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Mark1616 Oct 20, 2010 4:30 AM

The reason to have a backup
I have always been one to have a backup of my kit but after shooting many sporting events, weddings, portrait sessions, functions etc I've never needed to use the backup.

At a wedding last Friday all that changed when my Canon 24-105mm f4 L started throwing up Err 01 messages on my 5DmkII. At first it was only when using the 580EX flash, now it is doing it on my 7D as well, with or without flash. It seems that the aperture is doing something screwy.... anyway, back to my point.

As I have a backup focal length covered I just grabbed the 7D with 17-70mm Sigma and could keep shooting. Sure it's not as good as the Canon lens, but I had the focal lenth covered and just switched the 70-200 onto the 5dmkII. I changed my style of shooting and still got all the shots.

Moral of the story is to have a backup. The problem now is I'm trying to find a way to get the 24-105 fixed while in Egypt. I'm not here for too much longer but have a pretty big wedding on the 10th Nov and need it resolved before then otherwise I'm shooting without a backup. Oh fun and games.

ac.smith Oct 20, 2010 10:46 AM

A good case history supporting the need for backup equipment and a Plan B. I have always felt that as soon as a photographer accepted an assignment, even a non-paying one (for us amateurs) but especially a PAID one there comes a commitment to arrive with backup equipment and action plans.

A. C.

rjseeney Oct 20, 2010 11:27 AM

I have always had and carried a backup, even before I started getting paid to shoot. I had a camera fail when my first child was born, and had to borrow a camera to get those first shots. That camera was under warranty, and while it was being fixed the first thing I did was to buy another body. I've had at least two bodies ever since, and now have lenses that duplicate focal lengths from 18-200 so I'm never out missing a focal length if one of my lenses fail. I also keep a nice P&S to have something pocketable, currently a canon s90.

Photo 5 Oct 20, 2010 12:53 PM

Deleted.... thought it was lost (did not post so I retyped below)


Photo 5 Oct 20, 2010 12:59 PM

Being a fire rescue photographer I have carried a back-up camera and at least 2 spare memory cards for the last 2.5 years. On a working fire one time I had the camera hit with water from a fire hose by accident. I grab the spare camera from the trunk and kept shooting. Even though it didn't have the reach of the DSL that went down it still got the job done. Just like wedding stuff with Fire and Rescue work sometimes you only get one chance to the get the photo and you have to get it....... so having a backup camera and plan is important like Mark said.


peripatetic Oct 20, 2010 2:31 PM

Good story Mark.

JustinThyme Oct 23, 2010 6:48 PM

With you on this.
Always need extra body and lens that is close enough to still pull it off even if the results are not as good.

Mark1616 Oct 23, 2010 6:56 PM

Just as an update, I have my Sigma 24-70mm f2.8 coming with a friend from the UK (this is my usual FF backup lens but didn't have space to bring it when I moved here so relied on the Sigma 17-70 on a crop body). Sure, it's not quite as good as the Canon I normally use, but it is good enough to get through this one wedding so no worries. Will be nice to have the Canon back, that will go to CPS as soon as I'm in the UK..... advantages of being a Gold member, only 3 days turn around :) Shame they don't offer that in Egypt though :(

PvrFan Oct 23, 2010 7:34 PM


Originally Posted by Mark1616 (Post 1156900)
...As I have a backup focal length covered I just grabbed the 7D with 17-70mm Sigma and could keep shooting.

Geez, my 'backup' is an iPhone! :rolleyes:

VTphotog Oct 23, 2010 9:16 PM


Originally Posted by PvrFan (Post 1158162)
Geez, my 'backup' is an iPhone! :rolleyes:

Beats me - my backup is reverse gear in my pickup.:o


lisalonewolf Oct 24, 2010 12:05 AM

I wish I had had a backup last weekend...was shooting...and poof...chip error...internal memory only! No backup. On the way home was planning to stop by a tech center...32gb SDHC card for 54 USD. great price.

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