Why 3D? What I Really Miss (about Canon) … And +10 AF Fine-tune makes a big difference! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Why 3D? What I Really Miss (about Canon) ... And +10 AF Fine-tune makes a big difference!

Stuff

Very few folks voiced their opinions — good or bad — on the five images presented yesterday. If you have a minute, please click here and partake.

It became obvious when I got into bed on Saturday night in pain that I was doing too much hand held bird photography — see today’s featured image. Lots of icing and moist heat were followed by Soothanol, Zeel, and Traumeel interspersed with some fitful sleep. On Sunday I took it very easy and right before bed the injured wing was feeling pretty good. As soon as I got in bed the pain returned. So it was more Soothanol, Zeel and Traumeel at 10pm and then again just before midnight. And then I slept five sold hours, and then another on top of that. I woke with just a bit of tightness but no pain; a huge improvement as compared to Saturday night …

Again on Sunday I got some serious work done on the Nikon D850/D5/D500/D750 Focus Fine-tune Guide. See the details below.

I was glad to learn that there are now three folks signed up for the first DeSoto IPT. And I learned yesterday that the sale of Kevin Hice’s lightly used Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition became pending.

The Streak

Today makes two hundred thirty-eight days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took about an hour to prepare including the time spent on the image optimization. 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.

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Patrick Sparkman saved $350 on a recent purchase!

The Used Gear Page

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

Recent Sales

Ron Thill sold his Tamron SP 150-600 f/5.6-6.5 Di VC USD G2 lens for Canon EF in like-new condition for $949 in mid-March.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 16-55 f/2.8 R LM WR lens in like-new condition for only $549 near the end of March 2018.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in excellent plus condition for only $1,219.00 on the first day of listing.
Jim Burns recently sold his EOS-1D Mark IV body in excellent plus condition for a BAA record low $998; not sure exactly when 🙂
David Solis sold a brand new Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA 3 1 TB wireless photo/video memory card backup for $399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 300 mm f/2.8L IS USM (the original version) lens in excellent plus condition for $2399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM (the “old five”) in excellent plus condition with perfect glass for the BAA record low price of $3399.00.
Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM zoom lens in mint condition to a local buyer and is sending me a check for 2 1/2% of the original asking price of $1599.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 50 f/2 R WR lens in like-new condition for only $299 in early March.
Rajat Kapoor sold his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (the “old 1-4”) in near-mint condition the first day is was listed for $649.
Jim Brennan sold his 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 right after listing them in early March.
Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition for $798 soon after it was listed in early March.

The sale of John Norris’s Canon 1DX Mark II — premium kit — (with less than 2,000 actuations!) in like-new condition but for a few small scuff marks for top left and bottom right for the BAA record-low price of $3,996.00 became pending on the first day it was listed.

And in addition, the sale of Kevin Hice’s lightly used Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in near-mint condition is also pending.



Booking.Com

Several folks on the Gatorland IPT 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.

Sandhill-Crane-large-chick-_DSC3355--Indian-Lake-Esates,-FL

This image was created on March 24, 2018 at ILE with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens (at 400mm) and the Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 400. Matrix metering at about -1/3 stop: 1/800 sec at f/9 in Manual mode was a gross underexposure. AUTO2 WB at 7:04pm on a clear evening.

3D-tracking AF area mode/Shutter button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The system selected a single AF point just below and behind the bird’s eye.

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune: +10!

Image #1: Sandhill Crane, small colt

Why 3D?

Working vertically, I had been having problems all afternoon acquiring focus using d-25 and d-72, possibly in part to the pain in my shoulder. So when the crane family came really close late in the day, I tried 3-d out of frustration. When I was able to acquire focus the results were sharp as with today’s featured image. Understand that the little ones rarely stop moving for an instant … 3-D is quite similar to Canon’s 61-point. Learn more about 3D and read my comments on Canon’s 61-point and Large Zone AF in the blog post here. In any case, I was — once again — quite impressed with 3D AF in difficult situations.

Why f/9?

This is a tough question, why do you think that I wound up at f/9. I would normally be working at f/6.3 in situations like this with an f/5.6 lens … There are several reasonable possibilities.

What I Really Miss …

With the baby cranes frolicking right around me at point blank range, I kept having to scoot back on my butt to get 6 feet away from them: 5.74 feet away to be exact. I found myself wishing for the .98 meter(3.2 feet!) minimum focusing distance of the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM lens. Big advantage there to Canon.

head-crop--Sandhill-Crane-large-chick-_DSC3355--Indian-Lake-Esates,-FL

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Unsharpened tight crop of head: Sandhill Crane, small colt

Focus peaking AF Fine-tune of +10 makes a big difference!

Be sure to click on the image above to see a larger version and check out the incredible fine feather detail. Note (again) that with today’s featured image the Focus peaking AF Fine-tune value of +10 makes a significant difference in image sharpness as compared to the default setting, zero. Fine-tune values of +1 or -2 do not make any great difference, but the idea of fine-tuning and micro-adjusting is to ferret out the combos that need some serious adjustments and to maximize the percentage of sharp keepers with all iterations of your camera bodies, lenses, and TCs.

Here is how I created the tight head crop above: Working with the unsharpened, full sized, flattened 8-bit master file I cropped tight on the head. I believe that the resulting image represent a true 100% crop. But it was too large for presentation on the blog so I cropped that down to 1200 pixels at less than 395kb. The resulting JPEG is present above at 800 pixels wide. Still unsharpened.

The Nikon D850/D5/D500/D750 Focus Fine-tune Guide

There is lots of mis-information out there on Nikon Automatic AF Fine-tune. Working with Patrick Sparkman, we developed a way of using that feature effectively. Patrick was on a roll and perfected a method for using the Focus Peaking feature available only on the D850 to quickly and accurately micro-adjust all 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 so that you can obtain accurate results. I learned recently that the Nikon D500 DSLR and the older D750 both offer Automatic AF Fine-tune.

Folks who use one of my links to purchase a Nikon D850, a Nikon D5 DSLR Camera (Body Only, Dual XQD Slots), a Nikon D500 DSLR , or any Nikon gear totaling more than $2,000 will receive the new guide free.

IPT Stuff

All IPTs include an introductory briefing before the IPT begins so you know what to expect, frequent in-the-field instruction and guidance (priceless), image editing and small group Photoshop instruction during and after lunch. Breakfasts are on your own so that we can get in the field early. Lunches are on me. Dinners are on your own as well so that we can get to bed as the days in spring will be long.

Rides with the leader are available on a limited basis for $50/day.

Registering for an IPT

To register for any of the IPTs below call Jim or Jen in the office at 863-692-0906 from Monday morning through Friday lunch with your credit card in hand to leave your $500 non-refundable deposit. Balances may not be paid by credit card so you will be asked to send a check for your balance along with the signed paperwork that you will find here.

MasterClass

Early Spring Photo Opportunities at ILE

BIRDS AS ART First-ever Master Class

Master Class. Two Full and two Half Days/Friday afternoon, March 30 through lunch on Monday, April 2, 2018: $1999.00. Limit: 4/Openings 3.

The Master Classe will be a small group — strictly limited to four photographers — with the first folks who register having the option of staying at my home ($50/night) or at a chain motel in nearby Lake Wales. Live, think, and breathe photography from Friday afternoon through lunch on Monday (late-morning); all meals included. There will be three afternoon photo sessions (FRI – SUN) hopefully with glorious sunsets like the ones you saw one the blog in December we should have good opportunities with the cranes even in the afternoon. We will enjoy three morning photography sessions (SAT – MON) with the main subjects being tame Sandhill Cranes almost surely with chicks or colts. Also vultures and Cattle Egrets and more. Limpkins are possible. Intermediate telephoto lenses are fine for the cranes, even the chicks at times. A 500 or 600mm lens would be best for many of the situations that we will encounter.

During the day we will sit together around my dining room table and pick everyone’s keepers and enjoy guided Photoshop sessions. On Monday before lunch, folks can make a single large print of their favorite image from the weekend. If you so choose, I will micro-adjust one of your lenses (at one focal length with your #1 camera body–Canon or Nikon) during a group instructional session. All will be welcome to practice what they have learned during the breaks using my set-up and my lighting gear.

To register, please first shoot me an e-mail to check on availability. Then you will be instructed to call Jim or Jen at 863-692-0906 during weekday business hours (except for Friday afternoons) to leave you non-refundable (unless the session sells out) $500 deposit. Only the deposit may be left on credit card. Balances must be paid by check immediately after you register (unless you wish to pay by credit card plus 4% to cover our fees).

I hope that you can join me on this new adventure.

with love, artie

ps: bring your bathing suit if you would like to try my pool.

Gatorland-Card

Tame birds in breeding plumage and chicks 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/Openings: 3.

Must purchase Gatorland Photographers Pass. Click here for details. All early entry. Late stays Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 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.

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

Gatorland-Card

Tame birds in breeding plumage and heron and egret chicks 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 Thursday, Friday and Saturday. 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.

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.

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Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.

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 :).

10 comments to Why 3D? What I Really Miss (about Canon) … And +10 AF Fine-tune makes a big difference!

  • avatar David Policansky

    Hi, Artie. I actually like today’s featured image better than all of the ones you posted yesterday. I love the shadow and the color and sharpness of the bird. I don’t know why you were at f/9, and I don’t know what the widest possible aperture on your Nikkor is at 400 mm (I do know it’s f/5.6 at 500 mm), but the shadow wouldn’t have been as clear at a wider aperture as it was at f/9. The minimum focusing distance of less than a meter, which is very much less than a meter from the front of the lens, is just one of the features of the Canon 100-400 f/4.5-5.6L IS II lens that make me so fond of it.

  • avatar MR

    Hi Art,

    My guess is that you thought you had a 1.4x teleconverter attached. That would put you at f/8 for a minimum aperture. Once click down from that would be f/9.

    MR

  • avatar Brian E. Small

    Artie,

    Love this image……………IMHO it really is missing a catch light to bring it to life. I think it would be well worth adding………..my 2 cents.

  • avatar David Cesari

    What made you switch from Canon to Nikon ? I was a Canon shooter for years but when they switched their lens mount for the AF system I went to Nikon & never looked back.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Much better AF for birds in flight. Start checking out the back issues of the blog starting with this one and continuing almost daily 🙂

      with love, artie

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    I like #1 a lot because of the shadow, and of course the sharpness. Did you need f9 to keep the shadow closer to well-formed? At f6.3 maybe it wouldn’t have been clear enough to know what it is? Being in manual mode, unless manual was set wrong, I don’t have a clue why this was underexposed.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks. The second image is simply a tight crop of the first image, i.e., they are the same image:)

      with love, artie

  • avatar Adam

    Artie a quick question regarding the Nikon 3d. Do you find it better than, comparable to, or lesser than Canon’s system?

    As per the linked blog post, I find it much better for me than 61-point, and very close to Large Zone.

    Personally, I was never all that impressed with the 61pt or large zone AF for static images, though the DPAF is helpful with video.

    I rarely if ever used Large Zone for static subjects and never recommended it for static subjects. What is DPAF?

    With respect to f/9, I suspect that you chose it because you were so close to the subject and wanted the maximal focus plane for detail?

    That is how it worked out but not how I got to f/9 🙂 But I did learn a lot … Thanks for your excellent question and comments.

    with love, artie