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In Memoriam – 5D Mark II

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I knew this day was coming, so it comes as no surprise…and even though it might not be the end, I’ve already resigned myself to it being so.

 

My 5D Mark II has finally kicked the bucket.

 

AKA had an ‘Error 30’, which a brief Google Search told me meant I’d have to send it in for repair, as it’s a shutter mechanism issue.

 

I’m okay with it, as it has had a long, hard life over the last three and a half years or so, and it has been in decline ever since I was caught in a rainstorm without protection in May.  Since getting drenched, the on/off/aperture lock switch has taken a lot of effort to get the aperture unlocked, so I’ve basically left it in the “on” position since then. There’s also its infamous hot pixel issue with the sensor that even a trip to Canon couldn’t resolve, so it’s probably time for it to be replaced.

 

However, even though it’s just a piece of (thankfully insured) equipment, my 5D Mark II, has been on some great adventures with me throughout some significant times in my life.  In honor of its passing (and I may be speaking too soon as we still need to call the insurance agent tomorrow), I’d like to offer a retrospective of its life with me.

The first photo, testing for the black dot glitch.

My 5D Mark II kit shipped to me on December 26th, 2008, and arrived around December 30th. However, the first photo was not taken until around January 11th, 2009, after I returned from spending a couple weeks in Canada for New Years. This lackluster photo was  taken at my parents house on Maui, where I’d had it shipped, and its purpose was to test if it was suffering from the “black dot glitch” that had occurred in some of the early 5D Mark II bodies.

 

Here’s two more early photos taken later that day of two of my best friends, Kaeo and Gabriel:

This was also testing the 24-105 F4L lens that came with the kit.

Apparently I was having a loco moco that day!

Fun fact: My 5D Mark II survived the Awful Birthday Robbery Of 2009. On January 15th, 2009, on my 22nd birthday, we all went out to have dinner at the Yardhouse in Waikiki, and I brought the 5D Mark II with me. Afterward, we stopped at the Kapahulu Safeway to grab some cake, then returned to my house in Kaimuki, only to find that we’d been robbed, despite the people upstairs being home at the time. That night, I lost my original Digital Rebel, a cheap 75-300 lens, my 17-40 f4L lens, my Xbox with GTA4 amusingly inside the drive, and my laptop with 6 months of un-backed-up photos on it, as my backup hard drive had recently died.  I’ve never quite recovered from the loss of those photos, as they included both my college graduation photos and the last photos of my grandmother before she passed away.

 

My first great adventure with the 5D Mark II was my post-college-graduation vacation to Australia and New Zealand in February-March 2009 with my best friend Cameron.  Fun memories with the camera included nearly dying to rescue my $270 B+W polarizer after it’d fallen off my lens while asleep in a tour group van by accidentally driving our car on the wrong side of the road in the wrong direction through a roundabout, and riding horses through glacial rivers with my camera around my neck, which bounced so hard it smashed and bruised my fingers once we were galloping.  Still, totally worth it.

In the Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney.

Making friends with wallabies in Sydney’s Featherdale Wildlife Park.

Deer Park Heights, Queenstown, New Zealand, where they filmed the refugees from Rohan walking in Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Having no antler-fear in Deer Park Heights.

Riding through Middle Earth with the 5D Mark II at my side…wrapped up in protective rain gear, like it should have been last May!

After that trip, I spent the rest of 2009 working as a photo assistant to photographer Daeja Fallas, so I spent more time holding reflectors and lights than my camera.  Halfway through the year, we started shooting some weddings too, so here is a classic photo of me with my cameras:

5D original and 5D Mark II dual-wielding!

Though I don’t have a good photo of myself with it that night, my camera was with me the night I met my husband – December 13th, 2009. In fact, the reason he came up to me and talked to me was because I had my camera, so in a way, it brought us together.

Kaeo and I the night I met Ed for the first time – SmugMug strap is visible even though the camera isn’t!

2010 is the year my adventuring really picked up. While my boyfriend-and-eventual-husband was deployed to Afghanistan, I found myself being invited to many amazing military events over the year through my social media connections, including RIMPAC 2010 and the media day at the Blue Angels. I also left went on two trips to the US mainland for the first time since 2006!

Shooting sunrise on Haleakala, Maui.

That time people handed me a shotgun on the USS Chung-Hoon. Again, SmugMug strap is visible!

Hanging out with a polar bear at the San Diego Zoo…with what was unfortunately the wrong lens for the shot.

In beautiful La Jolla, San Diego.

Post-wedding C-17 adventure during RIMPAC 2010.

Live-fire exercise between the U.S. Marines and the Australian Army during RIMPAC 2010.

The last F-15 sortie for the Hawaii Air National Guard before they switched to F-22s.

Wounded Warriors tribute night during a UH football game.

Spending a day with the Blue Angels!

Christmas-themed Disneyland with my parents.

Looking out over Palm Springs from Mount San Jacinto State Park

Photographing U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton during her press conference with Japan’s Foreign Minister.

Photographing President Obama arriving and departing on Air Force One was one of the highlights of my year!

Once Ed came home on Valentine’s Day 2011, my adventuring did not stop.  Highlights of 2011 included my first trip to Japan and shooting on the red carpet for the Hawaii 5-0 season premier!

Looking for whales together off the coast of Waikiki.

Chatting up Ezio from Assassin’s Creed II (cosplayed by my friend Kim!) at Kawaii Kon 2011.

My first time in the Fatherland! Here I am in front of the famous Kinkaku-ji temple of Kyoto, Japan.

Walking down the red carpet before the official event started at the Waikiki premier of Hawaii 5-0’s second season.

In 2012, the 5D Mark II and I continued our adventuring, though I could tell it was getting a little worn out. With rumours of the 5D Mark III in the winds, and then its eventual release, I knew it was only a matter of time until I would have a new camera in my life – though I honestly had been planning on sending in the 5D Mark II for some much-needed maintenance once I had a 5D Mark III to work with.

Photowalking with Trey Ratcliff of StuckInCustoms.Com, the go-to HDR photography website, and Tom Anderson of MySpace fame!

Taking night shots of the active lava flow above Kalapana on the island of Hawaii.

Crouching amongst the albatross chicks of Midway Atoll during the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.

By July 7th, 2012 – our 2nd wedding anniversary – my camera was already on its way out. As mentioned before, I hadn’t been able to turn it off since late May without fear of losing my ability to control aperture, but because I’d had constant work (and 7Ds as backup), I hadn’t bothered trying to send it in to get fixed yet. With this blog newly launched, I brought the 5D Mark II along for our anniversary date day, which started with breakfast at Kailua’s Morning Brew.

The $6 breakfast that is happy to see you!

The last photo I took with my 5D Mark II.

After breakfast, Ed and I headed out to Kualoa Ranch for the Hawaii Farm Fair, hoping to spend a couple hours photographing the scenes of people enjoying the plants, livestock, and foods found there. Much to our chagrin, traffic was already backed up a few miles away from the ranch, so we ended up slowly rolling along at 5mph for a while. I’ve been fighting off a cold and wasn’t feeling well, so I was leaning out the window when Ed grabbed my camera during a lull in the movement of the traffic and snapped the last photo my 5D Mark II has taken thus far.

Goodbye, camera.

I heard him grumble because he hadn’t quite gotten the photo he wanted, so he fiddled with the settings and tried again. This time, the camera made a weird “ker-klunk” noise. Error 30 had made its debut. As we continued to move toward Kualoa, we tried the recommended battery-pull, and even forcing the camera to switch on and off a few times, but all to no avail. I looked up the error and learned that this error pretty much always required Canon to replace the shutter, but considering the other issues it was currently having, we are hoping that our insurance will agree that it is a lost cause at this point. It had a good life, and has served me well.

My dead 5D Mark II (top) with my friend Jonas Maon’s 5D Mark II (bottom), looking fresh compared to my battle-scarred camera.

So, until insurance says otherwise – Goodbye, old friend. You were a good camera, despite your quirks. You were there with me through a lot, and I’ll always appreciate it. I will save you, and maybe when I am rich, I will get you bronzed.

A last portrait of my 5D Mark II, taken with my 35mm Rebel Ti on Kodak Portra 160. Just because.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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