Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
10-16-2007, 02:02 AM   #1
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lommel, Belgium
Posts: 285
Animal Photography

Well since I was told that the Kit Lens isn't ideal for animal shots (like the ducks I posted earlier) I was wondering what lens would be better for this.

I assume it's a zoom lens since that would allow to zoom into a bird in a tree or another animal that you don't want to disturb when making the shots ?

so would something like a Pentax SMC-DA 18-250mm F:3.5-6.3 ED AL be good for this (only a bit above my budget at the moment so I'm just curious).

or cheaper :
Tamron AF 28-200mm F:3.8-5.6 XR Di Asp.Mac. Pentax
Sigma 28-300mm DG Macro F: 3.5-6.3 Pentax AF

10-16-2007, 02:09 AM   #2
and
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Mar 2007
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,476
These are not better than the kit lens imo, just longer. do you need longer reach or a one-in-all lens. if you just need longer reach then get a lens that starts at 50 or 70mm instead of one that starts at 18-28mm and it will be better, faster and cheaper.
10-16-2007, 04:51 AM   #3
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
You need to really define what you want to photograph with respect to animals before you go out to buy your next lens.

To photograph "a bird in the tree" without distrubing it usually takes something considerably longer than 250 mm. Most birds are less than 10 inches high, and to get within 20 feet is difficult. At that distance, with a 250 mm lens you can expect an image less than 1/2 the height of your viewfinder, and 10 inches is a relitively big bird.

I will direct you to a link where there are 2 bird photos, one taken with an SMC 300mm F/4 with 1.7x TC the other with a 200mm F/2.8 and 1.4x TC. The second shot with the 200mm was cropped to 50% of the height, and about 1/4 of the image area.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-pentax-photography/13308-do-you-a...tly-blurr.html

Both these lenses are relitively big and heavy, and although the 70-200 mm f/2.8 zoom plus TC is a relitively new lens it was also very expensive. (But worth it)
10-16-2007, 11:59 AM   #4
Veteran Member
clawhammer's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Logan, Utah
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 976
If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive lens, the pentax DA 50-200 is a great little performer, and if you need more range the FAJ 75-300 or the Tamron 70-300 are both good choices.

10-16-2007, 12:39 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: May 2007
Location: York Region Canada
Posts: 642
If yoiou can find a good one, look at the Older Sigma 300 F4.

I have used it for birds, bears deer etc and with a 1.4 TC pulls in fairly decent images.

I printed a few for a local fair recently, and was impressed with the clarity and sharpness.
Dave
10-16-2007, 02:23 PM   #6
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lommel, Belgium
Posts: 285
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
These are not better than the kit lens imo, just longer. do you need longer reach or a one-in-all lens. if you just need longer reach then get a lens that starts at 50 or 70mm instead of one that starts at 18-28mm and it will be better, faster and cheaper.
Well I thought one of those all-in-one lenses that start around 18mm would be ideal for walking around in the forest (for example) to take some pictures (landscape and animals) without the need to change lenses that often. Off course I guess that the 55mm of my kit lens isn't a big "zoom" when you're talking about outdoor photography so maybe one of those would also be perfect for this ?
10-16-2007, 02:25 PM   #7
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lommel, Belgium
Posts: 285
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
To photograph "a bird in the tree" without distrubing it usually takes something considerably longer than 250 mm. Most birds are less than 10 inches high, and to get within 20 feet is difficult. At that distance, with a 250 mm lens you can expect an image less than 1/2 the height of your viewfinder, and 10 inches is a relitively big bird.
Well the bird was just an example actually, I was more thinking of some larger animals (like deer for example, even though I don't know if they are even running around in the wild here).

but if I understand correctly for birds you need a really BIG lens.
10-16-2007, 02:27 PM   #8
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lommel, Belgium
Posts: 285
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by clawhamemr Quote
If you're looking for a relatively inexpensive lens, the pentax DA 50-200 is a great little performer, and if you need more range the FAJ 75-300 or the Tamron 70-300 are both good choices.
I'll have a look at those.

"fortunately" my buddy told me that our trip to the "Ardennen" this year is not going to happen so I have some more time to save for a better lens since I was hoping to see some boar and deer there and to be able to photograph them without getting to close (don't wat to make a wild boar upset if I know what I mean ).

10-16-2007, 02:37 PM   #9
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
QuoteOriginally posted by Cloudy Wizzard Quote
Well the bird was just an example actually, I was more thinking of some larger animals (like deer for example, even though I don't know if they are even running around in the wild here).

but if I understand correctly for birds you need a really BIG lens.
YES I do mean BIG. Not just long but relitively fast.

My two favourites are a Sigma 70-200 F2.8 with 1.4x TC and a pentax SMC 300mm f/4.0 with autofocus 1.7xTC.

I also combine these with a flash (AF500FTZ or AF540FGZ depending on lens and body)

With the flash it makes up for lack of speed to some extent, especially when in close. What I would love to have (but can't justify yet) is a 300mm F2.8 with matched 1.4x TC, or perhaps something even bigger, but as I said, I can't justify it yet,

For now I will live within the confines of a 77mm front filter
10-16-2007, 02:39 PM   #10
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lommel, Belgium
Posts: 285
Original Poster
What do you mean with "fast" is that Auto Focus or what ?
10-16-2007, 03:26 PM   #11
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
QuoteOriginally posted by Cloudy Wizzard Quote
What do you mean with "fast" is that Auto Focus or what ?
By fast I mean maximum apature.

COnsider 200mm F/2.8, 300 mm F/4, or 400mm f/5.6 as a minimum.

All of these will result in a 77mm front element diameter,

While you might get away with smaller (i.e. slower lenses) they will limit the shutter speed, and or distance you can reach with a flash.

Although shake reduction is good, it is not as good as a flash
10-17-2007, 12:08 AM   #12
Senior Member




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Lommel, Belgium
Posts: 285
Original Poster
Ah, so with fast you really mean fast (a high shutter speed)

I did notice that my aperture can't be 3,5 when I have my focal lenght (ket lens) at 55mm it then goes up automatically 1 stop or something like that).

when I look at the website of my local store I can only find these 2 :
Pentax SMC-DA 50-200mm F:4.0-5.6 ED
Sigma 55-200mm DC F: 4.0-5.6 Pentax Digitaal

the 5.6 is the Max aperture at 200mm ?? so not the 2.8 you suggested ?

all others start with a lower focal length like 18-200mm and those were not that good.

off course there is also the : "Pentax SMC-DA* 50-135mm F:2.8 ED IF SDM" but that's a pretty expensive one and a smaller focal length (but the correct aperture ?)
10-17-2007, 05:34 AM   #13
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
Patrick

When I say fast, and this is "camera speak" it means a lens with a large maximum apature. You are correct, with respect to the lenses you have seen in stores, most modern zooms have an apature that changes as you zoom, and when they quote 2 different maximum apatures, they are the apature at the minimum and maximum focal lenghts, therefore f5.6 would be the apature at 200 mm. The impact of this is that when compared to my 70-200 f2.8 and all else being equal, i.e. iso setting light etc, you will have 1/4 the light on the sensor (at maximum apature) or 2 full stops. This means 1/4 the shutter speed to get the same photo, or a lot more flash power.

In addition, with a maximum apature of 5.6 you cannot put a teleconverter on the lens and have the auto focus function reliably. where as with an F/2.8 zoom, you can easily use a 1.4x or 2x. to get even closer.

It requires some looking and at present purchasing on the used market, to get lenses as I have suggested.

2 of the 3 lenses I have, I have owned for more than 15 years, and I got them used even then. Both of these are K mount manual focus lenses, which are ok for my *istD but have limited use on my K10D because I cannot use them in P-TTL flash mode.

The 70-200mm F/2.8 is the sigma APO zoom (non macro version) which was available in 2003-4. I bought that new when I got my *istD. The lens has been discontinued, but they do appear on E-bay every so often.

The SMC 300mm F4 pentax lens is a really good 300 mm lens, and again they do appear from time to time. In fact there is a local camera store that has one used at present for about $350. It is a little beat up, and I have not looked seriously at it because I already have one.

My 400 mm F5.6 is a very old Vivitar lens (pentax versions also appear from time to time)

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.
10-17-2007, 06:15 AM   #14
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Sault Ste Marie, Ont, Canada.
Posts: 563
Some good advice to be found in this thread.

My primary enjoyment is wildlife photography. I like to go birding, and when I decided it was time to expand my photography to that area, I was shocked at the prices of a relatively fast prime lens in the 500mm range.

I eventually settled with the Bigma as it was at the right price for me. That and you wouldn't imagine how useful having 50-500mm on tap can be when your trying to photography unwilling subjects.

However, it is a relatively slow lens, and I have learned to work within its constraints. It is all about compromises if you’re not a millionaire. With these slow lenses, I found I had to up my ISO to 800 to get my shutter speed to around 1/1000th to stop the action on the following duck photo taken with the Tamron lens mentioned below. This is the compromise with slow lenses that you will have to make sometimes. You could always use a flash, but then, light reach becomes your enemy for wildlife photos. You might have to get a better beamer or some like attachment to get that extra reach.


Now, my father bought a Tamron 70-300mm lens to fit the K10D. If I knew what I now know today, I would have talked him out of it. Yes, the Tamron does have slightly better IQ, but at the cost of terrible purple fringing from chromatic aberration. Yes, it is relatively easy to remove in post processing, but honestly, is it worth the time to remove it for all the photos you want to keep? Today, I would honestly go with the Sigma 70-300 APO in a heart beat. At first, I was sort of happy with it, but not after the latest duck picks.


Here is an example using the Tamron 70-300 on the K10D. I was terribly disappointed in all that purple highlighting in the water drops. I didn't bother removing it either.
10-17-2007, 06:38 AM   #15
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
QuoteOriginally posted by Chako Quote
Here is an example using the Tamron 70-300 on the K10D. I was terribly disappointed in all that purple highlighting in the water drops. I didn't bother removing it either.
What are the camera settings for this shot? and also the relitive distance to the duck?

It looks pretty close, and I wonder if a flash would have been a better approach than natural light.

I agree pruple fringing is a pain, but that is a 10 second removal in any good photo editor (at least it was on your sample.

You said it is a compromise, and I agree. But you need to try it first.
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!
af, k-mount, lens, pentax, pentax lens, shots, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Lens for bird and wildlife animal photography Nitrok Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 42 11-29-2009 08:45 AM
little animal Corros Post Your Photos! 3 04-27-2009 12:39 PM
Animal Porn dvdman45 Post Your Photos! 3 02-10-2008 08:52 PM
Some animal shots smcclelland Post Your Photos! 6 07-04-2007 03:44 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:27 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.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