Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009 in Review

In terms of equipment, 2009 has been a year of changes for me.

2009 started uneventfully and for the first few months, nothing really much happened.

In April, I sold my old and trusty Canon 1Ds (mark I). That camera brought me many memorable frames and was used a lot during its short 10 months that I got it. I love the image quality in the low ISO, but despise the tiny, horrible LCD, slowness, and high ISO noises.

Also in April, I bought my first NEW digital camera in many years, the Panasonic DMC-G1. It has become the most heavily used camera for me, at least for the first six months or so. I have shot close to 18,000 frames with this fun little camera. Mounting all kinds of lenses on it. Great kit lens, decent image quality but not comparable to Canon files. This camera had a defect since day one. The first frame was invariable over exposed, sometimes by as much as 2 to 3 stops. The camera was sent in and fixed.

August, 2009, I bought a used Canon 5D (mark I) and started using it more than the G1. I am still amazed at the image quality this old but great little camera that revolutionized the low end full frame market. The only complain I have is that many manual focus lenses would hit the mirror of the 5D, that worked fine on the 1Ds/1D II/30D. This is the camera I take with me when going out in the evenings. Pair it with a 50mm f1.2L or 85mm f1.2L, it's almost like a dream made in heaven. One other minor gripe is the dust in sensor.

September, 2009. Sold my 1D Mark II. This is probably the longest held camera I have had. Love the image/handling/speed of this beast. Only sold it to buy the 1D III, which turned out to be a mistake. The 1D III is a great camera, except for the auto focus module. Regardless how I configured the auto focus system, it work well most of the time, but the keeper rate is far below that of the 1D Mark II. Image quality of the 1D III is exceptional, especially in the high ISO range.

November, 2009. Sold the 1D III. I had become sort of more comfortable with it, but could not fully trust its auto focus system. Can't live with a camera I can't trust. It's from this month on that I have been using the 5D more and more. I can hardly find any fault with it except dust in sensor, and the mirror clearance issue with manual focus lenses.

December, 2009. One major lens purchase of the year -- the Kinoptik 210mm f2.8 Special Cine lens.

As you can see, I have spent most of my efforts on cameras. But, there are few lens acquisitions as well as lenses sold.

Leica R -- Bought 28mm f2.8, 35mm f2, 50mm f2, 90mm f2. Got rid of the 90mm f2.8 Elmarit, which is probably a mistake.

Cine Lenses -- Few cine lenses were bought, including Kodak 25mm f1.9, 50mm f1.6, 63mm f2, 152mm f4. Also got a few exotic c-mount lenses, including Taylor & Hobson 25mm f1.4, Kern-Pillard 50mm f1.4, 25mm f1.4, 75mm f1.9. Angeneiuex 75mm f2.5.

This year I started to blog. First on LiveJournal and then here on BlogSpot.

Looking forward, I will be doing more in depth reviews on old lenses I have, to help those who are looking for information on used lenses but could not find any details on them.

2010 will be a GREAT year!!!!

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