God Dammit!!

I’m alive! The blog has been static for a few months, but I’ve been more active on Twitter with short updates as some of you know. I just couldn’t find the time to update the blog because of being swamped with work at the office here at Canon USA. There’s just so much to talk about, so I’m hoping to find more time to do regular updates.

But first things first. I’m fucking pissed off at PDN for their 2011 Photo Gear of the Year awards. Those of you who have been reading this blog since 2008 know that I am a reasonable guy. I like to be fair. When things suck I say it. When things rock, I also say it. And the 2011 photo gear awards at PDN quite frankly is a big pile of shit. And no, I’m not just saying this because Canon got left out of it this year. I even think they purposely left us out as Dan Havlik personally made a remark about this on Twitter, just to make sure we noticed:

Fake Chuck (@fcwestfall) can’t be happy Canon was shut out of PDN’s Gear of the Year awards for the 1st time: http://bit.ly/vaeZvr

Now I know we didn’t do much in 2011 as far as DSLRs are concerned. Yeah we announced the 1DX, but technically that’s a 2012 camera. But what we did release in 2011 is the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye lens. And anyone with at least some insight in this area will tell you that this lens is a fucking brilliant design and stunning piece of engineering. Nobody in this goddamn industry has such a lens or anything that comes even close!

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye VS NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G

No contest here, the Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye should have won.

You’d think that this lens would have easily won the 2011 PDN Gear of the Year award for lenses. But no, instead they chose the NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G lens.  In PDN’s own words:

The replacement for the legendary Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF that launched back in 1995, the new 85mm f/1.4G doesn’t break any significant new ground and that’s a good thing.

I’m sorry, but what? The lens doesn’t break any significant new ground and that’s a good thing?! The lens doesn’t break any significant new ground but it fucking wins the 2011 PDN Gear of the Year award??? Folks, enlighten me please, am I the one going crazy here, or are they fucking morons at PDN?

Listen, PDN, unlike the boring as fuck NIKKOR 85mm f/1.4G, our brand new state of the art EF 8-15mm f/4L ZOOM FISHEYE lens *does break significant new ground*. This lens practically defines the word innovation. It’s the world’s first fisheye zoom lens to offer both a circular and full frame image. When was the last time you guys came across such a lens? Hmmm??? There’s so much brilliance that went into the design of this lens that I don’t know where to start. It really doesn’t take an expert to recognize the brilliance of this lens design. But if you are an expert, you’ll notice even the small details, for example, that Canon Inc. took care to make the nodal point of this lens the same at both 8mm and 15mm making it easy for photographers to make lower resolution (3-4 images) and high resolution (16-25 images) panoramic images at the same time on location without having to recalibrate their setup. It’s the small design considerations like this that greatly benefit photographers. Only professionals can appreciate these things.

But not at PDN. PDN chose the NIKKOR 85mm instead. What. a. fucking. joke. My God, my God.

Just when things start to go really well here at Canon and I think I can finally keep my blood pressure in a healthy range, people like Havlik show up and completely fuck it all up for me again.

I can tell you that Japan was fucking pissed when I forwarded them the link to the awards page on PDN. Why they haven’t yet pulled all advertising for Canon products from PDN is beyond me. PDN is very fortunate that I’m not the one in charge here at Canon. Dan Havlik personally is also fortunate that I forgot the password to the Fake Dan Havlik blog I ran a few years ago, or else I would start posting there again too.

I’ll be back soon with more updates. I should also mention the new blog design which I launched yesterday. After 3 years it was time for some change. Personally I like the new design, looks cleaner and more professional. And since I’m as professional as they get in this industry, I think this blog design really suits me well. You may disagree with this, but please be advised that I don’t really care. After all, I’m the Canon Camera Guru here, not you.

We almost switched to Nikon ourselves

Vincent Laforet, Peace be with Him, and me.

Man you won’t believe how relieved all of us at Canon USA were when Vincent Laforet, God bless his soul, said on Twitter that he wasn’t planning to switch to Nikon at all:

@fcwestfall Oh FakeChuck… always causing trouble… made me laugh though. No – no Nikon / Sony et al in my future…happy Canon guy still

A strange coincidence is also that today marks the one year anniversary of the Canon USA announcement to switch to Nikon. In the end we couldn’t actually switch to Nikon though, because upper management lacked the balls to go ahead and implement the plans. All it took for them to cancel everything was one phone call from Canon Inc. in Tokyo.

Joe Adachi

An emotional looking Canon U.S.A. President and CEO Joe Adachi holds a Nikon D3s while taking questions during the press conference.

I don’t know what they told Adachi, but he became very pale and started sweating like crazy while he was on the phone with them. So it would have been a very strange coincidence if Laforet were to announce or confirm his switch to Nikon today. But anyway, we still have him and that’s what matters now.

Also noteworthy is a comment made by DarthDouche, which I think deserves to be posted here in full with commentary:

First I’ll be serious, then follow with profanity in order to be cool like the rest of you old fat cocksuckers. (FCW: Yes, that’s how we operate around here.)

I love Canon products…I’ve never owned Nikon (yet…haha…just joking…maybe in the future?? Nah, it’d be like cutting my dick off and making your Ashton’s wife choke it down!). However last year I purchased a small Sigma camera. Berate me if you must (like I give a fuck what you bunch of tampon sucking wimps think…). Quirks aside, its sensor is brilliant…and achieves color, sharpness, and low noise (within its limited resolution)….FAR THE FUCK BEYOND ANY BAYER FILTER’D SENSOR EVER WILL!! It’s a shame that they let a room full of monkeys design the rest of the camera’s innards. (FCW: Sounds like the situation at Canon Inc.’s DSLR product design department.)

Now on to my criticism of this blog posting. I am pleased to see this “future” Canon 200-400 lens. However, to fall all over yourself slamming Nikon for “copying” Canon…in a “blog” about how a 200-400 f/4 lens is “new”, no less??? I mean get the fuck over your dumbass self man!! Integrated extender or not…so what? (FCW: Well…um…)

THE ONE AND FUCKING ONLY THING NIKON HAS DONE BETTER THAN CANON FOR HOW MANY YEARS NOW??? (i.e. the 200-400 zoom?) And you can’t even say something like…”FINALLY CANON DECIDED TO CATCH UP TO NIKON’S BRILLIANT IDEA OF HAVING A 200-400 F/4 ZOOM…”??? (FCW: Well…err…)

Canon may know how to make (perhaps) better lenses than everyone else (overall anyway), and charge a fair price for them (as opposed to Nikon charging 20% more for the same or less quality…then painting them with black leaded paint so they look even more like turds)… (FCW: Well yeah, the older ones look kindof weird, but the new AF-S lenses look kinda cool with the golden stripe and all, ofcourse blatantly ripped off again from Canon (red stripe on L lenses))

…but Canon are damn sure too slow and unimaginative with “innovative” ideas! (FCW: That’s what I’ve been saying here man, haven’t you been paying attention? For the last 4 years this has indeed been the case.)

I mean, really Canon? Really??? You couldn’t even make it a 250-450 f/4, or a 180-380 f/3.5?? Somehow 200-400 was the right way to go, even though it’s the exact same as Nikon’s?????? What a load of horseshit! You can bet Nikon “fanbois” aren’t impressed… (FCW: You do have a point with the 200-400 focal length, personally I think a more clever option would have been to just make a 280-560mm f/5.6 lens and then add a 0.714x extender to it that gives you a 200-400mm f/4 lens when activated. That way people would just think it’s a 280-560mm lens and we’d still have a 200-400mm lens in disguise. It’s like good old Einstein said: The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.)

As a side note…I’ve read a review or two regarding the AF on the 1DMk4. If its AF sensors are so huge and “innovative”, why the fuck can’t they work well in low light?? You know, at least try to beat Nikon where they are good (at a supposed -2EV)?? Why not go for -2.5 EV, rather than make something that gets one-upped by the measly “old man’s camera” in low light, the 5DMk2? (FCW: You’re preaching to the choir my friend. Also I like how you call the 5D Mark II an “old man’s camera.” I really think there’s no better way to describe that camera. It’s just like how someone else recently said that it has an auto-fuck-us system. I think that very accurately describes the focus technology in the camera.)

I think the same supervising “engineers” in charge of ideas for AF sensors for the 1Dmk4, are in charge of deciding whatever cheap ass, plastic piece of Rebel xx camel dung to make. The same ones that decided $1100 wasn’t enough to pay for a real camera with a magnesium chassis, that has AF microadjustment. The same ones that couldn’t figure out they were about to be owned like a bitch in an alley by Nikon and their D7000. (FCW: They were caught with their fucking pants down. I warned them but they wouldn’t listen.)

The same ones that Rebel-ized, and cut the balls off the 60D, simply because they didn’t want to cut into 7D sales. For what? To saturate the market with lame ass entry level SLR’s that get matched or beaten by 4/3 and micro 4/3?? I guess they didn’t have the faith in their own 7D from the get-go, that the press did. (FCW: Amen brother!)

Whine if you must, but I say they need to cut the entry line down to one “Rebel” model, and the 60D. The Rebel could be $350, body only, the 60D could sell for what it’s worth…$500 body only! (FCW: Hallelujah!)

Then undercut the D7000 with the 7D, make it $50 less than the D7000…rather than hundreds more. Then hire some new thinkers to beat Nikon at their own game…before they make anything else new. (FCW: And fire the entire upper management for their incompetence.)

I read it somewhere, maybe here…is Nikon now the new Canon, and vice versa? (FCW: Yes that was here.)

I guess Canon needs to hire some celebrity like Nikon did, to hawk their products in lame ass tv ads. You know, somebody ELSE who likes tripping over wedding cakes…and who married a lady 40 years older than them, who still looks hot, at least in silhouette. (FCW: I actually proposed something like that a long time ago, but those bastards in Tokyo refuse to listen to me. Here’s some of what I had proposed:  “Even if this wasn’t a problem, there’s still the issue of why people should listen to some Japanese guy named Takahito Mizutani who likely got paid (or possibly threatened) to do the interview. I mean for Christ’s sake, couldn’t they find someone better? At Nikon they have Ashton Kutcher! The guy probably never actually uses a Nikon camera longer than 2 minutes a month, and that’s when he’s able to figure out how to turn it on. But when he tells people he’s using a Nikon DSLR, millions of people who know and like him listen. And that’s marketing. But at Canon Inc.? There they have the great Mr. Mizutani. Couldn’t they pay someone better to talk about the 1D3? How about Arnold Schwarzenegger? Nikon has Ashton Kutcher, why can’t we have Schwarzenegger? Can you imagine Arnold dressed like the T-800 on his Harley looking very serious, pulling out a 1D3 and going “I require excellent AF.” That clip would have moved some serious inventory.”)

They need to add more zeros to their camera names. The Rebel EOS TQis777000000000 IS, with image stabilimotion and global orgasm positioning…the Rebel Dreamliner Signature PQiS, with integrated mobile aps…It takes your pictures for you, while you spend your time doing important stuff like stalking chicks on facebook…with its integrated ap. (FCW: Interesting, we may have to look into that.)

And now for the cussing, because you know, I’m real mature and shit ya’ll. FUCK FUCKA FUCK YOUR MOTHER BLAH BLAH BLAH…in the ass blah blah all night long…say hello to your mom’s new backdoor neighbor! (FCW: Not bad, needs a little work. With some more practice I think you’ll do just fine.)

Boom Shakalaka

Don’t forget to sign the petition to Canon Inc. regarding the new 5D Mark III. In 48 hours only about 120 people have signed it and that’s fucking pathetic. I’m beginning to regret taking the time to have made that petition. I think I could have better used that time to shave my balls or something. At least my wife might have shown some more appreciation than the lot of you.

Well that’s it for today, I need to get back on the phone now with Japan to discuss some of our new wireless flash technology because I think their current implementation is half-assed at best.

Breaking News: Vincent Laforet to switch to Nikon?

Vincent Laforet (left) and Eolake Stobblehouse, separated at birth?

All hell broke loose a few hours ago here at Canon USA HQ when we noticed a blog update by Vincent Laforet, peace and blessings be upon him, where he appears to be selling a crapload of his Canon gear. Experience in the last 3 years has taught us that if a photographer is selling this much Canon gear at once, it is usually followed by the announcement of switching to Nikon. And in the case of someone at Laforet’s level, that is again followed by the announcement of becoming a Nikon ambassador. We’ve got an entire team of our top executives on top of this situation right now, and I can assure you we’re going to do everything we possibly can to keep Laforet with us. Nikon already has most of the big names in this industry, at least the vocal ones with a community, and God knows we can’t afford to lose Laforet to them. Certainly not right now.

I’ve been trying to get through to Laforet but all lines appear to be jammed right now. No doubt by an army of Nikon people (and possibly also Sony) trying to get a hold of him. Laforet did mention a “career change” in his blog post, which could mean a change to quit being a Canon Explorer of Light to become a Nikon ambassador. Let us all pray that all of this is just a false alarm and that there’s nothing serious going on here. Admittedly we all got a little paranoid here at Canon USA after all the recent switches to Nikon, it’s become some kind of trauma. As soon as I see a photographer selling a lot of Canon gear it’s almost like I’m getting a heart attack. So there may not be much going on here, but we’re not taking any chances here at Canon.

Anyway, most of you should already know by now that I have launched a petition and have asked all of you to sign it and show your support to let Canon Inc. know we want a serious full frame update this year. In 24 hours, only about 74 people have signed the petition so far, which quite frankly is fucking pathetic. I have to say, I’m asking myself who I am doing all of this for right now. Because if you fucks can’t show your support by signing a goddamn petition, I might as well just fucking shut down this whole fucking blog. I’ve been busting my ass off here on this blog for 3 fucking years now, do you think I’m doing it for myself? Do you think I’m doing it for fame? Do you think I’m doing it for money? NO GOD DAMMIT, I’m doing it for you! You’re the ones who complain about how Canon sucks and doesn’t listen and all the other usual shit that you complain about. And now that I create an opportunity to show Canon Inc. we’re not going to take this shit anymore, you disappoint me and let me stand alone in the cold! Well thanks a lot!!!! I know how many of you viewed that petition, I know how many of you read the blog every day, and it is a damn shame that such a tiny percentage of you signed the petition so far. So what if you fucking disagree with minor aspects of the specs? The point is we have to send a message to Canon Inc. that any update to the 5D Mark II had better be very significant on all levels. Focusing on specific details of the specs is missing the fucking point. OK?? Please share the link to the petition on Facebook, Twitter, Digg, your blog, online forums, your local photography club, etc. etc. We need to get the message out. I can’t fucking do this alone!!!!!! And will you all grow a fucking backbone and for once stand up for something you believe in, instead of cowering because you’re afraid of losing business/support. Sign the fucking petition with your name if you’re man enough! For once let us stand up to those corporate FUCKS, GOD DAMN IT!!

And then this gem of a publication was brought to my attention today by Paul. It’s from Digital Camera Magazine in the UK:

D7000 VS 60D

D7000 VS 60D according to Digital Camera Magazine UK (apparently run from the basement of a mental institution)

I couldn’t make this up. Notice that this is a reaction to a letter from a disappointed reader who writes:

I’m disappointed by Angela Nicholson’s review of the Nikon D7000 in issue 107. How can you take a review seriously if it marks down a top-end prosumer camera, despite achieving outstanding scores in tests, primarily because it doesn’t have an articulating screen?

Their answer? Read it and weep:

While the Nikon camera has a more advanced AF system, the Canon model has a better LCD that has a high pixel count and is articulated. Our resolution chart tests indicate that the EOS 60D also resolves more detail in images, especially JPEG files.

Unfortunately, the Nikon D7000′s build quality was shown as 4/5 in the test, but it should have been 3/5, the same as the EOS 60D.

WHO THE FUCK ARE THESE PEOPLE??? Are these the kind of people doing reviews these days? No wonder Canon is still doing so well. What a bunch of fucking morons, my God, my God!!!!!!! How in God’s name can the 60D’s fucking articulating screen be more important than the advanced AF system on the D7000? Isn’t the AF system more important than the articulating screen for taking pictures? What the fuck is going on here? I feel like I’m in a scene from Alice in fucking Wonderland. And the 60D having better image quality compared to the D7000? Well DXO Mark disagrees with that by 14 points:

DXO Mark D7000 and 60D scores

Recognize, you fucking morons!

And the 60D  having the same build quality as the D7000???????? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh my God, these people are so fucking clueless it worries me. I’m beginning to fear for the future of humanity, I’m telling you guys, if this is the way we’re heading, I’m afraid we’re slowly evolving into Homo Moronicus as a species. How stupid do you have to be to not see the clear difference in build quality between the 60D and the D7000? Oh God, get me out of this nightmare, please make it fucking stop, dear Lord, I’m on my knees, begging!

You know at my age I shouldn’t have to deal with this. Stress, high bloodpressure, irregular heart beat, it’s going to kill me one of these days. I need some rest now, but before I go, let me mention this post by photographer Lloyd Chambers (thanks Dweeb) where he shows us what leaves the Nikon factories these days labeled as brand new and in perfect working condition:

Failed aperture blades on Nikon 24mm f/1.4G

According to Nikon, this lens is brand new and in perfect working condition.

Yep, that’s one of those new Nikon 24G lenses with broken aperture blades. As Dweeb pointed out, this does appear to be a “phenomenon” in need of getting “reduced.” Apparently this left the Nikon factory in this state as brand new and certified by their quality control department as being in perfect working condition. Yep, that’s a $2000 lens, folks. Read the details at Chamber’s blog. Just recently I did a post about Nikon receiving a lot of bad press these days and now this pops up. Is Nikon really, seriously, becoming the new Canon???? I thought this bad quality control shit was unique to Canon. Apparently Nikon DID copy our bad quality control. What the fuck happened at Nikon? If Nikon starts acting like Canon now, what the hell are we going to do??? What will everyone switch to now? God help us all.

Who the fuck needs a Rebel T3i or a Rebel T3?

The entire photo industry collectively yawned yesterday when we announced the new EOS Rebel T3i (EOS 600D) and T3 (EOS 1100D) cameras. Understandable since these cameras offer very little more compared to the older models that they are replacing. Canon Inc. could just as well have skipped these releases and waited till next year when they have some real improvements to add. So the 600D got a swivel screen, big fucking deal. The 60D has a swivel screen, and right now, its price is just about $100 more compared to the 600D. You have to wonder what Canon Inc. was thinking when they decided to go ahead and introduce the 600D at $800. I’m at Canon USA, and trust me, even we don’t fucking have a clue. Those morons in Japan are seriously out of touch with reality and this has been the case for the last 4 years. If you have a 600D costing $800, and a 60D costing close to $900 right now, who the fuck is going to buy the 600D?

I had Tokyo on the line this morning, and on some level I could understand them. The issue they’re dealing with right now is that the Nikon D7000 ruined their plans. The 60D was supposed to sell for $1100, and the 600D would sell for $800 and that would make more sense if you look at the feature and price difference. But in the aftermath of the Nikon D7000 release, the price of the 60D dropped to almost $900. This is understandable since the D7000 offers a ton more compared to the 60D for just $1200. There’s no way Canon Inc. would still be able to sell the 60D for $1100. This completely fucked up our plans. Financially and marketing-wise this is a fucking disaster for us. Sure, Canon Inc. could have changed the plans, but it was already too late. By the time the D7000 got released, the 600D product cycle had progressed too far to make drastic changes so they decided to just go ahead as planned and deal with this shit until the next update. The devastation caused by the D7000 is enormous and it won’t be until the end of 2011 until we will fully see the extent of the damage it has caused.

But I hope those fucking morons in Tokyo have learned their lesson now and have seen that releasing slightly re-heated versions of older products every year is not a strategy that’ll work from now on. If you look around the web, nobody the fuck talks about the 60D, 600D and the 1100D. That’s because they’re fucking boring. There’s nothing new worth talking about. This is the complete opposite of the way Nikon and Sony handle things. When the D7000 got out, everybody raved about it for fucking weeks. I got sick and tired of hearing about how cool the D7000 was. If I had to go through another 2 months of that I swear I’d jump out of my goddamn office window. But that’s because Nikon went out of their way to innovate with the D7000 and surprised everyone with exciting new features, one of which is the great image quality. This is the kind of product that gets people excited and motivates them to buy. You’re not likely to find the D7000 in stock anywhere right now, because everyone wants one. In contrast the 60D is available everywhere and the price only drops because nobody the fuck wants one and the same will be true for the 600D. In fact, we’re going to have to offer rebates on the 60D and 7D in the coming month to sell as much of them as we possibly can during the D7000 stock shortage. A planned $100 rebate for the 60D is going to bring down the price much closer to the $800 introduction price of the 600D making you wonder even more why the 600D exists. This is how bad the situation is for Canon right now.

View a conference call (transcript) I had with Canon Inc. here on YouTube:

There will be no acceptable excuse if the next 5D fails to impress. Canon Inc. has had enough time, and I personally made sure they also received enough feedback  for them not to fuck this one up.

But we also announced some cool new lenses. And when it comes to lenses, everyone has to admit that we fucking rock! A 8-15mm f/4 fisheye zoom lens? Fucking awesome. A 200-400mm f/4 super telephoto zoom with a built-in 1.4x extender? Fucking brilliant! That is the kind of innovative thinking I hope Canon Inc. will carry over to their DSLR body design process because we seriously need it there. The 200-400mm lens is a fucking master piece. After everyone stopped yawning because of the 600D and 1100D, all of their jaws hit a crater in the ground in front of them when we announced the 200-400mm f/4 lens.

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4 lens

The EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM EXTENDER 1.4x zoom. If this image doesn't instantly give you some serious wood, then not even Viagra can help you.

I’d like to see those hacks at Nikon copy this one. I just know they’re going to add 1.4x extenders to all of their lenses now, maybe even where it doesn’t make sense. I’ve already shown in my previous post how they copy all of our cool products. And what’s fucking hilarious about this is that they copy our strategies completely, the good aspects AND bad aspects. HAHAHA fucking brain-dead wankers. They were so obsessed with copying our Holy Trinity group of primes for example, that in the process they even copied our bad quality control and had their lenses back focus just like ours. You just can’t make this shit up. HAHAHA, what a bunch of fucking idiots. Hey Nikon morons, our lenses back focusing or inconsistently autofocusing is NOT what makes them popular, OK? You guys might want to leave that out. Nikon’s behavior reminds me of the time when I was cheating back in high school and was copying someone else’s answers during exams, the good AND bad answers. Needless to say, the teacher not only knew that I cheated, but he also knew exactly who’s work I copied. At that time it kept me busy for weeks, I kept wondering how the fuck that teacher knew. I even beat up the girl who’s work I copied several times because I blamed her for telling on me. But of course now I know better.

Apart from the 200-400mm f/4 lens we also launched the 500mm f/4L IS II and the 600mm f/4L IS II lenses, both of them beauties. I’ve been playing with prototypes of these lenses since August last year and my wife has been complaining ever since about feeling neglected. If there’s one thing the Japanese engineers at Canon Inc. are good at, it’s designing big sensors and big lenses. I’m not going to repeat myself and make the obvious joke here again, but I do have to say that this reminded me of my good friend Tony:

Telephoto Tony

Me: You trying to compensate for something Tony? Tony: Absolutely! (I'm not making this up)

Canon Inc. are so desperate right now to show that they still matter in this industry that they’re now even starting to announce the development of new products instead of just the actual product launches we’re used to. It started last year in August when the competition was launching all kinds of exciting new products, and all we had to show was the 7D with integrated barcode reader (LMFAO). And let’s face it, when all you’ve got to show is a 7D with integrated barcode reader, you had better bust your ass off searching for any other bits of information that you can also release together with that in order for people to take you seriously. So Canon Inc. had to quickly “announce the development” of the 8-15mm f/4 fisheye lens and the 500 and 600mm lenses about a week after they announced the 7D SV and everyone pointed and laughed at them. Doesn’t matter that those products wouldn’t be available for at least 7 months. And the same is true again for the 200-400mm f/4L IS II lens we announced yesterday. The 600D and 1100D just made everyone yawn so Canon Inc. needed something a lot more exciting to show off. And it worked, people initially yawned but then started paying attention again because of the 200-400mm lens, even though all Canon Inc. can tell us is that the lens will be available “sometime in 2011″ and it is essentially vaporware right now. Succesful PR manipulation at its finest. You can be damn sure Nikon is paying attention too, because who knows they might need to copy these PR skills in the future.

Anyway, I’m off to play with my prototype 200-400mm lens now. Let me hear what you think of all of this.

Is Nikon the new Canon?

The future Nikon logo

Possibly Nikon's future logo.

Is it just me or is Nikon receiving all kinds of bad press lately? It may appear as if they’ve just whooped our asses here at Canon with the D7000, but make no mistake about it, shit are happening at Nikon.

I thought random dots in images were unique to us, but with the release of the D7000 Nikon decided it would be cool to imitate us once again. It’s not enough that they blatantly ripped off our G series design (G12 etc.) with their P7000 like the fucking hacks that they are. Noooo, they had to start adding randomly colored dots to their images too. And typical of Nikon, they grabbed the chance to be the first to market with the random dots in video mode.

D7000 Colored Dots from Hell

D7000 Colored Dots from Hell

Now they can brag about how they were the first to introduce that feature in video mode, while we just stuck with the implementation in photos on the 5D Mark II. Just like how we were the first to offer HD video on a DSLR handicapped with manual focus while they were the first to offer continuous AF in video mode on a DSLR. I’m just waiting right now for them to implement our ghosting feature in video mode on their next DSLR so they can claim to be the first with that in video mode too. It could be any day now.

Fortunately for the Nikon fanboys, Nikon was quick to acknowledge the problem but tried hard to make it seem like it’s not that big of a deal:

“We have received reports from some users of the Nikon D7000 digital SLR camera regarding the occurrence of noticeable bright spots with movie recording under certain conditions.

Translation: We’re getting fucking spammed by hundreds of Nikon fanboys about hot pixels in movies made with the D7000 but we’re going to make it sound like it’s only happening in *certain* conditions making you think that it won’t affect you. Please continue to buy the D7000!

Nikon believes that these bright spots are not normally noticeable, and therefore do not indicate a problem with practical use. However, with further investigation of the reports received, we have confirmed that bright spots may be noticeable when recording movies of especially dark scenes or subjects.

Translation: We would so love to ignore this altogether and pretend like our noses are bleeding, but this shit could get out of hand fast so we have to do something. Look, the hot spots do not indicate a problem. Oh wait, we have confirmed that they do, in fact, indicate a problem. God, it’s so hard to make up our minds.

In order to provide our customers with better products, Nikon is currently preparing to release a firmware upgrade with measures to reduce the occurrence of these bright spots for the D7000. Further details will be announced at a later date.”

Translation: In order to avoid a class action lawsuit and for the shit to really hit the fan we’re going to release some kind of fix in the future to try to hide the problem because admittedly we can’t fucking fix it without a  hardware recall, but we’re not going to just outright say it like it is. Nope, we’re going to make it sound positive, you see, and hope your IQ is at a level where we can get away with it.

All of this is of course straight from the Canon Inc. playbook. They even rip off our PR spin strategies. I keep wondering if there’s any originality left in those bastards. It’s either that, or making problems somehow sound positive is some kind of Japanese tradition. Nikon does it, and I know Canon Inc. does it. Every time there’s an issue with products, Canon Inc. and Nikon refer to it as a “phenomenon”.  Why can’t they just call it a fucking “problem”? Or an “issue”? Or more accurately, a fucking “defect“? Noooo that sounds too negative, people might become afraid to buy the products! And we wouldn’t want that now, would we? So they just call it a “phenomenon” or “occurrence” almost making it seem like it’s functionality by design. And consumers, mostly being the fucking brain-dead sheep that they are, fall for it too.

Nikon G series Rip Off

On the left the Canon G12. On the right, the Nikon P7000 rip off. Any resemblance is, of course, purely coincidental.

So all of you D7000 owners, please rest assured that the hot pixel “occurrence” has been “reduced” in the new firmware update:

Bright spots were sometimes noticeable with live view mode or movie recording of especially dark scenes or subjects.  Occurrence of this issue has been reduced. 

Translation: Yeah okay, so the bright spots were visible in movies but we have now…err… made them less visible… *ahem* So it’s fixed, OK? OK.  So we’ll just go ahead and mark this issue as fixed on our side and please stop bothering us now and continue to buy the D7000.

Have you heard about the “phenomenon” chip manufacturer Intel is currently dealing with regarding their Sandy Bridge chipset?  The result of an admitted “design error” is a $700 million costing product recall while all shipments of the product have been halted. There’s no mention of Intel trying to “reduce” “occurrences” or “phenomenon”. Nothing the fuck is getting reduced, the goddamn products are being fucking recalled and properly fixed, just like you would fucking expect. If Canon Inc. had done as much during the 1D Mark III  debacle, or the 50mm f/1.2 backfocus problems (still not “reduced” by the way) we would not have lost so many photographers to Nikon. On the contrary, Canon Inc. has demonstrated to be perfectly happy with shipping known defective products sometimes even while refusing to say anything about issues hundreds of photographers around the world are complaining about (5D mirror falling off, 50mm f/1.2 issues for example). It will be winter in hell before Canon or Nikon ever do something similar to what Intel did. The sun is going to come up from the west before Canon and Nikon grow some fucking balls and do the right thing. John Harrington is going to sign up with Getty Images before Canon and Nikon man up and start telling the truth. The Lord of the Speedlights is going to stop using speedlights and switch to Profoto gear before Canon and Nikon… oh wait, he already has switched to Profoto gear. Sorry, my bad.

But getting back on topic, Nikon are just copying everybody in the industry and then go on pretending like they’re unique. As if we still needed proof of this, just recently they were put to shame before the entire industry when someone found out that they were actually using a Sony sensor in the D7000 while people initially claimed the sensor was designed by Nikon. Then this Tetsuro Goto guy from Nikon pops up:

“We have a longstanding relationship with Sony. If the sensors for Nikon D3s, D3 and D700 are designed by Nikon, Nikon D3x and those of the small APS-C sensors are from Sony. We want to use our own sensors in SLRs most popular [small sensor APS-C, Ed], as the performance of our sensors are better. However, it will take some time as it takes to achieve economies of scale.”

Tetsuro Goto

Nikon executive Tetsuro Goto: "We design our own sensors."

When this news broke I almost fell off of my chair while laughing. For months I had to listen to people yapping about how fucking cool the Nikon sensor in the D7000 was and how we sucked and blah blah blah yappidy yap yap, when in reality those fucking hacks at Nikon can’t even design some of their own sensors. Our recent sensors may suck, but at least we fucking design our own! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Oh God. Boy did this make me feel good. I even uncorked a bottle of champagne to celebrate. Suddenly everyone stopped talking about how cool Nikon is and everyone started mentioning the power of Sony. And is it just me or do you also get a mental image of the Mortal Kombat character “Goro” when you read the  name Tetsuro Goto?

And just when you thought it couldn’t get worse for Nikon, it actually does. It’s public knowledge that our secret weapon here at Canon is our “Golden Trinity” of primes, as people like to refer to it, which include the 35L, 85L and 135L, but actually also extends to the 24L and the 50L. All of them f/1.4 and even f/1.2 lenses which every Nikon fanboy has long dreamed about. So Nikon, being in the business of copying everyone in the goddamn industry like the fucking hacks that they are, set out to develop a trinity of their own. It’s absolutely no coincidence that the Nikkor 24G,  35G and 85G all f/1.4 all came out after each other in such a short timeframe, the 35G being the most recent. Nikon knew they had to do something about our secret weapon, so these lenses had high priority. But perhaps a little too high because it looks like they’re hastily trying to release products that aren’t quite finished yet. I mean just look at us, we announced the EF 8-15mm f/4 L fisheye lens all the way back in August 2010, and if you’re lucky you might be able to actually buy one in March 2011. That’s obviously how it’s supposed to be. You have to take your time with these things. If you don’t, shit are happen, which is what happened in Nikon’s case.

Photographer Lloyd Chambers had issues with the 24G and had the following to say:

I am more impressed with optical quality of the 24mm f/1.4G than ever, especially at f/1.4, but the autofocus is best described as useless, at least with my sample, because it cannot be relied upon to deliver the performance of which the optics are capable.

My my my… impressive optical quality paired with fucking terrible autofocus. That surely is a winning combination, wouldn’t you say? That almost sounds like our 50L. But you could really, seriously, feel the frustration Chambers was dealing with, when he said the following about the 35G:

In terms of autofocus, the 35/1.4G is surely the biggest piece of crap I’ve ever used of any brand, at least on my Nikon D3x and D3s (that’s $13K worth of pro camera bodies, folks). How can Nikon ship this garbage? Bad lens? Well, the other 35/1.4G sample I shot two days ago showed similar issues under field conditions, and could not focus properly on an eye for a portrait.

I laughed so hard I had to unbuckle my belt to make sure it wouldn’t suddenly snap because of all the pressure. I started laughing in the middle of the “biggest piece of crap” sentence and by the end of that line my eyes were so teared up I couldn’t read the rest. After this I just had to uncork a second bottle of champagne.

Chambers wasn’t the only one dealing with the 35G AF issues, just check out the review done by Ryan Brenizer:

Users expecting the same lighting speed of the Canon 35mm f/1.4L will be disappointed at first — like the new Nikon 24mm and 85mm f/1.4s, this is not a speed champ, being just a bit faster than the 24. But it’s very accurate, even at wide apertures — noticeably more so in difficult focusing situations than the 24mm f/1.4 (which I also love, despite its trickiness). I could see right away that it was much easier to get in-focus f/1.4 shots on a dark dance floor with this than with the 24, though not quite as easy as the ludicrously fast-and-accurate 24-70mm f/2.8. I came to trust it pretty quickly.

NOTE: My copy needed serious AF micro-adjustment, about -15. This was not true of my 24G or 85G, but has been true of other lenses like the 135mm f/2. Be sure to test your lenses thoroughly. Micro-adjustment is the best feature invented for cameras since digital sensors.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Brenizer’s 35G needed a micro-adjustment of -15. Fucking -15!!!!!! We’ve had our share of back and front focusing lenses here at Canon, but this is crazy. How far away was the focus plane before that -15 correction? In another galaxy or something? LMFAO. Oh my fucking God. Also notice how Brenizer mentions the “lightning speed” of the Canon 35L and tells you Nikon fanboys not to expect that with the 35G. Yeah that’s right, recogniiize baby!

Backfocus (hel)L

With the release of the 24G and the 35G Nikon finds themselves in back focus hell, something we all thought was unique to Canon. I for one am very much looking forward to see Nikon “reducing” these “occurrences” now. Chambers mentioned recently that he was already talking to them about these issues. And knowing Chambers, Nikon had better do a whole lot more than simply “reducing” “occurrences”.

Nikon’s apparent decision to start fucking up really is coming at a bad time. Because here at Canon Inc. we’ve had a couple of months now, okay years actually, to regroup our efforts, and shit are going to happen for Nikon, that much I can tell you. Ever since the release of the D3 Nikon has given us blow after blow, and we haven’t been quite able to answer back. I mentioned in a previous post how the release of the D7000 was like the attack on Pearl Harbor to us, taking out both our 60D and 7D at the  same time – a rather serious offence. And if you saw the movie “Pearl Harbor”, you can maybe remember the scene with the Japanese general after they attacked Pearl Harbor, when he mentioned that “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.” He might also have said “Gentlemen, we have just kicked a rabid dog.” Nikon has either awoken a sleeping giant, or they have kicked a rabid dog, but either way, all I know is that we’re going to fucking own them! Make no mistake about it, Canon Inc. is at war. This is no time for Nikon to be screwing around. Trust me on this.

Everyone has been busy praising Nikon and Sony in the last few months, either for their outstanding sensors or their recent innovations. But it seems that everyone ignores the fact that Nikon and Sony have only now gotten to a point with their sensors where Canon Inc. had been over 3 years ago! The image quality on the D7000 and the Sony A580 have just recently caught up with the image quality we had 3 years ago on our 40D! The image quality on the D700 that everyone is raving about, existed almost 3 years earlier on the original EOS 5D. Yeah that’s right, fucking recognize! It took Nikon and Sony 3 years to catch up. Imagine where we are now. Yeah sure, we fucked up with our latest sensors, I’ll give you that, but this doesn’t mean we didn’t innovate. We still have our 3 year lead, I promise you, and you’re going to find out about it soon! Y’all better prepare for penetration!

And for those of you who always mentioned how I was a product of Nikon’s marketing department or how I was probably a Nikon fanboy, do you still think I am??? HMMM????? Let me hear ya!!

EF 50mm f/1.2helL USM

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2helL Lens

The Canon EF 50mm f/1.2helL USM Lens

If you look at the image above and get a spontaneous erection, then trust me when I say that you are not alone.

*adjusts pants*

She’s a beauty isn’t she? Just holding this lens in your hands, you feel the weight, the build quality, the feeling you have comes pretty close to an orgasm. And the images you can capture using this lens are incredible. But looks can be deceiving. And in this case, it’s kinda like how it is with women. It’s like you meet this beautiful woman somewhere and you get all crazy about her and try hard to make her yours. And after a while you succeed, and you start ..err.. enjoying … her, but slowly but surely you start to notice that though everything looked great on the outside, the behaviour is not exactly what you were hoping for. This is when you get introduced to the term Total Cost of Ownership, or TCO in short. You start to see the cost (not just financially, but most certainly also financially) of “owning” such a woman. And then, as time goes by, you start to notice that you get less and less Return on your Investment, ROI in short, from your woman. For example, to get the same amount of sex you were having when you first met her, you have to do double and even tripple the amount of work now that you were doing back then, and this is assuming you’re still able to get sex from her at all at this point. Because the amount of work you’ll have to do will only increase until at some point you’re just not up to it anymore. And then you just stop having sex. At least at home.

*pauses and thinks while staring ahead at nothing*

Anyway… where was I? Oh yeah,

In the case of this lens, many rushed to buy this shiny and beautiful looking lens that promised great images when it was released at the end of 2006, only to find out later that they spent $1600 and were essentially fucked, because the lens had a backfocus issue which is related to the way it is designed. I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but I’ll just refer you to this website where there’s a nice compilation of information on the issue. Not only does the lens backfocus often, it also doesn’t focus consistently when using autofocus. You can focus on the exact same object a few times, without the camera and object moving, and you’ll get a different focusplane each time, especially noticeable at f/1.2.

Many people started complaining and emailing me about the issues they were having with this lens almost from the moment it became available, and I ofcourse started talking to Japan immediately about it, while telling everyone else that Canon would be releasing more information on the issues in the near future. Two of my emails can be found here:

“Technical discussions about the EF50mm f/1.2L USM are continuing to occur between Canon USA and Canon Inc.. The matter is not resolved yet, but it is most certainly not being ignored. Unfortunately, I can’t say much more about it until there is an official conclusion.”

“Canon Inc. is definitely aware of the claims concerning the AF accuracy of the EF50/1.2L USM. They’ve been investigating for the past couple of months, and I am told that there will be some kind of public announcement forthcoming in the near future. Stay tuned, and thanks for using Canon equipment!” – email from Chuck Westfall 5/24/2007

We had a conference call last week with Japan and in between all the asskissing and cocksucking we brought up this issue again, and the bastards are still not ready to give us the green light to send out the fuckup notices for this problem. Meanwhile I’m sitting here while people are constantly asking me when I’ll finally be able to tell them more, and the only thing I’m able to tell them is to stay tuned and thank them for using Canon equipment.

It’s been over two goddamn years now.

But despite the issues, I like using this lens when I’m taking pictures of my daughter because of the results I know I can get, but sadly only if I am lucky and the lens actually happened to focus where I wanted. I had to force myself to try and live with the issues. It’s like Chris Rock said:

“When you love somebody, you got to love everything about them. You got to love the crust of a motherfucker.

You can’t just love the white part of the bread.

You gotta love the crust, the crumbs, the tiny crumbs at the bottom of the toaster.

That’s what the real motherfucker is.”

Yeah, that’s what the real motherfucker is, a back/inconsistent focusing 50mm lens that is capable of producing great images when it works.

Fortunately I also have my 85mm f/1.2L which is outstanding, and when I’m shooting my mother in law (with a camera, sadly), I only use the 135mm f/2L, which is razor-sharp even at f2 and captures even the tiniest of all the wrinkles on her face just to show her how fucked up she really looks. I swear to God, sometimes it’s almost like the lens ads wrinkles to her face on the fly while making existing ones look like small Grand Canyons. When she really pisses me off, I stop down to f11 for even greater effect and apply the unsharp mask filter in Photoshop several times as well. It’s all automated in my Mother in Law action set.

Ok enough of that.

It looks like Galbraith received another paycheck from Nikon because he has updated his article about the poor 1D Mark III AF performance with his findings based on the latest fixes issued by Canon Inc. The outcome was predictable. But here’s the thing, notice how Galbraith is decorating his whole article about the bad AF performance of the 1D Mark III with beautiful pictures that ARE in focus AND taken with… wait for it… a 1D Mark III.

There’s a strange concept you don’t see everyday: Tell people a camera can’t focus well by putting pictures in the article that are actually in focus and taken by the same camera.

Fucken A.

I think Nikon might have to reconsider their relationship with Galbraith after reading this.

Here’s the thing, Rob, I know you like the image quality the 1D Mark III gives you, so stop complaining, for fuck’s sake, and live with the AF shortcomings for now. Ya gotta love the crust of the motherfucker dude. Ya can’t just love the white part of the bread. Learn to live with it. And besides, at this point I think we both know there’s nothing Canon Inc. can possibly do anymore to fix it. We’ll just have to wait for the 1D Mark IV and hope AF performance will be much better.

And I say we have to HOPE the 1D Mark IV will be better, because the way employees are being treated right now at Canon in Japan is quite terrible. Read this article and see for yourself, here’s a quote:

Can you imagine working in a place where the boss got rid of all the chairs and put in alarms which go off when you don’t walk fast enough?
Well some of the folks who work at Canon don’t need to imagine – its a reality for them.

 No wonder most of our products released in the last 3 years suck so much.

Employees at Canon Electronics

Employees at Canon Electronics

 That shit is just fucked up. And what’s with the striped shirts? They almost look like prisoners. Working in such an environment, you can begin to understand why these people produce a 50mm f/1.2 lens that can’t focus well, a 1D Mark III that has focus issues, a 5D where the mirror falls off, a 5D Mark II with an old AF system that rarely works and with a sensor that has various issues too, a 50D with noise and banding etc. Now I also understand why Kyokoshiro isn’t hooking up all dos vires on de assembly line.

Fortunately things are a lot better here at Canon USA.

Anyway, I’m gonna go make me a nice cup of coffee now and relax for a bit.

Tech Tips for yo’ mama

Let me begin with the good news first. Prices for the EOS 50D continue to drop and you can find the body only in the $1100 range now on Amazon. And with the 28-135mm lens it’s $1350. Consider that this body became available just last month. Is a $300 price drop in 1 month normal? If you have a clue, and by reading my blog I’m sure you do, then you know the answer. Just wait till you see the price in January. Good things come to those who wait. I haven’t been giving Maeda hell for nothing.

And don’t forget, I said the same thing about the 5D Mark II.

But let me stress again that at $850, the EOS 40D is a very very good deal right now. Look into it.

In other news someone at the New York Times thinks pixels are like cupcakes. When I read this article, I immediately forwarded it to Maeda. Hell, I emailed it to the entire imaging division at Canon. I hope our management and everyone else starts getting a clue about image quality.

And finally, Daniel left a comment the other day which I feel I should answer here:

Hi Fake Chuck,
I would like to know what Canon is going to do about the BIG Nikon announcement coming in Feb? There is also some reports of Nikon making some announcements in early December in Europe, having booked simultaneous locations in several European cities on the same day.

Well there isn’t much we can do about it other than closely watch what’s going to happen. The situation here at our offices is still very tense. We’ve got some very credible information about what’s going to happen and it’s going to change our pricing structure for the 1D series, that much is for sure.

The Nikon onslaught is just non-stop. While Nikon powers on, Canon just gives us mediocore bodies and more Mps. I can’t upgrade to FF cos the 9pt AF is a joke. And I don’t want 1 series weight and bulk.

Look, to a certain extent I can’t do anything else but agree with you if I want to be honest. You’ll note that I have been right here since day 1 giving Maeda hell about the 50D. But I can guarantee you that early 2009, you’ll start to see some real improvements. 2009 will be the year when Nikon is going to need to upgrade the toilets in all their buildings to be able to process the massive amounts that they’ll be shitting. I’ve just finished reviewing the 1D Mark IV specs, and all I can say is just wait and see.

The first L glass I bought the 70-200 2.8 IS I had to return cos it was soft on one side and sharp on the other. I also fails to focus at some focal lengths. At 135mm its in focus but looks like its got some mild Hoya Starlight filter over the lens… really really bad. I’m convinced Canon doesn’t do any QC anymore.

I don’t know how long you’ve been reading my blog, but even I am often dealing with these problems. As you may know, I got a EF 24mm f/1.4 L II lens that was heavily backfocusing. When I got my copy of the 5D Mark II, the god damn mirror fell off within seconds of using it. I have to tell ya, when these things happen I feel like doing violent things to people around me. But considering that even Zeiss seems to be having problems with their latest 85mm f/1.4 lens (source 1 and source 2), you can see that this is not only a problem Canon is dealing with.

Had to return my first G10 as it has a damaged CCD which shows up as a line in every frame. I’m not kidding. I have the CR2 files to prove it!
My 2nd G10 has a distorted peephole, I mean the viewfinder. But I’m just too tired. Decided I’ll live with this one and maybe fix it near end of warranty.

Hey what can I say? Welcome to being a Canon user. Just be happy this is a G10 we’re talking about. Others have been less fortunate. Just imagine receiving a 1D3 or, god forbid, a 1Ds3 that is fucked up and refuses to work. And though that is just painful to imagine, many have found themselves in that situation. Far too many, if the amount of emails I received, and am still receiving, is an indication. Still Tokyo doesn’t seem to give a flying fuck about all the data I’m giving them each day. Every time I tell Maeda about these things, he has “receive only positive feedback, market evaluation are very good, no complaints, with everyone say it’s good.”

Thanks for reading Tech Tips. That’s it for now. Remember to email your questions to fcwestfall@gmail.com or leave a comment in this post. See you next week!

Tech Tips for October 6, 2008

I am so pissed off right now. I’ve been pissed off this whole weekend. And I’ll be pissed off for most of this week from what I see. I think I’m going to get fired too, because I’ve had it with Canon Inc. I am NOT going to accept any of their bullshit anymore. I’m working my ass off promoting our products, doing damage control and sending out good PR, when upper management just decides during some random moment that they need to make my work more difficult for me. I’m talking about this interview with Masaya Maeda, my boss over at Canon Inc. I can’t believe I work for someone that stupid.

I was sitting at my desk last Friday going over the specs of the new 1D Mark IV when I glanced at my monitor and saw the number of unread email messages in my inbox literally double every second. The last time this happened was when Galbraith posted his 1D3 autofocus article for the first time. I checked some of the emails randomly, and sure enough, every one of them was about Maeda’s stupid answer to the 5D2 autofocus question. If you haven’t read the interview yet, this is what he said:

One of the most common complaints we’ve seen about the 5D Mark II is that it still has the same AF system as the original 5D. Why is this?

“Firstly the market’s evaluation of the 5D’s AF system has been very positive; there have been no complaints from users, with everyone saying it’s very good. Given that, to a certain extent, we think we shouldn’t change it. And also there’s some limitation with size; the AF sensor in the 50D is very big; the one in the 5D is much smaller. If we wanted to have all cross-sensors in the 5D Mark II, it would mean we might have to sacrifice the compactness of the body. It’s all a question of balance of features and benefits.”

My God, my God, my God in Heaven what have I done to deserve this? No room in the 5D2 body for a bigger AF sensor? They sure found plenty of room for the HD video recording feature, Mic, Speaker and HDMI output!

Anyway, let me move on to this week’s Tech Tips questions before I get a heart attack:

Since there’s no integrated grip on the 5D mark II (b/c Japanese hands are too small); have you at least seen, or gotten to use it with the new “BG-E6″ for those of us needing extended battery life and oh, man sized hands? (no pics on web of 5D mk II w/ grip attached).

Well I would have loved to take a picture for you of my 5D2 with grip attached, but as you may know, I had to send my 5D2 to our service center because the goddamn mirror fell off after just a few shots. And somehow our marketing people didn’t think of releasing any images of the 5D2 with grip attached. So I decided to photoshop the BG-E6 grip onto a picture of the 5D2:

5D Mark 2 Plus Grip

5D Mark 2 Plus Grip

As you can see, it turned out reasonably well. I hope this gives you an idea. It feels quite solid when you hold it, and it’s going to become very useful the next time I see Maeda and I bang this combo against his head.

In regards to the resolving capability of some of canons current L lenses, I’ve heard that at new version of the 24-70 2.8L with IS has been developed and will be released soon, care to comment ? I have both the 24-70 2.8L and 24-100 f4L IS, personally I’d love Canon to combine the two to make a 24-100 f2.8L IS to free up a bit more room in my bag for something else.

Well I have a prototype 24-70mm f/2.8 L IS attached to a 50D on my desk right now and so far I’m satisfied with it. We’ll be releasing it early next year with some other products as well. We’re a bit desperate to have an alternative to Nikon’s new 24-70 as you can imagine. Anyway, I don’t think we’ll be doing a 24-105 or otherwise combine the 24-70 and 24-105 lenses because, as I understand it from Canon Inc. in Japan, they want you to fill your bag with as much Canon gear as possible so you won’t have room left for Nikon gear.

Do you expect the 5D Mark II to be in stock and available by november?

Not really, no. Why? Did you?

Hey I just want to say thanks a bunch for fucking with our minds regarding the 50D noise performance. Anything over ISO 3200 has banding. 6400 and 12800 are horrible! A complete joke. I hope the 60D sucks less!

Don’t count on it my brother. Uh.. I mean, we’re doing everything we can to provide you with the best in image quality and user experience once we release the 60D. Canon Inc. is currently looking at fitting 21MP on the 1.6x crop sensor, and Dig!c 5 is going to seriously rape anything that sensor manages to register, which, to be honest, won’t be very much to begin with. May God have mercy with us.

Thanks for reading Tech Tips. That’s it for now. Remember to email your questions to fcwestfall@gmail.com or leave a comment in this post. See you next week!

Tech Tips for September 22, 2008

And here I am with yet another episode of Tech Tips from your favorite Canon camera guru! Yes, that’s me, of course. Here are the questions for this week:

How do you test if a lens is back-focusing?

This is a very simple procedure. What you do is you tape a newspaper against a wall somewhere in your house. Make sure you do it somewhere your wife won’t see what you’re doing because if she catches you taping stuff to her wall you’re in for some serious trouble. Next, you attach the lens you want to test to the camera, and stand back about 5 meters away from the newspaper. Put the camera in One Shot focus mode, and set the aperture of the lens wide open (smallest f number). Manually select the center focus point on the camera, aim for the newspaper and press the shutter button half way. You should get a focus confirmation. Now the next step is very critical. While holding the shutter button half pressed, take one big step forward. As soon as you have done this, press the shutter button completely to take the picture. Make sure that before you take the picture, the center focus point still covers the newspaper. You can repeat these steps about 4 times. Maybe 5, depending on how much time you have. When you’re done, download the pictures on your computer, and open them with your image editing program. Make sure that you view the images at 100% on your screen. If the newspaper in your picture is blurry and out of focus, then your lens is backfocusing and you might want to consider sending it in for calibration or using it as a projectile when your neighbor’s dog is eating your lawn again.

one more question, can Canon’s “L” zooms resolve 21 MP? I saw some MTF charts and was wondering if the “L” primes can cut the mustard, so the question is can they? I already own 17-40L, 24-70L, 70-200/2.8IS, 35L and was wondering if I should ditch the zooms and go all primes so I can resolve detail to the 21 MP sensor, why pay for 21 MP if lenses can’t send the information to it…. any thoughts?

I hate to point this out to you, but our current lenses can’t resolve shit. Especially so in the fullframe corners. You have to understand that most of these lenses were designed back in the film days. In those days you couldn’t download the film to your computer and view it at 100% to see how much detail and sharpness you had. One reason for this is that the film roll didn’t have a USB port and cable so it was impossible to interface with the film inside. Most people brought the film to a camera store somewhere to get it developed, and all they ever saw was a small printed picture that looked sharp enough. But as we all know, at that size, even a very crappy out of focus image, like the ones taken by Damien Lovegrove with the 5D Mark II, can look sharp. So nobody knew their pictures were actually blurry as hell and lacked even the slightest bit of detail. And business was good for Canon. But now with digital cameras with enough resolution it is starting to become a problem. Even my mom in law, who is quite retarded, was looking at her pictures taken with her G9 on the computer last week and mentioned that her pictures looked soft and then went on to ask me if her G9 doesn’t have a focus issue. I almost punched her in the face.
I already told the megapixel-crazy idiots at Canon Inc. in Japan to start easing out on the megapixels and concentrate on image quality instead. Nikon has already released two new lenses, the 14-24 and 24-70, that are capable of resolving more detail than our current offerings. Meanwhile, at Canon Japan, they’re trying to give us 38 megapixels of blurry and noisy pixels in the 1Ds Mark IV, with Digic 5 further screwing with the tiny bit of detail that the lens was still able to catch while “reducing noise”, leaving you with a plasticy, smudgy and blurry looking mess of an image. And what’s sad is that it’ll still look better than an image taken with the latest Nikon camera.

HEY, FAKE CHUCK – WHY CAN’T CANON INTEGRATE A VERTICAL GRIP IN TO MORE BODIES (50D, 5D MARK II, ETC…. IF YOU’RE BUYING/USING A DSLR INSTEAD OF A COMPACT, THEN YOU’VE ALREADY MADE THE “SIZE” COMPROMISE FOR QUALITY. JUST KEEP THE WEIGHT DOWN AND WE’LL ALL LOVE THE HANDLING OF AN INTEGRATED GRIP. TELL CANON TO GET ON IT!!! THANX.

Won’t happen, sorry. The reason for this lies with the Japanese engineers at Canon Inc. As you well know, the Japanese have very small hands and holding a Powershot G9 for them is like holding a 1Ds Mark III. Including a grip would give them serious trouble using the camera. I’ve personally spoken to them about another similar issue, namely that my nose keeps poking against the LCD screen on the back of the cameras whenever I want to look through the viewfinder. The LCD screens on my camera always look like a mess because of this. Even worse, when I use the 5D, I always mess up the important shots because my nose presses against the buttons on the side of the LCD screen. I told Japan about this, and they said they couldn’t repro the problem in their labs. But of course, the Japanese have a virtually flat face, so I’m not surprised at all that they couldn’t repro it. They need to design the next cameras for people with a more 3 dimensional face. And finally, is your CAPS lock key broken or something? Your shift key stuck? Your keyboard fucked?

I have one question concerning the secondary function of the 1Ds3.  I have found that filling the camera body with lead fishing weights increases the resolution of the camera.  However, Canon is charging me an arm and a leg for these weights.  So my question is, what is the cheapest way to fill the body of a 1Ds3 with solid lead?

Is this a trick question? And why do I get a feeling that this question is coming from a redneck? Ennyway, whut yo’ does is yo’ hoof it te Wall Mart, yo’ buy yo’seff a double barrel shufgun wif a pack o’ shells, yo’ come back home an’ put th’ wan dee eff mark three outside on th’ fence, load yer shufgun an’ jest fire away. Yo’ repeat thet an’ it’ll fill right up wif lead. Yo’ jest be careful not t’git into an argoomnt wif th’ neighbours.

Thanks for reading Tech Tips. That’s it for now. Remember to email your questions to fcwestfall@gmail.com or leave a comment in this post. See you next week!

EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens

I finally got my production-quality copy of the new EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens today, and I’m disappointed. I can’t tell you how frustrated I am right now. Everytime we get a shipment of new gear from Japan, I have to pray that I get a good working copy to test.

As soon as I attached the lens to the 50D body I have in my office and took a picture, I noticed that the picture was soft. After some quick tests, I was able to confirm that the lens was backfocusing significantly. Right now the lens is already on its way to our local service facility to get checked. I just sent a rather serious flame email to Canon Japan about this. I’m not very hopeful though, Fujio hasn’t been answering my emails for a couple of months now after our argument.

Sometimes I just feel like quitting my job. I try to encourage everyone to use our gear, but how am I supposed to sound confident doing that, when even I can’t rely on the gear I get from Japan?