Gear Week Finale!

I trust your Holiday shopping has gotten off to a good start!

If you’re a Canon 20D, 30D, 40D or 50D owner, one the best accessories you can buy right off the bat is the BG-E2N Battery Grip shown here.  It holds two Canon lithium-ion battery packs and provides twice the normal shooting capacity. During a recent shoot at the Wings Over Houston air show I shot over 4000 exposures using an EF 300mm f/4L IS USM lens and still had power to spare. That’s more than twice the rated “shots per charge” published by Canon.

BG-E2N Battery Grip

Canon BG-E2N Battery Grip
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon Powershot G9 hand-held at 17mm, f/5 for 1/80th of a second at ISO 200 on SanDisk digital film. All post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2.

The BG-E2N battery grip also provides controls and shutter release identical to the camera’s grip when shooting in vertical (portrait) mode. The only exception is that the “AF-ON” button found on the 40D and 50D is missing. Since I shoot in vertical (portrait) mode about half the time, having the vertical grip allows me to shoot from a much more comfortable position whether hand-held or tripod mounted.

The battery grip does add size and weight to your rig but considering the extra battery capacity and vertical controls, it’s a great accessory.

Nikon Reveals D3X By Accident?

As much of a Canon shooter that I am I have to give credit to Nikon for the new D3X revealed yesterday on Seb Roger’s post Official Nikon D3X specs. It’s here, folks! I’m sure Nikon sponsored pro-shooters like Moose Peterson and Joe McNally had a hand in helping Nikon develop the specifications for this camera and it’s quite possible that Moose already has a prototype he’s been shooting with. I’m also not the least surprised that the camera was officially leaked the same day the new Canon 5D Mark II began to arrive in the market. After all, these two companies have been trading blows like this for years now.

What surprised me the most about the new D3X was the lack of a video mode, given how keenly Nikon has watched the growing fervor over the 5D Mark II’s HD video mode. What doesn’t surprise me is Nikon’s “focus” (no pun intended) on advancing the professional usability of a 24.5 Megapixel sensor with their incredible 51 point AF system. Compare that to the 5D’s antiquated 9 point AF system and the recent slew of AF issues with the 1Ds Mark III and it looks like Nikon is squarely aiming this camera for professional sports photographers and photojournalists. Both at the top of Canon’s current professional market. I expect we’ll be seeing even more black lenses at the next Olympics than we did in Beijing.

Score one for Nikon!

Canon 40D Reflection

If you look at your images closely enough, you’re bound to find something interesting! Probably the most unusual landscape shot I’ve ever presented.


Canon 40D Reflections
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon Powershot G9 hand-held at 7mm, f/3.5 for 1/100th of a second at ISO 200 on SanDisk digital film. All post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2 and Noise Ninja.

My Canon 40D Rig

It’s “Black Friday”, the Friday after Thanksgiving. The biggest shopping day of the year in the US and the day the retailers use to gauge consumer spending for the holiday season. If you haven’t seen enough photographic gear (lust) to last you till next year then take a look at my Canon 40D rig. It’s a perfectly workable rig for any pro shooter or serious amateur and will last for thousands and thousands of exposures with the right care.

And for those of you that think the “prosumer” Canon 40D is not really a professional grade rig (this includes the Canon Professional Services folks) please watch the video of Scott Audette setting up a 30D and 40D for Reuters to remotely capture the Space Shuttle launch (courtesy Rob Galbraith’s blog).

If you decide to price out a 40D for yourself I always recommend these two shops in NYC. Tell em Joe McNally sent you. (Can’t hurt)

adorama bandh

Happy Holidays!




L-Plates for your Canon 40D

Happy Thanksgiving! (for those of us in the US)

Once you’ve invested in a good set of tripod legs, a ball head and arca-swiss style clamp you need to look at an innovative little piece of technology that brings it all together, the “L-Plate”.  Really Right Stuff precision machines their L-Plates from a block of aluminum and each one is designed to fit a specific camera model like the Canon 40D.


The design and workmanship of this little device is nothing less than spectacular and as you can see in the image above, it fits my Canon 40D with battery grip like a glove. The unique design leaves nothing to chance as you can see in the image below. You can even use a cable release while the bracket is attached to the camera, making this a great landscape accessory.


The L-Plate securely attaches to the clamp in “landscape” mode as shown here. Both the clamp and L-Plate are marked to ensure that the camera and lens are perfectly centered over the tripod.


The real advantage of using an L-Plate over a regular plate is it’s ability to switch from “landscape” mode to “portrait” mode without having to recompose the image. All you need to do is make sure the centerline marks line up and you are ensured that the lens has not changed position.


Cleaning your Canon 40D Sensor

visible_dustIf you’re like most of us, sooner or later you’ll begin noticing little spots on your images caused by “dust” on the Canon 40D’s low-pass filter. It’s not actually dust as we think of it, but usually very tiny metal shavings which are caused by the shutter mechanism and by changing lenses.

Even with the “Dust Cleaning” features in the Canon 40D, some day you’ll find a particle or two that can’t be removed with an air blower. So you have two choices. Send your camera body off to Canon for a cleaning (which I usually do once a year or so) or remove the dust yourself using any number of methods. 

I’m not going to make any recommendations on this issue but if you do decide to handle the task yourself I recommend getting in touch with the folks at VisibleDust. They are extremely knowledgeable, helpful and downright friendly. If your spouse or significant other is looking for a great gift, look no further. Just be sure to tell them which size sensor needs cleaning!

Happy Holidays

The Right Ball Head for your Canon 40D

Capturing the multiple exposures used to create great HDR images requires careful planning and the right equipment. A good ball head sitting on quality tripod legs can make all the difference when the slightest camera shake can ruin a series of exposures. The folks at Really Right Stuff make the best ball heads and arca-swiss style clamps I’ve ever used and they’re real nice people as well.

The unit shown below is their BH-40 LR (BH-40 head with B2-40 LR clamp). It fits perfectly on my Gitzo Traveller tripod legs and keeps my Canon 40D perfectly still when taking multiple exposures. It’s also a great ball head for basic pano shots as well.


RRS BH-40 LR Ball Head & Clamp
Copyright © 2008 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon Powershot G9 hand-held at 25mm, f/4 for 1/160th of a second at ISO 200 on SanDisk digital film. All post capture processing was done in Lightroom 2 and Noise Ninja.

Canon EF Lens Work III

canon_logo_blogA few years back I saw a printed copy of Canon’s definitive lens guide called EF Lens Work II. It was a beautifully illustrated and photographed reference to Canon’s current selection of lenses, both consumer and professional grade.

I don’t believe Canon still prints this as a hard-bound book but I have found a Canon Europe web site where you can download each section (in PDF format) of the new Canon EF Lens Work III. If you’re a Canon shooter and are looking for detailed information on all the current lenses that Canon offers, then look no further!