Shoot In Darkness: The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

This lens is wickedly cool. I’ve never been much of a prime lens kind of person until I had the opportunity to use this lens for awhile and realized the magic behind primes and the Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM. This is one of Canon’s most highly regarded lenses and rightly so. Read my thoughts and opinions after the jump. Continue reading Shoot In Darkness: The Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM

Nikon D3x On The Verge Of Release?

I happen to see this post on Engadget about Nikon outing itself with the new D3x. There’s nothing too shocking from the specs, 24.5 megapixel CMOS sensor in the same body. Sounds like the newly released Sony sensor that they are using in their Sony Alpha A900 will also be in the D3x. Here are some quick specs:

  • 24.5 megapixel in a 35.9 x 24 mm CMOS sensor
  • 16-bit EXPEED system
  • 5.0 frames-per-second in it’s full size mode, and 7 frames-per-second in a cropped 10 megapixel mode (I guess they want to encourage people who need the extra 2 frames-per-second to purchase the D3)
  • ISO 50-6400, which I’m guessing means that, like the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III (highest ISO is 3200), this dSLR is not intended for low light situations as with the D3 is. There doesn’t seem to be any mention of any higher ISO range such as 12,800 or 25,600.
  • Same 3 inch 922,000 LCD
  • Live View
  • 12ms startup time with a 41ms shutter lag
  • Dual Compact Flash slots capable of 35MB/second write times

For pictures of the Nikon Pro magazine and how the D3x stacks up against the Canon EOS 1Ds Mark III, click in to read more. Continue reading Nikon D3x On The Verge Of Release?

Canon Announces Changes To Canon Professional Services

Canon has announced some changes to the Canon Professional Services (CPS), read all about it on their website. The new CPS structure works as such, there are three levels:

Silver

  • Welcome Kit
  • CPS phone hot line
  • 20% discount on repairs

Gold

  • Access to loan equipment for two weeks
  • 30% discount on repairs
  • 2 free check & clean services
  • 3 day expedited turn around on repairs
  • $100 annual fee

Platinum

  • Priority access to loan equipment for two weeks
  • 60% discount on repairs
  • 2 day expedited turn around on repairs with equipment loan if repairs are longer than 2 days
  • $500 annual fee

Dammit, I just recently sent in my CPS packet with a pre-approval signature from one of Canon’s Field Managers. I wonder how this will affect my membership packet as CPS is not accepting any new members. My Canon EOS 5D is in desperate need of repairs and I don’t want to just send it to Canon Irvine Repair Center and have to wait 4-5 weeks for it to be repaired.

In other good news, CPS and Canon Professional Network (the worldwide CPS) are now merging. This means if you are a traveling professional photographer and have CPS membership and your camera/lens breaks, you won’t have as much issues getting service from CPN as it has been in the past.

Well if I have join again, then I’ll most likely go with the Gold membership to start out with. One of the benefits is that we’ll be able to join via the website (they actually have a website now…LOL!) now, which should be quicker turn around time. It’s a pain to have to get all the documents together and send it out to Lake Success, New York.

Canon Field Workshop

I originally had learned about this Canon sponsored workshop from the past COBA meeting when Jim Rose had came to our class to speak about Canon Professional Services (CPS). The class, led primarily by nature/landscape photographer Jennifer Wu, is about tips and tricks for taking great nature and landscape photos.

The class was quite informative with quite a bit of hands-on tuition from Jennifer. We met at Keeble & Shuchat Photography at 11:00 AM and had a one hour introduction by Jennifer including some information from Jim Rose. Afterward, the group of fifteen broke up and had lunch at Mollie Stone nearby. The plan was meet at Pescadero (Half Moon Bay) at 3:00 PM.

Most of us commuted with each other as a precaution because parking can be some what difficult on a weekend. Jim Rose (Senior Professional Market Specialist for Field Market Support), David Carlson (newly promoted National Manager for the Canon Field Market Support), and Adam I-can’t-spell-his-last name (Canon’s Liaison Rep to stores like Keeble & Shuchat) from Canon brought out thirty something Canon L lenses for us to use and try. I had an excellent opportunity to try many lenses including Canon’s new $12,000 800mm f/5.6L IS USM lens, 500mm f/4L IS USM, 400mm f/4 DO IS USM, 300mm f/2.8L IS USM, and a bunch of other telephoto lenses. Jim also brought a pre-production Canon EOS 50D with the new Canon EF 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens. They both garnered good comments. I think the 50D will do well. I had also an opportunity to use Adam’s personal work camera, the 1D Mark 3, which was great. The entire event lasted for some five hours. The weather wasn’t great, but I’m sure a lot of people still got some great shots. Me, being the “people” photographer, spent most of my time shooting people. The cost for this very informative class was $49.

Canon EOS 5D Mark II Finally Released

Long, long overdue, Canon has announced it’s follow up successor to the aging Canon EOS 5D with the new Canon EOS 5D Mark II. It’s certainly exciting considering that Nikon has been one (two, three) upping Canon consistently the past year or so. What are the specs? Continue reading Canon EOS 5D Mark II Finally Released