Saturday Evening Post #18: For the Love of the Photograph

Sorry about the unsharp image, my fault really, shot it with a Teleconverter attached. <VBG> 🙂

Been having a few interesting discussions with the photofraternity of late, and one of the things pointed out is how unreliable Teleconverters are, and the Nikon 2.0eII in particular. After all, as was explained to me, “All the forums agree that the Nikon TC2.0eII is unreliable, and unsharp”.

My defense of course was a shrug of the shoulders and pat the TC 2.0 on the 300 f/2.8 I was using at the time and saying I was happy with the results. Which probably would have bought fits of laughter, but a bird turned up and everybody swung in to action to capture a 4 pixel size image of the bird about 70metres away.  But, I consoled myself at least they would be sharp pixels, unlike my less than ideal results. 😉

I recall a quote by David DuChemin, “I make photographs, I don’t take them, shoot them, capture them or snap them. I do what I do to see the world differently and to show others what I see and feel. And yes. It did look like that when seen through my eyes, mind and heart.

The tools of my craft are the camera and lens.  The tools of my art are my passion, and vision. It’s not how we make our photographs that matters but what we make of them. The camera and lens is irrelevant to the pursuit of beauty, and authenticity. It’s how I see the light,  chase the wonder and bring it to life. There is too much to see and create to waste time.”

So, I guess I’ll just have to put up with losing sharpness because of my persistence in using such inferior equipment that can’t pass the ‘pixel peeping test’.

Just for the record, the image is handheld, 300mm f/2.8 +TC 2.0e at 600mm equivalent (angle of view). D500, on an overcast day.

The header image is from the camera JPEG. The trailer image converted via  Adobe Camera Raw  7.1. Wasn’t trying for an exact match, rather two interpretations.

Sorry they aren’t sharper.

Can’t imagine how good they would have looked if I’d been using a Canon 600mm with stacked converters from 70 metres away. 🙂

Back to sanity next week—normal transmissions will resume.

Seeya Along the Track


12 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #18: For the Love of the Photograph

  1. Well I dunno – it looks pretty good to me! Maybe I need to get a new pair of glasses. Or maybe some people talk through their proverbial hats in order to blame the equipment, while you just get on with making the photograph.


    1. Thanks Eleanor, I try really hard not to get into talkfests. I think if people spent more time on developing their approach technique to birds and stopped trying to photograph the subject from much too far away it would be time bettter spent.
      Me, I’m just interested in the bird.


    1. G,day Derek, thanks for the comment, I normally would have just cropped this to the bird I suppose. But when I looked at the biting sharpness of the old seed heads and feather detail, it did seem to make all the discussion somewhat redundant.
      I suppose that while some people collect stamps, spot trains or count birds others collect comments from Goggle University.
      Glad I wasn’t using a TC on the 150-600 Sigma !


  2. Interesting David, the JPG vs RAW processing thing is exactly what I have been toying with the past few days. I go back to it occasionally to seek some advantage, but find very little difference as I find in both your photos of the Galah. There is a very minor sharpness in detail. I am less for photographic excellence and more what David DuChemin says, but I do love it when I get exceptional focus, which means something in the moment lined up and despite my hand movement due to the weight of the heavy EF Canon lens determined not to use a monopod and my failing, due to rare condition, not so good eyesight, I am thankful the opportunity to be present and engage with the creatures and their habitat to capture something of what David expresses. I really do appreciate and enjoy your work David, it is inspirational and fills for me a gap which I fail to breach on many occasions. You capture the moment with clarity and beauty. Have an enjoyable weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. An interesting discussion. I am not a big fan of TC’s but do occasionally use a 1.4. It is slow and does reduce the sharpness a tad, but it is consistently so. Then we come to the discussion as to whether an image of a bird should be tack sharp or, depending on the setting, a tad soft. Both sharp and soft images are valid interpretations.
    Your two images here are pleasing to view and to me that is what matters.


  4. Thanks Dave, hope its not too tongue in cheek. These dudes were working on the seed heads on the golfcourse side on the track going down to the water.
    The interesting part of the discussion is that both Canon and Nikon have taken very different ideas about how to apply their TCs. Canon’s are stackable, and so its possible to turn a pretty good longish lens into a super tele but of course the trade off is the loss of max aperture. And slower shutter speed, higher ISO.
    Nikon TCs work best with their long f/2.8 lenses, and a couple of the longer f/4 super teles. But from my experience, not so much with the f/4 500mm for some reason.
    If I had a choice, I’d go get a 400mm f/2.8 and have a spiffy f/5.6 800mm But the weight and the dent in the mastercard would be to hard to deal with.
    Using any TC with a tele zoom is a compromise, and I’ve seen great results and also many many average ones.

    For me unsharp or sharp is going to depend on the message. However to quote Ansel Adams, “A sharp picture of a fuzzy idea doesn’t work. ” and to add, niether does a fuzzy shot of a fuzzy idea.

    Therein endeth the rant.

    Hoping for some good weather to go see Eloise


  5. I’m sorry to disappoint you, David: i cannot fault your Galah and the Seeds jpg. You can crop it any way you want and it will still be a nice picture. I must admit i use my Nikkor 300/2.8 most of the time with the damned TC. 2x. I often get some curious birds coming too close and it happens that I perform some awkward antics to detach it but more often I shoot portraits or simply enjoy the trust they show me. As regards the sharpness – yes, I do care but… well, you’ve got the picture.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G,day Adam, your work with the 300+TC just says it all really. I appreciate your comment on the crop, as this is just about full frame. I had explored a couple of closer crop options, but really in the end wanted to share it in the bird’s world.
      Personally I think the pixel peepers need to go and sit in a park and watch seagulls and ducks for a few hours. Do more for their photography and mindset I think.
      Being able to sit with a bird that in someway a thread of connection occurs. You can’t get that with a stacked teleconverter set. 🙂
      Keep takin’ pictures. We do!


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