Birdsasart migrates to Nikon

Aug 16, 2012
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#1
Jack Douglas has alerted us to Art Morris switching to Nikon

“As many have surmised, I am — after 34 1/2 years of using Canon gear, after about 18 years as a Canon Explorer of Light (not many know that I was fired from that role about four years ago), and after 17 years of using Canon digital gear, switching to Nikon. If you do lots of flight photography, you should switch too. If not, I far prefer my Canon gear. Some of the AF stuff with Nikon — such as switching the AF patterns — is horrifically designed. But if you want sharp images of birds in flight then you should/will switch to Nikon. The funny thing is that I recently figured out — with help from Arash Hazeghi — how to make the most of the AF systems of my 5D Mark IV bodies and especially with my newly replaced EOS-1DX II. But for birds in flight Nikon is light years ahead. After 30 seconds of working with the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens and the blazingly fast professional digital camera body, the Nikon D5 DSLR camera body with dual XQD slots), I was pretty sure that I was gonna switch even before I saw the images. To make sure that I not was crazy, I had Patrick Sparkman try out the Nikon rig. After one bird flew by he said, “I am switching.””

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2018/01/23/this-just-in-internet-experts-state-that-the-nikon-200-500-1-4x-tc-14e-iii-d5-combo-is-not-sharp/

The new Nikon D850 and D500 are awesome. The problem is having a hand-held telephoto to go with them. Art, however, goes overboard in praise of the Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6. I took a keen interest in the 200-500mm and have read dozens of reviews. The consensus is that the lens is tack sharp close up but softer at long distances and it is slow focusing. It’s on a par with the old Tamron 150-600mm. You can read comments on Art’s blog about the distance fall off of sharpness and the focusing.speed.

A really in-depth review that sums up the consensus is in https://photographylife.com/nikon-200-500mm-vs-tamron-150-600mm-vs-sigma-150-600mm-c

“Niki is razor sharp at 500 mm and near minimum focusing distance. “…“At infinity, it’s another story altogether with Niki showing noticeable softness, especially in the corners at all focal lengths but more so at longer focal lengths.”
“When it comes to sharpness, Sigi had good center sharpness from near to far and through the range of focal lengths. Corners are noticeably soft in long distance shots at all focal lengths."

“Of the three lenses I feel Tami has the best balance of near to far and corner-to-corner sharpness at all focal lengths.”
“When it comes to AF speed, Tami and Sigi are both quick and in the field I can’t distinguish a difference when they are focusing on a static subject. Racking focus from 10 feet to infinity takes the same amount of time. Niki is noticeably slower than both Tami and Sigi. I give Tami the slight edge over Niki in AF performance on static subjects just because Tami is a bit faster.”


Other reviewers also recommend the Tamron over the Nikkor. And the new G2 Tamron is an improvement over the old 150-600mm.

I am not migrating to Nikon if the best lens available is a Tamron 150-600mm or its near-equivalent! My 400mm f/4 DO II has blazingly fast and accurate focus on the 5DIV, as well as being tack sharp corner to corner, and has given me consistently good birds in flight photos. If Nikkor could bring out a similar lens, then maybe I would consider it. By that time, however, Canon should have leapfrogged Nikon. In any case, for shots in good light, the Canon lenses on the 5DSR are difficult to beat for IQ.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
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203
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#2
AlanF said:
Jack Douglas has alerted us to Art Morris switching to Nikon

“As many have surmised, I am — after 34 1/2 years of using Canon gear, after about 18 years as a Canon Explorer of Light (not many know that I was fired from that role about four years ago), and after 17 years of using Canon digital gear, switching to Nikon. If you do lots of flight photography, you should switch too. If not, I far prefer my Canon gear. Some of the AF stuff with Nikon — such as switching the AF patterns — is horrifically designed. But if you want sharp images of birds in flight then you should/will switch to Nikon. The funny thing is that I recently figured out — with help from Arash Hazeghi — how to make the most of the AF systems of my 5D Mark IV bodies and especially with my newly replaced EOS-1DX II. But for birds in flight Nikon is light years ahead. After 30 seconds of working with the Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR lens and the blazingly fast professional digital camera body, the Nikon D5 DSLR camera body with dual XQD slots), I was pretty sure that I was gonna switch even before I saw the images. To make sure that I not was crazy, I had Patrick Sparkman try out the Nikon rig. After one bird flew by he said, “I am switching.””

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/2018/01/23/this-just-in-internet-experts-state-that-the-nikon-200-500-1-4x-tc-14e-iii-d5-combo-is-not-sharp/

The new Nikon D850 and D500 are awesome. The problem is having a hand-held telephoto to go with them. Art, however, goes overboard in praise of the Nikkor 200-500mm f/5.6. I took a keen interest in the 200-500mm and have read dozens of reviews. The consensus is that the lens is tack sharp close up but softer at long distances and it is slow focusing. It’s on a par with the old Tamron 150-600mm. You can read comments on Art’s blog about the distance fall off of sharpness and the focusing.speed.

A really in-depth review that sums up the consensus is in https://photographylife.com/nikon-200-500mm-vs-tamron-150-600mm-vs-sigma-150-600mm-c

“Niki is razor sharp at 500 mm and near minimum focusing distance. “…“At infinity, it’s another story altogether with Niki showing noticeable softness, especially in the corners at all focal lengths but more so at longer focal lengths.”
“When it comes to sharpness, Sigi had good center sharpness from near to far and through the range of focal lengths. Corners are noticeably soft in long distance shots at all focal lengths."

“Of the three lenses I feel Tami has the best balance of near to far and corner-to-corner sharpness at all focal lengths.”
“When it comes to AF speed, Tami and Sigi are both quick and in the field I can’t distinguish a difference when they are focusing on a static subject. Racking focus from 10 feet to infinity takes the same amount of time. Niki is noticeably slower than both Tami and Sigi. I give Tami the slight edge over Niki in AF performance on static subjects just because Tami is a bit faster.”


Other reviewers also recommend the Tamron over the Nikkor. And the new G2 Tamron is an improvement over the old 150-600mm.

I am not migrating to Nikon if the best lens available is a Tamron 150-600mm or its near-equivalent! My 400mm f/4 DO II has blazingly fast and accurate focus on the 5DIV, as well as being tack sharp corner to corner, and has given me consistently good birds in flight photos. If Nikkor could bring out a similar lens, then maybe I would consider it. By that time, however, Canon should have leapfrogged Nikon. In any case, for shots in good light, the Canon lenses on the 5DSR are difficult to beat for IQ.
Just sounds like bitter click-bate to me. He Gott fired and now he wants to stick it to 'the man'. Funny how when he was paid by them he had nothing but praise for each and every model that came out. I wouldn't be surprised to find he has an 'agreement' with Nikon soon...
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
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#4
Canon had a clear out of Explorers a while ago, they kept most of them but dropped half a dozen or so and got a newer fresher half a dozen. I don't like most of the new group but they included Gregory Heisler, who is probably one of the greatest portrait photographers alive, so they do have some good taste and I can forgive them the 'social media' derived others.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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privatebydesign said:
He Gott fired and now he wants to stick it to 'the man'.......
Is "He Gott" a typo for the German "Herr Gott", the supreme being? If so, Art has definitely gone to the dark side. That would be so much so much more interesting than a typo for "He got".
 
#6
I think it is simplistic to write it off as sour grapes.

He was not happy with the 1DX series because of the oil and dust splatter problems and I believe wrote about sending several bodies back to address the problem, without much success. That is a legitimate complaint that Canon really should address (yes, I know, Nikon has had problems as well, but Nikon seems to have taken the concerns more seriously, in part because they had a much bigger problem.) He liked the 5D IV, though, which does not seem to share the problem.

As much as I like Canon, I have read enough reviews to know that many people prefer the Nikon autofocus system. I certainly find the Canon autofocus system less than stellar. Some people say it is just a matter of knowing how to use it, but I would note that many sports professionals who are Canon users, admit they tend to use single point autofocus most of the time. No autofocus system is perfect and I certainly hope Canon continues to work on improving their autofocus.

There are always professionals switching systems. Scott Kelby switched from Nikon to Canon a few years back.

Usually, when a high profile professional switches people like to find some ulterior motive. But, really, these people are courted by all the camera manufacturers and if they decide to switch, it's usually because they have found something they like about the new brand. Instead of us trying to come up with excuses and rationales, it is more productive to listen to what they have to say and determine whether or not we think they have some valid points.

I tend to think he has some valid points. I'm a Canon fan, but I appreciate it when a professional compares the brands, finds something he or she likes and then shares it with us. It can only make Canon a better brand.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
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203
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#7
Nikon didn't take the problem more seriously, they denied there was an issue at all until they were banned from selling the D600 in China.
 
Aug 16, 2012
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#8
He has written some more today in http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/ of his break with Canon. To reiterate, what surprises me is his raving enthusiasm for a lens that is not first class according to many reviewers and has to be stopped down at 500mm to f/11, which might be OK for the low Mpx D5 but will be well over DLA for a D850 or a D500. He is a wonderful bird photographer who is justly famous for his bird portraits. He is not known for birds in flight. I wonder if his protege Arash Hazeghi who is brilliant at BIF will switch to Nikon?
 
Oct 26, 2013
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#9
Oh how funny! The typical total forum overreaction! He's angry ...he's a mercanary... Good grief.

Perhaps you all missed this sentence from the OP's post:

"If you do lots of flight photography, you should switch too. If not, I far prefer my Canon gear."

Gee, he likes Nikon better for one specific type of photography. That happens to be what he does, so he is switching. But for everything else, he prefers Canon. Sounds pretty logical, simple and straightforward, but I guess that is too confusing for internet forum dwellers.
 

LDS

EOS 80D
Sep 14, 2012
1,396
45
#10
Is this important? I really don't follow salesmen, or "influencers", as they are called today.

Do you say something interesting about techniques, etc.? Welcome. Do you try to sell me products or services? No, thanks, goodbye.

Never felt the need to be reassured about my choices, or the need of feeling I own the "best".

Unluckily it looks "influencers" work, and companies are trying to use them more and more. Just look at how the Lightroom product manager likes to boast on LinkedIn how he used them effectively to boost sales.
 
Jun 25, 2012
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7
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#11
He got fed up with Canon dicking him around on the oil splatter problems with the 1DX Mark II. He and I have been in contact about it for weeks, and collected files from over 30 different units to send to Canon. Canon just kept stalling and ignoring the issue, or claimed there was no issue.

This is his response. I, unfortunately, can’t afford to make such a large switch. I won’t ever buy another 1D from Canon, though.
 
#12
AlanF said:
He has written some more today in http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/ of his break with Canon.
His post seems very reasonable and honest to me. People should really read it before jumping to conclusions.

AlanF said:
To reiterate, what surprises me is his raving enthusiasm for a lens that is not first class according to many reviewers...
I think it goes to show that the ability to capture and hold focus trumps absolute sharpness.

LDS said:
Is this important? I really don't follow salesmen, or "influencers", as they are called today...
I would not characterize Morris as a salesman -- at least not in the sense that he sells equipment. As far as I can tell he makes his living selling his images and conducting workshops. To be fair, the workshop route is pretty much how a lot of photographers make a living today, given the collapse of print journalism.


dak723 said:
Oh how funny! The typical total forum overreaction! He's angry ...he's a mercanary... Good grief.
To be fair, it is only a few individuals who are trashing him.
 
Jul 28, 2015
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#13
privatebydesign said:
Just sounds like bitter click-bate to me. He Gott fired and now he wants to stick it to 'the man'. Funny how when he was paid by them he had nothing but praise for each and every model that came out. I wouldn't be surprised to find he has an 'agreement' with Nikon soon...
If you read the trail of posts on the forum he lost his role as Explorer of Light 4 years ago so IMO it seems odd he waits this long to 'stick it to the man'.
He is also quite clear that his interest has moved to more birds in flight and finds the Nikon superior on maintaining AF as he tracks the subject against complex backgrounds - something I have heard from a few people. Art is also clear that if it were not for birds in flight he would have no reason to change.

make of that what you will but it all sounds reasonable to me.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,696
261
Alberta, Canada
#14
unfocused, is correct. Artie is a decent fellow who happens to make money through photography so you'd expect some of what he delivers. I can only guess on why the relationship with Canon deteriorated. In a recent interaction with Artie I suggested some very nice features of the 1DX2 relative to AF modes such as the different programming of the two back buttons etc. It was obvious to me (IOW my opinion) that he felt it was just fine to keep doing what works for him (primarily shutter focus). Of course, to each his own, I was only trying to be helpful. I believe that all of us as we age tend to tire of learning all the new-fangled features when we already have something that we think works just fine. I had to sweat with the manual of the 1DX2 for about a month before I felt I'd mastered the AF reasonably well.

So my guess would be that Explorers of Light need to be younger and fully engaged in the latest technology and perhaps Artie didn't fit that profile (anymore). Of course he may fully disagree with my guess and he would know better than me. At any rate, it doesn't seem to me that Canon was very considerate in their dealings but again how can I accurately judge.

dak723, I don't know exactly what you're trying to achieve. I think the Nikon AF is fast and accurate from what I hear and for a novice seems to be very well tuned and in that regard probably better than Canon at this point in time. From your comments one would think Nikon has been ahead for many years - not true and furthermore companies tend to sea-saw back and forth in being the best. It would be stupid to be switching brands constantly, so most of us do the best we can with what we've got, which is very good cameras from Canon and other companies.

Jack
 
Jul 28, 2015
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293
#15
AlanF said:
He has written some more today in http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/ of his break with Canon. To reiterate, what surprises me is his raving enthusiasm for a lens that is not first class according to many reviewers and has to be stopped down at 500mm to f/11, which might be OK for the low Mpx D5 but will be well over DLA for a D850 or a D500. He is a wonderful bird photographer who is justly famous for his bird portraits. He is not known for birds in flight. I wonder if his protege Arash Hazeghi who is brilliant at BIF will switch to Nikon?
Arash thinks highly of Nikon AF but has not been impressed with with their long telephotos, especially with teleconverters attached (something a lot of Nikon users seem to agree with).
Art is quite realistic and says he accepts Nikon will present frustrations in the future so we shall see.
 

Don Haines

posting cat pictures on the internet since 1986
Jun 4, 2012
7,515
619
Canada
#16
So what?

He has very specific requirements and picked the best body/lens combo for him......

I would hope that any of us would do the same.....
 
Jul 28, 2015
3,104
293
#17
dak723 said:
Gee, he likes Nikon better for one specific type of photography. That happens to be what he does...
Quite the opposite. He said until very recently that his main is bird behaviour and was not particularly interested in BIF but will grab it while he can. Whether that was because of the size of the 1Dx/2 I don't know, but he also said the 1Dx was too heavy for him at his age yet here he is with the D5...
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,696
261
Alberta, Canada
#18
Don Haines said:
So what?

He has very specific requirements and picked the best body/lens combo for him......

I would hope that any of us would do the same.....
Of course that's true but perhaps you don't regularly read the glowing comments designed to promote Canon that were obviously tied to a kind of loyalty that he even alludes to. It's not unlike some of us saying that some reviewers are influenced by the perks they receive and not truly unbiased. Artie has my blessing, he works exceedingly hard, is very helpful and has a great life in photography.

Jack
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
5,696
261
Alberta, Canada
#19
Mikehit said:
dak723 said:
Gee, he likes Nikon better for one specific type of photography. That happens to be what he does...
Quite the opposite. He said until very recently that his main is bird behaviour and was not particularly interested in BIF but will grab it while he can. Whether that was because of the size of the 1Dx/2 I don't know, but he also said the 1Dx was too heavy for him at his age yet here he is with the D5...
Probably he just had one of those teenage moments. His move is not going to harm him and he may be forever happy with the decision but he's acknowledging that there are negatives and positives as we all know. He had been sticking with Canon due to an allegiance, which soured, so maybe this switch was long overdue.

Jack
 

Don Haines

posting cat pictures on the internet since 1986
Jun 4, 2012
7,515
619
Canada
#20
Jack Douglas said:
Don Haines said:
So what?

He has very specific requirements and picked the best body/lens combo for him......

I would hope that any of us would do the same.....
Of course that's true but perhaps you don't regularly read the glowing comments designed to promote Canon that were obviously tied to a kind of loyalty that he even alludes to. It's not unlike some of us saying that some reviewers are influenced by the perks they receive and not truly unbiased. Artie has my blessing, he works exceedingly hard, is very helpful and has a great life in photography.

Jack
From what I gathered, he was happy with canon until his needs changed..... so he went with a change that overall fit his new requirements better, and even doing so, mentions the pluses and minuses of the switch.

I find that refreshing..... loyalty is good, but not blind loyalty.....

For many of us, it really does not matter if we shoot Canon, Nikon, Sony, or Olympus..... all are good and produce fine images in skilled hands. For some of us, with very specific demands and trying to push as far as they can go, specific gear allows them to push to the next level. He is obviously in that rare category.....