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10-17-2007, 07:42 AM   #16
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Just to add to Lowells already good advice on lenses this might help to understand the 'camera speak' around fast lenses and other aspects of what to look for in a lens.

Understanding Camera Lenses

10-17-2007, 01:50 PM   #17
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I believe the EXIF data is there for you to peruse if you wish to.

The main issue with flash however is once it pops, depending upon your subject, they will scatter off. Hence, flash is not always a very good tool to use. Mind you, with that said, it is often needed to bring out the plumage if you’re shooting birds. It also works great for other animals also. But it depends upon the species on how they will react to a flash gun going off.

I decided not to use a flash because I did not want to scare this duck away. As for distance, he was a good 40 feet off.

I agree with your assesment that faster glass is very helpful in wildlife photography. I posted my example to show the compromises a photographer may have to make out in the field when dealing with slower lenses. Also to illustrate the issues of the Tamron 70-300mm only because it was mentioned in an earlier post. It isn't a real bad lens, but it most certainly has undesirable qualities that any buyer should be aware of before putting down their hard earned money.

Last edited by Chako; 10-17-2007 at 02:01 PM.
10-17-2007, 02:35 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote

Perhaps the best thing for you, given that you have a camera that needs lenses with automatic apature for P-TTL flash, (i.e. KA mount or newer) is to purchase a reasonable new/modern zoom, in the 250-300 mm range, and a really good flash. If you find you really enjoy wild life photography, you can always buy bigger and better lenses, and the flash will remain worthwhile.
Thanks for the information.

I guess I'll save some money and go shopping for a lens when I have more need for it (I would probably better learn the stuff with the kit lens and then upgrade to a zoom in the 250-300 range later).

A downside is that my local store doesn't have K-mount lenses in store (only Canikon ones) so I can't just walk-in with my body and ask to test some different lenses (or a specific lens) They don't lend their lenses but they do allow to test them there.

so I will probably need to decide what I want and then have them order it for me (offcourse eBay is another option but I've heard most Pentax users are in the USA so finding one here in Europe might be a bit harder then for most of the people here and if taxes and S&H become to high it's better to buy a new one then a second hand one).
10-17-2007, 02:38 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
Just to add to Lowells already good advice on lenses this might help to understand the 'camera speak' around fast lenses and other aspects of what to look for in a lens.

Understanding Camera Lenses
Tnx, added it to my bookmarks and I'll read through it when I have some more time.

10-19-2007, 01:45 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Perhaps the best thing for you, given that you have a camera that needs lenses with automatic apature for P-TTL flash, (i.e. KA mount or newer) is to purchase a reasonable new/modern zoom, in the 250-300 mm range, and a really good flash. If you find you really enjoy wild life photography, you can always buy bigger and better lenses, and the flash will remain worthwhile.
I've been looking around on the store website and I can find some 250-300mm telezoom lenses like the "Pentax SMC-DA 50-200mm F:4.0-5.6 ED" which is reasonable in price (it would start from where my kit lens ends)

they also have the "Pentax SMC-DA* 50-135mm F:2.8 ED IF SDM" which is around 800 so a bit over budget at the moment.

and that's ALL the telezoom lenses they have (by Pentax) they don't have Tamron Telezoom lenses only Widezoom but the :
"Tamron AF 28-200mm F:3.8-5.6 XR Di Asp.Mac. Pentax" and "Tamron AF 28-300mm XR F:3.5-6.3 Di Asp.Mac Pentax"

have the advantage that they can go smaller (28mm) so better for "walking around" I guess.

offcourse the 300mm is slower (6.3 aperture where the 200mm has 5.6).

There is also the Sigma "Sigma 55-200mm DC F: 4.0-5.6 Pentax Digitaal" and "Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro F: 4.0-5.6 Pentax AF"

so bottom line : I can't find a "faster" telezoom (or widezoom) lens that goes to 200mm or 300mm with a max aperture lower then 5.6/6.3 (at least not in my budget).

the only one that I can see that's fast is the new "Pentax SMC-DA* 50-135mm F:2.8 ED IF SDM" but it's not a 200mm lens.

so anybody who can advise me what of the above would be best for me ?

I'm personally leaning towards a widezoom (I guess that there are more "walk around" lenses since you can shoot nearby objects at 28mm and far objects at 200 or 300mm) but if a telezoom is much better for 200 or 300mm then I assume it's best to get one of these instead.

I notice that they also offer the "Pentax SMC-DA 50-200mm F:4.0-5.6 ED" in a kit with the K100D Super and 18-55mm kitlens so that one might be a good "starter" lens ??

and then get the "Sigma 800mm EX DG F: 5.6 Pentax AF" when I've gone completely mad
10-19-2007, 05:07 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cloudy Wizzard Quote
...Tamron AF 28-200mm F:3.8-5.6 XR Di Asp.Mac. Pentax...
I have that lens, I'll try to dig out some pics with it but I'm not big bird/animal shooter... not bad lens though... nicely built, good size and reach, only bad thing is f5.6 at 200mm and I have read somewhere that it's actualy bit shorter than 200mm despite it's markings, anyway quiet usefull lens,
I own Tamron 70-300 macro as well, it has much better reach for birds, that's for sure, but in strong sunlight the purple fringing becomes a pain in your lower back... yes, you can remove it in pp but still, 28-200 doesn't show the fringing so badly, you'll get a bit there too, but certainly not much...
and I agree with some opinions above, f5.6 at 200 or 300 mm isn't great, DA* 50-135 f2.8 would be great but I think it's reach is far too short, in your place I'd check things around, if you can get some cheap f2.8 or so lens, with 200mm or more, if not than maybe Tamron 70-300 would be my choice....
regards
10-19-2007, 11:17 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I have that lens, I'll try to dig out some pics with it but I'm not big bird/animal shooter... not bad lens though... nicely built, good size and reach, only bad thing is f5.6 at 200mm and I have read somewhere that it's actualy bit shorter than 200mm despite it's markings, anyway quiet usefull lens,
I own Tamron 70-300 macro as well, it has much better reach for birds, that's for sure, but in strong sunlight the purple fringing becomes a pain in your lower back... yes, you can remove it in pp but still, 28-200 doesn't show the fringing so badly, you'll get a bit there too, but certainly not much...
and I agree with some opinions above, f5.6 at 200 or 300 mm isn't great, DA* 50-135 f2.8 would be great but I think it's reach is far too short, in your place I'd check things around, if you can get some cheap f2.8 or so lens, with 200mm or more, if not than maybe Tamron 70-300 would be my choice....
regards
Well I'm not planning on doing "birding" what I mean is that my main interest at the moment is basic landscape photography. so I probably don't really need a 200 or 300 zoom. Just a larger focal length then the 55mm of the kit lens to bring some stuff closer when I can't get further then a specific spot. But I guess with landscape photography this isn't to often ?

However I'm hoping to see some animals like small deer or boar when I'm going to the Ardennen next year (we would be going this year but that was abandoned due to some problems) and in those cases I guess a zoom (200mm) would be perfect for a few reasons :

1. Don't disturb the animal with the loud click of the mirror
2. Safer for myself since I've heard those boars can get pretty aggressive
10-20-2007, 11:35 AM   #23
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What I've been forgetting to ask is about the use of the flash.

I some of the replies there is the mentioning of using the Flash with a 200mm lens (focal length) when shooting outside.

I've always thought that a flash was of no use when shooting outside (except for close portraits to eliminate shadows or in darker conditions) ?

so will the use of the build-in flash (or the Pentax AF-360 FGZ Flash) really make a difference when shooting during the day with a lens like the 50-200mm with the focal length around 200mm ??

10-20-2007, 12:39 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cloudy Wizzard Quote
What I've been forgetting to ask is about the use of the flash.

I some of the replies there is the mentioning of using the Flash with a 200mm lens (focal length) when shooting outside.

I've always thought that a flash was of no use when shooting outside (except for close portraits to eliminate shadows or in darker conditions) ?

so will the use of the build-in flash (or the Pentax AF-360 FGZ Flash) really make a difference when shooting during the day with a lens like the 50-200mm with the focal length around 200mm ??
Ive posted this before, but ths is an SMC Pentax 300mm F/4.0 with 1.7 x TC, shot at F8 and 1/150th with flash on my *istD

I use flash a lot for birds, usually because 1) with a long lens it is too dark to freeze motion, and 2, I like the way the background falls off to black.

Generally i shoot 1/150th (maximum shutter speed for flash, manual exposure with lens stopped down to under expose the background by 2-3 stops.

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 03-07-2008 at 11:32 AM.
10-20-2007, 01:18 PM   #25
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so you basically use the flash and then lower the exposure time to "underexpose" the image.

and the result is that the bird is correctly exposed and the background is dark.

would the cheap 360 be a good enough flash for this or is the 540 a better one (probably better but price/performance wise).
10-20-2007, 01:27 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cloudy Wizzard Quote
so you basically use the flash and then lower the exposure time to "underexpose" the image.

and the result is that the bird is correctly exposed and the background is dark.
Correct
QuoteQuote:
would the cheap 360 be a good enough flash for this or is the 540 a better one (probably better but price/performance wise).
Shot was either with Af54FGZ or AF500FTZ, I forget which and bothwork with the *istD.

I am in the process of getting some flash extenders, (better beamer) to get more reach.

I have not tried the 360, but think you are better suited with the 540. This is especially true if you can't get as fast a lens, and still want to stop down for better sharpness and depth of field
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