Archive for March, 2009

Telephoto Zoom

Posted in Uncategorized on March 25, 2009 by Richard

I picked up a telephoto zoom on sale, a Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM for $700 at Black’s. Very nice lens!

The optical quality is very good, but the lens does have a drawback: the focus ring and front element rotate during auto-focus. This makes using a circular polarizing filter less convenient. And you have to learn to avoid touching the focus ring!

I wanted the telephoto zoom for wildlife and landscape photography. With this lens and the 17-85mm kit lens, I’m covered from 17-300mm (27-480mm equivalent for 35mm film).

I don’t have a fish-eye lens, and the wide angle end of my kit lens is not great, but I’m not much into wide angle anyway.


Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized on March 19, 2009 by Richard

I decided to start a new hobby in photography. A couple of weeks ago, I bought a Canon EOS 40D with 17-85mm lens from Black’s for CAD$1,180 (price matched against Aden Camera).

Why did I choose this particular camera? It was a choice between Canon or Nikon. It was a choice between entry level or ‘prosumer.’ Since I have the money, I saw no reason not to purchase a high quality DSLR, so I was leaning toward a prosumer model.

I went to Futile Shop and tried out several cameras. The Nikon D90 did not feel comfortable in my hands, so I ruled it out immediately. It has a terrible grip! The Nikon D300 felt fairly comfortable, but it was a bit too rich for my blood. As a novice photographer, I didn’t want to overspend. Also, I’m a big believer in getting the most bang for the buck, in getting the best value.

The Canon Rebel XSi was not very comfortable, either. And I wanted something higher quality:  solid build, all-magnesium body. (I also like the heft of a prosumer camera.)

The Canon 40D was, hands down, the most comfortable camera to hold and operate. I fell in love with it! Moreover, with the release of its successor, the 50D, I found the 40D marked down substantially, making it the best photographic value on the market.

Reviews for the 40D were very positive. It has 10 Megapixels, more than enough for most photographers. I firmly feel that trying to squeeze 15 Megapixels into a tiny APS-C sensor (eg, in the Canon 50D) is going “a bridge too far.”

While the 40D’s 3″ LCD is not VGA-resolution, I can certainly live with it. Overall, it has all the features I need and makes an excellent first camera.