Sharpness and Image Quality, Focal Length, and Cropping Quiz … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Sharpness and Image Quality, Focal Length, and Cropping Quiz ...

Stuff

It was another cloudy morning and photography was very slow a first. My last asp spot turned up some cooperative Pied-billed Grebes and American Avocets. I took a friend to the airport at 9am. After my last therapy session of this visit, I headed to Gilbert for my last duck-baiting session with only the 80400 VR. There had been too many folks feeding so the ducks were not eager to fly. Speaking of flying, I head home tomorrow on the 6:15am Southwest nonstop to Orlando.

Thanks again to all who commented on the duck feeding issue questions. Please remember that I am fine with folks disagreeing politely; snarky comments or replies will be deleted at my discretion. Please continue to play nicely.

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The Streak

Today makes two hundred twenty-two days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about 30 minutes to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not…), the plan right now is to try to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections and my continuing insanity willing.

Learning from the Comments and Replies …

There is often a ton of learning available to those who make it a habit of reading the comments and the replies (at times including mine) 🙂

BAA friend Noel Heustis posted this as follows: March 9, 2018 at 7:14 am.

  • Artie – I love these Laughing Gulls as well. Today’s image is a beautiful head shot with a nice clean BG. I’ve been photographing a lot of these recently and haven’t been able to get the eyes as bright as you’ve gotten here. There is no shortage of entertainment when photographing these awesome subjects. Thanks for sharing this one today.
  • I replied:

    Thanks Noel. Here is a great lesson for you and the gang; most folks do not grasp this concept: we are exposing for the WHITEs. That means that the middle tones will be one stop too dark and the dark tones will be 1 1 2/3 to 2 stops too dark … The solution is to do the Eye Doctor work using Tim Grey Dodge and burn as detailed in the BIRDS AS ART Current Workflow e-Guide (Digital Basics II) here. Furthermore, serious students who want to learn the exposure theory mentioned above are directed to the section on Exposure Theory in the original The Art of Bird Photography here.

    with love, artie

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    Anna's-Hummingbird-male-gorget-lit-up-_DSC1578--Gilbert-Water-Ranch-Riparian-Preserve,-AZ

    This image was created at the Gilbert Water Ranch Alafia Banks on the morning of Friday, March 9, 2018. The camera was the Nikon D850. ISO 800. Matrix metering at zero: 1/125 sec. at f/6.3. AUTO2 WB at 7:48am on a cloudy morning.

    Click on the image to see a larger version.

    Anna’s Hummingbird, male with gorget lit up

    Sharpness and Image Quality

    How would you rate the image quality and sharpness of the image above? To me the image looks very sharp and the image quality is excellent.

    Focal Length

    What focal length do you think was used to create today’s featured image?

    Cropping Quiz

    Take a wild-ass guess: what percentage of the original pixels does the image above represent?

    • a- 10.3%< (a huge crop)/li>
    • b- 24.7% (a very large crop)
    • c- 39.5% (a large crop)
    • d- 53.1% (a very healthy crop)

    Answers early next week; I will post a JPEG that represents the full frame original image capture.

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    Great Egrets in breeding plumage are quite beautiful

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

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    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.

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    Tame birds in breeding plumage are great fun.

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

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    22 comments to Sharpness and Image Quality, Focal Length, and Cropping Quiz …

    • avatar Tim

      I think you are showing off your new 80-400 at 400mm to demonstrate it’s capabilities. I think you got fairly close and cropped to c). If the birds are used to people you can get quite close even to small ones. I have been able to get good close shots of finches and tits (Parus genus) in bushes around feeders and they are probably a similar size to a hummingbird.

    • avatar Guido Bee

      I’m going with the 600 + the 1.4x stopped down one click (to get 6.3). Crop could be a toss up. I’ll go with “B”. Those Annas are small and I’m not sure of the mfd of the current 600. Mine is the last “non-VR” model, and the MFD is quite long; most of the newer ones get quite a bit closer.
      All the best.

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        MFD on the latest Nikon 600mm is a handsome 4.4 meters, 14 feet, 5.2 inches.

        with love, artie

    • avatar David Policansky

      Hi, Artie. It is sharp and the IQ is fine. WAG guesses: 600 mm, 24.7% of the original pixels. Great image; Anna’s often have ratty plumage but this one is pristine.

    • avatar frank sheets

      You are right Adam, I just wasn’t sure of the minimal aperture with a 1.4x converter.

    • Hey Arthur, Looks tack sharp on the eye. Image quality also looks very good. I’m guessing 500mm. I’m guessing d. a vey healthy crop. Hummers are quite small and you are using high mega pixel bodies.

    • avatar frank sheets

      Hey Artie,

      Considering I believe you are trying to demonstrate the capabilities of the D850, I am going to assume this a relatively large crop, say 39 or 53. Either way, pretty impressive. A little hard to compare to the gull from yesterday not knowing the crop factor on that image and the difference in ISO (400 vs. 800). But I still have to say the gull very impressive, as it the hummer. Focal length? I may be talking nonsense here, but considering you are at f/6.3, it could be the 200/500 zoom if you are using a 1.4 extender, But my guess is the 600 w/ a 1.4x. That would be closer to the demo of the DOII with 2X. The hummer is great, but I still prefer the detail demoed by the 400DOII plus 2X, and that on a lower resolution sensor. Just me. All fun, thanks again for the ongoing posts!

      Frank

      • avatar Adam

        It couldn’t be the 200-500 f/5.6 with a 1.4x TC – that would make the minimal aperture 7.84 and the image was shot at f/6.3. So the only way it could be the 200-500 would be native at f/6.3.

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        Hey Frank, We’ll see what you have to say when you learn the answer to the Cropping Quiz …

        with love, artie

    • avatar Adam

      Image quality and sharpness are very good.

      With respect to the focal length all we know is that the aperture is f/6.3 and the DOF is very narrow (1/4-1/2 inch at most). Thus one would have to be very close to the bird with a shorter FL or relatively close with a long FL. I’m guessing the later and since you’re working with Nikon on this image it’s probably the 600mm f/4 with a 1.4 TC standing about 15-20′ away from the bird which would place it nearly at the MFD (14 ft or so). Alternatively, you could be closer around 9-10 ft. away with the 200-500 which has a MFD of around 7ft.

      Now the next question is about cropping. Assuming that one is using a long lens and most hummingbirds are around 2.5″ or 60mm tall then for a full size image in a full frame camera then… 24mm (height FF) x 4572mm (distance away 15′) divided by 60 mm (height subject) = ~1800 mm. If you were using an effective FL of 840 then the crop would be around D (>50% of original). If you were using the 500 mm then the crop would be around B (>75% of original).

      So, after all of that and since you are trying to showcase the lens, I suspect that you were shooting with your 200-500 at around 9-10 ft away and cropping around 75%. Am I in the ballpark?

    • The image looks sharp to me. I am guessing that it was made with the 600mm/2x extender combo (1200mm) and that the crop is 24.7%.

    • avatar Gary Irwin

      Hi Artie;

      I know what the D850 is capable of when using premium glass, so my vote is (a) 10.3%. It would have appeared “sharper” if the ISO was below 400. Beautiful little hummer for sure…the only species we get in the north-east are ruby-throated…they get kinda boring after a while.

    • avatar mark harrington

      Hi Artie,
      Incredible image. My wild-ass guess is b 24.7%.
      Mark

    • avatar ARNIE LLOYD

      Beautiful Image Art. Image quality & sharpness, I give 10/10.
      The bird being very small, It looks like the DOF is under 2 inches. @ f6.3 I think your focal length would be around 1600mm. Crop I think C. Keep up the great work Art.

      Thanks, Arnie

    • avatar Dietmar Haenchen

      Hi Artie,

      Since we are dealing with a very small bird, I guess you used the long end of the 80-400 and used a huge crop (a). If my guess is right, I would say that the image quality is amazingly good. This would be a great statement for the camera and lens. Overall, not considering the my guessed crop factor, the sharpness and image quality still is very good.

      Dietmar

    • Hi Artie

      What a stunning bird the Anna’s Hummingbird is, its a gift to a photographer like your good self Artie. Here in the UK we dont have anything to match such wonderful plumage. The only thing I can faulty it on is the tip of the bill is not sharp. Am I asking for to much?

      Best and love

      Ken
      UK

      • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

        Much too much and again your question shows a lack of basic understanding of the principles at play here.

        with love, artie

    • avatar Jake

      Hi Artie,
      I really like this image for the vibrancy of the hummingbird’s plumage and the simplicity of the background. By the small amount of noise in the shadows (assuming you got the exposure spot on) I would guess that this is a fairly large crop, perhaps c – 39.5%. If this was a large crop then because of the superbly clean background f/6.3 then I am guessing it was at a focal length of 400mm or more. On the other hand, the background could just be a long way away and as I have absolutely no experience photographing hummingbirds it is just a guess.
      Enjoy the photography. Hope the travelling goes well,
      Jake