Very Glad That I Micro-adjusted. Part I: 1200mm Sharpness! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Very Glad That I Micro-adjusted. Part I: 1200mm Sharpness!


I headed up to Kissimmee on Monday to see one of my many chiropractors, the very wonderful Dr. Scott Pancake. On the way up I answered 53 e-mails. On the way back I worked on this blog post. Assuming that I finish it before we get home, I should get back to work on the 5D Mark IV User’s Guide on Monday afternoon, that along with a a swim and lots of exercise.

More Cheap Weekend Fort DeSoto In-the-Field Instruction

If it Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It

Sign up for the full day Saturday and the Friday afternoon session is free!

Saturday, November 4, 2017: Morning session — 6:45am for 3 1/2 hours: $149. Add lunch, image review, and Photoshop session: $249 (total).

Saturday, November 4, 2017: Afternoon session — 4:30pm for 3 hours: $99.

Saturday, November 4, 2017, both sessions including lunch: $329. Sign up for the full day Saturday and enjoy a Friday afternoon session for free.

Sunday, November 5, 2017: Morning session — 6:45am for 3 1/2 hours: $149.

Learn to get the right exposure every time, to approach free and wild (and often tame!) birds, and to design a pleasing image. And learn the location of my new Fort DeSoto hotspot along with my favorite sunset location (sky conditions permitting). To register call Jim or Jen at the office at 863-692-0906 or shoot me an e-mail.

Canon lens rentals are available on a limited basis: 600 II, 500 II, 400 DO II, and 200-400 f/4 with Internal TC.

Cheap but great instruction.

The Streak

Today makes ninety-six days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one took two hours to prepare. With all of my upcoming free time (or not …), the plan right now is to break the current record streak of 480 … Good health and good internet connections willing.


Booking.Com came through for me twice again recently with both the DeSoto Fall IPT and next July’s UK Puffins, Gannets, and Bempton Pre-trip room reservations. And all the rates were great. If you’d like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and you will earn a $25 reward. Thanks to the many who have already tried and used this great service.

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.

This image was created on the morning of the October 28, 2017 Saturday In-the-Field Instructional session with the Induro GIT304L Grand Series 3 Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and my favorite mystery egret photography camera body, the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop as framed: 1/1000 sec. at f/10 in Manual mode. AWB in totally relatively early morning light (at 8:47am on a clear morning).

LensAlign/FocusTune micro-adjustment: -10.

Right Large Zone/AI Servo/Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The system activated five AF points that painted the eye, the lores, and the bird’s chin; you could not ask for anything better.

Mystery heron/egret scratching

Very Glad That I Micro-adjusted!

Last week I spent a few hours micro-adjusting my 600 II naked (the lens not me). Then I determined the AFA with the 1.4X III i TC and then with my 2X III i TC, all with my #1 5D Mark IV body. It was time well-spent. Today’s image shows the remarkable sharpness possible with the 600 II/2X III TC/5D Mark IV combo. The AFA was a healthy -10. Minus ten is definitely in the significant AFA category. The images would not have been anywhere near as sharp if the AFA had been set to the default, zero.

Folks interested in getting the greatest across the board sharpness from their expensive telephoto lenses and camera bodies can click here to learn more about the amazing LensAlign/FocusTune package and here to learn about the LensAlign/FocusTune Micro-adjusting Tutorial e-Guide.

Here is a relevant question sent via e-mail by Richard Gollar:

I recently sent you are Focus Tune AFA graph and asked if it looked OK. I am finding that with my Canon EOS-1D X that most of my lenses required only small AFAs, between 1 and three units. But on my Canon EOS 5D mark IV I am finding that the AFAs range between 6 and 10 on some of the lenses. My 1D X with the 70-200 needs +2 at 200mm but the same lens on my 5D IV requires +10 at 200mm. Does that mean my 1D X is much better at focusing then my 5D Mark IV?

And from the great man himself, Michael Tapes, via e-mail:

Absolutely not. It simply means that some manufacturing tolerances fell more one way than another in the 2 cameras. It has nothing to do with the AF being better in one camera than another. Once the cameras are both calibrated with their proper AFA, then it is your real-world results, if properly interpreted, that can determine which camera might be better than the other (if indeed one is, in fact, better than the other). The 1D X has an edge with a more powerful battery, but the 5D 4 has an edge because it is newer. Bottom line, the AFA setting required has nothing to do with one being “better” than the other.

This is an unsharpened 100% crop of today’s featured image

Unsharpened 100% Crop

How does this look to you in terms of sharpness on the eye and fine feather and bill detail?

The DPP 4 Screen Capture for today’s featured image

The DPP 4 Screen Capture for Today’s Featured Image

I included this mainly to show how perfectly Right Large Zone worked. It gave me the freedom of framing that I needed to come up with a perfect image design. Also note the somewhat lying histogram and the fact that again I chose not to go for perfectly neutral WHIIEs while opting instead for the relatively early morning light look.

One of the things that I love most about the 5D IV aside from its light weight and high quality image files is that I get to focus at f/8 with all AF points and all AF Area Selection modes available. If you purchase a 5D Mark IV based on what you have learned here and with knowledge of my love of this great body — I only own three of them — please use this link.

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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.

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