SONY and Nikon do Red, White, and Blue … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

SONY and Nikon do Red, White, and Blue ...

What’s Up?

I was thrilled on Tuesday to learn that multiple IPT veteran Malcolm MacKenzie signed up to join Shonagh Adelman and me on the 2019 UK Puffins, Gannets, and Red Kites IPT; Seahouses, Bempton Cliffs, and the Dunbar, Scotland Gannet boat to Bass Rock! That done, I committed to the trip and purchased my flights. See below to join us. If you are at all interested, or if you would like the IPT veteran and couple’s discount info, please contact me via e-mail or call my cell at 863-221-2372..

I met Malcolm in Lakeland on a very cold (45 degrees F with a brisk north wind) Wednesday morning. The White Pelicans were much more skittish than they had been but we did enjoy some good chances with these huge birds. In addition we photographed the White Ibises along with Ring-necked Duck and Lesser Scaup. We also had a tame Limpkin. But the highlight of the day was a pair of totally tame Green-winged Teal. Photos to follow.

Just as I was about to start micro-adjusting, I realized that I did not have a copy of FocusTune on my new laptop. I was able to download and install that with some help from Michael Tapes. Thank you Michael. If you have a new MacBook Pro and are having problems installing the newest version of FocusTune click here for help.

Lakeland In-the-Field Morning Sessions

If you would like to join me in Lakeland for a morning of great photography next week — I am free on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, March 12, 13, and 15 — please get in touch via e-mail or call my cell at 863-221-2372. Limit three photographers/session.

Morning Session — 7-10am: $250.00
Morning Session with a working lunch including image review and Photoshop: $350.00

IPT Updates

Despite lots of recent interest I still need three folks for the Galapagos trip. 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: 2. Meet and greet at 7PM on the evening of WED 17 APRIL. Free morning session on 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: 8. This trip is a go. Co-leader with more than 6 participants: Peter Kes.
  • 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 6 photographers/Openings: 5. 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: 13 photographers/Openings: 3. Please e-mail to learn about the huge late registration discount for this trip.


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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 Used Gear Sales Rocking!

Karl Schneck sold a Canon EF 100-400mm L IS II USM zoom lens (the new 1-4) in excellent condition for $1,299.00 in early March.
Multiple IPT veteran, dear friend, and BAA technical advisor Patrick Sparkman sold his Sigma 14-24mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art Lens for Nikon F in like-new condition for $699.00 (was 799.00) in early March.
John M Wright sold his Canon 24-70mm f/4L IS lens in near-mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $488.00 in early March.
Errol Bellon sold his Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8 G VRII N-ED Lens lens in new condition for a very fair $1125.00 (was $1296.95).
John Bowden sold his Sony a7R III mirrorless camera in mint condition (only 136 actuations!) for $2298.00 one day after it was listed.
Dick Bernard sold his Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II USM zoom lens (the new 1-4) in excellent condition (with an original 1.4X TC) for a BAA record-low-by-far $1,198.00 about 30 seconds after it was listed.
John Bowden sold his Sony FE 24-105mm F4 G OSS lens in like-new condition for $998.00 the first day it was listed.
I sold my barely used (shutter count 16,263) Nikon D5 in excellent to near-mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $4,496.95 (was $5,496.95) and my Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR lens in excellent plus condition for only $1,499.00 (was $1799.00), both in late February 2019.
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 $488.00and his Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR body in near-mint condition with 28,567 shutter actuations for $1999.00 in mid-February.
I sold my Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6 lens in pretty close to near-mint condition along with the the RRS Collar Foot Package for a silly low $1099.00.
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.

Price Drops and More

Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS Lens

Price reduced $50 on March 5, 2019

John Bowden is also offering a Sony Vario-Tessar T* FE 16-35mm f/4 ZA OSS lens in near-mint condition for $798 (was) $848.00. The sale includes the original box and everything that came in it: the front and rear caps, the lens shade, the soft case, the instruction manual and insured ground shipping via UPS to the lower 48 after their check clears.

Please contact John via e-mail or by phone at 919-358-5717 (Eastern time zone).

This outstandingly sharp versatile lens is a landscape and general photographers dream for fill frame Sony camera bodies. It sells new for $1248.00 so you can save $450.00 by getting in touch with John now. artie

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

Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II Lens

Hussein Aliyu is offering a Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 300mm f/2.8G ED VR II lens in near-mint to like-new condition for the BAA record-low price of $3999.00. The sale of this gem-of–a-lens includes the original box and everything that came in it including the rear cap, the front cover, the lens strap, the lens trunk, a LensCoat (an $80.00 value), an off-brand low foot (a $99.00 value), and insured Worldwide shipping via DHL to all US lower 48 addresses. Most will want to make this purchase via wire transfer. If by check, your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Hussein via e-mail.

This one is a gem; super-sharp, hand holdable for almost everyone, great for flight and action photography, and great as well with both teleconverters for portraits and for flight. It has long been the favorite focal length of the world’s best hawk photographers. As it sells new for $5,496.95, Hussein’s near-mint, latest-greatest Nikon version of this lens is priced to sell. Save almost $1500.00! 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.


This image was created on Wednesday, March 6 at Lakeland, FL. I used the hand held Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens, the Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter (at 800mm) and the beyond remarkable Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless digital camera. ISO 400: 1/800 sec. at f/13 in Manual mode. Highlight Exposure Mode with Zebras. AWB at 8:41am on a sunny day.

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version.

Image #1: White Ibis tight head portrait

White Ibises in Lakeland

There are about a zillion White Ibises in Lakeland right now. They are all tame as there are folks feeding the waterfowl all around town. Many of the White Ibises are coming into full breeding plumage; their bills are going from flesh pink to red and both sexes develop a distended, naked throat pouch that is typically larger in females (as seen in Image #2) — from the Birds of North America No. 9.


This image was created on the Saturday-past Lakeland in-the-field session. I used the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens, the Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-14E III, and my souped up back-up Nikon D850. ISO 400. Matrix metering at about zero: 1/2000 sec. at f/9. NATURAL AUTO WB at 9:59am on a clear day.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +1. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

One up and to the right of the center Group (grp)/Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The array was centered on bird’s cheek right on the same plane as the birds eye.

Image #2: White Ibis > full breeding plumage/tight head portrait

I would love to hear your comparative thoughts on today’s two featured images. Feel free to comment on image quality, color, fine detail, specular highlights and sheen on the bill, image design, and anything else that suits your fancy. Note that the dark feathers on the back of the head of the bird in Image #2 were the result of a shadow cast by some blowing leaves. Note also that I did some bill clean-up with each image.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. All of the images on this card were created on the 2018 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

The New, Expanded 2019 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT. Seahouses, Bempton Cliffs, and the Dunbar, Scotland Gannet boat to Bass Rock! Thursday June 27 (from EDI) through Tuesday, July 9, 2019 (on the ground; fly home on Wednesday July 10.): $9,999. Limit 10 photographers. Co-leader: Peter Kes.

Join me in the UK in late June and early July 2019 to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet, Red Kite, and more both in flight and at close range. We will also have great chances with Arctic and Sandwich Terns, both with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many of those chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks; plus Grey Seal. There will be tons of great flight photography. As on all IPTs, if you pay attention, you will learn a ton, especially about sky conditions and the relationship between light angle and wind direction and their effects on flight photography.

Why go all the way to Machias Seal Island off the coast of Maine, endure a two-hour boat ride, and have to photograph Atlantic Puffins from a cramped blind usually in bright sun (and well off sun angle) when you can hop a red-eye flight from Newark, NJ and be in Edinburgh, Scotland early the next morning. First we drive down to Bridlington for easy access to Bempton Cliffs where our primary targets will be Northern Gannet in flight. We will also get to photograph Razorbill, Northern Fulmar, Herring Gull, and Black-legged Kittiwake. While in Bridlington we will spend one afternoon visiting a Red Kite feeding station that should provide lots of flight photography action.

While in Bridlington we will staying at the Lobster Pot by Marston’s Inn, just fifteen minutes from Bempton Cliffs. After 3 1/2 days of photography at there, we drive down to Seahouses in Northumberland to the two lodges that will be our home base for a week. After a short boat ride each day we will have hundreds of puffins posing at close range all day, every day — usually in ideal cloudy-bright conditions. While we are in Seahouses we will do six puffin/seabird trips, all weather permitting of course; last year we did not miss a single landing. In five years we have averaged losing less than one half day per year to bad weather. We land at Staple Island in the mornings and then sail over to Inner Farnes for our afternoon sessions. In addition, we may enjoy a session or two photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level from a rocky beach in Seahouses.

In Seahouses, we stay 7 nights in gorgeous, modern, upscale lodges with Wi-fi. They are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The bedrooms are decent-sized. Each lodge has one double bedroom and two twin bedrooms. (See the single supplement info below.) At the lodges we cook our own breakfasts each morning and prepare our own lunches to be brought on the six puffin boat trips. For dinners we will alternate cooking in the lodges with fine dining at several excellent local restaurants. We stay two nights at the Marston’s Inn in Dunbar. We will enjoy a fine-dining Thank You dinner at the Dunbar Hotel on the Tuesday evening before we fly home.

On the morning of Monday, July 8, 2019, the plan is to sleep late, pack, and head up to Dunbar Harbor, Scotland for lunch and an afternoon gannet boat chumming trip: flight photography until you cannot lift your camera. The next morning, Tuesday July 9, we will enjoy our second gannet boat chumming trip (both weather permitting). On both trips we will enjoy great views of the huge gannetry at Bass Rock. Included will be two nights lodging at the Pine Martin by Marston’s Inn in Dunbar. Very early on the morning of Wednesday, July 10, we will drive up to Edinburgh Airport so that everyone can make their flights home. No moaning please. You will need a flight that leaves at 8:30am or later. Not too much later is generally best. Note: this trip needs a minimum of four photographers to run.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. All images were created on the 2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT

The Details

This IPT is all-inclusive except for your airfare and alcoholic beverages. All ground transportation, lodging costs, meals, your National Trust membership, and all boat, entry, and landing fees are included. Weather permitting, we will enjoy three and one-half days (at least six sessions in all) at Bempton Cliffs, an afternoon with the Red Kites, six full days on the puffin boats, one amazing afternoon gannet chumming trip, and one spectacular morning gannet chumming trip. The trip cannot be finalized until I have at least six deposits as we will be renting a lovely 15-passenger bus with our private professional driver who happens to be my web-master, Peter Kes, who is also a skilled photographer and my co-leader 🙂

IPT Details

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome, heck, we actually need two couples — please send your non-refundable $2,000/person deposit check now to save a spot. Please be sure to check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below. Your balance will be due on February 28, 2019. Please make your check out to “Arthur Morris” and send it to Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855.

Please shoot me an e-mail if you are good to go or if you have any questions.

Single Supplement Info

Single supplement rooms in Bridlington and Dunbar are available for those who register early. The cost of the single supplement for those six nights is $600.00. Single supplement rooms at the lodge may be available on a limited basis but only if the trip does not fill with ten photographers. The single supplement fee for those seven nights is $700. If you would like your own room in Bridlington and Dunbar, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement with your deposit: $2,600.00. The single supplement deposits are non-refundable as I will need to make the reservations well in advance.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance for big international trips is highly recommended as we never know what life has in store for us. I strongly recommend that you purchase quality insurance. Travel Insurance Services offers a variety of plans and options. Included with the Elite Option or available as an upgrade to the Basic & Plus Options you can also purchase Cancel for Any Reason Coverage that expands the list of reasons for your canceling to include things such as sudden work or family obligation and even a simple change of mind. My family and I use and depend on the great policies offered by TIS whenever we travel. You can learn more here: Travel Insurance Services. Do note that many plans require that you purchase your travel insurance within 14 days of our cashing your deposit check or running your credit card. Whenever purchasing travel insurance, be sure to read the fine print carefully even when dealing with reputable firms like TSI.

I truly hope that you can join me on this exciting venture.

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.


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In all blog posts and Bulletins, feel free to e-mail or to leave a comment regarding any typos or errors. Just be right :).

21 comments to SONY and Nikon do Red, White, and Blue …

  • avatar Phil Thach

    I like them both when it comes to image quality and fine detail at this resolution. I might say something different if I were to see them both at full resolution. I prefer the head angle of the first image. The pouch is more visible in the second so I can understand why you chose these two. Both of these have some of the beak cut off which bothers me a little, only because they are cut off so close to the tip. I often cut off beaks in my ultra close-up heron photos but I try not to cut them off this close to the tip. These ibises have longer beaks than heron so that might make the composition seem weird if you keep the entire beak. The first image, because of the perfect head angle, seems to draw less attention to the cut off beak. Both images have some of the best and most beautiful eye detail I’ve ever seen in a bird photograph.

    I’m curious if the winners of your B&H sponsored photo contest from late last year have been announced. It possible that I missed it.


  • Good morning Guru. Both images are great.

    Different subject: You have been watching and photographing birds for decades. We are also watching birds and putting in conservation efforts for quite a while already.

    However Guru, have you noticed the number of birds found these days are significantly less than what we saw ten years ago?!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Quazi,

      That depends on the species and population trends are quite subjective … It is obvious from the scientific data that many species of songbirds and shorebirds are in serious decline …

      with love, a

      ps: how about from 40 years ago? That’s when I started watching birds — more like 42 actually …

  • Nahhhhh, I call them as I see it. I wonder what would happen if a Sony camera and lens are not happy with each other. I guess like before autofocus fine tuning, sending back copies until finding a combination that works. The reason I mention this is because at close focus the Sony doesn’t seem to be as good. Also at F/11 there is most likely some diffraction causing some softness in the image. It only would be noticeable when the depth of field is narrow.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Joe,

      I think that you might be touching on something. I am fine with the sharpness of the SONY images. It is possible that the fine feather detail problems are seeing are the result of the very narrow depth-of-field at 800mm when working 3-5 feet from the subject. And I am trying to better understand diffraction. I need to spend a good deal of time on the phone with Patrick this weekend. Unlike me, he is technically brilliant.

      with love, artie

  • Hey Artie. It will be interesting where you placed AF point in both Images.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      The Nikon info is in the caption. I am trying to learn how to see the SONY AF points and AF Area as we speak.

      with love, artie

  • Hi Artie, the second image (Nikon ) is outstanding, much better color and detail than the first image (Sony). Also, I not sure I like not being able to fine tune the autofocus on the Sony, but then I like to tinker with things like that. Have you tested your Lensalign target with the Sony A9 to see if any front or back focusing?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Joe,

      Me-thinks that you are unknowingly prejudiced against SONY images. The one time you did not know which was which you picked the SONY as the sharpest with the best fine feather detail on the SONY’s breast 🙂 Another fact that may be coming into play with some of the tight head portraits is the razor-thin depth of field when working close to the minimum focusing distance at 800 mm (as here). Patrick is trying to explain to me that stopping down with the Sony gear causes a loss of fine detail due to diffraction …

      with love, artie

      ps: my understanding that because th A9 focuses by contrast off the sensor — the same as Canon and Nikon in Live View, the no micro-adjusting is ever needed. And when I use the correct Focus Area, the eyes are razor sharp just as in Image #1.

  • avatar Micheal Gotthelf

    Both images are really great. To me the iris, skin and feathers seem slightly sharper or at least more detailed in image 1.

  • avatar Byron PRINZMETAL

    In the skin (red) under the eye. Maybe it is just contrast? Maybe it is my old eyes, maybe…
    But, the lenses are much different. One is a prime that takes careful micro adjustments and the other a zoom on a mirrorless camera that needs no af adjustments. I would not expect the zoom to be as sharp and contrasty as the zoom. Right, wrong, of course right or …

    PS But, the zoom is pretty darn excellent to boot!!!!! I take it any day with a camera whose af is as accurate/sharp as the Sony is.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Byron.


      ps: the only time I notice contrast (as I understand what contrast is) is when an image has too much contrast, i.e., the WHITEs are too white and the BLACKs are too black …

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Thanks Larry, Krishna, Guy (Guido), and Brendan for your comments.

    with love, artie

  • Hi sir, I like the 1st picture best just because of the bird pose. The slight angle of the head makes the eye look great brings the bird more to life for me. They’re both great shots. I have a question for you: Does every picture taken with a beyond remarkable camera or a super up tricked out camera using pro lenses need or require post processing? If the picture is tack sharp to begin with why is additional sharpening needed? When you shot slide film back in the day and your photos were used in books and magazines were they all post processed after the drum scans? Do you ever take a photo and say looks great as is? Or do the limits of the sensor and glass always require a process to bring the image back to what you saw in the viewfinder? Or to just make the image better looking than what you originally see on your monitor? Also have you ever had an encounter with a gator who had eyes on you and/or your gear???? Thanks I just purchased Lightroom and am beginning to learn about post processing and digital enhancements. God Bless.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Jeff,

      Thanks for your comments. Images from even the best digital cameras and lenses are inherently unsharp as compared to sharp film images. When you are using RAW capture as you should be you will need to adjust and convert the RAW file to a TIFF or PSD file to see it. Furthermore, proper exposure with digital requires that the images come out of the camera looking too light. You adjust the tonality to your taste during the RAW conversion and then again in Photoshop if you so choose. The only gator that ever had eyes on my was a huge Alligator Snapping Turtle in a small pond at Jamaica Bay WR … I do not use or recommend Lightroom 🙂

      with love, artie

  • avatar Larry Rudnick

    Both images are excellent. I like the great detail in both but the 1st is a more intimate view while I like the 2nd for the throat pouch. I don’t see any difference in color, IQ or sharpness, but I don’t think I would expect to since they are both taken by quality cameras and lenses by the same quality photographer, and all else being equal – light, etc. – since they are JPGs.

  • Such beautiful Birds (specially in Breeding Plumage). I wish to photograph them in Lakeland soon.

    I love both images, Like the second one more as the eye is parallel to the sensor.

    I see no difference in the image quality. They both look same to me.

  • avatar Guido Bee

    Of the two, I prefer the slightly darker red of the second image. FFD looks really good to me and the exposure is right on. The one comment I’d make is that the glare on the bill of the second image pulls my eye a bit and, while that does not detract from the image overall, it is not present in the first shot and the bill in #1 looks better to me. If there were not two shots to compare, I would likely not comment on it at all.
    I still have a ways to go to get exposures like these, but I’m working on it.
    Be well.

  • avatar Brendan

    I like image number two better from a composition standpoint. I really like the two gentle curves of the neck and the throat pouch more than the more acute angle of the neck in image number one.

    From an image quality standpoint, both seem pretty flawless to me. I don’t have the eyes to distinguish a significant color or sharpness difference, if there is one.

  • avatar Byron PRINZMETAL

    Well, at first reading I like the first one better because I like the look of the eye better. That could have been capture by the second camera so it was not a camera thing. Looking at the detail which to me does not make an image as it is my first emotional response when I first see an image that causes me to really like something (but that is just me), image two is sharper. The color are about the same to my eye.
    Now image one’s detail/color detail/color are all darn good for being a zoom as compared to a prime lens. If I was a young man with plenty of money and stronger than hell and do all day bif photo shoots where moving from one location to another is a necessity, I pick camera two and a 600mm lens and all its beasts. But, as a over the hill guy, camera one with its zoom seems to capture the essence of what is there to capture and no more time consuming, frustration lens af adjustments. Further, if camera system one af is superior then even if I could hand hold a truck all day, having more really sharp bif keepers would make me use the first camera system.

    In summary to my eye the colors are the same, the details are adequate in both, but image two seems sharper which I contribute this to a prime lens vs a zoom.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks. Where are you seeing differences in the sharpness”?

      with love, artie