100% Proof and Lots More « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

100% Proof and Lots More

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This, as requested by Diane Miller, is a 100% crop (unsharpened) of an image created with the Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens, the Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter, and the Canon EOS-1DX. Mongoose M3.6 with the Skimmer II Ground Pod.

ISO 800: Evaluative metering -1 1/3 stops: 1/800 sec. at f/9 in Av mode.

AI Servo/Rear Focus AF and recompose. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image for a larger version.

100% Proof

The unsharpened 100% view above looks pretty good to me. Surely a similar image created with the 800 alone and the 1DX would show a bit more feather fine detail but by my standards, it is professionally sharp. Most folks here know the pen test for sharpness. I devised this test about ten years ago when it was not uncommon to sell an image or two for publication. What’s the pen test? When the buyer signs the check to purchase the right to publish an image, that is proof to me that the image is sharp enough…. Do remember that the images that come out of digital cameras will be inherently unsharp as compared to a sharp film image.

What do you think?

semipalmated-sandpiper-juvenal-with-leg-rasied-_q8r0535-east-pond-jamaica-bay-wildlife-refuge-queens-ny

This moderately worn juvenile Semipalmated Sandpiper image was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens, the Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter, and the Canon EOS-1DX. Mongoose M3.6 with the Skimmer II Ground Pod.

ISO 800: Evaluative metering -1 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode.

AI Servo/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image for a larger version.

Lots More With the Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter

The image above shows two things:

1-It is routinely possible to create sharp images when the Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter is teamed with the Canon EOS-1DX and the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens.
2-AF is more than good enough to track moving subjects.
3-The metering system of the 1DX does not recognize the loss of one stop of light with the off-brand teleconverter so it is necessary to use one stop less light than you would without the Kenko 1.4X TC in place. As always, you need to be diligent about checking the histogram and make sure to check for blinkies after you create a single image in a new situation. (Note to self: remember that one!)

In this image I love the raised foot, the grass, and the tertial feathers that were blown out of place by the south breeze. The whitish-grey framing is courtesy of the bathing gulls; I needed to move to my left so that the gull reflections did not directly intersect the young shorebird.

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This bathing adult Laughing Gull image was again created with the Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens, the Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter, and the Canon EOS-1DX. Mongoose M3.6 with the Skimmer II Ground Pod.

ISO 800: Evaluative metering -1 stop: 1/1250 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode.

AI Servo/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image for a larger version.

Though the 1DX autofocus system is similar to that of the 5D Mark III I have developed and been using some new strategies as far as the AF Area Selection Modes. I will be sharing what I learned only in the 1DX User’s Guide. I can say that I have been amazed by more than a few things in this area….

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This bathing juvenile Lesser Yellowlegs image was also (heck, that’s the point here) created with the Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens, the Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter, and the Canon EOS-1DX. Mongoose M3.6 with the Skimmer II Ground Pod.

ISO 800: Evaluative metering -1 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/9 in Manual mode.

AI Servo/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image for a larger version.

The blazingly fast frame rate and sure AF of the 1DX allowed me to create several sharp, well-framed images in each bathing bird sequence.

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This Great-blacked Back Gull was dining on a juvenile skimmer last night at Nickerson. As with all of the images here, this one was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens, the Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter, and the Canon EOS-1DX.

ISO 400: Evaluative metering -1 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/8 in Av mode. Note the two perfect head angles!

AI Servo/Rear Focus AF active at the moment of exposure. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image for a larger version.

Things were looking dire at the beach on Saturday night. The wind was from the east which is bad for flight and for photographing birds on the sand–they will be flying and facing away from you and from the light. But a bad wind for flight is a good wind for potential silhouettes. Only the hoped for color never materialized as the clouds on the western horizon thickened. But, when I walked out on the beach at about 6:15 pm I came across this adult gull enjoying dinner and spent about an hour with it. I will share another image from the series with you here at some point. Or in a Bulletin.

I began standing behind my tripod at full height to minimize the problem of other gulls in the background. When the scene cleared up a bit I knelt behind my tripod with the legs shortened for a more pleasing perspective. At one point I got down flat but there were too many problems with beach-goers heading home in the background.

NYC Seminar

Do consider joining Denise Ippolito and me for a great weekend nature photography seminar in Staten Island, NY in mid-December. For complete details including registration and discount info, click here.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used or mentioned in this Bulletin. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens Right now this is my all time favorite super telephoto lens. But my 600 II is coming soon…. It has great reach, AFs with my EOS-1D Mark IV, is relatively light, and the the four-stop IS is amazing.
Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter. A life-saver for those who own the 800 f/5.6 and either the 5D III or the 1DX. It is sharp and light.
Canon EOS-5D Mark III. Man, I am in love with this camera body. Both the files and the AF system are superb.
Canon EOS-1DX. This superb full frame professional digital camera has changed my approach to bird photography like no other body ever has. Lightning fast with a killer AF system; as predicted, it is a 5D III on steroids.
1.4X III TC The latest version of the 1.4X TC is designed to work best with the Series II Super-telephoto lenses.
The Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body has been discontinued. With the new professional body, the full frame EOS-1DX, focusing only to f/5.6, it is my belief that discontinuing the Mark IV is quite unfortunate for a variety of reasons.
Canon EOS-5D Mark III. Man, I am in love with this camera body. Both the files and the AF system are superb.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders 🙂 And you will love them in mega-cold weather….
Gizo GT3532 LS CF Tripod. This one replaces the GT3530LS Tripod and will last you a lifetime. I’ll be commenting on this new model soon. In short, I like it.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
BreezeBrowser. I do not see how any digital photographer can exist without this program.

Delkin 700X CompactFlash Pro UDMA Enabled Cards

All of the images above were catpured on Delkin’s new 64gb 700X CompactFlash Pro UDMA Enabled Card. Learn more about these great cards by clicking here and learn why the more expensive 1000X cards are overkill for still photographers.

22 comments to 100% Proof and Lots More

  • Brian Carnathan over at The-Digital-Picture just posted his findings and the 1dx w/ updated firmware does AF as well.

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/News/News-Post.aspx?News=3022

    I’ll be testing a 1dx w/ updated firmware later today.

  • Arthur,

    I can confirm that it works w/ the 1dx as well as the 5d iii on the 800 5.6 L, thanks for the discovery!

  • avatar Hossam Sadek

    Artie:
    If the Kenko TC can get the 1DX to focus at f/8 I am sure the Canon engineers can get it to focus at f/8 with a firmware update!!!???

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Me too. But they apparently do not want to.

    • kenko dgx. tried it on 5d iii w/ old firmware and updated firmware and it does not overpose like it does on the 1dx. i have not updated the firmware on my 1dx and will not until i hear full report from others that have used this combo successfully.

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        This one: Kenko Teleplus PRO 300 DGX 1.4x AF Teleconverter??? What firmware on the 5DIII? All with the 800?

        • Hi Arthur, I used two 5d iii’s. one with firmware 1.1.2 and one with firmware 1.1.3 (which i believe is the latest). Both cameras auto focused with the kenko 1.4x dgx (the one you talk about) and 800 5.6 L. There also no over exposure with the 5d iii’s.

  • avatar Leonard Malkin

    Artie, have you stopped using the 1D Mk IV?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I still own two Mark IV bodies but I am concentrating on learning the 1DX right now. I plan on keeping and using both of them. I will always try to use the 1DX for flight and action if possible.

  • avatar Allan Warner

    Have we seen examples of what the Kenko does with the 5 D III? Maybe I missed them, if so.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      As detailed previously, the 5DIII did not AF with the 800 f/5.6. In fact, you cannot photograph at all as the aperture on the 5DIII reads 00 with the Kenko TC in place…. I am not positive how it does with f.4 lenses.

  • Artie, thanks for 5 seconds of fame! I use Lightroom and evaluate images at 100% with the default sharpening value of 25, which is said to not cause artifacts and compensates for the slight blur caused by the anti-aliasing filter. But I like your pen test better. Of course at magnifications like this it’s difficult on any one image to separate optical softness from slight focus errors or tiny vibrations or movement, but I’m very impressed by this combination, and by your ability to do this at 1/800.

    Have you discussed anywhere how the noise of 1DX compares to the 5D III? I’ve heard 1 stop improvement.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      YAW 🙂 There is an example of a 10,000 ISO image somewhere here, in the first post on the Kenko TC I believe. Noise is at least a full stop better than on the 5DIII, more at the ridiculously high ISOs.

  • avatar Bill Richardson

    I wonder if there is a signifigant difference in sharpness between different copies of the Kenko TCs?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I doubt it. There are two different versions and I assume that them ore expensive one is the sharper of the two. The funny thing is that I get all my lenses and TCs off the shelf and I always seem to wind up with sharp copies. I like to think that operator skill has something to do with that. I did, however, once see a really, really bad copy of a 400 DO but that one was obviously damaged….

      • avatar Bill Richardson

        I stick with Canon brand lenses and don’t have experience with third party lenses. I did have 2 bad 100-400s but that was before micro adjustments.

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          I’d love to be using my Canon 1.4X TC with the 1DX and the 800 but the engineers have shut off the ability to do that with code. But in this case the Kenko 1.4X is a lifesaver.

  • avatar Martin

    Artie

    In your shopper’s guide, I think you meant to say “with the 1DX only focusing to f/5.6” If it focused to f/8 we would all be very happy. Martin

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Good catch Martin. I fixed it here and in yesterday’s Bulletin :). So thanks times two.