Ecstasy, SONY News, Answers, and a new system/focal length/ISO quiz … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Ecstasy, SONY News, Answers, and a new system/focal length/ISO quiz ...

What’s Up?

The new laptop is up and running. It is quite a bit faster than my old one. Photo Mechanic, Photoshop, and Capture One v.11 are all installed and running smoothly. Next on the schedule is to restore NeatImage …I am eating and feeling great and doing lots of swimming and lots of walking.

Ecstasy

At 2:55pm on Friday, UPS showed up with the new “correct” SSD enclosure, the one suggested by Chris at Cypress Computer Center in downtown Lake Wales, FL. I opened it with great excitement. The 12 pin/16 pin connection seemed to be the right one but I was unable to mount the drive. As I did not want to force (break!) anything, I called Chris and was glad that he had not gone home for the weekend. I packed everything up and in 30 minutes I was in the store. In five minutes he had mounted the drive and assembled the enclosure. One minute later I was copying the last copy of my Monday Orlando Camera Club Keynote program file to the new laptop. It opened and I was thrilled to have saved about four to six hours of additional work that I had already done. Next came the “lost” images from Lakeland and the Hooptie Deux Spoonbill Boat IPT. Those included many SONY images that had not been backed up … Ecstasy!

Investing in Solid State Hard Drives (SSDs) …

Barring a really bad computer disaster, investing in SSDs for all of your computers is the way to go. With no moving parts to malfunction, you are pretty much guaranteed to be able to access your “lost” data by pulling the hard drive (HD) and getting the right enclosure (bay). It was hard to find the right enclosure but the QNINE USB 3.0 PCIe SSD Enclosure for 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 MacBook Air Pro Retina, USB External Reader for A1465 A1466 A1398 A1502 SSD Adapter with Case (Support 12+16 pins) proved to be correct for my old HD. Thanks again Chris!

Big SONY News

Unlike me, dear friend, multiple IPT veteran, and BAA Technical Advisor Patrick Sparkman has committed 100% to SONY. He sold his Nikon 600 and the rest of his Nikon stuff in only a few days on the BAA Used Gear Page and yesterday purchased a Sony Alpha a7R III Mirrorless Digital camera body from Bedford’s. I am looking forward to learning how the A7RIII does with birds, especially with birds in flight. Patrick is planning on doing lots of photography this weekend!

Me-thinks that there is a Sony FE 400mm f/2.8 GM OSS lens in Patrick’s future …

IPT Updates

I still need three folks for the Galapagos trip, and the UK Puffins and Gannets trip is wide open with only a single registrant. Please shoot me an e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount on the Galapagos trip.

  • The 2019 Fort DeSoto Spring IPT/THURS 18 APRIL through the morning session on SUNDAY APRIL 21, 2019: 3 1/2 DAYS: $1549. Limit 8/Openings: 4. Meet and greet at 7PM on the evening of WED 17 APRIL.
  • The New, Expanded 2019 UK Puffins, Gannets, & Red Kites IPT. Thursday June 27 (from EDI) through Tuesday, July 9, 2019 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 10.): $9,999. Limit 10 photographers/Openings: 9. This trip needs four to run. Co-leader: Peter Kes.
  • The GALAPAGOS Photo Cruise of a Lifetime IPT/The Complete Galapagos Photographic Experience. July 23 to August 6, 2019 on the boat. 13 FULL and two half-days of photography: $14,499. Limit: 12 photographers/Openings: 4. Please e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount for this trip.


BIRDS AS ART

BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

bedford-logo-w-code

Orlando Camera Club Program Sponsored By Bedford Camera

On February 25, 2019, I will be presenting “Lessons from the Field – BIRDS AS ART Style” for the Orlando Camera Club. They told me that they did not want to see beautiful images as they would rather learn. I told them that I would need to show them lots of beautiful images during the course of the lessons. 🙂 I have been having a ton of fun for three weeks creating this brand new program. The meeting begins at 6:15; my program is scheduled for 6:15 – 8:00pm at the Marks Senior Center, 99 E Marks Street, Orlando, FL 32803. The meeting is free and open to the public. If you learned about the program through the blog be sure to come up for a hug.

Huge thanks to Steve Elkins at Bedford Camera for sponsoring my appearance and to Holly Manus for the invitation. Click on the logo-link above or check out the Money Saving Reminder feature immediately below to get acquainted with Bedford.

From the OCC website here:

Arthur Morris will present “Lessons from the Field – BIRDS AS ART Style”. This slide-illustrated lecture will feature hundred’s of Artie’s spectacular photographs. As he shares images from his favorite locations around the globe he will be telling us about the birds and other creatures that he photographs and about the equipment and techniques that he uses to create his images. Topics to be covered include getting close to free and wild birds, flight photography, getting the right exposure, and image design. A selection of books and CDs will be available.

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. Most recently the price of used Canon 600mm f/L IS II lenses have been dropping like a rock with the introduction of the 600 III. You can always see the current listings by clicking here or on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Important Used Gear Note

All sales include insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only.

Recent Sales

I sold my Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 lens with the the RRS Collar Foot Package (a $250 plus the shipping value) for only $1099.00 in mid-February.
John M Wright also sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS lens in near mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $488.00 and his Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR body in near-mint condition with 28,567 shutter actuations for $1999.00 in mid-February 2019.
Multiple IPT veteran and good friend Paul Reinstein sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM in excellent plus condition for the BAA record-low price of $6,599.00 in mid-February.
Multiple IPT veteran, dear friend, and BAA technical advisor Patrick Sparkman sold his Nikon D850 DSLR for $2699.00 just days after listing it in early February.
I sold my Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-17E II in near-mint condition for a BAA record low price of $299.00 in mid-February.
Multiple IPT veteran, dear friend, and BAA technical advisor Patrick Sparkman sold his Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens in like-new condition for $10,996.95 his Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR lens in like-new condition for $475.00, his Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Lens in like-new condition for $910.00, and his Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III in excellent condition for $385.00 all within a day of listing them in early February.
John Svendsen sold a Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF ED lens (the original version) in near-mint condition for the BAA record low price by miles of $1499.00 in early January.

Canon 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens

Multiple IPT veteran Morris Herstein is offering a Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens in like-new condition for the incredible BAA record-low price of $7,999.00. The sale includes the rear cap and the front lens cover, the lens trunk, a Kirk low foot, the original lens foot, a LensCoat, and insured ground shipping via Fed Ex to US lower 48 addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Morris via e-mail.

The 600 II has been the state of the art super-telephoto for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many years. When I was using Canon and needed the reach and could get it to my location, it was always my go-to weapon. It is the same now with my Nikon 600 VR. All are fast and sharp and deadly alone or a TC. With a new one going for $11,499, you’d better grab this one quickly and save a cool $3500.00 by grabbing Morris’s lens now. artie

Canon 100-400mm L IS II USM Zoom Lens

Karl Schneck is offering a Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM zoom lens (the new 1-4) in excellent condition for $1,299.00. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the front lens cap, the lens hood, the lens foot, the lens case, the original product box, a LensCoat Lens Cover in Digital Camo, and insured ground shipping via major courier to lower 48 US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Karl via e-mail.

Y’all know how much I have missed this amazingly versatile lens and its great close focusing ability. With a new one going for $2,049.00 Karl’s lens is a steal! artie

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. Steve currently has several D850s in stock along with a Nikon 600mm f/4 VR. He is taking pre-orders for the new Nikon 500 P and the Nikon Z6 mirrorless camera body.



Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of photographers 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.

Answers

In the Head-hunting Fun with Sony! And Guess the Focal Length blog post here, I posted the two images below and asked that folks try to guess the focal length used to capture each image. The answers are below each images along with my brief comments.

Limpkin-calling-_A9A1308-Lakeland,-FL-1

This image was created on February 15, 2019 with my SONY gear in Lakeland,FL. Sony A9.

Image #1: Limpkin calling/head portrait

Limpkin calling/head portrait

This image was created with the hand held Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter and the beyond remarkable Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless digital camera. ISO 500: 1/500 sec. at f/11 in Manual mode. The correct exposure was fine-tuned using the Zebra feature. AWB at 9:59am on a sunny day.

The focal length was 512mm. So yes, I would have been a bit better off with the 1.4X teleconverter …

Anhinga-female-in-breding-plumage-_A9A1384-Lakeland,-FL-1

This image was created on February 15, 2019 with my SONY gear in Lakeland,FL.

Image #2: Female Anhinga in breeding plumage

Female Anhinga in breeding plumage

This image was also created with the hand held Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter and the beyond remarkable Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless digital camera. ISO 3200: 1/2000 sec. at f/14 in Manual mode. The correct exposure was fine-tuned using the Zebra feature. AWB at 10:21am on a sunny day.

The focal length here was 800mm. I had been at 1/2000 sec. shooting flight and neglected to cut back to 1/500 second; that mistake cost me 2 stops of ISO. That said, the ISO 3200 images looked pretty good without any noise reduction.

Brown-Pelican-banking-_A9A2529-Alafia-Banks,-Tampa,-FL-3

This image was created on the Spoonbill Boat IPT on February 16, 2019 at 5:47pm.

Please get in the habit of clicking on all horizontal images to see a larger inexplicably sharper version.

Image #3: Brown Pelican banking

A New System/Focal Length/ISO Quiz

As I have not yet loaded NeatImage onto the new laptop, noise reduction to the background only was applied using Filter > Blur > Surface Blur.

Be sure to click on the image to see the larger version before getting into the water. Then, go ahead:

SONY or Nikon?

What was the focal length?

What ISO did I use? (Yes, it was Auto but don’t be a wise guy.)

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my 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

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 :).

6 comments to Ecstasy, SONY News, Answers, and a new system/focal length/ISO quiz …

  • avatar David Arkin

    It is important to note that with certain non-original SSD drives you will not be able to install OS updates. There are work arounds but they are long and tedious. This happened to me with attempt at updating Mojave.

    “Apple does not consider aftermarket SSDs an approved user modification. That doesn’t mean you can’t do it, but Apple does not develop firmware for non-Apple devices.”

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8396367

  • avatar Chris L

    Artie, Amazing as always. Do you see any noticeable performance or quality differences between the Sony 1.4x TC and the 2.0 TC? Which are you using more? What you have posting with the 2.0x has me ready to retire my Canon 7DmII and 1-400mm II.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Chris,

      I use both a lot, rarely the lens alone. I will be posting some more flight shots with the 100-400/2X TC combo and while it is use-able and do-able and the AF is amazing, it ain’t that easy framing at 800mm while hand holding. At f/11 you will be getting some high ISOs for flight … That said, for close work it is stunning. And I have not tried an A7R III yet. I can’t wait to here from Patrick …

      with love, artie

  • avatar douglas l smith

    What is the “Zebra feature” ?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      It is an amazing SONY feature that gives you the equivalent of blinkies in the viewfinder (along with a live histogram). The trick is in setting it up and calibrating it. Patrick Sparkman and I will teach folks to use it in our upcoming SONY A9/A7R III eGuide.

      with love, artie