Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Canon 20-35mm f3.5/4.5

Hooray! Just received news that my Canon 5D is finally going to be fixed!

I had sent it off to a camera repairer who was initially at a loss for what was causing the fault (top lcd and viewfinder info not showing). He thought it might be a couple of things, but couldn't be sure until he'd had a chance to 'test' his theories out using the parts from a working 5D. But that meant waiting until he got another 5D that he could pull apart and use the bits from!

Well, that day finally arrived, and he was pleased to report back that he has found the cause of the fault (one of the circuit boards), and it is the easier of the two possible fixes. It's still going to cost me $500NZ to have it repaired, but that's only a tenth of what the camera initially cost, so I think it's worth it to get it back up and running again.

So I may soon be using two different systems - both Canon and Nikon - when I shoot a wedding! Cool.

Only slight problem with getting the 5D back is my general lack of lenses for it! That won't be a problem on a wedding, since my assistant Nicky is a Canon shooter and has some amazing glass I can use for the day. How about a 24-70 f2.8 and 70-200 f2.8? I could easily shoot a whole wedding with just those two lenses right there!

But for my own personal photography, I really only have a 50mm f1.8 (of my daughters) that I can use, so things are looking a little more limited. So I decided to fix that, by adding a wide angle zoom to the 50mm - picking up a Canon 20-35mm f3.5/4.5 off Trademe today!

The 20-35mm is one of the first EF wide angle lenses Canon made for the 'consumer' market, although they didn't skimp on the build quality. It has a superior electronic USM (ultra sonic motor) focusing system with full-time manual override, a large 77mm filter element, metal mount, and solid construction. What it doesn't have are any aspherical or correctional lens elements.

General reports on the internet are positive - stop the lens down to f8 or f11 and it's a very sharp and reasonably well corrected optic. Which, once again, is fine with me. Just like my Tokina 12-24mm f4 for my Nikon D300, the Canon 20-35mm will be a landscape lens (for the most part), so smaller apertures will be the norm when using it - not the exception.

The 5D will take a few weeks to be fixed and sent back to me, whereas I should have the 20-35mm soon. I might get a chance to use the 5D at my last two weddings for the year - at the end of April and beginning of March. Should be interesting to see how I go switching between the two systems at a wedding?

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