Well, our recent spring trip to Cornwall achieved several aims, one of which was to use up my remaining stock of Fuji Velvia film. I have loved the film dearly over the past several years of snapping but more recent events seem to have been pushing me towards the digital format.
- Seeing digital photographer’s pictures “instantly” has managed to lessen my normal eager anticipation waiting for the postman to deliver my processed films a week more later.
- Fuji Laboratory, with which I had always been very impressed, appears to have allowed its processing standards to drop, Carol having received two sets of slides returned poorly processed (blemishes on the slides). These, of course, are unrecoverable.
- Since Fuji introduced three different types of Velvia film, two of which are rated at 100 ASA, Fuji Laboratory also seems to have let its standards plummet fulfilling film orders, shipping me the incorrect films three times, the third of which was an attempt to correct an already screwed-up order.
- Since very few people now have any interest in film, it is becoming increasing hard to find the correct supplies. The final straw came when I discovered that the increasingly irritating Fuji Laboratory currently has its web site offline pending a redesign lasting several weeks thus making any replacement film orders for France even more difficult.
Time for a change. Spurred on mainly by Fuji Lab’s recent incompetence and encouraged by the fact that Canon is once again running its “cash back” promotions, I spoke to the very helpful people at my favourite photographic supplier, Warehouse Express, and ordered a Canon EOS 40D to replace my beloved five year old Canon EOS 3.
Though my current lenses are Canon and compatible, the 1.6 factor increase in focal length caused by the digital CMOS format meant that I also needed a wider angle lens and chose the 17-85mm IS lens, thus making redundant two of my existing lenses (20-35mm and 28-135mm). Naturally, the new lens has a different thread size so two new filters were also required (UV and circular polarizer). Somewhat surprisingly, the cable release (remote control, as Canon calls it) for my old EOS 3 actually fits the new EOS 40D. Maybe I have chosen the camera that Canon considers to be equivalent.
For the cost of three rolls of Fuji Velvia, I’ve got my 2Gb compact flash card (enough for 140 shots even at maximum resolution) so I guess I’ll now be saving about £10 a roll. I won’t be wasting money when I mess up, either, as I frequently do.
I’ll need an even wider angle lens eventually since 17mm is really only 28mm in old money, but that’s after getting over this financial shock. Besides, my camera rucksack looks a little empty with only two lenses. Room for my flash gun at last, perhaps?
City Link delivered the Warehouse Express shipment this morning. I’m going to miss the absolutely wonderful eye-controlled focussing of the EOS 3, a facility which still doesn’t exist on any Canon digital camera body, even the top of the range pro body at £4800. I will not, however, particularly miss the hours spent baby-sitting my Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 slide scanner digitizing five or six sets of slides before being able to build a web album. (Incidentally, about 18 months after I bought the scanner, Minolta “pulled out” of the digital imaging market quickly making that piece of kit obsolete.)
Oh, and we’ve also managed to reclaim the space in our refrigerator that was given over to storing film stock. 🙂