Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
April 23rd, 2018

Head Angle Ramifications and a Huge Revelatory Eye Brightness Question ...

Pre-Stuff

I accidentally hit Publish on this post while working on it on Sunday afternoon. I did take it down almost immediateley but some folks got the notice … All can enjoy it now. 🙂

Stuff

I did not sleep too well on Saturday night while enjoying some sharp pain as the surgical site heals. I was feeling noticeably better on Sunday morning so I laid off the pain pills but succumbed and took two at 2pm. The pain from hernia surgery might best be described as being stuck in the groin by a very sharp knife, that followed by a whack or two in the same general area with a large hammer. The good news is that I removed the clear plastic bandage on Sunday afternoon and the incision looks good with no redness or swelling and the steri-strips in place. All in all, things are going well as I have no pain at all when I am sitting still.

Thanks for all the rain gear advice; I will be exploring and shopping soon.

If you would like advance info on a near-mint 5D IV and some neat Canon lenses including a 100-400II, please shoot me an e-mail.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred sixty-seven days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one several hours to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not…), the plan right now is to try to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

Rain Gear Help Needed

If you have rain gear (top and bottom) that you love, that is rugged, that is not rubberized, and that actually keeps your butt dry even when sitting in a puddle, please do share. And please be specific. A link is fine.

Thanks to the Patient

With the injured shoulder, the recently concluded DeSoto IPT, and the hernia surgery, I have gotten more than a bit behind on e-mails, especially some Used Gear Sales business. Many thanks for your patience. I will have lots of time to rest for the next week and will be catching up.

Dark-siders: Please Do Not Take This Personally

I have been saying this for a while: after many years in the business of brokering used gear sales, one pattern that I have seen is that most Nikon folks think that their stuff is worth a lot more than it actually is. That especially with the potential sales of the older 600mm lenses, some of which weigh in the 12-14 pound range. If you can shed any light as to why this might be the case, I’d love to hear from you.

BIRDS AS ART

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF ED Lens

Massive Price Drop of $845.00!

Multiple IPT veteran Sam Hogue who was on the last Japan IPT is offering a used Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF ED lens in excellent condition for the BAA record low price by far of $1850 (was $2695). The sale includes a LensCoat, a RRS mounting plate, the front cover, the rear cap, the original felt lined, padded lens bag, and insured shipping via UPS Priority. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Sam via e-mail­­­.

This versatile lens is now priced to sell instantly. artie

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Patrick Sparkman saved $350 on a recent purchase!



Booking.Com

Several folks on the DeSoto IPT used the Booking.Com link below, got great rates, and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

Head Angle Ramifications and a Huge Revelatory Eye Brightness Question …

In the Picking a Keeper/5001 Versus 5013 blog post here, I posted four questions; they follow here along with my comments:

  • 1-What is the single thing about image 5001 that is much better than in image 5013?
  • Everyone nailed #1 by mentioning the more dynamic pose with the wide open bill.

  • 2-What is the single thing about image 5013 that is much better than in image 5001?
  • With #2 most folks mentioned the perfect head angle in 5013. Some mentioned the brighter eye. So I must ask:

    Why was the eye so much brighter in 5013 than in 5001? (There are actually two reasons, but one of them should be revelatory for most folks …)

  • 3-Which image would you choose to optimize?
  • It was almost unanimous for 5013. But there were a few additional things about 5013 that were better than in 5001. Some were mentioned in the comments on the original blog post and I mention some below.

  • 4-What is the best anything goes plan for optimizing 5001?

Mitch Haimov figured out what I would do when he wrote:

Hey, Artie. I mostly agree with others’ responses to your questions. But, since you said “anything goes,” I think you would transplant the eye from 5013 to 5001.

And that is exactly what I did. But doing it right involved some fancy stepping in Photoshop. Scroll down for details.

Brandt's-Cormorant-yawning-_DSC5001--La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created on the 2nd San Diego IPT on the morning of January 31 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 400. Matrix metering -2/3 stop: 1/2500 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AUTO0 WB at 10:20am on a clear day.

One to the left and one up from the center Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuos (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The upper AF point in the array was just below and forward of the bird’s eye. Click on the image for a larger version.

Brandt’s Cormorant, gular panting with wide yawn

5001

This is the straight up version of 5001. Compare it with the straight up version of 5013 below.

Brandt's-Cormorant-gular-panting-_DSC5013--La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created on the 2nd San Diego IPT on the morning of January 31 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 400. Matrix metering -2/3 stop: 1/2500 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AUTO0 WB at 10:20am on a clear day.

One to the left and one up from the center Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuos (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The upper AF point in the array was just below and forward of the bird’s eye. Click on the image for a larger version.

Brandt’s Cormorant, gular panting with wide yawn

5013

This is the straight up version of 5013. Compare it with the straight up version of 5001 above. In addition to the eye being brighter, the blues of the gular pouch are brighter …

What do you think caused the blues in the gular pouch of 5013 to be brighter than the blues in the gular pouch in 5001?

Brandt's-Cormorant-yawning-eye-replaced--_DSC5001--La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created on the 2nd San Diego IPT on the morning of January 31 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 400. Matrix metering -2/3 stop: 1/2500 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AUTO0 WB at 10:20am on a clear day.

One to the left and one up from the center Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuos (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The upper AF point in the array was just below and forward of the bird’s eye. Click on the image for a larger version.

Brandt’s Cormorant, gular panting with wide yawn, the optimized version

The Best of Both Worlds

It is easy to do a sloppy job with any eye transplant, especially with this one. I painted a Quick Mask of the bright eye in 5013 and moved it (V) roughly into place onto 5001. Then, working large, I reduced the opacity of the new eye layer to 50%. This allowed me to center the two pupils. But, the size and shape and orientation of the new eye was all wrong. I hit Command T and squashed the eye a bit by moving one of the middle love handles down a bit. I made it a bit smaller by holding down the Shift key and moving one of the corner love handles in. And then I re-oriented it by working with the double-arrow outside the Transform box. Then I hit Enter but I was still not done. I added a Regular Layer Mask and erased all of the surrounding eye skin so that only the iris and the pupil remained. It never hurts to pay attention to all the small details.

Next I selected the gular pouch with the Quick Selection Tool (W), increased the BLUE saturation 30%, and then added 30 points of MAGENTA to the BLUEs in Selective Color. I am quit happy with the results.

DBII-cover

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

You can order your copy from the BAA Online Store here, by sending a Paypal for $40 here, or by calling Jim or Jennifer weekdays at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II)

Your guessed it, everything mentioned above and tons more is covered in detail in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. Learn more and check out the free excerpt in the blog post here. While the new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow, folks using a PC and/or BreezeBrowser will also benefit greatly by studying the material on DB II. Do note that you will find the RGB Curves Adjustment Color Balancing tutorial only in the new e-guide. Note: folks working on a PC and/or those who do not want to miss anything Photoshop may wish to purchase the original Digital Basics along with DB II while saving $15 by clicking here to buy the DB Bundle.

The two most recent and many of the older MP4 Photoshop Tutorial videos releases go hand and hand with the information in DB II):

  • The Wingtip Repairs MP4 Video here.
  • The MP4 Crow Cleanup Video here.

Folks who learn well by following along rather than by reading can check out the complete collection of MP 4 Photoshop Tutorial Videos by clicking here.

You can learn how and why I converted nearly all of my Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here. And, yes, I still have many Canon images to work on. 🙂 You can learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair. Folks can learn sophisticated sharpening and (NeatImage) Noise Reduction techniques in the The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.





Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

April 22nd, 2018

Exposing to the Washed Out Right ...

Stuff

The Streak

Today makes two hundred sixty-eight days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took several hours to prepare including the time spent on the all-new San Diego IPT card. With all of my upcoming free time (or not…), the plan right now is to try to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

Thanks to the Patient

With the injured shoulder, the recently concluded DeSoto IPT, and the hernia surgery, I have gotten more than a bit behind on e-mails, especially some Used Gear Sales business. Many thanks for your patience. I’ve had lots of time to rest lately and am almost caught up.

Dark-siders: Please Do Not Take This Personally

I have been saying this for a while: after many years in the business of brokering used gear sales, one pattern that I have seen is that most Nikon folks think that their stuff is worth a lot more than it actually is. That especially with the potential sales of the older 600mm lenses, most of which weigh in the 12-14 pound range. If you can shed any light as to why this might be the case, I’d love to hear from you.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

New Listings

Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS USM Lens (the old five) plus LensCoat

Allen Dale is offering a Canon 500mm f/4 L IS lens (the original version) in very good to excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $3399.00. The sales includes the lens trunk, the front leather cover, the rear lens cap, a Camo LensCoat®, and insured ground shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Allen via e-mail or by phone at 956.961.4140 (Central time.)

The 500mm f/4 lenses have been the world’s most popular telephoto lenses for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. I owned and used and loved my “old five” for many years. If you don’t have the cash for the 500 II and can handle the additional 1 1/2 pounds, then this is your best super-telephoto option. Most everyone can produce sharp images with this lens and a 1.4X TC. Folks with good to excellent sharpness techniques can do the same with a 2X TC. With the new 500 II selling for $8,999 you can save a neat $5600 by grabbing Allen’s copy of the “old five” right now. artie

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens

David Ramirez is offering a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM in excellent plus condition for the BAA record low price of $796.00. The only sign of wear is where the lens hood (included) mounts to the front of the lens. The lens was cleaned and checked by CPS in 2016. The sale includes front and rear lens caps, the lens pouch, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Photos available on request. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact David via e-mail or by phone at 1-541-892-3726 (Pacific Time).

The 16-35 II is a superb landscape lens that can be used on occasion to create some stunning bird-scapes as well. The practically identical version III of this lens sells for $1999 new; purchase David’s s lens and save $1204.00 on the cost of a new Series III model. artie

BIRDS AS ART

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Patrick Sparkman saved $350 on a recent purchase!



Booking.Com

Several folks on the DeSoto IPT used the Booking.Com link below, got great rates, and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers whom I see in the field and on BPN, are–out of ignorance–using the wrong gear especially when it comes to tripods and more especially, tripod heads… Please know that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

HEGU-ACR-streak

This image was created on the 1st San Diego IPT on the morning of January 18, 2018 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III — at 437mmm — and the blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/250 sec. at f/8. AWB at at 8:11am on a slightly overcast morning.

Center Large Zone/AI Servo AF(Continuous with Nikon)/Shutter Button/ (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the gull’s forehead just above and slightly forward of the bird’s eye. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Heermann’s Gull, adult wing stretch/with the ACR defaults settings

Exposing to the Washed Out Right …

Above are the ACR default settings for today’s featured; note the RGB values for the brightest WHITEs on the top of the bird’s head: 252, 252, 253. I usually like to keep my WHITEs in the mid-240s with Nikon but in soft light I am fine going a bit higher. Note also that white feathers in soft light rarely if ever show any detail. Take a look also at the left side of the histogram, the side where the dark tones live. There is no data at all on the left side of the histogram. That tells us that we have done an excellent job of exposing to the right so that the image looks washed out and faded on the back of he camera (as is proper). It is also telling us that our dark tones are too light. Scroll down to see what happens on the left side of the histogram once we set the black point.

HEGUL-ACR-after

This image was created on the 1st San Diego IPT on the morning of January 14, 2018 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III — at 437mmm — and the blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 1250. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/250 sec. at f/8. AWB at 10:20am on a foggy, overcast morning at 7:56am.

One AF point up and one to the left of the center AF point/Shutter Button/Continuos (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the gull’s forehead just above and slightly forward of the bird’s eye. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Heermann’s Gull, adult wing stretch/with my ACR adjustments

The ACR Settings for Today’s Featured Image

Here I moved the Black slider to left while holding down the Alt key until some splotches began to appear. Then I backed off just a bit (to -43) while still holding down the Alt key. When the splotches disappeared I knew that I had a good value for the Black point. If you click on the screen capture above to enlarge it, you can clearly see that the dark tones go much farther to the left side of the histogram than they did with the default settings. Note that I increased the contrast in the image without touching the Contrast slider …

I no longer move the Clarity slider to +20 by rote. Instead, I move the slider to the right slowly to taste. I usually wind up between +5 and +10. In this screen capture you get a better look at the the distracting streak.

Heerman's-Gull,-soft-light-wing-stretch-_J1I0081--La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created on the 1st San Diego IPT on the morning of January 14, 2018 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III — at 437mmm — and the blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 1250. Evaluative metering +1 2/3 stops: 1/250 sec. at f/8. AWB at 10:20am on a foggy, overcast morning at 7:56am.

One AF point up and one to the left of the center AF point/Shutter Button/Continuos (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was on the gull’s forehead just above and slightly forward of the bird’s eye. Click on the image to enjoy a larger version.

Heermann’s Gull, adult wing stretch/Optimized

The Optimized Image

Most of the important work here was done during the RAW conversion. I did execute a 3X2 crop from the right and above to tighten things up. A flopped Quick Mask refined by a Regular Layer Mask was used to to cover the distracting streak. Then I put the whole thing on a layer, ran a 65-pixel Gaussian Blur on that, added an Inverse (Black or Hide-all) Mask, and painted in the blur where needed to smooth out the background. I reduced the MAGENTA saturation to eliminate the slight color cast in the grey feathers and lightened the iris just a bit to finish things off.

I love the soft light and all the angles in this image. Heermann’s Gulls are quite beautiful and are common in San Diego in January.

DBII-cover

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

You can order your copy from the BAA Online Store here, by sending a Paypal for $40 here, or by calling Jim or Jennifer weekdays at 863-692-0906 with your credit card in hand.

The BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II)

Your guessed it, everything mentioned above and tons more is covered in detail in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II), an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. Learn more and check out the free excerpt in the blog post here. While the new e-Guide reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow, folks using a PC and/or BreezeBrowser will also benefit greatly by studying the material on DB II. Do note that you will find the RGB Curves Adjustment Color Balancing tutorial only in the new e-guide. Note: folks working on a PC and/or those who do not want to miss anything Photoshop may wish to purchase the original Digital Basics along with DB II while saving $15 by clicking here to buy the DB Bundle.

The two most recent and many of the older MP4 Photoshop Tutorial videos releases go hand and hand with the information in DB II):

  • The Wingtip Repairs MP4 Video here.
  • The MP4 Crow Cleanup Video here.

Folks who learn well by following along rather than by reading can check out the complete collection of MP 4 Photoshop Tutorial Videos by clicking here.

You can learn how and why I converted nearly all of my Canon digital RAW files in DPP 4 using Canon Digital Photo Professional in the DPP 4 RAW conversion Guide here. And, yes, I still have many Canon images to work on. 🙂 You can learn advanced Quick Masking and advanced Layer Masking techniques in APTATS I & II. You can save $15 by purchasing the pair. Folks can learn sophisticated sharpening and (NeatImage) Noise Reduction techniques in the The Professional Post Processing Guide by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.





Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

Facebook

Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.

Typos

In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

April 21st, 2018

Picking a Keeper: 5001 Versus 5013. Rain Gear Help Needed.

Stuff

I am using Tramadol for pain relief. Once the powerful stuff in me that was left over from the surgery began to wear off, I have had a bit of pain, especially when standing up or sitting down (as is expected from inguinal hernia surgery). I slept only about 3 or four hours on Thursday night but caught up during the day on Friday taking many long drowsy naps, again as expected. All in all I am feeling pretty good. I did many hours of work on the Used Gear Page and am almost caught up …

I sold Anita North’s 1DX Mark II in excellent plus condition with extras and 247,000 shutter actuations for $3399 before it was even listed. (Anita is way trigger-happy but the 1DX II shutter is rated to 800,000 actuations.)

The Streak

Today makes two hundred sixty-five days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took two hours to prepare including the time spent on the image optimization. With all of my upcoming free time (or not…), the plan right now is to try to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

Rain Gear Help Needed

If you have rain gear (top and bottom) that you love, that is rugged, that is not rubberized, and that actually keeps you dry even when sitting in a puddle, please do share. And please be specific. A link is fine.

Thanks to the Patient

With the injured shoulder, the recently concluded DeSoto IPT, and the hernia surgery, I have gotten more than a bit behind on e-mails, especially some Used Gear Sales business. Many thanks for your patience. I will have lots of time to rest for the next week and will be catching up.

SamsoniteSpinner29

Samsonite 29″ Spinner Luggage

I use and depend on two Samsonite 29″ Spinners for my world travels; they usually go at 49 1/2 pounds each … Put them back to back with the handles pulled out and you can push or pull them anywhere with a fairly smooth surface. That leaves one hand free to pull your Think Tank Roller (the larger AIRPORT SECURITY™ V3.0 or the slightly smaller AIRPORT INTERNATIONAL™ V3.0 — I own both, the Security for maximum loads or the International when traveling light). The roomy and amazing Think Tank URBAN DISGUISE® 60 CLASSIC (V3.0) shoulder bag has a sleeve on it that slides onto the extended handle of your carry-on roller. Click here to order your Think Tank stuff and receive a free gift.

The Samsonite Spinners are available in three colors. Click here to order your pair from Amazon. Or click on this link for lots more spinner options.

Dark-siders: Please Do Not Take This Personally

I have been saying this for a while: after many years in the business of brokering used gear sales, one pattern that I have seen is that most Nikon folks think that there stuff is worth a lot more than it actually is. That especially with regard to the sale of the older 600mm lenses, some of which weigh in the 12-14 pound range. If you can shed any light as to why this might be the case, I’d love to hear from you.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

New Listings

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM Lens

Ron Gates is offering a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS USM lens (the original version) in excellent condition for $899.00. There are a few nicks on the tripod collar. The sales includes the front and rears lens covers, the tough fabric zippered case, and insured ground shipping via major courier.

Please contact Ron via e-mail or by phone at 972-890-4105 (Central time.)

I owned and used this lens, the original IS version of the incredibly versatile 70-200 for birds and wildlife and landscapes and Urbex for many years with both teleconverters. It was great indoors for events like granddaughter Maya’s dance recitals. A new copy of the 70-200 II currently sells for $1,949 so you can save a small fortune by grabbing Ron’s lens. artie

Canon EOS-1D X

Ron Gates is also offering a Canon EOS-1D X in near-mint condition for $2499. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it and insured ground shipping via major courier.

Please contact Ron via e-mail or by phone at 972-890-4105 (Central time.)

Two 1DX bodies served admirably as my workhorse digital camera bodies for several years when I was using Canon gear. The original 1DX has a superb AF system and produces high quality image files. It is fabulous for photographing birds in flight and in action. Some folks wish that they had kept there 1DX bodies and not upgraded to the 1DX Mark II. artie

Canon EOS 7D

Ron Gates is also offering a Canon EOS 7D in near-mint condition for $350. The sale includes the strap, the front body cap, the battery charger, the instruction manuals, and insured ground shipping via major courier.

Please contact Ron via e-mail or by phone at 972-890-4105 (Central time.)

Ron’s used Canon EOS 7D would make a great and inexpensive starter camera body for anyone wishing to explore the possibilities of digital photography. artie

Canon MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite

Ron Gates is also offering a MT-24EX Macro Twin Lite in excellent condition for $499. The sale includes the original box, the instruction manual, and insured ground shipping via major courier.

Please contact Ron via e-mail or by phone at 972-890-4105 (Central time.)

I owned and used my Macro Twin Lite with my Canon 180mm macro lens for years. artie

Some Used Gear Comments

#1: I have been surprised that the items listed below did not sell quickly.

#2: I have been fairly criticized at times for encouraging folks to price their gear too low. That often when several items sell on the first day of listing …

#3: But many of you may not know that I almost always suggest a range of prices and give folks the final say. What often happens is that when the pick the higher price the stuff does not sell … And most of the time when they go with the lower price the stuff sells very quickly. I have learned that there is a very fine line. That said, there have been rare times when the seller opted for the highest price and the item sold quickly. In those cases I love to apologize for being wrong.

Price Reductions!

Nikkor 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 G ED VR Lens

Price reduced $100 on April 20, 2018!

Steve Ellis is offering a used Nikkor 28-300mm 3.5-5.6 G ED VR lens in excellent condition for $499 (was $599). The lens has some very minor wear on the finish. The sale includes the original box, soft case, manual, lens hood, front and rear lens caps, and insured shipping via UPS Ground to US addresses only. Personal checks only; the lens will be shipped only after your check clears.

Contact Steve via e-mail or call him at 1-203-247-4912 (Eastern time zone).

The 28-300 focal length range makes this lens very versatile. It is a great travel and B roll lens and a great lens to have at Bosque. It sells new at B&H for $964.95. artie

Tamron SP 150-600 f/5.6-6.5 Di VC USD

Price reduced $100 on April 20, 2018

Margaret Page is offering a Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD lens for Canon in like-new condition (used only once) for the ridiculously low price of $599 (was $699). The sale includes the lens hood, the soft case, the front and rear caps, the instruction sheet, the original box are included, and insured ground shipping via UPS. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Margaret via e-mail or by phone at 706-761-5555 (Eastern time).

Several folks on IPTs have used this lens and made lots of sharp images. A telling factor is that there are no used copies of this lens available on eBay or in the B&H Used Gear listings. artie

Brandt's-Coromorant-pick-em

These two images were created on the 2nd San Diego IPT on the morning of January 31 at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO 400. Matrix metering -2/3 stop.
Image 5001: 1/2500 sec. at f/6.3. Image 5013: 1/2000 sec. at f/7.1. Both in Manual mode. AUTO0 WB at 10:20am on a clear day.

One to the left and one up from the center Group (grp)/Shutter Button/Continuos (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. In each image the upper AF point in the array just below and in front of the bird’s eye. Clicking on the image for a larger version will make it easier to compare.

Brandt’s Cormorant, gular panting

5001 Versus 5013

First, be sure to click on the image to see the larger version that will make it easier to compare the two.

  • 1-What is the single thing about image 5001 that is much better than in image 5013?
  • 2-What is the single thing about image 5013 that is much better than in image 5001?
  • 3-Which image would you choose to optimize?
  • 4-What is the best anything goes plan for optimizing 5001?

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Please Remember to use my Affiliate Links and to Visit the New BAA Online Store 🙂

To show your appreciation for my continuing efforts here, we ask, as always, that you get in the habit of using my B&H affiliate links on the right side of the blog for all of your photo and electronics purchases. Please check the availability of all photographic accessories in the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store, especially the Mongoose M3.6 tripod head, Wimberley lens plates, Delkin flash cards and accessories, and LensCoat stuff.

As always, we sell only what I have used, have tested, and can depend on. We will not sell you junk. We know what you need to make creating great images easy and fun. And please remember that I am always glad to answer your gear questions via e-mail.

I would of course appreciate your using our B&H affiliate links for all of your major gear, video, and electronic purchases. For the photographic stuff mentioned in the paragraph above, and for everything else in the new store, we, meaning BAA, would of course greatly appreciate your business. Here is a huge thank you to the many who have been using our links on a regular basis and those who will be visiting the New BIRDS AS ART Online Store as well.

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Typos

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