With the arrival of the EOS 70D, I was able to find a great deal on the EOS 60D, with a Sandisk Ultra Card, extra battery, and Canon Gadget bag. Here's a photo of my updated system with both the EOS 20D, and EOS 60D!
Bug Hunting Configuration
Nothing new here, But this is how I set up the 20D for macro photography of insects. Canon EOS 100mm f2.8 Macro lens, with the Canon 500D 2-element Close Up Filter attached. The Bogen macro bracket holds the Canon 430EX, with a Stofen diffuser attached. A Canon Shoe Cord 2 connects the flash to the camera. The flash is angled at 45 degrees to diffuse the flash even more. There is no "ceiling" to bounce to, the subject receives only a small part of the light - the flash has to work harder. This limits distance (no problem with macro). The exposure on the camera is set manually.
Canon 20D System 2007
This is the complete system now with Canon EOS 20D body, BG-E2 Grip, Canon EF-S 17-35mm IS USM, Canon EF 70-200mm f4L USM, Canon EF Extender 1.4X, Sigma EX 10-20mm f4-5.6 DC HSM, Canon EF 100mm f2.8 USM macro, Canon Close-Up Lens 500D, Canon remote Rs-80N3, Canon Speedlite 430EX, and Canon Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2.
This has turned out to be the best camera I have ever owned, and the the lenses are excellent.
More sacrifices though, I had to sell my last Pistol to get the 100mm and flash. At least I will shoot this more than once a year.
20D Macro Gear
This is the Macro gear on it's own. There are a couple of old pieces in here. The Velbon macro slider, the unidentified focusing rail, and the Bogen Macro Flash Bracket have all been around for two systems now.
First-Step 20D system.JPG
Canon EOS 20D body, BG-E2 grip, EF-S 17-85mm f4.5-5.6 USM IS, EF 70-20lmm f4L USM, EF 1.4X II, Sigma EX 10-20mm f4-5.6 HSM.
My return to the Canon system. So far it focuses far better than the Maxxum 7D, and even a little better than the Maxxum 9. The exposure system is close to perfect. The detail produced by this camera and it's lenses is the most detailed I have ever seen. On the con side the sensor is a little bit noisy, and because it is CMOS, the highlights tend to blow-out and glow a little. But, overall this is best camera I have ever owned. The EF 70-200mm f4Lis far sharper than my old Tokina ATX80-20mm f2.8, and my old Canon FD 80-200mm f4. I never used to think that USM was a big deal, until I started using these lenses - they are so quick, quiet and smooth! the EF-S 17-85mm is amazing. Excellent bokeh, and some decent macro. I think the Canon IS works better than the Konica Minolta AS.
I had to give up a 10 lens system to get it, but it was worth it to raise the quality of my images.
Old Maxxum 7D system.JPG
(Konica) Minolta Maxxum 7D body, VC-7 grip, Maxxum 50mm f1.7, Maxxum 135mm f2.8, Maxxum 24-105mm f4-5.6, Tokina ATX 17mm f4, Tamron 2X, Tokina ATX 80-200mm f2.8 APO, Tokina ATX 400mm f5.6 APO, Tokina ATX 100mm f2.8 Macro, Sigma 300mm f4 APO macro, Sigma 180mm f5.6 APO macro, Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro, Minolta angle finder. No compatible flash.
What a disapointment! I built this system around the Maxxum 9xi, and Maxxum 9. They were great cameras! The 9xi was at least a generation ahead of even Canon and Nikon went premiered, but the system fell behind. Minolta dragged it's feet, and fell behind. The Maxxum 9 was equal in technology to any serious amateur camera, but as tough as any pro. The 7D was an evolutionary step backwards. While the digital module was capable of good quality, the camera section was a joke. The focusing and exposure system that I had learned to trust in the Maxxum 9xi, and 9 was not the same in the 7D. The 7D. Focusing was not as accurate as I was used to, and the flawless 14-segment meter I was used to had been reprogrammed to underexpose at the first sign of light areas. I know had to override quite often. I had sold two bodies, my flashes (no backwards compatibility), two lenses, and my entire darkroom to get this thing.
Then Konica Minolta sold us out to Sony. I used to be a buyer in a camera store, and I didn't want to deal with Sony on any repair issues on my current or future cameras.
So in the end, and in a bad financial position, I had to sell it all and get out!
What a great camera! Epoxy coated stainless steel body, fast focusing, and precise metering. I took a lot of pictures with this camera, and I loved the feel of it too. Poor film lab quality (dust, scratches, dust, more scratches, and dust!), and the death of my beloved Kodak Royal Gold film, meant it was time to move to digital.
This camera revolutionized my shooting. I had started wearing glasses, and the eye relief allowed me to see the whole frame again. This was the first camera I owned that had program shift, it allowed my to concentrate on the image, and with one knob, tweak the shutter speed/aperture. This combined with ths first AF system that was fast and trust-worthy, I became less of a technophile, and more of a SHOOTER. I had two of these, one of which I later replaced with a Maxxum 9.
Maxxum mount Sigma lenses.jpg
Sigma 28mm f1.8, Sigma 50mm f2.8 macro, Sigma 24-70mm f4-5.6, Sigma 180mm f5.6 APO macro. and Sigma 300mm f4 APO macro.
These were great lenses, and I still miss acouple of them, but I do think my current Canon lenses beat a couple of them for sharpness.
Maxxum 85mm f1.4G, Maxxum 50mm f1.7, Maxxum 135mm f2.8
The 85mm f1.4 was a pretty good lens, sharp but not incredible.
Maxxum mount Tokina Lenses.jpg
Tokina ATX 17mm f3.5, Tokina ATX 28-70mm f2.8, Tokina AF 20-35mm f4-5.6, Tokina ATX 80-200mm F2.8 APO, and Tokina ATX 400mm f5.6 APO.
I originally bought the Maxxum 9xi and a couple of these lenses with money from selling my Mamiya TLR. I thought I would just use them for fun and not for seroius work. When I saw the results from the camera, and the lenses, I sold off my old F1 system and expanded this system. there were a big step up in contrast and sharpness from the old Canon FD system.
Image from the Canon Photo Museum
My 20D reminds me of this camera, and there is a good reason for that. The T90 was I beleive the prototype for the EOS line. It was part of the FD line, and used FD lenses, but it appears to be the first version of an EOS camera. It had multi-spot metering, and even though it had a three motor system (film wind, rewind, and shutter) it had the least vibration of any camera. Without mirror lock it produced very stable sharp images.