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Opinion(s) Needed
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Aug 10, 2018 17:46:15   #
Shootist
 
Bingo! I admit to being super critical of any images I do. Not always a bad thing when it pushes me to improve but it can become expensive when it becomes an obsession. Thanks for chiming in.
Hammer wrote:
That is a really great photo when opened in download. I think that you may have caught perfectionism . I have a dose . Whatever I do its never good enough . Meanwhile other people are happy with results ( in other things as well) that are not acceptable me .

There is a local restaurant we go to , called Haywards near Epping in Essex. A really great restaurant . The have blown up photos on the wall of scenes from a local forest in which I live. I looked at them and thought most of them were not acceptable . However , they are on the wall and my photos are still in my Lightroom library waiting for more work. Perhaps we are too harsh on ourselves.

Suggest you hire any intended purchases before succumbing to GAS.
That is a really great photo when opened in downlo... (show quote)

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Aug 10, 2018 17:47:35   #
Shootist
 
You are very kind with your comments, thanks.
SafariGuy wrote:
That is s great shot...as someone mentioned ‘catch light’ in the eye would have been great but birds tend not to take posing suggestions very well. GAS is a problem most of us deal with...but not sure how it would have improved an already ‘great’ image.

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Aug 10, 2018 17:53:39   #
Shootist
 
You are about to make me cry! Thanks for the input, I have a D750 but use the d7100 for its reach. I have just run some test shots resulting from all of the feedback I have gotten on this thread. I will be posting the results presently. (PS, great shot)
billnikon wrote:
When shooting at extremes and wide open your chances for out of focus increase. Two of my friends in Florida had your exact equipment and were not satisfied like yourself.
Solution for both, they bought the D500 and the 200-500 mm lens. I could not believe how fast they progressed in their image capture. They, like myself, use GROUP AUTO FOCUS, which unfortunately is not available on the D7100. I use this all the time and on my 200-500 I shoot most of my shots at f6.3, almost wide open.
I know this is not want you want to hear but I too was not happy with the images I got with my D7200, when the D7500 came out I had anticipated they would include GROUP AUTO FOCUS, but it did not. I had this on my D4s but wanted more reach with the crop sensor. Fortunately the D500 has it and so that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Below is an example of the D500 and group auto focus and a young Night Heron at Green Cay Florida. Good luck and keep on shooting until the end.
When shooting at extremes and wide open your chanc... (show quote)

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Aug 10, 2018 17:56:25   #
Shootist
 
I am with you. I guess my next set of images to test for will be with my D750 in full frame mode and crop mode. Thanks for your thoughtful input.
jerryc41 wrote:
It's hard to fault that shot. It looks very good when zooming in. For 600mm at f/6.3 that's very good.

As for getting a new camera, that's a different topic. Getting a new camera makes the owner feel good and can energize his photography. A new Nikon would definitely have advantages over the D7100. Try some comparisons and see what differences there are between the D7100 and others. I've gone through a lot of cameras, but I'm sticking with my D750. I don't care what Nikon introduces. I'm keeping the D750.

Read comparisons and specs, and decide what features are important to you.
(Reviews) https://www.youtube.com/user/TheCameraStoreTV/videos
http://www.cameradecision.com/
http://cameras.reviewed.com/
http://camerasize.com/
http://www.imaging-resource.com/IMCOMP/COMPS01.HTM
http://snapsort.com/compare
http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/cameras?utm_campaign=internal-link&utm_source=mainmenu&utm_medium=text&ref=mainmenu
It's hard to fault that shot. It looks very good ... (show quote)

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Aug 10, 2018 17:58:30   #
Shootist
 
No apologies necessary, anyone willing to put work in on my account is OK in my book. Thanks for the input.
Low Budget Dave wrote:
The picture is fine. I recommend you change you post-processing a bit. The bird in the image is too dark, and leaves you with too little contrast. Also, if you don't have an eye-light on a bird at that range, then you should create a fake one.

My apologies for the quick-and-dirty edit job here. Someone with time and talent could do much better. I tried to add sunlight on his head and on the wire in front of him. I tried to add shadow underneath. It is kind of a mess, but hopefully it is enough to make the point.
The picture is fine. I recommend you change you p... (show quote)

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Aug 10, 2018 18:02:56   #
Shootist
 
Thanks for your comments and your "fix" looks quite good. I actually use PhotoNinja as a raw editor and finish off with GIMP (GIMP does have a large learning curve but is very capable).
joer wrote:
I think your image, lens and camera are just fine. The post processing could be much better. I don't know Gimp but suspect it doesn't apply camera and lens profiles which makes all the difference in the world. The raw editor is just as important as the equipment.

You may want to consider Lightroom Classic or Capture One. Lightroom is less expensive and is easier to learn. The subscription also provides Photoshop the king of the editors but is difficult to learn.

I prefer Capture One for Sony since that is my camera of choice. In my opinion the learning curve is harder than LR but not hard as PS. I use all three to some extent.

A quick tweak in LR. Starting with a raw image would be better. Also your composition is good too. Its called Rule of "Symmetry" and has the side benefit of using the best part of the lens.
I think your image, lens and camera are just fine.... (show quote)

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Aug 10, 2018 18:07:32   #
Shootist
 
Thanks for commenting. Not sure I completely agree as I note the best photographers use high powered equipment. I will allow that good technique and knowing your equipment at any level is essential.
alf85 wrote:
It is like rpavich say's it not the gear, it's what you do with it.
Regards, Alfie.

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Aug 10, 2018 18:11:48   #
Shootist
 
Great comments. I have avoided high ISOs for fear of image degradation but I will check this out on my next outing.
camerapapi wrote:
Nothing wrong with the image you have posted. To my taste it is a little cold and since you are looking for opinions I warm it a little bit to taste and add some sharpness that was lost due to compression.
Do not expect that the Nikon 200-500 f5,6 VR will change radically your photography and do not expect that the D750 will do better than your D7100. Cameras and lenses are only tools.
I would have shot this bird at ISO 800, not 200. Your shutter speed would have been higher with a sharper aperture of the lens although I have nothing against your image.
You have a great lens, I do not see reasons to buy anything else although in my experience when someone has GAS and wants to buy a camera or a lens that person ends up buying it.
Improve your techniques and you will be entirely satisfied with your bird photography.
Nothing wrong with the image you have posted. To m... (show quote)

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Aug 10, 2018 18:13:16   #
Shootist
 
Thanks for adding to my information base!
Bill_de wrote:
If your gear was junk I might disagree with the above response. But, you have good gear, so "shoot more" sounds like good advice.

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Aug 10, 2018 18:14:27   #
Shootist
 
Thanks for your efforts on my behalf.
BDABob wrote:
Nice shot. I took the liberty of a some quick PP in LR Classic (about 20 secs).

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Aug 10, 2018 18:20:06   #
Shootist
 
All good advice, thanks. I have much to learn as I find myself in highly varied lighting situations and each requires a lot of thought.
spraguead wrote:
That's a pretty nice shot, but here are a few thoughts;
1) Lens, I wouldn't think that going to the 500mm lens is going to help you in any way. Your shot was taken at the 600mm end of your current lens, plush you cropped, so you should stay put on the equipment end.

2) Tonality. The photo could use a bit of pp help. Take a look at the histogram, almost all of the file info is in the mid tones. Bringing up the darks will help a bit. To not rely so much on post for making your images pop more is to have some basic presets for the type of photography you're engaged in. Check out Ken Rockwell's site, see some of his settings on his review of the 7100; https://kenrockwell.com/nikon/d7100.htm
He even has a settings file to download at the bottom of that page. I usually keep one or two of his settings on my camera, they're much better than using the Nokon "scenes", and you can still adjust from these to compensate for the situation you're in when shooting.

3) composition. Yet another skill to learn. Look at photos that you really like, see where the subject is in scene, and try to eye it in an almost abstract form. There can be a more dynamic design to the shot by not cnetering subject with equal space all around.
That's a pretty nice shot, but here are a few thou... (show quote)

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Aug 10, 2018 18:24:39   #
Shootist
 
I was not looking for composition "Wow" in this image but an example of focus and/or sharpness issues. I do appreciate your comments and will take them under advisement.
imagemeister wrote:
Your Bluebird image seems OK generally - no wow factor tho ....I hope you were using support of some kind with a 320 shutter ! Your image seems quite dark/dull on my monitor - so I would question your PP software/knowledge - there is room for improvement here. I also hope you have done a focus calibration with your lens/body ??...... In short, at this point you have GAS.

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Aug 10, 2018 18:30:07   #
Shootist
 
Really good post, this image was one of a series I took because the Mountain Bluebird was on my list of birds to get on file. Literally my wife and I were driving around and there they were. Your comments have put several things into focus (pun intended) for me.
Nalu wrote:
In my opinion, your issue is not equipment in this example, its more about exposure and poor light. Looking at the histogram, it looks like the bird is underexposed by at least 1 stop. The underexposure can also account for the lack of feather detail as well as the amount fo noise in the image. Also, for moving subjects, especially with long lenses, you need to get your shutter speed up. Even the best of bird photographers would have trouble at 1/320 even with a perched subject. My suggestion, work toward having data to the right in the histogram and you will see your images improve. In this example, moving your iso up to 800 would allow a shutter speed of over 1/1000 and most of the time you should be able to shoot wide open unless you are really close to your subject. Try working on your techniques and then decide whether to upgrade your equipment.
In my opinion, your issue is not equipment in this... (show quote)

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Aug 10, 2018 18:31:04   #
Shootist
 
Thanks for commenting.
gvarner wrote:
You have to improve your artistic vision BEFORE THE SHOT in order to move beyond the snapshot stage. My gear is not my main limitation, it's my creativity and limited artistic vision.

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Aug 10, 2018 18:32:02   #
Shootist
 
Thanks.
AzPicLady wrote:
Every time you get the urge to purchase a new lens, put yours on the camera and go out and spend time shooting. After awhile you'll get to good with your current lens and so happy with it, you won't want a new one! Spend the $$ on going somewhere to photograph!

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