Friday, December 04, 2009

Ryan Pyle Blog: My New Canon EOS 1V's


Yes. It appears I've done the impossible. The ridiculous. The un-imaginable. I've purchased two more film cameras. Insane? Perhaps, but much needed. Let me try to explain.

When I was a budding photographer I was a bit clueless and in serious need of guidance. That guidance was provided by TIME magazine regular, and Fifty Crows Award winner, Andrew Moore. To see some of Andrew's work visit the Fifty Crows and search under the winners for the year of 2000. You'll see his photographic coverage of Northern Ireland.

I met Andrew while I was learning how to be a photographer. Well, in fact I am still learning how to be a photographer but I met Andrew at an earlier stage. We were side by side shooting together during the massive protests in Hong Kong on July 1st 2003, they say about a million people took to the streets that day. Andrew's work was lovely.

Andrew had relocated from the UK to Hong Kong and had begun work in Asia. At that time I had only one camera and 1 lens, a Canon EOS 1 with a 50mm f/1.4 lense. Life was bliss. But as I continued working on personal projects and trying to put together a strong portfolio to show clients Andrew actually provided a lot of guidance and assistance. He showed me a lot of his personal work and offered me a lot of tips. It might not have taken too much of his time or effort, but our relationship was very influential and inspiring for me.

When I was about to leave Hong Kong Andrew mentioned that he was selling is Canon EOS 1n's, and asked me if I would like to purchase them. I said absolutely. They were the camera's that he used for much of his long and storied, and award winning, Northern Ireland work. I paid a well below market price and packed my bags and returned to Shanghai. Since that moment those Canon EOS 1n's have been the backbone of my career to date. I've used them thousands of times and put every kind of film imaginable through them. The whole time remembering the history of the cameras. It's been an emotional experience to say the least.

Well I'm sad to say, sorry Andrew, that I've just upgraded to the Canon EOS 1v. It is perhaps the last Canon film camera ever to be developed; and while the design and functions haven't changed since it was introduced almost a decade ago; it was a welcome upgrade for me. As I've mentioned several times on this blog I push through a lot of film and the EOS system has been my workhorse. Andrew's 1n's operated flawlessly for over five years and only just a few weeks ago did I order up the new 1v's from B&H. Why did I order them from B&H in the US? Simple really. When I went to the camera market in Shanghai people laughed at me when I told them I was looking for the EOS 1v. And when I called my favorite photography supplier in Hong Kong he told me it would take three weeks to order. B&H had it at my doorstep within five working days. Awesome!

I've put the camera through its paces over the last few weeks and it has performed wonderfully. Once again Canon comes through in the clutch. A few people have written in and asked what kind of gear I shoot with, so here is a brief run down of the gear I've got at home:

2x Leica M6
2x Canon EOS 1n (Andrew, I couldn't bring myself to sell them)
2x Canon EOS 1v
2x Canon EOS 5D MII (digital)
1x Fuji 6x9 (which you'll see in a new project coming soon)

So yes, I've had to re-mortgage my house to buy photography equipment over the last few years; but I feel I've invested well. My equipment is durable, takes a beating and holds up well in the re-sale market. We'll get in to lenses another day; I'm a bit busy with a project right now using my Canon EOS 1v's; I still love film.

Ryan Pyle


  1. Hey! Ryan, nice to meet you. i agree with you uno, eos-1v still a legend til now and feel like people r goin to digital nowadays. this is a pretty sad to me uno.. people need to understand that the eos-1v is the final version of canon pro slr production uno. but i only got eos-3 only. i saw 1 at yunnan last few months uno about rmb4+++ only.. so regreat i din buy it. but i stil hav my eos-3, a legendary too huh. c'ya!

  2. Hi Ryan,
    I'm curiouse as to why you still use film? I own both Canon EOS digital cameras as well as an EOS 3 film body. What personal advantage do you find in using film? Thanks - I'm interested because I also flip flop between the two mediums.

  3. Jack,
    Digital is fast and easy and can produce some wonderful results. But film is still something special. Blow up a digital image to 30"x40" and put a hand printed film image next to it at the same size. You'll see what I mean immediately. Seeing my images on the web is not where I want my work to be seen, I need to be able to shoot so that I can reproduce high quality fine art prints to hang in galleries and museums; that in my mind still means film.

  4. Are you comparing 35mm film to full frame digital? Thanks.

  5. Jack,
    Yes, I am comparing 35mm film to a Canon 5D MarkII. If you'd like to continue this conversation drop me a note. Blogspot is blocked in China and accessing it daily is painful. Cheers, Ryan.



This is Ryan Pyle. I appreciate you adding a comment to my blog and I hope that this space has offered you something useful and interesting. I look forward to staying in touch and I'm glad you took the time to comment.

Ryan Pyle