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Bruce's Photo Blog
Bruce Foreman | May 2012

Caution: Do You Turn Off Your Camera For Lens Change?

I read about a crew working on a project with a pair of Canon's new ($14,000 plus) C300 cinema cameras with EOS EF lens mount. They did a lens change on one of them and found the camera was “dead” afterwards. And there have been a couple of other instances of C300's “dead” immediately after a lens change
They may have blown a fuse, now none of the people discussing this incident knew if the fuse was user replaceable, one commented that in something of that complexity the fuse is sometimes hard soldered to the logic board.
Several commenting made mention that powering down the camera before a lens change is recommended for any camera where there is electronic communcation between body and lens. Some objected to the idea pointing out what a “pain in the drain” powering down the camera to change the lens then powering back up was. But the truth of the matter is that most of today's cameras “boot up” time is relatively quick. So I'm going to follow the advice to “shut it down” to swap lenses myself.
There were some concerns expressed over the “unlock and twist” method of getting manual aperture control in the Canon T1i, a misgiving that one might drag “hot” contacts across circuits and damage something.

And this has also become a concern for people using Canon EF/EF-S lenses on non Canon camera bodies. There is no manual aperture ring on Canon EF/EF-S lenses, this function is controlled by an electronic command from the Canon EOS body. So those wanting to use a Canon lens on, say, an Olympus body or Panasonic body using an adapter ring have to set the desired aperture from the Canon body, press the depth of field button and the lens mount unlock button and “twist” the lens off the Canon body. Sounds complicated but the Canon lens aperture then remains at the last aperture set from the Canon camera.

I chose to purchase Micro Four Thirds lenses for my Panasonic GH2.

Nikon confirms it is looking for a fix for D800 and D4 lock-up bug

Nikon is investigating a problem that can cause the D800 and D4 to lock-up while shooting. The company says that the issue can be avoided by disabling Highlights and RGB Histogram on the display. At present the lock-ups require the battery to be removed to restart the camera but Nikon is working towards a permanent fix.

Buying Equipment Online

With the veritable “flood” of new camera models coming out at an ever increasing pace the temptation to look for bargain prices online surfaces. Looking at things like the lock-up bug being seen on the Nikon D800 and Nikon D4 and the long exposure light leaks that have surfaced in the just released Canon 5D MkIII it becomes ever more important to be sure of the source you are purchasing from.

I just finished going through a message thread on the Canon EOS section of “Photography On The Net” website where a fellow who'd ordered a 5D MkIII from “getitdigital” on ebay just received it and found the warranty card “missing”. He contacted the seller and was told they would “email him” one. I've never had to go warranty service on a Canon, I've been registering my warranty online, but have pretty much understood that to claim warranty service I would have to supply a receipt from an authorized dealer.

This was what the guy with the new 5D MkIII was told by most in that discussion thread until Helen Oster (believe she is one of Adorama's people) posted and confirmed “getitdigital” was not an authorized Canon dealer. So where does he stand? He better hope his 5D MkIII has no light leak because he has no USA warranty. His warranty will be honored when his camera gets sent back to Japan.

So what do WE do? Well, when we go hunting for bargain prices this is what we are going to face, resellerratings.com will give us some idea of what an online retailer is like.

Maybe.

If you read the reviews after awhile you begin to realize most begin to sound like they were written by the same person. And they usually are. These “sellers” will have their employees “salt” the reviews by posting bogus positive reviews, and to the gullible it looks like everything is “peachy keen fine” and this is a safe place to order from (you face other dangers besides no USA warranty).

If you look up a lens or other product (besides camera) on bhphotovideo.com (B&H) you may see two listings for the same item, one a bit cheaper than the other. The cheaper one will be “imported”, the other USA. B&H is telling you one is imported through a channel other than the “official” importer and will have no USA warranty from the official US company (Canon USA for Canon products). Now B&H won't leave you hanging out to dry, they will provide their own warranty service but you must return it to B&H. The difference in price isn't huge, on high dollar lenses it can get significant, but I'll always choose the USA item.

I have been doing my online ordering from B&H and from amazon.com, both being reputable places, lately I've also ordered some items from Adorama (also in NYC). Both B&H and Adorama are owned and run by very highly religious individuals with very high moral standards and these two companies set an example of a high degree of integrity in dealing with us as customers. And they try to keep their prices competitive.

And from time to time I see an occasional comment from Helen Oster (Adorama) and Henry Posner (B&H) in some of the photographic and video forums that to me show their company's commitment to the interests of their customers.

Just my $0.02 worth.

For Sale Section
Lens For Sale:

Bill Yeates has a lens that belongs to Bob Zeller. He wants to sell it for $75. It's a Tamron 200-400mm (320-640mm full frame 35 equivalent on Canon Rebels, 7D, and 60D) f5.6, Canon EF mount. The AF is slow compared with newer lenses but this will be true of all early EOS mount lenses. The glass is perfect. There is a scratch on the hood but the rest looks pretty good. Bob says it is several years old and his best selling photo was made with it. Would be perfect for someone starting out with limited budget.

I will bring it to the next meeting. Call 223 5072 if you can't make the meeting but want to see it.

Camera For Sale:
Olympus Pen E-P3 with 14-42mm (28-84mm full frame 35 equivalent) “kit” zoom lens. Comes with original box, manual, software disk, Olympus battery (plus one extra Olympus battery making 2 of them), Olympus charger, 2 aftermarket batteries with aftermarket charger makes a total of 4 batteries.
Also features “touchscreen” LCD, you can compose, “touch” the subject anywhere on the screen and the camera will instantly focus then shoot the picture. Touchscreen works when reviewing images, move to the next with fingertip (or use the 4 way “cursor” buttons on the back). This camera takes the full line of Micro Four Thirds lenses and has a sensor only slightly smaller than the Canon APS-C sensors. The Pen E-P3 also does full HD video (1920x1080).

Camera with one battery retails for $899 at B&H (on sale at $100 off until May 12th), I purchased this used from Adorama several weeks ago for $699. It looks new with no marks or scuffs anywhere on the body or lens it was obviously a very clean “trade in” and was listed as “little or no signs of wear”. Still looks the same.
My price is $649. And for club members I'll “toss in” a SanDisk Extreme 30MB/s 16GB SDHC media card.

I also have a $200 electronic viewfinder for the Olympus Pen cameras that I'll let go to the buyer for $95. Call me at 650 8979 if interested..