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Mongo

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Everything posted by Mongo

  1. all fabulous images but the singular power and perspective of #2 is outstanding ! Great work
  2. Really impressive Armando and thank you for providing so much of the information about how this was achieved. Mongo has tried this kind of photography with mixed success (without a tracker). It seems clear that the tracker is really necessary to achieve the much better and worthwhile results.
  3. some truly brilliant shooting skills in these images. The lighting cannot be bettered. It is so well balanced that it shows every subtle feature, detail and colour including the soft sheen on some of the fabrics. Masterful work Thomas ! Mongo tips his furry hat off to you sir.
  4. wonderful image. Beautifully fluid - poetry in motion. Excellent against a black background for this subject. Interesting species too. Mongo recently sought out and photographed the red - tailed tropic bird from a small coral island off the coast off the Australian east coast.
  5. Mongo

    Christian today

    Bizarre but unique and interesting bokeh
  6. Mongo is quite starting to notice a Frank "style" in these images. It is distinctive and appealing. The only CC Mongo can offer is about the darkness of the eyes in #1. The conditions were extreme but it is a small shame the eyes were not just a hint lighter. Mongo tried this edit at home and it seems to almost change his charter a little. Not sure if that is closer to his character or the other way but it is a little different in its overall feel. Forgot to mention that he light diffusion pattern on the bench top is just great !
  7. really like this Frank; particularly the effect the OOF stuff in the background contributes to the overall image. How do you do that ??
  8. Mongo really likes just about everything about this image. Congrats.
  9. from vr8ce :- "If you like mirrorless, I'm thrilled, honestly. Take some pictures with that mirrorless and post them and shut up about how much better your mirrorless is than a DSLR. If you like DSLR's, I'm thrilled, honestly. Take some pictures with that DSLR and post them and shut up about how much better your DSLR is than a mirrorless." Mongo agrees with this no nonsense approach. The image should speak for itself . If there is some small , vital element about it that could be helpful, then, tell us in a handful of words - not a thesis about the equipment ! One other annoying thing is people commenting on a post but taking the post in an entirely different and irrelevant direction. It is discourteous to the original poster and annoying to people wanting to read or comment about the original topic/image and being caught up in something they have no interest in. Keep comments relevant to the topic at hand. Small asides or "by the ways" are fine provided the overall comment is relevant. Not sure what a site owner can do about these matters. It is really something the members should be mindful of themselves and thus assist to create and maintain a site that has a recognisable charter, discipline, feature/identity. It would not hurt any current sites to be doing this.
  10. Mongo understands that you may have to react to trends that may become obvious on your site i.e its fading appeal (for whatever reason). As the owner, Mongo understands your concern and need to act in any constructive way you can ascertain and manage. Your answer to the problem has been to suggest it become an almost dedicated mirrorless photo site. This may or may not be the best way to improve its waning participation rate. Yes, sometimes it is best to specialise and be one of the only sites photographers can turn to if they are interesting in this area. However, by specialising, you are also discouraging interest and participation by a very large percentage of non mirrorless photographers out there (even if there is some small place in the site they can still participate in). All your eggs will be in one basket and you will sink or swim on that one decision. Mrs Mongo (who is an excellent photographer in her own right) has often said to Mongo that “you guys (meaning photographers on photo sites) are all too busy talking about photography and having geeky discussions about equipment and collecting lenses etc , that you have all forgotten what photography is about i.e actually taking images” (or words to that effect). Mongo agrees with her. There is far too much emphasis on so called “photo sites” about everything else but photos. Mongo is not suggesting there be no other components of the site but the emphasis on photography itself should be the dominate feature - after all, notwithstanding any substantial differences in the thinking or likes and dislikes of members, it is the actual photography that surely is the common denominator that has us belonging to a photo site. Unfortunately, Mongo has all too often seen photo sites dominated by endless discussion about meaningless and obscure subjects that never yield an actual image or practical useful knowledge. There is a place for that but they should not be called “photo sites”. One of the best sites Mongo belongs to has a very good mix of all things (no one subject or emphasis dominating the others). It is casual and friendly, helpful, welcomes all types and interests, is driven by actual images and discussion about them, how they were achieved, what to best do and avoid, equipment and settings used and constructive CC. Having a buy and sell facility is most useful and welcomed. Regular comps. (some with prizes). Meet ups between members that are close enough to each other in different States/locations. A technical section and updates, tutorials section etc etc. At last look it has about 22,000 members. Not sure how many are really active but the site has a lot of participation and averages 350 to 600 on line at any one time. Mongo suspects you have tried a lot of what he has just mentioned and it may not be working for FZ. Not sure what the answer is for FZ but it does not seem that becoming effectively, a mirroless site is the answer in Mongo’s opinion. whatever you decide and whatever happens, Mongo wishes you and the members every success.
  11. fantastic shot and worthy winner. Love the vibrance through the colour and captured action/movement through ( amongst other things) the animated angle of the shot. Nice work.
  12. more tear than wear it seems. The scrap metal merchants may not charge him much to remove it for him.... BTW - It does have a very familiar resemblance to the one Mongo recently returned from hire. It seems that there are still some places that you should not try to travel to to take those really remote shots
  13. Mongo

    Echidna

    great shooting Alan - very fortunate to get that close. Wonderful creature and one of Mrs Mongo's favourites.
  14. Good luck with that new lens Walt. One thing you mentioned that Mongo overlooked and that is the close focusing of this lens. Despite reading about its MFD before buying and using this lens, Mongo was still pleasantly shocked at the reality of it when he first used it. It is another positive feature. Another small point Mongo also forgot to mention is the relatively good balance this lens has in hand.
  15. just some quick images of the lens when Mongo was unpacking it
  16. Mongo was sort of lucky enough to be one of the first to get one of these in Australia. He has had it now for about a month. There is good and bad about it but mainly good (now that is). Mongo purchased it from an authorised Nikon dealer for $1700 Australian Dollars which is a very good price. AF Issues Initially, Mongo had considerable trouble with the lens. The AF seem to go “to sleep” at times and would not work unless you woke it by manually turing the focus ring or turning the camera on and off. Not really what you need when trying to catch wildlife (particularly birds in flight), sports action, aviation etc. These are the things this lens was surely designed for. The other problem Mongo noticed was that the lens seemed very slow to acquire focus on moving objects. The lens was relatively OK on stationary objects (apart from falling asleep as described above). This mystery was largely solved in two steps. First, having the “sleep issue” “fixed” with the firmware update. Secondly, by using the most appropriate VR mode. Unfortunately, Mongo had to work out the do’s and don’ts of VR on this lens largely by himself and the odd rare comment he could find on the net as the lens was still reactively new and few people had used it. It seems that “normal” mode reduced the the AF speed whereas, “sports” mode seems to have far less affect on AF speed. Unfortunately, the lens does not come with a real explanatory booklet - it only has a single open-out sheet. Mongo is all for cost saving to be able to provide this lens cheaply to customers but some information should not be skimped on. VR When you look through the viewfinder and engage “normal” VR mode, the effect is dramatic ! the movement is almost completely halted in a way Mongo has not previously experienced with other Nikon VR lenses. The claim that his lens’ VR is the best to date is probably well founded. However, as with any fast car or precision tool, you must know how to use it to get any good out of it. Mongo has determined that, “normal” mode is best used when handholding the lens and focusing on stationary objects. “Spots” mode VR should be used in all other instances including on a monopod, panning etc. Some of this information is in the instruction sheet but not all of it an not enough to have worked this out effectively in Mongo’s opinion. The combination of the above two steps have now brought the lens to a reasonable standard and one that Mongo is happy enough with and could, potentially, be very pleased with subject to further testing. However, all indications so far are that there is a little more that can be extracted from this lens and that should bring it to the that level of satisfaction. Quality Control Typically, Nikon realised the lens (in Mongo’s view) half baked and poorly tested - if at all. Untypically, Nikon came out within weeks of the lens being sold to admit there were AF issues and had a firmware update to rectify it. See: http://nikonrumors.com/2015/10/06/some-nikkor-200-500mm-f5-6e-ed-vr-lenses-have-af-issue-must-be-sent-back-to-nikon-for-service.aspx/#more-98465 So, Mongo was not wrong when he had earlier complained to Nikon that the lens had AF issues. It should be noted that Mongo noticed the problem within the first few hours of using the lens. One would have to ask how Nikon could not have notice this problem if it had carried out any credible testing. Again, as Mongo has previously stated, this should never have happened and Nikon needs to get its act together about properly testing its products before subjecting the public to them and expecting the public to be its test guinea pigs. If it does so, it may keep more of its customers and regain a lot of lost respect. If you buy a lens with a serial number greater than 2008365, the issue should already have been rectified. So, in the scheme of things, the problem was caught relatively early after the lens’ release. Build Quality & Features Mongo could go on at some length about this but it is easier to summarise it extremely good and excellent value for the money. It is solid, well built and well finished, movements are very precise (not sloppy) and no lens creep. Also, the foot on this lens is not like the 300 f4 AFS. It is , In Mongo’s opinion, it is very solid and well designed for this lens’ needs. In short, you will not have the need or urge to go out and buy an after market foot with possibly one exception. Most of us use the arca swiss attachment system and this lens does not have that feature. That is unfortunate as the foot is big enough and solid enough to have machined that profile into it. Mongo assumes this has not been done due to possible patent issues. Nonetheless, you can buy a short arca swiss plate/rail and attach it to the lens’ existing foot without any concerns. Image Quality What would you expect to get for this money in this zoom range? Well, you would have to think that it has to be at least as good as Tamron and Sigma offerings or there would be no point in making it. Mongo has only tried the Tamorn 150-600mm and found it to be a respectably good lens. He has not tried the Sigmas (although he managed to get a look at them and handle them as well as see some images from them). From that small amount of largely indirect knowledge, it seems they too are very good performers. Mongo’s analysis of the MTF charts lead him to believe that the Nikon is most closely aligned to the Sigma Sport. It would be unfair for Mongo (in these circumstances) to attempt to draw some comparison between the various lenses. So, he will comment on the Nikon more directly. The image quality is surprisingly good, indeed, very good. Even wide open at f5.6, the lens delivers sharp images with good contrast. As a habit , Mongo now largely shoots at f5.6, f6.3 and f7.1 averaging f6.3 most of the time. Even so, he finds that you may need to stop down a little more but largely for extra DOF and not for want of sharpness. This lens is small enough to fool you into forgetting it is 500mm and that you may be too close to the subject unless you add more DOF. Funny but you never seem to forget this when lugging the 600mm f4 around. It is something you will get used to quickly when using the 200-500mm. Having owned and used a Nikon 200-400 f4 VR for a few years, Mongo can say he can not tell the difference in the image quality produced by both lenses. If there is any, it could not justify 4 times the price and more than 30% more weight. The extra stop is not enough to faze Mongo either. Teleconverters Mongo must admit that, due to the other initial issues to try and get the lens right, there has been some delay in testing the teleconverters properly. Mongo had an initial try with the teleconverters before the lens was firmware updated and calibrated. Therefore, those old results are not reliable. Nonetheless, Mongo can tell you that the 1.4EII. 1.7EII and 20EIII all work with this lens although, not necessarily the AF. To break those results down, on the D800E, you get AF with the 1.4EII only but you can manually focus the other converters and the shutter releases and it all works etc. On the D4s, you get AF with the 1.4EII and the 1.7EII (which is very surprising becuase the latter combo is f9.3 wide open i.e more than f8 and theoretically the AF should not be capable of working …..but it does !). Neither body auto focus with the 20EIII. The images Mongo got from all these combos were all good to very good but read further below. While having the firmware update carried out on the lens, Mongo also asked that it also be calibrated (together with calibration of his D4s and D800E). Since getting the gear back about 10days ago, Mongo has been flat out trying to AF fine tune the lens to the camera bodies. At present , despite all having been calibrated and theoretically no AF fine tune should be needed, Mongo has found that the D800E and the lens are best at +4 AF fine tune. Accordingly, Mongo will have to calibrate each of the teleconverters with the lens and redo all the test with them. It may well be that he will get even better results than before the lens was firmware updated and calibrated. This remains to be seen. Commentary There is a thread in this forum started on 4 August. There is much speculation in it because the lens was not really around at that time to gain a real impression and feel for it. Mongo hopes his thread (here) helps clarify some of the lens’ mystery. Certainly, if Mongo were ever to go on one of those safaris he reads about, he would not hesitate to take this lens. Conclusion Nikon 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR is clearly aimed at the Tamron and Sigma competitors and despite its unfortunate troubled birth, it will make a serious indent into their market share of this approximate zoom range. Mongo would now recommend this lens. a quick sample image (view large): D800E , 200-500 @500mm, f6.3, 1/800th, ISO 2000, -0.3EV, +4 AF fine tune, monopod View full article
  17. Mongo was sort of lucky enough to be one of the first to get one of these in Australia. He has had it now for about a month. There is good and bad about it but mainly good (now that is). Mongo purchased it from an authorised Nikon dealer for $1700 Australian Dollars which is a very good price. AF Issues Initially, Mongo had considerable trouble with the lens. The AF seem to go “to sleep” at times and would not work unless you woke it by manually turing the focus ring or turning the camera on and off. Not really what you need when trying to catch wildlife (particularly birds in flight), sports action, aviation etc. These are the things this lens was surely designed for. The other problem Mongo noticed was that the lens seemed very slow to acquire focus on moving objects. The lens was relatively OK on stationary objects (apart from falling asleep as described above). This mystery was largely solved in two steps. First, having the “sleep issue” “fixed” with the firmware update. Secondly, by using the most appropriate VR mode. Unfortunately, Mongo had to work out the do’s and don’ts of VR on this lens largely by himself and the odd rare comment he could find on the net as the lens was still reactively new and few people had used it. It seems that “normal” mode reduced the the AF speed whereas, “sports” mode seems to have far less affect on AF speed. Unfortunately, the lens does not come with a real explanatory booklet - it only has a single open-out sheet. Mongo is all for cost saving to be able to provide this lens cheaply to customers but some information should not be skimped on. VR When you look through the viewfinder and engage “normal” VR mode, the effect is dramatic ! the movement is almost completely halted in a way Mongo has not previously experienced with other Nikon VR lenses. The claim that his lens’ VR is the best to date is probably well founded. However, as with any fast car or precision tool, you must know how to use it to get any good out of it. Mongo has determined that, “normal” mode is best used when handholding the lens and focusing on stationary objects. “Spots” mode VR should be used in all other instances including on a monopod, panning etc. Some of this information is in the instruction sheet but not all of it an not enough to have worked this out effectively in Mongo’s opinion. The combination of the above two steps have now brought the lens to a reasonable standard and one that Mongo is happy enough with and could, potentially, be very pleased with subject to further testing. However, all indications so far are that there is a little more that can be extracted from this lens and that should bring it to the that level of satisfaction. Quality Control Typically, Nikon realised the lens (in Mongo’s view) half baked and poorly tested - if at all. Untypically, Nikon came out within weeks of the lens being sold to admit there were AF issues and had a firmware update to rectify it. See: http://nikonrumors.com/2015/10/06/some-nikkor-200-500mm-f5-6e-ed-vr-lenses-have-af-issue-must-be-sent-back-to-nikon-for-service.aspx/#more-98465 So, Mongo was not wrong when he had earlier complained to Nikon that the lens had AF issues. It should be noted that Mongo noticed the problem within the first few hours of using the lens. One would have to ask how Nikon could not have notice this problem if it had carried out any credible testing. Again, as Mongo has previously stated, this should never have happened and Nikon needs to get its act together about properly testing its products before subjecting the public to them and expecting the public to be its test guinea pigs. If it does so, it may keep more of its customers and regain a lot of lost respect. If you buy a lens with a serial number greater than 2008365, the issue should already have been rectified. So, in the scheme of things, the problem was caught relatively early after the lens’ release. Build Quality & Features Mongo could go on at some length about this but it is easier to summarise it extremely good and excellent value for the money. It is solid, well built and well finished, movements are very precise (not sloppy) and no lens creep. Also, the foot on this lens is not like the 300 f4 AFS. It is , In Mongo’s opinion, it is very solid and well designed for this lens’ needs. In short, you will not have the need or urge to go out and buy an after market foot with possibly one exception. Most of us use the arca swiss attachment system and this lens does not have that feature. That is unfortunate as the foot is big enough and solid enough to have machined that profile into it. Mongo assumes this has not been done due to possible patent issues. Nonetheless, you can buy a short arca swiss plate/rail and attach it to the lens’ existing foot without any concerns. Image Quality What would you expect to get for this money in this zoom range? Well, you would have to think that it has to be at least as good as Tamron and Sigma offerings or there would be no point in making it. Mongo has only tried the Tamorn 150-600mm and found it to be a respectably good lens. He has not tried the Sigmas (although he managed to get a look at them and handle them as well as see some images from them). From that small amount of largely indirect knowledge, it seems they too are very good performers. Mongo’s analysis of the MTF charts lead him to believe that the Nikon is most closely aligned to the Sigma Sport. It would be unfair for Mongo (in these circumstances) to attempt to draw some comparison between the various lenses. So, he will comment on the Nikon more directly. The image quality is surprisingly good, indeed, very good. Even wide open at f5.6, the lens delivers sharp images with good contrast. As a habit , Mongo now largely shoots at f5.6, f6.3 and f7.1 averaging f6.3 most of the time. Even so, he finds that you may need to stop down a little more but largely for extra DOF and not for want of sharpness. This lens is small enough to fool you into forgetting it is 500mm and that you may be too close to the subject unless you add more DOF. Funny but you never seem to forget this when lugging the 600mm f4 around. It is something you will get used to quickly when using the 200-500mm. Having owned and used a Nikon 200-400 f4 VR for a few years, Mongo can say he can not tell the difference in the image quality produced by both lenses. If there is any, it could not justify 4 times the price and more than 30% more weight. The extra stop is not enough to faze Mongo either. Teleconverters Mongo must admit that, due to the other initial issues to try and get the lens right, there has been some delay in testing the teleconverters properly. Mongo had an initial try with the teleconverters before the lens was firmware updated and calibrated. Therefore, those old results are not reliable. Nonetheless, Mongo can tell you that the 1.4EII. 1.7EII and 20EIII all work with this lens although, not necessarily the AF. To break those results down, on the D800E, you get AF with the 1.4EII only but you can manually focus the other converters and the shutter releases and it all works etc. On the D4s, you get AF with the 1.4EII and the 1.7EII (which is very surprising becuase the latter combo is f9.3 wide open i.e more than f8 and theoretically the AF should not be capable of working …..but it does !). Neither body auto focus with the 20EIII. The images Mongo got from all these combos were all good to very good but read further below. While having the firmware update carried out on the lens, Mongo also asked that it also be calibrated (together with calibration of his D4s and D800E). Since getting the gear back about 10days ago, Mongo has been flat out trying to AF fine tune the lens to the camera bodies. At present , despite all having been calibrated and theoretically no AF fine tune should be needed, Mongo has found that the D800E and the lens are best at +4 AF fine tune. Accordingly, Mongo will have to calibrate each of the teleconverters with the lens and redo all the test with them. It may well be that he will get even better results than before the lens was firmware updated and calibrated. This remains to be seen. Commentary There is a thread in this forum started on 4 August. There is much speculation in it because the lens was not really around at that time to gain a real impression and feel for it. Mongo hopes his thread (here) helps clarify some of the lens’ mystery. Certainly, if Mongo were ever to go on one of those safaris he reads about, he would not hesitate to take this lens. Conclusion Nikon 200-500mm f5.6E ED VR is clearly aimed at the Tamron and Sigma competitors and despite its unfortunate troubled birth, it will make a serious indent into their market share of this approximate zoom range. Mongo would now recommend this lens. a quick sample image (view large): D800E , 200-500 @500mm, f6.3, 1/800th, ISO 2000, -0.3EV, +4 AF fine tune, monopod
  18. Mongo

    A Sun-Bathing Pigeon

    Not unusual Akira. In Australia the Corellas lie on their backs with their feet in the air on the worm ground (as if they had been hit by a car). Equally not surprising as everyone thinks Corellas are truly mad.
  19. surprised but delighted. Thank you Armando. Mongo very much likes Aquinaldo's image. It has excellent qualities.
  20. Mongo

    One Way (The Wrong Way)

    thanks Dallas but it was a complete fluke and not skill related
  21. It is only doing it one way but unfortunately - the wrong way. However, if you are going to do it wrongly, make sure you do it as fast as this fellow is Not bad really. This bird's reading ability is no worse than some drivers (and they supposedly have licenses). while panning at some fast flying birds to further check out a lens' AF ability, this turned up when Mongo was examining the results for evaluation on the computer screen. Mongo could not have managed this had he planed it - go figure that ....
  22. Mongo

    Mrs & Mr Pardalote

    WOW ! thanks Armando - that is really serious ! Mongo will have to do the same and work on it until it cannot be seen. Much appreciated. had a quick go and reposted...
  23. Mongo

    Mrs & Mr Pardalote

    thanks Armando but Mongo cannot for the life of him see it ! will have to look into it to try and fix it but have to find it first. thanks for alerting Mongo to it.
  24. Mongo

    Mr & Mrs Fairy Wren

    view large Mr Wren - D4s and AFS 300mm f4 @ f8 Mrs Wren - D4s and AFS II 600mm f4 @ f8
  25. Mongo

    Mrs & Mr Pardalote

    Mongo had photographed this pair for a few weeks during nest building and then during feeding of the young. The young are expected to make their first appearance any day now. Mongo had so many images of them individually landing on the same twig and yet none where both Mrs and Mr pardalote were simultaneously present. So, Mongo photoshopped an image of both into this image. If the young show up, he may have to photoshop a family portrait unless he can mange to get them all posing together at the one time. Mrs on the left and Mr on the right D4s , AFS II 600mm f4 @f8, tripod (view large)
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