ISO 4000 & Flash in the Fog. And a $300 Savings … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

ISO 4000 & Flash in the Fog. And a $300 Savings ...

Stuff

It poured all night but quit raining before I left for Gilbert at 6:05am. It was mostly cloudy dark with a bit of fog and about 30 seconds of light drizzle as I made my way to my favorite impoundments. I photographed several Desert Cottontails, a few songbirds, and a few ducks. I used the Godox flash a lot, mostly experimenting with it. I had my therapy appointment at 11. I continue to pound away on my exercises and balloon blowing. I am feeling a bit better each day, especially the problematic left knee. More of the same is in store for Thursday plus a bit of packing for my flight to San Diego on Friday afternoon.

The Streak

Today makes one hundred sixty-four days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about an hour to prepare including the time spent optimizing the image. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.



Booking.Com

Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.


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. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

List of recent Used Gear Page Sales

Sales of cameras and lenses have been through the roof recently with stuff selling at prices that thill the buyers and please the sellers.

Hisham A. sold a Canon EOS 5D Mark III in very good condition for the BAA record low price of $999 in mid January.
Hisham A. sold his Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens very good condition (with perfect glass and in perfect working order) for the BAA record low price of $999 and a Canon EF 400mm f/5.6 L USM lens in very good condition (with perfect glass and in perfect working order) for the BAA record low by far price of $549in early January.
Hisham A. sold a Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (teleconverter) in like-new good condition for $329 and the original Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens in like-new condition for $449 in late December.
BAA friend Jim Roetzel sold his Xtrahand Vest, green — size XL — for $275 in December.
Mike Rust sold his Canon 600mm f/4L IS II ISM lens in near-mint condition for $9396.00 and his Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for $699.00. Both on the first day of listing.
Mike Rust also sold his Canon EOS-1DX Mark II like-new condition for a BAA record-low, shock-the-world price of $3997.00, his Canon 400mm f/4 IS II DO USM lens in like-new condition for the amazing low price of $5999.00, his Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens in like-new condition for $1799.00, a 1.4X III and two 2X III TCs, all in like-new condition for $329 each, and a Wimberley V2 Tripod Head in excellent condition with extras for $399.
IPT veteran Carolyn Peterson sold her Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera body in excellent condition for $1399 in mid-December.
Pradip Thachile sold his Canon EF 400mm f/4 IS DO lens (the original version) in excellent condition for the BAA record low price of $2097.00 in late December.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens in like-new condition for $1199 right after it was listed in mid-December.
Mike Newman sold his Canon EF 100mm f2.8/L IS USM macro lens in like-new condition for only $599 in mid-December, right after it was listed.
Joel Williams sold a Fujifilm XF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter in like-new condition for $299 in mid-December, 2017.
Mike Newman sold a Canon EF 600 F4/L USM IS II USA lens in like-new condition for the record-low BAA price of 9,398.00 within two days of listing it in early December.

New Listings

Canon EOS 5D Mark III

Multiple IPT veteran Gil Moe is offering a Canon EOS 5D Mark III in like-new condition for $$1249. The sale includes the original box and all the packagings and software, the front cap, the manual, one Canon battery, the battery charger, the unused lens strap, the cables, and and insured ground shipping via UPS or FEDEX to U.S. Addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Gil via e-mail or by phone at 909-732-1456 (Pacific time).

I owned and used this superb, full frame, 22mp digital body for several years. It was always my first choice for scenic, Urbex (urban exploration), and flower photography until I fell in love for a while with the 5DS R (for a lot more money!). Then I switched to the 5D IV body. In addition, I loved my 5D III body for birds with my big lenses and both TCs. I used mine to create many hundreds of high quality images. In pristine condition, Gil’s 5D III is a great value.. artie

Canon BG-E20 Battery Grip for EOS 5D Mark IV

Multiple IPT veteran Gil Moe is also offering a brand new in the box Canon BG-E20 Battery Grip for EOS 5D Mark IV for $259.
The sale includes insured ground shipping via UPS or FEDEX to U.S. Addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Gil via e-mail or by phone at 909-732-1456 (Pacific time).

The BG-E20 Battery Grip gives your 5D IV a pro body feel and the convenient vertical controls. You’d be a fool to purchase yours from B&H for $50 more …. artie

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV

BAA Record-low Price!

Jim Burns is offering an EOS-1D Mark4 Canon body in excellent plus for a BAA record low $998. The sale includes the front cap, two Canon LP-E4 batteries, the charger, the instructional manual, the two computer cords (video & download), 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 Jim via e-mail or by phone at 1-602-616-9431 Mountain time.

Two dependable, rugged 1D Mark IVs served as my workhorse professional bodies for several years; I really enjoyed their 1.3X crop factors, the fast frame rate, and the excellent image quality. artie

Canon EOS 7D Mark II

Karen Jordan is offering a Canon EOS 7D Mark II digital camera body in near mint condition for $949. The sale includes the front body cap, the strap, the instructional manual, everything that came with the camera, 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 Karen via e-mail or by phone at 206-437-8337 (Pacific time).

Both Patrick Sparkman and I used and loved the 7D Mark II until about two years ago when we both committed to using full frame Canon bodies. We both made some truly great images with it. Two of my three 2016 Nature’s Best honored entries were created with the 7D II, one still, and one video. One thing is for sure: the 7D Mark II is the greatest value ever in a digital camera body. With a new one going for $1499 you can save a cool $550 by grabbing Karen’s body. artie

Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS Zoom Lens (the original 1-4)

BAA Record-low Price!

Karen Jordan is offering a Canon EF 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS Zoom Lens (the original 1-4) in excellent plus condition but for a single paint scratch for the BAA record low price of $528. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the front lens cap, the tough fabric zippered lens case, the original box and all that came in it, and insured Ground shipping via major courier. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Karen via e-mail or by phone at 206-437-8337 (Pacific time).

The older 100-400 is a versatile intermediate telephoto zoom lens with 1,000+ uses. It makes a great starter lens especially for folks who do general nature and wildlife in addition to birds. Over the years I’ve sold 100s of images made with this lens. And Denise Ippolito loved hers for many years forsaking it only recently.

Ring-necked-Duck-hen-on-foggy-morning-_J1I8405--Gilbert-Water-Ranch,-Phoenix,-AZ

This image was created on the foggy morning of Wednesday, January 10 at the Gilbert Water Ranch in Phoenix, AZ. I used the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 1.4X III, and the blazingly fast Canon EOS-1D X Mark II. ISO 4000. Evaluative metering +2 stops: 1/160 sec. at f/6.3 in Tv mode. AWB at 8:02am on a heavily overcast foggy morning.

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -3.

One AF point 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 was placed on the duck’s face slightly behind and below the hen’s eye.

Fill flash at -1 stop with the fabulous Godox VING V860IIC TTL Li-Ion Flash Kit for Canon Cameras with a Better Beamer FX-6 Flash Extender.

Ring-necked Duck hen swimming

ISO 4000 & Flash in the Fog

Ring-necked Duck is common as all get-out in Phoenix and the hens are relatively plain and drab as compared to the handsome, showy drakes. I experimented quite a bit with the flash in the fog and it seemed pretty clear that at fill flash levels that the flash did not so a whole lot, likely because the fog diffused the light from the flash. I have also been experimenting a lot with some very high ISOs with the 1DX II and have been impressed. You do lose quite a bit of image quality but the point is about finding out what the capabilities are when you have a great bird in a beautiful situation with no light …

The Wake?

Do you like the inclusion of the partial wake in the upper left hand corner of the image? It was of course from another duck swimming nearby. It would have been easy to remove in a variety of ways.

The Image Optimization

The image optimization was relatively straightforward. After converting the image in DPP 4. I executed a decent crop from below and from our left, darkened the pupil using Tim Grey Dodge and Burn, applied a 15% layer of Image > Auto Tone and a 10% layer of Image > Auto Contrast. These last two added at least some pop to a terribly flat image.

The Godox Flash/Save $300!

The Godox VING V860IIC TTL Li-Ion Flash Kit for Canon Cameras is simply amazing. Priced at exactly $300 less than the Canon Speedlite 600EX II-RT, the Godox flash is a virtual replica of the top of the line Canon 600 EX II-RT. I will soon be publishing a simple guide to using the Godox flash for bird photography. In the meantime you can learn everything there is to know about using flash for bird photography in the Flash Simplified section of The Art of Bird Photography II (ABP II: 916 pages, 900+ images on CD only): ETTL flash as fill, flash as main light techniques, high speed synch flash (available on the Godox flash) and manual flash. Plus tons more!

9 comments to ISO 4000 & Flash in the Fog. And a $300 Savings …

  • avatar Anthony Ardito

    Artie, I think with your disgust of the oil splatter issue, you wrote off the 1Dx2. But now that you’re playing with it again, you can see a slight advantage in high ISO performance, right?

    I think the 1Dx2 has an advantage over the 5DM4 in ISO performance. If properly exposed, the 1Dx2 has really low noise even up to ISO 6400. And almost undetectable when corrected with Neat Image.

    Thank you for your guides, they have been a game changer for me. Love that Neat Image! A great tool to have in the arsenal.

    I just sent mine to CPS for a sensor clean (18pt inspection). I took before shots at f22 and was astonished at the filth! The sensor was covered in splatter! It came back with two very small marks in the upper left corner. I’m happy. Of course over time it will get bad again, but I’ll take it one day at a time. The body won’t be with me forever, and if I still have it and it’s dirty again, I’ll just send it to CPS again.

  • avatar Jake

    Hi Artie, I didn’t notice the wake. The image looks a little flat to me, have you considered a tonal contrast 12,25,12 on the bird only?
    Jake

  • avatar Neil Hickman

    Just lovely! Without the wake it would be ethereal – just floating in the mist. I think the mist is the whole point. I’d explore going the other way from dehaze myself. Really enjoyed this one.

  • avatar Adam

    Great capture and I like the muted, matte look created by the diffuse fog. Dehaze will increase the contrast and colors but at the expense of the mood. Also, it will make the reflection an intense olive hue. The ripples add interest but if I were to print, I would probably clean it up.

  • Hi Artie

    I like the muted colours it gives it a different look, I would probably not have taken it

    in the foggy conditions, but this has given me food for thought, good on you.

    Love Kel
    UK

  • avatar David Policansky

    I love this image, Artie. I didn’t notice the wake until I read your question and for me it is so faint that it neither hurts nor helps the image overall.

    By the way, we ended up coming straight home to NM from the Grand Canyon because Sheila woke up with a pretty bad cold.

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    I know it is the mood that the fog presents to the image that you have captured. I am wondering if you tried the dehaze feature in ACR just to see what the outcome would be?

  • avatar frank sheets

    Pretty darn good at ISO 4000. I would love to see a comparison of a similarly created image with the 5DIV. I like the wake, adds a bit of texture that otherwise is not present.

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