Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 13/04/2012

All This Scratching Is Making Me Itch*

Red Panda, originally uploaded by

Just when you’ve convinced yourself that you don’t need that new flagship camera to progress your photography, then another one comes along to reignite any such deliberations. Actually, whilst Canon have just announced the EOS-1D C, in addition to the 1D X I’ve spent only a nanosecond on such considerations. The new camera is packed full of new and exciting technology, but none of it is aimed at me – and neither is the price. Whilst the RRP of the new camera has not yet been properly announced, the word on the street (well, on various websites) is that it will cost an eye watering £9,000. Such camera’s are not for mere mortals, or mere photographers either as this is the first dSLR capable of recording 4K video at a full 24 frames per second. For those who haven’t yet heard of 4K video, it’s the next big thing in TV/Movie quality – high quality HD TV displays at 1920 x 1080p (or 2,073,600 pixels per frame) whereas 4K displays at 4096 x 2160 pixel (or 8,847,360 pixels). As you can see there’s a four times increase in image quality between HD and 4K – a similar jump from standard TV to HD. I can see that look of realisation on your face, Dear Reader, yes.. that new and rather expensive home cinema system with blu-ray player and 55 inch HDTV is not as cutting edge as it was yesterday… before this damned camera was announced. I know.. let’s pretend I didn’t mention the camera, I’ll bring some beer round and we can watch a fantastic blu-ray movie on your huge TV and marvel at the fantastic picture – I can also pretend that my 1D 4 is one of Canon’s flagship models (well, it is!). There, that’s better isn’t it.

On a more pleasant note, well for me anyway, I received an email yesterday from Canon’s Service Centre which included an estimate for the repair of my 600mm lens. I was fearing the worst, as I’ve mentioned, the lens is expensive so I had expected the repair costs to be comparable but I was pleasantly surprised. Bearing in mind that a replacement lens hood for this lens would set you back nearly £600 ($1000) you can understand my reservation at opening the document attached to their email. Hunting around the form they had sent containing figures galore, I was rather taken aback when the price was less than I had been hoping for. As well as fixing the lens, it’s having a service for the same price – something I’ve neglected to do in the 2 years I’ve owned the lens… well, you don’t do you – it’s a lens, why would it need servicing!

Actually that reminds me of a shock i got last week whilst at Bristol Zoo; as well as a bag full of lenses, I had Dad’s 500mm prime with me as a substitute for my 600mm. There isn’t a mark on Dad’s lens, which is more than can be said for my 600mm (and the rest of my gear – it does seem to get a battering for some reason), but whilst removing my camera from the lens allowing me to fit an extender to the setup I happened to look through the back of the lens and was horrified to see scratches and gouges one what looked like the front element (piece of glass). All of my “standard lenses” (the ones that can be fitted into the one camera bag ie 17-40mm, 50mm, 150mm etc) have UV filters fitted to the front of each lens more to protect the front element from wear and tear (scratches in other words) than its UV filtering capabilities. Unfortunately the front of the lens is over 150mm in the case of the 500mm and larger for the 600mm and whilst this is itself a protective lens rather it is still capable of being damaged. It was one of those “chill down the spine” moments where rational takes second space (don’t be alarmed Dad, you know this is just build up for the “punchline”) – when my brain had overridden the adrenaline inspired feelings I looked closer at the scratches and then at the plate sheet glass that was part of the Asiatic Lion’s enclosure – yep, you’ve got there before me (as usual) haven’t you, Dear Reader. The scratch marks were those made by the lions on the inside of their glass fascia and not the lens itself at which point I started breathing again (the lions (and vultures) had taken an interest in a blue faced photographer within their reach).

*Malcolm McLaren – “Buffalo Girls”.



  1. Too funny. Dastardly lions (and vultures).

  2. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as clean as when I arrived.

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