CI Photocommunity

Register a free account now!

If you are registered, you get access to the members only section, can participate in the buy & sell second hand forum and last but not least you can reserve your preferred username before someone else takes it.

DJbs EOS 1Ds Mk II Review



Well, I finally got it on Friday, so I'll start a thread to post observations from time to time. This is an impeccably built, highly customizable camera with an incredible amount of features described in various other places, so I'll limit my posts to what I don't like or specific comments to point things out that may not be obvious.

I changed the shutter release behavior so half-pressing locks the exposure, and the focus lock moves to the exposure lock button on the side. This works more intuitive for me. I also set it so the ISO shows up in the viewfinder instead of the # shots remaining. I find the the burst # under the compensation scale will show when you have only a few left, which is what is important while you're shooting, and you'll always know the ISO because I intend to be switching it quite often.

I need to get used to switching aperture in the wheel by the shutter, not on the lens, with exposure compensation on the back wheel. Just a matter of a bit of use.

For me a lot of the effort given to white balance is wasted - I just set it to 5500K for most shooting. I never liked auto-white-balance. But the many other options and WB adjustments are obviously a boon in the studio. Most of my shooting is travel / outdoors.


Canon missed a couple of things I believe very important in such a camera. For one the exposure mode (spot, evaluative etc.) is not displayed in the viewfinder! Dumb oversight in my opinion - there's plenty room in the viewfinder and it's not that crowded. Also switching exposure mode is almost impossible to do from the viewfinder. Through customization I dumbed down the available modes to spot and evaluative, which makes it easier to chose and makes switching quick.

- Loud, big-red-lettered neck strap - using my Contax RTS III strap
- Lens hood alignment mark on the side, not top (!?)
- The loud clicking sound made by the main dial by the shutter (!?)
- Some things got buried too deep in menus that shouldn't have - mirror lock-up (!?), card selection.
- They have a way to register a one-touch switch-to mode, but it forces you to select an aperture and exposure comp amount as well as the modes, which makes it almost useless for everyday use.


- Overall speed and responsiveness
- The autofocus - it's a snap
- The 100% image viewfinder
- The weather-resistant rugged build
- Easy-change ISO, visible in viewfinder, and great performance in high ISO
- Most button ergonomics - they made good compromises
- The high degree of customization available - some very good options to choose
- The battery charger / pack (though heavy) - it will even fully discharge before recharge if desired

There's a great multi-spot reading feature that uses a separate dedicated button to register the readings - it would've been perfect if clicking this button would automatically switch to spot mode from any other mode as an option.

Over all the camera is a joy to use, balances very well and is very comfortable to hold and use in spite of the weight (3.5 lbs. for the body, 5.5 with the 24-70 2.8).

More as we go ...



I was going to post a few images but noticed the 130K limit in size ... what's the point after using 16MP?

Come on Dirk, let's bring that to the level of the Contax site


Well-Known Member
Excellent DJ! Now we can get to Rockin' and Rollin' over here on the Canon forum ; -) Irakly has a 1DMKII, so I'll get him to post some pix also.

I agree Dirk, can't you up the K limit here?

Both the exposure mode and the metering mode are missing from the 1DsMKII viewfinder. It may be because this is Canon's digital designated for studio work (thus the "s" of 1Ds) where more decisions are made using the LCDs than in the viewfinder. It should be noted that exposure mode IS shown in the viewfinder of the 1DMKII. I personally don't care that it's missing, but Canon should have at least made it a CF option to show exposure mode and metering mode in the viewfinder for those like DJ who do care. It would be interesting to understand why they left it off the 1DsMKII but included it on the 1DMKII.

Take note on how quickly you can enlarge the LCD image for focus and detail review.


"I agree Dirk, can't you up the K limit here? "


technically this is no problem at all. But we have to find a compromise between file size of images and the internet connection/speed of the users and of course traffic costs for us. I do not know how many users have high speed internet connection...

What is your guess, how big should be the upload size limit in the forum to see a difference to the current settings? 200KB, 250KB? (it is currently 130KB)

Could you look with s&les on your computer with 800x800 pixel with 130KB and bigger KB?

From which KB size on you see a difference vs. the 130KB?


I was thinking 1024x768 and 500KB as a limit. What about a test gallery for a few really large s&les for realistic comparisons? Can you limit by # of images per user, so each user could post two or three really large tiffs maximum?


Well-Known Member
I think 800 on the longest side and 400KB as the limit is plenty big for the internet. It pushes the limits for those without Broadband and multi-gigs of RAM... and appears pretty big on a normal screen. You really can't get it big enough to demonstrate the full abilities of a camera like the 1DsMKII anyway.

What may be interesting is a member FTP site for discrete transfer of larger tiff files between members. I for one wouldn't be all that thrilled about posting my work in a tiff format that could be lifted and used/printed by everyone and his brother.
Tests are one thing, but real stuff is another.


... I am just throwing some questions into these ideas to find out, what could be done and what not...

- Most servers have a file size limit of 8MB. I could check, whether there are bigger ones possible somewhere. How large is a tiff file i.e. of the Canon 1Ds Mark II?

- Who would control in your opinion, which member has access to that FTP account and who not?

- if an additional server would be needed for that, who would cover the costs (server and traffic)? Would it be i.e. a service for Silver/ Gold members only?

- The security question on who has access to what is an important one I think. If users fear, that their stuff is copied for unauthorized usage, noone would use this service.

Regarding the file size/ pixel size:

- we had a year ago a test gallery specifically for test-images in every forum. But noone (except Marc) was using it. So I would hesitate to do the same work again, if it is not sure, whether enough people would be using it.

- Currently we can not limit # of images per day. This is in the pipeline for the gallery, but I can not say yet anything about a timeframe.

- I would be really interested, whether you can see a difference of a Canon 1Ds Mark II images, one uploaded 800pixel on the longest side and 130KB big, and the same image, also with 800 pixel and 400KB file size.

My offer:

I will increase the file size limit for testpurposes for the next 24 hours to 400KB for uploads in the forum. You can then upload both images in both sizes and we can examine the differnces and discus whether it is worth it with all potential negative effects like speed and traffic costs.


Well-Known Member
So Dirk, the 24 hour test involves sending 2 versions of the same image to this thread, or should it be sent to the Canon gallery?

FYI: a FTP site is a highly controllable format. A Member could load a 20+meg file on it via the internet address provided and attach a password to it. Then a link and that password can be sent to various other members for review. It shouldn't be free because a member could use it to send images to anyone they want anywhere in the world. For ex&le, if you liked one of my images I could send you a big tiff file to print on your ink-jet. We could trade images worldwide. Just a thought to expand your product to photographers... there are free FTP sites but paying member get priority for bandwidth.

Here an ex&le FTP site you could visit:
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

Let us know when we can load the test images for 400K. Thanks for playing along Dirk, you're a peach ; -)

BTW, I'm sure Irakly would go along with this and participate, but he sustained a terrible eye injury (not his shooting eye) and was operated on yesterday. I'll keep you all updated.


Hi MArc

Re: 400Kb uploads: YES from now on in all threads in this forum (not the photo gallery) for 24 hours. If you need more time, we can prolonge it, I just wanted to make clear that this is initially for test purposes until we havea better view on it.

Re FTP: I will look into this site within the next days. Currently we are under water (actually always...)

RE Irakly: I am sorry to hear this. Wish him all well from us.

I "owe" Irakly still a call. Wanted to make that already for weeks, but We do not have time currently to sit down for a quiet day and think how to get the things done we started talking about. I hope after christmas is more time for "brainstorming"...


New Member
"Most servers have a file size limit of 8MB"

Actually, most have a restriction of less than 5MB. I get around that by using "You Send It."

Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!

No Muss, no fuss, no bother... and, most importantly, No Cost. Well No!, most importantly, is you control who has access to the file. (Although there is a file size limit of 1GB, I have not found that a problem.) There is a downside, however, access to the file only has a life-span of seven days.



Irakly, if you can read this you must be OK
. I do hope you fully recover soon and are feeling no pain, or at least getting good drugs - anything that affects your vision is a real bummer.

In the past year or so my sight has been reaching the point where I'm needing glasses to read, and it's driving me nuts when looking at the LCD displays on the camera (the viewfinder has diopter adjustment - why can't they do the same with the LCDs

Dirk, the 400KB will hopefully let us display better tonal reproduction with less JPEG compression - thanks! I'll be posting something in a bit.

My 1Ds Mk II working TIFFs coming out of Photoshop are in the 90MB+ range at 48 bit color. I'm getting ready to upgrade my harddrives in January / February

When I post to the test gallery it will probably be a test image good only to show some technical aspect - something I could care less if somebody downloaded it and used it. What I'll probably end up doing is posting one total image and one or more others showing full-scale portions of particular interest.

On a side note, I'm travelling to China on Jan 11 so I'm trying to get as familiar with this camera and my travelling environment and workflow as I can before that.

Marc, what's your take on the 17-40 f4 vs. the 16-35 f2.8? I'm looking for better image rather than faster speed, but sometimes the fater lens has the better image. Is that the case here IYO?

Cheers - DJ


Well-Known Member
I understand the 17-40 is a good lens. Can't speak from direct experience. I have the 16-35 which is visibly better than the 17-35 which it replaced (we tested it). Barrel distortion is the hobgoblin of the Canon wide-angle lenses. I don't know how well the 17 to 40 has corrected this. Irakly has a discontinued 20-35/2.8L which is the best Canon wide zoom I've seen. But he just won't sell it to me ; -(


The most immediately obvious difference is the ear lobe's edge - check out the red fringing on the 130KB. We should do a comparo at 600KB for reference - what do you say Dirk? 600KB limit for 24hrs?


OK, here are two at ISO 200 followed by two at ISO 800 of what Nature had to offer Sunday.


1Ds Mk II - ISO 200, 24-70/2.8L @ 25mm, f5, 1/60. The flare was better controlled than I was expecting - nothing like low expectations to boost morale



1Ds Mk II - ISO 800, 24-70/2.8L @ 24mm, f6, 1/90. Notice the redish chromatic aberration on the branches at top right (not an ISO thing). Unfortunate in every sensor I've had so far. I had hoped Canon had gotten a better handle on this, which is unfortunate for the high-contrast edgy type of shots I like
. Hmm, I could say they're cheries ...