Jeremiah Rogers

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Six Months with the Canon 6D

Child sleeping in Prey Veng Province, Cambodia while I interviewed his parents for an upcoming story. EF 40mm f2.8 at 2.8, ISO 400, 1/350sec.

I’ve been primarily shooting with a Canon 6D for the last four or five months and surprisingly found myself liking it more than my Leica.

The Leica is slightly lighter, better built, and more interesting to use. The Canon is cheaper, sounds quieter, and is more comfortable to hold. Durability between the two might be a tossup. To prepare for upcoming travel I’ve cut my possessions down again. The Leica is headed to eBay to be sold and the Canon is staying.

I still like small lenses and mentioned a while ago that I use a 28mm 1.8 and a 40mm f2.8. These days I use the 40mm lens more often. In Cambodia, and I feel almost only in Cambodia, people are comfortable with me getting about 1-1.5 meters away from them for a picture. In other places I’ve been lately 28mm is just way too wide — it requires getting uncomfortably close for a photo if I don’t know the person well.

Siem Reap, Cambodia at sunrise on the way back from Bangkok overland. ISO 1600, f/5.6, 1/1500sec.

Portrait of my friend Amy in Phnom Penh. ISO 800, f/3.5, 1125 sec.

Crowds dispersing after a fire on the riverside in Phnom Penh. ISO 400, f/22, 1180 sec.

My only complaint with the Canon system as described above is that the 40mm lens has no focus scale. I love lenses that I can quickly turn from 1 meter to infinity as I walk around, but the other tradeoffs make this system worth it.

Unless the light is tricky I’ve also found myself shooting with aperture priority mode again. I’ll set exposure compensation to -12 stop or -1 stop and put the aperture at f/5.6, which is regarded as sharpest point for the lens, and let the camera do the rest. Occasionally in a backlight situation the meter will get confused, but that’s easy to fix with a quick flip to manual mode or by changing the exposure compensation.

Minor complaints:

  • Canon’s product team decided not to include a mode in the camera to allow time lapse photography. For that you’ll need an intervalometer.
  • It’s one of the only cameras I’ve used in a while with an anti-aliasing filter on the lens.
  • Any lens other than the 40mm f2.8 is huge compared to the rangefinder equivalents. I’ll deal with that for now.

The only potential upgrade I see in sight for this is would be to buy a zoom lens, maybe a 24-70mm, for when I need to photograph events like speeches where it’s otherwise hard to walk around.