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BIRDS AS ART ON-LINE Bulletin #103 April 23, 2003

FIELD REPORT ON CANON EOS D10

PIXELS TO PRINT 

TANZANIA UPDATE 

CHICAGO BIRDS AS ART PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKEND

 
 
 
   Sandhill Crane, grown chick, Indian Lake Estates, FL 

    Canon EOS 10D, 100-400mm IS  L zoom lens, handheld.  

ISO 400. Evaluative Metering -1/3 stop = 1/200 sec. at f/9.5, pop-up flash at 0 

Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

The EOS 0 D and the 1-4 zoom yield a deadly 160-640mm handholdable lens...

FIELD REPORT: THE CANON EOS D10

Recently, thanks to the generosity of Hal Dupont of Vero Beach, I had the opportunity to field test a Canon EOS 10D.  The 10D is a less expensive, vastly improved version  of the D-60 with a better AF system (patterned along the lines of the 7 sensor AF of the Elan 7) and some other technical (but too-technical-for-me) improvements.  I used the 10D to photograph the Sandhill Cranes and their young near my home here in central Florida, and flying pelicans in Sarasota.  All in all I liked the 10D, especially the light weight, the familiar controls, and the pop-up flash, which I used when photographing the young cranes in lousy light.  The camera functioned perfectly.  The batteries recharged amazingly quickly.  Autofocus was quick and accurate when photographing the young cranes.   And all bird photographers will love the 1.6X multiplier effect and the 6+ megapixel files!  All of the images in this Bulletin were made with the borrowed 10D.
 
 

Brown Pelican, Sarasota, FL 

Canon EOS 10D, 500mm f/4L IS lens.  ISO 200

           Evaluative Metering off the sky +1/3 stop set manually:           1/3000 second at f/4

Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

1.6 X 500 mm = a deadly 800mm f/4 lens. In this difficult situation with the mangroves in the background the 10D not only held focus, but did so accurately.

.....

The 10D focuses to only to f/5.6 so you will get AF with the 1.4X TC and an f/4 lens (like the 300 F/4 L IS or the 500mm f/4 L IS). The 10D on the 500 IS with the 1.4X TC is a deadly combination, yielding an effective focal length of 1120 mm, or roughly 23X!  You will not, however, get autofocus with the 2X on an f/4 lens, or with the 1.4X mounted on an f/5.6 lens like the 400mm f/5.6L.  In these cases you will need to focus manually (and use a tripod). 
 
Many of the images that I made with the 10D that I borrowed exhibited a slight orangish cast. I am not sure if this was a result of using Auto White Balance or if it other 10D users have had similar experiences. In any case, the problem was easily corrected in Photoshop by adding about 3 points of cyan.  Autofocus accuracy with the flying pelicans was not as consistent as I had hoped it would be.  Many of the images were very sharp, but a few--all made with the 100-400 IS zoom lens--were noticeably soft on the bird's eye in instances where I was sure that I had nailed the focus.  Nearly all the flight images that I made with the 500mm f/4L IS lens were razor sharp on the eye.  
 
There is no doubt at all that dollar for dollar and ounce for ounce the Canon EOS 10D represents an incredible value for photographers just getting started in digital photography, for intermediate photographers who like to photograph birds and general nature and wildlife, and for advanced photographers looking for a great camera to back up their 1Ds or 1D bodies. 
 

              Laughing Gull in breeding plumage, Sarasota, FL 

Canon EOS 10D, 500mm f/4L IS lens. 1.4X II TC. ISO 200.

Evaluative Metering -2/3 stop set manually: 1/3000 second at f/5.6.
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

1120mm in effective focal length is something to open your mouth about!

 
PIXELS TO PRINT

When I received a question about digital cameras and print quality, I sent it off to my teaching assistant and digital expert Ellen Anon who was kind enough to provide the in-depth answers below.  Do note that Ellen will be joining me on the May 24-26 St. Augustine Alligator Farm IPT; there are two spots left on that tour.  


ST. AUGUSTINE ALLIGATOR FARM (FL)

MAY 24-26, 2003.  3-DAY IPT: $829  (Limit: 10)

NESTING GREAT, CATTLE, & SNOWY EGRETS (AND LITTLE BLUE HERONS) AT CLOSE RANGE AND AT OR BELOW EYE-LEVEL!  LEARN TO USE YOUR FLASH AS FILL AND AS MAIN LIGHT AND LEARN HOW TO AVOID CLUTTER IN YOUR COMPOSITIONS.

See the web site for additional details. 

Ellen is co-teaching several intermediate PhotoShop courses for Joe McDonald in the near future.  Click here for details:  http://www.hoothollow.com/DIGITAL%20-%20Intermediate%20Course.html 

Ellen, who is based in Erie, PA, also offers private Photoshop Instruction.  You can contact her at anonpsych@aol.com

Dear Bryan,

Art forwarded me your questions about equivalent print sizes.  Please be aware that there are no absolutes with these numbers and that various people in the field will give you slightly different responses.  First of all I am assuming that by 6 and 11 megapixel cameras you are referring to the Canon digital SLRs.  I clarify this because not all cameras having the same number of megapixels will yield images of the same quality because there are other factors involved inc. sensor type, noise reduction features, optical issues (with point and shoots, etc.  Assuming that you are asking about the 10D (or D60) and the 1DS, I would respond as follows.  With a high quality image from a D60 or 10D you can make excellent 13 X 19 prints and often quite satisfactory 16 X 20 or 16 X 24 inch prints. With the 1DS, you should be able to make 20 X 30 inch prints that rival prints made of the same size from medium format
cameras - again assuming a high quality image capture.  Perhaps you are aware that George Lepp has given up using his medium format cameras in favor of the 1DS.

(Note from Artie: Canon recently exhibited two 40X60 inch transparencies at PMA to show the incredible sharpness possible with the huge 1Ds files.   Featured were a cheetah and a Grey-crowned Crane, both made by me in Tanzania.)

As to what size imaging sensor - or number of megapixels - would be equivalent to 35mm film or any other format, the answer varies by whom you ask. Originally the numbers were quite high as I recall - but the problem with the original estimates was that they overlooked the advantages of digital capture. They were trying to assess how high the resolution of a scanned image had to be for a print made from the scanned image to rival a print made the traditional way at a particular size.  This does not translate into equivalent numbers for straight digital capture because scanned images are second generation and have noise, etc. introduced in the process.  Further, first generation digital captures can be enlarged to a greater percentage than second generation scanned images.  As indicated above, the 11 megapixel camera rivals output from a medium format camera - I know some who have made excellent 30 X 40 inch prints from it.  Certainly that is larger than most 35mm slides can successfully be enlarged.

Hope this helps.

Ellen Anon
SunBear Photography

Brown Pelican approaching nest, Sarasota, FL

Canon EOS 10D, 100-400mm IS L zoom lens, handheld. 

Evaluative Metering off blue sky set manually: 1/1500 second at f/5.6.
Image copyright 2003 Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

I work in manual mode so that the exposure is correct whether the bird is in the sky or in front of the mangroves.  Use manual mode whenever the background may change rapidly.

CHICAGO BIRDS AS ART PHOTOGRAPHY WEEKEND

Lots of folks have signed up already for the Saturday, July 12, 2003 "The Art of Bird Photography; It Ain't Just Birds" full-day seminar in Des Plaines, IL.   Because the Sunday In-The-Field Workshop to the Morton Arboretum sold out so quickly (there is already a waiting list), we have added two additional ITF-Workshops on the Monday and Tuesday following the seminar: July 14 and July 15th.

For details see: http://www.birdsasart.com/chicago.htm

TANZANIA PHOTO SAFARI UPDATE 

For the moment, the Tanzania Photo Safari is sold out, with 8 folks scheduled to join Toddi and I for the Africa trip of a lifetime.  We are attempting to secure two additional rooms at the incredible Ndutu lodge; if we are successful, there may be room for up to four additional photographers.  Please do let us know if you are interested.  For details, see: http://www.birdsasart.com/tanzania_photo_safari.htm
See also the photos in Bulletins 98 and 99 and the February 12, 2003 BAA notes; these can be  found in the Bulletin Archives here: http://www.birdsasart.com/bn.html
 

 



 

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