Shooting Allegra with my new 7D

Last week saw me bouncing round like a small child as I awaited delivery of my new camera ~ the Canon 7D. I'll do a full review at a later date once I've had chance to use it for a while, but the headlines are, this is one awesome camera! So many brilliant features.

I bought the camera from Flash camera which is a fantastic, yet little known online store. They offer Excellent prices, very pleasant and efficient customer service and super fast delivery. If you're buying Canon gear its well worth checking them out.

I was shooting in London with Allegra on the weekend, so a perfect opportunity to test out the 7D. Here's some shots from one of the shoots that we did. One of the brilliant features of the 7D is its ability to control off camera flash which I made full use of here.

The headshots where taken with my newly fixed 50mm 1.4 lens and I used some white curtains with sunlight blazing through as the backdrop. I then popped my 320ex flash gun through a shoot through umbrella quite high on a stand - camera right. I set the flash compensation in-camera to +1.5 to get that really bleached out look.

The long shots where taken with a large white curtained window extreme camera right. I then used the same flash set up slightly off axis camera right to just fill in some of the shadows and soften the look. For lenses for these shots I used my Lensbaby and the 24-105 f4.

All these shots are pretty much as taken, with only a small amount of colour tweeking done in lightroom.

Fixing a stuck focus ring on a Canon 50mm f1.4 lens

So a few months back disaster struck, I managed to break my 50mm 1.4 lens! Focus completely jammed - couldn't even manually focus. gutted. I took the lens to my local camera shop and they said they would have to send it off to Canon and it could cost up to £180! Ouch.

Having just forked out for xmas, car insurance and about a gazillion other things that wasn't a particularly inviting proposition. So in some what of a bold move I decided to take matters into my own hands.

After a quick web search it became clear that this fault is actually quite a common problem with this particular lens and is caused by an arguably dubious design choice on Canons part.

What follows is a guide to what I did to fix the problem, I am not a professional repairs person and I am not for one minute saying this is the best way to fix your lens, but it worked for me. This is a delicate procedure that could easily go wrong and if you try this yourself you do it entirely at your own risk. If you are in any doubt, send it to a professional.

To dismantle the lens you'll need PH0 & PH00 precision screw drivers, also useful will be a scalpel, fine tipped tweezers, lens cloth, some sort of tray to put bits in & a pen and paper. 

In order to fix the actual problem you want a good quality digital calliper and a hammer. Yes that's right you'll be hitting you beloved lens with a hammer. There are other ways to do this and I'm sure there are much more professional, efficient and expensive tools for the job. This is simply how I chose to attack the problem (literally!)