Thursday 4 April 2024

Random Gear Thoughts


Canon EOS R7, RF-S 18-150 IS STM

The photo above is from probably the best midsize walkaround combo I've ever owned. The combo of size, focal length range and effective crop capability of the lens and sensor are superb. Essentially it's a 29-300 in one lens, if I crop to 20mp m43 format for the long end (which is very doable on that sensor as it has the same pixel density as the OM-1). 

The RF-S 18-150 has been a surprising gem, and I've also shot a fair bit of video with it, as I have a non-Photography youtube channel that's been shot exclusively with the R7 since June. I will be testing out the R6 as a B-cam for it, but the R7 will remain the main video camera since it's got somewhat better sorted video controls (Video is NOT on the mode dial, but a position on the power switch, allowing easier switching, although that also means I occasionally accidentally put it in video mode instead of stills. The R6mII's separate and dedicated switch is the best setup of the lot). The close focus and good sharpness of the 18-150 has proved quite useful for my video needs in addition to being a good stills lens.

Don't get me wrong, it's not L glass, but it does punch above its weight as a kit lens and delivers quite acceptable results for the way I use my images. 

Overall the RF system is proving to be a nice mix of capability for me. While not perfect, and definitely lacking in 3rd party AF options, the 1st party native lenses fit my needs pretty well and are IMHO better selected than Nikon's, the mix of bodies is good at the low/mid-range (the weak spot IMHO is the R3, which isn't really competitive vs the A1/A9mIII/Z8/Z9 competition). One very nice aspect is how seamless the EF integration is, it makes using adapted EF lenses extremely seamless. I've done adaptation of AF SLR lenses on Fuji, m43, Nikon and Sony and the only comparable experience was Nikon E lenses on Z (and I found the older mechanical aperture lenses to be less nice to adapt, although generally capable). 

Speaking of L glass, my cheap 70-200L has had a new lease on life on the R6. While it was quite good on the R7, especially if stopped down, it did not wow me. That's largely because a 20-ish year old optical design and the R7's very high pixel density were not a great combo if I was looking for top notch performance. On the much lower density R6 sensor however the 70-200L moves from quite good to excellent and I've gotten a selection of shoots that I am absolutely loving with that combo. 

I also added the RF 24/1.8 IS Macro to my bag, providing a wide angle option for the R6 and a walkabout prime for the R7. It's quite a good lens and I'm liking it so far, although I've not used the macro focusing much yet. I do need an UWA for the R6 though, and will also need to add a second EF to RF adapter so I can run my 10-18 on my R7 and my 70-200L on my R6 at the same time. Probably will go for the control ring version to get that extra control point for the R6/70-200L combo. 

Sunday 10 March 2024

2024 Update and 2023 Review

Canon EOS R6, EF 70-200/2.8L Mk1

It's been a while, usually I post a wrap up and next goals in January. This year life interfered and I was far too busy and focused on non-Photography stuff in December, January and February to update.

I had 3 goals for 2023, and achieved one of them.

The goals were:

1. Take 10,000 images with one camera (Failed)
2. Take 2 major photo outings per quarter (Failed)
3. Get my Fred Miranda Like to Post ratio over 60% (Succeeded at just shy of 62%)

The first was a stretch goal and I'd commented that I'd be happy enough if I got to over 5000 images on the R7, which I did succeed, as I ended the year at 5600 images on the camera. That's been somewhat unusual for me given my low rate of shooting and system switching. Combined with ~2500 on the OM-1, I shot around double the number of images in 2023 as I did in 2022.

The second failed very simply because I was far too busy in Q4 and as a result only had one outing. 

The third succeeded, and in fact I'd hit it by mid-year. 

 So for 2024, what are my goals?

1. Shoot 10,000 images without changing camera systems. 

2. Take 7 major photo outings in the year
3. Get my Fred Miranda Like to Post ratio over 66%

And yes, I still have the R7 and it will continue to see regular use, although it's somewhat been downgraded to my video/second/small body recently as I just added an R6 to my bag. The R6 addresses my main usage complaint with the R7 (AF tracking against busy backgrounds is frustrating) and adds a second body for situations where I don't want to swap lenses. I will need a second EF adapter for the best config, since that would be the EF-S 10-18 on the R7 and the EF 70-200L on the R6, both of which need an adapter. 18-150 on the R7 and 70-200L on the R6 will likely be the standard combo for now.

Regarding gear, I plan to slowly add more FF lenses now that I have an FF body again, I need a flash as well, and also a new tripod as my most used one was in my Jeep when it was stolen last December, which is a large part of why I failed goal 2 for 2023. 

Ideally I'd like to exit 2024 still shooting the R6/R7 combo. That would be something of a record for me, with one camera then being at 18+ months of ownership and the second at 10 months. I do plan on concentrating on glass for now, filling out my system.