Anyone who knows me, really knows me, knows I am super loyal. I stick to same routines, the same system, the same pattern. We’re talking Taco Bell and it’s two hard tacos, and bean burrito. Starbucks and it’s a half-caff hazelnut latte. Underwear…no brainer, that’s Victoria’s Secret. I’ve used the same make-up brand for years, eaten the same brand butter since I was a kid. You get the idea…
So when I finally had it with my Canon 5D Mark i yesterday I was feeling kind of naughty even catching myself checking out blogs that mention the word NIKON. But here I am 24 hours later and starting to reach an epiphany that I never saw coming. After hours upon hours of research I’m learning only now that tons of other professionals out there have experienced the same frustration I have for a long time…the 5D has focusing issues…bad.
Whether it’s the Mark i or it’s predecessor the long awaited Mark ii, professionals all over the world have the same issues I have been dealing with at an increasingly worse rate. I’m out in the field. I take a photo. I set my AF points somewhere around the under eye of my subject. After some test shots I zoom in on my preview screen as close as I can get and feel pretty satisfied as I can be that my photo is in focus. Then, BAM, I get home only to see in Bridge that my hundreds of photos from the shoot are all out of focus.
Now common sense tells me it must be something I did wrong. Did I shoot at the lowest ISO possible? Check. Did I use a high shutter speed? Check. Am I too wide open that I’m getting soft results? Not likely, I am after all using L-series lenses that are meant for this stuff. Hmmmm…will using a tripod get me better results next time? Tried that. Not only does it suck to have to use a tripod in the type of shooting I do, it also didn’t help. To make matters even worse one of my backup bodies is a 20D. Guess what…it uses the same crappy focus mechanism that I always complained about ever since I got that one too. No wonder I figured it had to be me.
Alas after reading all the varied opinions and experiences of Canon users alike, I am sadly convinced that it’s time to face the facts and give in that maybe Nikon just did it better with their comparative bodies. So many professionals are all saying the same thing, but one stood out more than any other from Chenin Boutwell of Boutwell Studio. It said,
“Canon was good to me, especially back in the day when I rocked a cropped sensor and a 35mm lens for 90% of my shoots. It was simple, reliable and dependable. Then I got a 5d. The 5d offered great high ISO features, a full frame, a nice big LCD and the worst focusing system money could buy.
Let me preface this next part by saying that I am a hard-core stickler for sharp images; “A little soft,” or “a little back-focused” is not ok by me. It’s tack sharp or it get’s the hose. So, as you can imagine, the 5d became quite a handicap for me. But, nonetheless, I figured out that if I only shot on One Shot and kept my aperture up, I could make in-focus photos.
Despite my near-constant frustration with Canon, I held out for the mythical 5d Mark II – a camera that promised even better ISO, an even bigger sensor, an even fancier LCD and (you guessed it), the same crappy focusing system. At that point, Canon had me by the you-know-whats (I don’t actually have you-know-whats… it’s a euphemism, silly) – I had *thousands* invested in lenses (see below). So I shot my 5d Mark II for the entire 2009 wedding season…. on One-Shot…. using a high aperture… constantly cussing under my breath.
So, there you have it! Canon is a great system…. I will miss some of the lenses and the way the bodies feel in my hands (I still think Nikons are made for a man’s hands and mine don’t quite fit around the grip right). But, at the end of the day, I am a stickler for focus and Canon just didn’t deliver.”
After the countless ideas of having my camera fixed, getting my expensive lenses calibrated, getting my own eyes checked, I finally have decided it is time to entertain switching to the dark side. Well, maybe it doesn’t need to be so dramatic but that is how is feels. How can I give up on my beloved Canon(s) who I have stood by for years? I can’t believe I am even talking about it. But, enough is enough. I need quality results and I am not willing to settle anymore for second best and hours of “trying” to get my photos the tack-sharp finale they deserve. And, if that means turning my back on my first camera love then damn it, I must do it. Darth Vader can be cool, no? I’m sorry Canon but I have to do what’s best for me now. It was you all along, not me. And, yes, there is someone else.
In conclusion I would love to hear what my fellow photographers have to share. If you have had an experience like mine, or know anything about it please feel free to hit me up and fill me in. You can post on this handy dandy blog here or shoot me an email. Thanks for listening to my rant.