Another 5D Mark IV Image. And the Focal Length Answer « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Another 5D Mark IV Image. And the Focal Length Answer

What’s Up?

My plans for Saturday include working on the future blog post stockpile, making hotel reservations for the Ushuaia/Torres del Paine segments of my South America busman’s vacation, my shoulder stretching and exercises, and a nice swim.

Join the DeSoto IPT and get to use my 5D Mark IV for one hour. And consider renting my 200-400 cheap! Click on the BAA IPTs tab on the orange/yellow menu bar above for complete details.

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: 311!

Today’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, 311 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-–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. 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.

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, and the original 400mm IS DO lens 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 right side of the menu bar above.

September Used Gear Sales Flaming Hot!

  • Eric Karl sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal Extender in excellent condition for the full asking price, a very low $8,099 in mid-September.
  • Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in mint condition for $1599 with an off-brand battery grip in mid-September.
  • IPT veteran Ken Siegel sold his Canon EOS-1DX in excellent condition with several extras for $2899 in early September.
  • Roger Doughty sold his Canon EOS-1DX in “like-new” condition for $2,749 and his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in like-new condition for $1,049 both within hours of listing them in early September.
  • Multiple IPT veteran Phil Frigon sold his barely used Canon EOS 5DSR in like-new condition for $2799 within three hours of listing it on September 6.
  • Joe Alexander sold his Gitzo GT3532LS carbon fiber tripod and a Wimberley V-2 WH-200 gimbal head both in like-new condition for $799 within an hour of listing it on September 6.
  • IPT veteran Larry Master sold his Canon EOS 5DSR in like-new condition for $2799 in early September.
  • Top pro Jim Zuckerman sold his Canon 7D Mark II in excellent condition for $899, his 5D Mark II in excellent condition for $799, and his Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM lens in very good condition for the amazingly low price of $1049 in early September, all within a week of listing.
  • Yours truly sold his Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II lens in near-mint condition for $4783 in early September.
  • Multiple IPT-veteran Sheldon Goldstein decided to keep his Canon EOS-5D Mark III and have it converted to Infrared by Kolari Vision using the link on the right side of each blog page. Folks who use that link will receive a free copy of my IR White Balance Guide.

New Listing

Canon EOS-1D X with extra battery

Good friend and BAA Japan IPT co-leader–the oft-honored BBC and Nature’s Best photographer Paul McKenzie–is offering a Canon EOS 1DX in excellent condition (but for a few fine scratches) with an extra Canon battery for the very low price of $2299 USD. The body has 61,000 actuations. The sensor was recently cleaned by Canon Professional services and has not been used since. The original box with all the accessories, the spare LP-EN4 battery mentioned above, and insured ground shipping via major courier are included in the sale price.

Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Paul via e-mail.

I used, depended on, and loved my two fast, rugged 1DX cameras as my workhorse bodies for more than three years after their release. The 1DX offers a great AF system, a very fast frame rate, and excellent high ISO performance. It is ideal for birds (especially in flight), wildlife, and sports. The extra battery LP-EN4 battery currently sells $164.95 new at B&H making Paul’s body a great buy. As for the 61,000 actuations, I have never had to have a shutter replaced on any Canon camera body that I have ever owned… artie

WMD: Weapon of Mass Destruction

Canon 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens


Hisham Atallah is offering a Canon 600mm f/4l IS II lens in excellent condition for $9499.The lens is like-new but for two very small blemishes on the top of the lens barrel near the lens info plaque; the glass is 100% clean. The sale includes the: rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the original leather front lens cover, an Acquatech front lens cover, the Wimberley P-50 plate, the extra monopod foot, the lens trunk, a LensCoat, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Hisham via e-mail or by phone at 720 771 2693 (Eastern time).

As y’all know, the 600 II has been my go-to long lens since its introduction several years ago. It is relatively lightweight and super-sharp. It goes great with the 1.4X III TC and with a bit of practice and good sharpness techniques, you should be able to make sharp images with the 2X III TC down to 1/60 sec. As a new one goes for $11,499 you can save an even $2000 by grabbing Hisham’s lens right now. artie


This image was created on Friday morning, September 16 at Indian Lake Estates, FL with the BLUBB-supported Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/6.3. Daylight WB.

Four rows up and one to the right of the center AF point/AI Servo Surround/Shutter Button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point fell on the base of the bill, right on the same plane as the crane’s eye.

LensAlign/FocusTune microadjustment: +5.

Sandhill Crane vertical head and neck portrait in early morning light

ILE’s Dependable Sandhill Cranes…

When I moved from Deltona–an hour north of Orlando–a few year’s after Elaine’s death, it was the Sandhill Cranes walking about everywhere that made me determined to find a home to buy in Indian Lake Estates (ILE). It is wonderful to live in a place where you can find a few cranes to photograph just about every day of the year. The big problem right now is that the big fields down by the lake are so wet and soft from the rains that I am pretty much limited to photographing them from the roads. Whenever I have ventured off-road a bit on my photo outings of the last three days I wound up holding my breath thinking that I might get stuck despite being in low gear… So far, so good.


Why is the distal 3/4 inch of the crane’s bill darker than the rest? Be specific please.


This is a 100% Crop of Today’s featured image…

The 100% Crop

When I reviewed my images from Thursday morning made with the 600 II/1.4XIII/5D Mark IV combo I was not thrilled with the sharpness with the micro-adjustment set to +7. I was in bed on Thursday night at 8:30, woke at 3:30am, worked on a blog post or two, and then decided to redo the LensAlign/FocusTune work. I wound up at +5, not much of a difference in theory, but I was much happier with the sharpness of the images.


This is a 100% crop Friday’s featured image…

What Do You Think?

Going by the two 100% crops, what do you think of the sharpness of today’s image as compared to Friday’s featured image… Please realize that the bird in Friday’s image was a brighter individual and that that image had a lot more pixels on the bird’s face…


This image was created on the morning of Thursday September 15, 2016 with the BLUBB-supported Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the new Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/400 sec. at f/6.3. Daylight WB.

Three AF points to the right and two rows up from the center AF point/AI Servo Expand/Shutter Button AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point fell right on the bird’s eye as seen in the DPP 4 screen capture in Friday’s blog post here.

LensAlign/FocusTune microadjustment: -1

Sandhill Crane, tight head portrait

The Answer

The focal length used to create Friday’s featured image was, as above, 1200mm.

My Comments

Making really sharp images off the BLUBB is a bit tougher than making really sharp images from a tripod. For that reason I almost always use Shutter Button AF when working on the BLUBB. That and perfect sharpness techniques. Many folks assumed that the 600 II is too heavy and bulky to use from the car but I have been doing just that for several decades, often with the 2X TC. Many images are lost to unsharpness but the good ones can be really, really good.

Friday’s image was exceptionally sharp by any standards pretty much for any focal length capture… Most everyone who commented agreed. Kudos to Neil Caithness who nailed the anwser.

I will share my initial thoughts on the 5D Mark IV with y’all here soon.

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

16 comments to Another 5D Mark IV Image. And the Focal Length Answer

  • avatar Indranil

    Hello Artie,

    First of all I would like to say that I am a huge fan of your work. Trust me, very few out there share their experience in such details for free, thanks for that.

    Recently I upgraded to Canon 5d MK IV from 70d being the only reason is ISO performance. I am using canon 500mm f/4 with 1.4 EXIII. I am feeling the images are not much sharp and I am not sure if the subject distance is what matters. Even from close quarters some images are not as sharp as it should be, is micro-adjustment is a necessary for 5d.

  • avatar RonO


    Above you reply to a monopod user, & say, “…strive to have AI Servo AF active at the moment of exposure so that the fore and aft movement of the monopod (and thus the lens) will not throw off AF. Never use One-Shot or Rear Focus AF with a monopod or when hand holding. (They are pretty much the same thing…)”

    I’m confused. Aren’t the choices of One-Shot or AI Servo independent of Rear Focus AF? In other words, I can choose either AF means & activate that AF method via the Rear Focus button. Have I missed something?


    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Ron, The choice of One-Shot or AI Servo are independent of Rear Button focus. But here is what you are missing: when you are working with Rear Button Focus there is no reason to ever be in One-Shot because you have “one-shot” AF by pressing your rear focus button to set the focus and then release it. That is a huge benefit of using Rear Button Focus–you never have to toggle between One-Shot AF and AI Servo AF.

      Let me know if that makes sense.


  • avatar Elizabeth M

    Hi Artie,

    The crop from Friday’s image looks sharper to my eye. Is the tip of the beak darker because it was feeding in the wet grass, and it is therefore wet?

    Making some progress with microadjusting my lenses and getting consistent results! I’ll be going out to test them after adjusting soon.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey E-mac,

      Not sure on the former. Yes on the latter: wet soil. Good luck with the testing and the photography!

      a-mo 🙂

      • avatar Elizabeth M

        Thanks Artie! I successfully microadjusted my 70-200 f.28 II (as a baseline, since I’ve never had issues with that lens, plus it’s short enough that I could do it in my house and leave it set up) to both bodies. Took forever, but my results got more and more consistent with practice. Now adjusting the longer lenses!

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Such a pain having to do the long and short, each with the lens alone, the 1.4X, and the 2X. Yikes!

          Less work with the longer lenses but the 2X can be a pain….

          later and love, artie

  • avatar john w

    Artie: I use 6d with 100-400II for wildlife. Since I am not stationary but walking I use monopod. My question is should IS be on or off??

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi John,

      IS should be on. And if you opt to work off a monopod against my advice 🙂 you should strive to have AI Servo AF active at the moment of exposure so that the fore and aft movement of the monopod (and thus the lens) will not throw off AF. Never use One-Shot or Rear Focus AF and re-compose) with a monopod or when hand holding. (They are pretty much the same thing…)

      later and love, artie

      • avatar Mal Graham

        That’s a very interesting piece of advice Artie. Have you done a blog post previously about the use of monopods? I don’t recall seeing one but there’s two parts of your comment here that caught my eye. The “against my advice” bit and the “never use … Rear Focus AF with a monopod” bit.

        I’m not sure I’m reading your comment correctly but is your advice just not to use a monopod when it’s practical/possible to use a tripod? Or never use a monopod at all (that is, if you can’t use a tripod then just handhold)? I’ve always used a monopod with my 200-400mm lens and find it significantly more stable than attempting to handhold without it (I don’t have guns of steel). 🙂 I should point out that I often walk many kilometres when out photographing birds and can’t comfortably carry my tripod with me all the time.

        As for the second bit, are you just advising not to use Rear Focus AF — and recompose — when working off a monopod? That makes sense to me now and I hadn’t considered it before. I assume there’s no issue with using Rear Focus AF so long as AF is active when shutter is pressed. Something I need to keep in mind.

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Hi Mal, I have not done a blog post on using a monopod as I have never used one.

          Though monopods do not make a lot of sense to me it is obvious that sports photographers use them with great success. Rest assured that AF is active for all of their image captures an that a very high percentage of their subjects are moving at the moment of exposure. With birds the opposite of that is true. In addition, for flight and action hand holding is best if you can swing it . I amended my original comment to read “never use rear focus and recompose” so thanks for catching that.

          The bottom line is that if you are using a monopod and creating images that make you happy, then keep on keepin’ on.


          ps: let me know if I covered everything…

          • avatar Mal Graham

            Thanks Artie, that certainly covers it.

            And yes, for flight and action I’m almost always hand-holding, and the reason I can still hand-hold for those shots at the end of a long day is because I’ve had a monopod to rest the weight on for a lot of other shots. It’s not as sharp as being tripod mounted but the results still put a smile on my face.

            That’s all that matters…


  • Hi Artie!

    Thanks for this image. Great IQ!

    A year ago or so, you presented us here one picture of the same scene taken with three different camera bodies : 1DX, 5DIII and, not sure, the 7DII.

    You then asked us to identify which image has been taken with which camera.

    May I suggest you to do the same again ? E.g. One picture taken with the 1DXmkII, one with the 5D4, one with the 7DII and one with the 5DS?

    I think this could be quite fun for all of us and could help us compare the IQ of those camera bodies.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Yves, Thanks. When I did it last time I learned that such comparisons are somewhere between difficult and impossible even when photographing a sign, which I was! So sorry, not this time. I soon will be down to two bodies…