a First Person Shooter of Sorts

March 30, 2008

My Equipment

Filed under: canon 5d, photography — vaughnsphotoart @ 10:41 am

My Camera: the Canon 5d

Canon 5d
When I purchased the 5d, I had previously owned three film cameras and four
digital cameras. My previous camera had been the excellent Canon 20d,
but I was wanting the improved low-light abilities of the 5d, along
with the greater variation in ISO selection and numerosu other small

The Canon 5d has exceed all my expectations, I must say am
thrilled with it. It feels wonderul in my hand, with a comfortable heft
that is just right. The battery life is exceptional, the viewfinder
bright, the controls instinctive. I never feel the camera is getting in
my way, which is what has caused me to upgrade every time in the past.
At the point where I feel I am fighting against the limitations of my
equipment, it is time to upgrade. So far, the 5d has been a willing and
capable partner in all my photographic endeavors. And the quality is
bloody outsanding. Top notch. I HIGHLY recommend this camera.

Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera (Body Only)
Canon EOS 5D 12.8 MP Digital SLR Camera with EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens

Wide Angle Lens: the Canon 17-40mm F/4.0 L

Canon 17-40mm F/4.0L
I read a lot of reviews before purchasing this lens, and for the price it can’t be beat. Excellent color satuation, tack sharp, you can’t go wrong with this lens. I used this as my general purpose lens when I had the Canon 20d (it’s 1.6x crop factor made this lens more like a 28-64mm), but on the 5d it’s a true wide-angle. I love using this lens for shooting interiors and landscapes. I find it particularly suited for landscapes, as I seldom want a shallow depth of field. It was also my first L lens, and it’s spoiled me rotten.

Canon 17-40mm f/4.0 L Wide Angle Zoom

Telephoto Zoom Lens: the Canon 70-200mm F/2.8 L IS

Canon 70-200mm F/2.8L IS
Wow, what a lens this is. As I write this I have only had it a couple months, but I am constantly impressed with the results I can get from this high-end glass. The bokeh is silky smooth, the color is true and saturated, and between the 2.8 speed and the image stabilization, it is VERY versatile. There are lots of positive reviews on the net of this lens, but I want to point out something I have not seen others talk about. This lens is an incredibly kind lens when it comes to photographing people. I say it’s kind because for a given subject, the image coming out of this lens is more flattering than one from a similar lens. As good as you look, it will make you look better. I haven’t been able to pinpoint what technological factors are at work here, but I can see why people rave about this lens for portraits and weddings, this baby was MADE to shoot people.

It was a difficult decision deciding between this and the excellent Canon 70-200mm F/4.0L, but in the end a few factors finally recommended this lens to me. One, I like to shoot in low light, and I knew that I would definitely take advantage of having a faster lens (2.8 vs. 4.0). Second, the image stabilization would further enhance my ability to work in low light, and reduce the need for a tripod. Third, the 2.8 f-stop makes it well suited for portraiture, something I am focusing upon more and more. You just can’t get that amazing background blur with a 4.0.

This lens is a healthy chunk of change, no doubt, but in my opinion it is worth it.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM Telephoto Zoom

Selective Focus Lens: the Lensbaby 3G

Lensbaby 3G
The Lensbaby 3G is a unique product. At the center of this lens is a bellows that allows you to twist and bend where the lens is aiming. Moving the focal point of the lens off-center creates a lovely blur effect moving away from the area of focus. Examples can be seen here, here, and here. When I get stuck in a rut, this is the lens I break out to shake the neurons loose. It also makes a great portrait lens, with its soft-focus effect.

Lensbaby 3G Canon EF mount SLR Camera Lens (LB3GC)


Opteka Remote Release Cord for Canon EOS 5D

A remote release is essential for working in low light situations. Even
with your camera on a tripod, manually pressing the shutter button to
take a photo shakes the camera and leads to reduced sharpness and blur.
Using a remote release, you can trigger the camera without touching it,
for much sharper photos.

Canon Spare Battery – BP511A 1390mAh Lithium

Everybody needs a spare battery. You do too.

77mm Circular Polarizer

Use a Circular Polarizer to control reflections when shooting outdoors. Cancel out reflections on glass and water, deepen the color of vegetation, add contrast and depth to skies. A must if you are shooting outdoors.

Vaughn’s Buying Guidelines

Rule #1
: if you have a
local camera store that carries what you need, by all means do your
best to support them. There is nothing like being able to go in, handle
and test a potential purchase right there in the store. A local camera
shop was more than patient with me once, as I sat on the floor for 40
minutes, trying to fit my equipment into different bags.

If you don’t have a local store and plan to purchase from the internet, it would do you well to heed Rule #2
do NOT purchase by price alone. It is well worth it to pay $50-$200
more to get your equipment from a trusted source and avoid the endless
hassles and heartbreak of dealing with a disreputable company. I know
you are on a budget and every dollar counts, but you can lose a lot
more money dealing with a bad merchant than you can ever hope to save.

scary thing is that even the largest price listing sites like Froogle
or Pricegrabber regularly show low prices from shady dealers. You can
not imagine the rip-off artists you will run into. Some of these sites
often show 5 star ratings, and have consumer awards on their homepage.
It’s no guarantee, believe me.

If you want to check up on
someone before you order, go to http://www.resellerratings.com/store/
… I have never found them to have an incorrect rating about a shady

Some reliable merchants I have ordered from in the past include:



  1. I’ve never seen a shady merchant on Pricegrabber with a high rating who lasted more than a couple of weeks. They get in there, sure, but they seem to disappear from the site pretty quickly too (dunno if pricegrabber polices or if people report them – don’t really care either, as long as they’re gone). Can’t speak for Froogle – I use Pricegrabber exclusively (usually directing me to Beach or BuyDig, but occasionally to others) and have never had a bad experience.

    Comment by DJ — March 31, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  2. I’ve seen some, but possibly in agreement with what you said they aren’t there anymore. Trouble is, it’s hard to tell when you’re researching and not familiar with the market, and those sites undoubtedly suck in a lot of people.

    The sponsored ads on the side of Google searches are even worse. Holy cow. Canon 5d for only $895! Yeah right.

    Comment by vaughnsphotoart — March 31, 2008 @ 10:10 pm

  3. […] was a long day. I was up for 22 hours straight and my right wrist is hurting from lugging around a Canon Zoom Telephoto EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS. A fantastic lens, but heavy heavy […]

    Pingback by Photography of the bulk sort — April 20, 2008 @ 12:40 pm

  4. Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation :) Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Fine

    Comment by Fine — June 18, 2008 @ 11:56 am

  5. […] canon 17 200mm vaughnsphotoart.wordpress.com […]

    Pingback by CANON 17 200MM | Electronics Find — August 1, 2011 @ 8:45 pm

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