Canon EOS 5D Mark IV First Image… You be the judge/What focal length? « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV First Image... You be the judge/What focal length?

What’s Up?

I got down to the lake early in the morning to find lots of Sandhill Cranes and White Ibises. I worked from the car. I created a few keepers with the new camera. I will likely share my impressions of the 5D IV in Sunday’s blog post. I want to use it a bit first.

I had my teeth cleaned, shopped at Publix, and enjoyed a great swim in the late afternoon. And still had time to stockpile some more blog posts. Amazingly, I have over 30.

Please remember that the blog is intended to be interactive; the more folks who participate, the more everyone learns, including you. And me.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending IPTs and dozens of the folks 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.

The Streak: 309!

Todayโ€™s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 309 days in a row with a new educational blog post. There should be no end in sight until my big South America trip next fall. Or not… As always-โ€“and folks have been doing a really great job recentlyโ€“-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. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the new BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would appreciate your business.


This image was created on the morning of Thursday September 15, 2016 with my new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

Sandhill Crane, tight head portrait

What focal length?

Please leave a comment and let us know what focal length you think was used to create this image. Please remember, the cranes at ILE will walk right up to you… I will post the answer on Sunday. The image quality–see the 100% crop below, might help you. Or not…


This is a 100% crop of today’s featured image

Whaddya Think?

Whaddya think of the sharpness, the image quality, and the FFD (fine feather detail)?


The DPP 4 Screen Capture

The DPP 4 Screen Capture

Note the active AF point (AF Expand) squarely on the bird’s eye. Note also the greenish color cast and the two bits of crud on the bird’s crown. Both were eliminated during the post processing.

The 5D IV and the DeSoto IPT

Join the IPT and get to use my 5D Mark IV for one hour ๐Ÿ™‚ See immediately below for details.


Fort DeSoto in fall is rife with tame birds. All of the images in this card were created at Fort DeSoto in either late September or early October. I hope that you can join me there this fall one way or another. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

BIRDS AS ART Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Meet-up Workshop (ITFW): $99

Join me on the morning of October 2, 2016 for 3-hours of photographic instruction at Fort DeSoto Park. Beginners are welcome. Lenses of 300mm or longer are recommended but even those with 70-200s should get to make some nice images. Teleconverters are always a plus.

You will learn the basics of digital exposure and image design, autofocus basics, and how to get close to free and wild birds. We should get to photograph a variety of wading birds, shorebirds, terns, and gulls. This inexpensive morning workshop is designed to give folks a taste of the level and the quality of instruction that is provided on BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-tours. I hope to meet you there.

To register please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours with a credit card in hand to pay the nominal registration fee. Your registration fee is non-refundable. You will receive a short e-mail with instructions, gear advice, and meeting place one week before the event.


Folks attending the IPT will be in the field early and stay out late to take advantage of sunrise and sunset colors. The good news is that the days are relatively short in early fall. Click on the composite to enjoy a larger version.

Fort DeSoto Short Notice Fall IPT/September 28 (meet & greet at 2pm followed by our afternoon session) through the full day on October 1, 2016. 3 1/2 DAYs: $1549. Limit 10/Openings: 6. Sunday morning ITFW free to IPT registrants.

Fort DeSoto, located just south of St. Petersburg, FL, is a mecca for migrant shorebirds in fall. There they join dozens of egrets, herons, night-herons, gulls, and terns who winter on the T-shaped peninsula that serves as their wintering grounds. With any luck, we should get to photograph two of Florida’s most desirable shorebird species: Marbled Godwit and the spectacular Long-billed Curlew. Black-bellied Plover and Willet are easy, American Oystercatcher likely. Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, and Tricolored Heron are easy as well and we will almost surely come up with a tame Yellow-crowned Night-Heron or two. We should get to do some Brown Pelican flight photography. And Royal, Sandwich, Forster’s, and Caspian Terns will likely provide us with some good flight opportunities as well. Though not guaranteed, Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork would not be unexpected.

Folks who sign up for the IPT are welcome to join me as my guest on the ITFW on the Sunday morning following the workshop. See above for details on that.

On this and all other IPTs you will learn basics and fine points of digital exposure and to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, how to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify and age many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, to, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you’re scared of it).

At brunch (included) we will review my images–folks learn a ton watching me edit–why keep this one and delete that one? If you opt to bring your laptop, we can take a look at a few of your images from the morning session. We will process a few of my images in Photoshop after converting them in DPP. That followed by Instructor Nap Time.

As I already have one signed up for this workshop, it is a go. Hotel info will be e-mailed when you register. The best airport is Tampa (TPA). It is always best if IPT folks stay in the same hotel so if you are interested it would be a good idea to register now and make your hotel reservations as soon as you hear from us. We can, however, coordinate with local folks who opt to stay at home.

Because of the relatively late date, payment is full is due upon registration either by check or credit card. If the former, please e-mail us immediately so that we can save you a spot. If the latter, please call Jim or Jennifer during weekday business hours at 863-692-0906 with a credit card in hand to register. Your registration fee is non-refundable unless the IPT sells out with eight so please check your plans carefully before committing. You will receive a confirmation e-mail with detailed instructions and gear & clothing advice a fairly soon.

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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.

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In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right ๐Ÿ™‚

25 comments to Canon EOS 5D Mark IV First Image… You be the judge/What focal length?

  • avatar John Patton

    After reading previous blog posts about shooting from your vehicle at the lake I would guess you used the 600 with the 2x extender on the BLUBB.

  • avatar Cheri

    I’d say 600mm with either the 1.4 or 2x extender. If I were testing this camera, I would want to see what the sharpness and performance was with the longest focal length I could achieve. (For me – 800mm and 1.4x = 1120mm). I would guess that at 400mm this camera rocks!

  • Since I have a plugin installed on Chrome to show exif of images I can’t participate anymore, I saw it even before reading the post ๐Ÿ™

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Next time I will try to remember to strip the EXIF for quizzes. Thanks for not being a spoiler.


  • Judging from the catchlight in the eye, I’d guess that this was shot fairly close… The only problem I have with my guess is (if my first guess is right) I would assume the 24-105L, 70-200 v2, 300L v2, and the 100-400 v2 would seem a hair sharper bare and that seems like a lot of bokeh for the shorter options. Tough quiz… 105mm is my final answer.

  • avatar Joel Eade

    Just out of curiosity…did you try any images in Dual Pixel Raw mode and make any attempt to adjust the focal point with DPP?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Dr. Joel,

      For now, I am leaving that to my good friend Patrick Sparkman; he is working on it each afternoon and is not seeing much…


  • avatar Marr

    Using a bean bag with the 600 & 1.4EX @f/5.6. Nice capture!

  • avatar MR

    Hi Art,
    I’m going to say either 840mm or 1200mm. I’m pretty sure over the years I’ve seen plenty of photos shot out of your car on a beanbag using the 600mm +/- converters. Beautiful photo.

  • avatar James Saxon

    400 DO + 1.4 tele. Very fine feather detail and a sharp eye.

  • avatar Loren Charif

    I’m going to say 1200mm. I’ll tell you my reasons after you reveal the correct answer ๐Ÿ™‚

  • avatar Neil Caithness

    400mm would put you about 3m from the bird, and perhaps slightly above its head from a car. I think there would be more background detail then, even though out of focus.

  • avatar Krishna Prasad

    My guess is that this was shot at 400mm Focal Length. I really like the shot. lots of details.

  • Working from the car and testing the body rules out the 600 for me so I will go with the 100-400 @400, probably wide open @5.6.

  • Just a WAG but it could be 200mm…

  • avatar Frank Sheets

    Out for a little test of the new body?, I don’t think you would have been using your 600, especially out of the car. Tough to manage in confined spaces. So my guess, either the 400mm DOII or 100/400. I suspect for a test you wanted the most flexibility, so I would narrow the guess to the 100/400. Aperture wide open, f/5.6, considering the narrow DOF. I am really impressed with the image quality. I am assuming the light was pretty good, so your ISO would have been in the 400-800 range so I would not expect to see much noise, but if it were higher, love the lack of noise, especially in the 100% crop.

  • avatar Mike

    I will just take a wild guess 24-105 F 4, II at 105mms.
    I am more interested in seeing 3200 iso images….. I know 30mp is going to be sharp.

  • avatar David Policansky

    Wonderful tack-sharp image, Artie. 400 mm seems a reasonable guess for focal length, but it’s just that, a guess.

  • avatar Barry Ekstrand

    Nice and sharp, detail is great and it makes for a great portrait. I agree with Mal, DOF looks pretty small and I’ll second the guess of 400mm f/5.6. But where I’m really hung up is trying to figure out how you took a photograph 9 days into the future! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for catching my typo. What can I say? The 2 is right next to the 1!


      ps: it has been fixed.

  • avatar Neil Caithness

    Hi Artie

    You say you worked from your car, so perhaps 10m from the bird? Estimating a sand hill crane’s head to be about 240mm (guesstimated from a picture and average height of about 120cm), a focal length of 1200mm fills about 80% of the frame.

    (All in mm)
    (1200 * 240 * 100) ./ (10000 * 36) = 80

    So my guess is a 600 II + 2X III TC. I’ll through in f/9, 1/1000 sec and low ISO for fun to see if I’m at all close.

  • Typo : 15 sept. Not 25.
    600 mm II f5.6
    Great sharpnes, ffd and good IQ, except for the little greenish color cast.
    By the way, how do you identify and correct such a color cast?
    Thanks to show us more shots in the coming days with the 5d4
    Dxo mark rank it over the 1dx II for overall quality and dynamic range. In fact, the best Canon camera up to now.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Yves,

      The color cast was in the original as seen in the DPP 4 screen capture. Sometimes you can ID the color cast by duplicating the image and going Filter > Blur > Average and noting the RBG numbers. Or by putting the cursor on a white or a neutral on noting the RBG #s. But usually it is done by eye-balling it…. There are lots of ways to correct it including average blur color balancing and working with a Hue Saturation adjustment. They are all detailed in Digital Basics and I will be doing some new MP-4 videos soon that cover the topic and lots more. The funny thing about all the ways of balancing the color and eliminating color casts is that most of them don’t work for a given image so it pays to have lots of arrows in your quiver so that you can find the one that works perfectly.


  • avatar Matthew Kirby

    My guess: 100-400 II focal length between 300-400mm, subject distance around 2 metres.

  • avatar Mal Graham

    Outstanding portrait Artie. Spot-on focus on that eye. The fine black hairs on the head look to show plenty of detail.

    Depth of field looks to only be about 1-2cm. I’m assuming it’s pretty close to you as you mentioned they’re quite tame, so I’ll guess 400mm f/5.6.