Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II

I am selling my very gently used Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II USM that I have owned since October 2017.   I am selling this lens because I have not been using it much, and recently got the EOS R with a 24-105 lens, so I think I will be using it even less.

 

Price: SOLD

 

Includes the following:
Canon 24-70 f/2.8L II USM Lens

Original box and packaging

Soft case

Hood, lens cap, and end cap

 

This lens is like new.  There are no damage to this lens, it is clean and in good working order.

 

If you are interested in purchasing, please send me an email contact@wildelements.ca.

I’ve had a random finding a couple times now while shooting with the EOS R while it’s snowing.  It seems to want to focus on the snow, or more really the snow pulls the focus away from the subject, and it has to work harder to keep focused on what I want focus on.

 

EOS R + 400 f/2.8L II @ ISO 3200

It is crazy how drastically it impacted my “hit ratio” of sharp shots when it’s snowing versus not snowing, it’s like I went from not missing a shot, to having a ratio of 50% if it started snowing.  In Yellowstone, I started making the decision to switch to the 5D Mark IV if it was snowing out.

 

I tried to switch to different AF Area modes to see whether there was a difference between single point, expanded point, etc., but I did not see an improvement, and as the point got bigger it seemed like it was jumping off the subject more, which makes sense.   Next time we get a good snowfall around here, I am going to go out with a stationary subject and see what they hit ratio is.

 

I saw that Canon is intending to put out a new firmware for the EOS R, and while the details of the update have not been disclosed I’m curious whether or not this will be addressed.

 

I’m curious how this finding will be impacted by heavy rain that sometimes occur on our coastal trips, and whether this camera will essentially be unusable in these situations. I will keep testing and playing around with it, and keep you updated on what I find.  Feel free to contact me with any questions contact@wildelements.ca.

It’s getting close to that time of year, when everyone is getting excited to book their trips for next year, so when will the 2020 trips be available, here is the latest information on what to expect:

 

Grizzly Bear Great Bear Rainforest

Grizzly in the Great Bear

1. When 2020 Photo Tours Will Be Publicly Posted.

 

Detailed descriptions of our 2020 Photo Tours will be posted on the Photo Tours page of this website in early-to-mid February (we are still working on finalizing some details on the 2020 photo tours). The minute those trips are listed on the photo tours page we will begin taking registrations for them.

 

2. Can I Reserve a Spot Ahead of Time?

Sort of. We have a Priority Booking List for EACH photo tour we offer. Think of it as a “first right of refusal” list. If you go on this list you will receive FIRST crack at getting a spot on the trip (based, of course, solely on when you went on the list). So if we have a photo tour where we can take 6 participants, the first 6 on the Priority Booking List are guaranteed of a spot if they still want it when registration opens. We do hold off on taking registrations until we know the final dates and pricing of each trip. You can find out more about the Priority Booking List for 2020 Photo Tours on our Photo Tours Page. Please note that there is NO commitment on your part in going on any Priority Booking List.

 

To help you out a little, you should know that some of our 2020 photo tours (mostly those that have been around the longest) already have very long Priority Booking Lists and the chances of getting a spot on these trips now (by going onto the Priority Booking List NOW) are low. However, a number of our newer trips have pretty short lists and if you act fast (i.e., going on the Priority Booking List for those trips now) you have a really good chance of getting a spot. So here’s a quick and dirty guideline (and just go to our Photo Tours Page if you need more info about these trips):

 

A. Photo Tours With VERY SHORT Priority Booking Lists (trips you WILL get on):

• Pacific Rim Explorer Instructional Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Spring in the Southern Great Bear Instructional Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request

 

B. Photo Tours With MODERATE LENGTH Priority Booking Lists (trips you have a GOOD chance to get on):

• Haida Gwaii Explorer Instructional Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Marine Mammals of the Central Pacific Coast: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Summer in the Southern Great Bear Instructional Photo Tour: 2020 Priority Booking List Request

 

C. Photo Tours With LONG Priority Booking Lists (so in the “What the heck…you never know” category):

• Khutzeymateen 5-day Instructional Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Khutzeymateen 4-day Photo Op Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Into the Great Bear Rainforest Instructional Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request
• Into the Great Bear Rainforest Photo Op Photo Tour: Send Priority Booking List Request

 

Note that we will be accepting names on any of the 2020 Priority Booking Lists up to the end of day on January 23, 2019.

I have owned the Canon EOS R for a couple months now, but with short days and busy schedule I have not had the chance to get out and shoot (and more importantly compare it to other cameras) as much as I had hoped.  Luckily I have some time off coming up, and in addition to testing my new 400 f/2.8 III I am looking forward to spending time with the EOS R as well.

 

Great Gray Owl EOS R at ISO 6400

The first thing I will say is that I am pleasantly surprised with the performance of the EOS R.  I had previously picked up the Sony a7iii which also surprised me, and all initial reports is that the a7iii was superior.  While I have not had a chance to compare the two head-to-head, so therefore have no opinion on which is better, at the end of the day I am very happy with the EOS R, and will be keeping it over the a7iii, with the main factor being the compatibility with all my existing lenses, and I have not been happy at all with the metabones adapter.

 

Autofocus

EOS R + 500mm f/4 ISO 3200

One thing that I don’t really have a handle on yet is the autofocus and how it compares to the Canon dslr’s and the Sony a7iii.  What I will say is that I am very impressed with how quickly the EOS R acquires focus, it is like you point your camera at the subject and it’s instantly in focus.  While I have used it with Big Horn Sheep and deer running, I still cannot say how well the focus stays locked-on and tracks with the subject, and whether there is a noticeable different with other cameras.

The number of AF points and the fact that you can move them over the entire viewfinder is a nice feature, especially for framing some shots, especially because I find that the Canon DSLR’s are quite limited on the edges.  I do find however that it is a bit slower navigating across all the points, as you can sometimes get yourself way over to the side accidentally. I think it will just take some getting used to.

 

ISO Performance
I expected the ISO performance to be “okay”, but did not have high expectations.  Well this might be one of the biggest surprises.  I have taken photos consistently at ISO 3200, and even a few at ISO 6400 that I have been extremely happy with, both in respect to noise and dynamic range.

 

EOS R + 400 f/2.8L II @ ISO 3200

In Body Stabilization
This is one feature available in other mirrorless cameras that have been released recently which did NOT come with the EOS R.  While I am not super upset about it because all my lenses that I shoot have image stabilization, the one area where I did notice that it was very beneficial on the a7III was when shooting video from a moving zodiac on rough water.  For me this is not a deal breaker, just a “would have been nice”.  I have also heard that it works quite well with the Nikon Z7.  I guess this will be a feature for the next Canon mirrorless.

 

Button Placement/Menu
I can’t say that I am in love with the placement of the buttons/size.  Having small hands, I thought that this would be nice that all the buttons are closer together, but I find some can be quite awkward to get to, especially if trying to access them while shooting and looking through the eye-piece.  I do have some difficulty going back and forth from the DSRL’s and the EOS R.

 

The other thing I found hard to “pick-up” was the menu, as I was expecting it to mirror (pun intended) that of the DSLR’s. Instead Canon has a lot of embedded menus, which can make it difficult to find things, or make changes….especially without the manual and in an area without cell coverage.  For example it took me over five minutes to figure out how to change the view so that the electronic level wasn’t showing in the middle of the image (making it near impossible to see the subject).  Again, I think this is just something that will take getting used to.

 

I’m looking forward to spending more time with the camera, and also comparing it to some of the others in my possession.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at contact@wildelements.ca and if you want to see a full list of features, refer to my first blog post on the EOS R which can be found here.

My Canon f/2.8L IS III has arrived, after waiting for what feels like forever…in all reality it was only a few months.  It’s arriving just in time for me to take it to Yellowstone to start testing it out.

 

My first impression was I could not believe how light the box was…I thought maybe I was getting ripped off, and the box was empty.  Un-boxing the lens and comparing it to the v2 of the 400 f/2.8 I really cannot believe how light it is.  And while the specs state that it is lighter than the 500 f/4, to me they feel about the same…which is fine by me, because I have not problem hand-holding the 500 for extended periods of time while shooting in the zodiac.   I am really wondering if I will even need to keep my 500 f/4 now, as the only reason I had it now was because it was lighter and more portable than the 400 f/2.8L  IS II.

 

With the improved image stabilization I am curious to see what shutter speeds I can shoot hand-held at, and whether or not there is any difference from version 2.  It did feel like the weight distribution was changed, but hard to say how much is true weight savings versus weight distribution to to “feel”.

 

Other than that, I have had no time to test it out, darned short days and “real job”, but I will have a week with it in Yellowstone coming up and will share my thoughts on in then.

 

For my blog post from when the 400 f/2.8L IS III was released see here.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me contact@wildelements.ca.

Capture One Pro 12 is now available for purchase, or download (if you are on a monthly subscription package).  


Along with an update to the general look and feel of the product, they made some really notable changes to the image editing capabilities…some which I think makes it exceed that of Lightroom. 


The most notable change in the addition of luminosity masking capabilities, where the mask will automatically be applied to the image based on a selected luminosity range. In addition to darkening super bright areas of an image, you can also apply the mask to only the darkest part of an image and therefore pull shadow detail from one that section.  This is a function that used to require some complicated actions in Photoshop, especially for image editors that are not super technical.


In addition the the luminosity masking, there are enhanced gradient masks (both linear and radial). The beauty of these masks are that unlike Photoshop is that they do not overwrite the luminosity masking…so you can do these AFTER a luminosity mask, or in conjunction with the luminosity masking. 


One further feature is the ability to copy edits from one image to another, and ignore composition edits.  While this isn’t totally relevant for wildlife and nature photographers, as we are often editing different images, this could be really handy for photojournalist or portrait photographers. 


More about the updates can be found on the Capture One Pro website. Feel free to contact me, contact@wildelements.ca if you are looking for additional details on my experience with the update. 

When I first saw that Canon was releasing a new 70-200 f/2.8L IS III lens, I was excited because I thought finally an update on what I think is the oldest lens in my fleet.  I had hoped that in addition to a performance update, I would also see some weight savings, which would mean that it might find itself in my camera bag more often.

 

Well, when it came to the weight, my hopes were not fulfilled.  The new 70-200 f/2.8L lens is only SLIGHTLY lighter than the old version, like 50 grams (1490g vs. 1440g).  I haven’t had the change to weigh the actual lenses since I have picked mine up but I will say that I really do not notice any difference in weight between the lenses when the tripod foot is removed.  With the tripod foot on, there is a slight difference in weight, but certainly not the earth shattering weight difference that we are seeing with the new 400 f/2.8.

 

Snow Leopard – Calgary Zoo

I was debating whether or not to bring the lens on the Great Bear Rainforest trip, and wondered if it would feel like a duplicate because I knew I would be brining my 100-400 lens, and had weight restrictions to keep in mind.  In order to give the lens a quick test I brought it to the Calgary Zoo.  I have to admit, I was really pleasantly surprised by the results.  Since I have purchased the 100-400 a few years ago, I haven’t found that I am using the 70-200 as often, because it often doesn’t have the focal length needed for a lot of wildlife.  But reviewing my images from the zoo, it really made me consider that I should be using it more.

 

One of the zoo images included in this post was of a Snow Leopard, and considering that this image was shot through the glass, I was really surprised how sharp it was.  In addition to being shot though glass, I also shot it at only f/2.8, because the green background was really quite ugly and distracting. I was surprised that I was able to see the hairs on the snout of the Snow Leopard despite that it was shot through the glass.

 

Despite it not being much lighter than the old one, I decided to pack it along for the Great Bear Rainforest trip given the results that I had with it at the zoo, and I am really glad that I did.  The second day out shooting we were shooting in the heart of the rainforest, and because the river was not that wide, we were actually working at pretty close focal lengths.  I ended up using the 70-200 pretty much exclusively that day, at least where the “big subjects” (like bears) were concerned, and the lens did not let me down.  I found that having an f/2.8 lens greatly improved my images, given the low-light I would have constantly been battling high ISO and low shutter speeds if I had used the 100-400.

 

 

Seeking Salmon

Seeking Salmon was one of the shots that were taken with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS III USM, and was actually shot wide open, because I wanted as high of a shutter speed as possible given that I wasn’t sure if the Spirit Bear was going to pounce at a salmon (if she could find one).

 

I have not yet done head-to-head testing between the new and old 70-200, and I do not know if the slightly lighter weight and fluorine coating are worth upgrading from the old one to the new one (stay tuned for that).  I will say that if you are planning to add a 70-200 to your fleet of lenses, you will not be disappointed with the image quality achieved with the 70-200 f/2.8L IS III USM.

 

If you are debating getting this lens and have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at contact@wildlements.ca. Or stay tuned to my recent photos and blog for more thoughts as I use the lens more, and review more of the images taken with the lens.

I got back from the Great Bear Rainforest just under a week ago and I am still fully digesting the trip, and going through the many, many, photos.  Receiving my Canon EOS R as soon as I got back has somewhat thrown a wrench into my time behind the computer…but more about that later.

 

One of the reasons that I continue to love going back to the Great Bear Rainforest, is that you never know what to expect, and honestly each year is really different.

This year some of the salmon streams in the Great Bear Rainforest were impacted by lower than usual number of salmon.  This was not just caused by a lower number of fish in the salmon run, but also due to the fact that they have had very little rain to fill the streams so that the salmon can get up them.  I think it had almost been one month without any rainfall on one particular place that we visited, according to the First Nation Guide.  Therefore it seemed like this year we had to work a little harder to see the wildlife and to photograph it.

 

We were treated to a wide variety of wildlife, from Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, a Spirit Bear, Humpback Whales, Bald Eagles, Mink, River Otters, Harbor Seals and even saw TWO Sea Otters.  Some of the highlights of the trip were when we waited along a river for quite some time without really seeing anything, and then just before we were about to leave a Spirit Bear appeared…this is a good reminder of why you should “tough it out”.

 

We also had the opportunity to spend over 45 minutes watching two young grizzlies, which we assumed were siblings, wrestling in the water.  We actually left them and they were still going at it.  We went to “check out” a bay to see if there was any activity, and there were over 18 Bald Eagles in the water itself, with a bunch more white heads dotting the trees next to the bay.  And then when we went in the zodiac to check it out, we spotted a Grizzly along the shore.

 

Finally, we topped the trip off by seeing two sea otters.  It was awesome because one was really quite far north, and further north than the skipper had ever seen.  The second one was super accommodating and provided us ample opportunity to get some really great images while she cleaned her fur.

 

We came away with some really unique experiences and I am already looking forward to going back again next year.

 

Stay tuned to my Recent Photos for new photos as I have time to edit them.  And also stay tuned to my blog for my thoughts on my new EOS R.

 

Our 2020 trip dates will be released a the beginning of next year, if you would like to get your name on the priority booking list, contact me at contact@wildelements.ca for more information.

I have escaped the snow of Calgary and I am just getting ready to head back into the Great Bear Rainforest for my 5th year in a row, and to say I am excited is an understatement.

 

Under Cover

For this version of the instructional photo tour we will be taking a different route than usual, and starting in Kitimat and ending in Bella Bella.  This is a route that I have not done since 2014 (my first trip).  I am looking forward to the opportunity to seeing some areas that I have not been to in a several years, and also looking forward to checking out some of the “usual” spots.

 

And there is a reason that we do not call this trip the Spirit Bear trip, because the trip is about so much more, and encompasses all the wildlife and scenery that the Great Bear Rainforest has to offer.  Under Cover was photographed during my trip in 2017, and was taken as a Spirit Bear woke up from a nap in the woods and came back out to the water to eat some fish.  For more of the images that I have captured on my Great Bear Rainforest trips, visit the Great Bear Rainforest Gallery.

 

If you are interested in signing up for one of our future Great Bear Rainforest trips, visit my Photo Tours page for more information.  Or feel free to contact me at contact@wildelements.ca for more information.

 

I am looking forward to coming back and sharing the details of the experience and some images!

I have escaped the snow of Calgary and I am just getting ready to head back into the Great Bear Rainforest for my 5th year in a row, and to say I am excited is an understatement.

 

Under Cover

For this version of the instructional photo tour we will be taking a different route than usual, and starting in Kitimat and ending in Bella Bella.  This is a route that I have not done since 2014 (my first trip).  I am looking forward to the opportunity to seeing some areas that I have not been to in a several years, and also looking forward to checking out some of the “usual” spots.

 

And there is a reason that we do not call this trip the Spirit Bear trip, because the trip is about so much more, and encompasses all the wildlife and scenery that the Great Bear Rainforest has to offer.  Under Cover was photographed during my trip in 2017, and was taken as a Spirit Bear woke up from a nap in the woods and came back out to the water to eat some fish.  For more of the images that I have captured on my Great Bear Rainforest trips, visit the Great Bear Rainforest Gallery.

 

If you are interested in signing up for one of our future Great Bear Rainforest trips, visit my Photo Tours page for more information.  Or feel free to contact me at contact@wildelements.ca for more information.

 

I am looking forward to coming back and sharing the details of the experience and some images!

EOS R:

  • 30.3 megapixel
  • Full frame CMOS sensor
  • Adapter allows for using EF lenses
  • Phase detect AF
  • 5,655 selectable AF Points
  • 5 frames per second with continuous AF
  • ISO Sensitivity of 100-40000
  • Low light focusing of EV -6
  • No in body stabilization
  • Same battery as other Canon DSLRs
  • One SD Slot
  • 4k video capabilities
  • Battery life of 350 shots (EVF)
  • $2,999 CAD

Canon Announces Full Frame Mirrorless EOS R

 

Last week I posted about the recent Canon announcement that I was the most excited about, the new 400mm f/2.8.

 

I am almost as excited about the announcement of the full frame mirrorless, EOS R.  I am excited to try this out in comparison to the Sony a7iii that I recently purchased.

 

EOS R
Priced at $2,999 CAD, Canon’s first step into the full-frame mirrorless comes with a 30.3 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. An interesting feature of the EOS R is that when the camera is turned off the curtain is closed to protect the sensor against getting dust and dirt on it.  Dust on the sensor has been something that I have noticed quite often with the Sony a7iii, so I am interested to see how the “closing” of the sensor works, and whether it does keep dust off the sensor.

 

When it comes to autofocus, Canon is using a phase-detect system with 5,655 selectable points…no that is not a typo they are actually advertising over five thousand AF Points. With this many AF points, 100% of the vertical and 88% of the horizontal sensor is covered by autofocus points.  This is pretty impressive, and hopefully this is something that can be carried over to the DSLR, because this is one of my biggest frustrations with the 1DX Mark II, sometimes the points are not where I need them, especially in the low end.

 

Another feature of the EOS R that Canon has added is making the AF available for “nearly the entire image” when shooting at f/8 or f/11.  So this means that you could attach a 2x extender to an f/5.6 lens (turning it to f/11) and still have AF, something that cannot even be done with my 1dx Mark II.  I am interested to test this and see how it actually performs, and whether it is an available feature that isn’t really all that useful in practice.  I have used the 1.4x extender on the 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II to see how it performed, and I found the autofocus to be incredibly slow.

 

The frame-rate is advertised as 8 frames per second. However, with closer reading that 8 frames per second is only when not using continuous AF.  When switched to continuous autofocus the frame rate decreases to 5 frames per second, and will drop to 3 frames per second if you have selected focus priority in your settings. I do not even remember what it is like to shoot wildlife with a camera at 3 frames per second.  The buffer is advertised to be 47 Raw files.

 

Low-light focusing should not be an issue with the EOS R, it has the ability to focus at EV -6, and has ISO range of 100-40000.

 

Surprisingly, and somewhat disappointing, is that the camera does not come with any in body image stabilization, a feature available in both of the competitors (Nikon z6 and Sony a7III). I am not sure what drove the decision by Canon to skip it, maybe they are trying to drive the sale of the IS lenses, and intend for all the RF lenses to be image stabilized and thought it was unnecessary.

 

For this camera Canon has created a new mount, the “RF” mount, but also has three different adapters available to use existing EF lenses with the camera.  This is a benefit over my Sony mirrorless which has a Metabones adapter that allows me to use my Canon lenses, however the autofocus is so slow that I find it is not even worth trying to use it.

 

The battery life of the EOS R has room for improvement, with life of 350 shots per charge, however that’s consistent with other full frame mirrorless cameras.  The benefit for anyone that owns another Canon camera, like the 5D Mark IV, the battery is the same, at least you do not need to bring an additional charger.  The camera only has one memory card slot, which holds an SD card, so there is no ability to record backup, or have image overflow.

 

I am really looking forward to getting my hands no my camera, which is expected to be here mid-October (of course, right after I get back from the Great Bear Rainforest). I plan to keep my Sony a7iii in order to compare the two.

 

More about the EOS R can be found on Canon’s website.  If you have questions, feel free to contact me contact@wildelements.ca.