I'm shooting now.
A five year old Canon Mark II system
May 2010 This Equipment is FOR SALE click here
When people see my cameras they often say, are you still shooting film? or ...When are you going to replace those beat up things? or....do those still work?
Actually these cameras are in perfect working order (knock wood). Other than a broken shutter which was fixed back in 2006 (see story here) they have never been to Canon for "service". At some point I will purchase new gear, but for now this continues to be my set-up.
Below you will find some images of my Canon Mark II cameras and lenses. These pictures were taken April 6, 2009 The cameras (and lenses) have seen heavy use since being purchased in May, 2004. That's 5 straight years of dragging them around the planet, shooting in some of the least forgiving places and conditions imaginable.
lot of the paint and whatever coating is under it, has been rubbed away,
leaving a nice silver patina.
The area just above the word Canon, is worn away from constantly rubbing up against my butt and thigh (see how I carry my cameras at this link (click here)
The hot shoe was ground down when I dropped it 9 feed down, off of the elephant I was riding on. Miraculously the camera and lens survived the fall: (that story here) and visit http://kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/70-200mm-f28-is.htm to see a post-drop report about the 70-200 lens. Ken did a thorough evaluation of the lens after the incident.
I use exposure compensation all the time, and the area around my exposure comp button is heavily worn. (Please note that on the "factory settings" Canon does not have the exposure button here. I made this change by hooking it up to the computer and reassigning the button, so as to emulate the exposure compensation button position on my Nikon D1X which I was so familiar with, before being relieved of them when I was robbed in Lima Peru.
wear here near the vertical shutter release is mostly due to putting the camera
down on the ground or other abrasive surfaces.
The area around the shutter button and index finger wheel is a quite worn
broke this window on my 70-200 a while back but never bothered sending it
to Canon because the lens still functions fine.
A while ago I used clear tape and pieces of toothpicks to keep the focus limit switch and the stabilizer buttons in the positions that I wanted them in. Eventually the clear tape fell off. I needed a fix, but at the time, I was in rural, upcountry East Timor and all I could get my hands on was some black duct tape.
These cameras may look like hell, but they work fine. Please remember, you don't need the latest, greatest camera gear to make a living in photography, but if you shoot for a living and need the most durable cameras possible, I recommend "pro bodies" and "pro lenses". They are designed extra tough and can take a fair amount of abuse. If you are careful and easy on your gear, or are a hobbyist, you can probably get by with "pro-sumer" or "consumer" models that have all of the same functions and features at half the cost. In terms of lenses, buy the best that you can afford. Yes, pro lenses are more expensive, but they are sharper, faster and more durable. Bottom Line: Find a camera system that works for you, learn it like the back of your hand, and you'll probably make great pictures.
Don't worry too much about gear... concentrate on what's in front of the lens and how you're going to compose and expose the shot......When they hand out Pulitzer prizes, the judges never ask what kind of camera the image was shot with, or whether it was shot on film or digital!