The Nikon Dummy Quiz. Me Being the Nikon Dummy … « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The Nikon Dummy Quiz. Me Being the Nikon Dummy ...


I did manage to to get another two hours of sleep on Wednesday evening. John Dupps and I were first into Gatorland on Thursday morning. We had some spiffy Cattle Egrets but wound up spending most of the morning photographing small Snowy Egret chicks. We were the first ever to enjoy a late-stay on a Thursday. Things were slow but as the sun got closer to the horizon the action improved and we even enjoyed some excellent high ISO flight photography. John Dupps and Jim Dolgin were both on last year’s DeSoto IPT. Jim got in late today. John and I got back to the hotel a bit after 8pm. They went to dinner and I went to bed πŸ™‚

I’d love to here from you on the flipper or no flipper sea lion question posed in yesterday’s blog post here. Right now, opinion seems to be split about fifty/fifty.

I Just Love When This Happens, and It Happens Often

I love when folks leave a comment that asks a question. I try to respond most comments and I try to respond to all questions. At times, I respond to a question with another question. And often my question remains unanswered. I ask that if you ask a question that you check back to see if I responded and keep the conversation going.

Here is a perfect example from the Spring Shorebird Plumage Lessons Part II blog post here:

Jack Goodman
April 18, 2018 at 10:43 am.

Artie, When shooting birds on the shore or in flight, why not use spot meetering instead of guessing at an exposure adjustment. Or maybe bracketing?


I thought, “what great questions” and posted a question for Jack in return just 40 minutes later:

Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART
April 18, 2018 at 11:23 am.

What would you spot meter? And once you had that reading, how would you compensate?

with love, artie

Never heard back from Jack Goodman πŸ™‚

The Streak

Today makes two hundred seventy-one days in a row with a new educational blog post! This one about 90 minutes to prepare including the time spent on the image optimization. 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.

Thanks to the Patient

With the injured shoulder, the recently concluded DeSoto IPT, and the hernia surgery, I have gotten more than a bit behind on e-mails, especially some Used Gear Sales business. Many thanks for your patience. I have had lots of time to rest lately and am almost caught up.

Dark-siders: Please Do Not Take This Personally

I have been saying this for a while: after many years in the business of brokering used gear sales, one pattern that I have seen is that most Nikon folks think that their stuff is worth a lot more than it actually is. That especially with the potential sales of the older 600mm lenses, some of which weigh in the 12-14 pound range. If you can shed any light as to why this might be the case, I’d love to hear from you.

Selling Your Used Photo Gear Through BIRDS AS ART

Selling your used (or like-new) photo gear through the BAA Blog is a great idea. We charge only a 5% commission. One of the more popular used gear for sale sites charged a minimum of 20%. Plus assorted fees! Yikes. They went out of business. And e-Bay fees are now up to 13%. The minimum item price here is $500 (or less for a $25 fee). If you are interested please scroll down here or shoot us an e-mail with the words Items for Sale Info Request cut and pasted into the Subject line :). Stuff that is priced fairly — I offer pricing advice to those who agree to the terms — usually sells in no time flat. Over the past year, we have sold many dozens of items. Do know that prices on some items like the EOS-1D Mark IV, the old Canon 100-400, the old 500mm, the EOS-7D and 7D Mark II and the original 400mm DO lens have been dropping steadily. You can always see the current listings by clicking on the Used Photo Gear tab on the orange-yellow menu bar near the top of each blog post page.

Recent Listings

Nikon Gear/Priced to Sell!

Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF ED Lens

Massive Price Drop of $845.00!

Multiple IPT veteran Sam Hogue who was on the last Japan IPT is offering a used Nikon AF-S VR Zoom-NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G IF ED lens in excellent condition for the BAA record low price by far of $1850 (was $2695). The sale includes a LensCoat, a RRS mounting plate, the front cover, the rear cap, the original felt lined, padded lens bag, and insured shipping via UPS Priority. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Sam via e-mailΒ­Β­Β­.

This versatile lens is now priced to sell instantly. artie

Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS Lens (the original version)

Gary Meyer is also offering a Canon EF 24-105 f/4L IS Lens (the original version) in mint condition for the BAA record-low price of $447.00. The sale includes the front and rear caps, the soft lens pouch, and insured ground shipping via UPS. Your item will not ship until your check clears unless other arrangements are made.

Please contact Gary via e-mail.

When I shot Canon, I rarely made a trip or headed out to the beach without my 24-105 in my Xtra-hand vest. Whenever I’d leave this amazingly versatile B-roll lens behind, I’d wind up regretting it. I use it for bird-scapes, photographer-scapes, landscapes, mini-macro scenes that included 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 is with this lens, I have made lots of good and saleable images with mine, the old version. artie


BIRDS AS ART is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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!


Several folks on the DeSoto IPT used the Booking.Com link below, 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 photographers 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 the 1st morning of the Gatorland IPT with the Induro GIT 304L/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens (at 500mm) and the mega mega-pixel Nikon D850 DSLR.. ISO ??? Matrix metering at zero: 1/80 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode. AUTO1WB at 9:26am in the shade on a clear, sunny day.

One up from the center, d-25, Shutter Button/Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) AF was active at the moment of exposure. The selected AF point was right below the chick’s eye as originally framed.

Snowy Egret, chick in the nest, nestled in parent’s feathers …

The Situation

John Dupps and I were photographing two fairly open Snowy Egret nests with relatively small lenses. I was using my 200-500 with the full frame D-850, he was using his 200500 with the crop factor D-500. As he approached I said to him, ISO 1000, 1/500 sec. at f/6.3 looks good. And it did. He continued to use those setting with good results. But for me, the situation seemed to be getting darker and darker as the nest fell into deep shade. While working in Manual mode I kept raising my ISO and lowering my shutter speed but my images continued to look about one stop or more underexposed. John went to 1/500 sec. at f/6.3 and raised his ISO to 1250. I was baffled as to how the two cameras could be acting so different.

Nikon Dummy Quiz …

Try as I might, I could not come up with a good reason for the huge discrepancy. At the height of the insanity I set ISO 6400 at 1/80 sec. Yet my images were at least a stop under-exposed. John continued to work at ISO 1250, 1/500 sec., at f/6.3 and kept producing great images with perfect histograms. Somewhat exasperated I took a close look at my settings and when I realized what I had been doing wrong I gave myself a bang on the forehead with the heel of my right hand …

The original for today’s featured image which was one of the mystifying series, was indeed more than a stop underexposed. I made a long series of images at shutter speeds of from 1/320 down to 1/60 sec. Most were unsharp as the small egret chicks begged and fed. I was lucky that the image that I chose for the blog was sharp at 1/80 sec. Live and learn. I do not think that I will ever make the same mistake again. If you can figure out what my error was please do leave a comment.

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 πŸ™‚

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 :).

31 comments to The Nikon Dummy Quiz. Me Being the Nikon Dummy …

  • avatar Warren H

    Did you accidentally select Program Mode? Then, as you changed shutter speed, the camera automatically closed down the the aperture to achieve what it thought was a correct exposure. With the white of the egrets in the images, you would have needed to adjust the exposure about 1 stop brighter, which the camera was not doing.

  • avatar Kevin Hice

    Artie,hope all is going well. I did as well go to shutter button and did get rid of rear button focus,and used your suggestion on auto focus settings.I also stepped it up and made custom setting using case 5 in Canon for erratic movement.It seems to help when shooting grouse displaying on the Lek. The analogy being like dropping a football with shooting grouse never knowing which direction they will be upside down or sideways. It seems to be working as I have more keepers.I have a question you are always referring to sharp at 100 percent.Do you keep any photos at less sharpness?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      All good and kudos for trying something new. I often keep and present images that are less then 100% sharp; I am often able to improve those with a Contrast Mask or with some Eye Doctor work, both as detailed in Digital Basics II.

      with love, artie

  • avatar Warren Hatch

    One way this dummy could accomplish the feat is a combination of what has been suggested. Auto-ISO AND Exposure Compensation at -1 would do the trick. You need to have both (mis?)settings in order to cause the behavior you are describing. One or the other alone would not result in the underexposure you’ve described.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Good thinking; you are almost there but for the EC. But I gotta say that Brendan (April 27, 2018 at 7:53 am) is a pretty smart guy. And good on you for seeing through my trick answer πŸ™‚
      with love, artie

      ps: What if I needed +1 1/3 and I was at zero … what would the results look like?

  • avatar Mark Jordan

    640 ISO instead of what you thought was 6400 ISO? Went the wrong way?

  • avatar Mike Alexander

    Hi Artie
    Perhaps you had accidentally engaged ‘Highlight-weighted Metering’ ?

  • I have a D850 and have seen it _way_ underexpose in matrix metering mode when the scene has a large dynamic range. The D850 seems to want to protect the highlights at the expense of the shadows, even when there’s only a tiny portion of the scene in highlight. I see this when shooting small songbirds on a feeder on my front porch, and somewhere in the background there is bright spot like a shinny object reflecting the sun. Don’t know why it behaves this way, I see no setting to change the behavior. My D600 does not do this. So in these circumstances I set EV to +0.7 to +2.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Not what happened to me and would not result in what I described.

      with love, artie

  • Seems like “ISO ???” must be some sort of hint.

  • This is probably not what caused your problem, but I have accidentally left my camera in exposure bracketing mode a couple of times with horrible results.

  • avatar Curt

    Maybe you were accidentally in “auto F-stop???

  • Hi Art,

    I, as well, agree with Brendan and Mark though it is much easier to accidentally proceed with a previous EC setting than it is to slip into auto-iso. It is also possible (because I’ve done it) to pull your shutter finger back from the shutter release button and unknowingly hit the EC +/- button while spinning the rear dial to lower the shutter speed and unknowingly reduce the EC setting.

    Thanks as always for your dedication and blessings in your recovery,
    Jim G

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks but nope and nope πŸ™‚ If I did any of that it would not cause what I have described.


  • avatar Warren H


    At one time there was a checkbox below the reply area that let you select to be informed if there was a reply to your comment. (At least I think I remember that.) If that feature is still available, I think it would help get people more engaged and replying to your comments. It may create more of a dialog.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Not sure πŸ™ If I asked a question I would surely check back to see if it were answered. I will ask Peter about that feature.

      with love, artie

  • Metering largely off the adult bird’s white plumage?

    Regarding the spot metering question above; if one spot meters off an “average grey” subject nearby and then recomposes that should be accurate.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Jeremy,

      Accurate for what??

      with love, artie

      ps: If you spot meter a bright white bird what do you do?

  • avatar frank sheets

    Hi Artie,

    Mark’s answer seems reasonable if that is the case with Nikon bodies compared to Canon. I was curious about your WB setting of “auto01WB” in that I am not familiar with Nikon bodies and looked up the WB options for the D850. Interesting that there seem to be different options in “AUTO” which I guess could be advantageous at times. But I did not see “Auto01WB”, just “auto1”. Typo? Irrelevant, however I did learn something about WB options with Nikon bodies that Canon does not seem to offer.

    Trust you are mending rapidly and any discomfort are simply signals that you are.

    Be good, Frank

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Frank,

      Mark’s answer would not explain what was going on … It seems that the nerve pain might be diminishing a bit …

      Thanks with love,

      ps: The AUTO01 was a typo πŸ™‚

  • avatar Brendan

    Maybe you were accidentally in β€œauto-iso” mode and were setting an ISO that was not the actual ISO the camera was using.

  • avatar Mark Bennett

    Hi Artie,
    Perhaps you had set -1.0 exposure compensation while in a different mode and forgot to reset to zero? This is possible with a Nikon camera body: I believe you cannot set EC in manual mode with Canon bodies.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hi Mark, I do understand that but I had checked and the EC was properly set to zero. And even if I had set the EC to -1 it would not explain what was going on πŸ™‚

      with love, artie

  • avatar Kim Pilegaard

    Dear Arthur,
    It seems that you are now most often using shutter button AF activation rather than back button AF only. Why is that?

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Howdy, I made that change about five years ago and have never looked back … I find it easier for flight and action photography and easier for photographing most static subjects. In addition, with the newer bodies offering all AF points things have gotten much easier and there is less need to use rear button. No need for me. I use the AF-ON button on my Nikon bodies for AF-Lock when I need to recompose.

      with love, artie