100-400II/5DS R Flight: 2X3 or Pano Crop? Your Call « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

100-400II/5DS R Flight: 2X3 or Pano Crop? Your Call

What’s Up

I am just about finished with my 2015 taxes awaiting a only return e-mail from my accountant on a wages question. I enjoyed my longest swim in many months and am heading for an ice bath in a very few minutes.

If you are interested in the 2017 Japan in Winter trip please scroll down for details on this amazing experience. Please e-mail for couples or repeat customer discount information.

The Streak

Today’s blog post marks an insane 201 days in a row with a new educational (and fun) blog post. And I still have dozens of new topics to cover; there should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. As always-–and folks have been doing a really great job recently–-please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. Please remember that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.

Selling Your Used Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, the original 400mm IS DO lens, and most recently, the 200-400 with Internal Extender, have been dropping steadily. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the yellow-orange tab on the left side of the lower menu bar above.

Recent Sales

  • Robert Doster sold his used Canon EOS 7D body in excellent condition for $419 in early April.
  • Sandra Calderbank sold her Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR camera body in mint condition for $1599 in mid-April in one day.
  • Jim Keener sold a Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM lens in mint condition for $999 in early May.
  • IPT veteran Bill Wingfield sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in excellent condition for $1498 in late April.
  • IPT veteran Carolyn Peterson sold her Canon EOS 5D Mark III in excellent condition for $1,549 in early May.
  • KW McCulloch sold his used Canon 5DMark III for $1499 in mid-May before it was even listed.
  • Paul Roscoe sold his Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II lens in mint condition for $9450 in mid-May.
  • The sale of Les Greenberg’s Canon EOS Canon 5D Mark III is pending.

New Listings

Canon EF 100-400 USM IS USM Lens (the old 1-4)

Janet Horton is offering her used Canon EF 100-400 USM IS USA lens in excellent condition for $629. The lens hood shows small signs of use, but otherwise the lens is unmarked and in perfect working order. The sale includes the Canon LZ1324 Lens case with strap, the Canon ET-83C Lens Hood, the rear cap, and insured ground shipping via major carrier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Janet by e-mail or by phone at 425-313-3060 (Pacific time).

I owned and used the original 100-400 with great success for close to a decade and made many memorable and sale-able images with it. artie

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Lens

Long-ago IPT veteran Charles Sleicher is offering his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens in very good plus condition for $3750. The sale includes a RRS plate, the 52mm drop-in Canon polarizer, the original leather front lens cover, the lens trunk, the original product box, and insured ground shipping to US addresses only. The lens has a few small spots where the paint has worn off, but is otherwise excellent; the glass is mint and the lens functions perfectly. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Charles via e-mail or by phone at 206-254-1576 (Pacific time).

I owned and used this lens for well more than a decade before upgrading to the 500 II. Lenses of this versatile focal length have long been the world’s most popular super-telephoto lenses. artie


This photo, today’s featured image, was created on the eagle boat at Rausu on the 2015 Japan in Winter IPT with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +2 stops off the gray sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF with the selected AF point squarely on the top of the eagle’s back was active at the moment of exposure. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: Steller’s Sea-eagle taking flight

The Great Wall of Japan Part II

In the “The Great Wall of Japan” blog post here, I described a can’t miss birds in flight situation. This is another of the many keepers that I made that morning. Staller’s Sea-Eagle and Red-crowned Crane are my two favorite Japan in Winter species. Soon I will be sharing some more images of each with you here. Along with more new lessons.


This is a pano crop of today’s featured image. With the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and the mega mega-pixel Canon EOS 5DS R. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +2 stops off the gray sky: 1/1600 sec. at f/5.6 in Manual mode. AWB.

Center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF with the selected AF point squarely on the top of the eagle’s back (as originally framed) was active at the moment of exposure. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #2 Pano crop of Steller’s Sea-eagle taking flight

2X3 or Pano Crop? Your Call

Which do you prefer, the 2X3 version or the pano crop? Help keep the blog interactive by letting us know which you like better and why.


Consider joining me in Japan in February, 2017, for the world’s best Japan in Winter workshop. Click on the card to enjoy the spectacular larger version.

Japan In Winter IPT. February 9-24, 2017: $11,499 (was $13,999)/double occupancy. Limit 9/Openings: 5.

Price Reduced $2,500 on 3-8-16!

All lodging including the Tokyo hotel on 9 FEB, all breakfasts & dinners, ground transport and transfers including bus to the monkey park hotel, and all entrance fees and in-country flights are included. Not included: international flights, some lunches–a few are on the run, and alcoholic beverages.

Please e-mail for couple and IPT repeat customer discount information.

This trip is one day longer than the great 2014 trip to allow for more flexibility, more time with the cranes, and most importantly, more time for landscape photography. Hokkaido is gorgeous. You will enjoy tons of pre-trip planning and gear advice, in-the-field instruction and guidance, at-the-lodge Photoshop and image review sessions in addition to short introductory slide programs for each of the amazing locations. Skilled photographer Paul McKenzie handles the logistics and we enjoy the services of Japan’s best wildlife photography guide whom I affectionately call “Hokkaido Bear.” His network of local contacts and his knowledge of the weather, the area, and the birds is unparalleled and enables him to have us in the best location every day.


Amazing subjects. Beautiful settings. Nonstop action and unlimited opportunities. Join me.

The Logistics

Arrive Tokyo: 9 FEB 2017 the latest. 8 FEB is safer and gives you a day to get acclimated to the time change. Your hotel room for the night of the 9th is covered.

Bus Travel to Monkey Park Hotel: 10 FEB: A 1/2 DAY of monkey photography is likely depending on our travel time… This traditional hotel is first class all the way. Our stay includes three ten course Japanese dinners; these sumptuous meals will astound you and delight your taste buds. There are many traditional hot springs mineral baths (onsens) on site in this 150 year old hotel.

Full Day snow monkeys: FEB 11.

Full Day snow monkeys: FEB 12.

13 FEB: Full travel day to Hokkaido/arrive at our lodge in the late afternoon. The lodge is wonderful. All the rooms at the lodge have beds. Bring your warm pajamas. A local onsen (hot springs bath and tubs) is available for $5 each day before dinner–when you are cold, it is the best thing since sliced bread. The home-cooked Japanese styles meals at the lodge are to die for. What’s the best news? Only a small stand of woods separates us from the very best crane sanctuary. During one big snowstorm we were the only photo group to be able to get to Tsurui Ito; we had the whole place to ourselves in perfect conditions for crane photography!

FEB 14-23: Red-crowned Crane, raptors in flight, Whooper Swans, and scenic photography. Ural Owl possible. An overnight trip to Rausu for Steller’s Sea Eagle and White-tailed Eagle photography on the tourists boats is 100% dependent on the weather, road, and sea ice conditions. Only our trip offers complete flexibility in this area. It has saved us on more than once occasion. The cost of 2 eagle-boat trips is included. If the group would like to do more than two boat trips and we all agree, there will be an additional charge for the extra trip or trips. No matter the sea ice conditions, we will do two eagle boat trips (as long as we can make the drive to Rausu; it snows a lot up there). We have never been shut out.In 2016 there was no sea ice but our guide arranged for two amazingly productive boat trips.

Lodging notes: bring your long johns for sleeping in the lodge. At the Snow Monkey Park, and in Rausu, the hotel the rooms are Japanese-style. You sleep on comfortable mats on the floor. Wi-fi is available every day of the trip.

FEB 24. Fly back to Tokyo for transfer to your airport if you are flying home that night, or, to your hotel if you are overnighting. If you need to overnight, the cost of that room is on you.


Life is short. Hop on the merry-go-round.

To Sign Up

To save your spot, please send your $5,000 non-refundable deposit check made out to “Birds as Art” to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL 33855. I do hope that you can join me for this trip of a lifetime. Do e-mail with any questions or give me a buzz at 863-692-0906.

Purchasing travel insurance within 2 weeks of our cashing your deposit check is strongly recommended. On two fairly recent Galapagos cruises a total of 5 folks were forced to cancel less than one week prior to the trip. My family and I use Travel Insurance Services and strongly recommend that you do the same.

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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 we are 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 we, 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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22 comments to 100-400II/5DS R Flight: 2X3 or Pano Crop? Your Call

  • avatar Mal Graham

    2×3 crop for me. Totally subjective but for me the wider crop makes the bird look more free with more space to move.

    Those talons, wow!

  • avatar Byron Prinzmetal

    The pano makes me feel closer to the bird so I like it better….bp

  • avatar Kathleen Graff

    Pano crop. Beautiful bird and really great shot by you.

  • avatar David Peake

    For me its the pano crop and I like the stirred up snow you left behind the bird. I would generally crop some more from the right of the frame , but not this time.

  • avatar Warren Robb

    I love the intensity and focus that raptors display in everything they do. So for me, the pano crop best conveys the acton and effort of the stretched-out eagle and flying snow. Surely this is one for your next San Diego exhibition or contest entry.

  • avatar Bill Dix

    Stunning takeoff shot, with head and talons clear. Pano for me, to allow the eye to focus more on the fabulous bird. Only I would prefer just a small sliver off the right (still keeping the flying snow) and equal amount added to the left for more flying room.

  • avatar Brendan

    I’ll go against the grain and say I like the 2:3 more than the pano.

    I know the bird is the same in both, but the action feels different. I imagine the bird in the pano to be taking a short hop to reposition in the snow – maybe just a short hop to sit somewhere else. It feels as if the bird in the 2:3 is taking off to go soaring high in the sky. Somehow more regal and impressive. At least that’s the feeling that I get looking at them…

    Beautiful picture, either crop.

  • avatar Glen

    Good choice with the pano-crop. The 3÷2 crop draws your eye away from the eagle.

  • I prefer the pano, my eye tends to wander up to the empty sky behind the eagle on the 2×3.

  • FWIW, this is one of my all-time faves of yours. 🙂
    That said, I like the pano crop better because of the horizontality (is that a word??) of the eagle’s motion and the lovely pale blue (ice? ocean?) background. By contrast, the 3:2 looks constrained.

  • avatar Loren Charif

    Pano crop. A lot of white sky above the bird in the 2×3 that doesn’t contribute anything to the image, and in the pano, the bird is more prominent. Also, the pano feels more balanced.

    All of that said, either way it’s a fantastic image.

  • avatar Jim Brown

    I agree with Maggi. In any shot I like more room below the subject than above. Gives a solid base without the overhanging weight.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Jim,

      As a general rule, I disagree with you but only 99.99%. In almost all of my images, I strive to leave more room above the bird than below. If you do not think that that it what I do, simply look at all the images on the blog since its inception. You will have to look long and hard to find a few images with more room below the bird than above. And nearly all of those will be small in the frame verticals. Feel free to post links to images that show otherwise. a

  • avatar Maggi Fuller

    Definitely the pano crop, in fact, I would have cropped more!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Disagree. Cropped more from where? a

      ps: do see my response to Jim’s comment above 🙂

  • Pano. Pretty much goes with the long lines of the image. Don’t know if this was your intent or not, but I like how by leaving the space behind the eagle, it catches the snow being stirred up after take off.


  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. What a great shot. The eagle seems to have snow on its wings. (“De-ice! De-ice!”). I don’t feel strongly either way about the two crops, but I am wondering why you left so much space behind the bird in the 2×3 crop.

  • avatar Neil Caithness

    Definitely the pano crop. I think the stretched perspective is more dramatic in some undefinable way.

  • avatar Wilfred Marissen

    Lovely shot. I prefer the pano, seems to result in a more balanced picture from a composition perspective. Or at least for me as these things are subjective. Thanks for your insights.


    PS. Great improvement on the BAA store!