Wednesday, 6 April 2011

In Canon's eyes, I am no longer "professional"

I have been using Canon cameras and lenses since 1982.

They have always served me well and have proved very reliable and long lasting. In fact I've only had problems twice with the same camera when the shutter magnets failed on my old AE1's

When Canon launched their Professional Services division in London back in the early nineties, I immediately signed up. In those days, it wasn't as strictly controlled as it is today and I was able to join
with only two T90 bodies and a number of non L lenses.

I've been a member ever since and now have all my gear including two bodies and three L lenses registered on their website. They promise a quick repair turnaround and the loan of a camera or lens if the repair takes too long.

I've only used their services once, when I had to "doorstep" a prison from several hundred meters away. A quick call to CPS headquarters in London resulted in my being loaned a 500mm f4.5 telephoto.

I haven't used their services since but it's good to know that they are there should I need to.

And that dear reader is the problem. I haven't had a need to use them because my stuff is so reliable. I therefore also have no need to buy the latest and greatest lenses etc because the gear I have is perfectly adequate for what I do.

New from CPS is the fact that you  now have to re-register your gear every year or so. I went to the website to affirm that all my gear was still in my possession and was informed that I was no longer eligible for CPS membership.

"Why was that?" I wondered.

The answer is simple. My beloved 300mm f4L lens is no longer covered. I say beloved, but in truth, I only use it maybe one or twice a year if needed (Like the CPS service centre).

 The offending "no more professional" lens

What annoys me though, is that it (in the eyes of the CPS), is no longer a "professional" lens and I am no longer worthy of Professional Services membership.

Last year alone I took some 3000 images with my Canon stuff. Many of these were used in brochures, catalogues, adverts, product reports and posters etc. I use my gear in a PROFESSIONAL capacity. i.e. I get paid to do it.

In my own (humble) opinion, I think that these instances should be separately examined by Canon because I'm sure that there are plenty of other photographers who, like me, work professionally using Canon products but don't have, want or need the very latest kit.

I am therefore a professional.

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