When I got out of high school in 1997 I bought my first autofocus SLR. A Canon Elan II. I had gone all through high school photography with my parents old Minolta from 1979, but I really wanted to jump into a modern autofocus camera and I was headed off to Europe for a couple weeks with a friend of mine.
I bought it with money I saved working at a local photo shop selling film and super 8 to video transfers. It was between the Nikon F70 and the Canon Elan II. I chose the Canon because it offered more bells and whistles for slightly less money and the autofocus was faster, the motors were in the lens. About a year later I sold the camera. I was discontent with the silver plastic body and the plastic kit lens. Let's just say I wasn't that brilliant back then. Although I was aware of the existence of L glass and higher quality non-L glass, I just wasn't thinking straight. Yet I was determined to get the sharpest photos I could. So I bought a Contax 167MT with a Zeiss 50mm. Great camera, solid construction, design and wonderful lens.
But after a couple years I realized I had painted myself into a corner with the Contax. All the other Zeiss lenses were out of my price range. I was itching to get into more glass, preferably zooms. Contax didn't exactly have a lot of options from third parties. So I sold it off and bought a Nikon FE, a couple sigma lenses and a Nikon 50mm.
I kept that camera for a number of years and shot some great photos with it. But when DSLR's came into play, Nikon was way out of my price range. Canon released the Digital Rebel and I jumped ship. I really liked the rebel and once again I should have stuck with it. But I was going through some financial issues at the time and sold it off. About a year later financial issues cleared up and I jumped into a Nikon DSLR. I later sold it because of financial issues again. A year later I bought a GH1.
Now with the recent announcements regarding Canon in the HDSLR field and higher end cinema cameras with EF mounts, including the recently announced Blackmagic camera and the Red Scarlet, I feel like I've generally wasted my time jumping all over the place.
Financial issues aside (which in them self could have been handled differently without selling off photo gear) I kick myself for not just sticking with Canon from the beginning and building up an arsenal of EF glass over the last 15 years. Canon was a big player in the 35mm world, the first to market with decently priced and well spec'd DSLR's, the first to market with quality HDSLR's and now high end digital cinema cameras.
Of course how could I have known back in 1997 that the worlds of photography and video and cinema would collide. Back then spending $1500+ on L glass was excessive for me. My primary love was video/cinema and photography was merely a hobby. But had I known then what I know now...
I guess I can say I learned a lot over the years and got to try out a variety of different camera systems and lens types. But I wish I had been more consistent with sticking to the EF mount. Anything else (for me personally) appears to be both a waste of time, money and energy. Even if just for photography it would have been more beneficial to stick to one mount for years on end and build my glass library.
So I'm making this promise to myself going forward. Now that I'm in my early 30's, wiser and combat tested in the fields of video and photography. Stick with Canon Mike. Don't let anything sway you. Invest in EF glass and don't jump ship.
All of that said, my GH1 enabled me to use my Minolta glass from high school. In fact just yesterday I did a client product shoot with it and the photos look great. But the same would have been true if I arrived with Canon gear and lenses I had kept since just after high school.
So let this be a lesson to myself and any young photographer/videographer/cinematographer's out there. You and I will be much further ahead 10 years from now by sticking with one system, one mount and resisting the temptation to jump ship.
Thread: I kick myself
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04-19-2012 09:24 AM
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Last edited by roxics; 04-19-2012 at 09:29 AM.
04-19-2012 09:32 AM
This is invaluable advice, especially with new camera systems being offered up every other month it seems. Take heed, fellow film/video/photo professionals.
Kegan"I dream for a living" - Steven Spielberg
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04-20-2012 03:40 AM
...except Sony A or Pentax K - but you can go vintage Leica-R and those will be covered too http://www.similaar.com/foto/lensmount/lensmount.html