Old Canon EOS 1D X News; If It Ain’t Broke… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Old Canon EOS 1D X News; If It Ain't Broke...


BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #445 is online and can be accessed here. As usual it is jam-packed with tons of great images and lots of great info including a summary review of the new 200-400.

  • Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM lens with Internal 1.4x Extender
  • Galapagos Photo-Cruise Report
  • Bucket List: the July 2015 Galapagos Photo-Cruise
  • The BIRDS AS ART 2nd International Bird Photography Contest
  • Fractastic
  • Affiliate Links
  • Used Camera Gear
  • IPT Info

This image was created at Nickerson Beach, Long Island NY on the recently concluded Nickerson Beach Baby Beach Nesting Birds IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon 2x EF Extender III (Teleconverter), and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/500 sec. at f/9 in Manual Mode.

Central sensor Expand (by necessity)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the bird’s eye and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

This is recently fledged juvenile Common Tern. With the super abundance of baitfish right off the beach this was a hugely productive breeding season for Nickerson’s Common Terns.

This Image

For me, this seemingly simple image epitomizes the BIRDS AS ART style. Handsome bird, lovely Atlantic Ocean on a cloudy day background, a nice image design with textbook placement: thee times as much room in front of the bird than behind the bird and twice as much room above the subject than below, and sharp with a perfect head angle.

Lots of time and effort went into creating this image. On the last morning of the IPT, a cold morning with blustery northeast winds, I counseled those in the group with long lenses to face away from the colony, get low, and be patient. Lots of young terns flew in and waited patiently for the adults to come in to feed them. Most begged incessantly at every bird that flew by. To create this image I lay flat behind my tripod with the legs splayed. Getting the subject on the edge of a sand ridge was key to the artistic success of the image as it provided the distant background and offered a decent look at the feet only slightly nestled down in the soft sand.

Denise Ippolito, working with her new favorite rig, the 300 f/2.8L IS, a 2X TC, and the EOS-1D Mark IV, created lots of great flight and feeding images with her wider view and more responsive AF. I went for the tight portraits. And Paul Pinto Jr, all of 13 years old, nailed the image of the trip when a Great Black-backed Gull swooped down and grabbed a young Common Tern right in front of the group that he was with about 60 feet to our right. I will be speaking more of this fine young photographer in a future blog post and sharing some of his images as well.

The Problem

Towards the end of the great Galapagos Photo-Cruise I began noticing AF problems with the 600 II/2X III combo with one of my 1D X bodies, especially in low light/low contrast situations. At first I passed these problems off as normal. When the problems continued and actually got worse over time on the recently concluded Nickerson Beach Baby Beach Nesting Birds IPT I remembered a thread that I had seen in the BPN Gear Forum thread here about a 1D X recall. When I was making the images featured in the “Oh Baby; Thanks Pat!” blog post of July 27th, the AF problems exacerbated; even when I placed the active sensor on a chick’s eye, AF simply would not lock on. For the third image in that post I was forced to go to Manual focus. Why? Even when I pre-focusd manually before attempting rear focus AF, the system would hunt and hunt and hunt some more without acquiring focus.

It was then that everything came into sharp focus (at least in my head). I had followed the link to the formal Canon announcement here, but though both of my 1D X bodies were in the affected group I chose to live by the old adage; if it ain’t broke; don’t fix it.

When I revisited the Canon site yesterday, here is what I found:

Product Advisory

This notice is to proactively inform our customers of the details of the phenomena described below along with Canon’s support actions. Because we value the trust our customers have placed in us, we are dedicated to continuously improving product quality and delivering industry-leading service and support. We offer our sincerest apologies to any customer who may be inconvenienced.

Affected Products

EOS-1D X Digital SLR Camera
EOS-1D C Cinema EOS Camera


In some units of the models listed below, there is a possibility that the following phenomena may occur due to wear caused by insufficient lubrication within the camera’s driving mechanism.

1. AF searches but does not lock in on the subject. (Caused by minute particles produced by wear mentioned above.)
2. The image shown in the viewfinder is “blurry” or “not steady”. (Occurs if wear progresses.)

Info on how to tell if your 1D X is in the affected group follows.

One of my cameras has apparently progressed to stage 1. And the 2nd one is also in the affected group but has not yet exhibited any symptoms. On Friday past when I finally figured things out, I was in a quandary: I did not have enough time to get the cameras to the Jamesburg Repair Facility to have the recall service performed and get them back before I left for my Africa trip this coming Thursday. So I did what most folks would do when facing such a dilemma. I ordered two brand new 1D X bodies for the trip. I will have my two original 1D X bodies serviced and sell them both when I get back from the Tanzania trip. If you are interested in purchasing one or both of my 1D X bodies for a fair price, please shoot me an e-mail.

On The Road Again

Please know that I will be traveling to and from the Africa for the Tanzania Photo Safari with Todd Gustafson leaving today, August 1 and back in the office on August 21. I will have extremely limited and very slow at best internet access so please do not e-mail me until I get back. Jim will be in the office every weekday to help you with your mail order purchases and Jen will be here handling IPT registrations. The blog will continue to be active as I have prepared a dozen interesting, brand new educational posts for you in advance for you to enjoy during my absence.

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If you have a gear, image processing, or other question please e-mail me after July 19th. You can reach Jim here via e-mail. You can reach Jennifer here via e-mail. Please type “JIM” or “JEN” respectively at the front of the Subject Line.


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Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
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