An Amazing Array of Used Gear (mostly Canon). An Amazing Night with Belmo and Jakob (and the rest of the best in the world). And the Amazing Blowhard Image. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

An Amazing Array of Used Gear (mostly Canon). An Amazing Night with Belmo and Jakob (and the rest of the best in the world). And the Amazing Blowhard Image.

What’s Up?

Tuesday, October 22, 2019. I just got back from the lake. The fog was quite thick when I arrived; the visibility was perhaps 100 yards. Over time, that increased to 200 yards, and then, off and on, to 93,000,000 miles as the sun peeked in and out. I have been playing around with the SONY 200-600mm and the a9. I tried some fog-scape tree images and then worked a completely tame pair of preening Sandhill Cranes.

As this post wound up taking about five hours to prepare, It was published at lunch-time on the 22nd.

An Amazing Night with Belmo and Jakob (and the rest of the best in the world)

Bowling?

Yes, Bowling. I bowled from my early teens through high school. I was half-way decent having once bowled 289. But as was the case with all of the other sports that I loved and was fairly good at — basketball and football and golf, I was smart enough to know that I was nowhere near good enough to think about a professional career.

I have been watching bowling on TV for about 60 years. Can you say Don Carter and Billy Welu? I remember about a decade ago seeing a then-young bowler from Australia named Jason Belmonte. He bowled two-handed and did not put his thumb in the ball. He started developing his style at age 18 months at his Dad’s bowling center. His style produced a high rev-rate that resulted in a late, large hook and consistent devastation of the pins. I was stunned as I (and the rest of the world) had never seen anything like it. He is now 36 and is one of only 15 players in Professional Bowlers Association history with at least 20 PBA Tour wins. Even better, his Tour victories include a record 11 major championships.

When my active-release technique chiropractor in Lake Wales, TJ McKeon, offered me VIP tickets to last night’s PBA Clash at the Kegel Training Center (KTC) in Lake Wales, I jumped at the chance. Unbeknownst to most — including the folks who live in Lake Wales — KTC is a world-class leader in innovative bowling technology and training. The men’s and women’s bowling teams at Webber International University have trained at Kegel for many years; both have achieved incredible success in the past decade.

a-Belmo-IMG_0265

Yours truly with long-time idol Jason Belmonte

i-Phone 8+ selfie courtesy of and copyright 2019: Jason Belmonte!

The Clash

Anyhoo, I attended the PBA Clash last night and got to chat with Jason Belmonte (and others). He and nearly all the rest of the top eight bowlers on the planet were friendly and personable. They had time for everyone. Jason (Belmo to the fans) was smaller than I had thought from seeing him on TV and was quick to flash his sincere and endearing smile. And he was pretty good with a cell phone too!

The event was done with a strange format. First, all eight bowlers bowled a tenth frame. The low score was out. Once they were down to seven, the format changed to a one-ball elimination. Then the last two players remaining would bowl a regular ten-frame game with the winner becoming champion. In the tenth-frame round, the first seven players threw strikes and Belmonte had to strike to stay in it. He did. I was rooting for him.

My second favorite was Jakob Butturff, a short, chubby, left-handed 25-year old pro who looks 15. In the first round, it looked as if he would surely be eliminated after leaving an all-but-impossible-to-make 2-4-6-7-10 split. The crowd roared when he converted the split and then struck on his second ball. I had seen Jakob win and contend on Tour several times in the past year. He has a quick, quirky approach that ends with a corkscrew release of the bowling ball. He sets the ball down very gently and heads it toward the left-hand gutter. Flirting with the edge, the ball turns right fiercely as it nears the pins. Most of his deliveries end with Jakob either fist-pumping or raising his hand in triumph after another strike.

Belmonte was the fourth to go out and he was followed by Anthony Simonsen — even younger than Butturff at 22 years old, but with six PBA Tour victories. That left Jakob to face yet another young gun, fan-favorite EJ Tackett, for the championship. Slim and powerful with a classic delivery, the 27-year-old Tackett has 15 PBA Tour titles to his name. I like EJ a lot, but was rooting for Jakob.

Jakob began the match inauspiciously with a gutter-ball, but knocked all ten pins down with his second ball for a spare. Tackett had the lead until the middle of the game while Butturff recorded strike after strike after his awkward start. He threw six in a row followed by a 7-pin that he converted and followed that up by striking out the rest of the game. Jakob won with a superb final score of 258. You will be able to see the entire PBA Clash 2019 event on FOX Sports on Sunday, November 3.

All in all, it was a great night for Jakob, but a better night for me.

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 the 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.

As used gear sales have slowed a bit in recent months — especially with dSLR bodies, there are lots of great buys right now on the Used Gear Page.

Canon EOS-1D X Mark II

BAA friend and multiple IPT veteran Paul Reinstein is offering a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II body with a shutter count of 40,759 in near-mint condition for $3,599.00. The camera recently underwent the 18-point digital dSLR maintenance service (clean and check) at a Canon factory service center. But for two small scuffs, some tiny paint chips, and one tiny scratch, this body would be like-new. Photos are available upon request. The sale includes two batteries with end caps, the dual battery charger, the front cap, a 128G Cfast card, the Cfast card reader, the camera strap, the USB-C cable and cable protector, the instruction manuals, the CDs, the original product box, 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 Paul via e-mail or by phone at 1-310-946-9031 (Pacific time zone).

The EOS-1DX is Canon’s flagship professional camera body. I made many fine images with mine. It is rugged and fast and features Canon’s best AF system. The 1DX II sells new for $5499.00 so you can save a very cool $1900.00 by grabbing Paul’s camera. artie

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

BAA friend and multiple IPT veteran Paul Reinstein is offering a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV in near-mint condition (shutter count 40,054) for $1899.00. The camera recently underwent the 18-point digital dSLR maintenance service (clean and check) at a Canon factory service center. There are a very few tiny scuffs/paint chips. Photos are available upon request. The sale includes two batteries, the battery charger, the front cap, a 64GB compact flash card, the camera strap, the USB-C cable and cable protector, the instruction manuals, the CDs, the warranty card, the original product box, an extra eye cup, a Hoodman eye hood, 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 Paul via e-mail or by phone at 1-310-946-9031 (Pacific time zone).

The high-megapixel 5D Mark IV was my favorite Canon camera body. The AF system was superb and the files large, detailed and luscious. I used mine with all of my favorite Canon lenses including the 100-400 II, the 500 f/4L IS II, and the 600 f/4L IS II. With the two super-telephotos, I consistently made sharp images with both the 1.4X III and the 2X III TCs. A new 5D IV currently sells for $2,799.00; you can save a very nice $900.00 by grabbing this one. artie

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L S II USM Lens

BAA Record-low Price!

BAA friend and multiple IPT veteran Paul Reinstein is offering a Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L S II USM lens in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $1195.00. There are a few tiny paint chips and one decent scratch. The sale includes the lens hood, the front cap, the rear cap, the carrying pouch, the original product box, the instruction manual, the warranty card, the strap, a Realtree Max4 LensCoat, 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 Paul via e-mail or by phone at 1-310-946-9031 (Pacific time zone).

The incredibly versatile 100-400 II was my favorite Canon lens. I loved the .98 meter close focus — tall folks can focus on their own toes! And it was a great flight lens with birds at close range. And I did well with it with the 1.4X III teleconverter. The 1-4 II currently sells new for $2,049.00 so you can save a very handsome $854 by grabbing Paul’s lens asap. artie

Canon Extender EF 2X III (Teleconverter)

BAA friend and multiple IPT veteran Paul Reinstein is offering Canon Extender EF 2X III teleconverter in excellent condition for only $229.00. There are a few microscopic paint chips and 2 dings on this TC. Photos available upon request. The sale includes two sets of front and rear caps, the lens pouch, the instruction manual, the warranty card, the original product box, 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 Paul via e-mail or by phone at 1-310-946-9031 (Pacific time zone).

As regular readers know, I used both teleconverters often when working with all with my Canon f/4 super-telephoto lenses. The 2X was so important to me that I always traveled with a spare. The 2X III currently sells new for $429.00 so you can save a very handsome $200 by grabbing Paul’s TC now. artie

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II Lens

BAA Record-low Price!

Multiple IPT veteran Steve Leimberg is offering a Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II lens in near-mint condition for a BAA Record-low $5,997.00. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the front lens cover, the lens strap, 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 Steve via e-mail or by phone at 1-610-888-2650 after 10:30 am (Eastern time zone).

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 could get it to my location, it was always my go-to weapon. It is fast and sharp and deadly alone or with either TC. With a new one going for $$9,499.00, you can save a cool $3502.00 by grabbing Steve’s lens today. artie

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II Lens

BAA Record-low Price!

Steve Leimberg is also offering a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II Lens in near-mint condition for a BAA Record-low $5,989.00. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the original tough front lens cover, the lens strap, 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 Steve via e-mail or by phone at 1-610-888-2650 after 10:30 am (Eastern time zone).

The 500mm f/4 super-telephoto lenses have long been the world’s most popular for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. Canon’s Series II version is light, fast, super-sharp, and, in competent hands, produces amazing images with both the 1.4X and 2X III TCs. The 500 II is relatively small, easily hand-holdable for some folks, and is much easier to travel with, focuses closer than, and costs a lot less than the 600 II. The lighter 600 III costs an astounding $12,999.00. Lastly, and you might find this amazing, the magnification for the 500 II is the same as it is for the 600 II: .15X. How is that possible? Magnification is calculated at the minimum focusing distance of the lens — 12.14 feet (3.7 meters) for the 500 II and 14.77 feet (4.5 meters) for the 600 II. Simply put, the 500 II focuses more than two feet closer than the 600 II. The seller for the last one that sold here had five calls the first day; the first four folks quibbled on price. The fifth one jumped right on it … Please do not tarry if you are seriously interested in Larry’s lens as it too should sell quite quickly. Or not 🙂 As the 500 II goes for $8999.00 new, you will be getting a practically new copy and saving a very nice $3,010.00. I loved my 500 II. artie

Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Nikon F

Multiple IPT veteran Steve Leimberg is also offering a brand-new-in-the-unopened-box Sigma 60-600mm f/4.5-6.3 DG OS HSM Sports Lens for Nikon F for only $1,299.00. The sale includes the original box and everything in, it plus 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 Steve via e-mail or by phone at 1-610-888-2650 after 10:30 am (Eastern time zone).

This zoom covers a huge 10x range; it is a versatile lens well-suited for a variety of subjects, including portraits, sports, travel, nature, and wildlife. Its advanced optical design incorporates one SLD element and three FLD elements, which help to greatly suppress chromatic aberrations and color fringing throughout the zoom range for improved clarity and color accuracy. B&H

IPT Updates

  • The Return to Bosque Reduced Rate Scouting IPT. NOV 26-28, 2019 — 3 FULL DAYS: $1199.00. Limit: 8/Openings: 6. Extra Day Options: Join me for one to three extra In-the-Field Days at the end of the IPT as follows: FRI 29 NOV, SAT 30 NOV, and SUN 1 DEC for only $300.00/day.
  • 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: 5)

BIRDS AS ART

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

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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 over $1000.00, 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 has been great at getting folks the hot items that are out of stock at B&H. Those include the SONY a7r IV, the SONY 200-600, the SONY 600mm f/4 GM, and the Nikon 500mm PF. Steve is eager to please.



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.

Bottle-nosed-Dolphin-blowing-air-bubbles-_DSC1062-Floreana-Galapagos-1

This image was created on July 30, 2019 with the hand held Sony FE 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM OSS lens (at 102mm) and the beyond remarkable AF King, the Sony Alpha a9 Mirrorless Digital Camera. ISO 1250: 1/1600 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. Exposure determined by Zebras with ISO on the rear dial … AWB at 12:15pm on a cloudy day.

Center Zone Continuous/tracking AF was active at the moment of exposure.

Bottle-nosed Dolphin blowing

The Amazing Blowhard Image

On several of my most recent Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime IPTs, we have encountered mega-pods of dolphins. While they have all been tremendously exciting to witness, I had never been able to create a really good image until last summer. Some dolphins were jumping completely out of the water so I went with the a9 for its remarkable AF system. As there were dozens of Bottle-nosed Dolphins surrounding the boat I could never figure out which one would be the next to jump. I failed again. Then someone yelled out that several dolphins were riding the bow wake.

To have a chance to make a decent image, I needed to lean out far over the railing — without falling in. There was a large surfboard mounted on the starboard rail. As it had a fairly thick, soft protective cover, I was able to bend forward at the waist and lean over the railing (somewhat in comfort thanks to the padded cover) without putting myself at great risk. I had several decent chances where I held the shutter button down for a second or two. Many were slightly mis-framed even though I had zoomed out close to 100mm. When I saw this one on the laptop I jumped for joy. All it takes is one.

This situation was jsut one of the oh-my-God moments that we enjoyed on the trip.

Galapagos 2020?

If you are interested in learning about a possible Galapagos Photo-Cruise of a Lifetime, September 29-October 13 on the boat (travel dates: 27 SEPT to Guayaquil and fly home on 14 OCT) please get in touch via e-mail. I will need at least eight deposits by December 1, 2019. Details will be announced here soon.

If In Doubt …

If you are 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 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 or Bedfords, 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 or Bedfords 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 :).

4 comments to An Amazing Array of Used Gear (mostly Canon). An Amazing Night with Belmo and Jakob (and the rest of the best in the world). And the Amazing Blowhard Image.

  • Hi, I have been reading these great blogs for years. I noticed you had recently left Canon and went to Nikon. Now I see you are back to Canon and now Sony. Didn’t you like Nikon?
    I understand the speed of Sony.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi David, Thanks for your kind words. There are lots of great things about Canon, Nikon, and SONY. I feel that right now SONY is the best for me. I have not used Canon in more than two years; sometimes I run old photos 🙂

      Best advice: read the blog every day — all the details on the three systems are there.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Kathy Kunce

    Geez! You look good bald!

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