100-400II/5D Mark IV for Flight Photography/Part II of Many: The Dorsal View

What’s Up?

I brought the Fujifilm stuff down to the lake for a bit of Sandhill Crane & Black Vulture photography this morning. Had fun.

Spent a few hours on the phone on Friday with Apple Care getting rid of some malware … Nice folks. But after four hours on the phone the bad files are still on my laptop. Bob Allen, are you there?


Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of 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: 435!

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, 434 days in a row with a new educational blog post. As always–and folks have been doing a really great for a long time now–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 BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course 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. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar above.

Recent Successful Used Gear Sales

Note: I missed adding several items below while I was in South America for ten weeks with limited internet access. If your item has sold but is still listed on the Used gear page please let me know via e-mail.

  • Gene Scarborough sold his Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM super telephoto lens in excellent condition for $4049 one day after it was listed in mid-January.
  • Multiple IPT-veteran Mike Goldhamer sold his Canon EF 400mm f/4 IS DO lens in excellent condition for the record low price of $2100 a while back.
  • Dear friend and multiple IPT veteran Patrick Sparkman sold his Canon EOS 5DS R with the Canon battery grip in like-new condition for $2899 back in early November.
  • IPT veteran Gerold Hanck sold his Canon 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 telephoto zoom lens, the “old 1-4,” in excellent condition for $549.
  • Henry Raymundo sold both his Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in excellent condition for $3999 and a Canon EOS 7D camera body in excellent condition for $399 back in November, 2016.
  • Ramona Boone sold here Canon EOS-1D X in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $2359 in mid December just days after it was listed.
  • Richard Goldman sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $1399, his Canon 100-400mm L IS Zoom lens, the old 1-4, in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $529. And his Canon EOS 24-105mm f/4 L IS Zoom lens, the original model, in excellent condition, for the BAA record-low price of $519. All within days of them being listed in mid-December.
  • William B Ellison, Jr.sold his a used Canon EOS 5D Mark III in near mint condition for the then BAA record-low price of $1497 in early December.
  • Ron Ozuna sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens in near-mint condition for $2699 in early December.

Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Sue Sanborn is offering a Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in near mint condition for $4399. The sale includes the lens trunk with keys, the front cover & an additional soft lens cap, the rear lens cap, a LensCoat, a Wimberley Arca-Swiss compatible plate, the original product box, and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only.

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

Please contact Sue via e-mail by phone at 1-941-748-0327 (Eastern time.)

The 300 f/2.8 lenses have long been the first choice of the world’s best hawks in flight photographers and have become increasingly popular with bird photographers working either with crop factor cameras or those who live in areas with relatively tame birds. This lens, the latest version of Canon’s 300 f/2.8L IS, is incredibly sharp with either TC. It is easily hand holdable by most folks. You can add the 1.4X III or the 2X III teleconverter for even greater versatility. artie

Canon EOS-1D X Professional Digital Camera Body

Teresa Mabry Reed is offering a Canon EOS-1D X in excellent plus condition for $2399. The sale includes all the cables and CDs that came with the camera, the strap, the front body cap, an extra LP-E4N Battery Pack, the manual, and the original product box as well as 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 Teresa Mabry Reed via e-mail or by phone at 1-865-966-9119 (Eastern time).

Two 1D X bodies served as my workhorse camera bodies for more than three years. It produces beautiful image files and has a super AF system and a high frame rate, all in a rugged pro body. artie

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Digital Camera Body

Teresa Mabry Reed is offering an EOS Canon 5D Mark III also in excellent plus condition for $1429. The sale includes all the cables and CDs that came with the camera, the strap, the front body cap, the manual, and the original product box as well as 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 Teresa Mabry Reed via e-mail or by phone at 1-865-966-9119 (Eastern time).

I used my 5D Mark III to produce high quality image files for all of my landscape, flower, and Urbex photography. And I used it often for bird photograph with my f/4 super-telephoto lenses with both the 1.4X and the 2X TCs. As long as you have firmware version 1.2.1 or higher you will have AF at f/8 with the center AF point (along with the four assist points). artie

Heerman's-Gull-flight-dorsal-view-_P3A3013-La-Jolla,-CA

This image was created at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens (at 400mm) and my favorite bird photography camera, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering probably at -1/3 stop as originally famed: 1/3200 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AWB.

Center AF point/AI Servo/Expand/Shutter Button AF as framed was active at the moment of exposure. Though neither the selected AF point nor one of the four assist points was on the bird’s face, the image is quite sharp.

FocusTune/LensAlign Micro Adjustment: -1.

Heerman’s Gull, adult in flight-dorsal view

The Dorsal View

Flight shots featuring dorsal views of handsome birds are quite rewarding. With most species, these are usually available only when the bird banks or makes a turn towards you. Unless you can find a spot where you are looking down on the birds in flight. In coastal areas rife with gulls, you can often find a cliff where you are looking down on the birds. Baiting the birds with fish or bread can make your life absolutely easy. My left and right arms were quite sore.

EOS 5D Mark IV

Check out the original in the DPP 4 screen capture below and see how beautifully 5D Mark IV images stand up to substantial crops.

DPP4-HeermansGullFlight

This is a DPP 4 Screen Capture for today’s featured image

A DPP 4 Screen Capture for today’s featured image

Note that though the selected AF point missed the bird completely, the image was sharp on the eye. Note that though the (lying) histogram seems to be much too far to the left, the RGB values from the brightest part of the gull’s head were R:239; G: 234; B: 235, pretty much perfect. Though it looks as if the histogram shows the image to be too BLUE, I actually moved the Color Fine-tune control towards BLUE as it moved the WHITEs closer to neutral and plus, that adjustment looked great.

Learn how and why many top Canon photographers use DPP 4 to convert all of their RAW files in The DPP 4 RAW Conversion Guide.


fort-desoto-card

DeSoto in spring is rife with tame and attractive birds. From upper left clockwise to center: breeding plumage Dunlin, dark morph breeding plumage Reddish Egret displaying, breeding plumage Laughing Gull/front end vertical portrait, breeding plumage Laughing Gull with prey item, Laughing Gull on head of Brown Pelican, screaming Royal Tern in breeding plumage, Royal Terns/pre-copulatory stand, Laughing Gulls copulating, breeding plumage Laughing Gull/tight horizontal portrait, Sandwich Tern with fish, and a really rare one, White-rumped Sandpiper in breeding plumage, photographed at DeSoto in early May.

Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/April 19-22, 2017. (meet & greet at 2pm on Wednesday April 19 followed by an afternoon session) through the full day on Saturday April 22. 3 1/2 DAYs: $1599. Limit 10. To save your spot, please call and put down a non-refundable deposit of $499.00.

I will be offering small group (Limit 3) Photoshop sessions on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning if necessary. Details on that TBA.

Fort DeSoto is one of the rare locations that might offer great bird photography 365 days a year. It shines in spring. There will Lots of tame birds including breeding plumage Laughing Gull and Royal and Sandwich Terns. With luck, we will get to photograph all of these species courting and copulating. There will be American Oystercatcher and Marbled Godwit plus sandpipers and plovers, some in full breeding plumage. Black-bellied Plover and Red Knot in stunning breeding plumage are possible. There will be lots of wading birds including Great and Snowy Egrets, both color morphs of Reddish Egret, Great Blue, Tricolored and Little Blue Heron, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, and killer breeding plumage White Ibis. Roseate Spoonbill and Wood Stork are possible and likely. We should have lots of good flight photography with the gulls and terns and with Brown Pelican. Nesting Least Tern and nesting Wilson’s Plover are possible.

We will, weather permitting, enjoy 7 shooting sessions. As above, our first afternoon session will follow the meet and greet at 2pm on Wednesday April 19. For the next three days we will have two daily photo sessions. We will be on the beach early and usually be at lunch (included) by 11am. We will have three indoor sessions. At one we will review my images–folks learn a ton watching me choose my keepers and deletes–why keep this one and delete that one? The second will be a review of your images so that I can quickly learn where you need help. For those who bring their laptops to lunch I’d be glad to take a peek at an image or three. Day three will be a Photoshop session during which we will review my complete workflow and process an image or two in Photoshop after converting them in DPP. Afternoon sessions will generally run from 4:30pm till sunset. We photograph until sunset on the last day, Saturday, April 22. Please note that this is a get-your-feet and get-your-butt wet and sandy IPT. And that you can actually do the whole IPT with a 300 f/2.8L IS, a 400 f/4 ID DO lens with both TCs, or the equivalent Nikon gear. I will surely be using my 500 II as my big glass and have my 100-400 II on my shoulder.


fort-desoto-card-b

DeSoto in spring is rife with tame and attractive birds. From upper left clockwise to center: Laughing Gull in flight, adult Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, copulating Sandwich Terns, Roseate Spoonbill, Great Egret with reflection, Short-billed Dowitcher in breeding plumage, American Oystercatcher, breeding plumage Royal Tern, white morph Reddish Egret, and Snowy Egret marsh habitat shot.

What You Will Learn

You will learn to approach free and wild birds without disturbing them, to understand and predict bird behavior, to identify many species of shorebirds, to spot the good situations, to understand the effects of sky and wind conditions on bird photography, to choose the best perspective, to see and understand the light, to get the right exposure every time after making a single test exposure, and to design pleasing images by mastering your camera’s AF system. And you will learn how and why to work in Manual mode (even if you are scared of it).

The group will be staying at the Red Roof Inn, St. Petersburg: 4999 34th St. North, St Petersburg, FL 33714. The place is clean and quite inexpensive. Please e-mail for room block information. And please call Jim or Jennifer at 863-692-0906 to register. All will need to purchase an Annual Pass early on Tuesday afternoon so that we can enter the park at 6am and be in position for sunrise opportunities. The cost is $75, Seniors $55. Tight carpools will be needed and will reduce the per person Annual Pass costs. The cost of three lunches is included. Breakfasts are grab what you can on the go, and dinners are also on your own due to the fact that we will usually be getting back to the hotel at about 9pm. Non-photographer spouses, friends, or companions are welcome for $100/day, $350 for the whole IPT.

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

Fort DeSoto Spring In-the-Field Cheap Meet-up Workshop (ITFW) on the morning of April 22, 2017: $99

Join me on the morning of April 22, 2017 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.

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

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

3 comments to 100-400II/5D Mark IV for Flight Photography/Part II of Many: The Dorsal View

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. Heermann’s is one of my favorite gull species as well and what a lovely shot.

  • avatar Bob Allen

    Yep, I’m here Artie. Will take this to email.

    Heerman’s Gull is my favorite gull species! Soooo nice!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I love Heerman’s too. I shall answer your e-mail asap. As always, huge thanks.

      later and love, artie