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Canon EOS-1D Mark II
Old 12-13-2018   #1
Bill Clark
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Canon EOS-1D Mark II

I hadn’t used this old big Canon camera for a while but I decided to exercise it.

Interesting things:

I bought the camera in 2005 from B&H.

I have 4 batteries. The only one that works is the original Canon battery. This is the camera where the battery is on the bottom, the length of the battery is the entire length of the camera. I bought another battery so I have a backup.

During my working years I had a few folks buy a 40” x 30” framed print made with the camera. This is from a camera that has a sensor with 8.20 megapixels. Maybe the subsequent megapixel race, after 2005 when I bought the camera, by camera manufacturers isn’t necessary.

I’m thinking of using this camera during the holidays to make family photos.

At any rate, I thought I would report my findings.

Canon makes some pretty darn good products.
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Old 12-13-2018   #2
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I had a MkIIn and yes I agree, great cameras. Always keeping an eye out for a really cheap one to cross my path and maybe I’ll own another.
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Old 12-13-2018   #3
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I shot a billboard with this camera, it's WAY more than capable.

That said, are the results I get from more recent higher MP count cameras significantly better? Yes they absolutely are.

I shot the 1D mkII until it gave up the ghost and still have it because I'm attached to it, and what it enabled me to do.
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Old 12-13-2018   #4
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And yesterday I wrote at P.O.T.N. about Summarit-M 35 2.5 and Jupiter-3 .
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Old 12-13-2018   #5
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I used to practice with a beater 1Ds Mark II. The battery could only last 100 shots, but it's quite understandable: Ni-MH batteries don't age well. A new set of third party ones solved it.

The megapixel count can be interesting. I'm not in the business and was only trying to imagine: it surely was among the best back then, but what about today? What if everyone else is making 40” x 30” prints with 24-50 megapixel cameras? Would the 8.2 megapixels still be more than capable, now with the competition updated?
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Old 12-13-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post
I have 4 batteries. The only one that works is the original Canon battery. This is the camera where the battery is on the bottom, the length of the battery is the entire length of the camera. I bought another battery so I have a backup.
I have the AC adapter for this camera (DC Coupler DC-E1 & PA-V16) if you want it. PM me and I'll mail it to you.
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Old 12-13-2018   #7
Bill Clark
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Quote:
Would the 8.2 megapixels still be more than capable
To make a large photograph, I treated the making of it like producers of a movie. It involves, some ingredients I mention here a few of them, lighting, costumes, set design which can be with various venues, equipment, consultation with the actors, props....

The camera I mentioned is more than adequate.

To make a photograph of the size I mentioned, it can’t be done from a snap unless you’re extremely lucky.
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Old 12-13-2018   #8
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I wish I understood megapixels, you can't get a straight answer.
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Old 12-13-2018   #9
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Could someone enlighten me on the megapixel deal? I am going to buy an inexpensive digital camera for a walk-about, and some of the older DSLRs like the Canons and Nikons "only" have 6 to 8 MP, which is plenty for my intended 8x10's.

I thought MP count was about how big you could print and not the quality of the image? Is that incorrect?
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Old 12-13-2018   #10
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I had the original Nikon D1, which was about 2.7mp, from the year 2000. No problem printing decent size prints. However higher resolution is useful for cropping.

People rag on Ken Rockwell but his points about megapixels are valid in this write up:

https://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/mpmyth.htm

And make sure to read the link to the David Pogue article:

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/08/t...y/08pogue.html
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Old 12-13-2018   #11
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There are many variables to making a good print, and image resolution (megapixels) is one of them.

I wandered around India with 1D Mark II N back in winter 11-12. Heavy beast to lug there, but am still happy with the results. (Sold it immediately after )
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It's still a great camera and more than adequate for most people
Old 12-13-2018   #12
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It's still a great camera and more than adequate for most people

Dear Bill,

I have one I bought second hand at least 5 or 6 years ago. It only had 50000 actuations on the shutter when I bought it and it probably has maybe 60000 on it now.

I'll keep it until it fails. Though I have newer and better DSLR's I don't have any that I like better or feel more comfortable when they are in my hands.

Mpegs sell cameras to the people that truly need, or desire, the latest and greatest. I like that because I can buy cameras for 10 cents on the dollar with regularity!

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 12-13-2018   #13
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That was a good read over there at the ever so humble Ken Rockwell site. Thanks for the link, now it makes more sense. It looks like sensor size and design come into play with digital image quality and optimal print sizes, along w/ the usual caveat about lenses.

It's amazing that Bill's camera is selling for around $120 on eBay. Looks like a great buy for that sort of quality.
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Old 12-14-2018   #14
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A bargain over here in the UK too :
https://ffordes.com/product/17092515503981
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Old 12-14-2018   #15
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I work a lot with large high-resolution displays. 14-18 megapixels is generally sufficient today, anything less will show limitations. All other things equal and so on.

For many things, 6-8 megapixels is plenty.
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Old 12-14-2018   #16
David Hughes
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Steve M "Could someone enlighten me on the megapixel deal? I am going to buy an inexpensive digital camera for a walk-about, and some of the older DSLRs like the Canons and Nikons "only" have 6 to 8 MP, which is plenty for my intended 8x10's."

Hi,

Lens quality is most important and the number of pixels determine how big it can be printed. But - this is on of those great big "buts" - how the photo will be viewed also comes into it.

Here's an example; one of my "only 2 in a junk shop" cameras turns out roughly 3 megapixels (meaning 2048 x 1536 pixels). On this monitor with a screen height of 900 pixels the 1536 height is more than needed. The cpu will resize down it for me to view it. In other words overkill for on screen viewing...

On a 4" x 6" paper I'll have to abandon some of the print to get it on the paper or else have a white margin I chop off and waste. (A bit of maths (an aside):- Again using the height of 1536 pixels, the 4" side takes 15364 pixels per inch (or dots per inch, same thing). So I get 384 dots or pixels per inch and that's past the point where the human eye works when looking at it; in other words overkill. OTOH it's useful to know that 384 dpi means the width is 5.3333" and so the paper will have a 0.6666" strip wasted.)

Using 8" x 10" the width of 2048 10 gives 204.8 dpi and that's a very usable dpi (around 200 works easily). And so 1536204.8 gives a height of 7.5" and so you can see a half inch of paper wasted.

If you want to print the best, it would be at about 300dpi and here the little 3 megapixel photo only gives you a print about 4 x 6" but the quality will be good even though you won't get it on a 4 x 6 paper. (You'd have to crop it to 1536 x 4 6 = 1024 pixel high.)

Lastly, you could print at about 100 dpi meaning 20.48" by 15.36 inches and that would be big but not what you'd hold in your hand to pass around. Framed and hung on the wall, people would be standing back to see it all and not notice the print quality. Go up close to a bill board and you'll see what I mean...

I hope that all makes sense. A good rule of thumb in terms of pixels in the camera or dots on the page is that roughly 100 works at a distance and 200 is a good usable figure for hand help prints and 300 is the point where our eye start to reach their resolving limit for a hand held photo. NB "roughly" is the most important word and the lens must be good for the size of the sensor. It is for my little (junk shop UKP2) Konica Revio KD-3300...

Regards, David

PS I vaguely remember them saying, when 8 megapixels appeared, that we could now print at/on A3 size paper. Roughly 16" by 12" and so we could once we'd cropped and cursed or wasted a strip of paper.
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Old 12-14-2018   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Murphy View Post
Dear Bill,

I have one I bought second hand at least 5 or 6 years ago. It only had 50000 actuations on the shutter when I bought it and it probably has maybe 60000 on it now.

I'll keep it until it fails. Though I have newer and better DSLR's I don't have any that I like better or feel more comfortable when they are in my hands.

Mpegs sell cameras to the people that truly need, or desire, the latest and greatest. I like that because I can buy cameras for 10 cents on the dollar with regularity!

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
I replaced my sadly departed one with a far technically superior camera, and I certainly wouldn't want to go back to those MP and ISO limits any more...BUT there's something to the 1 series and their absolute tank like nature that does inspire confidence.
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I don't disagree about the limitations
Old 12-14-2018   #18
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I don't disagree about the limitations

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackXList View Post
I replaced my sadly departed one with a far technically superior camera, and I certainly wouldn't want to go back to those MP and ISO limits any more...BUT there's something to the 1 series and their absolute tank like nature that does inspire confidence.
Dear BlackXList,

I absolutely agree that the ISO limit is low but I use mine for wildlife and bird photography almost exclusively and I find that ISO 1600 is usable with some noise reduction.

But I'll be honest and say that I rarely bother going out to shoot on a day when I have to use ISO 1600. I find that staying at ISO 1250 or below, and most often at ISO 800 or below, and making use of the IS/OS in the lens lets me get enough quality shots.

If I have difficulty seeing my subject with my own eyes I don't expect a camera to do a better job. Perhaps if I had enough dough to buy a 1DX Mark 11 and a 400/f2.8 IS lens I'd think differently? But I assure you that I do better with the old 1D Mark 11 and a Sigma 150-600 OS lens than I ever could have hoped to do when I used film exclusively.

And the brick like construction and considerable heft are reassuring to me. So much so in fact that all my DSLRS have grips attached at all times, even my Rebel T2i!

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 12-14-2018   #19
Bill Clark
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I use ISO 160 most of the time. I got used to 160 with Kodak Portra film.

It works with what I photograph.
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Old 12-17-2018   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Clark View Post

Canon makes some pretty darn good products.
I agree (I also had the 1DII - I have or have owned all of the 1D non-s versions since inception of the line). However, from reading the various forums, for the last while, Canon has been endlessly raked over the coals for being uncompetitive and lacking innovation. Who to believe...? (I already know the answer.)
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my experience is not about super megapixel count..
Old 12-17-2018   #21
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my experience is not about super megapixel count..

Quote:
Originally Posted by charjohncarter View Post
I wish I understood megapixels, you can't get a straight answer.
My experience is different regarding megapixel count.
When I finally tried digital in form of Pentax Optio S-30, year 2005,
with a whopping 3.5 MP count, I was more than happy!
It was perfect for 4x6" prints, 8x12" and super on internet..
Sure I could not "blow up to see sharp individual pixels!"..

I love small cameras. My early years with FILM Olympus 1/2 Frame..
I worked many years and built up a reputation, using a tiny kit.
The camera, a roll of spare film, 36/72 exp,tiny AG-1 flash.
My first front page in South Africa's largest daily morning!

Following a heart excitement, retirement the small camera a joy!
I could never hold those DSLR monsters..
I love the "need" to print barn size prints, where do you store?
Almost nobody prints..

A test some weeks ago, using my 51yrs old M3, 50mm Collapsible Summicron vs a new sensor Leica Monochrom.*
Well my film was sharper and better than Monochrom, Zeiss 35mm.

I mostly carry daily a toy camera..
Truth of pixels not wanted in quest for sales..
* Processing and scanning took way longer of film.
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Old 12-17-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Murphy View Post
Dear BlackXList,

I absolutely agree that the ISO limit is low but I use mine for wildlife and bird photography almost exclusively and I find that ISO 1600 is usable with some noise reduction.

But I'll be honest and say that I rarely bother going out to shoot on a day when I have to use ISO 1600. I find that staying at ISO 1250 or below, and most often at ISO 800 or below, and making use of the IS/OS in the lens lets me get enough quality shots.

If I have difficulty seeing my subject with my own eyes I don't expect a camera to do a better job. Perhaps if I had enough dough to buy a 1DX Mark 11 and a 400/f2.8 IS lens I'd think differently? But I assure you that I do better with the old 1D Mark 11 and a Sigma 150-600 OS lens than I ever could have hoped to do when I used film exclusively.

And the brick like construction and considerable heft are reassuring to me. So much so in fact that all my DSLRS have grips attached at all times, even my Rebel T2i!

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
My main use for mine was live music photography, so having a lot more ISO headroom is definitely a big help, but I still deeply appreciate what my mk2 was capable of and what it enabled me to do.

I want to say it never let me down, but it's final failure was pretty spectacular and self destructive, but until then it was an absolute tank.
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Old 12-17-2018   #23
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Thanks everyone for your comments.

Hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.
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