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Listing of Archived Bulletins

BIRDS AS ART BULLETIN #6

CONVERSATIONS WITH CHRIS: CANON IS LENSES


> >>Hello there fellow photographers,
> >>
> >>Hope that you are all having fun and making some great natural history
> >>images. Even of birds! (Especially of birds!)
> >
> >Bulletin subscriber Frank McHugh pointed out that I should have
> >stated in each bulletin containing reviews of Canon photographic equipment
> >that I am a Canon contract photographer. He is correct; I incorrectly
> >assumed that most folks would know I am a Canon contract photographer as
> >this information is clearly stated in all of my photography-related books
> >and in all Biographical Sketches. None-the-less, I strive to be completely
> >honest in my evaluation of all camera bodies and lenses. Readers with an
> >open mind will have noted that on many occasions I have praised Nikon and
> >criticized Canon when such praise or criticism was--in my opinion--merited.
> >All future BIRDS AS ART Bulletins will contain the following notice:
> Arthur
> >Morris, one of the original Explorers of Light, has been a Canon contract
> >photographer since 1994 and continues in that role today.
> >>
> >>Here is more of my continuing conversation with Nikon-shooter Chris
> >>Gomersall from the UK: >
> >>>
> >> Hi Chris,
> >>>
> >>> Hope that all is well with you. All here at BIRDS AS ART (at Bosque
> Del
> >>> Apache NWR in NM) is still wonderful.
> >>>
> >>> > Re:
> >>> >> >
> >>> > >Oh dear, I fear I'm about to see my comments published again in an
> >>> imminent
> >>> > >birdsasart bulletin.
> >>>
> >>> Good thinking. Here they are:
> >>>
> >>> I guess I've only myself to blame for rising to the
> >>> > >bait in the first place, but I might just take more care in future to
> >>> label
> >>> > >any not-intended-for-publication messages to you as PRIVATE in the
> >>> subject
> >>> > >heading.
> >>>
> >>> I don't understand why anyone would say something on line about
> >>> photography equipment to me but would not want anyone else to know their
> >>thoughts. I comment on tons of stuff on line and every word and argument
> >>must be
> >>> thought out in advance as the whole world gets to take a shot at me (and
> >>at
> >>> others who post their thoughts). In a similar vein, I have--several
> >>> times--commented on or corrected (negative) items that others have
> >written
> >>> about me. In every case, the perpetrator's defense was always, "But I
> >>never
> >>> thought that you'd read it." Duh.
> >>> > >
> >>>
> >>> Clearly I must have less than half a
> >>> > >brain for not explaining myself properly, but the point I was trying
> >to
> >>> > make
> >>> > >was that, in my opinion, IS not a feature that will help you with
> >>> action
> >>> > >photography.
> >>>
> >>> I have already proven to myself that it will--flight shooting with
> 1200mm
> >>> focal length is just one example.
> >>> > >
> >>> > >For the record, I do admire your photography.
> >>>
> >>> Thank you; that is good to know.
> >>>
> >>> > > >
> >>> > >It does cross my mind that there might be a certain amount of
> mischief
> >>> > >making going on here,
> >>>
> >>> I love mischief.
> >>>
> >>> and that just perhaps you are deliberately
> >>> > >misinterpreting me to make for a more controversial bulletin?
> >>>
> >>> Not misinterpreting, but setting the hook on the fish that took the
> >>bait????
> >>> > >
> >>> > >> I just found out that even the vaunted F-5 performs very poorly
> with
> >>AFI
> >>> > >> lenses. A client had rented a 600mm AFI, and the camera struggled
> >to
> >>> > attain
> >>> > >> and maintain AF. I was shocked by the poor performance.
> >>> > >
> >>> > >I think it's acknowledged all round that the Nikon AFI lenses were
> >>never
> >>> a match for Canon USM in terms of autofocus speed. Certainly I never
> >>> bothered to own one.
> >>>
> >>> It was news and a shock to me.
> >>>
> >>> But the more recent AFS technology lenses are altogether a
> >>> > >different proposition, and most independent observers would rate them
> >>as
> >>> at least as fast as the Canon equivalent.
> >>>
> >>> Absolutely, with the OLD Canon super-telephotos as the Canon
> equivalents.
> >>I
> >>> have often stated the Nikon 500 and 600 AFS lenses were as good as the
> >>(old)
> >>> Canon lenses in terms of AF performance.
> >>>
> >>> The new Canon IS lenses are, however, the fastest focusing telephotos
> in
> >>> the world. AF performance with the 600IS/2X TC combination is amazingly
> >>good, and flight shooting is a snap. As we both know, this is NOT THE
> >>CASE with the Nikon 600mm and the 2X (where AF acquisition is slow at
> best,
> >>and nowhere near fast enough for most flight shooting).>
> >>>
> >>> Hey ho, probably not for long.
> >>> Not for a second (with the introduction of the Canon IS telephotos).
> >>>
> >>> >
> >>> > >If I might just sum up my main arguments in response to your original
> >>> > >posting:
> >>> > >
> >>> > >1) Image stabilization sounds like a great new technological advance,
> >>and
> >>> > >good luck to everybody who uses it.
> >>>
> >>> Thanks. I need continued good luck.
> >>>
> >>> Probably I will too, ultimately. But
> >>> > >it's still only one of many features which need to be considered when
> >>> > >purchasing a new outfit for bird photography.
> >>>
> >>> Absolutely.
> >>>
> >>> I hope that my remarks may
> >>> > >have given heart to any Nikon/Minolta/Pentad/Contax users who should
> >>not
> >>> > >need to feel in any way inferior for not owning Canon IS.
> >>>
> >>> As I have said repeatedly, good photographers can make good images with
> >>any
> >>> equipment. But, Nikon/Minolta/Pentax/Contax users need to realize that
> >>> there are images that they simply cannot make without IS lenses.
> >>>
> >>> And despite your
> >>> > >claim that everybody in the USA owns the latest super-telephotos, it
> >>> simply
> >>> > >isn't a viable option for MOST people to switch brands in order to
> >keep
> >>> > pace
> >>> > >with every new bell and whistle.
> >>>
> >>> Not everybody here owns big lenses, but there are many hundreds
> >>(probably thousands) of hobbyists with 500 and 600mm Nikon & Canon AF
> >>lenses.
> >>> Furthermore, switching systems is not as big a (financial) deal as most
> >>> folks think. Nikon (as well as Canon) equipment has remarkable resale
> >value and, in addition, often one
> >>> (fairly lightweight but sharp) Canon zoom lens can replace several
> >(relatively heavy)
> >>> Nikon lenses, thus saving the system-switchers big bucks in that they
> >need
> >>to buy
> >>> fewer lenses. Consider the 28-135 IS lens and the 100-400mm IS zooms
> for
> >>> example; how many Nikon lenses are needed to cover those focal
> >>> lengths???? And I have not even mentioned that Nikon does not offer a
> >>> single lightweight, hand-holdable autofocus lens (up to modern standards
> >>of
> >>> autofocus acquisition and performance), while Canon offers four.
> >>> > >
> >>> > >2) How about a bit less manufacturer's marketing hype?
> >>>
> >>> Nothing that I have said in this or any posting has been manufacturer's
> >>> hype. All of my remarks are based on personal experience in the field
> >and
> >>at the light box. Please let me know which of my statements you consider
> >to be "manufacturer's hype." Thanks.
> >>> > >
> >>> > >I suppose it's too much to hope that this mailing might be reproduced
> >>in
> >>> > >full?
> >>>
> >>> I'd be glad to run it in full, both here with my comments, and below in
> >its entirety. (Readers should note that Chris makes several additional
> >points in his e-mail (see below) to which I have chosen not to respond.)
> >>> > >
> >>> > >Supporters and detractors are welcome to mail me at the address
> below.
> >>> > >
> >>> > >Yours as ever
> >>> > >
> >>> > >Chris
> >>> > >
> >>> > >Chris Gomersall
> >>> > >"chris@c-gomersall.demon.co.uk"
> >>>
> >>> Best,
> >>>
> >>> Artie
> >>
> >>Here, as requested, are Chris' unexpurgated comments:
> >>
> >>Dear Arthur,
> >>
> >>Oh dear, I fear I'm about to see my comments published again in an
> imminent
> >>birdsasart bulletin. I guess I've only myself to blame for rising to the
> >>bait in the first place, but I might just take more care in future to
> label
> >>any not-intended-for-publication messages to you as PRIVATE in the subject
> >>heading.
> >>
> >>> Anyone with half a brain would make such an assumption.
> >>
> >>Come on Art, I was NOT knocking your work. I can only reiterate that it
> was
> >>never my intention to criticize or cause offence, and I apologize if my
> >>comments were taken the wrong way. Clearly I must have less than half a
> >>brain for not explaining myself properly, but the point I was trying to
> >make
> >>was that, in my opinion, IS is not a feature that will help you with
> action
> >>photography.
> >>
> >>For the record, I do admire your photography. You may recall that we met
> at
> >>the Natural History Museum in London in 1997 when you were receiving your
> >>much deserved award in the BG Wildlife Photographer of the Year
> competition
> >>- a fine photograph of snow geese at Bosque del Apache, taken without the
> >>aid of image stabilization.
> >>
> >>It does cross my mind that there might be a certain amount of mischief
> >>making going on here, and that just perhaps you are deliberately
> >>misinterpreting me to make for a more controversial bulletin?
> >>
> >>> Just found out that even the vaunted F-5 performs very poorly with AFI
> >>> lenses. A client had rented a 600mm AFI, and the camera struggled to
> >>attain
> >>> and maintain AF. I was shocked by the poor performance.
> >>
> >>I think it's acknowledged all round that the Nikon AFI lenses were never a
> >>match for Canon USM in terms of autofocus speed. Certainly I never
> bothered
> >>to own one. But the more recent AFS technology lenses are altogether a
> >>different proposition, and most independent observers would rate them as
> at
> >>least as fast as the Canon equivalent. Hey ho, probably not for long.
> >>
> >>If I might just sum up my main arguments in response to your original
> >>posting:
> >>
> >>1) Image stabilization sounds like a great new technological advance, and
> >>good luck to everybody who uses it. Probably I will too, ultimately. But
> >>it's still only one of many features which need to be considered when
> >>purchasing a new outfit for bird photography. I hope that my remarks may
> >>have given heart to any Nikon/Minolta/Pentax/Contax users who should not
> >>need to feel in any way inferior for not owning Canon IS. And despite your
> >>claim that everybody in the USA owns the latest supertelephotos, it simply
> >>isn't a viable option for MOST people to switch brands in order to keep
> >pace
> >>with every new bell and whistle.
> >>
> >>2) How about a bit more mutual respect, and a bit less manufacturer's
> >>marketing hype?
> >>
> >>I suppose it's too much to hope that this mailing might be reproduced in
> >>full?
> >>
> >>Supporters and detractors are welcome to mail me at the address below.
> >>
> >>Yours as ever
> >>
> >>Chris
> >>
> >>Chris Gomersall
> >>"chris@c-gomersall.demon.co.uk"

Listing of Archived Bulletins



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