Is the Fujifilm XT-2 Capable of Creating Sharp Images Hand Held at Effective 1200mm? Part I « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Is the Fujifilm XT-2 Capable of Creating Sharp Images Hand Held at Effective 1200mm? Part I

Facebook News!

Because I’ve long hated the fact that my personal FB page limited me to 5,000 friends and that left several thousand folks with unrequited Friend Requests, I have created a FB page that will allow several hundred thousands of folks (hey, a guy can dream can’t he?) to follow BIRDS AS ART on Facebook. To visit the new page click here and be sure to like the photos, follow the page, or share the post. Your doing so will allow me to be much more active on FB. Huge tanks! artie

How to Like or Follow the New BAA Page on Facebook

To Like or Follow the New BAA Page on Facebook

Several folks have mentioned that they cannot find the Like or Follow tabs for the page … As you can see above, they are in the same spot they have always been in, on the left, right below the cover photo. All are invited to Like, Follow, or Share. See you there! artie

What’s Up?

I got up early and was gonna head up to Gatorland with the Fujifilm gear. I decided to see if I could get a season’s pass online. Big surprise. This year the Photographer’s Pass program does not begin until February 2, 2017. Ooops. As it turned out it was cloudy here in ILE this morning so I stayed home and got a lot accomplished.

On Monday afternoon I fly up to Long Island to visit my 94 year old mom and my younger daughter Alissa and her family. Back on late on Thursday.

Gear Questions and Advice

Too many folks attending BAA IPTs and dozens of folks 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.

The Streak: 437!

Today’s blog post marks a totally insane, irrational, illogical, preposterous, absurd, completely ridiculous, unfathomable, silly, incomprehensible, what’s wrong with this guy?, makes-no-sense, 437 days in a row with a new educational blog post. As always–and folks have been doing a really great for a long time now–please remember to use our B&H links for your major gear purchases. For best results use one of our many product-specific links; after clicking on one of those you can continue shopping with all subsequent purchases invisibly tracked to BAA. Your doing so is always greatly appreciated. Please remember: web orders only. And please remember also that if you are shopping for items that we carry in the BAA Online Store (as noted in red at the close of this post below) we would of course appreciate your business.

Selling Your Used 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. Even the prices on the new 600 II and the 200-400 with Internal Extender have been plummeting. You can see all current listings by clicking here or by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the right side of the yellow-orange menu bar above.

Recent Successful Used Gear Sales

Note: I missed adding several items below while I was in South America for ten weeks with limited internet access. If your item has sold but is still listed on the Used gear page please let me know via e-mail.

  • Teresa Mabry Reed sold both her Canon EOS-1D X in excellent plus condition for $2399 and her EOS Canon 5D Mark III also in excellent plus condition for $1429 within two days of listing them with BAA.
  • Gene Scarborough sold a Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM super telephoto lens in excellent condition for $4049 one day after it was listed.
  • Multiple IPT-veteran Mike Goldhamer sold his Canon EF 400mm f/4 IS DO lens in excellent condition for the record low price of $2100 a while back.
  • Dear friend and multiple IPT veteran Patrick Sparkman sold his Canon EOS 5DS R with the Canon battery grip in like-new condition for $2899 back in early November.
  • IPT veteran Gerold Hanck sold his Canon 100-400 mm f/4.5-5.6 telephoto zoom lens, the “old 1-4,” in excellent condition for $549.
  • Henry Raymundo sold both his Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in excellent condition for $3999 and a Canon EOS 7D camera body in excellent condition for $399 back in November, 2016.
  • Ramona Boone sold here Canon EOS-1D X in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $2359 in mid December just days after it was listed.
  • Richard Goldman sold his Canon EOS 5D Mark III in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $1399, his Canon 100-400mm L IS Zoom lens, the old 1-4, in excellent condition for the BAA record-low price of $529. And his Canon EOS 24-105mm f/4 L IS Zoom lens, the original model, in excellent condition, for the BAA record-low price of $519. All within days of them being listed in mid-December.
  • William B Ellison, Jr.sold his a used Canon EOS 5D Mark III in near mint condition for the then BAA record-low price of $1497 in early December.
  • Ron Ozuna sold his Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens in near-mint condition for $2699 in early December.

Used Canon EF 400mm f/4 IS DO Lens

Yet Another Lowest-ever BAA Price!

IPT veteran Kerry Morris is offering a used Used Canon EF 400mm f/4 IS DO lens in very good plus condition for the record low BAA price of $2099. There are some small scratches and paint chips on the lens body and tripod ring and the lens hood has a few small scratches as well. The sale includes the rear lens cap, the lens trunk, the original soft front lens cover, the lens hood, the 4th Generation Designs CP-42 Custom Lens Plate (with the wrenches and the original packing–a $92 value) and insured UPS or FEDEX ground shipping to US addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Kerry via e-mail or by phone at 818-998-7470 or 818-634-2387 (Pacific time).

I used this lens for several years with great success, especially for birds in flight and while working from various type of water craft. In addition, it would make a great prime super-telephoto lens for folks with a 7D II. The twice honored Gannets in Love was created with the 400 DO. You can see that one and 13 other killer images that I made with my old 400 DO here. The title of that blog post is “The Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO Lens: Fourteen Images that Prove that the Internet Experts are Idiots.” Kerry’s lens is priced to sell. artie

Canon Accessory Package

Gene Scarborough is offering a Canon Extender EF 1.4X II with the LP811 lens pouch and the original box, a Canon Extender EF 2X II with the LP811 lens pouch and the original box, a Wimberley P-40 lens plate, and a Canon Off-Camera Shoe (Flash) Cord 2 in its original box, all in excellent condition for a ridiculously low $250. The sale includes insured ground shipping via a major courier (to US addresses only). The items will not ship until the check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Payment by USPS money order or bank cashier’s check is preferred. Please contact Gene via e-mail or by text message or phone at 1-919 428 5495 (Eastern time).

Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens

Sue Sanborn is offering a Canon 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens in near mint condition for $4399. The sale includes the lens trunk with keys, the front cover & an additional soft lens cap, the rear lens cap, a LensCoat, a Wimberley Arca-Swiss compatible plate, the original product box, and insured ground shipping via UPS to US addresses only.

Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Sue via e-mail by phone at 1-941-748-0327 (Eastern time.)

The 300 f/2.8 lenses have long been the first choice of the world’s best hawks in flight photographers and have become increasingly popular with bird photographers working either with crop factor cameras or those who live in areas with relatively tame birds. This lens, the latest version of Canon’s 300 f/2.8L IS, is incredibly sharp with either TC. It is easily hand holdable by most folks. You can add the 1.4X III or the 2X III teleconverter for even greater versatility. artie

This image was created at La Jolla, CA with the hand held Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens with the Fujifilm XF 2x TC WR Teleconverter (at 800mm–effective 1200mm) with the Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body with the Power Booster Grip. ISO 800. Pattern metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/640 sec. at f/11 in Manual mode. AWB.

Shutter Button Continuous Autofocus. Additional AF information is unavailable.

Heerman’s Gull, breeding plumage adult

Is the Fujifilm XT-2 Capable of Creating Sharp Images Hand Held at Effective 1200mm?

In a word, yes. With such huge magnification it is difficult to find and frame the subject unless it is stock still and you are able to support your rig in some way. For this image I rested both arms on a limestone ledge while standing in the crevice between two large ledges. If you are confused, an upcoming image should clear things up. Autofocus with this rig can be a bit slow to acquire but if you can keep the rig still then the AF system holds focus beautifully.

In many cases, you will do best with an Induro GIT 304L topped by a Mongoose M3.6. The Wimberley P-10 plate (mounted in reverse) is perfect for this rig.

The Image Optimization/Bill Clean-up

RAW conversion in ACR using the Astia Soft XT-2 pre-sent for those gorgeous BLUEs. Bill clean-up was done with patience using the Spot Healing Brush, the Patch Tool, the Clone Stamp Tool, and even a bit of Content Aware Fill. After the extensive bill clean-up I did the high level NeatImage noise reduction with less NR on the subject followed by lots on the BKGR. This technique is described in detail in The Professional Post Processing Guide (by Arash Hazeghi and yours truly). The bill clean-up took about ten minutes.

Everything above plus tons more is detailed in the Digital Basics File, an instructional PDF that is sent via e-mail. It includes my complete (former PC) digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, details on using all of my image clean-up tools, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, the basics of Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro, Digital Eye Doctor techniques, using Gaussian Blurs, Dodge and Burn, a variety of ways to make selections, how to create time-saving actions, and tons more.

I am working on an all-new Current Workflow e-guide that better reflects my Macbook Pro/Photo Mechanic/DPP 4/Photoshop workflow. It will include a section on ACR conversions and a simplified method for applying Neat Image noise reduction.

There is lots of time for small group image review and Photoshop instruction on the UK Puffins and Gannets IPT (not to mention a ton of great bird photography). See below for details. Note: at present, all four registrants have signed up for the 2-day Gannet/Bass Rock extension to maximize their travel dollars.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

2017 UK Puffins and Gannets IPT
Monday July 3 through Monday July 10, 2017: $5999: Limit 10 photographers — Openings: 6). Two great leaders: Arthur Morris and BPN co-owner, BPN Photography Gear Forum Moderator, and long-time BAA Webmaster Peter Kes.

Here are the plans: take a red eye from the east coast of the US on July 2 and arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland on the morning of Monday July 3 no later than 10am (or simply meet us then at the Edinburgh Airport–EDI, or later in the day at our cottages if you are driving your own vehicle either from the UK or from somewhere in Europe). Stay 7 nights in one of three gorgeous modern country cottages.

There are five days of planned puffin/seabird trips and one morning of gannet photography, all weather permitting of course. In three years we have yet to miss an entire day because of weather… In addition, we will enjoy several sessions of photographing nesting Black-legged Kittiwakes at eye level.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version.

The Details

We will get to photograph Atlantic Puffin, Common Murre, Razorbill, Shag, and Northern Gannet; Arctic, Sandwich, and Common Terns, the former with chicks of all sizes; Black-headed, Lesser-Black-backed, and Herring Gulls, many chasing puffins with fish; Black-legged Kittiwake with chicks. We will be staying in upscale country-side lodging that are beyond lovely with large living areas and lots of open space for the informal image sharing and Photoshop sessions. The shared rooms are decent-sized, each with a private bathroom. See the limited single supplement info below.

All breakfasts, lunches and dinners are included. All 5 puffins boat lunches will need to be prepared by you in advance, taken with, and consumed at your leisure. I usually eat mine on the short boat trip from one island to the other. Also included is a restaurant lunch on the gannet boat day.

If you wish to fly home on the morning of Monday July 10 we will get you to the airport. Please, however, consider the following tentative plans: enjoy a second Gannet boat trip on the afternoon of Monday July 10 and book your hotel room in Dunbar. If all goes as planned, those who stay on for the two extra days will make a morning landing at Bass Rock, one of the world’s largest gannetries. We will get everyone to the airport on the morning of Wednesday July 12. (We may opt to stay in Edinburgh on the night of July 11.) Price and details should be finalized at least six months before the trip but you will need to be a bit patient. It would be ideal if I can get all the work done by the end of September so that folks can arrange their flights then.


Images and card design copyright: Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART. Click on the card to enjoy a spectacular larger version. Scroll down to join us in the UK in 2016.

Deposit Info

If you are good to go sharing a room–couples of course are more than welcome–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 March 29, 2017. 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. 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. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

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

Single Supplement Deposit Info

Single supplement rooms are available on a limited basis. To ensure yours, please register early. The single supplement fee is $1575. If you would like your own room, please request it when making your deposit and include payment in full for the single supplement; your single supplement deposit check should be for $3,575. As we will need to commit to renting the extra space, single supplement deposits are non-refundable so please be sure that check your schedule carefully before committing to the trip and see the travel insurance info below.

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.


Be sure to like and follow BAA on Facebook by clicking on the logo link upper right. Tanks a stack.


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

5 comments to Is the Fujifilm XT-2 Capable of Creating Sharp Images Hand Held at Effective 1200mm? Part I

  • avatar Tony

    I didn’t like the image clean up on the bill. All the highlights were removed which left a flat image with a little more noise/grain than the original. I know you are trying to show advanced post Technics, but there was no punch or impact that I could see in the final. Don’t get me wrong, it was quite nice, but I though detail was diminished.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Disagree. As far as I can see there were zero specular highlights on the bill, Sand and scratches, yes. If the bird had just taken a bath the bill would look pretty much as it does in the optimized image.

      Thanks for commenting.

      and later and love, artie

  • avatar Warren H

    Will the Fuji autofocus with the 100-400 (f/5.6) and a 2x converter? i.e. at f/11?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Yes, albeit a bit slowly. But once it locks on it is quite stable as long as you hold the lens still.

  • avatar David Peake

    Hand holding at 800 sure is a trick. I like the IS on that lens. .the blues are lovely.