Blemished or Un-blemished? And coming soon: the Nikon D850/D5 Focus Fine-tune Guide. Free to some … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Blemished or Un-blemished? And coming soon: the Nikon D850/D5 Focus Fine-tune Guide. Free to some ...

Stuff

The last morning of the second Spoonbill IPT began very slowly as there were few birds up and about despite a nice pre-dawn orange glow. We got in the water into good position but there were not many spoonbills or pelicans flying around. Then three pelicans, and adult and two young birds landed right in front of us. After a few frames a gorgeous adult Roseate Spoonbill flew in an landed as close as any had all week and began bathing. With everyone listening to my instructions carefully we got closer by moving forward and left, the latter to get more on sun angle. After the bath the bird began preening and flapping its wings almost continuously. Spectacular. The bird was 100% comfortable with our presence and paid us no mind. After 30 minutes and many thousands of frames — I created about 500 myself — the bird looked around and took one step toward us. “It’s gonna take off right toward us” I whispered. And it did.

What a bird. What a thrill. And what a finale. Photos soon.

I fly to Phoenix this afternoon for nine more Postural Restoration physical therapy sessions.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred ten days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 50 minutes to prepare. 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.

New Listings

Action on the Used Gear Page recently has been fantastic. You can see all current listings on the Used Photo Gear page here.

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Lens (the “old five”) with Extras!

Jim Brennan is offering a used Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in near-mint condition and a Canon EF 1.4 III teleconverter in very good condition for $3,599.00. The lens is in beautiful condition with no dings, dents, scratches or paint chips and the glass is immaculate. There is a small blemish on the lens hood knob and a small blemish on the black rubber trim on the lens hood. The sale includes the lens trunk with key, the leather front lens cover, the rear lens cap, the lens strap, the manual and registration card, a RRS LCF-50 B replacement foot (with hex key and original packaging), a Realtree Max 4 LensCoat, and Hoodie, and insured ground via UPS to U.S. addresses only (signature required). Photos are available upon request. Personal checks only unless other arrangements are made. Your new lens and extras will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Jim e-mail or by cellphone: 1-(609) 432-9210 (Eastern time).

The 500mm f/4 lenses have been the world’s most popular telephoto lenses for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. I owned and used and loved my “old five” for many years. If you don’t have the cash for the 500 II and can handle the additional 1 1/2 pounds, then this is your best super-telephoto option. Most everyone can produce sharp images with this lens and a 1.4X TC. Folks with good to excellent sharpness techniques can do the same with a 2X TC. With the new 500 II selling for $8,999 you can save a neat $5400 by grabbing Jim’s pristine copy of the “old five” plus extras (including a 1.4X III TC!) right now. artie

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Lens (The “old 1-4”)

Rajat Kapoor is offering a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (first edition) in near-mint condition for $649. The sale includes the front & back lens caps, the original box, the lens case, a LensCoat Hoodie (Black), 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 Rajat Kapoor via e-mail or by phone at 502-751-8470 (Eastern time).

The old 100-400 was and is superb. I made hundreds of sale-able images with mine including the one used on the front cover of Scott Weidensaul’s “Return to Wild America”. Contrary to reports by the internet idiots, this lens is — in competent hands —
sharp at all focal lengths and all apertures. It is extremely versatile and would make a great starter lens for those interested in bird, wildlife, and general nature photography. Today it is rare to find a near-mint copy like Rajat’s.
artie

Canon Canon EOS 7D Mark II (with battery grip!)

Gary Meyer is offering a Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition for $798. The sale includes the front lens cap, the strap, the original battery, an extra battery, the vertical grip, and insured ground shipping to US addresses only by UPS.

Please contact Gary via e-mail or by phone or text at 1-612-221-0150 (Central 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 $500 by grabbing Sangeeta’s lens. artie

Booking.Com

Several folks on the Spoonbill IPTs used the Booking.Com link below and got great rates and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. 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.

Great-Egret-head-A--_DSC5455--Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

This image was created on the morning of Thursday, 22, 2018 at Gatorland. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/8. AWB at 7:41am with some sweet early morning light.

d-25 upper left shutter Button AF with the selected AF point on the bird’s eye.

Focus Peaking micro-adjustment: +5. (See Focus Fine Tune Guide item below).

Image #1/Version A: Great Egret in breeding plumage

Gorgeous Blemished Bird

Above is version A of a gorgeous breeding plumage Great Egret. I did some bill clean-up, evened out the background with Content Aware Fill and some Patch Tool work, and then smoothed the repairs out with a 70-pixel Gaussian Blur painted back via a Hide-all (Black or Inverse) layer mask. All of the above plus tons more as detailed in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

For this version I opted to leave the large brown blemish on the lores.

The Nikon D850/D5 Focus Fine-tune Guide

I hope to be working on a Nikon D850/D5 Focus Fine-tune Guide while I am in Phoenix. There is lots of mis-information out there on

  • Nikon Automatic AF Fine-tune
  • . Working with Patrick Sparkman, we perfected a method of using the Focus Peaking feature available only on the D850 to quickly and accurately micro-adjust all of your lenses and TC-Es with your D-850. Both Nikon Automatic AF Fine-tune and D850 Focus Peaking AF Fine-tune require a LensAlign Mark II kit. If you know for sure whether the very popular Nikon D500 DSLR Camera (Body Only) (or any other of the newer Nikon dSLRs) offer Automatic AF Fine-tune.

    Folks who purchase a Nikon D850, a Nikon D5 DSLR Camera (Body Only, Dual XQD Slots), or any Nikon gear totaling more than $2,000 will receive the new guide free. I hope to have it finished in three weeks but don’t hold me to it 🙂

    Great-Egret-head-B--_DSC5455--Gatorland,-Kissimmee,-FL

    This image was created on the morning of Thursday, 22, 2018 at Gatorland. I used the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and the Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/8. AWB at 7:41am with some sweet early morning light.

    d-25 upper left shutter Button AF.

    Image #2/Version B: Great Egret in breeding plumage

    Gorgeous Un-blemished Bird

    For this version I opted to remove the large brown blemish on the lores. This was done easily in one step with the Patch Tool. As detailed plus tons more in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II).

    Your Call?

    Do you prefer Image #1/Version A or Image #2/Version B? Before you answer, consider that neither version would be acceptable for entry into nearly all of the major international photography competitions. Please let us know why you made your choice.

    Gatorland-mini-MARCH-IPT

    Great Egrets in breeding plumage are quite beautiful

    Gatorland IPT #1. Sunrise: 7:25am, Sunset: 7:40pm

    3 1/2 DAYs: THURS 22 March through and including the morning of SUN 25 MAR. $1599. Limit 5 photographers/Openings 4.

    (2 1/2 DAY option) FRI 23 March through and including the morning of SUN 25 MAR. $1199.

    Must purchase Gatorland Photographers Pass. Click here for details. All early entry. Late stays Friday and Saturday. Thursday late-stay is under discussion. Gatorland IPT #1 is best for killer breeding plumage Great Egrets. With chicks. Also Wood Stork and Cattle Egret. Surprisingly, there are already more than a few Snowy Egrets and Tricolored Herons in breeding plumage! Learn to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret Gatorland spots, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations.

    Gatorland-Card

    Tame birds in breeding plumage are great fun.

    Gatorland IPT #2. Sunrise: 6:48am. Sunset: 7:58pm.

    3 1/2 DAYs: THURS 26 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1599. Limit 5 photographers.

    (2 1/2 DAY option) FRI 27 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1199.

    Must purchase Gatorland Photographers Pass. Click here for details. All early entry. Late stays Friday and Saturday. Thursday late-stay is under discussion. Gatorland IPT #2 should have lots of chicks, and lots of birds in breeding plumage. We will get to photograph Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, and Wood Stork. The Cattle Egrets in full breeding plumage will be present in good numbers. Learn my Gatorland strategy, to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret Gatorland spots, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations.

    GATORLAND-NEW-card-layers-1

    Large Tricolored Heron chicks (lower left) are to die for!

    Gatorland #3. Sunrise: 6:33am. Sunset: 8:10pm.

    3 1/2 DAYs: THURS 17 MAY through and including the morning of SUN 20 MAY. $1599. Limit 5 photographers.

    (2 1/2 DAY option) FRI 18 MAY through and including the morning of SUN 20 MAY. $1199.

    Must purchase Gatorland Photographers Pass. Click here for details. All early entry. Late stays Friday and Saturday. Thursday late-stay is under discussion. Gatorland IPT #3 is best for medium sized chicks of the following species: Cattle Egret, Snowy Egret, and Tricolored Heron. Head portraits of handsome fledged Great Egrets are pretty much guaranteed. Learn to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret Gatorland spots, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations.

    Help Support the Blog

    Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

    If In Doubt …

    If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.





    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.

    Facebook

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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 :).

    16 comments to Blemished or Un-blemished? And coming soon: the Nikon D850/D5 Focus Fine-tune Guide. Free to some …

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I rarely use mine on a tripod. I have even been hand holding the 600 a bit …

      with love, artie

    • Hi Artie,
      All Amature Photographic competition in the UK do not accept improving an Image which I find rediculous. I do not enter many competitions because of this. Some of the techiques used in Photoshop are an art form in its self. As for hand holding prime len’s the largest Canon len’s I hand hold is my 70mm to 200mm 2.8 with a extender, this is due to damaging my elbow joints in the course of my engineering career for some forty years, before I went Professional.

      Best and love
      Ken
      UK

    • avatar Jack Goodman

      Artie, I find the blemished image more convincing and realistic. The repaired one seems too much like what Audubon wanted us to believe.

    • Good morning Artie,

      It is my understanding that any Nikon body with the 153-Point autofocus system offers Auto AF fine-tuning. Hope that answers the question above.

      Best,

      Chuck Gangas

    • avatar dilip worah

      I have already purchased the d850 (~2 months ago). Do I qualify for the free focus fine turning guide?

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        If you used my affiliate link please send me your B&H receipt via e-mail 🙂

        with love, artie

    • Hi Artie

      Head shots always beg me to want more.

      Best and love

      Ken
      UK

    • avatar Tim

      Hi Artie,
      I’ve only recently discovered your stuff and I just want to say that I am really enjoying reading your blog every day. I don’t know of anyone else who posts daily and it’s all great stuff so thanks a lot! Did you take the wood stork shot with the 600 and 2x converter? Judging by the EXIF it must have been quite bright. I got the 200-500 last summer and I love it even if it does get a bit heavy by the end of the day! Thanks

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        Glad that you are enjoying the blog. Where do you live? Wood Stork focal length answer coming soon.

        with love, artie

        ps: the 600 is a lot heavier than the 2-5 🙂

        • avatar Tim

          I live in the UK, and I’m very fortunate to be near RSPB Minsmere which is one of the best reserves in the country. I guess I need to do some curls with my 200-500 to build up my arms! I only hand hold it.

          Regards

          Tim

          • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

            I rarely use mine on a tripod. I have even been hand holding the 600 a bit …

            with love, artie

    • avatar Larry Citra

      Love to have your new up-coming focus fine tune guide for the D850 … but B&H restricted shipments to US only … so had to purchase in Canada???

    • avatar ChicagoJeff

      What is the reason for this? “… neither version would be acceptable for entry into nearly all of the major international photography competitions.”

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        The reason is that it is a fact. Most major competitions do not permit image clean-up. You gotta read the rules carefully. with love, artie