Gentle colours.
A crow in raven country.
Wood.
Some sunrise.

Camera chatter

Lately the weather has been bad, which keeps me inside. That makes me anxious about doing things as I’m a “doing things” kind of person. If only because it distracts from the “feeling pain” kind of person I’ve become. Naturally I start poking around looking at camera equipment, mainly because the photography is something I find easy to do when I’m able to do it.

So I started looking for cameras that could be used at “waist level”, like old TLRs. The original impetus of this was a complaint from someone who feels very self-conscious when trying to shoot in urban areas because people “look at him funny”. Several of my young photo friends have reported similar feelings, and tales of harassment including from police. Hey world learn this: there is no privacy in a public place. If you can see it, you can shoot it. Anyway waste-level finders solve this because you haven’t got a box (camera) held up to your face and you’re just walking around slowly occasionally looking at the *cough* ground.

My Nikon P610, virtuoso machine that it is, can do this. Sort of. You can flip the screen out and around and look down on it. At which point the lack of light hitting the eyepiece sensor because it’s too near your body causes it to switch finders because it thinks you’re looking through the eye-level. Okay, what could do the job better? A camera with only an LCD screen; one that flips up. There are several quite good ones, all expensive by my standards. Really we are into mirrorless interchangeable lens models here, with $400+ price tags. Would I spend that much to do this one thing? No, would you?

Now here’s where it gets funny. I was just reading another blog where the fellow is looking for a new camera because his Canon 6D is “too heavy” and he gets tired “lugging it around”. I had to look it up: weighs a couple of pounds at worst with a lens. Hey buddy, you should try hauling a Graflex around all day. Or even a Speed Graphic. Build up some photo muscles, ya wimp! Reading further it sounded like he wants a mirrorless camera and is desperately looking for a way to justify it. Let’s see, one of his prospective replacements is a Sony Alpha 7 RIII. Oh yeah I guess you’d need a helluva justification for spending that much money! It’s ten times the price of what I was balking at! Good luck to him, and I hope he’s not married.

Anyway I’ve got more experiments in mind and the forecast says it’s going to be sunny but cold for the next week so it looks like I’ll be able to put my three cheap, junky cameras to use again and have some more fun. Here’s an artsy documentation shot of the work I did yesterday. Don’t try to figure it out; it’s a real-life abstract.

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And an old Michigan crane truck I’ve been passing by for years without having enough time available to stop and shoot.

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Both of these taken with the Kodak V1003 which is what I had in my pocket at the time.

Random thoughts and images

It’s been one of those weeks where there was too much to do and I did too much. The good news being the wood harvest is over:

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At least for this year. The bad news is the weather has gone cold and damp and the wood is going through the stove, making demands on me for splitting and handling. I guess I never get past working with wood. I took the ‘A’ frames down off the shed that didn’t get completed, and it still hasn’t been because again the weather has interfered with my latest plans for it.

It also interferes with photography. I don’t like taking myself out in the cold and damp, never mind the cameras! Anyway on the last logging trip I stopped to take a couple of landscape shots of the mountains. I usually don’t do landscapes, which is odd considering the country around here. Here’s one from the Canon and another from the Nikon:

IMG_1987

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You can just see the Xterra in the bottom of the Canon shot. I should have either included it or left it out, but seeing through the finder is a bit of a guessing game so … I could crop it out, I suppose. The vehicle itself went in for service last Wednesday and after three days they only found one thing wrong and admitted changing that may not correct the overheating problem. I guess I’ve owned it too long and it’s taken on my disorder; they can see the symptoms but can’t find the cause. Just like me.

Anyway the full moon came and with it bad weather so once again … well I tried anyway:

DSCN1903

A bit artsy I admit. There’s supposed to be a really good meteor shower this weekend, but considering you can’t even see the sun through the cloud cover … I’ll just have to wait until it’s worth taking a lens outside.

Speaking of lenses, I find myself regretting not having brought a few back from NY last year. If I’d known then and all that, I would certainly have selected a few from the dozens (possibly hundreds) that were there. At the very least I should have thought to ship back my Exacta V with its 58mm Meyer Primoplan f1.9* – both because that was my first SLR and the lens is one of the best I’ve ever seen. Didn’t have the Canon yet, so I wasn’t thinking like that. Damn. I also have looked at new, higher quality lenses for the T100 but still balk at the idea of paying more for a lens than the whole camera cost. Canon needs to get their act together on this as the kit lenses are noticeably inferior to the optics on the Nikon ‘bridge’ camera.

Meanwhile Winter is creeping in on us:

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It’s currently below freezing with snow in the offing but no significant threat yet. Definitely in a transition period right now. A few things I have to go out and do next week, but for this weekend … just taking it easy. That’s unusual for me, but I suspect it may need to become the norm. The adrenaline from the need to get the harvest done has worn off and the backlash is upon me.

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One last moon picture, because you can never have too many moon pictures.

*They make a brand new version of this lens. It costs €1,599.00 :O I think I’ll pass on that!

Skip this post

One plainchant whinge coming up.

I shall try to recount the events of the past few days as they relate to my health, but frankly my memory is full of holes these days.

My assistant having left last soggy Sunday, it is left up to me to do things like bring in wood. It was raining the first half of the week so nothing was happening then. Still had the ‘standard’ symptoms, and then things got a little odd.

Thinking the nightmares might be related to one type of pain killer I switched to another – and got new problems. Here it was Thursday (I think) and I was feeling pretty sick suddenly; numbness in my lips, shivering, face and eye pain … just really terrible without the usual signs of having a cold. Not having any assistance from the medical profession at hand (really they haven’t done anything for this for nine years now) all I could think of was that my nervous system is affected by constant bombardment of pain killers as well as a constant bombardment of pain. If this makes no sense remember it’s the thinking of someone who is frankly a little unstable due to the symptoms. Or something.

I also noticed when taking pictures in the dark that I’m unstable on my feet at ground level now. I don’t hold still and it seems like the world swims around me at times. Daylight is different; somehow the visual cues cut in and my lack of balance is compensated for. I should try standing still with my eyes shut and see if I fall over.

Anyway, pretty obviously something is wrong, has been for years, and is getting worse. I don’t know how often I’ve recounted that to doctors but all I get for feedback at best is agreement on symptoms.

So Friday events transpire that I must go out to the cabin and get the remaining logs sliced and brought in before the weekend rain. Oh, also a couple of tables someone wants. I hook up the trailer and go to do it.

Oh boy. It isn’t that much wood (about 1/2 a cord) but it takes forever. Cut, rest, load, rest, cut, rest, load, rest … over and over. It takes 2,987 days. Okay, about three hours really. And I’m amazed it’s only that.

Started with unloading the wheelbarrow that was left full of dirt and blocking the back door. Now full of water too, which means it weighs a lot and needs tipping out and then dumping. This so I can get inside and take the legs off the two tables and load them into the Xterra. That takes longer than it should. Then I get on with the wood.

Well I did it and brought it home and the person who wanted the tables … only wanted the one. Thanks. I needed that extra work. Came over right away and got it, but really it could have waited until the next day when I was able to stand up again. There went Friday; too tired to eat, too painful to sleep.

Saturday rain held off while I unloaded the wood. Hoorah! It took three goes with a lot of increasingly longer rest periods between rounds. And that ended that day.

Now, to understand this you need a frame of reference. Last fall when I was harvesting wood I’d go out and load up the trailer with rounds (slicing logs already brought in from the forest previously) and bring it home and then unload it. All in one day. No problem. Now it takes me two days to do the same and there’s a lot more resting between efforts and a lot worse results afterward.

Sunday. Feeling sick. Missed sleep again in the night. Had to take extra antacid pill. Naprosyn didn’t do much for the pain, but then neither did the 10mg cyclobenzaprine I took Friday. Slept in even later than before. Pain in the joints and of course the legs which won’t go away no matter what I try. This makes me think the leg pain isn’t muscular or even neural. But what do I know?

I know I’ve got to be able to get up early enough Tuesday to go to the dentist. I know I’ve got to go back to the forest several more times and haul in a lot more logs and slice them up and bring the rounds home and stack them.

I don’t know how I’m going to do this.

And as for next year …