So a couple of weeks ago a good friend of mine offers to lend me he’s backup camera ─ a Canon 30D[he shoots with a 5D2 now]. After much thought & contemplation, I knew I had wanted to go the Canon side and build a system but I really didn’t know which model, whether XXXD or XXD. My friend tells me:

What are friends for ─ Canon 30D

“Jorge, try my 30D, it’s literally almost brand new and it looks minty its been in its box since 2007, you’ll like it. I bought it, barely used it, and I decided to go full frame with the 5D, so all in all, I think I used it maybe 4 times and it has less than 2k frames, try it out and see how it feels.”

 
Canon 30D, Canon 50mm 1.8 II

Great, a new older camera. I didn’t’ really know what to expect. As you know, viewing gear on the web is a completely different experience when you see things personally [where was I going to see a Canon 30D lol?] but I must confess I was rather excited as this begins a new chapter in my photographic journey.

It’s Here, 1st Impressions

Keep in my mind my background was with a Nikon D80 which I shot maybe 10 times and various Micro Four Thirds bodies, including the GF1, G2, EPL–2, and some others. The Canon 30D is no light weight kid, its got a rugged body which has some heft to it and certainly doesn’t feel cheap by any means – this IS a camera, yes indeed. My loaned 30D is literally in mint condition, as I opened the box I could not help remember some scenes from the movie “Back to the Future.” Gosh it looks nice, so is this what a Canon XXD body looks like. I told myself, “I could see myself shooting with this for a while.”

Canon 30D, Canon 50mm 1.8 II

So a few days had passed and I didn’t have a CF card nor an AF lens, instead I had a triad of Olympus OM lenses [28mm 3.5, 50mm 1.8, 35–70mm 3.5–4.5] and I decided I would go the manual route first. I soon realized that the adapter I had purchased on Ebay which supposedly had autofocus confirmation was a dud and it didn’t have the metal contacts to speak to the camera. So I tried my luck as best I could, but the my efforts fell short of the expected quality that I require for my frames (they were soft).

Nifty Fifty

So I hop on various Canon sites and read about the 50mm 1.8 II and read about how sharp it is despite its shortcoming in build quality and I decided to buy this lens so I can properly put the 30D through its paces. In one word, wow, this puppy is quite sharp indeed, my gosh and at this price what’s not to like.

Canon 30D, Canon 50mm 1.8 II
 

It actually reminds me of the often forgotten Olympus 17mm f/2.8 which was the ugly duckling of the Micro Four Thirds which would get passed on for the better Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. True the 20mm is great lens but I think I have quite a lot of images that prove the Oly 17mm is no joke either. With that specific mindset I’m approaching this 50mm. Sure, it didn’t have USM and the better build quality of the 50mm f/1.4 but who cares I just want to shoot.

Manual Focus is difficult with the 50mm 1.8 II

All the reviews I read make a mention about how difficult is this lens to manual focus. Says who, sure its not the best nor the quietest lens , but I’m here to tell you its ok and the results are quite fantastic if you ask me. Its not even remotely as comfortable as the Olympus 50mm 1.8 but its not suppose to be. So here, here, to the new adventures with this combo which my friend said “Jorge, keep it, enjoy it, I’m sure you’ll put it to good use.” Yes, indeed I sure will.

Note

By the way, all these frames were at f/2.5 I was quite impressed with its bokeh at this aperture, actually nicely surprised.

 
Canon 30D, Canon 50mm 1.8 II
 
Canon 30D, Canon 50mm 1.8 II
 
Canon 30D, Canon 50mm 1.8 II
 
Canon 30D, Canon 50mm 1.8 II