The 200-400 w/Internal Extender 784mm Advantage & A Tough D-O-F Question… « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The 200-400 w/Internal Extender 784mm Advantage & A Tough D-O-F Question...


Lots more work on the audit on Saturday, poring over credit card statements and entering spreadsheet data until my eyes were popping out of my head. Enjoyed a swim and an ice bath. The swim was my first with blue skies and sun in as long as I can remember.

After somewhat of a lull, several more items on the Used Gear Page have sold in the past few days. See the complete listings here.

This blog post was published just before 7:30am on Sunday September 20, 2015. Please remember to use my B&H affiliate links for your major gear purchases; online orders only; no phone orders. It won’t cost you a penny and helps me out tremendously. Many thanks for considering this important request.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog or via a BAA Online Bulletin is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charges a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly–I offer free pricing advice, usually sells in no time flat. In the past few months, we have sold just about everything in sight. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 500mm, the EOS-7D, and the original 400mm IS DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see what is for sale and what has sold along with the prices on the Used Gear Page by clicking here.

Brand New Listings

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM Lens/with Circular Polarizer

Glen Shellhammer is offering a used Canon EF 500mm 1:4 IS USM lens, serial # 28153, in like-new condition for $ 4249. The sale includes: Lens Shield, Lens Soft Boot, Lens Strap, End Cap, Lens Trunk, Keys to Trunk, Owners Manual, Canon PL-C 52 Drop-in Polarizing lens, Kirk Enterprises Mounting Plate, and insured shipping via UPS Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Glen by e-mail or by phone at 863-471-6171 or 419-217-8676, 9 am – 9 pm EDT.

As regular readers know the “old five” was the world’s most popular super telephoto lens for many years. I owned and used one for more than a decade. Glen’s lens is priced to sell. artie

Novatron V400D 2-Head Flash Kit

Glen Shellhammer is also offering a used Novatron V400D 2-Head Flash Kit in excellent condition for $799. The sale includes 1 Novatron Series II Power Amplifier, 2 Flash Heads with bulbs – Seriel #’s C 47218 & 40929 – with modeling lights, 2 collapsible Tripods, 2 Power cords to connect power unit to flashes, 1 Power Cord, 1 Camera Sync cord, 2 Umbrellas, 1 Hard carrying case w/ latches, Instruction Manual and Warranty Information, and insured shipping via UPS Ground. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Glen by e-mail or by phone at 863-471-6171 or 419-217-8676, 9 am – 9 pm EDT.


This image was created on the 2015 San Diego IPT with the tripod-mounted Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender (with the internal TC in place), a Canon Extender EF 1.4X III (at 784mm), and the Canon EOS-1D X. ISO 400. Evaluative metering (probably) +1/3 stop: 1/100 sec. at f/22 in Manual mode. AWB.

Center AF point (by necessity)/AI Servo Expand/Rear Focus AF on the base of the bird’s bill just in front of the eyes and re-compose. Click here to see the latest version of the Rear Focus Tutorial.

Brown Pelican staring…

The 200-400 w/Internal Extender 784mm Advantage

The new Canon 2-4 does just fine in terms of sharpness with the internal TC in place and an external TC mounted (albeit at f/8 with the center AF point only, with Expand if you want it). With both 1.4X TCs in action, however, this combination gets you out to 784mm full frame, or 1254.4mm with the 7D II (or the original 7D). Many times when I have external TC on the lens, I will disengage the internal TC to get wider. This is a lot faster than having to physically remove the TC and gives me an instantly available focal length range of from 560mm (at f/5.6) to 784mm (at f/8). If you are working with only the external TC in place and are in Manual mode at f/5.6, you need to remember to halve your shutter speed once you engage the internal TC else you will be one stop underexposed at f/8. You can get around this problem by setting “Tv” at the custom function for “Same exposure for new aperture.” But this only works if you do not turn the camera off when adding a TC. Doing this will lead to more sensor dust so I leave “Same exposure for new aperture” set to Disable/Off and try to remember. 🙂

A Tough D-O-F Question…

Remember that I was working at f/22 at about 15 feet. I needed to crop a good bit off the bottom of the original to come up with something pleasing. Why?

Can’t Imagine…

If you can’t imagine routinely getting this close to pelicans join us in San Diego and we will show you how and where.

San Diego

It ain’t just pelicans!


San Diego offers a wealth of very attractive natural history subjects. With annual visits spanning more than three decades I have lot of experience there….

2016 San Diego 4 1/2-DAY BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo-Tour (IPT) JAN 8 thru the morning of JAN 12, 2016: $1899 (Limit: 10)

Meet and Greet at 7:00pm on the evening before the IPT begins
Two great leaders: Arthur Morris and Denise Ippolito

Join us in San Diego to photograph the spectacular breeding plumage Brown Pelicans with their fire-engine red and olive green bill pouches; Brandt’s and Double-crested Cormorants in breeding plumage with their amazing crests; breeding plumage Wood and Ring-necked Duck; other species possible including Lesser Scaup, Redhead, and Surf Scoter; a variety of gulls including Western, California, and the gorgeous Heerman’s, all in full breeding plumage; shorebirds including Marbled Godwit, Willet, Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover; many others possible including Least, Western, and Spotted Sandpiper, Whimbrel, Black and Ruddy Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, and Surfbird; Harbor Seals (depending on the current regulations) and California Sea Lions likely; and Bird of Paradise flowers. And as you can see by studying the two IPT cards there are some nice landscape opportunities as well.

Did I mention that there are wealth of great birds and natural history subjects in San Diego in winter?


Though the pelicans will be the stars of the show on this IPT there will be many other handsome and captivating subjects in wonderful settings.

The San Diego Details

This IPT will include five 3 1/2 hour morning photo sessions, four 2 1/2 hour afternoon photo sessions, five lunches, after-lunch image review and Photoshop sessions, and a thank you dinner. To ensure early starts, breakfasts will be your responsibility.

A $499 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. You can send a check (made out to “Arthur Morris) to us at BIRDS AS ART, PO Box 7245, Indian Lake Estates, FL, 33855. Or call Jim or Jennifer at the office with a credit card at 863-692-0906. Your balance, payable only by check, will be due on 11/1//2015. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail.


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10 comments to The 200-400 w/Internal Extender 784mm Advantage & A Tough D-O-F Question…

  • Artie, What I would like to know is how you published this blog on Sunday, September 17th, 2015? According to appointments I had on that date, it was a Thursday. I have been known to be wrong about days and dates, though.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks and fixed. You should join us on an IPT; it’s been way too long since Pelee….. a

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    You boys and girls are getting too smart. Depth-of-field at 800mm at 10 feet with a full frame camera body at f/22 is less than 3/4 inch in front of and behind the subject….. artie

  • avatar David Peake

    Pretty cool shot Artie.
    looks like the DOF falls between mid beak and just behind the eyes.
    So cropping to give us just the sharp portion is a good strategy.

  • Would agree. Looking at the images for the IPT just below, doubt if the end of the bill would be sharp.

  • avatar Elinor Osborn

    Fantastic image ! Bill’s answer to the cropping question sounds logical to me.

  • avatar Bill Coatney

    DOF Master indicates that the depth of field with the above combination is 0.15 feet which translates to just under 2 inches(0.15 x 12 in= 1.8 in)

    I do not know the bill length of the pelican but at that angle,I would imagine the lower portion was not sharp as the DOF fell off and you cropped it to retain as much sharpness/detail as possible.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      You are correct and I was wrong when I wrote that the total d-o-f was less than 3/4 inch. It is less than 3/4 inch in front of and behind the plane of focus. artie

      • avatar Bill Coatney

        text above
        “Remember that I was working at f/22 at about 15 feet. I needed to crop a good bit off the bottom of the original to come up with something pleasing. Why? ”

        I used 720mm focal length f22 at 15 feet which yielded the 0.15 feet (0.08 in front and 0.08 behind) total and the subsequent formula

        I should have used 800mm

        800mm and the total DOF is 0.12 x 12 in =(0.06 front and 0.06 back)

        if the fall off is inversely proportional (784/800 =.98)then DOF = 0.12/.98 = 0.1224–close enough

        My math may be in error but the principle was correct