On finding a used 1Ds Mark II...

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
HowardLive
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Re: On finding a used 1Ds Mark II...
In reply to Michael Thomas Mitchell, 6 months ago

HowardLive wrote:

Just dropping by from the 7D/1.6-crop Canon forum. (Don't egg my car, please. )

So I'm hoping a 6D is in my future (currently $1,749 from B&H), but what about getting an older 1Ds Mark II, say with 50,000 actuations or fewer? A cursory eBay check showed prices ranging from about $800 to $1,200-plus depending on condition.

For those who shot with the 1Ds Mark II during its production run: Are there enough copies out there in good enough overall shape for semi-regular news use? (I'm a newspaper reporter who shoots his own art once or twice in a typical week.) And compared to the semipro 6D, would an old 1-series body make sense at the prices it commands? Or is the 6D so much better in low light that I should just buy new and be done with it?

Thanks in advance for your help.

That's a particularly interesting question for me since the 1DsII (along with other various 1D bodies) was exactly what I sold last year after using them for years and finally moving on to something newer. The newer bodies: 6D.

It was not a move made lightly. In fact, I sold all of the other 1D bodies before the 1DsII in particular because that camera is one of my all time favorites. Indeed, I wish I still had one. But it's just not practical.

The 6D is wonderful, especially if you are a low light shooter. No, it's not the "tank" (I'm tired of that word for pro bodies) that the 1D series is, but it feels good and solid. Focus is quick, though not intended for sports. (In low light, the 6D actually focuses better than the 1DsII, but the 1DsII is amazing in just about any other situation.) Features are extensive, and it's got lot of things the 1DsII can only dream of. But image quality is where it really soars. The extra pixels won't make that big a difference, but the cleaner images from ISO 400 and up really will. I always felt iffy even doing 1600 on the 1DsII, but the 6D does 3200 just fine, and even looks amazingly good at both 6400 and 12800.

If you just LOVE 1D bodies and can live with the smaller LCD, lack of high ISO, and don't mind cleaning your own dust sensors, then you might enjoy the 1DsII. But the 6D is a genuine photographer's tool, and will otherwise make you quite happy for just a little more.

When I wrote the original post, I wasn't intent on getting a 1-series body to the exclusion of others - I only wanted to see if the cost-benefit ratio worked out. But two things have decided this argument for me in the 6D's favor (besides Canon not servicing the old camera anymore): high ISO performance, and weight.

Actually, my wrists were killing me yesterday. That's why I can't do a 1-series. Ah well.

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