October 01, 2014, 12:17:38 AM

Author Topic: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body  (Read 2253 times)

sagittariansrock

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Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:55:49 PM »
I am considering the pros and cons of getting a 5DI as a second body.
It might come handy as an inexpensive camera for street photography, or in suboptimal conditions (like for my Niagara trip) where I don't want to take my $ 3K camera. It will be a good second camera where I don't want to or cannot change lenses.
However, I have never actually held a 5D and since I might buy online, I was trying to get an idea of what to expect in terms of features (or lack thereof), ergonomics, usage guidelines, etc. I have used a 50D and 7D before getting my 5DIII and I am quite familiar with the 5DII.
Also, what should I expect to pay for a reasonably good condition 5D? The prices are widely variable and quite confusing. I see people selling 8+ ones of FM for $ 380 and 7+ ones for $ 600 on CR.
Are there things to specifically look for in a used 5D (I know the mirror fix is one)? Is it better to buy from FredMiranda or Craigslist? I have never bought a camera on CR, although I've bought lenses. Or should I play it safe and get it from Adorama or KEH?
Sorry for the many questions. As always your time is most appreciated.
Thanks, Deep
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Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« on: April 17, 2014, 01:55:49 PM »

Sporgon

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2014, 02:52:45 PM »
I used a 5D for years - from 2005 in fact. You'll find the LCD, menus and transfer rates inferior to later cameras. Also it doesn't have AFMA so it's important to check a new purchase is accurate with your lenses. Ones that have a serial number beginning with '2' or '3' have both the mirror modification and a better LCD screen, so avoid ones beginning with '0' or '1'.

Ooc joeys are also much better from later cameras, but you're probably using predominantly RAW anyway so it's of no consequence. Obviously there is no live view or video.

Other than the factors I'm mentioned I think it's pretty close to the latest kit at 100 to 400 ISO. Perhaps a little harsher in tonal quality. It also responds really well to ISO 50 - or overexposing 100 by one full stop in Raw on reducing in post. ( highlights allowing).

In the UK a good one sells for £450. As a comparison a good mark II goes for about £950.

sagittariansrock

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2014, 03:19:47 PM »
I used a 5D for years - from 2005 in fact. You'll find the LCD, menus and transfer rates inferior to later cameras. Also it doesn't have AFMA so it's important to check a new purchase is accurate with your lenses. Ones that have a serial number beginning with '2' or '3' have both the mirror modification and a better LCD screen, so avoid ones beginning with '0' or '1'.

Ooc joeys are also much better from later cameras, but you're probably using predominantly RAW anyway so it's of no consequence. Obviously there is no live view or video.

Other than the factors I'm mentioned I think it's pretty close to the latest kit at 100 to 400 ISO. Perhaps a little harsher in tonal quality. It also responds really well to ISO 50 - or overexposing 100 by one full stop in Raw on reducing in post. ( highlights allowing).

In the UK a good one sells for £450. As a comparison a good mark II goes for about £950.

Thanks Sporgon, that was really informative.
EOS 5DIII, EOS 5D | Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, TS-E 17mm f/4L, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, EF 135mm f/2L USM, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, 1.4x III, 2x III | 600-EX-RT x3 | EOS M + EF-M 22mm f/2

BL

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2014, 04:37:12 PM »
I too have been shooting the 5D since 2005 and I still enjoy using it.  It was the camera that convinced me to ditch wet processing for dry! 

That said, you have to understand its limitations given what's available to us today - dated LCD (just use it for histograms), AWB can be fiddly at times, forget AI servo, not a lot of headroom for cropping, and I generally won't push the ISO beyond 1250.

But I still enjoy using it because it produces lovely files and really like how simple a tool it is.  If the mirror work hasn't been done, don't worry about it.  Contact Canon and they will still honor that recall and fix it at no cost to you, even though it's been 5 years since they announced it.

Look out for dirty viewfinders.  My 5Ds viewfinder looked like a litter box after 7 years, but Canon was kind enough to clean it out along with the sensor when they performed my mirror reinforcement fix a year or so ago.

Should be able to find a clean one for around $500USD.  I would suggest craiglist or a way to buy in person so you can check it out, unless the online seller has posted more than enough pictures to leave little to the imagination. 
M, 5Dc, 1Dx, some lenses, a few lights

ajfotofilmagem

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2014, 09:48:55 PM »
There are hardcore supporters of the idea that "full frame is always better. :-X" I do not think so, and choose 70D without hesitation. ??? Weather sealed, AFMA, AF far superior, more images per second, higher resolution, LCD infinitely better, etc... ::) I have not used original 5D, but some friends use and the noise in the shadows is very ugly. :-[ Any Rebel model currently has more like colored noise film, while the original 5D has horrible colored spots. 8)
« Last Edit: April 18, 2014, 05:21:25 AM by ajfotofilmagem »

sagittariansrock

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2014, 09:58:25 PM »
Thanks, BL. Very useful tips.

aj, to each his own. For my specific purpose, I need a cheaper full frame body to complement my 5DIII where I cannot take the latter, and where I cannot change lenses.
Also, thanks for sharing the information about shadow noise in the 5D.

I do understand one cannot get everything at once. I have to expect some trade-off for getting a FF camera for so cheap. I just need to make sure the trade-off is in the right areas. The AFMA is a bit of a worry though.
EOS 5DIII, EOS 5D | Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, TS-E 17mm f/4L, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, EF 135mm f/2L USM, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, 1.4x III, 2x III | 600-EX-RT x3 | EOS M + EF-M 22mm f/2

BL

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2014, 11:09:36 PM »
Thanks, BL. Very useful tips.

aj, to each his own. For my specific purpose, I need a cheaper full frame body to complement my 5DIII where I cannot take the latter, and where I cannot change lenses.
Also, thanks for sharing the information about shadow noise in the 5D.

I do understand one cannot get everything at once. I have to expect some trade-off for getting a FF camera for so cheap. I just need to make sure the trade-off is in the right areas. The AFMA is a bit of a worry though.

I did not notice a problem with my 2.8 lenses in regards to AFMA.  Anything faster than that, prepare to use your eyeballs and a high precision Ec-S screen :(


There are hardcore supporters of the idea that "full frame is always better. :-X" I do not think so, and choose 70D without hesitation. ??? Weather sealed, AFMA, AF far superior, more images per second, higher resolution, etc... ::) I have not used original 5D, but some friends use and the noise in the shadows is very ugly. :-[ Any Rebel model currently has more like colored noise film, while the original 5D has horrible colored spots. 8)

I have not used any rebels, but I don't think i experienced what I would call horrible colored spots in the shadows.  I expose everything to the right with the 5D (as with all my canons), so perhaps that is a partial offset?

I do however use the M frequently and its performance does not leave me thinking twice to reach for the 5D, despite the technology gap.  Although I will say I prefer the noise pattern of my 5D over the M when ISOs go north of 400.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 11:18:41 PM by BL »
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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2014, 11:09:36 PM »

sagittariansrock

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 11:17:20 PM »
Thanks, BL. Very useful tips.

aj, to each his own. For my specific purpose, I need a cheaper full frame body to complement my 5DIII where I cannot take the latter, and where I cannot change lenses.
Also, thanks for sharing the information about shadow noise in the 5D.

I do understand one cannot get everything at once. I have to expect some trade-off for getting a FF camera for so cheap. I just need to make sure the trade-off is in the right areas. The AFMA is a bit of a worry though.

I did not notice a problem with my 2.8 lenses in regards to AFMA.  Anything faster than that, prepare to use your eyeballs and a high precision Ec-S screen :(

Oh, that's true. I can use the Ec-S with the 5d!
EOS 5DIII, EOS 5D | Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, TS-E 17mm f/4L, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM, EF 35mm f/1.4L USM, EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM, EF 135mm f/2L USM, EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM, 1.4x III, 2x III | 600-EX-RT x3 | EOS M + EF-M 22mm f/2

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2014, 11:26:20 PM »
Oh, that's true. I can use the Ec-S with the 5d!

Oops!  I think the Ec-S is for the mkII.  I believe the Ee-S is for the 5Dc.  Sorry about that.

The Ee-S works well on 2.8 aperture lenses and confirming your AF is on track.  Let me temper your expectations on anything faster than 2.8.  While the center AF point is golden for most all my lenses, it was not up to the challenge with my 85II.  I had a *passable* hit rate using the Ee-S leveraging skills carried over from the old FD system, but that lens is really singing now paired with modern AF.
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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2014, 12:48:50 AM »
I bought a 5D1 in 2007, and moved my 20D to back-up body status. Then I bought a 5D3 in 12/2012, moved my 5D1 to back-up, and the 20D collects dust.

Using the 5D1/20D combo was easy, because their controls and menu systems are virtually identical, and they use the same batteries. Also, the 20D's sensor is higher resolution and an APS-C crop of the 5D1, so when I used both bodies together (to avoid lens changes), I would mount a wide-angle or standard lens on the 5D1, and a telephoto on the 20D.

The 5D3 is a different beast, entirely. When switching between the two 5D generations, I'm constantly having to remind myself which one I'm using, and adjust my interaction with it accordingly.

There isn't anything wrong with your plan to buy a 5D for use as a 2nd body, but I wouldn't do it. For the money, I'd rather buy a more modern crop body with controls and interface more similar to the 5D3.

Personally, I'm (patiently) waiting for the price of the 5D3 to drop to about $2,500, and then I'll buy a second one. Sadly, it seems like the price has gone UP lately, what with Canon's recent MAP policy enforcement and all.
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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2014, 01:10:14 AM »
You bring up some good points, but it sounds like the OP needs/wants his backup to be a FF body, despite the advances and benefits to be had with a more modern crop sensor.

For the pricepoint (~$500), there really aren't other options to be had.
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sagittariansrock

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2014, 01:29:33 AM »
There isn't anything wrong with your plan to buy a 5D for use as a 2nd body, but I wouldn't do it. For the money, I'd rather buy a more modern crop body with controls and interface more similar to the 5D3.

Jon, I see your point. However, purchasing a more advanced camera will defeat the point of having a cheap second fiddle for me. Even the 5DII doesn't go for lower than 1K, and for that money I'd rather pay extra and get the 6D. Maybe if I shoot 20K pictures in 2014 I will reward myself with a second 5DIII (not a question of quantity really, just challenging myself to go out and shoot more).

The Ee-S works well on 2.8 aperture lenses and confirming your AF is on track.  Let me temper your expectations on anything faster than 2.8.  While the center AF point is golden for most all my lenses, it was not up to the challenge with my 85II.  I had a *passable* hit rate using the Ee-S leveraging skills carried over from the old FD system, but that lens is really singing now paired with modern AF.

Well, that's a bummer! I learnt dSLR photography on an FM-10 (shhh!) and the split image focusing was good enough even for the 1.4 primes. I really miss that... (WISTFUL SMILEY)
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Sporgon

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2014, 02:20:04 AM »
I have not used original 5D, but some friends use and the noise in the shadows is very ugly. :-[ Any Rebel model currently has more like colored noise film, while the original 5D has horrible colored spots. 8)

As a long time user of the 5D, often in very 'difficult' lighting conditions, I strongly disagree. If you really foul up the exposure of a 5D II the 'noise in the shadows' is actually worse than the 5D.

Regarding buying a more modern crop camera for the same money; I can't disagree on that. It just depends upon have valid your reasons are for wanting the larger sensor.

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2014, 02:20:04 AM »

JonAustin

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2014, 10:07:30 AM »
There isn't anything wrong with your plan to buy a 5D for use as a 2nd body, but I wouldn't do it. For the money, I'd rather buy a more modern crop body with controls and interface more similar to the 5D3.

Jon, I see your point. However, purchasing a more advanced camera will defeat the point of having a cheap second fiddle for me. Even the 5DII doesn't go for lower than 1K, and for that money I'd rather pay extra and get the 6D. Maybe if I shoot 20K pictures in 2014 I will reward myself with a second 5DIII (not a question of quantity really, just challenging myself to go out and shoot more).

It's all good, and I certainly understand your objective of not wanting to risk damage to -- or loss of -- an expensive body in hazardous environments.

I also agree that you could get a good-quality 5D for well under $1K, but it wasn't clear to me that that was your price ceiling.

Given the low prices for 5D bodies, my concern would then shift to how expensive a lens you plan to mount on it when you're roaming about risky terrain. After all, the body is only half of the (camera / investment) equation.
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sagittariansrock

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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2014, 11:56:53 AM »
There isn't anything wrong with your plan to buy a 5D for use as a 2nd body, but I wouldn't do it. For the money, I'd rather buy a more modern crop body with controls and interface more similar to the 5D3.

Jon, I see your point. However, purchasing a more advanced camera will defeat the point of having a cheap second fiddle for me. Even the 5DII doesn't go for lower than 1K, and for that money I'd rather pay extra and get the 6D. Maybe if I shoot 20K pictures in 2014 I will reward myself with a second 5DIII (not a question of quantity really, just challenging myself to go out and shoot more).

It's all good, and I certainly understand your objective of not wanting to risk damage to -- or loss of -- an expensive body in hazardous environments.

I also agree that you could get a good-quality 5D for well under $1K, but it wasn't clear to me that that was your price ceiling.

Given the low prices for 5D bodies, my concern would then shift to how expensive a lens you plan to mount on it when you're roaming about risky terrain. After all, the body is only half of the (camera / investment) equation.

That's easy, it would be either my 50 1.8 or my 35A.
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Re: Advice needed: thinking of a 5D as a second body
« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2014, 11:56:53 AM »