It Wasn’t Easy… Arthur Morris Switches to Nikon! « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

It Wasn't Easy... Arthur Morris Switches to Nikon!

Press Release

April 1, 2013. Indian Lake Estates, FL: Arthur Morris Switches to Nikon

After a lifetime of using Canon gear, and after lengthy consideration, Arthur Morris announced today that he was–enticed by a war chest of Nikon gear–switching to Nikon. He looks forward to making lots of great images with his new gear. Please take a moment to welcome him to the dark side.

This Sandhill Crane image was created at Indian Lake Estates with the Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens and the Canon EOS-1D X Digital SLR camera. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop as framed in early morning light: 1/640 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode.

Central sensor Surround/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the bird’s face and re-compose carefully. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

As it almost always is when I am working from the car the lens was supported on the lowered window of my Sequoia on a BLUBB, the Big Lens Ultimate BeanBag that I designed myself. It is available only from BAA. See the BLUBB and learn more here. Beware of cheap knock-offs; all are seriously lacking in size, heft, and quality materials. None have the non-skid material on the inside of the ears and none have the noise-less fabric top.

It Wasn’t Easy…

It wasn’t easy to photograph the same bird in the exact same pose with both the 600 II and a full frame camera body and then again with the 500 II also with a full frame camera body. But yesterday morning I succeeded. Part of the trick was setting up both rigs with the same exposure before making a single image. Then it was frame and fire with the 500 II, grab the 600 II, and frame and fire. Ah, success. Both the image above and the image below are unprocessed and were created from the extracted JPEGs.

This image of the same bird was created less than 15 seconds after the image above was created, this one with the Canon 500mm f/4L EF IS II lens and the Canon EOS 5D Mark III. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop as framed in early morning light: 1/640 sec. at f/6.3 in Manual mode.

Central sensor Surround/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF on the bird’s face and re-compose carefully. Click here if you missed the Rear Focus Tutorial. Click on the image to see a larger version.

As it almost always is when I am working from the car the lens was supported on the lowered window of my Sequoia on a BLUBB, the Big Lens Ultimate BeanBag that I designed myself. It is available only from BAA. See the BLUBB and learn more here. Beware of cheap knock-offs; all are seriously lacking in size, heft, and quality materials. None have the non-skid material on the inside of the ears and none have the noise-less fabric top.

Let’s Keep It Simple

In the first post on this subject, “The Size of the Subject in the Frame is Directly Proportional to the Square of the Focal Length: A Practical Example,” many of the folks who left comments were either confused, had a different way of saying the same thing, or wanted to play semantic games. So let’s keep it simple here. There we looked at a horizontal image. Bill Richardson mentioned that he would love to see a vertical comparison and so I set out to accomplish just that.

All of the following are 100% true:

1-The size of the subject in the frame, as measured by the area that the subject covers, is directly proportional to the square of the focal length. With the 500 and the 600 the math is simple. 5 squared is 25, 6 squared is 36. An image created with the 600 will be 44% larger in the frame as measured by the area that the subject covers.

2-The same subject photographed with 500mm and 600mm lenses from the same distance will be 20% longer and 20% wider with the 600mm than with the 500mm.

3-Viewing the two images is the simplest way to compare subject size in the frame regardless of which way you choose to do the math.

Which Series II Super-telephoto Lens is Best for You?

To answer that question, see the March 2nd blog post here.

An Admission

I will admit that when I am heading into the field I choose the 600 II over the 500 II despite the fact that it weighs 1.61 pounds more than the 500 II. That even though most of the birds in Florida are inordinately tame….

A Second Admission

The press release above is of course an April’s Fool’s joke. Have a great month everyone :).

Africa/Tanzania/Serengeti Summer Migration Safari: 12 full and two half-days of photography: $12,999/person double occupancy. Limit: 12/Openings: 6.

Leaders: Todd Gustafson (he does use Nikon gear) and Arthur Morris. Leave the US AUG 3, 2013. Fly home from Arusha, Tanzania on the evening of August 18. Day 1 of the safari is August 5. Our last morning of photography is August 18. We will be visiting Tarangire National Park, Seronera Lodge–aka Leopard City!–twice, an exclusive mobile tented camp in the Serengeti, and at the end, the spectacular wildlife spectacle that is Ngorongoro Crater. Please e-mail for itinerary.

Please click here for complete IPT info.

BOSQUE del APACHE 2013 IPT: β€œThe Complete Bosque Experience.” NOV 26-DEC 2, 2013. 7-FULL DAYS: $3399. Co-leader: Denise Ippolito. Introductory Slide program: 6:30 pm on 11/25. Limit: 12.

Tens of thousand of Snow Geese, 10,000 Sandhill Cranes, ducks including point-blank American Wigeon and Wood Duck, amazing sunrises, sunsets, and blast-offs. Live, eat, and breathe photography with one of (if not the) world’s premier photographic educators at one of his very favorite locations on the planet. Top-notch Photoshop instruction. This will make 19 consecutive Novembers at Bosque for me. Nobody knows the place better than I do. Join us to learn to think like a pro, to recognize situations and to anticipate them based on the weather, especially the sky conditions, the light, and the wind direction. Every time we make a move we will let you know why. When you head home applying what you learned will prove to be invaluable. Includes all lunches and the Thanksgiving Buffet at the Crowne Plaza in Albuquerque. I hope that you can join me for what will be an unparalleled learning experience.

A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your slot for this IPT. Your balance is due 4 months before the date of the IPT and is also non-refundable. If the trip fills, we will be glad to apply a credit applicable to a future IPT for the full amount less a $100 processing fee. If we do not receive your check for the balance on or before the due date we will try to fill your spot from the waiting list. If your spot is filled, you will lose your deposit. If not, you can secure your spot by paying your balance.

Please print, complete, and sign the form that is linked to here and shoot it to us along with your deposit check (made out to “Arthur Morris.”) You can also leave your deposit with a credit card by calling the office at 863-692-0906. If you register by phone, please print, complete and sign the form as noted above and either mail it to us or e-mail the scan. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me via e-mail

EOS-5D Mark III User’s Guide

In the EOS-5D Mark III User’s Guide You can learn everything that I know about the following important topics: 5D III exposure fine points, handling the WHITEs, the top LCD and all camera control buttons, 5D Mark III drive modes, how to manually select an AF sensor, choosing an AF Area Selection Mode, and Menu Item access. Coverage of almost all Menu Items and Custom Functions including: Image Quality, Auto Lighting Optimizer, Highlight Tone Priority, AF Configuration Tool (includes details on the custom Case setting that I use), Acceleration/deceleration tracking, Tracking sensitivity, Lens drive when AF impossible, Orientation linked AF point (I love this feature on the 5D III!), Highlight alert, Histogram display, Auto rotate, Custom Shooting Mode set-up, Safety shift, using the Q button, and setting up rear focus.Plus detailed instructions on how to set up for both in-camera HDR and in-camera multiple exposures.

The guide is–of course–written in my informal, easy-to-follow style. Learn more or purchase here.

EOS-1D X AF Guide

You can learn exactly how I set up and use this camera’s great new AF system in our EOS-1D X AF Guide. And you can learn about our other camera User’s Guides here.


On all blog posts, feel free to e-mail or leave a comment regarding any typos, wrong words, misspellings, omissions, or grammatical errors. Just be right. πŸ™‚

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48 comments to It Wasn’t Easy… Arthur Morris Switches to Nikon!

  • Happy belated April Fools Day Arthur~I panicked when I read the caption LOL.
    I am an avid Canon photographer and inspired by one of your first publications
    “Birds As Art,” just beautiful images!

  • Well the Guru started with “It Wasn’t Easy . . .” in order to look serious. But instead it sounded the alarm signalling the underlying casual posture. So, I picked it up without going through.

    I didn’t know about him many years ago; so no idea. However, I would have taken it seriously had it been sth like Leica. Nikon lost the war when Canon started producing their own sensors whereas they are still getting it from Sony. These days they occasionally turn out sth good like the D4. All the rest are plain rubbish.

    Bottomline is; as an enthusiast, I’m seriously contemplating a switch to full-frame (following the Guru) as I’m utterly frustrated by Canon’s noise champion crop bodies.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Actually, It Wasn’t Easy was the title of the original blog post having to do with the difficulty of getting the two vertical images with the two different lenses. Then, when I decided to re-run the April Fool’s joke it was a perfect fit :).

  • Joel Haas

    Why all the fuss? This was a repeat from April 1, 2012, according to my memory

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Joel, It was not from 2012. It was a good many years ago and we have lots and lots of new folks since then… No fuss, just fun.

  • I knew the press release content cannot be true.

    Nikon produced 2 great DSLRs in the form of D3 and D700 however, subsequently they went ashtray.

  • leavell

    Hope your switch to Nikon is truly an April fools Joke.
    I got canon because of you and have been very happy
    with the switch from nikon

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Hey Ullin, You gotta read the whole thing πŸ™‚ How old are you now?

  • Jack Goodman

    Artie, The 500mm seems to have much more clarity and contrast than the 600mm? Do you find the quality of the images is equal on both lenses.


    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I am not seeing that at all Jack but then I don’t see such good anymore…. I love the superb IQ with both and have not noticed any differences.

      What are others seeing? artie

      • David Policansky

        I’m not seeing that either. Thanks for this and your great images, as usual.

        When I read your April 1 headline, I rushed out and sold all my Canon gear and bought Nikon gear, and now I am finally taking wonderful photographs. So thanks also for that good tip. πŸ™‚

  • Jerry

    Thanks for the photos to compare image size of the 500 and 600.
    And glad to see your sense of humor is still good.

  • Marvin Falk

    Explorers of Light need white lenses to go with their white steed.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      We each have our own white steed so you should have pluralized the word steed :).

  • Mark W.

    So, when you make the switch to Nikon, all of your photos will now be garbage, like the terrible images that Mangleson, Satore, Klum, Peterson, Shaw, etc have shot for decades…. πŸ˜‰

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      I’ve always thought that some of those guys were pretty good. You might, however, want to read the whole post….

  • Bill Eaton

    This cracked me up when I saw it.I have to admit there was a split second of shock.
    have a great day Artie.

  • Mark

    Absolute truth be told, so help me God, I was not fooled for a second. After my daughter called me and said she opened a cage of a dog kennel where she works, a great dane lept out, hit the cage door and it hit her in the face and broke her nose, I immediately realized it was April 1st. She then assured me it was, unfortunately, no joke. But it did clue me in to this. I know you too well. Canon’s glass, especially their new 600 and 500, is just too good, and the 1Dx is a better camera than the D4, hand’s down. You ain’t no dummy.

    • Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Mark, I hope that your daughter gets better real fast. later and love, artie

  • Ron May

    Whew! Art you had me worried for all of 5 seconds, well, maybe 10, and then I remembered what day it was – Happy April 1st to you and yours.

    I really liked the 500-600 comparison that you provided. Makes me feel more confident in my decision to get the 600. Thanks.

  • TonyT

    OK, You were the first to catch me today(Or was the second admission the joke).Glad it was a joke Happy April 1st.

  • David Roby

    Totally suckered! What a relief to get to the punch line.

  • Scared the s@%t out of me until I read your second admission. That

    was a REAL GOOD ONE!

  • Don Hamilton Jr.

    Sounds like April Fools to me….. unless nikon is paying him more than canon is….. so there’s the facts!!!!!!!!!

  • Dan Turk

    What an awesome April Fool’s joke! That was a good one!

  • Did Artie mention that this years ITP’s are free, first come first served. πŸ™‚

  • Fred Buhler

    Whew…! Happy April Fools.

  • Rob

    Funny how you switched to Nikon the same day that both John Shaw announced he was switching to Canon! πŸ™‚

  • How coincidental that the switch came on the first of April……….

  • I may be a fool,but I’m not an April one! LOL. Happy April Fool’s Day Artie. πŸ™‚

  • Cris Hamilton

    Happy April Fools Day!!!! Took me about 1.5 seconds to realize this was a joke!! πŸ™‚

    But I like Doug’s idea. I too, will be looking for a sale of all you Canon gear!!! πŸ™‚

    Keep up the good work!

    • Since I know he’s so busy, I went ahead and listed all of his
      gear on e-bay. Everything has a Buy It Now price of $1, with
      free shipping to anybody in the world πŸ™‚


  • Arla

    Got me too! LOL

    How about switching back to film while you’re at it?!

  • You got me! For, oh, two seconds! πŸ™‚ Happy 1 April to you, too, Artie!!
    But if you ever join us Nikonians we’d be ever so grateful….

  • Charles Scheffold

    Yeah sure, and I’m switching to Pentax!

  • Dana

    You are too funny. Good one. Love your sense of humor and I am grateful for all of your expert advice and teaching that you so generously share with all of us! All the Best!

  • Welcome to the dark side my friend , you are making a great switch πŸ™‚

  • Bill Richardson

    Excellent showing of dramatic difference from 500mm to 600mm. Better looking bird too!

  • Steve Wasson

    And a happy April Fool’s day to you, too, Artie!

  • JeffR

    Wow, that is interesting news, but now you will miss out on the new Canon EOS 7D L that Canon has just announced. The L is for left-handed people. See more at

  • Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!!! πŸ™‚
    Happy 4/1.

  • Carol Nichols

    Is this an April Fool’s joke???

  • Since you’re switching to Nikon, that means you won’t need
    your Canon gear. So I’m expecting a big, big sale on all of
    your equipment.


  • Julian Mole

    Hi Arthur,

    Glad to hear you made the switch!

    PS. Happy April 1st! πŸ™‚

  • I saw the title, and wondered in amazement, searching the remainder of the post for the reasons why, then saw the date at the top… πŸ™‚