December 20, 2014, 11:55:24 AM

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Messages - revup67

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1
I have faithfully used the 400 5.6 L (usually with a 1.4 TC III extender) for the past several years and opted to go this route over 100-400 v1 due to the IQ.  However, compare the MTF charts of the new IS II 100-400 and the 400 5.6 L and its drastically better.  There's no comparison any longer.  The 400 5.6 L has many short comings and I've exploited the hell out of it.  The slowest I could get a 1 reasonable shot of 3 is 1 at 1/640th, any bird shot with branches and a gray sky always has CA, no options to open the aperture when darkness hits - static at F8.  With the zoom, you can pull back to 250mm which opens the aperture 7.1 to eek out more light if needed and shoot at 1/50th all hand held, not possible with the 400mm 5.6L.  Once the loss of light occurs for birding you may as well pack it up and go home especially with a 1.4 always at F8.  Unless you like shooting with ISO 10000 or ISO 12800 or no shots at all.

Earlier I had made a comment about lens creep on the 100-400 II, my oversight.  There is a ring on the zoom to tighten or smooth the zoom.  You can lock at any focal length from 100 to 400.  Excellent.

Attached photo taken at 1/500, ISO 1600, F8.0 with IS 2 100-400.  Don't believe I would have been able to pull this off without softness on the 400mm 5.6L @ 1/500.

Rev

2
Day 2 - overcast - the following image was taken with these settings at 9:45 a.m.:

Settings (Tv):  ISO 320, Shutter 1/200th, Aperture 8.0, Focal Distance=560, Spot Metering, EV +2/3, IS 3, infinity setting, expansion mode focusing and recomposed image

Image taken about 20 feet away (approximately 7 meters). 

Gear:  Canon 5D Mark III, Canon TC 1.4 III, Canon 100-400 IS II USM L. - Faithful Mode (not Standard).  Shot in RAW and converted to JPG 1024 pixels Processed in Lightroom.  No saturation or other adjustments other than  sharpness increase from 25 to 70 and clarity change to +5.  This was done only due to RAW conversion to JPG which softens the image.  Actual RAW image was not necessary.

New observation: lens creep if less than 400mm.  Gear was hanging over shoulder facing ground.  Set the camera zoom about 1/2 way (200mm) and noticed that gravity has some affect on the lens creep.  Approximately 50-80mm slippage.  Not a big deal but not sure if this is normal for this lens or version 1.  Interested in others comments on this aspect.

More impressive than previous day.  Had I used my 400mm prime 5.6L image not possible at 1/200th and ISO increase would have been much higher as I typically shoot that lens at 1/800 or 1/1000 depending on footing.  Perhaps as much as 1000 or higher.

Rev
(ocbirds.com)

3
While ordering on 11/10/14 through B and H and they were unable to deliver, I cancelled the order and went through another authorized Canon Authorized Dealer, B and C in Las Vegas.  They had one left.  ordered Monday 12-15 got it ground Fedex today 12-16-14.  Unbelievable sturdy packaging by B and C (customer centric ).  I had asked if they would just check the lens before shipping and they did - got a personalized note from the Manager (Ugy) in the box as well.

Had only about 30 minutes to try out the lens today with the Canon 1.4 III TC and here are my findings especially when compared to the Canon 400mm 5.6 L:

The attached image was taken with a Canon 5D MKIII, Canon TC III 1.4 and the Canon 100-400 IS II USM lens.
My test was to determine how slow of a shutter speed can I use safely to get a razor sharp bird image.  ISO was on AUTO, shutter set at 1/50th and I pulled back on the extended 400mm to 280mm, Aperture opened at 7.1 with about 10 minutes left of daylight.  Exposure was +2/3 and Metering set to Spot.

Here's the result (Fox Sparrow attached).  Any birders using a 400mm 5.6L may want to reconsider as this lens made this shot possible.  If using a 400mm L 5.6 with 1.4 TC III, hand holding perhaps you can shoot at 1/400th  but image would have been under exposed an useless.  This lens affords you the extended capabilities you need to "get the shot" vs. no shot.   I might add the "only" disappointing factor here is the Canon TC 1.4 III.  Still you only get spot focus, single point focus or expansion focus and all at center.  No Zone or 61 point focusing.  Also only centered focus points so recomposing is a must.  I can live with this.

Other settings were IS on option 3, infinity focus, AF on and hand held.  The lock release in the hood is interesting as well as the thumb wheel to remove the lens foot.

Used Lightroom to process and no added sharpness (just defaults).  Its impressive how sharp the eye of this Fox Sparrow appears at just minutes before dark.  Wow.

Hope this helps some of you.

Rev
(ocbirds.com)


4
Seems odd that Adorama would claim they have this in stock before B and H since they both get shipments the same day from the same distribution point.  Additionally they are what a mile or two away?

It would seem Adorama is listing this as in stock as they are seeking the competitive edge.

5
Software & Accessories / Canon GP-E2 Problem / Issues resolved
« on: October 22, 2014, 01:48:11 PM »
For the last week or so I had noted my GP-E2 was offering:

1)proper satellite connection (either 2 or 3 bars in 3D)
2)and also the digital compass was working real time.

However when viewing the Latitude and Longitude fields I was getting 1° respectively and the UTC field was showing up as:  //::

It would seem this is an indication of the date and time not being populated.

I tried swapping batteries, cleaning all contacts with a number 2 pencil and speaking with support and there was no resolve.  I opted to dig further and found (off the wrench menu) under "GPS Device Settings" the "Auto Time Setting" was set to "DISABLE".  The reason I had done this was the daylight savings time feature was modifying the internal camera clock and I'd be consistently an hour off on each and every photo.  Back in April of 2014 I had set this to disable and the clock issue (proper time stamp) went away and I was successfully retrieving satellite data.   I would gather, since almost six months to the day had passed, this interfered with GPS data being currently retrieved despite reception being 2 or 2 bars and the digital compass was working.

Not willing to give up, I opted to go into the "Auto Time Setting" feature and choose "Set Now", then enable "Auto Update".   Walla..problem solved.

It would seem apparent this "Disabling" option was not fully tested.  Canon support had no documentation on such an occurrence.

If anyone has the GP-E2 and GPS data is not being retrieved, I hope this documentation helps in their troubleshooting.

Revup67


6
5D MK III Sample Images / Re: Pet Portraits with 5D Mark III
« on: June 19, 2014, 06:21:12 PM »
Those were enjoyable - thanks for sharing - some wonderful angles used as well

7
5D MK III Sample Images / Pet Portraits with 5D Mark III
« on: June 18, 2014, 04:23:16 AM »
Yesterday I had set up my portable photo studio to photograph a few real estate clients but afterward I had recalled our close friends acquired a 2 month old Great Dane which they named "Scooby" less than a week ago.  We typically watch their pets several times a year and thought with the studio up it was opportune to get pro shots of Scooby.

Anyone else out care to post their favorite pet photos taken with the 5D Mark III?

Here's my first..meet Scooby - taken with the 5D Mark III, 24-105 F4, Two Elinchrom Lights, 580 EX II hair line light (left rear about 7 feet high) and metered at 1/160, F11, ISO 400

"Scooby" the Great Dane puppy (IM5D_017490) by Anthony "Tony G" Gliozzo (Web Site is ocbirds.com), on Flickr

8
Outside of shelling out 6800 USD for a 1DX, I am curious if any of you have found a good work around for the lack of Exposure control in Manual Mode on the 5D Mark III.  I've been reading up on Magic Lantern but don't see (at this point) a way to override and offer control of this feature.

This frustration comes when shooting Birds which are back lit.  Av mode is great when DOF control is needed which is almost always especially if a bird is at close range and positioned diagonal or any position other than horizontal.  Tv Mode is excellent of course if a bird is in flight or in motion so that you can determine the shutter speed yet both fall short of what each others' mode doesn't have yet they both offer Exposure compensation.  Manual Mode is therefore the best choice to get your DOF and Shutter selection however there's no control of Exposure Compensation for back lit subjects.  Evaluative Mode seems the best for metering especially when choosing AF Expansion Mode for in flight tracking.  Oddly, I've found that Exposure can be utilized in M mode if using bracketing but why take 3 shots to get one and add all those shutter counts to the camera?  I only shoot in RAW and can correct some of this in Light Room but then the image suffers from graininess when EV is at 0 in M mode.

Perhaps some of you may have your own techniques which I'd be very interested in learning.  Looking forward to any suggestions or thoughts on this and my searches here in the forum don't show much on previous threads regarding this issue.

Thanks in advance

9
Animal Kingdom / Re: First real attempt at taking some bird pictures
« on: March 10, 2014, 03:31:10 AM »
PS not intending to steal this thread, but here's a female Northern (red-shafted) Flicker.  Note the pale colors which are accurate as the male version is far more colorful and with more contrast.  One option that may also help is if your camera has a setting which is set to sRGB you may be able to change that to Adobe RGB.  if you use LightRoom or Photoshop, sustain this color template during post process which offers greater color depth than sRGB and it may offer further accuracy.  You can almost always set your monitor and printer up for the Adobe 1998 RGB color profile so that all match from camera to print.

Keep up the great work on your bird pics..very nice first attempt entry and parts of Texas are a real birding paradise.


Northern Flicker (female) Red-shafted Western by Revup67, on Flickr

10
Animal Kingdom / Re: First real attempt at taking some bird pictures
« on: March 10, 2014, 03:17:15 AM »
@Northstar - not sure I agree with the "little bit of punch" and certainly don't intend any disrespect but it appears the overall color and more notably the feathers have been altered with an unnatural purplish hue.  BirdseEye for the iPhone is currently housing over 100 of my images as well as the Mitch Waite group on their upcoming release of iBird Pro.  Bird accuracy and their display is paramount as they are reference points for the 1000's of birders using these apps as field guides (I realize that is not the case here but the OP is aiming for wildlife photography).  Many birds have similar overlaps such as the Townsend's Warbler, Hermit Warbler and the Black-throated Green Warbler.  Enhancing color or saturation as an example could easily portray an incorrect species.

The bird at hand in the first 3 photos is a Tufted Titmouse should that help any and can be researched further here:  http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/676/overview/Tufted_Titmouse.aspx (wish we had them here - we've only the Oak Titmouse (similar) and their call is excellent.

Personally, I enjoyed the Tufted Titmouse originals the way they are (display of accuracy and lighting is evenly balanced) and agree with the other poster on the Rebel as with most cropped sensors including the 7D image degradation sets in beyond ISO 800.

11
Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: March 10, 2014, 02:51:05 AM »
Here's a Northern-rough Winged Swallow with symmetrical reflection.  One of the most difficult birds I've ever photographed from an in flight / motion standpoint.  5D III users set your camera to AI servo with CASE 5 when tracking this erratic flyer (if unfamiliar most swallow/swifts will have same rule of thumb when in flight)


Northern-rough Winged Swallow (13326) by Revup67, on Flickr

12
Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: March 09, 2014, 03:57:25 AM »
Keeping the flow

here's a Vermilion Male and Female Flycatcher taken with the 500mm II and 1.4 III today 3.8.14 - both were seen together and most unlikely visitors for our county

Male

Vermilion Flycatcher (male) (13413) eBird Rarity by Revup67, on Flickr

Female

Vermilion Flycatcher (female) (13401) eBird Rarity by Revup67, on Flickr

13
Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: March 08, 2014, 03:56:51 AM »
Quote
I have a question for the 500+ guys - how many of you shoot bare glass (i.e. with no extenders?).  I was reviewing Art Morris' blog posts the other day and noticed that he almost always has an extender (usually the 2x!) on his 600mm.  I realize he has a style that requires close shots, but it mirrored my experience with the 800mm.  It just didn't seem long enough - or should I say it was too long for stuff that was close to mid-distance but not long enough for nesting eagles and such

500mm F4 IS II without extender 20% of the time
500mm F4 IS II with 1.4 extender 65% of the time
400mm F5.6 without extender 10% of the time
400mm F5.6 with extender 5% of the time

I've been in situations where the 500 with the 1.4 is simply too much.  if I've got the time and the bird is less likely to take off such as with the Turkey Vulture head shot I'll disengage the extender and shoot the 500mmm straight away.  The 400 is quite sharp about half the weight and great for longer distance hikes (entire day) though when attaching the 1.4 III you only get center AF points (5 to be exact - cross shaped) or single point.  On the 500mm all AF selections are available.

14
Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: March 04, 2014, 02:51:00 PM »
Quote
How do those of you hiking with the 500 handle it?

We're all different but I hand hold this 500mm IS II, 1.4 extender, 5D Mark III around my neck for about 3 hours with hiking included.  I alternate with right hand grabbing by the collar as if I was carrying a baseball bat to offer an example.  I sometimes put my my left hand under the hood and hold with right hand at collar or just carry upright with left hand on cone handle and right on camera grip.  The tripod and gimbal are in my opinion just unnecessary every second counts with shooting birds.  I won't lie, it's a bit cumbersome and sometimes you want that resting option in which this scenario does not offer.  I usually carry along a Samsung Note II to track birds and play calls if needed, sometimes binos and it does take some getting used too..somewhat of a juggling act.  Ultimately, you just know in the back of your head all the discomforts that this may bring on is reaped afterwards when viewing the end results.  It just doesn't disappoint.  I've a friend that uses the 300 2.8 and swears by it and its a great lens but I personally graduated from the 400 to the 500 as for smaller targets the 300 is simply a stretch and with birds you typically can't get close enough thus the extra focal range is needed.  Hope this helps.

15
Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: March 03, 2014, 01:35:02 PM »
@eml58 you wrote: 
Quote
But the 500f/4 II has almost as much versatility, lower entry price by a significant margin, and as you say, will get you out to 700 without reverting to the 2x converter, which I'm not enamoured of.

Your issue I would guess would be having the 500 & not having the 300, you will miss that f/2.8 a lot of the time, but if you could have both ??  Almost heaven.

Would agree with all you say though I have found at close range (MFD min. focal distance) with smaller birds that 2.8 (though offering more light) doesn't do much as the DOF disappears quickly.  Even with the 500 @ F4 I've noticed this.  That being said for birds at closer range, I typically up the F stop to 8 or more to capture more DOF from the crown to the tail.  I rarely use F4 unless my subject is off in the distance and I am needing more light. 

Sample at close range at F8 with 500 IS II and 1.4 III (wish I had chosen a smaller F stop such as F16 in this instance - diffraction considered) as the detail diminishes quickly as you may note. (no right or wrong here, just my opinion and lesser desire for wider apertures with wildlife at close range)


California Thrasher (12595) by Revup67, on Flickr

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