5D Lust & Working Nights

The 30th November launch date for the Canon EOS 5D Mark ii is creeping closer, and my lust for it is growing. I’ve seen many, many posters commenting that Canon have “lost touch with what photographers want” with this new release – well, not what this photographer wants. It seems their main push has been to improve low light performance, and that’s exactly what I’ve been longing for. 25,600ISO doesn’t exactly look usable (though I’m sure I could coax something from it) but there are some amazing results at 3200ISO. Equally important for me, it’s full-frame, which means my 24mm f/1.4L comes into its own and I can finally produce some decent ultra-wide shots in next-to-zero light.

This is all academic at the moment. Although the lowest UK price has dropped some £500 over the last month I’m still not going to have the money for one of these for a while yet. But I will get one, I’m determined to.

However, just thinking about the camera has got me excited. After reading a John Berger essay on Paul Strand in Berger’s About Looking, I’m tempted to try some straight documentary portraiture. And what better than to combine the 5Dii’s low light performance, my own preferred working methods, and a straight reading of the title of my recent photo-book Working Nights (which I don’t think I’ve blogged about yet… life’s been getting ahead of me these past 6 months). So I think I will do some portraiture of people who work 9-5 – that is, 9pm to 5am, or at some time during those hours. Minicab drivers, security guards, cleaners, fluffers (the London Underground type, although I suppose possibly also the other type), 24-hour shop workers, kebab-house owners…

I like this idea.