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Messages - revup67

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Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: March 04, 2014, 02:51:00 PM »
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.

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: March 03, 2014, 01:35:02 PM »
@eml58 you wrote: 
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

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: February 28, 2014, 08:30:08 PM »
@johnf3f - you are a brave soul to carry all that gear.   the 800 is one fine lens so a congrats back to you as well!  I think with shooter larger birds, the 600 was too much reach as I've cut off wings and other body parts on birds like Pelicans.  it is as you as portray a top notch lens for smaller birds.  if you have a link on flickr would like to see your work.

@Dylan - Bolsa Chica is fabulous isn't it?  Don't get up there as often as I would like but noted there is also a Flickr group dedicated to just Bolsa Chica.  I've been at the Pacific Coast Highway entrance and also the entrance off Bolsa Chica Street (prefer this entrance especially) to see the Northern Harrier's, White-tailed Kites, Osprey and other raptors.  Wonderful photo by the way.

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: February 26, 2014, 04:47:52 PM »
Thanks Carl and Neuro.

@Nancy wrote: 
Thanks for the review. Does the cone grip help you keep your elbow against your body? Yes, the description of your fitness is very pertinent. I too shoot with the 400mm f/5.6L hand held, which is like a toy lens compared with one of the f/4 or f/2.8 lenses. One of my concerns is not being able to hand hold the 600mm lens, and I am indeed working with dumbbells to increase arm and upper core strength. I am guessing that I am going to need to get to at least 15# in endurance style sets, but what do I know? At any rate, once I get to my desired fitness level,  I am going to rent first the 600mm and then if that's too heavy the 500mm.

Nancy - yes that cone does help either against the belly or free holding (ps don't by the camera grip by Cinevate.  Got that as a replacement / upgrade for the plastic one I have and had issues with it)  Try searching or even calling B and H for a camera grip 1/4" that threads into that lens foot.  I also wrapped the lens foot base with black foam that you see around A/C central air units piping. 
Thanks for agreeing on the fitness.  I shoot with a friend that opts not to workout and he does carry a tripod and gimbal around.  We're all different and find whatever works best for each of our needs.  I applaud your strategy and think that is an excellent way to go.  The hardest part of all this (I shoot almost exclusively birds) is juggling binoculars and a cell phone for bird ID and tracking along with the camera gear.  The Samsung Note II goes in the back pocket but when the need to log a species is evident (frequent of course) that juggling aspect of phone and camera gear can be a bit daunting.  I find I am best suited with the camera gear and phone only (no binos though I wish) as its simply overwhelming at that point.

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: February 25, 2014, 04:55:38 PM »
Hi Neuro - sorry for that long delay to your question - ultimately I chose the Canon 500mm F4 IS II.  The MTF charts showed slightly better than the 600 and also thought the 600 was too much reach to have as a constant focal length.  Grabbed the Canon 1.4 III tele for the extra reach when needed.

Got the 500mm for just under 8600.00 - new and from a Canon Authorized dealer vs. the 11,799 for the 600.  For 3k+ in savings it made a bit more sense.  With the savings I grabbed the 1.4 tele for $425 and a 600AW II trekker for about $150 and gave the balance to the wife :)

Here's a photo from a few days ago with the 500mm straight - no tele

"Coming To A Dinner Table Near You" - Turkey Vulture (Bust shot) (13171) by Revup67, on Flickr

Lenses / Re: EF 400mm f/5.6L IS on the Way?
« on: December 28, 2013, 03:21:50 AM »
I'm wondering why this post by the CR admin didn't rate this as a CR1, CR2, etc.

The current 400 f5.6 L is a great lens but it could use IS for sure.
Unfortunately the replacement rumor has been circulated since 2009 on the Internet and it is still just a rumor.

I couldn't agree more and also don't believe the 400mm 5.6 will disappear.  As an example, you can still get multiple versions of the 24-70 L lens.  The 400mm lens is inexpensive and razor sharp as it is.  I find that shooting 1/1600 with birds in flight is still simply not fast enough. IS will only offer improvements with IQ at 1/400 or slower.  For you birders out there waiting,  just get this incredible lens as you may be missing many great shots while you ponder.  This one taken at 1/5000 note the slight blur on rear wing of this Allen's Hummingbird.  I'm not sure how much better a newer 400 can get than this

Allen's Hummingbird in flight (9103) by Revup67, on Flickr

The Spot AF is ideal for macro focusing and ties in with Canon's Macro lenses such as the 100 2.8 II (and other 3rd party macro lenses I am sure).  This AF is not an everyday practical choice of AF and since you are shooting at a distance it would rule out the usage of Spot AF for macro.  Focal chose the Single AF point as its the optimum choice of Canon's AF choices for this application.


EOS Bodies - For Stills / Re: 5d mk III, the honeymoon is over
« on: December 23, 2013, 11:30:50 AM »
I know the irvine center.  I've met in person a few of the folks there and they are very fair.  I might suggest seeing if you qualify for CPS (Canon Professional Services).  20 points are needed and points are gotten by owning lenses and cameras.  I paid the $100 annual membership which gives you an far better replacement / upgraded camera strap, several lens caps and the ability to borrow lenses/cameras etc. for free. Canon pays shipping to you you pay shipping in return as well as a 20% discount off all repairs and up to 5 free 18 point inspections for one full year.

Once you register then send your camera in as the $100 goes a long way for one year.

here's the link:


Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: December 22, 2013, 11:28:17 PM »
Scott in FW - looks like a Cooper's Hawk..which are very similar to a Sharp-shinned except a few attributes such as a squared off tail which I'm unable to tell in this shot.  The Sharpie's have a black marking over the eye sometimes as well as their calls are higher in pith than a Cooper's.  That being said, I'd lean on a Cooper's.

Don - Love the Snowy Owl shots - truly excellent for the gear you had handy..most enjoyable

Dolina - nice work on the The Brown Shrike photo..the chest markings look most similar to that of a Nutmeg Mannikin (not native for us - Asian bird).  Here in the US we get only the Loggerhead (aka the Butcher Bird) and the Northern Shrikes.

Here's a male (red shaft) Northern Flicker shot here in southern Cal today at the tail end of dusk at 12,800 ISO with a 400mm and a 5D Mark 3 hand held

Northern Flicker (12256) by Revup67, on Flickr

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Canon 200-400/1.4x on sale at BuyDig
« on: December 21, 2013, 12:31:32 PM »
only thing I can think of is there was a promo code involved or perhaps you clicked a link from a non page and it brought you to their site with a referral tracker/cookie

Pricewatch Deals / Re: Canon 200-400/1.4x on sale at BuyDig
« on: December 20, 2013, 04:12:39 PM »
interesting, I just tried this and after entering my credit card did not see an additional $500 deduction.  Also note, as you walk through the process your are led to believe there is shipping costs.  Right before you proceed to process your credit card (being in California and they are on east coast), no shipping cost was added for standard shipment

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: December 16, 2013, 01:40:06 AM »
Thanks for the advice, I am in no way a serious birder!  I don't think the color is off on my image, though.  You kind of remind me of that birding movie with Steve Martin, that was insane haha!  I don't think I've ever been that obsessed with any of my hobbies before, and I got too obsessed with one or two of them in the past.

Birding is unique - its one of those things and it bores a log of people quickly.  I didn't know jack squat about 1.5 years ago.  That 400mm brought things into close perspective and got tired of saying this was a "blue bird" or a black colored bird.  4 hours at a time was too long to figure out what was in the image that's when a pursuit ensued to increase my knowledge base and fast.  PS that was a great movie a bit fictitious here and there such as that cabin scene in Alaska.  The location they name is not where it was filmed.  However the birds they are after all do exist.  Cheers..Rev

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: December 12, 2013, 11:31:57 PM »
Hi CarlTN

Ahh now the TN makes sense..thanks for that.

Great car, impressive that it got in a music video too!  I'm in Tennessee.  Here's one of my heron shots.  The colors aren't that far off I don't think.  This was just with a 50D and 135 f/2 + 2.0x TC ii, about 3 years ago.

Colors and Bird plumage can vary quite a bit.  Take a leucistic Yellow-rumped Warbler.  We've over a 100,000 currently but I shot one about a month ago that an expert so. cal field birder (pver 50 years experience) stated he's only seen 3 in 35 years.  My photos of the GBHE (great blue heron) are perhaps standard.  Yours may be unique and even a hybrid of another heron (doubtful but possible)..hard to say.  I've learned (takes much practice) one should consider time of year, regional location, breeding or non-breeding cycle, male or female, life cycle (meaning juvenile or adult which in some cases you can tell by primaries, secondaries ,coverts, etc) and other varying degrees of plumage in determining accuracy of a bird species/sub species.  Leucistic (albino like) may also be a factor in some cases.  In your image the bright daylight may have affected its natural colors as well. 

Happy birding!

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: December 12, 2013, 11:16:29 PM »
Dear Click, Orangutan and Krob78

Many thanks for the kind compliments and all you've stated.  You folks know how it is, when you enjoy something so much you put your entire heart and soul into it.

Best wishes for the holidays,


Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: December 08, 2013, 02:13:22 AM »
Here's a few taken with the 600mm IS II F4 on a 5D Mark III.  All shots hand held without color modifications


Two Cactus Wrens - note fruit juice (prickly pears from cactus) around their bill.  Their call is most unique and easy to ID as it sounds like a car having a tough time starting up on a cold morning.  Since 1931, they have been the Arizona State bird.  All shots taken in southern California.

Two Cactus Wrens (11878) by Revup67, on Flickr

"Ridin' The December Sky at 5:05" by Revup67, on Flickr

American Kestrel (11848) by Revup67, on Flickr

Townsend's Warbler (11679) by Revup67, on Flickr

Note rows of "narrowly" drilled holes and protruding sap which attracts insects as well as Rufous Hummingbirds (dependent on season and regional location).   The Sapsucker returns for its dinner (sap and insects) while they cling to the sap. 

Red-breasted Sapsucker (11710) by Revup67, on Flickr

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet (male) with its crowned raised.  The bird is next to impossible to find (though of Least Concern)..tiny and well camouflaged within the branches seeking aphids, caterpillars and the like.  The timing has to be precise as its crown is typically flattened and shows as sort of a red speck on its cap.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet (male) 11612 by Revup67, on Flickr

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