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Old Thursday 3rd May 2012, 23:24   #26
apbarr
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Originally Posted by kennethwfd View Post
OK let's go back to the OP. I like the eye contact and the bird's shadow caught on its wing. Sharpness & composition The only thing I would do is not crop so tight - give the bird space to fly into.
Thanks for your comments, you're right about the cropping which isn't my usual style.
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Old Friday 4th May 2012, 13:17   #27
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This thread seems to have drifted several miles off topic, particularly since the orriginal photograph was taken using a Nikon camera
Apologies Alex. Was quite carried away there for a moment

It is really a very nice shot, sharp with good detail - even in shadow under the wings, noise under control and as has been said the water droplets add a nice touch.
Also as has been said maybe next time a little more space for the bird to 'fly into', but you are well aware of that already.

That combination seems to be working well for you.
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Old Friday 4th May 2012, 19:32   #28
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Kenneth, that's very interesting.

Apbarr, I apologize for the thread no longer focusing on your original post, or on Nikon in general. Is it really that much of a bother to you, though? I'm learning new things here, and I didn't realize we had to adhere to your wishes, per se.

However, I do believe much of my time in this thread has discussed my Voigtlander lens, which is in NIKON mount...

If you had told us at the outset, that you only wanted to hear from Nikon camera fanboys, perhaps we wouldn't have felt as much freedom to contribute as we did. But then, you're using a Sigma lens, so perhaps you're not enough of a Nikon fanboy for your own thread?
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Old Thursday 10th May 2012, 08:18   #29
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i did the same as apbarr ,but switched last year from canon to a nikon d7000 ,initially i was only going to use it as a back up but found myself using it more and more ,the only problem with nikon is a lack of cheap good lenses such as the canon 400 f5.6 L ,i struggled for a while with a sigma 150-500os ,but it was heavy and although good images they lacked oomph ,i decided to change to a nikon 300mm F4 afs ,and this has changed the whole ball game ,its cheap (around a grand) very lightweight ,portable and works extremely well with nikon t/c's i.e. the 1.4 and 1.7 giving effective focal lengths of 300mm,420mm and 500mm and turning out very sharp pics to .
now to the camera i fell totally in love with the d7000 its so versatile and the options imho leave canon way way behind ,and though canon may have a replacement planned for the 7d i am sure that a d7100 is also waiting in the wings
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Old Thursday 10th May 2012, 21:32   #30
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The Black Fox, I like some of your bird shots. I agree on the lack of affordable Nikon lenses. The latest versions of many of Canon's super-telephotos, however, are even less reasonably priced than Nikon's have been. If I had to buy any Nikon lens right now, within a reasonable price range (i.e. under $1500), I would buy the 28-300. According to the tests available online, it does look like a fantastic lens value, and is optically superior to all competitors. And for me, if I bought a Nikon body, the first lens I would buy would be a "do it all" wide range zoom.

When comparing the lens alone, I do question why you think the Nikon 300 f/4 is superior to Canon's. I notice the Nikon is $1370 on Amazon right now. However, the Canon has image stabilization at a slightly LOWER price point, at $1360. Its price might even fall more, since there are some rumors about an update or replacement in the near future.

The only advantage I see to the Nikon over the Canon 300mm f/4, is the ability to use Nikon's 1.7x teleconverter. Canon needs to make one of these. In this case the development problem is similar to the f/4 zoom. Canon has been deliberately late to the party, where Nikon has had its 200-400 f/4 for about a decade. If or when Canon's zoom does come out, it will cost radically more than Nikon's, but also be a bit better.

But, are you saying your D7000 can autofocus with the 300 f/4 and 1.7x combo? This combination makes a roughly 510mm f/6.8 lens. If your camera can't autofocus this combination, then I don't see much advantage to using it. My own bias leans more toward using AF for wildlife. If it actually can autofocus this combo, then I can understand the advantage a bit more.

As for the Canon 400 f/5.6L, it's a great lens for what it is. I rented and enjoyed one about a month ago. According to the rumors I last read (haven't had a chance to check lately), this lens will supposedly be phased out when the replacement for the 100-400 L zoom goes on sale. I'm not sure why they want to quit producing the 400 f/5.6, other than they must think the market prefers a zoom lens with IS, and doesn't mind paying handsomely (i.e., more than twice the price) for it.

In using the 400 f/5.6, I was able to achieve fast autofocus in extremely late twilight conditions, and the AF was always accurate. The only disadvantage was the need to use high ISO, and obviously the lack of IS.

Given Canon's new pricing structure, I am guessing the version 2 of the 100-400 will cost about $400 more than the previous version...which in my opinion affects its value, regardless of any improvement in IQ.

As for your D7000 being better than a 7D, which you seem to imply, I am curious in what ways (other than slightly better noise performance) it is better? I don't own a 7D, and I actually don't like the feel of its buttons and dials compared to my own slightly older Canon body. However, I liked the feel of the D7000 even less.

I wouldn't necessarily count on a future "D7100" being able to trounce handily, whatever Canon offers, whenever that happens. However, if crop bodies follow the trends of most of the full frame bodies this year, they might keep the same, or go down in MP count, rather than increase it. For bird photography via crop cameras, this is a disadvantage, because of lower pixel density. You're just not able to make use of the resolution of whatever telephoto lens you happen to be using, if you step down from 16MP to 14, or from 18 to 16...better noise or not. You're using a crop body to take advantage of the smaller pixels when mounted on a telephoto lens in the first place. If you need to shoot at dusk, you either live with the higher noise and deal with it in post, or use a full frame body and live with the less detail (via the same lens).

For instance, I feel many of the great telephoto and super telephoto lenses, could easily resolve a 30 to 60 megapixel crop sensor, if not higher. So given count alone (and the noise performance rivals or exceeds that of the Nikon D7000), the Sony sensor kind of beats the pants off both Canon and Nikon right now, and has done so for nearly a year. Going to Sony as a system is an entirely separate issue though, of course...and in my opinion, not an easy choice at all.

I freely admit Canon has dropped the ball in the case of crop bodies, and obviously decided to focus on full frame development. They put crop sensors on the back burner for going on 2 years later than they should have (the 7D is a mid 2009 camera). Will this lack of emphasis on crop sensor "pro sumer" cameras continue? Time will tell. By the way, the 60D was an extremely bad idea, in my opinion, but I know it has its fans.

As of right now, the 7D replacement will be my next crop camera purchase. I admit having a personal bias toward Canon as a company. But oddly enough, the Nikon D800 intrigues me more than the 5D3. So at this time I am purchasing neither, and bought binoculars instead.

Last edited by CarlTN : Thursday 10th May 2012 at 21:55.
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Old Friday 11th May 2012, 20:36   #31
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But, are you saying your D7000 can autofocus with the 300 f/4 and 1.7x combo? This combination makes a roughly 510mm f/6.8 lens. If your camera can't autofocus this combination, then I don't see much advantage to using it. My own bias leans more toward using AF for wildlife. If it actually can autofocus this combo, then I can understand the advantage a bit more.
Pic attached using this combo which autofocuses very well. 1/500th sec, ISO 5600, f6.7
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Old Monday 14th May 2012, 23:05   #32
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Interesting, I had no idea the D7000 could AF at aperture smaller than f/5.6 (most Canon bodies won't, as you probably know). So yes, I'll concede that one advantage to your D7000 for sure.

That picture has nice focus, although that particular bird isn't very pretty to me, to look at. I suppose its mother still loves it!

The noise looks low for ISO 5600. I assume you shot it as a NEF file? Where did the NR take place, if any? I know Nikon is fond of using a bit of NR in their RAW processing which can never be bypassed (nor do they even admit doing it at all)...but your image here looks like they're getting better at it (assuming you didn't edit with NR in post...which you could have, I don't know).

Let me ask you this. Will that lens combo work in servo AF mode at all? Do you notice the AF speed being slowed any, when compared to using the lens without the teleconverter?
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Old Tuesday 15th May 2012, 15:26   #33
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Yes it was shot in RAW format and I carried out my usual editing in Photoshop including sharpening and NR. Had a quick look at the original .nef file and noise is fairly low on that as well.
I always use servo mode for AF. Never used the bare lens as yet but I would think it will AF quicker than with the converter. I'll be in the Algarve next week and will see how the lens performs in better light and post a couple of pics for critique.
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Old Tuesday 15th May 2012, 22:13   #34
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I look forward to seeing them. Yes I could tell by the fine grain that you hadn't used much NR in Photoshop. Do you mostly perform NR in Adobe Camera Raw, or do you do it in the full Photoshop, after converting to a TIFF file or whatever? I really prefer Camera Raw, even though the full Photoshop has more gadgets to tinker with. Tiff file conversion...to me...adds a bit of lossy looking grain, similar to what jpeg conversion does...at least with my RAW CR2 files.

I have to admit the D7000 is obviously miles ahead of my older Canon, and as you know it's also quite a bit better, noise wise, than the 7D. Of course the 7D is a 2009 camera, and mine is a 2008.

Out of curiousity, have you ever tried any third party NR software (perhaps in the past, since you don't need much with the D7000), or perhaps scaling software (such as the formerly known "genuine fractals")?

It's a shame (I assume that) your Nikon 1.7x TC can't work with your Sigma 300 f/2.8...because that would be a fantastic combination.

Last edited by CarlTN : Tuesday 15th May 2012 at 22:18.
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Old Saturday 19th May 2012, 15:47   #35
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The Algarve holiday has been cancelled unfortunately due to me being ill this week. I tend to carry out most of my sharpening in Camera Raw and NR in Photoshop, I've used other software in the past but am happy with my current setup.
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Old Monday 21st May 2012, 21:38   #36
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Sorry to hear that!
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Old Tuesday 22nd May 2012, 23:27   #37
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Sorry to hear that!
Thanks, severe viral gastroentiritis which is clearing now but has left me a bit knackered for a few days. Hopefully it will be covered by our travel insurance and we can go later in the year.
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