Olympus OM2 [1975 - 1987]
Mainly used for black & white on Tri-X or T-max, developed in special chemistry like ultrathinned Rodinal and Tetenal two-bath developer.
Lens most used: the beautiful Zuiko 18mm ƒ/2.8 with an orange- or polafilter.
Other lenses: Zuiko 24mm ƒ/2,8 – Zuiko 50mm ƒ/3,5 macro – Zuiko 135mm ƒ/3,5 – and a lovely Zuiko 85mm – ƒ2
My first OM-2n died on surgery and my second one was sold to a friend, something I sometimes regret. Maybe I’ll buy one again if I find one…
Canon EOS 650 [1988 - 2003]
A camera from the early days of the autofocus era. Canon decided to make a radical shift and abandoned the EF-system. Many photographers predicted the end of Canon but they proofed wrong. The USM focussing, the all-electronic system and the complete different design was revolutionairy and very, very good. I still own the camera but the shutter is not reliable anymore an I have it on the ‘look-at-me-shelf’.
The design is from 1987 but still modern.
I liked the minimal amount of buttons and the ease of use very much. And I still do.
A nice and sturdy 4Mpix camera still in working order. Very nice macro-capabilities due to close focussing range and small sensor which will add to the depth of field.
Canon EOS 10D [2004 - ...]
The first digital reflex on a budget. Almost destroyed the market for the Pro camera’s with less specs and a price tag 4 to 6 times higher.
Canon EOS 40D [april 2008 - feb 2010]
Allthough the 5D was on top of the ‘most wanted’ list, the 40D seemed more appealing. A faster processor, good low sensetivity quality and less expensive. With the very nice EF-S 10-22mm I can use a ultra-wide angle again. Since on the 10D the EF-S lenses won’t fit I was forced to my 20mm which is due to the crop factor effectively a 32mm which is not really wide angle in comparison to the 100º 18mm zuiko I was used to.
Canon EOS 7D [feb. 2010 - ...]
After just 2 years I sold this 40D to get myself a 7D. Mainly for the better and faster focussing-system and a better noise/signal ratio on high ISO levels in comparison to the older XXD series. But filming in HD was also a nice plus. For wildlife and sport one of the best camera’s at the moment. And it still is.
Canon EF 35-135mm ƒ/4-5,6 USM Sold
Canon EF 28-200 ƒ/ 3,5-5,6 USM Sold
Replaced by this big boy:
Bit heavy, very sturdy, weatherproof with a sealed bayonet. The Image Stabilizer does an amazing job. The quite pronounced (barrel and pincushion) distortions is ironed away in Lightroom 3
A last-minute for a assignment / holiday. Besides the (in comparison to the L series) somewhat simple mechanical construction the optical quality is quite well. The IS is very good which add a lot of extra usefullness. But for sport and shooting birds a bit too slow. So, I sold it.
A heavyweight (litterally), this Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS
Despite all doubts if a 135 ƒ 2 is not better suited for me, the test reports convinced me.
- At last a lens to pay tribute to my love for ultra-wide angles. The 10mm has a diagonal angle of just more than 100º. Bought it as a combo with the D40. Dhe D10 won’t accept this lens due to mechanical limitations. If not this lens would have entered my glass-cabinet much sooner.
Allmost perfect lens. One of the best features is the fixend length due to full internal focussing up to 1:1. Wished this one had a focus range limiter for somewhat less focus hunting
Vogels fotograferen heb ik eigenlijk al veel te lang niet gedaan. In 1988 heb ik mijn Olympus met Panagor 400mm verkocht en sindsdien… kriebelt het altijd nog een beetje. Maar een beetje telelens kost een klein vermogen. Dus? Net als met vogels: geduld hebben tot er een op je pad komt.
Na een weekje testen en ‘voelen’ ben ik erg blij met mijn Canon EF 400mm ƒ5,6 L. Technisch gezien een oudje (uit ’93) maar mechanisch erg goed in elkaar gezet en een autofocus die de moderne electronica van mijn 7D niet teleurstelt: snel en accuraat.
Nikon Coolscan IV ed
Slightly overdue slide scanner to be my companion for as long as there are slides to scan.
I don’t like flashlight photography but when I need to have some extra light the Canon 430EX will do. I have two of these boys can be triggered remotely from the D7 pop-up flash which informs the flashguns wit a little preflash of the intensity and duration of the flash..
A tripod for when a tripod is needed (long exposures and long lenses)
A twin WesternDigital 1TB Black series harddisk are forming a software Raid0 which is nothing less than fast. A even more speedy SSD for system and applications will take care of blazing fast results. The system is snappier than before and startup times are unbelievable. Photoshop 6 will start up in 4,5 seconds.
For more tips and technical backround about SSD and speeding up your machinery I can recommend the site from Lloyd Chambers: Macperformanceguide.com
I’m using a SanDisk FireWire cardreader fot fast and reliable transfers of the data from my cards. I never use the USB-connection. Leftover from the 10D habits – since that camera had only a unearthly slow USB 1.1 connectorMy screen setup was a dual Apple 23″ cinema display. Some time ago replaced for one or an Eizo Flexscan 27″
Making the right desicion buying hardware was never easy. One of the best tips is still to buy tickets instead of gear. But you definitely need some gear to take the pics, so:
The internet is filled with ‘reviews’ that are quite useless. Like ‘I have this lens since last sunday and it is really amazingly sharp’. Also fora are flooded with rumours. If a single person thinks there is something wrong with his focussing system, an outburst of me-too posts is soon to arrive on the web. Resulting in questions like: I’m using my camera equipped with a wide angle lens on a tripod. I thought the Canon 7D was right for me but I read about focussing problems when shooting at 9fps and now I am really disappointed… (if not ‘pissed off’)
The reviews on DPReview are also very well written. The reviews of the camera’s are often more informative than the brands own user guide. The lens reviews are also very good but the library of tested lenses is not that big.
On my wishlist is still a fast telephoto lens but I have to sell a kidney or a leg to buy one…