Re; Canon cameras.

To: <>
Subject: Re; Canon cameras.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2010 13:49:38 +1000
Hi All, being a keen photographer and long time canon user (37 years) I have 
been following this thread with some interest, particularly the comments from 
Bob Inglis and David Stowe whom I both know to be excellent photographers. I 
haven't much to add to their comments but Bob did broach on something and David 
followed up with a more qualitative comment. I refer to the 100-400 mm lens 
which Bob knows I've had for some time and carry with me everywhere. All the 
comments Bob makes about it are correct and I'm sorry David but it is not a 
good lens for pelagics.

It's autofocus, even on the 7 D and possibly 1 series cameras isn't quite up to 
speed for my liking. It's greatest failing though is in it's construction, that 
push-pull mechanism which gives it the versatility, sucks in not only dust but 
also moist air. I know of at least 5 now, including my own that have broken 
down from one too many days at sea. In my case it was the locking ring material 
which broke down and disabled the rings' locking capability, not too bad you'd 
think but the whole auto focussing mechanism had to be replaced, cost - 
$725.00!! Another pelagic regular up here informed me just last week of the 
same problem, only his whole lens seized up and the same cost for repair.

A much better lens for pelagics if you need to use a zoom that is, would be any 
of the Canon 'L' 70-200 lenses but preferably one of the F2.8 lenses and 
particularly the latest 'IS' version. Shooting from a vessel, the birds are 
usually extremely close but if you do need the extra grunt then with the F2.8 
lenses you can add a 1.4X or even a 2X extender. I've used the 1.4X extender 
with the older non 'IS' lens 70-200 F2.8 & haven't noticed any real slowing 
down with the auto focussing. A 300 F2.8 'L' is a perfect pelagic lens as is 
the 200 F2.8 'L' but the trouble with 'primes' on a boat is when the bird comes 
too close and more than fills the frame you can't zoom out to a shorter focal 
length and a shot(s) is missed! So my advice would be, don't take your precious 
100-400 'L' lens regularly to sea, it could end up in tears and bills. Cheers - 
Paul W.

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