Weekly Project 2012
Comments 6

Week 13 | 2012

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.


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


  1. Stunning photo’s Jorge. I love fast fifties! I also think Canon sensors have an edge over Nikon when it comes to colours. These shots are fantastic, not because of the camera used!


    • Jorge Ledesma says

      Thanks Derek, fast fifties rock hard. I myself also love the way Canon glass renders colors over Nikon, don’t know exactly if I can pinpoint it but I just do. The fantastic plastic rocking on. Cheers and I look forward to your X Pro 1 adventures.

  2. I must confess that any camera on your hands is like a magician with his black hat, rabbits, flowers, unimaginable objects will show at any minute, then you go deeper and find the differences with your last gear, remain it us the importance of the photographer and the dreamer behind the lens and sensor.
    Your images are far good by all means and the processing a luxury in your hands, thanks for sharing with us. I want to see more images from your hat.

    • Jorge Ledesma says

      Lol, a magician ah, that’s great Rey, thank you. I never really thought about it that way, its super hilarious. Nonetheless, I appreciate you chiming in.

      To be honest, I really did miss a fast glass responding to your tweet. I just love the creative opportunities that a prime affords.

      • Well is hard not to obtain what you need in terms of the faster glass, it´s base on compromise. Sometimes i wonder why I only use the 50 1.4 and the 24-70 2.8 almost all the time.

        • Jorge Ledesma says

          Well that certainly is a great dynamic duo. I use to favor portability over IQ and I still do to a certain extent but what I’ve learned is that even if I had a 24-75mm I could still be relatively inconspicuous and get my frames. The more I shoot the more I realize style has a lot to do with it. Cheers.

Thoughts? Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s