Incredible as it may seem, the EOS System has been with us for 30 years now, and to celebrate Canon organised an event in London that picked up on the heritage aspects of the anniversary, while firmly focusing on the numerous technical advances that have taken place throughout that period. There was also the opportunity for a tantalising look ahead, provided by a first chance to get hands on with the latest EOS models.
The venue was the iconic former Underground railway station at Aldwych, normally firmly off limits with the platforms located a full 119 steps below ground. Closed in 1994, it’s now a time warp full of fascinating memorabilia, such as vintage posters and Edwardian-era tiled signage, and it created a unique setting for a trip down memory lane.
As guests, who included journalists, working photographers, bloggers and Canon technical experts, mingled in the old ticket hall area before heading down, they were able to peruse a table heaving with every EOS model from the past 30 years, around 100 of them, the first being the silver-halide era EOS 650 SLR. There was also the EOS IX, an SLR that utilised APS film, and the EOS 5, a 35mm SLR that came with an innovative eye-controlled focusing feature, while signalling the changes to come the EOS 300, the memorable model dating from 1999 that finally brought DSLR prices down below £1000 for the first time, was also on display. Coming up to date all of the current models were also on display, including the freshly announced EOS 77D and 800D models.
As privileged visitors we were escorted around the station to shoot various scenarios set up with models in 1940s period dress, a nod to the time during the Second World War when the platforms here were used by Londoners as an air raid shelter. Way below ground there was even a vintage tube train parked in the platform, the perfect backdrop for a series of poses. We also had access to stretches of the old tunnels and could marvel at the overall sense of gently managed decay, all of which made for extraordinary pictures.
The Canon EF 1200mm f/5.6L USM, the world’s longest focal length and largest aperture lens.
The icing on the cake, once everyone had recovered from the climb back up to ground level, was a ride on a vintage London bus to a bar, where there was yet another opportunity to look at and handle the full EOS range, while Canon experts were again on hand to demonstrate the capabilities of the latest range of Canon PIXMA printers.
Overall it was a timely reminder of the heritage of an iconic brand, conceived against a memorable setting with a chance to shoot with the latest EOS models. A fabulous concept and a get together that no-one who attended will ever forget.
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