Flirting …

… with a DSLR!

Yes, I know, the “D” refers to digital and I’m primarily a film photographer these days. But whilst it was film in the beginning, there was a good-sized digital window along the way. Indeed, as I’ve recounted before it was a digital camera that rekindled my passion for the hobby at the point when my film use was down to a dozen rolls of 35mm – a year!

Canon 5DII and 28-135 EF lens

Just recently I’ve been confined to barracks again and with time on my hands and no inclination for anything strenuous I’ve been solving number puzzles and thinking back over my years in photography. Starting in the late 1960s with a Kodak Instamatic which I believe used 126 film. I’m not going to rehash a previous post except to say that my first experience with a DSLR was the diminutive Canon 400D, bought as a twin-lens kit from Jessops in Huddersfield. Bought on a whim and it was only a matter of a few months before I realised it was too small for my hands. In those days I actually had a disposable income that could be measured without the need for a microscope so I was able to move up to a Canon 40D fairly quickly. My next move though was a fair few years later when I followed the herd into the world of full frame. Not the best DSLR I would ever own, but my first and by a good chalk my favourite – the Canon 5D MkII.

No surprise then that I briefly put my pencil down and grabbed the iPad to “just see” what prices were like these days. I was both horrified and quietly pleased … a very good condition 5DII with just forty thousand shutter actuations, ready to be delivered the following day for £350! With a six month warranty too. It was exactly as described, came with a 5DIII strap and two batteries.

What can I say? Senior Management just raised her eyes patiently towards the heavens. The following morning, I fitted the Canon 50mm f2.8 II “plastic fantastic” that I use on my EOS 300 and disappeared onto the wet streets of Elland. With the 28-135mm also in my pocket I had a very productive, but most importantly, a thoroughly enjoyable walk eventually ending up walking along the canal.

It was like I’d never sold my original camera. The years fell away and I was once again immersed in the part of photography I love best, composing images in the viewfinder.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m not about to launch on another “I sold my DSLR to move to mirrorless then sold it all to go back to a DSLR” story. My reasons for moving to the Fuji X-series have not changed and I am still very happy with the weight savings in particular. A view that has been reinforced over the last week as I’ve been taking the 5DII on my perambulations.

Sweet, sweet irony. I sold my full-frame DSLRs with some lovely glass in the name of reducing weight and here I am, older and arguably more in need of weight savings, repurchasing a “heavy brick of a camera” for the sheer pleasure of using it!

I’m not going to list the pros and cons especially as in terms of ergonomics this camera is starting to show its age (and I never liked the on/off switch). I would say though that it takes just as good images as it ever did and for an experienced photographer it offers a very satisfying experience even in 2022.

Canon 5DII – a very satisfactory “return”

Am I returning to digital? Am I returning to a DSLR and forsaking my mirrorless system? No and no. However, it’s a timely reminder that its not about the gear … its about having fun and this “relic” of the recent past has given me a blast!

2 thoughts on “Flirting …”

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