Bald Eagle Image Questions « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Bald Eagle Image Questions

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Sorry 🙂 I will be sharing the tech specs for this image after I hear from y’all.

Bald Eagle Image Questions

I created this image this morning. Here is a list of the gear that I had in my car:

Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens
Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens
Canon 400mm IS DO lens
Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS lens
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
Canon EOS-7D
Canon 1.4X II TC
Canon 2X II TC

Ok, here are the questions:

1-Does the image look sharp to you?
2-What gear did I use to create the image?
3-What was the effective focal length of the gear that I used? Lens length X teleconverter (or teleconverterss) X multiplier effect (1.3) of the camera.

Pretty easy, no?

The answers will be coming soon.

Shopper’s Guide

Here is the gear that I had in the car with me this morning:

Canon 800mm f/5.L IS lens
Canon 500mm f/4L IS lens
Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens
Canon 70-200mm f/4 l IS lens
Canon EOS-1D Mark IV professional digital camera body
Canon EOS 7D
Canon EF Teleconverter 1.4X II
Canon 2X II teleconverter

And from the BAA On-line Store:

Gitzo 3530 LS Tripod
Mongoose M3.6 Tripod Head
Double Bubble Spirit Level

If you are considering the purchase of a major piece of photographic gear be it a new camera, a long lens, a tripod or a head, or some accessories be sure to check out our complete Shopper’s Guide.

23 comments to Bald Eagle Image Questions

  • Nice website; nice website idea. But, were you testing lenses? Why so many big primes?

    1-Does the image look sharp to you?
    The eagle face looks sharp. The body, though, especially the wing, is too sharp. It looks a little cartoonish, more like it was drawn for a nature mag than photographed by some guy in a blind or crawling on a forest floor, then the eagle head photo cut and pasted on top in processing. I know that the cartoonish effect can happen in the software if you shot in RAW with HDR-capable software and go a little overboard with the luminence and vibrance switches. Also the wing doesn’t match the rest of the body, the shoulder or the breast. So did you use a loop to increase the visibility of those feathers?
    Also, that light behind the bird is really light for the face to be so bright. Frankly, the whole shot doesn’t look flat enough for a really long telephoto. That 800 would have pancaked that poor bird’s head and there would have been too much atmospheric interference — which may account for the processing effect?

    2-What gear did I use to create the image?
    The romance of the 800 or 500 is attractive. But considering the light, the compression, the heavy brightness to one side, I’m betting the 70-200, maybe with a big flash or reflector (if you can keep the bird still that long, unless you shot him in a zoo, which is what I do for my best shots).

    3-What was the effective focal length of the gear that I used? Lens length X teleconverter (or teleconverterss) X multiplier effect (1.3) of the camera.
    I won’t swear you used a teleconverter with a 70-200, considering you have that 400 up there. But I’m still not as confident that that 400 OD can stand up to a 500L, mainly because it was made, from what I hear, for quickdraw sports rather than precision nature photography.
    I just see a nice shot, a nice pose and a good, saleable photo.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Harry, With all due respect, I do find your views and comments quite odd especially considering the fact that the answers were revealed as promised in the next post here.

  • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    All especially Ken, please see here.

  • Ken

    The eagle eyes are sharp, as my eyes go, but u have taken a 1/2 eagle pose – would have been better if the crop was tigher for a head shot and a bit of the shoulders as in people, The photo of the eagle is like a waist head shot of a human – either go tighter on the head of all of the eagle in this type of pose. I would have used a 2.8 or whatever your largest f stop can be with the lense you are using – as f4 or f5.6. It’s a great photo but you could make it greater.

  • Forrest Nichols

    Florida eagles are not easy to approach, so I would say the 800 with the 2X with the Mark IV giving you an effective focal length of 2080… assuming no post crop in computer.

    Could have been a little sharper so I am guessing it was not taken from a tripod, but resting on something else with less than an optimal shutter speed.

  • Chris W

    Head not as sharp as the dark body-suggests a very small dof; sunny so probably caused by a long lens as to shooting wide open. My guess is the Canon 7D, 500 f/4L lens, and a 1.4TC. This would be a focal length of 1120.

  • Head feathers don’t seem to be at your usual sharpness standards. Maybe this local eagle wasn’t that far away from you. So WAG: handheld with the 70-200 mm lens on a 7D body, and you grabbed a 2X TC from your vest: effective focal length 520 mm.

  • 1 – It looks sharp to me
    2 – 7D + 70-200/4
    3 – about 300mm

  • 1. Not to your standards
    2. Well, it could be with the 800+2x or the 70-200+2x, or something might have happened not to have it sharp
    3. Too many calculations… 😉

  • Jonathan Michael Ashton

    1-Does the image look sharp to you?
    Yes but it is only 800 px
    2-What gear did I use to create the image?
    I don’t know – you list the gear in your car but you didn’t necessarily use that. I don’t know if this is a full frame image or a crop.
    3-What was the effective focal length of the gear that I used? Lens length X teleconverter (or teleconverterss) X multiplier effect (1.3) of the camera.
    Like a lot of other people I get the impression you were perhaps not that far away but you were pointing upwards so I would guess a short zoom and maybe a converter. I would guess the 70 – 200 x2 converter and the 1D Mk 1V, I would have no Idea what focal length the lens was set to. Sorry a rather vague response but I would need more clues really to come up with an informed suggestion.

  • Feathers are sharp, up around the neck not so much. 7D, 500mm, + 2x tele. Total focal length =1300

  • Monte Brown


    Dark feathers sharp, white ones not so sharp. Guess on equipment is 7D, 70-200 with 1.4, the angle of the light in the eye seems to indicate a steep upward angle. EFL 448

    Monte Brown

  • Effective focal length per my previous email would be 1280.

  • Total guess – 7D with 800mm lens, no teleconverter.

  • Steve Robinson

    Are you not sure it’s sharp? ;~D It looks sharp on my laptop. I’ll take a WAG at the gear: 7D and 400 DO, 1/2000 @ f/5.6, ISO 400, cropped.

  • Elizabeth Lodwick

    Looks very sharp and has good DOF, I agree with others, probably handheld looking upwards from the car, so I will go with the 400, 1.4 teleconverter and 7D. Actually, I have no idea, just guessing.

  • Paul Smith

    Looks sharp. No idea what camera. Lens…. I’m guessing is the 70 – 200 because of the rather steep upward angle.

  • The image is very sharp. I’m guessing you were using EOS lD Mark 4 with 400mm f4 DO lens l with 1.4 teleconverter handheld because I have made very similar photos in Alaska using the exact same equipment. I realize, however, that you could have achieved the same results with several combinations of the equipment you had available to you.

  • The image looks sharp to me. Total guess as to the gear you used. It appears that you are shooting upward from not to far a distance making long lens on a tripod cumbersome, for me anyways. So I venture to guess you were handheld, perhaps the 7D with 2x Tele. and the 400mm DO, ISO 400. Total focal length 1280mm. Wont be surprised if I’m completely wrong. LOL

  • I think the image is sharp without zooming to 100%, and just a wild guess is that you used the MK IV with the 800mm and stacked the 2x & 1.4x for a total of 2912mm. But like bruce said it could be any combination with the amount of gear you had.

  • Richard Sleeman

    I pretty much agree with M. Bruce. My impression over the past year or so, is that the 800mm has become yhour work horse lens. I admit that the shooting angle raises a question as to whether you were handholding the rig; if,so it might be the 500mm with the 1.4x and the Mark IV. Effective focal length would then be close to 800mm. The image looks really sharp on my monitor,but I wonder if the feather detail in the neck could be improved?


  • M. Bruce

    1-Does the image look sharp to you?

    Yes, but I suspect it could be even sharper.

    2-What gear did I use to create the image?

    Virtually any combination of the gear you had in the car would work just fine, but I would guess from previous images that you used your Mark IV with the 1.4X II TC attached to the 800mm.

    3-What was the effective focal length of the gear that I used? Lens length X teleconverter (or teleconverterss) X multiplier effect (1.3) of the camera.

    Since you hint that the image may not be as sharp as possible you may have used two doublers, but I’m guessing not, so the effective focal length on your full frame Mark IV would be 1120. If you used the 7D it would be 1456 but I think you prefer Mark IV.

    The bottom line is that I wish I had a bottom line that could afford any or all of the above.

  • 1. No
    2. 1D IV + 800 + 2x
    3. 2080mm

    The last two are a guess. 😉