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Messages - revup67

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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:  http://cps.usa.canon.com/


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 buydig.com 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

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: December 08, 2013, 01:44:09 AM »

you wrote:
I have tried a 500mm but find it a bit short, even the 600 needs to be close to minimum focus distance if you like to fill the frame with smaller birds. Where I go birding the 500 F4 is probably the most sought after lens, probably due to it's lighter weight and price though those that have tried my 800 hate me! Especially when they learn what it cost.
My 800 is normally on a Gitzo/Wimberley setup though it is OK on a mono pod and can be handheld (for short periods) if necessary. If hand holding then keepers start from a shutter speed of 1/125th or faster - it has 4 stop IS. Some say it is too big and too specialized -  I disagree, I even store my camera on this lens as it is by far the lens I use most!

John, that's most encouraging with that 800mm.  Perhaps its one I should not overlook and weight is the same as I do enjoy small bird photos (warblers, sparrows, etc.)..thanks

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: December 08, 2013, 01:41:36 AM »
Hello Carl

Btw, does your name refer to a '67 muscle car or something?
  You are perceptive.  To clarify, the moniker comes from an 80s psychobilly band called the Revillos (aka Rezillos) a track called "Revup" and indeed I had a 1967 GTO for 24 years (ragtop) and the car is featured in an MTV video with Samantha Fox called "Naughty Girls Need Love Too" (youtube) or go here for images:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/51683260@N05/4849678607/#in/photolist-8oxSup-8oxSwD and http://www.flickr.com/photos/revup67/4849678737/#in/photolist-8oxSup-8oxSwD/

Thanks for the offer on editing.  Been doing photo editing since 1992 when I got one of the first scanner by Umax.  $1200 at the time.  Currently using Lightroom 5, Photoshop and ACDSee.  I try not to alter any colors with birding images especially for newbies who can get easily confused on a Bird ID with overly saturated shots

With birding its not so much the subject such as a Great Blue Heron - they are ubiquitous.  But its more of the capture itself such as this one: 
"Hung Out To Dry, then Eaten" Great Blue Heron with Ground Squirrel by Revup67, on Flickr[/img] and this one
Great Blue Heron with Squirrel In Flight (Pt. 2) by Revup67, on Flickr .  A savage scene for sure.

Thanks for all the kind words..feel free to drop me a note with your images / links.  PS when you say there are no birds here..where is here?

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: December 04, 2013, 04:00:18 AM »
Hello CarlTN

I have not purchased the 600mm F4 IS II, only borrowed from Canon at this point still undecided.  So many great things of course but a few concerns. 

yes, indeed.  All of those shots (as marked 600) were in fact shot with that lens all here in southern Cal.  Coming off a 400mm 5.6 made it a slightly easier transition in knowing the camera well and bird behavior, their habitats, etc.  I will confess, I barely had to do much in Light Room 5, literally.  Extremely impressed with the combo's (5D M3 and 600) efficiency and accuracy in acquiring such an accurate image.  The first day or two was touch and go until I had culled enough time to get a better handle on what I could have been doing better for then I was home free.

I have contributed about 125 images to a birding app for the iPhone called BirdsEye soon to be released for the Android.  Have not sold anything as of yet but have licensed a variety of images (some birds some not) to PBS TV, this birding app and a few conservancy and park groups across the US.

Agreed on that IS 1 and the non-IS is even heavier.  The upgrade in my opinion is worth it (used non IS and IS 1 versions) as I know some that won't even carry their lenses around anymore due to the weight and balancing issues.

Geez, I didn't mean to come across that way on the physical / gym part.  I should go back and rewrite. My bad.  My point was there's hope for many of those who are considering this lens and also for those that have been hauling around the older versions that an upgrade may be worth considering.  Many of us enjoy hiking for hours on end and some new comers may have a fear this lens is too big.  That was my initial fear prior to getting the lens (that it would prohibit lengthy hikes to great birding areas) and now that I've done it, its more do able than imagined.  Personally, adding a tripod, gimbal and all those extras (for me) are too limiting and burdensome.  Complete freedom of swinging a lens around in any direction with balance and stability is the ultimate.  I felt quite close to this (if not exactly) to using this lens, handheld.  Thanks for the words and reply.


Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM
« on: December 04, 2013, 12:10:12 AM »

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: December 03, 2013, 11:59:45 PM »
Mr. Bean..you'll have a blast with it.  A few other things I think I failed to mention:  unless you are in the sheer solitude-wilderness, walking around in public will cause lots of attention.  In a single day I got everything from a seedy looking character asking "how much was that lens"?.  I replied with "no clue.  I borrowed it".  He said:  "At least $5000 right?"  I said:  "far less a few things aren't working on the lens" and he then left me alone.  Another woman bystander paused and said "Wow, what a big [pause]..lens!".  Then a guy in his mid 70s wouldn't leave me alone for 20 minutes asking about magnification, etc. hence a few shots were missed...uggh. Another person said: "wow, what a big camera" <get it, camera [duh]. A nice looking woman said: "That's a huge lens, you gotta be strong to carry that thing around" [chuckle].  And finally, I heard a few birds yell "Paparazzi!" and they were gone.  :)

Lenses / Re: Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: December 03, 2013, 08:33:01 PM »
Interesting in that you wound up with the 800mm 5.6 as in my local birding community most bird photographers wound up acquiring the 500mm.  And I would agree the 13k seems a bit over the top.  Are you hand holding that 800mm lens or using a tripod/gimbal combo?

Congrats on the 1DX as well.

Lenses / Birding 11 Days with the 600mm
« on: December 03, 2013, 05:37:25 PM »
Before considering a purchase of this lens, it was highly recommended to obtain a rental or loaner.  I joined the CPS program, paid the annual fee and requested the 600mm as a loaner.  The time period was from its arrival on 11-22-13 to 12-3-13.

My intent was to man handle this lens without use of a tripod or monopod for the entire duration on a Canon 5D Mark III.  This would include 1-4 hour segments most every day including hiking on dirt trails, paved trails and the like.

I found one key trick to this whole process and that was to use a 3/8" male threaded cone shaped handle that would screw into the lens foot. (see attached photo).  Along with the lens strap and camera strap, this was going to be my sole means of trekking with this lens.  (I'm a 54 year old male, about 175 lbs. and workout approx. 2x a week for the past 13 years).  I've only offered this info for no other reason other than to help formulate what it might take "should you desire to carry this lens hand held" vs. using a tripod with Gimbal or monopod.  Let's put it another way, weight and cardio training will be to your advantage.  Some of us out there would not buy such a lens if it is going to require anymore than carrying a lens and camera body though I know many that wouldn't consider it any other way than have a tripod/monpod and gimbal.  A close friend of mine carries around a 1D IV and a 500mm on a Gitzo tripod with a high end gimbal head.  I thought that was far too cumbersome for my personal taste so opted to hand hold the entire time.  Again, that's just me and just trying to offer some confidence for those of you used to carrying around a 100-400 or a 400mm prime..this is solely the point here and potentially do able but testing this scenario first is recommended.

If you've not seen the lens in person, it extends with the lens hood about 28" with camera body total was close to 31".

Overall, I had excellent success (about 95% wild birding shots).  I found that by using F4 was a disadvantage as when focusing on the birds eye especially at close range the DOF is wafer thin.  So shooting at 1/1000 or higher in Tv mode and letting the camera select the Av was not a good choice.  I reverted to Manual,  F8 most of the time with a shutter of 1/1000 or higher and saw a significant improvement on my birding photos.  If you are not familiar with the DOF calculator online, this would be wise to look into especially in using this type of lens.

In using the 5D Mark III my choices outside of the shutter and aperture were of course AI Servo, Case 2  tracking, Faithful, Evaluative and Auto ISO.  On the lens itself, I was mostly on Mode 1 (sometimes Mode 2 when tracking birds in flight), IS was "on" (though I am aware of using IS beyond 1/640 shutter.  I did try with IS off and noticed my hit rate went down quite a bit as to be expected.

I noticed "this lens" was quite slow "initially" finding a bird in flight.  More specifically, a bird in flight against the skyline.  I am unsure if this was my particular loaner or a possible camera choice.  In either case, outside of this skyline issue, the focus was extremely fast and the drain on the battery was minimal.  On average about 33% battery drain per day.  I did encounter yesterday a lockup on the camera with a flashing "A" in my view finder.  A simple reboot cleared this and I went on with my shoot.  In calling Canon, they had not heard of this flashing "A" but are going to check the 5D this afternoon.

All in all, its quite impressive as you would imagine and if you have your eyes and wallet set on this, I would strongly recommend renting or acquiring a loaner first.  Buying this sight unseen (for those that have never used a lens of this magnitude prior) may not be a wise choice as I wish to emphasize it's very cumbersome.  For those of you coming off a NON IS version or Version 1 you'll notice a big improvement in weight distribution.  its truly well balanced in that respect.

I hope this write up will help anyone out there considering the 600mm IS II lens.  If you're interested in seeing some birding photos and similar with this lens my flickr account is:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/revup67/with/11185308965/.  Thanks for reading.


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