Everybody Wants to Know … And a Like-New Canon 1DX II for sale. « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Everybody Wants to Know ... And a Like-New Canon 1DX II for sale.


Monday was more of the same: Blowing up balloons. More ice and moist hot towels on the shoulder. Did not work on the Nikon Focus Fine-tune Guide. Ate well. Spoke with Amy on the phone; she advised getting out to do some photography tomorrow. I will do just that on Tuesday morning unless we have mega-foggy day number three in a row. I can easily hand hold the 200-500 or work with the 600 f/4 on the BLUBB. I will do my best not to fall out of the car …

The Streak

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

Money Saving Reminder

If you need a hot photo item that is out of stock at B&H, would enjoy free overnight shipping, and would like a $50 discount on your first purchase, click here to order and enter the coupon code BIRDSASART at checkout. If you are looking to strike a deal on Canon or Nikon gear (including the big telephotos) or on a multiple item order, contact Steve Elkins via e-mail or on his cell at (479) 381-2592 (Eastern time) and be sure to mention your BIRDSASART coupon code and use it for your online order. Patrick Sparkman saved $350 on a recent purchase!

The Used Gear Page

Action on the Used Gear Page recently has been fantastic. You can see all current listings here.

Recent Sales

Jim Burns recently sold his EOS-1D Mark IV body in excellent plus condition for a BAA record low $998; not sure exactly when 🙂
David Solis sold a brand new Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace UDMA 3 1 TB wireless photo/video memory card backup for $399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 300 mm f/2.8L IS USM (the original version) lens in excellent plus condition for $2399.00 after being contacted on the first day of listing.
David Solis sold his Canon EF 500 mm f/4L IS USM (the “old five”) in excellent plus condition with perfect glass for the BAA record low price of $3399.00.
Les Greenberg sold his Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM zoom lens in mint condition to a local buyer and is sending me a check for 2 1/2% of the original asking price of $1599.
Joel Williams sold his Fujifilm XF 50 f/2 R WR lens in like-new condition for only $299 in early March.
Rajat Kapoor sold his Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM lens (the “old 1-4”) in near-mint condition the first day is was listed for $649.
Jim Brennan sold his Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS USM lens (the “old five”) in near-mint condition and a Canon EF 1.4 III teleconverter in very good condition for $3,599.00 right after listing them in early March.
Gary Meyer sold his Canon EOS 7D Mark II in near-mint condition for $798 soon after it was listed in early March.

Canon 1DX Mark II Professional Digital Camera Body (with premium kit)

Sale pending

John Norris is offering a Canon 1DX Mark II — premium kit — (with less than 2,000 actuations!) in like-new condition but for a few small scuff marks for top left and bottom right for the BAA record-low price of $3,996.00. The sale includes the original box and everything in it, all of that which is unused/unopened, an extra LP-E19 battery, a SanDisk Extreme Pro Cfast 2.0 64 GB card, the SanDisk Extreme Pro Cfast 2.0 Reader, and insured ground shipping via major courier to US addresses only. The item will not ship until the buyer’s personal or certified check clears the bank.

Please contact John via e-mail or by phone at 1-214-521-1520 (Central time).

The 1DX Mark II is Canon’s rugged, blazingly fast professional digital camera body. It features a great AF system and high quality image files with great dynamic range. I owned and used two of these for several years. As a new 1DX II currently sells for $5,699.00 you can save $1703 on a practically new body with less than 2,000 shutter actuations. artie


Several folks on the Spoonbill IPTs used the Booking.Com link below and got great rates and saved a handsome $25.00 in the process. If you too would like to give Booking.Com a shot, click here and to earn a $25 reward on your first booking. 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. Those questions might deal with systems, camera bodies, accessories, and/or lens choices and decisions.

This image was created on Cayman Brac on February 12, 2018 with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens and the Nikon D5 with Dual XQD Slots). ISO 800. Matrix metering +1/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AUOT0 WB at 8:52am on a partly cloudy morning.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The four AF points were centered on the trailing edge of the bird’s far wing — see the Capture NX-D screen shot below — yet the image was sharp on the eye

LensAlign/FocusTune Fine-tune: -1.

Brown Booby top shot

Everybody Wants to Know …

Over the past few weeks, I have received many e-mails asking:

  • 1- Are you happy that you switched?
  • 2- It seems that lots of great bird photographers are switching. Should I switch to Nikon?

#1: I am very happy that I switched from Canon to Nikon. I switched primarily in hopes of becoming a better flight photographer. And that is exactly what has happened. All these years I thought that it was me … As it turned out, I am not too bad. My strength, hand-eye coordination, and fine motor skills however, are lacking to some degree when compared to the young guns. But, do understand several things:

a-Not every flight shot that I make with Nikon is perfectly sharp. That is most often due to operator error: I fail to get (and keep) the AF point or points on the bird’s face, head, neck, or upper breast. At times when I think that an image should be sharp, it is not. At times that is due to my failing to acquire focus soon enough and track the subject properly. But for me, and I need to emphasize that, for me, a far higher percentage of my flight images are in sharp focus than they were with my Canon gear.

Do know that if I have my Canon gear in my hands I would not have even attempted the top shot that is featured in todays’ blog post. I tried too many times and failed every time. Was every top shot that I attempted with my Nikon gear sharp? No. Fewer than half were sharp in this rather specific situation. But it is good to know that I at least have a chance with the gear that I am presently using.

b-The are many things that the Canon system does far better than the Nikon system. I have mentioned many of them in blog post here over the past few months. Topping that list is AF performance with the 2X TC. And there are many things about the Nikon system that drive me absolutely nuts. Some are to be expected but some are simply due to inferior ergonomics; did they really pay someone to design it that way? Heading that list is the Focus mode selector button …

c-There are many great photographers out there using Canon gear, and many of them are creating astounding flight images. You can find many of them on BirdPhotographers.Net. Check out the amazing current work of David Salem, Daniel Cadieux, Tim Folz, Isaac Grant, Ann Pacheco, Sasan Nejadi, Stuart Edwards, and Stu Bowie. All those on the first three pages of images alone. Gail Bisson uses Canon and makes lots of great images; I have not seen any recent posts with her flight images.

  • #2: You switched, should I?

I have no idea if switching systems is right for you. Your job is to assess how you are doing with your current gear. If you are making great images that make you happy then there is no reason at all to switch. Here is how I replied to this question in a recent e-mail: I switched for one reason: better results for birds in flight. For most of what I do Canon is just as good or better than Nikon. If you are not making good images then you need to ask lots of questions, study lots of images –especially images that excite you, and then re-assess. Whether you stick with Canon or Fuji or Sony or make the big switch as I did, please remember to use a BAA affiliate link as a thank you for what you have learned here.

In closing I will say this: If my life depended on making a sharp image of a bird in flight there is no rig that I would rather have in my hands than the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens and the Nikon D5..

This image was created on Cayman Brac on February 12, 2018 with the hand held Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens and the Nikon D5 with Dual XQD Slots). ISO 800. Matrix metering +1/3 stop: 1/800 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AUOT0 WB at 8:52am on a partly cloudy morning.

Center Group (grp) Shutter Button AF was active at the moment of exposure. The four AF points were centered on the trailing edge of the bird’s far wing — see the Capture NX-D screen shot below — yet the image was sharp on the eye

LensAlign/FocusTune Fine-tune: -1.

Brown Booby top shot

Nikon NX-D Screen Capture

The four barely visible red squares show where the Group (grp) AF points were on the bird at the moment of exposure. Though I could have done a lot better by getting the array on the back of the bird’s neck the resulting image was quite sharp on the eye. From the histogram it looks as if this image is well under-exposed. But I did not need to move the Exposure slider in ACR. I did move the Shadow slider to +36. Why would I call this a lying histogram?

Early Spring Photo Opportunities at ILE

BIRDS AS ART First-ever Master Class

Master Class. Two Full and two Half Days/Friday afternoon, March 30 through lunch on Monday, April 2, 2018: $1999.00. Limit: 4/Openings 3.

The Master Classe will be a small group — strictly limited to four photographers — with the first folks who register having the option of staying at my home ($50/night) or at a chain motel in nearby Lake Wales. Live, think, and breathe photography from Friday afternoon through lunch on Monday (late-morning); all meals included. There will be three afternoon photo sessions (FRI – SUN) hopefully with glorious sunsets like the ones you saw one the blog in December we should have good opportunities with the cranes even in the afternoon. We will enjoy three morning photography sessions (SAT – MON) with the main subjects being tame Sandhill Cranes almost surely with chicks or colts. Also vultures and Cattle Egrets and more. Limpkins are possible. Intermediate telephoto lenses are fine for the cranes, even the chicks at times. A 500 or 600mm lens would be best for many of the situations that we will encounter.

During the day we will sit together around my dining room table and pick everyone’s keepers and enjoy guided Photoshop sessions. On Monday before lunch, folks can make a single large print of their favorite image from the weekend. If you so choose, I will micro-adjust one of your lenses (at one focal length with your #1 camera body–Canon or Nikon) during a group instructional session. All will be welcome to practice what they have learned during the breaks using my set-up and my lighting gear.

To register, please first shoot me an e-mail to check on availability. Then you will be instructed to call Jim or Jen at 863-692-0906 during weekday business hours (except for Friday afternoons) to leave you non-refundable (unless the session sells out) $500 deposit. Only the deposit may be left on credit card. Balances must be paid by check immediately after you register (unless you wish to pay by credit card plus 4% to cover our fees).

I hope that you can join me on this new adventure.

with love, artie

ps: bring your bathing suit if you would like to try my pool.

Tame birds in breeding plumage and chicks are great fun.

Gatorland IPT #2. Sunrise: 6:48am. Sunset: 7:58pm.

3 1/2 DAYs: THURS 26 APR through and including the morning of SUN 29 APR. $1599. Limit 5 photographers/Openings: 3.

Must purchase Gatorland Photographers Pass. Click here for details. All early entry. Late stays Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Gatorland IPT #2 should have lots of chicks, and lots of birds in breeding plumage. We will get to photograph Great Egret, Snowy Egret, Tricolored Heron, and Wood Stork. The Cattle Egrets in full breeding plumage will be present in good numbers. Learn my Gatorland strategy, to get the right exposure, flight photography techniques, my secret Gatorland spots, how to see the best situations (nobody is better at that than me), and how to make great images in extremely cluttered situations.

Help Support the Blog

Please help support my (stupendous) efforts here on the blog by remembering to click on the logo link above each time that you shop Amazon. That would be greatly appreciated. There is no problem using your Prime account; just click on the link and log into your Prime account. With love, artie

If In Doubt …

If in doubt about using the BAA B&H affiliate link correctly, you can always start your search by clicking here. Please note that the tracking is invisible. Web orders only. Please, however, remember to shoot me your receipt via e-mail.

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 :).

7 comments to Everybody Wants to Know … And a Like-New Canon 1DX II for sale.

  • avatar Paul Lister

    Hi Artie,
    I am a little puzzled. In the past you would have used Downloader Pro and Breeze Browser to download and edit your images and then convert them in ACR. You now seem to have added Nikon NX-D into the mix and I am wondering why and if this makes a significant difference.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Paul, I need to use ViewNX-i to see the focus area mode and the AF fine-tune amount and I need to use Capture NX-D to view the selected or active AF points. At present I do all of my RAW conversions using ACR. I may switch to Capture One if I become convinced.

      with love, artie

  • avatar David Policansky

    Thanks, Artie. I think what you wrote here was very fair-minded and helpful. Today’s booby shot is hard for any operator with any camera, I think–you said that fewer than half of yours were sharp but with Canon gear none would have been. For me, I would expect about the same with the Canon 7D2/100-400II, that is fewer than half sharp but certainly more than 1/4 sharp. I’ve got some sharp ones from a moving ship.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      You are welcome David. In this situation, shooting almost straight down with an ocean background, I had zero confidence with my Canon gear. At 45 degrees from the stern of a ship in the Southern Ocean, I had some success with Canon.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Scott Borowy

    Hi Artie,

    The histogram doesn’t visually account for the brightness/WHITEs on the beak, which are probably closer to a 255 value in the RGBs.

    Regarding your physical condition and the work you are putting in for therapy, have you tried doing yoga at all in your recovery journey? I’ve witnessed recovery of several people with limited mobility as they pursued this practice.

    Wishing you a speedy recovery,

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Many thanks on all counts. No yoga yet.

      with love, artie

      ps: hope to see you on another IPT soon.

  • A lying histogram: The beak is the only white and a small percentage of the total Image. Therefore, the histogram doesn’t have enough information to show a “blip” on the right side of the graph.