Mark IV Alert « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Mark IV Alert

This image was created at Nickerson Beach, Long Island, NY with the tripod-mounted (I was kneeling) Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, a 25mm Extension tube, and the EOS-1D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/1000 sec. at f/13.

Lens micro-adjustment: -4. Central sensor/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF and re-compose.

The extension tube allowed me to focus closer than the minimum focusing distance of the prime lens alone. This young Semipalmated Sandpiper was sleeping but woke up just for a second to throw this lovely pose. Note that by working very close to sun angle that the negative effects of the harsh light (9:20am) on the image have been minimized.

For a greater appreciation of the image, click on the photo. Then click on the enlarged version to close it.

September 20, 2011 Update: B&H is once again back-ordered on Mark IV bodies.

Please enjoy the image above. 🙂 One blog subscriber was lucky enough to grab one.

Mark IV Alert

Mark IV bodies have been in short supply ever since the earthquake tragedy in Japan. If you are looking for one, be advised that B&H just received a small shipment. To purchase, please use this link: Canon EOS-1D Mark IV. I have been using Mark IV bodies exclusively for almost two years. Get yours right now to avoid disappointment and you can earn three free entries into the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition.

Shopper’s Guide

Below is a list of the gear used to create the image in today’s blog post. Thanks a stack to all who have used the Shopper’s Guide links to purchase their gear as a thank you for all the free information that we bring you on the Blog and in the Bulletins. Before you purchase anything be sure to check out the advice in our Shopper’s Guide.

Support both the Bulletins and the Blog by making all your B & H purchases here.

Remember: you can earn free contest entries with your B & H purchases. Eleven great categories, 34 winning and honored images, and prize pools valued in excess of $20,000. Click here for details.

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens. Right now this is my all time favorite super-telephoto lens.
Canon EF 25mm Extension tube. I am never out without one of these in my vest; it allows for closer focus in a variety of situations.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body. My two Mark IVs are my workhorse digital camera bodies.

And from the BAA On-line Store:

LensCoats. I have a LensCoat on each of my big lenses to protect them from nicks and thus increase their re-sales value. All my big lens LensCoat stuff is in Hardwood Snow pattern.
LegCoat Tripod Leg Covers. I have four tripods active and each has a Hardwood Snow LegCoat on it to help prevent further damage to my tender shoulders 🙂
Gitzo GT3530LS Tripod. This one will last you a lifetime.
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head. Right now this is the best tripod head around for use with lenses that weigh less than 9 pounds. For heavier lenses, check out the Wimberley V2 head.
CR-80 Replacement Foot for Canon 800. When using the 800 on a Mongoose as I do, replacing the lens foot with this accessory lets the lens sit like a dog whether pointed up or down and prevents wind-blown spinning of your lens on breezy days by centering the lens directly over the tripod.
Double Bubble Level. You will find one in my camera’s hot shoe whenever I am not using flash.
Be sure to check out our camera body User’s Guides here.
The Lens Align Mark II. I use the Lens Align Mark II pretty much religiously to micro-adjust all of my gear an average of once a month and always before a major trip. Enjoy our free comprehensive tutorial here.
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV User’s Guide. Learn to use your Mark IV the way that I use mine.

10 comments to Mark IV Alert

  • avatar Kunj Trivedi

    Thank you Artie, The answer to your question, if I have understood correctly, is yes. The reason I asked you is also to let Canon technical dept know that there could be a problem with the software. it has happened often enough for me to raise this alarm. As regards P mode, while i know the camera decides, in P mode, I also change Camera’s decision by altering shutter and aperture where appropriate.. But in most cases, the camera takes the correct decision, in my photography. Regards/ Kunj

    YAW. I would only let Canon know if this is a common problem. As I have never heard of it before, you simply need to send your camera in. I would advise sending a selection of CDs. However, your problem may very well be caused by your choice of using spot-metering…. If you have a zebra running how would you know where the spot meter way????? I would repeat your tests using Av or Tv or Manual mode. I recommend against the use of spot metering for nature photography but heck, you have already told me that you are gonna do it your way no matter what I say so I may be wasting my breath here. artie

  • Where did I get the idea to check on whites in the 240-245 level whereas you use 236 ? I probably read it some where and now will go with your 236 check.
    If you get a chance take a look at updated website of “North with Spring” and it features small neotropical migrants from Ohio,Michigan and Ontario,Canada.One of your strengths has always been a great feel for whites, whereas it is one of my many weaknesses.

    Chas. This is relatively new. I think that I published it somewhere…. IAC, both Robert O’Toole and I got to the same place at about the same time by taking slightly different paths. When I am converting a RAW file in ACR and the image has WHITE in it, I run the cursor over the WHITEs and check the RGB #s. If there are any values above 236 I move the Recovery slider to the right until all the highest values are 236 or so or below. By doing it this way I do not have to run nearly as many Linear Burns. And my WHITEs still look clean and bright and white. If anyone remembers where I posted the 236 info originally please shoot me a link 🙂 artie

  • avatar Bill Richardson

    Kung, Artie’s question was right on point. If you frame a subject differently in P mode in different shots, you are probably getting different metering and therefore different exposures. Another question is what metering mode you are in? If you don’t pay attention to metering modes, you may have accidentally been in spot meter mode which could aggravate the metering difference (or not, depending on the framing). BTW, we are all here to learn from Arie and each other and questions go both ways and are nececesay for full answers. Your polite answer would have been better and and gotten the info from Artie.

  • avatar Kunj Trivedi

    Hi Artie, I am not seeking advice on which mode to use. I am not a bird photographer and am perfectly happy with my P setting. I have taken more than 200000 wildlife images. I want to know whether you are aware that many times the MK IV camera for no known reason underexposing a few frames. Since you do not take your pictures in P mode, perhaps you do not know and I also have observed that when you do not have answers, you ask questions. Thank you. Kunj Trivedi

    Kunj, I am glad that you are happy using P mode for wildlife photography. That fact that you have created 200,000 images using P mode does not make it any less wrong. You are giving complete control of your images to the camera while losing all control over shutter speed and aperture. I know how and when to use P mode. Here I have asked a question so that I could try to answer your original question. But you decided that you knew what I was thinking and chose to ignore my question. If you would like to answer it: “Are you talking about images in which the framing (and the subject size) are about the same?” I would be glad to try and answer your question intelligently. artie

  • avatar Ted Willcox

    Beautiful image. A lovely relaxed pose.

  • avatar Kunj Trivedi

    I have been using Canon 1D MKiv since the time it came in the market. I have been a Canon user since 20 years and Canon Digital user since the year 2000. My setting is always P (Program) . I have noticed that many times some of my images come out grossly underexposed and in series, many times of the same subject – meaning a series of images will come out underexposed and thereafter without any intervention by me they will be correctly exposed. Do you know of any reason why such aberration takes place and what one should do to prevent it. Thanks & regards/ Kunj Trivedi

    Hi Kunj, #1: I believe that no competent nature photographer should use Program Mode (except in very rare situations….) #2: Are you talking about images in which the framing is about the same? artie

  • avatar Barry Southon

    Mr Morris, you demonstrate superb control of the whites the feather detail is spot on.

    Thanks Barry. Please call me artie. The word on the street that it is “hard to control the exposure of whites especially in bright sun” is ridiculous. Learn to evaluate the histogram, check for blinkies, covert with your WHITEs less than 236, and use Linear Burn when needed and your WHITEs will be perfect every time. All as detailed in Digital Basics. artie

  • Artie – any word on the new 500/600mm lenses? Pre-tsunami, these had a May 2011 commercial launch date. I’m guessing we’re not going to see these this year? Thx, Paul

    Hey Paul, They are talking optimistically about December…. I hope to have one for my Antarctica trip. artie

  • avatar cheapo

    What a super image, I notice you’ve got some ‘thirds’ going on there, but the the bird is very sweet.

  • avatar Pat Fishburne


    Now that is one sharp image! Moreover, I like the position of the head — even though it’s not your usual choice. And, I like the “whisper” of greenery on the left.

    I like the head position too. Very cute. artie