Canon 5D Shim

Shim Removal

I started my DSLR adventure back in 2007 with a Nikon D40, and shortly after I found myself drawn to the old manual focus, non-cpu lenses, because they were relatively cheap. On the Nikon D40, this meant no metering, either. I developed a great sense for what the light value would be in a given situation, and perfected the art of manual focus on a tiny dim viewfinder (I had nothing to compare it to, though). I even shot sports with it, although not necessarily on assignment. Because of this, I’m not the type of person that desires or even needs a top of the line AF system. I’m fine with basic metering systems, too, they’re better than what I had, which was nothing. In fact, I’d love to have a Leica M8. The price eludes me from the Leica cameras, but there is something similar, especially given the lenses I intend on using.

Enter the Canon EOS 5D. The “Classic,” a nickname given to it from the community to differentiate between it and the Mark II and Mark III. Its AF system is known to be pretty bad. The screen is a relatively low quality one by today’s standards at 2.5 inches and 230k dots. The viewfinder only shows 96% of the actual frame. It doesn’t have weather sealing, either. Despite these setbacks, it has almost everything I want in a camera: 1/8000 max shutter speed, metering with non-CPU lenses, magnesium alloy construction, top LCD, dedicated buttons that allow fast access to camera settings, and most importantly, the 36 x 24mm full frame sensor. And it doesn’t look that bad either. In fact, I think it has aged a lot better than the Nikon D70s that was released around the same time.

The awful AF system doesn’t matter, as I’ll be using manual focus lenses on it. The screen matters little, it will actually help me get out of the habit of looking at every photograph after I click the shutter button. I can also swap out the focusing screen for a more precise one to help me manually focus.

So that’s why I bought the Canon 5D. It’s a relatively simple camera by today’s standards, and it’s only 20% of its original cost now. For those that don’t need video or live view or a start of the art AF system, I think the Classic is a fantastic choice. If I need fast AF and faster continuous shooting, or video, I have my Nikon D7000.

As for the photos featured in this post, I got my 5D finally, but it was front focusing. I was dealing with it for the day by just focusing slightly past what was sharp in the viewfinder. When I got home, I decided to see what I could do to fix it. All I had to do was take out one of the two shims, and now it’s more or less spot on.


Commander Gary Rogers at Lafayette Square

There were shots fired at an apartment building, Lafayette Square, in downtown Portland around 2pm. It happened on the sixth floor. No one was injured, although the two gunmen fled. Police searched the 100-unit building before allowing tenants to come back in, and several people were not allowed to drive their cars off the parking lot until the search was over.

Lafayette Square



oh and here’s a lady riding past the scene on a scooter.

Scootering Past

4000 Miles


Good Theater

I went to see “4000 Miles” here earlier today. It was a requirement of the English class I am taking, but it was right up my alley.

It’s about a bicyclist, Leo, who shows up at his grandmother’s home and stays with her for a while. He was on a cycling trip with his friend, who died when a truck crushed him to death while they were photographing their shadows on the road.

Cameras and bikes, perfect.

Locked Red Allez

USPS Truck



Passing by the Pay Phones

Today was a beautiful, warm day, the first in quite a while. It wasn’t windy, either. I’m on my week-long break from school, and I seem to be getting over my sickness just in time. I ordered a 5D but it still hasn’t come yet, I had to exchange the first one that I did get. I prepared a blog post about that weeks ago, I’ll post it when the 5D gets here. Here are a few photographs from today and since the last post. I haven’t been updating this often but there are new photographs everyday at

Partially Overshadowed



Training, Monument Sq

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Classes at SMCC were cancelled shortly after the day began when a bomb threat was called in. Everyone was evacuated from the buildings causing heavy traffic at the four-way intersection at Fort Rd and Benjamin W. Pickett St. Security directed traffic in order to move the lines faster.

Police searched the campuses with bomb-sniffing dogs, and expect the college to reopen at 4pm for evening classes.

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Today, I published the video that has been in the making for the past two-ish months. It’s one second per day of my life. I decided to publish it now because I want to start something more like one moment per day, because I felt like one second wasn’t really enough sometimes. Each day won’t really have a set time limit in the next compilation.

It’s been an amazing past three months, really. It started three months ago when I left my job, but for the past two months I’ve basically carried my camera with me everywhere the entire time, something that I hadn’t really done since mid-2010. Photography has yet again become an important part of my life. I see little details in my everyday life again, something that I stopped doing when I became busy with school and work.

In October 2010, I started working at my first job. It pretty much sucked the life out of me. In 2011, during my senior year of high school, I often had no weekend to myself, no days off. I worked from 11am to 9:30pm during the weekends, some more hours during the week, and, of course, had school Monday through Friday.

When my finals were coming up during my first semester of college, I decided to leave that job. I instantly became so much happier. I didn’t have to worry about not having time to go to work and do my homework. I could hang out with friends pretty much whenever. I had all the time in the world to process my photos at the end of the day. I also didn’t have to ask for time off when I went to Boston during my winter break, which was great. The only thing that I really miss is the weekly paycheck. I honestly don’t know how I’ve been able to go from $200+ a week to $0 a week.

I really love that taking pictures and processing my pictures every night has become a daily routine. It’s hard to remember the little things that happened between mid 2010 and the end of 2012, because I have no photographs to remind me. I love that I can look back through my photographs now and remind myself what happened that day.

I’m happy again.

EOS 5D Badge
In the last week, I ordered a Canon 5D, but it failed to turn on even with a fully charged battery, so I sent it back and they’re sending me a replacement. The delivery estimate said it was supposed to come yesterday, but it never got here, and the status is still “In Transit,” so hopefully it comes on Monday.

Cycling in Rainy Portland
A cyclist travels through rainy Congress St in Portland

Victor and I took the bus to the mall

Frozen Seating

Split Prism


Split Prism

I was messing around with my iPhone’s LED light and the Nikon EM. I pointed it through the viewfinder and it cast the focusing screen onto the wall. I heard this was handy as a method of focusing in dim light somewhere a long time ago.