Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-02-2011, 07:36 PM   #16
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Elida, Ohio
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 8,113
Thanks Ron for great insight. Much appreciated here.

I can't give professional advice, just amateur on a budget. I can't afford the fast primes (maybe in the future). But the DA55-300 has served me well. You may have some luck in National Parks since the wildlife is a little more tolerant of people. I like to keep the camera ready when driving, see something, roll down the window, slowly pull over and turn off the engine, then shoot from the driver's seat. Usually when you open the door they run or fly. Of course this works best on roads without much traffic.

01-02-2011, 09:21 PM   #17
Forum Member




Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Fort Lauderdale, FL
Posts: 60
I love shooting wildlife and I've loved my 50-200mm WR. Not a * or limited, but it's affordable, WR is useful, and the optics are better than you might suppose. Stopped down a little, the images are sharp enough to crop and make up for focal length. These images were almost all taken with it. Good luck with your decision and have fun shooting!
01-02-2011, 11:58 PM   #18
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
Some very very interesting posts here - especially to someone whose never been hunting or shooting (with a camera) wildlife in the wild.

Ron : I went to your website from the link given, some very very impressive shots there (though I would PP out the high tension cables, in an otherwise beautiful deer shot, that I noticed). One thought immediately popped up reading your post .. wouldn't something like the 60-250 (with quick shift) be absolutely perfect for most amateurs trying to imitate your methods ? AF to the general area then MF to focus precisely on the target.
01-03-2011, 05:55 AM   #19
Pentaxian
ivoire's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: chicago burbs
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,356
Great advice here. Since you mention you are on a budget, consider manual focus lenses. The Tamron adaptall 60-300mm is an excellent lens IQ wise and costs around $60-80. There are many more to choose from.

01-03-2011, 01:53 PM   #20
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Pembrokeshire, Wales,UK
Posts: 152
Thank you to all who have shared their knowledge and experience on this thread, especially perhaps Ron. It is a thread that almost deserves a "sticky" as the advice here is second to none and answers thoses oft asked questions.
Brilliant advice guys
woody
01-03-2011, 09:15 PM   #21
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 535
QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
Some very very interesting posts here - especially to someone whose never been hunting or shooting (with a camera) wildlife in the wild.

Ron : I went to your website from the link given, some very very impressive shots there (though I would PP out the high tension cables, in an otherwise beautiful deer shot, that I noticed). One thought immediately popped up reading your post .. wouldn't something like the 60-250 (with quick shift) be absolutely perfect for most amateurs trying to imitate your methods ? AF to the general area then MF to focus precisely on the target.
I have quick-shift on my DA*200mm, but I don't find it quick enough. I tried what you are suggesting, but found it required too many steps for the often quick shots necessary with wildlife, so most of the time I left the lens switched to MF. When I set up on wildlife, I chose a spot where I know they will travel and pre-set the focus in the general area, so when something comes along, I don't have far to twist in MF. Using AF to get close, then shifting to MF, then focusing is too many steps and too time consuming. Too much movement as well. Reaching up to move the quick-shift is enough to spook close critters.
Sometime ago, however, I found what I think is the best compromise. In the custom menu (K20D), I turned off the AF on the half press of the shutter and use the AF button (on the back of the camera) whenever I get a simple scene where AF is reliable. As I mentioned, my primary method is MF, but with AF set to the AF button, I can leave my 200 quick-shift on AF, but still use MF with it, because the camera overrides the quick shift AF selection. (I'm not sure I'm explaining this well.) If, however, I want to use AF with the 200mm (or any other lens for that matter) all I have to do is press the AF button. I think the AF button, by the way, is quicker and more accurate than half-pressing the shutter.
In other words, try disabling AF on the half-press in your camera, or enabling AF on the AF button (not sure which is the right way to put it). Set your quick-shift to AF and leave it there. This way you can use MF any time you want (even while half-pressing the shutter to check exposure) and AF any time you want, simply by pressing the AF button. It's right there under your thumb all the time, but does take a little practice finding without looking.
Quick-shift is one of those features that sounds good in theory, but doesn't work so well in practical situations.

Last edited by Ron Kruger; 01-03-2011 at 09:17 PM. Reason: Adding info
01-03-2011, 10:30 PM   #22
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ferguson, Mo.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,348
Have my K20 AF disabled same way for quite some time, must be something
in Mo's water. 200mm's great all round focal length outdoors in my opinion.
My approach is a little different, put one 200/2.5 on K20, the other one on
a film body, preferably LX. Doing as Ron describes does economize current
draw on K20, maximizes battery charge life in addition to whats been mentioned.

OP talks about being able to "hunt" on Dads property, others might not be in
same cirumstances. U.S. abounds in public ground, almost all of adjacent to
private property. Wildlife doesnt know a property line, we do, and we should
respect and abide by it. Ive been involved with Trumpeter swans for last 7 years,
to see these birds coming to an area that 30 years ago was literally a dump
is nothing short of a miracle. Without co-operation of private landowners
it would not be happening. People see these birds and are emotionally overwhelmed
by them, in some cases folks have taken leave of their senses, and the result
is friction, instead of the co-operation so desperately needed.

Ramseye makes great point about using automobile as blind, terrific way to shoot
partner up with someone and take turns, going slowly,(at walking pace) leads to
some unbelivable opportunities, water and watercraft, same thing goes,
get that heron or egret shot you always wanted.
Never heard heron decribed better than way Pete mentioned.
01-04-2011, 05:04 AM   #23
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,073
Although it feels unspeakably lazy, the automobile-as-wildlife-blind thing really does work. I got a very nice heron feeding sequence that way.

Also, I often have better luck in semi-wild places (parks, college campuses, etc.) where the wildlife is somewhat habituated to human traffic than out in the boonies.

01-04-2011, 05:13 AM   #24
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
I have quick-shift on my DA*200mm, but I don't find it quick enough. I tried what you are suggesting, but found it required too many steps for the often quick shots necessary with wildlife, so most of the time I left the lens switched to MF. When I set up on wildlife, I chose a spot where I know they will travel and pre-set the focus in the general area, so when something comes along, I don't have far to twist in MF. Using AF to get close, then shifting to MF, then focusing is too many steps and too time consuming. Too much movement as well. Reaching up to move the quick-shift is enough to spook close critters.
Sometime ago, however, I found what I think is the best compromise. In the custom menu (K20D), I turned off the AF on the half press of the shutter and use the AF button (on the back of the camera) whenever I get a simple scene where AF is reliable. As I mentioned, my primary method is MF, but with AF set to the AF button, I can leave my 200 quick-shift on AF, but still use MF with it, because the camera overrides the quick shift AF selection. (I'm not sure I'm explaining this well.) If, however, I want to use AF with the 200mm (or any other lens for that matter) all I have to do is press the AF button. I think the AF button, by the way, is quicker and more accurate than half-pressing the shutter.
In other words, try disabling AF on the half-press in your camera, or enabling AF on the AF button (not sure which is the right way to put it). Set your quick-shift to AF and leave it there. This way you can use MF any time you want (even while half-pressing the shutter to check exposure) and AF any time you want, simply by pressing the AF button. It's right there under your thumb all the time, but does take a little practice finding without looking.
Quick-shift is one of those features that sounds good in theory, but doesn't work so well in practical situations.
That really sounds like something I want to try ... and I shall. I understand completely from your explanation.

Thank you very much for taking the time to impart your knowledge and good luck with your business in 2011.
01-04-2011, 10:03 AM   #25
Veteran Member
Frogfish's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Shanghai
Posts: 4,490
QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
Sometime ago, however, I found what I think is the best compromise. In the custom menu (K20D), I turned off the AF on the half press of the shutter and use the AF button (on the back of the camera) whenever I get a simple scene where AF is reliable. As I mentioned, my primary method is MF, but with AF set to the AF button, I can leave my 200 quick-shift on AF, but still use MF with it, because the camera overrides the quick shift AF selection. (I'm not sure I'm explaining this well.) If, however, I want to use AF with the 200mm (or any other lens for that matter) all I have to do is press the AF button. I think the AF button, by the way, is quicker and more accurate than half-pressing the shutter.
I've been trying this and I'm sure you are right .... on the AF button being quicker to focus than just half-pressing the shutter. Great tip.

Something else worthy of consideration in other situations is pressing in the lense release button when you want to switch to MF (I use my right 3rd finger - the right ring finger) with lenses that don't have an MF/AF switch. This works a dream and is near silent, and far easier, and quicker than going back to the body switch.
01-08-2011, 06:27 AM   #26
Veteran Member
mediaslinky's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Florida
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 377
Original Poster
I am a bit curious about the car/blind thing. You guys say you should turn off the car. Which I assume is so that the vibration doesnt compromise the image.

When I have been in the woods, and on an ATV (not quite the same as a car, much louder) I never turn off the engine if I want to be able to watch the wildlife. As soon as the noise goes away, most deer I've seen/been told... bolt. Is this not an issue with a quieter car?

A few years ago, my family took the drive thru tour of the refuge near my dad's place. Right at dusk we counted well over 40 white tail deer in the fields there. None of them were right by the road, but all were visible from the car.
01-08-2011, 06:43 AM   #27
Loyal Site Supporter
dadipentak's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,073
QuoteOriginally posted by mediaslinky Quote
so that the vibration doesnt compromise the image.
Absolutely--it's essential. But you're right that turning off the engine can sometimes spook wildlife in the area a bit. But, if you think of the car as a blind rather than a vehicle, it means setting up where the wildlife will be rather than where it is. Bring a book &/or a laptop &/or a friend (or, better yet, a lover ;~) and be prepared to wait.
01-08-2011, 11:43 AM   #28
Veteran Member




Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 535
QuoteOriginally posted by mediaslinky Quote
I am a bit curious about the car/blind thing. You guys say you should turn off the car. Which I assume is so that the vibration doesnt compromise the image.

When I have been in the woods, and on an ATV (not quite the same as a car, much louder) I never turn off the engine if I want to be able to watch the wildlife. As soon as the noise goes away, most deer I've seen/been told... bolt. Is this not an issue with a quieter car?

A few years ago, my family took the drive thru tour of the refuge near my dad's place. Right at dusk we counted well over 40 white tail deer in the fields there. None of them were right by the road, but all were visible from the car.
The difference is in the noise levels and familiarity. I don't use ATVs--actually hate the things and how they disturb wildlife and me. But I have some experience with chain saws. Deer are courious creatures, and I'm convinced they often come in to check out what all that noise is about while I'm out cutting wood. I've seen them often. They don't come close, but usually stand just back in the edge of the woods in the shadows at about 100 yards. As long as you don't walk around or kill the engine, they'll usually stand there and study you. The second you shut it off, however, they bolt. Even if you leave it running and walk over to get a camera, they'll bolt.
A car is much different, not just because it is quieter, but because they become accustomed to seeing vehicles on roads. ATVs are a dramatic and obnoxious intrustion.
I don't think ATVs are a good way to either hunt or photograph. I do, however, use rattling and calls sometimes to attract deer to my blinds.
01-08-2011, 12:08 PM   #29
Veteran Member
jolepp's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Finland
Photos: Albums
Posts: 3,196
I have heard about using a car as a mobile blind for shooting birds in here in Finland. Leaving the motor running helps, the birds mind the car less that way I've been told. This is illegal, but apparently effective as it is still done, I hear. Artificial means to lure/keep the prey in range are generally banned, if not explicitly permitted, as potentially too effective. Also, there is a general ban for shooting from/over a roadway for safety reasons (I'd think). The traditional way is using a dog to locate the birds and draw their attention; the way this works is that the dog roams free and chases a bird it might find into a tree and starts barking, at which point the hunter tries to make a careful approach to get in range.
01-08-2011, 12:36 PM   #30
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ferguson, Mo.
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,348
Have never really noticed defensive reaction in shuting engine down,
associated movement on the other hand, does seem to put criiters off.
Have wondered if rear-view mirrors might be a factor.
Anyone ever try to shoot prong-horn antelope in wyoming and notice difference
between inside/outside, moving/stopped?
Because of safe operation of motor vehicle, I mentioned bringing a friend.
Wife might get mad if I bring a lover, Dave(LOL)
Wondering if anyone has used portable goose blinds that form a reclining chair
on ground, shrouded by some material. Seems like that would work pretty good,
though it might restrict movement a little bit
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
k-mount, life, pentax lens, slr lens, woods
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wildlife Jimbo Post Your Photos! 20 07-26-2009 10:52 AM
This wildlife shooting is "for the birds"... a walk on the beach Peter Zack Post Your Photos! 31 08-02-2008 07:38 PM
Shooting the photographer shooting my sons engagement photos skinja Post Your Photos! 13 07-04-2008 12:14 PM
A Few Lessons Learned About Shooting Wildlife acbees Post Your Photos! 9 05-07-2008 02:13 PM
when shooting wildlife..... lodi781 Photographic Technique 12 04-01-2008 03:41 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:09 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top