|My 'new' 1D Mk.II N (taken with 7D & 40mm f2.8)|
|The rear view of the camera|
So with this in mind I began to browse the used camera market, with something like a good quality Canon 50D (the camera I nearly bought instead of the 7D) being the kind of camera I was initially after, but after asking around I was led in a completely different direction and began looking at some of the earlier 5D's and 1D's. If money had been no option I would have gone for a 5D Mk.II or a 1D Mk.III, both of which can be bought second-hand for around £1000 & £700 respectively, but since I didn't want to spend much more than £400 I was eventually led towards a Canon 1D Mk.II N, a camera which was top of the range back in 2005 but is now a poor relative to the current 1DX (which incidentally costs in excess of £4000 !).
|A morning walk on the Westwood (1D Mk.II N & 40mm f2.8, f5.6, ISO 100). This was a test for the cameras dynamic range and though highlights have been lost these could have been easily recovered by dialing in a bit of exposure compensation|
|Black Mill (1D Mk.II N & 40mm f2.8, f5.6, ISO 100). Converted to monochrome.|
|Butterfly in the garden (1D Mk.II N & 100mm f2.8, f2.8, ISO 400). This image was purposely under exposed to see how much detail I could recover and though the image is a little lacking it is still acceptable enough|
The 1D Mk.II N is a low resolution 8.2 mp APS-H camera (that is to say it has a crop factor of 1.3 rather than 1.6 as in APS-C's), has 45 focus points, and can fire away at a rapid 8.5 fps. It is also built like a tank and is fully weather sealed, something which is very important to me as I do like the ability to keep shooting in less than clement conditions, especially important up here in Yorkshire ! Though it has been in my possession for less than 24 hours I have already fallen in love with the camera, the body quality alone being worth the modest outlay, and indeed I prefer the images it produces compared to the 7D, something I wasn't expecting considering the considerable age of the camera. ISO performance is not stellar and is perhaps slightly worse than the 7D (though not by much) but images are still usable at ISO 1600 as long as you don't look too closely (I always switch off noise reduction anyway). The low resolution sensor and the resulting smaller file sizes also mean that this camera can take cheaper CF or SD cards with a 200x/ 30mb/s card being more than fast enough for this speed machine, whereas the 7D needs at least 600x CF cards to reach its potential 8 fps.
|My niece (1D Mk.II N & 100mm f2.8, f2.8, ISO 100). I love the smoothness of these two images and they are noticeably cleaner than anything I can get with the 7D even at ISO 100 (at least to my eyes).|
|ditto (1D Mk.II N & 100mm f2.8, f2.8, ISO 200)|
So after a couple of weeks of looking for a second-camera body I now find myself in possession of an absolute bargain of a DSLR and I'm looking forward to using it out in the field. However before I do this I have to have the sensor cleaned as the last owner left a lot of cleaning fluid residue behind and this does show up on images where smaller apertures are used, but this is a minor inconvenience and one which should be easily resolved :-)
* Apologies for all the boring and tedious camera stuff in this post, especially if you are not really that interested in photography, but someone out there might find it interesting..... maybe :-)
|The much photographed view of St. Mary's church in Beverley|
(1D Mk.II N & 40mm f2.8, f4.5, ISO 100)