On Going Downhill: Be Careful Out There … Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Wreaks Havoc on Finland IPT Photographers: Part I. And Another Used Gear Gem! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

On Going Downhill: Be Careful Out There ... Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Wreaks Havoc on Finland IPT Photographers: Part I. And Another Used Gear Gem!

What’s Up

I went down to the lake for an hour on Wednesday morning. I had about a dozen thisclose-to-being great chances that all fizzled out. I did have a few good chances and made a few decent images. I went down to the lake on Thursday morning but it was not too good.

My sore throat has graduated to a head cold with the expected runny nose and congestion. I’d rather have the cold than the sore throat. I actually feel pretty good right now (Thursday at 8:30am) despite the fact that my nose is running like a sieve. I am hoping that whatever I have is running its course and that I will be back in the pool soon.

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.

Please Don’t Forget …

As always–and folks have been doing a really great job for a long time now–please remember to use our B&H links for your major and minor 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.

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Gerry Keshka

Hi Artie, I wanted to share how much I appreciate your Used Gear “service.” You have posted how you help sellers, but the other side of the equations is how much this service helps buyers. I have purchased three lenses (Canon 200-400, 500 f4 II, and 70-200 F2.8) all lovely experiences and I saved almost $5K over retail. Each of the sellers was delightful, willing to help me assess if the purchase was right for me by sharing their experience with the lens. Each lens was in the condition advertised (or better), and typically included several “add-ons” that would have cost several hundred dollars.

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Sandra Calderbank

Hi Artie, I wanted to take a few minutes to thank you. I have sold two camera bodies on your BAA used gear site. Your friendly expertise and knowledgeable, trustworthy buyers have made this an extremely satisfying experience. Selling on BAA Used Gear page is the best transaction experience I have ever encountered. Thank you for all you do for our photography community. Sincerely, Sandra

Unsolicited, via e-mail, from Tom Phillips

Artie, Thanks so much. I sent your check via my online banking. I never expected the 400 DO II and the 1DX II to sell within minutes of your posting the ad! I know that the 300 f/2.8 II is still up, but still, the results have been amazing. Another plus is that James McGrew is a professional artist and photographer and he was really looking and wanting that combo and is appreciative and excited to be able to find a great deal. Tom.

Recent Successful Used Gear Sales
Big Ticket Items Continue to Sell Like Hotcakes on the Used Gear Page in April and May!

  • Larry Peavler sold a Canon Extender EF 2X III in like-new condition for $299 within days of posting it in mid-May.
  • Tom Phillips sold his Canon EOS-1DX Mark II (Premium Kit) in near-mint condition for $4499 and his Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO II USM lens in like-new condition for $5,798 both within hours of listing them in mid-May.
  • Ron Paulk sold his Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II USM zoom lens in excellent condition for $1100 and the Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT & Canon ST-E3-RT Transmitter/package for $425 on May 14, 2017, the day after it was listed.
  • Larry Peavler sold a Canon EF 100-400 zoom f/4.5 – 5.6 L IS Telephoto Zoom lens, the old 1-4, in excellent condition for $549 soon after it was listed.
  • Ron Paulk sold his Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Lens in excellent condition for $999and his Canon EF 100mm Macro f/2.8L IS USM lens in excellent condition for $549 the day they were listed.
  • Ron Paulk sold a Canon EOS-1D X Professional Digital Camera Body in excellent condition for $2699 and a Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens in mid-May before they were listed and is kindly sending me a check for the 2 1/2%.
  • Hisham A. sold a Canon EOS 7D Mark II in excellent plus condition for the BAA record low price of $847 in early May.
  • John Stuhlmuller sold his Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS Lens with Internal 1.4 Extender in mint condition with lots of extras for a very low $8149 in early May.
  • John Stuhlmuller also sold his Canon EOS 5DS R digital camera body in like-new condition with lots of extras for an amazingly low $2799, also in early May.
  • Multiple IPT veteran and good friend Doug Holstein sold his Canon 500mm f4/L IS USM Super Telephoto lens and a 1.4X II teleconverter, both in in excellent condition, for the great low price of $3699 in early May, 2017.

New Listings

Canon 500mm f/4L IS USM Lens
A Real Gem of a Deal with Great Extras

Sale pending on DAY 1

Multiple IPT veteran Dr. Gil Moe is offering a Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens in like-new condition with lots of extras for only $7699. The sale includes the E-163 B front Lens Cover, the rear lens cap, the lens strap, and the lens trunk. Also included are a 3x Expandable Long Lens Bag (a $279.99 value; I use mine most every day), the LensCoat that has protected the finish since day one (an $89.99 value), a LensCoat RainCoat Pro cover (a $124.99 value), a Canon PL-C 52WII 52mm Drop-In Circular Polarizing Filter ($229 new from B&H), and insured ground shipping via UPS or FEDEX to U.S. Addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Gil via e-mail or by phone at 909-732-1456 (Pacific time).

The 500 f/4s have been the world’s most popular telephoto lenses for birds, nature, wildlife, and sports for many decades. Canon’s Series II version is light, fast, super-sharp, and produces amazing images with both the 1.4X and 2X III TCs. The 500 II is relatively small, is easily hand holdable, and is much easier travel with, focuses closer than, and costs a lot less than the 600 II. 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. With all the amazing extras, Gil’s lens should sell almost instantly. As the 500 II goes for $8999 new you will be getting a like-new, barely used lens, enjoying more than $700 in relevant extras, and saving more than $1,300. Please do not tarry. artie

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Zoom Lens (the old 24-105)

Multiple IPT veteran Dr. Gil Moe is also offering a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens in excellent plus condition for $549. The sale includes the front and rear lens caps, the lens hood, the soft lens pouch, and insured ground shipping via UPS or FEDEX to U.S. Addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Dr. Gil Moe via e-mail or by phone at 909-732-1456 (Pacific time).

I rarely make a trip or head out to the beach without my 24-105 in my Xtra-hand vest. Whenever I leave this versatile B-roll lens behind, I wind up regretting it. I use it for bird-scapes, photographer-scapes, landscapes, mini macro scenes like bird feathers, dead birds, and nests with eggs (the latter only when and if the nest can be photographed without jeopardizing it) and just about anything else that catches my eye. While I am nowhere near as good as Denise Ippolito with this lens, I have made lots of good and saleable images with mine, the old version. artie

Canon Extender EF 2X III

Sale pending on DAY 1

Multiple IPT veteran Dr. Gil Moe is also offering a Canon Extender EF 2X III in like-new condition for $329. The sale includes the original box, the front and rear lens caps, the pouch, and insured ground shipping via UPS or FEDEX to U.S. Addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Gil via e-mail or by phone at 1-909-732-1456 (Pacific time).

My belief (and experience) is that while few folks use the 2X TCs as much or as effectively as I do, most folks with good sharpness techniques are able to make consistently sharp images with the 2X III teleconverter and an f/4 super-telephoto lens at shutter speeds at least down to 1/125 sec. It usually take a bit of practice to master the needed techniques. artie

Xtrahand Vest, by Vested Interest: Size XL Plus

Sale pending on DAY 1

Multiple IPT veteran Dr. Gil Moe is also offering an Xtrahand Vest, size XL Plus for $249. The vest is in like-new condition. It has shoulder pads for carrying your heavy gear, all of the large pockets in front, and a zip on and off large rear pocket for carrying gear or lunch. It also has a tie-on, roll-up pad for sitting on the wet grass. The sale includes insured ground shipping via UPS or FEDEX to U.S. Addresses only. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made. Please contact Gil via e-mail or by phone at 1-909-732-1456 (Pacific time).

As most of you know, I used and depend on my (Magnum) Xtrahand Vest extensively both in the field and for air travel. At spots in the Southern Ocean and in the Galapagos archipelago it is absolutely indispensable as it allows me to carry the extra lenses that I might need, along with water, food, and extra clothing. As I am pretty sure that Vested Interest has gone out of business, this represents a rare chance to get yourself an Xtrahand Vest. artie

AquaTech Canon 1Dx/1DxMKII Sport Water Housing with pistol grip and flash housing

Ron Paulk is offering an AquaTech Canon 1Dx/1DxMKII Sport Water Housing with pistol grip and flash housing in new condition for $1899. The total value of the package new is $3719. The sale includes the AquaTech Canon 1Dx Water Housing with Pistol Grip & Cover, the AquaTech Flash Housing for the Canon 600 EXII RT, the AquaTech soft case for the housing, and insured ground shipping to US addresses via FED-EX Ground. Your items will ship after your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

If you need additional info, please contact Ron by e-mail or by phone at 360-391-2090 PDT.

Yours truly traversing a wet, muddy downhill stretch on his butt somewhere on South Georgia
Image courtesy of and copyright 2016: Clemens van der Werf

Going Downhill …

I have taken my share of downhill falls. The very worst was in Homer, where I cautioned the group as we headed down over some icy rocks to the beach. Everyone made it safely. Everyone but me. I somehow fell over backwards with the top of my left foot trapped against the ground, hyper-flexing my recently surgically repaired left knee. As everything unfolded in slow motion I pictured myself being airlifted to Anchorage for emergency knee reconstruction surgery …

How’d that work out? I limped around for two weeks, but when push came to shove my knee was much better than it was before the fall. Dr. Cliff Oliver suggested that the improvement was the result of my having torn loose adhesions from the surgery. Still, falling while carrying photography gear (downhill or otherwise) is a must to avoid.

Let’s Be Careful Out There

As I’ve aged, I came to realize that discretion is by far the better part of valor. Whenever I encounter a downhill stretch I will simply go down on my butt as you see me doing above. It is hard to fall far when you are sitting on the ground … At times, viable options might include using your tripod as a walking stick or simply asking for help. And here is a final word of caution; when you have the thought, “I’ve made it. I am safe,” be especially on guard. You relax a bit and then fall on your head. I did just that this year in South Georgia. I made the big climb up and down the hill at Salisbury Plain (with lots of help from friends). When I got to the flats just this side of the beach I thought “I’ve made it. I am safe.” In the next instant I slipped on the wet mud on flat ground, fell to my right, cracked my head against the ground with a thud, and strained my left hip badly. Please be careful out there.

This image was created on the 2017 Finland IPT with Canon gear.

Mike Gotthelf after his fall
Image courtesy of and copyright 2017: Olli Lamminsalo

Almost Survived Unscathed …

I had wanted to photograph the old mill from the first moment I saw it as we drove to our lodge in Kuusamo, Finland. On our last morning there, multiple IPT veteran Mike Gotthelf and I got dropped off at the mill. After a bit, wanting to get to a lower vantage point, I climbed down about 18 inches to the shallow river bed. Following my own advice I did that with great care. I placed my tripod below me and then steadied my self by holding onto it as I stepped down. No problema. I turned my head to the left to see Mike climbing down holding two cameras and his tripod … In an instant he tumbled backwards, falling onto the river bank. It looked as if he would be OK. But his 70-200 2.8 with a 5D IV attached struck his right thigh and bounced back at him forcefully. The camera struck his face with a crack, hitting the orbital ridge above his right eye. As I ran over to him I saw that he was bleeding profusely from a gash just above the eye.

Our Kuusamo leader Olli Lamminsalo helped me with the first aid. IPT participant Dr. Anita North provided round the clock care for Mike for about 36 hours, cleaning, dressing, and icing the wound site in an effort to minimize the swelling, and then changing the dressing as needed. Within a few hours, Mike’s eye was swollen shut. By the next morning he was wearing a big, black and purple and green shiner. Mike was a good sport throughout; he did not complain one bit and kept on photographing. By day two he was in pretty good shape but for the black eye.

Whenever I perceive a situation as being potentially dangerous, I try to take every step as if it might be my last before a big fall. Boys and girls, please remember: “Let’s be careful out there.” (Sergeant Phil Esterhaus, ‘Hill Street Blues,’ played by veteran actor Michael Conrad).

How About You?

If you have ever been injured while photographing nature, please leave a comment and share you story with the group. The more serious the better … Or not.

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

18 comments to On Going Downhill: Be Careful Out There … Canon EOS 5D Mark IV Wreaks Havoc on Finland IPT Photographers: Part I. And Another Used Gear Gem!

  • avatar Richard Poire

    Ah yes.
    While attempting to photograph an old foundation in a creek coming from Old Mill Pond In Marstons Mills Ma I slipped and fell off of a 5′ foundation.
    I went into shallow cold water with camera in hand.
    The camera bag went over the other side.
    My scrubs were ripped on the left leg and my leg bleeding.
    Many stares from passing motorist.
    Back at the car I immediately pulled the battery and the lens. Camera off at the fall.
    No water in any camera opening!
    Lenes not so lucky. There was droplets in both of them.
    Back home hair drier to the 2 lenses and pulling fresh air through the lens.
    All worked afterward.
    Still cannt figure out how I fell.
    Probably tired after an overnight shift.

  • avatar Naomi Zottoli

    I was on a mission to photograph a wood duck. As I wandered along a path, I suddenly found myself falling face first into the dirt. I never saw it coming; my foot had caught under a tree root and down I went. Good news is that I wasn’t badly hurt, and I got a few good shots of the wood ducks. It was also a wakeup call to watch where I was going!!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Root traps can be lethal! Glad that you were not hurt yourself and did not wreck your gear. I once had a woman get snagged by a root trap on the walk to the East Pond at Jamaica Bay in NYC. She had a brand new Nikon 600mm in her arms. After she fell, it looked as if she were holding a 300 2.8. The lens had snapped cleanly in two. It took her more than a year to get it repaired …

      with love, artie

  • avatar Doug

    Have you ever seen/heard about YakTrax? (https://www.yaktrax.com)
    I’m sure there are other brands/devices like this, these happen to be the ones I’m aware of.

    Living in the sunny warm south maybe you’ve never had the chance to see or hear about them. I almost said “need for them” but I think you maybe have had the need. They slip over your shoes/boots to give extra traction. you can even get spikes. They’re good in snow, ice, mud and slick stones.

    Maybe worth checking out for you or your readers.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Yak Trax are OK at best. There are other similar products that are much better but I have not seen one yet that does not fail over time. Only common sense could have saved Mike.

      with love, artie

  • avatar David Policansky

    Now you have me worried, Artie. I have fallen but not yet taking photographs, although I have dropped and damaged a camera. Now fishing…..Stu’s tip is a good one, and my failure to heed it while wading has led me to more than one fall.

  • avatar Arla

    I was late for an assembly at work and fell on the outside cement stairs while running up. I skinned my knee badly. The workman’s comp physician forbid me to go on a hummer shoot in the cloud forest of Ecuador because the open wound could become infected. Good thing I had trip insurance — too many people believe nothing will happen to them.

  • avatar Bob

    I took a spill on a easy trail and whacked my knee. Always wear a good pair of boots with ankle support. Also consider wearing knee pads. The ones I have are used either by cross country skiers or tactical units. A lot different than garden pads and I can be wear all day without having them slip down.

  • avatar Gordon Lindsay

    A timely post Artie
    I am recovering from spinal surgery after a blood infection and while in hospital had several falls and have the scars to prove it, after so long in bed I am having to learn to walk again and my balance is so bad I have had to use a wheelchair. Can’t hold my cameras yet so I can appreciate your telling people to take more care moving about, I now have to plan my actions before taking any movement

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I hear you. And YAW. Were the initial falls photo related?

      with love, artie

      ps: good luck getting better soon!

  • avatar Ron Gates

    While walking back to my campsite after shooting some images at a lighted waterhole in Etosha National Bank in Namibia last September, I was carrying my camera and tripod and tripped on a brick edging around a patio and fell forward. I tucked my camera into my chest and landed on my wrist with my tripod in my hand. I drew a little blood from a scrape on my knee but I thought I might have broken my wrist. I made it back to my camper and during the night my wrist became quite stiff and sore. The next morning I got some help zipping my rooftop tent up and stopped at a pharmacy down the road to get an antiseptic cream for my knee. I was able to move my wrist and fingers and two days later it was working normally again. A few scratches on the lens hood of my 300mm lens. I was lucky.

  • avatar Paul Smith

    Last year while in Acadia Nat’l Park, I decided to shoot Bass Harbor Light at sunset. I arrived a couple of hours early and made my way down over the large rocks. Taking the last step to get onto the final landing, I fell face down while keeping my tripod and camera from hitting the rocks. It took 3 people to help me up. One of the photographers noted that had my camera and tripod been a glass of beer, I would not have spilled a drop. I skinned my shin which was bleeding pretty good (I am on a blood thinner and aspirin). I washed it down at the restaurant where I was having dinner. About a week later my leg started to hurt pretty bad and was swollen to about twice its normal size one night. I iced it down and it felt much better the next morning. Over the course of the next week, the leg would be fine in the morning but would get swollen and sore as the day wore on. I was shooting in the White Mts of NH and was skeptical about going to the hospital there. When I got home I went to see my doctor who diagnosed an infection and put me on antibiotics which did the trick.

    I had a similar situation when I fell in Kauai while returning from a sunset location. Gotta be careful out there, for sure.

  • avatar Stu

    My tip is, while walking, look carefully directly in front of you, not constantly at the distant subject you are approaching to photograph. I didn’t see a concrete step. I stumbled and injured myself enough to require medical attention.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Been there, done that. Wrecked a brand new 500 II and a brand new 1DX when I tripped on a small rock while admiring the scenery 🙂

      with love, artie