Writing about Canada & Sony lens repair

Hey everyone :). I haven’t really written about Canada much on my website, I mean, I wrote about it lots prior to going but not actually about my travels. I have started writing a bit about it.

Customer service fail

Excuse the title, the two are unrelated. On the gear front… I sent my Sony 24-70mm f/2.8 gm lens to be repaired because the zoom ring initially felt and continues to sound gritty. I suspect dust got into it when it was manufactured, I’m not sure. Anyway it arrived, after 3 weeks, seemingly the same as before it left i.e. the fault hasn’t been fixed. In my opinion, it needs one of the gears to be cleaned with alcohol and re-greased. This kind of thing was common with radio controlled helicopter servos and that kind of thing, back in the day. I could do it myself if I wanted to break warranty and if I lived in a dust free environment (I don’t).

The customer service with Canon repair was terrible too (actually it was even worse) and I had to threaten to sue them before they fixed a huge fault (the viewfinder was out of alignment with the sensor). It’s possible the shop I bought from didn’t send the Sony repair team the notes I requested. Judging from the form I received back, this was the case. I can’t entirely blame Sony for this but they should have noticed it sounds weird…

I don’t have a high opinion of big companies when it comes to customer service, and I don’t see Canon as superior to Sony. I can’t write much about this just yet because I don’t have the full story to tell.

My advice for things like this is to know the law in your area, know your rights, and don’t put up with rubbish if you don’t have to. I waited three weeks to receive the lens and they now want to send it away again. I consider that unreasonable and I have questioned them as to what they’re going to do now.

I’m very unbiased and I don’t hate on companies, but this is something I feel large companies should sort out in general. One way this could be done is for them to request information about the fault and actually READ that information.

Sony 12-24 FE lens

I ordered a Sony 12-24 FE lens for interior photography. It arrives tomorrow, I hope! I am looking forward to it. I will be using it a lot, so I’ll have a lot to say about it and if you have any questions, let me know.

Canon full frame mirrorless EOS R shutter mechanism

I’ve been reading photography forums too much the last few days, trying to decide what lenses/lighting to buy. They are a wash with information/discussions about the Nikon Z 7 and the Canon EOS R, full frame mirrorless cameras.

A few features have been discussed, like the larger mount of the Nikon Z 7. Unfortunately with the internet, if enough people say something is true, then for some reason everyone thinks it’s true. Very early on, people argued the Sony e-mount was too small. To this day, I haven’t seen evidence this is true.

The Canon EOS R shutter mechanism

Another argument that caught my attention was about cleaning sensors and how the Canon EOS R will close its shutter when you change lens. I’m not 100% sure how I feel about this. I think it’s a step in the right direction, but if dust hits the shutter and it gets jammed in the mechanism, that’s going to be expensive to replace.

Touch wood, I haven’t needed to clean the sensor (actually, you’re cleaning toughened Schott glass cemented to the sensor). Sometimes it’s hard to tell where the wind is coming from, so I lick my finger and hold it up (this is a trick I learned when flying radio controlled planes/helicopters). Yeah it looks weird for a second, but that’s the direction the dust/rain is going to come from. I then turn my back to said direction, and switch the lens. To switch the lens, I unscrew the cap on the top of the lens I’ll be using but I leave the cap on it. Then when I dismount the lens on the camera, I can quickly switch caps and lenses, without having to be unscrewing things. It might seem like a minute point but it has worked for me, so far.

I don’t care much for the “Nikon is better than Sony!” or “Sony’s an electronics company, not a camera company!” arguments. These companies get our money, we shouldn’t have to support them with verbal loyalty. They should be the ones trying to be loyal to us :). That said, I don’t whole-heartedly support Canon’s choice yet. It might work, it might be more prone to failure. What I’d prefer to see is perhaps a second shutter-like mechanism cover the sensor.

Sony 12-24 FE Ultrawide Zoom lens

As per my last post, I’ve been researching equipment to buy. I think I’ve decided on getting Godox flashes as I’ve been satisfied with them before and they’re cheap. If Broncolor made a Profoto B2 equivalent, I’d be interested; however, the Profoto B2 is overpriced for something that doesn’t colour match with their own B1 flash.

On the lens front, the Voigtlander 12mm and the Voigtlander 15mm combined are a similar price to the Sony 12-24 FE Ultrawide Zoom lens. I already own a 24-70 GM and a Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8, so ideally I’d get primes. But… But. The Voigtlander lenses aren’t as sharp as the zoom. The colours and flaring are probably better, but sharpness and versatility will be quite important for interior photography. The weight, for landscape photography, is also really important.

At 565g, it’s very lightweight compared to the competition. I think comparisons are a bit silly because a 50mm f/2.0 lens might be completely different to another 50mm f/2.0 lens for example, so just because they’re a similar/the same focal length, we shouldn’t always compare them. We should perhaps compare what we’d realistically buy if we were invested in another system. With that said, if I was with Canon, I’d be looking at the 11-24mm and that’s a 1180g lens. Combine that with the weight savings from the Sony camera, and that’s a major difference.

Theoretically it seems possible there could be a Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 G master lens at a similar weight to the Canon. It’s a real let down the 12-24 doesn’t accept filters, so if such a lens were to be announced at Photokina 2018, I’d be interested in that too. In an ideal world, Zeiss would make something like a Zeiss Loxia 12mm f/5.6 or a Zeiss Loxia 15mm f/4. I haven’t heard any rumours about such lenses being made.

Working in Canada – IEC

Everyone in England is talking about how hot it is at the moment. I feel like we should never complain when it’s above 30c because we get months of overcast/rain shortly after, hahaha. It is difficult to be at a computer when it’s like this (especially when there’s no air conditioning) though! One thing I really liked about Calgary was that even when it was a similar temperature, the breeze from the river kept you at a decent temperature :).

After returning home, I’ve really noticed little differences like this, and I’m desperate to go back. Unfortunately, the work situation is not simple once you’re above 30 years old.

For most countries, you can apply to join the IEC programme and get an open work permit between the ages of 18-35. However, the UK is different and it’s actually 18-30. As I’m 32, I’m slightly outside of this range. There’s possibly a way to circumvent this by using a third party, but apparently it’s a bit of a lottery. For anyone that’s read my US visa trouble, you’ll know I’m simply cursed when it comes to things like this. Short of being sponsored by a Canadian employer (or a cute Canadian woman… who wants to marry me?), my options are somewhat limited. For that reason, most of my time/energy is spent on this at the moment.

As stated in a previous post, I’d like to completely revamp this website. I am thinking of starting a second site, that way I can isolate subjects a bit better but it’s down to cost really.

Lastly, now I’ve had the chance to look through a few hundred photographs, I can see which ones I like and those I dislike.

If you look at the photograph in the middle, it’s not composed particularly well but I think the mood is quite nice. Yet the last photograph has absolutely no mood or anything, and it makes it a bit boring. My plan of improvement is to try and take photographs with more of a mood. I can’t really describe it very well, but I have something in mind.

I start my Great Divide Trail 2018 Canada hike in a couple of weeks

I leave in a couple of weeks to hike the Great Divide Trail in Canada. I’m not sure how it will pan out as I’ve never done such a thing like it before. Terrified doesn’t really begin to explain it, haha.

Once I start hiking, I probably won’t be posting on my site much, if at all, for a while. I’ll post on instagram and write a little comment with each photograph or something :). As far as I know, there’s less WiFi/internet spots compared to the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian trail, so I don’t know how often I’ll get to post.

If I don’t reply on instagram within a month, Sasquatch found me (I put up a good fight, I promise).

GDT – Waterton Lakes Update & instagram & website news

Hey,

I have some good news. The issues with Waterton Lakes isn’t such a big deal after all. I can enter different trails further north and connect with the GDT using the “Font Creek” trail. It looks quite pretty after a quick google and there’s ways to extend it, so it’ll be a similar length hike. Photography, camping and hiking have always been my priorities, and this shouldn’t change that too much!

You can follow my instagram, it’s kinda bare at the moment but it’ll be the easiest thing to post with. I haven’t tried wordpress on mobile though, perhaps it’ll be okay :).

When I’ve improved at photography and have done hikes I’m passionate about, I will probably change my site completely to make it look more professional. At the moment, most of my content consists of gear reviews and I’m not very passionate about writing them. It has made me really, really respect well thought out reviews though. Those must take people ages to make :).