Shutter Button Insurance?

reflection lakes in mt. rainier national park

Just so there is a picture here somewhere… Reflection Lakes in Mt. Rainier National Park. It was not feeling terribly reflective back in July!

Recently the shutter button on my Canon 30D has been failing me. Sometimes I press the button and nothing happens, or it takes a bit of massaging to get it to fire. Not exactly perfect for something thats fast moving or for getting a borderline hand held shutter speed shot. Then there are the instances where it shoots 3 in a row inexplicably (its still on single shot mode). A bit disappointed that the thing would start to crap out on me after only 10,000 exposures. So what to do? I’m betting fixing this will take a few weeks of sending it who knows where – and this was about to be my fall trip time. I imagined a future where I’m somewhere awesome and… voila – the shutter button doesn’t work at all. Kaput. Dead. Not really a situation I was looking forward to. You just know that it would have occurred when something truly epic was unfolding in front of me and I happened to have a strong battery, the right lens, right ISO etc etc.

So rather than deal with the worst case photography scenario… I bought a remote (Canon RS-80N3). I’d been thinking of this for a while – great for the macro stuff I shoot and long exposures… and catastrophic shutter button failure insurance.

On another note… I’m not really satisfied with the prices on photography equipment in Canada. I have bought many things from B&H as a result. I understand that the Canadian Dollar is about $0.90 to the US right now, but sometimes I find that prices in the US are just over half of what I would be paying here. I have yet to find a local retailer interested in matching the price with the exchange rate and shipping, or even coming close – so I buy things in the US when I would rather not. The remote I spoke of above was 1/2 the price at B&H, and the B+W 77mm polarizer I just bought was well over $250 up here. Even with the exchange rate and 30 dollars shipping it is not even close. CMON!

Batteries do no good if left IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY.

whatcomfalls A few weeks ago I went on an epic photo journey through Manning Park, Princeton, Penticton, Kelowna, Kamloops and the Fraser Canyon. Before I embarked on the PhotoJourney™ I thought it wise to purchase a spare battery. Having haggled a local drugstore down from $160 to $80, which I was quite happy with, I was set. I recently purchased a new Canon lens with Image Stabilization which is rumored to decrease battery life. While I took 650 pictures (many using the IS lens) I did not require the use of my new battery. The question was then – how long can I go before I need to swap out batteries?

The following weekend I went on a quick trip across the US border to Whatcom Falls Park. I saw that the battery indicator was showing about 1/2 of its strength, which means it is almost dead. I still wanted to see how far I could go before swapping out with my spare battery. On the bridge I took about 15 quick pictures before the battery finally died. Nice – about 700 shots per battery!

I reach into my bag to take out the spare. I couldn’t immediately find it. It must be in this flap… or this pocket or…. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I actually told my bag NO in dramatic enough terms to elicit attention from passersby.

Somehow the drive back to the border and home seemed longer than it should have.

At least I got a good shot of the waterfall. Handheld for 1.6 seconds! Image Stabilization works pretty darn good I’d say, though I think I’m pretty lucky to have this shot turn out.

Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Wins

In this post I mentioned my debate between the EF 17-40mm f/4L and the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM. The EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM won. I did not fall to what the internet refers to as “red ring blindness”. A bit better image quality and the IS system won me over. If my wallet would only forgive me…

Click for larger version…
canon efs 17-55mm f/2.8 is usm + ew-83j hood

Only consequence of not buying the 17-40 f/4 L is that the EF-S lenses do not come with the lens hood… so that set me back another few bucks. The EF-S 17-55mm uses the EW-83J hood. Someone suggested to me that with this hood on it, the lens looks “badass”. I cannot disagree.

I also picked up a B+W 77mm UV-HAZE filter. I have debated putting filters on the end of lenses in the past, opting for hoods only, but this lens was expensive enough that I changed my mind. The 17-55mm is rumored to suck dust in the front element without a filter. While this does not, apparently, decrease image quality I am nonetheless uninterested in dust inside my lens. Should probably get one for my EF-S 10-22mm as well, but my wallet is hiding from me…

The Seven Million Dollar Home

Yes, that is what they call it. No, not sure why. Although, it would seem that Crumpler has many much weirder names for their bags. They have a bag called the “Dreadful Embarrassment”. No, really.

I bought one of these today. The “Seven Million Dollar Home”:

I’ve been using a Lowepro bag for the last few years. Its a great bag, but I bought it when I had just one lens for my camera. On short jaunts not far from the car I’m tired of putting it down and trying to flip it open to get my camera out each time I want to use it. The Crumpler should be much nicer for that sort of thing. 🙂

Now I just have to figure out if Im going to buy the EF 17-40 f/4 L USM or the EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS USM. Decisions decisions… to commit to EF-S or not? The mighty L is tempting too.

Thats not a lens hood, THIS is a lens hood

Ordered some lens hoods earlier in the week. The ET-67 hood for my Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens is huge! I knew it was going to be long, but seeing both of them together on my camera looks impressive. 10 inches from front to back. Now I can take the same crappy pictures but look like a pro while doing it! 😉 I also picked up one for my Canon 50mm f/1.4. When I find one for my wide angle Canon f/2.8 10-22mm I’m going to be completely outfitted with hoods. The wide angle one is nice though – its a petal design and that looks like I really know what I’m doing, no matter how illusionary that might be.

Click for larger version…
canon ef 100mm f/2.8 + et-67 hood