As Good As New!

It was back in May when I was having problem with my favorite lens, the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens that I used to take everywhere with me. It was the lens that I took to Laos in 2008, the only lens that I thought I would ever need. I have to admit that thinking back now I don’t take very good care of my gear, I guess they are so reliable that I didn’t think anything could go wrong. It is like driving your car without changing your oil and it broke down one day.

Back in May of this year I was shooting in Grandma’s garden and an error message #1 came up that I need to clean my lens contacts. I thought it was my camera at first, and after switching to another lens I knew it was the lens.  Instead of getting it fixed, I went and bought another lens the 17-40mm, which I used it a lot during the Summer months.  I guess I didn’t get it fix right away because I couldn’t find a reliable place and I couldn’t find anyone local. I made several phone calls and most went out of business years ago so I gave up on the idea of sending it off somewhere.

Then I had problem with my camera recently.  As I have mentioned earlier that it was my fault that I never cleaned my camera and have been shooting in very dusty locations. The Camera was an easy fix, and I was able to clean it myself.  I started looking for a place to get my lens clean again and heard about Canon Professional Services.  One problem was that the services are for members only. My cannon T2i body doesn’t exactly qualify as a professional camera body, but I thought my lens would earn enough points to get me a membership.  I registered 2 of my lens, and that qualifies me for a silver membership. I sent off my EF24-105mm lens for a repair, the closest Canon Factory Service Center is in VA.  I had a little scratch on my lens and asked them to fix that also.  I received an email a day after they received my lens and said that they could repair it for $269.  I authorized the repair and got the lens back today. It took less than 7 days to get it back, talking about excellent service. It is so nice to have my favorite lens working again, and it looks as good as new.  It also has a 6 months warranty on the repair.

My dinner, rice, deer jerky and Tum mak houng (spicy papaya salad) taken with Canon T2i, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, Manual, f/5.6, 1/2sec, ISO 100, focal length 60mm, evaluative metering, tripod mounted.

Can you tell that we like fish? This is the first shot that I took with the lens. Canon T2i, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, Manual, f/4, 1/20sec, ISO 3200, focal length 35mm, evaluative metering.

Then the real thing, the mother Jack Dempsey is protecting her newly hatched Fry in this image.

Canon T2i, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, Manual, f/4.5, 1/20sec, ISO 3200, focal length 40mm, evaluative metering.

They are hanging by the round hole and look like little tadpoles (closeup image)

Canon T2i, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens, Manual, f/4.5, 1/60sec, ISO 3200, focal length 105mm, evaluative metering.

You could see it better in the video, the last part was taken with the EF24-105mm lens.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/33319293 w=515&h=290]

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Jack Dempsey Fry 16 Week Old

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/33109029 w=515&h=290]

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The Jack Dempsey Fry are 16 week old, or roughly about 4 month old. Bo gave a few away to his friends 2 weeks ago and they are big enough to go to their new home.

The lighter color ones are male and darker ones are female.  The water is very cloudy and Bo changed the water right before I took the picture, so it should settle down in a day or so.

This one is a female, as you can see it’s very dark and colorful.  It is the same size that Bo bought the mother Jack Dempsey from a fish store, and he got the father Jack Dempsey from a Chinese Restaurant.

I think these are males, the male has a lighter color stomach.

In a 30 gallon fish tank the mother Jack Dempsey has been busy.  I think this is her 6th set of eggs and the last 4 times had been unsuccessful since they were laid on a different rock.  Bo switched the rock back to the original one and hopefully this will be a successful batch, which means he has to find a new home for the 600+ fry soon to make room for the new hatch.

Jack Dempsey Fry 11 Week Old

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/31238064 w=515&h=290]

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I kind of give up on the idea of posting my photo exif data since it is so time-consuming when some of my posts have many photos and I normally use 2 lens where ever I go. I think the best way to learn is to practice and shoot in different environment and lighting.  I have the hardest time shooting indoor especially when I don’t like to use flash.  I have to shoot in high ISO and have to live with some digital noise. I think having some noise is better than having a blurry image.

As for the Jack Dempsey Fry, they are 11 week old now and Bo actually counted them when he transported them to a 55 gallon tank the other day.  The old tank (30 gallon) was leaking and he has 645 Fry and 1 died when it got to the big tank. The Jack Dempsey Fry aquarium sits in the living room hallway, and the mommy and daddy Jack Dempsey are back in the house now.  They are in the big tank on the right hand side and Lee’s fish tank is the small one in front of it.

The Fry love the bigger tank and travel in schooling.

I think Max got used to having so many fish around, but I can’t say that they got used to him (I’m saving Max’s image for my October Idioms photo-hunt.)