What is the best way to test out a brand new triggering system? Shooting cameras, of course. But not in the way you might be thinking.
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THE MOMENT OF HORROR
No. No. Please, no. A moment of terror for every photographer out there. I opened my photo bag, took out my cam to take a picture of the street filled with warm sunset light and then it happened. Imagine this moment in slow-motion. While listening to music with my noise-cancelling headphones I raised my cam in order to look through the viewfinder. Surprised by the incredibly bad auto-focus I realized with cheery music in my ears how the lens had suddenly unhooked from the cam and fallen all the way down to the ground in the worst way possible. BAM!
Overwhelmed by the moment I slowly looked down while holding the 5D Mark II body in my hands. I looked over to my friend who was making a phone call next to me on the bench with question marks in my eyes. That just didn’t happen. The exclamation marks in her wide-open eyes begged to differ. It did happen. I had just smashed my brand new $1600 L-lens, which is the only one I own: a Canon EF 24mm 1.4.
After going through all sorts of psychological troubles the last years, all the ups and downs and the rocky way up the fearful mountain of self-employment, after only 10 seconds my Dutch “bright side enzyme” kicked in to turn this negativity-ridden moment into something positive. “Het komt wel goed” (it’s gonna be fine) is what we always say when something bad happens. Challenge accepted!
None of us like having our gear damaged. Unfortunately, sh*t happens, and a moment of inattention can see you wind up with a broken lens. This is what happened to Benj Haisch, leaving him with a pretty obvious crack on his lens. But could he still use it? You would be surprised. Benj shares his experience and photos in his recent video, and it could make you put your damaged lens to use again.
Incidents happen in sport and sometimes, sports photographers get accidentally involved in them as well. But apparently, some sports players will rage out on photographers even though they did nothing wrong. Football player Mario Balotelli recently got angry over a referee’s decision. So, he took his anger out on a nearby tripod, smashing a photographer’s camera.
If you listen to folks on Facebook, you might think that lens hoods are designed as some form of mystical lens protection. They’re often touted as the alternative to UV filters as a way to defend your lens against the evils of the world that might otherwise turn it to glass dust.
But, no, their primary function is actually to flag stray light from entering into your lens and causing flare. In this video from Adorama TV, photographer David Bergman talks about lens hoods, when you might want to use one and when you might not.
I guess all of us had a misfortune or two when shipping or receiving a package. But the amount of damage Jacob Hawkins’ lens survived is hard to believe. Sheffield-based photographer sold a Tamron SP 70-300m lens on eBay. He carefully packed it in polystyrene and bubble wrap, but he got shocked when the buyer notified them what he’d received. The lens arrived smashed into pieces, literally looking “like an elephant has trodden on it.”
If you listen to the wider DSLR & mirrorless owning community online, cleaning your own sensor is the scariest thing in the world. We’re talking Pennywise, Freddy Krueger, and Jason Voorhees all rolled into one kinds of scary. So, we ship them out or feverishly wait for the next photography show, to take our camera for cleaning.
But, it’s really not all that scary. I’ve been cleaning my own DSLR sensors since 2002. After you do it a couple of times, the worries disappear. In this video, Peter McKinnon talks about his dirty camera issues on his recent trip to Africa. He then walks us through the process to get your sensor clean and sparkly again. He also covers some tips to keep your lenses clean, too.
One of the shortcomings of smaller image sensors is obtaining adequate exposure in dim lighting situations. Anyone used to sub full-frame cameras or just dull kit lenses has felt this pain. To gain appropriate exposure you’ll either have to bump up the ISO, shoot with the lens wide open, add physical light sources to the scene, or just get use a camera with a bigger sensor/better ISO performance.
I decided to just find a brighter lens. Traditionally, bright lenses (f1.4 or less) have a commanding price structure, and fall out of reach of a good portion of the entry level camera audience. A good qualify manual-only f1.4 lens can cost around $120, and for autofocus, north of $400 USD. If you want to dig a bit further and go into the sub f1.2 territory, prices can pick up quickly and approach $600-1000. However, there exists a small subset of lenses that are ~f1.0 or less that are semi affordable.
Canon just released an advisory asking photographers to avoid using some of Sandisk’s CFast cards on 1DXmkII‘s because it may corrupt images stored on the card (which is kinda funny considering Amazon is offering CFast cards in their premium kit).