I’ve been meaning to write a more comprehensive post about my camera gear and how I got to where I am today.. but since I dont feel like writing too much right now, I’m just going update ya’ll on recent changes..
My kit currently consists of:
Canon EOS 30D 8.2 megapixel camera
Canon BG-E2 battery grip
Tamron SP 1.4x teleconverter
Kenko Extension Tubes
Sigma EF 500 DG Super flash
Tamron SP 17-50mm f2.8 Di II lens
Canon EF 28-70mm f2.8L USM lens
Canon EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM lens
Canon EF 50mm f1.8 MkII lens
Canon EF 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM lens
Kingston Elite Pro 2GB Compact Flash
Kingston Elite Pro 4GB Compact Flash
Kingston Ultimate 2GB Compact Flash
Kingston Ultimate 8GB Compact Flash
I just received the Kenko Extension Tubes.. good quality pieces.. unfortunately, I havent had time to play with them, other than to put them on the camera along with my Canon 50mm f1.8 MkII.. but the lighting was poor (in home, at night, under flourescent lighting).. hopefully I’ll get a chance to play with them this weekend.
But more importantly, I just received my Canon 28-70mm f2.8L USM lens I purchased used from KEH.com. Prior to visiting KEH.com, I was conflicted over whether I should buy a new Canon 24-70mm f2.8L USM (currently $1,079.99 at B&H) or if I should try to find a used Canon 28-70mm f2.8L USM or used Canon 24-70mm f2.8L USM. The Canon 28-70mm f2.8L USM was released by Canon in 1993. The Canon 24-70mm f2.8L USM replaced the Canon 28-70mm f2.8L USM in November 2002. However, the Canon 28-70mm f2.8L USM was a bit cheaper than used 24-70mm f2.8L USM lenses. I managed to find a few (at fredmiranda.com and on craigslist.org) of the Canon 24-70mm f2.8L USM priced at around $950 + shipping (or like 4 gallons of gas to drive to Hollywood). But both of them would’ve been out of warranty (although they both looked very very clean, almost brand new). On the other hand, I found a few Canon 28-70mm f2.8L USM lenses around the $750 + shipping price range. Problem was, the one I was interested in (date code UP, which is 2001 manufacture year) didn’t have pictures of the lens.. the seller (on FM) was being a prick and said he’d try to first sell it to someone who didnt need to see it first (?). Anyway, after reading various posts and threads about KEH‘s very conservative rating system, I decided to take a look at what they had to offer in the used variety. They had about 6 copies of the Canon 28-70mm f2.8L USM lens. Two of them were BGN (or “Bargain”), two of them were EX (or “Excellent”) and two of them were EX+ (or “Excellent +”). Even though I read good things about the BGN copies, I didnt want to risk it. So I decided on the EX grade. The two that were on KEH were priced at $751 and $789. For $751, you weren’t going to get the lens hood. For $789, it included the lens hood. Since I wanted the lens hood anyway, I decided to go for the $789 one. Additionally, KEH offers a 1 year extended warranty for an additional $19.99. I figured it was worth the $20 to get at least the first year’s peace of mind. So for a bit over $800, I got a Canon 28-70mm f2.8L USM lens.
Today, I received the lens. I was pretty anxious to open it, hoping I’d be one of the lucky ones who got a really really clean lens. After I ripped off the bubble wrap and massive amounts of tape, I pulled the lens out of the bag. I was very surprised. The lens was very very clean. There were a couple of tiny nicks and the “threads” where the hood locks into had some slight brassing (fixed with a Sharpie!). The hood looked practically brand new. But most importantly, the glass was flawless and I didnt find any dust at all (but hopefully, I’ll get a chance to look at it more closely tomorrow). It came with both caps. The lens cap shows some minor wear, with the edges on the “Canon” and “Supersonic” rubbing off a bit. I wanted to take pictures of the lens to show everyone, but that will probably have to wait until tomorrow (when I was looking for reviews of KEH‘s grading system, I read LOTS of stuff about how conservative they were, but never saw exactly how clean these lens actually were). So stay tuned, I’ll put up pics to show you MY Canon 28-70mm f2.8L USM EX grade I received from KEH.com. Oh, and one last thing, the date code was “UN” (which is 1999.. just remember date code “UO” is 2000). A little older than I’m comfortable with, but again, I got the 1 year warranty so I’m good. And one more thing, the USM on this lens is FAST. It is definitely faster than my Canon 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM and I’d even say its faster than my Canon 70-200mm f2.8L IS USM (although the 70-200 focussing system is moving a lot more, I suppose). In fact the focussing was so fast and silent, when I first tried it, I wasnt even sure the focusing was working (no lie!).
So all in all, I’m very happy with my purchase.