Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Radio Transmission

Atop San Bruno Mountain

Brad, Dennis, and I rode up to the top of San Bruno Mountain on Saturday and I carried my camera to get some shots from the top of the climb. I was carrying my usual, Canon 5D with my 24mm - 70mm f/2.8. The last time we were up here I remember seeing these signs posted on the fences around the towers.


We didn't think much of it, but decided to spend as little time as possible dilly dallying up there. This time, I wanted to take shots of the view and the towers, except that getting too close to the towers was causing my camera to malfunction! It would error out 90% of the time and I managed only a few underexposed shots. I also noticed a lot of interference in my view finder causing things to look dark as if my depth of field preview was on.

Needless to say, after biking away from the towers my camera functioned normally. My hypothesis was the strong radio frequency was interfering with the ultrasonic focusing mechanism, but even after switching to manual focus the problems persisted. Anyone experience such a thing trying to shoot near radio towers?

Update: I looked up Error 01 for my camera and found that this error happens when the lens cannot communicate with the camera body. Typically caused by dirty contact points, this I've found can also happen when you're next to strong radio frequencies! I'll need to wear my lead underwear next time I go up there.

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