The FlexShooter Pro for Flight and for Action. And Bathing Bird Photo Tips « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The FlexShooter Pro for Flight and for Action. And Bathing Bird Photo Tips

What’s Up?

The DeSoto Sandbar Secrets IPT was — though sparsely attended with only two participants — a huge success. The weather was just about perfect. And on our one morning with winds too much out of the west the clouds allowed for a great morning. I would have to dig very deep to remember a better DeSoto outing. More on this IPT soon.

I made it home by 1:30pm yesterday after dropping Anita North at TPA for her flight back to Toronto.

This blog post took about four hours to prepare in addition to the time spent optimizing the six images, all in Capture One.

Last Gatorland In-the-Field Sessions of the Season: Friday May 10, Saturday May 11, or Sunday May 12, 2019.

Join me at Gatorland this coming weekend and learn a ton. It will be prime time for Cattle Egrets in breeding plumage, we might even have a shot at some Little Blue Herons, and there will still be lots of chicks of all sizes. There were still some nests with eggs on my last visit. Learn to shoot in the shade on sunny days! Most folks who visit Gatorland simply have no clue. Join me to learn how to photograph at easily accessible rookeries. An intermediate telephoto lens is all that you will need. I will have two of those and my 600 VR. Learn to think and see like a pro. A loaner FlexShooter Pro will be available.

Morning Session — 7-10am: $200.00
Morning Session with a 90-minute working lunch including image review and Photoshop: $300.00.

Still Desperate 🙂

I am desperately seeking one or two for the Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime — no reasonable offer will be refused. And I am fervently hoping to sign up exactly one more photographer (male or female) for the UK Puffins, Gannets, and Red Kites IPT — with a large late-registration discount.

  • 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 — a large late-registration discount is available. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 1
  • 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 — no reasonable offer will be refused. Limit: 12 photographers/Openings: 2.
  • The 2020 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) WED JAN 8, 2020 thru and including the morning session on SUN JAN 12: 4 1/2 days: $2099.(Limit: 8/Openings: 7)

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. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Recent Sales

IPT veteran Joel Eade is sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4 L IS (the original IS model, the “old five”) in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $2750.l00 (was 2999.00) within days of listing it.
Douglas Smith sold his Canon EF 400mm f/4L IS DO II USM lens in near-mint condition for only $4425.00 for a quick sale after listing it for a BAA record-low $4999.00.
Don Busby sold his Canon 500mm f/4L IS II USM in near-mint condition for a BAA record low $6299.00 (was $6799.00).
BAA-friend Ron Gates sold his Sigma 150-500mm F5-6.3 DG OS (optical stabilization) HSM Lens (for Canon EF mount) in excellent plus condition and a Wimberley P-20 plate for the bargain price of $449.00.
Bob Beal sold a rarely used, eight month old Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens in like-new condition for the BAA record-low price of $10,796.96 the first day it was listed in early April, 2019.
Paul Zappala sold his Canon 500mm f/4L IS II USM (USA) in near-mint condition for a BAA record low-by-far price of $5999.00.
Gary Meyer sold his Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR Lens in mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $909.00 on the first day of listing.

New Listings

Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L IS II Lens

Top BAA Used Gear page seller Jim Keener is offering a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 IS L II lens in excellent plus condition for only $899.00. The front element has a minuscule scratch that does not effect the image at all. The sale includes the original product box and packing materials, the front and rear lens caps, the lens pouch, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US lower 48 addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Jim via e-mail or by phone at 310-741-7435 (9am-9pm Mountain time).

This fast, sharp L lens is a landscape photographers dream lens. It sells new for $1,599.00 so you can save a cool $700.00 by being the first to grab Jim’s lens. Jim does not like haggling so he always prices his gear to sell quickly. artie

Canon mount Zeiss Distagon T 15mm f/2.8 ZE Lens

Top BAA Used Gear page seller Jim Keener is also offering a Canon mount Zeiss Distagon T 15mm f/2.8 ZE lens in like-new condition for the crazy low price of $949.00. The sale includes the original box and packaging, the product booklet and blank warranty card, the front and rear lens caps, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US lower 48 addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Jim via e-mail or by phone at 310-741-7435 (9am-9pm Mountain time).

The Canon EF-mount Distagon T* 15mm f/2.8 ZE from ZEISS is a unique prime that is ideal for landscape, interior, and astrophotography applications. Its relatively bright f/2.8 maximum aperture is suitable for working in difficult lighting conditions while shooting handheld. A Distagon optical concept is used; this reduces field curvature and distortion for high overall sharpness and accurate rendering across the frame. The T* anti-reflective coating has been applied to individual elements and a lens hood is integrated into the lens’s design to control lens flare and ghosting. This ultra wide-angle prime is designed for full-frame Canon EF-mount cameras, however can also be used with APS-C (crop factor) models where it provides a 24mm equivalent focal length. B&H

This is a phenomenal buy on a primo architectural and astro-photography lens that normally sells for $2,950.00. Right now at B&H there is 1,071 in instant savings that brings the price down to $1879. That said, Jim’s lens is still the better buy! By $930.00! Jim does not like haggling so he always prices his gear to sell quickly. artie

Canon EF Extender 1.4X III (teleconverter)

Top BAA Used Gear page seller Jim Keener is also offering a Canon EF Extender 1.4X III (teleconverter) in near-mint condition for the very low price of $299.00. The sale includes the original product box and packing materials, the rear caps, the pouch, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US lower 48 addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Jim via e-mail or by phone at 310-741-7435 (9am-9pm Mountain time).

These sell new for $429.00. As regular readers know I routinely traveled with three 1.4X III TCs and two 2X III TCs when I used Canon gear. ‘Nuff said. artie

Canon EF Extender 2X III (teleconverter)

Top BAA Used Gear page seller Jim Keener is also offering a Canon EF Extender 2X III (teleconverter) in near-mint condition for the very low price of $299.00. The sale includes the original product box and packing materials, the front and rear caps, the pouch, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US lower 48 addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Jim via e-mail or by phone at 310-741-7435 (9am-9pm Mountain time).

These also sell new for $429.00. As regular readers know I routinely traveled with three 1.4X III TCs and two 2X III TCs when I used Canon gear. ‘Nuff said. artie

1.4X III/2X III/Extension Tube Bundle Offer

Purchase both of Jim Keener’s teleconverters for $598.00 (as above) and Jim will throw in a Canon Extension Tube EF 25 II for free. The front and rear caps for the extension tube are included as is insured ground shipping via major courier to US lower 48 addresses only. Your items will not ship until your check clears.

Please contact Jim via e-mail or by phone at 310-741-7435 (9am-9pm Mountain time).

The 25mm extension tube is great for reducing the minimum focusing distance of your telephoto lens, is a great macro photography accessory, and allows you to stack two TCs for easier travel. artie

High Value Re-run

Four-lens Canon EF-S Bundle

IPT veteran Mark Overgaard is offering a four-lens EF-S bundle, all in near-mint to like-new condition for the crazy-low price of $949.00. EF-S lenses work only with Canon crop sensor bodies such as the 7D, the 7D Mark II, the 70D, and the 80D.

Here are the lenses:

  • Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
  • Canon EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM
  • Canon EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
  • Canon EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

The sale includes all front and rear lens caps and hoods and insured ground shipping by UPS or FEDEX to the lower 48 states only. For all but the 18-135mm lens, the original Canon box is also included.

Please contact Mark via e-mail.

If you are sold on Canon crop factor bodies like the 7D Mark II (see the work of Dan Cadieux), and are looking for some supplementary lenses, this package represents an incredible deal.These four lenses sell new for $1796.00 so you can save $847 by grabbing this great collection now. artie

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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.

Booking.Com

Many IPT folks have been using the Booking.Com link below to get great rates and save 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.

Airbnb

I enjoyed yet another great AirBNB in Gulfport for the DeSoto Sandbar Secrets IPT.

I have been using AirBNB for all of my travel lodging needs. Everyone on the Fort DeSoto IPT is staying at an AirBNB property in Gulfport. Airbnb lists more than 4.5 million homes across 200 countries; you’ll find spacious, affordable options for every occasion. With Airbnb you will travel with confidence as reviews from past guests help you find the right fit. Once you do, their secure messaging makes it easy to coordinate with your host. And Airbnb support teams are available 24/7. And this morning, I made a 17-day reservation for an Airbnb condo for San Diego, 2020. I am staying with Rick again: his place has lots of room, a full kitchen, two bedrooms, and great WiFi. All for a lot less than the price of a chain hotel.

Yikes. I almost forgot the best part: Airbnb rates average less than half of even the least expensive chain hotels and motels. If you would like to save $40 on your first booking sign up by using this link: Airbnb. Airbnb does charge clean-up and service fees that make short stays less attractive bargains than long stays.

Those who prefer to stay in a motel or hotel are invited to use the Booking.com link above to save $25.00.



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.

Royal-Tern-wings-up-flight-_BUP3099--Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra-Verde-FL-1

This image was created on the 2019 DeSoto Sandbar Secrets IPT on the morning of May 5. Standing at full height behind my tripod, I used the Induro GIT 304L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 800. Matrix metering at about +1 1/3 stops: 1/2500 sec. at f/5 in Manual mode was perfect with the histogram pushed all the way to the right. AUTO1 WB at 8:16am on a cloudy somewhat-bright morning.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Center Group (grp) Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed.

Image #1: Royal Tern in flight with wings up

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version and better enjoy the sharpness.

The FlexShooter Pro for Flight

For each of these images I was — thanks to the very soft light (I did not have to worry about sun angle at all — able to stand in a given spot for 10-15 minutes at a time. First I’d be sure to sink my tripod into the soft sand and take a moment to center the bubble in the scribed circle on the Induro tripod. Then I would center the bubble in the scribed circle on the FlexShooter Pro. That done I was able to pan fully from left to right or vice versa and be assured of making images that were perfectly square to the world. If the sands shifted a bit I would simply push one leg or another deeper into the sand to re-center the bubble in the scribed circle on the Induro tripod.. That avoided the need to re-center the bubble in the scribed circle on the FlexShooter Pro. If you do not understand what I wrote go back and re-read as this tip can save you a ton of time when working on a soft substrate.

With the Silver Bullet Knob loosened three turns there is just the right amount of tension (only a very little) on the small ball. Panning is a smooth dream and there is not need to tighten or loosen anything. The lens simply stays were you last pointed it and is ready to go instantly. No more ballhead flop. I can honestly say that I became a still-better flight photographer simply by using the FlexShooter Pro.

Notice the perfectly level horizon line with this image (as it was right out of camera, thanks to the FlexShooter Pro).

FlexShooter Pro Complete Info

If you are at all interested in the FlexShooter Pro and missed yesterday’s short and to the point blog post, you can learn a ton more here. We are down to a very few in stock and will be re-ordering again soon.

Royal-Tern-flapping-after-bath-_BUP3255--Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra-Verde-FL-1

This image was also created on the 2019 DeSoto Sandbar Secrets IPT on the morning of May 5. Again, standing at full height behind my tripod, I used the Induro GIT 304L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 800. Matrix metering at about +1 2/3 stops: 1/2500 sec. at f/4.5 in Manual mode was perfect with the histogram pushed all the way to the right. AUTO1 WB at 8:42am on a cloudy somewhat-bright morning.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Center Group (grp) Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed.

Image #2: Royal Tern flapping after bath

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version and better enjoy the sharpness.

Bathing Birds

We had many dozens of opportunities to photograph bathing gulls, terns, and shorebirds on the recently concluded IPT. When you see a bird in a very few inches of water dipping its breast and flapping about, nine times out of ten it end its bath by flapping its wings rapidly and rising up out of the water. Sometimes they will bathe again and repeat the same scenario. At other times they might fly off (usually taking off into the wind). Working on the FlexShooter Pro I found it child’s play to follow the action whether flying or flapping.

You will often notice groups of birds bathing in a relatively small area. I believe that the over-riding factor is the depth of the water. By paying further attention to behavior you will note that when the birds do take flight for good and leave the bathing area, they will they almost always shake water off in during the first few seconds of flight. This can result in some really neat poses as in Image #3 immediately below. Improving your observational skills will enable you to create some images that you might otherwise miss.

Sandwich-Tern-shaking-off-water-in-flight-after-bath-_BUP3204--Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra-Verde-FL-1

This image was also created on the 2019 DeSoto Sandbar Secrets IPT on the morning of May 5. Again, standing at full height behind my tripod, I used the Induro GIT 304L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 800. Matrix metering at about +1 1/3 stops: 1/2500 sec. at f/4.5 in Manual mode was perfect with the histogram pushed all the way to the right. AUTO1 WB at 8:32am on a cloudy somewhat-bright morning.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Center Group (grp) Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed.

Image #3: Sandwich Tern shaking off water in flight after bath

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version and better enjoy the sharpness.

The Advantages of Flight Shooting on the Tripod with Big Glass

As I am not one of the young guns who can hand hold a 500 or 600mm f/4 lens for flight for hours on end, working with those lenses on a tripod for flight photography makes a ton of sense. Fatigue is reduced to zero and with the FlexShooter Pro your big lens is rendered weightless and the handling and panning is smooth and efficient. And having the full reach of your longest lens is a big plus when you are in need of reach.

So why not hand hold a smaller lens like the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR, the Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS, or the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II? Aside from less reach in general, the big advantage goes to the f/4 lenses, especially on cloudy days such as the one we enjoyed on May 5. And on sunny days your might opt to work at crazy high shutter speeds such as 1/6400 second. By working at f/4.5 or f/5 I am able to save a full stop of ISO on average. All of the hand holdable lenses mentioned above are f/5.6 and I almost always work with those at f/6.3 to reduce vignetting and add just a touch of additional sharpness.

If the birds are flying by at close range on a sunny day (with the wind and sun behind you fo course) then hand holding one of the shorter lenses mentioned above can work extremely well as it is generally easier to follow the birds in flight and frame the image as desired. To a great degree, however, the FlexShooter Pro comes very close to evening the playing field when comparing a tripod mounted super-telephoto lens with a shorter hand holdable intermediate telephotos or with intermediate telephoto zoom lenses.

Sandwich-Tern-taking-off-after-bath-_BUP3076--Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra-Verde-FL-1

This image was created on the 2019 DeSoto Sandbar Secrets IPT on the morning of May 5. Standing at full height behind my tripod, I used the Induro GIT 304L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 800. Matrix metering at about +1 1/3 stops: 1/2500 sec. at f/5 in Manual mode was perfect with the histogram pushed all the way to the right. AUTO1 WB at 8:31am on a cloudy somewhat-bright morning.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Center Group (grp) Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed.

Image #4: Sandwich Tern lifting off after bath

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version and better enjoy the sharpness.

Byebye!

This Sandwich Tern had finished its bath and was leaving the scene. I love the water droplets. Here again the Flexshooter Pro proved its worth for flight and action situations.

Black-Skimmer-lifting-off-after-bath-_BUP2977--Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra-Verde-FL-1

This image was created on the 2019 DeSoto Sandbar Secrets IPT on the morning of May 5. Standing at full height behind my tripod, I used the Induro GIT 304L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 800. Matrix metering at about +1 1/3 stops: 1/2000 sec. at f/5 in Manual mode was a slight underexposure. AUTO1 WB at 7:38am on a cloudy early morning.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Center Group (grp) Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed.

Image #5: Black Skimmer taking flight after bath

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version and better enjoy the sharpness.

Best Cropping Option?

Though I did clip the upper wingtip on this image I got photo-bombed at the top of the frame by a photographer lying down in the water. But the pose was so spectacular that I simply went for a tighter crop. I absolutely love the yellowish flanks and under-secondaries of Black Skimmers at the height of breeding plumage in late spring and early summer.

Black-Skimmer-skimming-_BUP3173--Fort-DeSoto-Park,-Tierra-Verde-FL-1

This image was also created on the 2019 DeSoto Sandbar Secrets IPT on the morning of May 5. Again, standing at full height behind my tripod, I used the Induro GIT 304L/FlexShooter Pro-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 600mm f/4E FL ED VR lens and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR. ISO 800. Matrix metering at about +1 2/3 stops: 1/1600 sec. at f/5 in Manual mode was perfect with the histogram pushed all the way to the right. AUTO1 WB at 8:25am on a cloudy morning.

Nikon Focus Peaking fine-tune value: +3. See the Nikon AF Fine-tune e-Guide here.

Center Group (grp) Continuous (C in Nikon/AI Servo with Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure as originally framed.

Image #6: Black Skimmer skimming

Be sure to click on the image to see a larger version and better enjoy the sharpness.

Level Pleasure …

Once you have taken a few moments to properly level the FlexShooter Pro it is a pleasure to be able to pan in any direction with impunity without having to worry about rotating the lens in the tripod collar to at best get close to level. With this great new head you just pan and shoot while concentrating only on following and framing the subject.

A Note on Cloudy Day Exposures …

I often say that on cloudy days everyone underexposes — even those with 34 3/4 years of experience. Note how much light was added in each image to come up with a workable or a perfect exposure. Note also the small differences in the exposure settings. Those were due to small changes in the light as the clouds thickened or thinned out a bit.

Your Favorite?

Which of today’s flight images is the strongest? Please leave a comment and let us know why.

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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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 :).

15 comments to The FlexShooter Pro for Flight and for Action. And Bathing Bird Photo Tips

  • Hi Guru,

    My vote goes for number 6, the Skimmer skimming.

    However, I remember clearly that long time ago you captured another frontal skimming shot of a Black Skimmer wherein focusing point was also shown. To me that one supersedes this one.

    Best regards.

    Quazi

  • Hey Arthur, Like #4 with the bird lifting out of the water. Those water drops are pretty neat. The flexshooter shounds pretty interesting. Thanks for the detailed blog post about that.

  • I like 3 and 5. Those are shots that I would like to take.

  • I like 2,4 and 6. 2 is my favorite with 6 a close 2nd. Which is your favorite and why?

  • avatar Gary Meyer

    Image 2 is my pick I like the bird filling the frame and with its wings stretched out great action shot

  • avatar Sid

    Hi Artie,

    I prefer #5 because the bird colors seem more vibrant, and the water color is better. Maybe the light was just better right then? Great work as always!

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Image #2, Absolutely Beautiful! When I first look at it in the larger version I said Wow! the exposure is so good, and the bird so beautiful.

  • I’ve had a chance to try the FlexShooter Pro that I ordered from BAA a few times during the last week. I am using it in place of my 4th Generation Design Mongoose 3.6. I really like the new head, not only because it maintains the level but especially because it is much, much easier to adjust the tension than on the Mongoose. It is easy to find and set exactly the right amount of tension on the rig — in my case a Canon 800mm f/5.6 or a 300mm f/2.8 (sometimes with 2x extension) and the 1D-X Mark 2. I think the smoother tension makes it easier to keep the rig perfectly steady when photographing with the FlexShooter (as compared to the Mongoose). Sometimes the Mongoose jiggled a bit even when I was using your good bracing (sharpness) techniques, but that doesn’t seem to happen with the FlexShooter. I’m wondering if you’ve experienced the same advantage with the FlexShooter’s tension adjustment. It is nice also having the FlexShooter’s single tension knob rather than two as on the Mongoose. Has that been a factor aS FAR AS using the new ball head for flight photos?

    Thanks for making this good ball head easily available in the U.S. — and at no greater cost than ordering it from Hungary.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for your purchase Daniel. Yes, the tension settings on the FlexShooter are mega. And I agree that the single control is a big plus; as I’ve been saying, the Silver Bullet Knob is our best friend! I used the Mongoose for well more than a decade because it was the best and lightest available, and it was and is a lot, lot better than some of the crappy knock-offs, and a lot, lot lighter than the Wimberley V2. And yes again — both the smooth, easily adjustable tension and the ease of operation were factors that I considered before deciding to go to the FlexShooter Pro full time.

      YAW, and thanks again for your purchase. I hope to see you on an IPT one of these days.

      with love, artie

      ps: please note that we are able to sell them for less than if you had to order from Hungary . 🙂

  • avatar Stu

    Thanks for this very informative post. I vote for image 6. I like the behavior and composition. If I was the photographer, I would either crop out or clone out the green object at upper left. Best wishes.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      You are welcome Stu and thanks for your comment. I wanted to leave one piece of seaweed as I removed others including one that intersected with the near-wing. Plus I sort of like it.

      with love, artie

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