Birdsasart migrates to Nikon

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
Jul 21, 2010
23,995
1,214
docsmith said:
Now, I am just hoping that Ari responds to the Fredmiranda thread. Something happened between August and January and I am real curious as to what it was.
I am doubtful that 'better pictures' are part of the true rationale.
 

Mikehit

EOS 5D MK IV
Jul 28, 2015
3,163
337
docsmith said:
Ok...while most of this discussion has focused on Art, I've been wondering why Ari switched. That quote (and the picture if you follow the link below), this is just plain weird. Just a few months ago, he was talking based on experience that Canon was the same or better. If you read above, he also makes this quote "Usually switching systems (either side) is a waste of money and will not make you a better photographer."

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1505565/1#14155767

I actually came back to post on this to talk about lens/body combinations. If Ari was after the "Top 5%" then I have to think Canon having the 400 DO II, which he seemed to love, would be a distinct advantage.

Now, I am just hoping that Ari responds to the Fredmiranda thread. Something happened between August and January and I am real curious as to what it was.
Yep it is looking weird.
He has said in the past that his interest in raptors is driven as much by the technology and if it was not for the quality and technology invested in these cameras he would probably have found another hobby. So either he has learnt how to use the Nikon in specific circumstances and get the best from it, or he has gone back on his previous comments about enjoying using the best technology for the job.
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,877
1,209
Canada
neuroanatomist said:
docsmith said:
Now, I am just hoping that Ari responds to the Fredmiranda thread. Something happened between August and January and I am real curious as to what it was.
I am doubtful that 'better pictures' are part of the true rationale.
If he was after better pictures, he would give up on birds and concentrate on kittens in boxes..... or if he really wanted a challenge, to take a sharp picture of bigfoot!
 

tron

EOS 5D SR
Nov 8, 2011
3,854
193
AlanF said:
Arbitrage has just dug this up on the fredmiranda site. Arash Hazeghi posted on April 24
"Hi,

I did not find the combination of the Nikon D5 with the 600FL to give more keepers than the Canon 1DXII and 600II. It is important to realize that with any camera, Nikon or Canon, if you let the camera decide and choose one of the entire AF array the AF will latch to the BG when photographing challenging BIF against any kind of varied BG, so the "3D tracking" in Nikon is just as useless as "iTR" in Canon and I don't expect any such system to work for the type of photos I like to take. The most productive method for photographing BIF is to use the center AF expansion for either camera so that it is forced to focus where you want it to focus.


Initially the D5 seemed to hold focus better when the bird was changing direction but upon close inspection on my computer, many of those shots were not what I'd call tack sharp compared to my Canon files, they were slightly soft which makes it unacceptable to me. I also found that the Nikon couldn't quite keep up with the bird coming at you at high speed where as the 1DXII would often nail at least a couple of those shots (e.g. below).

The Nilkon system falls apart quickly when you throw in a TC, whereas the Canon system does not care if a TC is attached, many if not most of my photographs are taken with a TC. So as a bird photographer, if I were to start today, I would again choose Canon without thinking twice but I will always keep my options open, if Nikon get's the job done better I have no problem buying an entire Nikon system, but they are still far from there IMO.

"
Good discovery Alan. Finally some hard proof that verifies the obvious many of us mentioned.
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,045
314
Vancouver, BC
@tron, AlanF - I agree. Good find, Alan.

Though not remotely close to his skill level, the high number of photos that look great in on the little screen but are inexplicably "slightly soft" on the PC is what I experienced with a Sony A7RII + G-Master 100-400, and why I ultimately never bought one. Keep in mind that at the time, I was comparing it to 80D with Sigma 150-600 on bird portraits.

I seriously considered it at one point -- not to replace my Canon, but just because there had been so much talk of them. I wisely borrowed one first, spent a whole day with it, and then decided that it wasn't for me, though I would certainly place plenty of blame on operator error. Ultimately, I bought a 100-400LII and a 6DII instead, and I certainly don't regret that choice. The only reason I didn't buy a 5D4 was the lack of the flippy screen, which I need for some non-bird stuff.


Don Haines said:
neuroanatomist said:
docsmith said:
Now, I am just hoping that Ari responds to the Fredmiranda thread. Something happened between August and January and I am real curious as to what it was.
I am doubtful that 'better pictures' are part of the true rationale.
If he was after better pictures, he would give up on birds and concentrate on kittens in boxes..... or if he really wanted a challenge, to take a sharp picture of bigfoot!
Pfft. Bigfoot is overrated. Loch Ness. Or Ogopogo! Then he can crank those shadows in LR 8)

My cat, at 10 years of age, still jumps into any box or stiff bag on the ground. It's like some kind of Pavlovian response. Box: Can I fit into it? :D
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
7,381
384
119
Talys said:
ethanz said:
Talys said:
Oh, one other thing, though this could be purely my product ignorance. Does Nikon even have a wireless (radio) flash system yet, like Canon's RT? It did not, the last time I checked. The Nikon Commander, using infrared is HORRIBLE compared to RT. For starters, it won't work if you stick a flash in an umbrella-style softbox, like a Westcott Apollo, and those are the fastest to set up (and smallest when taken down) large softboxes. And secondly, it isn't compatible with third party strobes, at all (ie you can't mix a strobe with 2 Nikon flashes and control it remotely with Nikon Commander).
I believe with the D5 you can control multiple SB flashes remotely right in the menu system of the camera.
Yes, that's the Nikon Commander system -- but it uses infrared, right? 2.4Ghz is a zillion times superior, since you don't need line of sight. Not only is it more reliable, but it actually works, when the flash is inside a softbox or otherwise completely obscured (like behind a subject, or 12 feet up and behind a 70 inch softbox.
Nikon have a radio flash system, the SB5000, it costs $600 a flash. Some of the camera bodies can fit a dongle, the WR-R10, that enables wireless control from the menu (as all RT enabled Canon cameras can) it costs $110 and needs an adapter that cost $60. No Nikon cameras have the radio chip included.
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,045
314
Vancouver, BC
privatebydesign said:
Nikon have a radio flash system, the SB5000, it costs $600 a flash. Some of the camera bodies can fit a dongle, the WR-R10, that enables wireless control from the menu (as all RT enabled Canon cameras can) it costs $110 and needs an adapter that cost $60. No Nikon cameras have the radio chip included.
Hmm. So, if I read the stuff correctly, you need to buy 1 transmitter (WR-T10) for the camera, and 1 receiver (The WR-R10) for EACH flash, which is not just $100 per flash, but also something that sticks out of each speedlight (which must be a SB-5000).

That sounds crazy. Even if they don't put the chip in the camera, why on earth wouldn't the put the receiver inside the $600 flash? Or, at least, make a $700 version with the chip built in (talk about easy money). Or, if you're going to force someone to plug a piece into the flash, ffs, just make it attach to the hotshoe and make it usable for any flash (perhaps with limited HSS support).
 

Don Haines

Beware of cats with laser eyes!
Jun 4, 2012
7,877
1,209
Canada
Talys said:
@tron, AlanF - I agree. Good find, Alan.

Though not remotely close to his skill level, the high number of photos that look great in on the little screen but are inexplicably "slightly soft" on the PC is what I experienced with a Sony A7RII + G-Master 100-400, and why I ultimately never bought one. Keep in mind that at the time, I was comparing it to 80D with Sigma 150-600 on bird portraits.

I seriously considered it at one point -- not to replace my Canon, but just because there had been so much talk of them. I wisely borrowed one first, spent a whole day with it, and then decided that it wasn't for me, though I would certainly place plenty of blame on operator error. Ultimately, I bought a 100-400LII and a 6DII instead, and I certainly don't regret that choice. The only reason I didn't buy a 5D4 was the lack of the flippy screen, which I need for some non-bird stuff.


Don Haines said:
neuroanatomist said:
docsmith said:
Now, I am just hoping that Ari responds to the Fredmiranda thread. Something happened between August and January and I am real curious as to what it was.
I am doubtful that 'better pictures' are part of the true rationale.
If he was after better pictures, he would give up on birds and concentrate on kittens in boxes..... or if he really wanted a challenge, to take a sharp picture of bigfoot!
Pfft. Bigfoot is overrated. Loch Ness. Or Ogopogo! Then he can crank those shadows in LR 8)

My cat, at 10 years of age, still jumps into any box or stiff bag on the ground. It's like some kind of Pavlovian response. Box: Can I fit into it? :D
 

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privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
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Talys said:
privatebydesign said:
Nikon have a radio flash system, the SB5000, it costs $600 a flash. Some of the camera bodies can fit a dongle, the WR-R10, that enables wireless control from the menu (as all RT enabled Canon cameras can) it costs $110 and needs an adapter that cost $60. No Nikon cameras have the radio chip included.
Hmm. So, if I read the stuff correctly, you need to buy 1 transmitter (WR-T10) for the camera, and 1 receiver (The WR-R10) for EACH flash, which is not just $100 per flash, but also something that sticks out of each speedlight (which must be a SB-5000).

That sounds crazy. Even if they don't put the chip in the camera, why on earth wouldn't the put the receiver inside the $600 flash? Or, at least, make a $700 version with the chip built in (talk about easy money). Or, if you're going to force someone to plug a piece into the flash, ffs, just make it attach to the hotshoe and make it usable for any flash (perhaps with limited HSS support).
No the SB-5000 is a direct comparison to the 600-EX-RT II, it has radio triggering and control internally.

The dongle goes on the camera body, it is, effectively, just a radio chip. You only need one WR-R10 per setup as it goes on the body, it replicates the ST-E3-RT but doesn't have any buttons or menus, Nikon went a different direction and use the camera menu only for the radio control.

The WR-T10 is a stand alone remote control from which you can trigger the camera, it is just a wireless trigger, you don't need one at all unless you want remote triggering of the camera.
 

Talys

Canon 6DII
Feb 16, 2017
2,045
314
Vancouver, BC
@Don - your cat looks very puzzled LOL.

privatebydesign said:
No the SB-5000 is a direct comparison to the 600-EX-RT II, it has radio triggering and control internally.

The dongle goes on the camera body, it is, effectively, just a radio chip. You only need one WR-R10 per setup as it goes on the body, it replicates the ST-E3-RT but doesn't have any buttons or menus, Nikon went a different direction and use the camera menu only for the radio control.

The WR-T10 is a stand alone remote control from which you can trigger the camera, it is just a wireless trigger, you don't need one at all unless you want remote triggering of the camera.
Ahh, okay. Well, that makes a lot more sense. The buttons and screen on the E3-RT are super useful, but I suppose I could live with it in the camera. Thank you for enlightening me!
 
I assumed there would be a comparable thread on NikonRumors but surprisingly I could not find one. There is a 14 page (at this point) thread on FredMiranda (which I think someone linked above). I read the first six pages and it is less emotional than this thread and far more focused on actual camera settings than on Art Morris himself. However more than one person who has used both systems side by side for birds in flight say the Nikon does track better or is easier to use. So I think there may be something to it. Birds in flight is not something I regularly pursue and I far prefer the overall feel and intuitiveness of my Canon. However it seems likely that if you specialize in birds in flight that Nikon may indeed be the better option.
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
989
146
Davidson, NC
Just a general, and I hope not too impertinent a question comes to mind.

An online friend of many decades' duration is a photographer in Rhode Island. I recall that some years ago he said folks in his camera club would give him grief if his pictures of flying birds did not have even the tips of the wings razor sharp. I see some of you on this thread are referring to using flash.

Is this characteristic of the overall BIF community? I've not taken time to go through the many pages of BIF on this board. I have seen some lovely shots that look like birds soaring, riding wind currents, but no sense that their wings have ever moved. Are there photographers who like to take pictures that look like birds are actually flying, or is that considered gauche or a poor use of modern technology or something?
 

Orangutan

EOR R
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
3
privatebydesign said:
Orangutan said:
My success rate with close-in swallows is less than 1%, maybe I should buy expensive Nikon gear to crank it way up to 2%. :)

Just curious: not having used top-end gear, I've always assumed they were "about equal," and it all came down to skill. Has he not gone out with Arash for lessons? Has Arash not handed him a pre-configured body and said "ok, do this..."?
If my success rate went for 1% to 2% I'd be increasing my success rate by 100%, so I'd consider that a very reasonable reason to swap.
I'd consider it "in the statistical noise." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_change_and_difference

I found using others settings just doesn't work for me yet I can achieve similar hit rates with my camera set up differently just because f the way my brain/button coordination works. Setting up AF for that final few percent of success is a time consuming and laborious process, it is work to get it right and there is limited value in others settings.
Fair enough; however, when I see other people getting shots with gear that's equal or less than mine, my first assumption is that I should up my skills. OK, he did make some noises about it being partly his own skill, but...? ? ?


I find great variances in my ability to keep up with the action and so I find a case setting that works one day won't work another. For that reason I have abandoned case settings and have the three AF variables set up on a custom menu like Grant Atkinson recommends in his various AF guides on YouTube.
Thanks for the tip, I'll look at those videos some time.
 

ethanz

1DX II
Apr 12, 2016
951
205
ethanzentz.com
stevelee said:
Just a general, and I hope not too impertinent a question comes to mind.

An online friend of many decades' duration is a photographer in Rhode Island. I recall that some years ago he said folks in his camera club would give him grief if his pictures of flying birds did not have even the tips of the wings razor sharp. I see some of you on this thread are referring to using flash.

Is this characteristic of the overall BIF community? I've not taken time to go through the many pages of BIF on this board. I have seen some lovely shots that look like birds soaring, riding wind currents, but no sense that their wings have ever moved. Are there photographers who like to take pictures that look like birds are actually flying, or is that considered gauche or a poor use of modern technology or something?
Yes, many people do get anal about the wing tips being sharp and not blurred.
 

privatebydesign

Would you take advice from a cartoons stuffed toy?
Jan 29, 2011
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384
119
Orangutan said:
privatebydesign said:
Orangutan said:
My success rate with close-in swallows is less than 1%, maybe I should buy expensive Nikon gear to crank it way up to 2%. :)

Just curious: not having used top-end gear, I've always assumed they were "about equal," and it all came down to skill. Has he not gone out with Arash for lessons? Has Arash not handed him a pre-configured body and said "ok, do this..."?
If my success rate went for 1% to 2% I'd be increasing my success rate by 100%, so I'd consider that a very reasonable reason to swap.
I'd consider it "in the statistical noise." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relative_change_and_difference

I found using others settings just doesn't work for me yet I can achieve similar hit rates with my camera set up differently just because f the way my brain/button coordination works. Setting up AF for that final few percent of success is a time consuming and laborious process, it is work to get it right and there is limited value in others settings.
Fair enough; however, when I see other people getting shots with gear that's equal or less than mine, my first assumption is that I should up my skills. OK, he did make some noises about it being partly his own skill, but...? ? ?


I find great variances in my ability to keep up with the action and so I find a case setting that works one day won't work another. For that reason I have abandoned case settings and have the three AF variables set up on a custom menu like Grant Atkinson recommends in his various AF guides on YouTube.
Thanks for the tip, I'll look at those videos some time.
First point, the 1%-2% comment, was a touch tongue in cheek, but it did point out relative improvement. As a real life example if I go to a rookery and shoot 1,000 images, if 1% are critically sharp, well composed, have the light just right, the background just right, the wing position just right etc etc then I get 10 keepers/portfolio possibles, if I double that I get 20. That is a meaningful improvement.

Don't get me wrong, nothing beats observation and an understanding of your subjects and your gear, and yes with more practice, subject observation and gear familiarity we would all be better, further, with the customization we now have for our gear it takes time and familiarity to dial that in for optimal results in any given shooting situation. There is a very good reason Nat Geo and BBC wildlife shooters are given the time to get the shots they do.

As for the videos, it's just another way of doing things, it will work for some and not for others. Here is the link for the relevant aspect that I found a game changer in dealing with case settings (or not!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp8sHvGArgg . But it is just personal preference, just like BBF, I, personally, can't get on with it, missed far too many shots without engaging the AF with my thumb and I end up with cramps in it, I do like the far less popular back button AF off. But it took me several weeks of frustration and missed shots on non critical shoots to establish that single button feature!
 

Orangutan

EOR R
Sep 25, 2010
2,140
3
stevelee said:
Are there photographers who like to take pictures that look like birds are actually flying, or is that considered gauche or a poor use of modern technology or something?
I'm a rank amateur, but enjoy both the art and the technical challenge of BIF. I much prefer the suggestion of movement, or intent, that gives life to photos of living things. I'm not fond of motionless photos of living taxidermy.
 

stevelee

FT-QL
Jul 6, 2017
989
146
Davidson, NC
Orangutan said:
I'm not fond of motionless photos of living taxidermy.
That's the way a lot of the pictures look to me. I've not been inspired to take up the challenges of photographing flying birds, since I don't have a conception of what I want the pictures to look like.
 

AlanF

5DSR
Aug 16, 2012
4,869
1,524
neuroanatomist said:
docsmith said:
Now, I am just hoping that Ari responds to the Fredmiranda thread. Something happened between August and January and I am real curious as to what it was.
I am doubtful that 'better pictures' are part of the true rationale.
He came in to the Fred Miranda forum to attack those who had criticised Art Morris but hasn't returned to answer Arbitrage's question of why he has done such an about face from the August post or what lenses he would use to replace his favoured 400mm DO II.
 

Jester74

EOS T7i
Nov 29, 2014
50
28
I may be wrong or misunderstand this guy, but it seems to me that he is looking for a magical ability in camera bodies to focus where he thinks and track the subject flawlessly while taking high resolution photos at 10 fps with a huge dynamic range. And find the right exposure of the picture element which he will crop in post. I am personally highly sceptical that this will ever happen, but who knows? NORAD tracks Santa every year...:D
And as an influencer he is doing his job with his switch. Influence...:)