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micpic

Rusty Blackbird

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I've now graduated to the monopod and it seems to help alot. Some Rusty Blackbirds allowed me to shoot a few images of them close enough that makes me wonder if I am ready for an upgrade from the 20D that I use.

This image is cropped 100% but no editing was done.

SS 1/640 AV5.6 ISO 400 @400mm White Balance Shade.

I thought if I got a new camera, it would be better to practice with it before the spring migration comes through.

Your opinions appreciated and remember, I'm thick skinned.

Mic

2988751171_2c7b00d775_o.jpg

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mic, that's a sweet behavioral shot for sure!

As for upgrading the camera body, what body are you looking at buying, and also tell us your lens lineup.

Upgrading from the 20D to the 30D or 40D won't get you much, as IQ between 20D and 30D is identical, and the 40D had only a couple more Mp and no better image quality. An upgrade to the 50D would be a big upgrade, however.

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Steve, thanks for the imfo. I'm looking at the 50D

as far a for lens, the only one that I have that is IS is the 100-400. I only shoot wildlife so that lens works pretty good for me, however I'm also looking into a fixed lens in the future to use in my blind. Does this sound like I'm on the right track?

Mic

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Sounds like you've gotten it figured out pretty good, mic. The 50D looks great, and since wildlife is what you're after, the added telephoto reach by staying with the 1.6 crop sensor is a wise move.

Are you looking at replacing the 100-400 with a prime, or adding a prime to the arsenal?

When you'll be shooting from your blind, what type of shooting are you talking about? Birds on perches, big game? Shooting from a blind, most likely on a tripod, makes IS a little less of an advantage, and the 400 f5.6L is a the sharpest affordable supertele prime Canon makes. With a minimum focus distance of about 11 feet it won't allow you to get as close to perched birds as the MFD of six feet of the 100-400, but extension tubes will allow the 400 to focus much closer than 11 feet. Because of the excellent noise performance on the 50D, the max aperture of the f5.6 won't be as much of an issue, either, because if it's a fairly dark day you can just bump up iso.

I guess I'm assuming you don't want to shell out the big bucks for a 300 f2.8 or 400 f4 or f2.8, so one other option is the 300 f4 with 1.4 TC. But that combo has the same max aperture of the 400 and slightly worse IQ with the TC, and the one reason some opt for that (flexibility by having 300mm w/o the TC and 420mm with the TC) is moot, because in the 100-400 you have the ultimate in flexibility already. Unless you're planning to get rid of the 100-400, in which case the 300 f4/TC makes some sense.

And there are lots of options for fixed focal length lenses, so what kind of blind shooting are you looking at?

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Ok, Steve it's going to take me a little while to digest all the imfo you gave me, but I think we are getting closer on what type equipment I need.

As for the fixed lens, I was thinking about the 200mm range since I do get very close to my subjects in my blind.

Mic

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Mic, if you're thinking of adding a 200mm prime, you might shuffle the whole deck.

Time to bend your mind a little more. gringrin

You could pick up a 70-200 f2.8L, 1.4 TC and a 400 f5.6L and sell the 100-400. The 70-200 zoom (with TC as needed for extra oomph) gives you flexibility and a fast aperture, and the 400 f5.6 gives you the sharpest supertele images you'll ever get for $1,100. And as stated, with the 50D on an f5.6 lens, you can push up the iso a bit over your 20D and still get great IQ and a faster shutter speed.

Since you'll likely not get much for a used 20D, you could keep the 70-200 on the 20D and the 400 f5.6 on the 50D. What a bang for the buck that would be.

In fact, having shot all the Canon supertele primes up to and including 600mm, my take is that there are two that seem slightly sharper than the rest (the 300 f2.8 and 400 f2.8), but that the difference between them all when it comes to sharpness is a very subtle business indeed. So subtle that differences seem to me more a matter of desire than reality, of pixel peeping and hair splitting. gringrin

I've also used the 1.4 TC on the 400 f5.6 for some added reach, and while you lose autofocus capability on the 20D-50D series, there are situations where manual focus is just fine, and the IQ is excellent.

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MM, the 200 f2.8L is a great lens. No argument there at all. But not much sharper than the 70-200 f2.8L, and whether the extra flexibility of the zoom is worth $400 more than the fixed 200 is an open question only mic can answer.

Images I've seen from the 200 f2.8L and 1.4 TC are tack sharp, however (and that's a good combo from a blind shooting close-in birds on perches), and I've even seen acceptably sharp images with the 200 and 2x TC.

More mind bending! gringrin

The good news is that buying Canon L glass, while the price tag is what it is, means your purchase won't depreciate quickly. The L glass holds its value so well that a person can buy whatever they think they need and can afford and, if a bit down the road they see they made perhaps the wrong decision or just want to change, they won't take a big hit selling the L glass as lightly used and replacing it with a different choice.

And that takes off a lot of the pressure. smilesmile

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