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06-25-2011, 08:52 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I see Canon and Nikon 600/4's, no prices listed, but I imagine they're in that neighborhood. I don't see any 250-500/2.8 from anyone. If Pentax made one, how would they price it, and would you (or enough others) pay that price?
You mean like this Sigma beast, not available in Pentax mount, but priced in the down-payment-for-a-house range?
200-500mm F2.8 APO EX DG - Telephoto Zoom Lenses - SigmaPhoto.com

06-25-2011, 09:57 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by littledrawe Quote
Dare to be different . . . . . RIGHT!

I'm not sure how much I am willing to pay ? But, I am pretty sure that there are no FA 250-600mm and FA600 f4 s collecting dust on store shelves anywhere!! I may not have the money right now but If these lenses were available readily and I didn't have to sell my soul or add 5 extra zeros to the end of my maximum bid on ebay I would start donating plasma and digging ditches to get one. In addition, it would make pentax a competitor in this market. There are professional photographers all over the world and at some point everyone of them had to pony up and put their money on the counter, why not have Pentax be an option for them instead of just Canon and Nikon.

I certainly hope the people in the Pentax front office aren't shying away from making a lens because they aren't sure how much they should charge people for it.

The reason you don't see FA* 600/4 and FA* 250-600/5.6 on shelves collecting dust is that they were basically special order items. In fact, I think you could probably order the FA* 600/4 from Japan if you had $9000 to lay down. On the flip side of that, since they were special order items, I don't understand why those hoya corporate boys canceled them officially.
06-26-2011, 06:45 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by George Lama Quote
You mean like this Sigma beast, not available in Pentax mount, but priced in the down-payment-for-a-house range?
200-500mm F2.8 APO EX DG - Telephoto Zoom Lenses - SigmaPhoto.com
That's the baby. Oh sure, costlier glass exists, but not much of it, and I don't bother wet-dreaming in that direction. The Lil'Bigma was bad enough. [/me smacks head]
06-26-2011, 09:51 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
There is a misconception that long, expensive lenses are needed for professional wildlife photography. Some do use them, but most shoot shorter, faster lenses--especially those you see in Nat Geo. The professional part is in knowing how to get close.
There also is a misconception that pics from very long lenses with TCs are good enough for publication, just because they look good in the dummed down version posted on the internet or computer screen. These are different mediums with different requirements.
Generally, regardless the FL, faster is better for wildlife. Though the DA 300mm f-4 does a great job on backyard birds and in good light, it is too slow for the low-light conditions so common for real and shy wildlife, and it isn't just the loss of an f-stop (compared to the 200mm f-2.8). Longer lenses require higher shutter speeds as well. While I can get a tack-sharp image with the 200mm at f-2.8 with 200sec., I need 300sec. with the f-4. That's really equivilent to a two-stop difference. Add another 100mm, and you need 400th sec, and even if that 400mm is an f-4, you're still talking about a three-stop difference between it and the 200mm f-2.8. These are the reasons I settled upon the 200mm.
When the light is strong, either will work, but when it is fading (or overcast, or when the animal is standing in the shade, which is most common) the difference is considerable. Whenever you add a TC, the loss is compounded, in both f-stops and effective shutter speeds.
Now, you can get great shots in good light with these longer lenses, but when you approach wildlife from a pragmatic professional perspective (I sell one or two covers and many inside shots each month), longer lenses present too many restrictions and limitations. Usually, the lens has to be fast--and so do you--to consistently get shots that stand out from the rest.
Being professional is not so much in the equipment and the FL, but in the ability to get close.
I'm really glad this thread was started. I was going back and forth with trading my 300/2.8 for the Pentax 300/4. Of course a lot of it has to do with portablity. Lugging an almost 6lbs lens around gets a little difficult at times.
I just need to spend more time learning the areas I go to and the animals/birds behaviors that frequent there.
I know the colors of the clothes I wear sometimes don't help so I need to start blending in more. There are a lot of things I could do different and I account that to laziness. I just want to jump out of my vehical and hope something jumps out in front of me

Big congrats on your publications Ron. I have a full time job and a relationship so its difficult at times to make the time to get out. I'm not really trying to go professional but it would be nice to be able to sell some photos to pay for my gear. I guess I just need to make a real commitment.

06-26-2011, 11:55 AM   #35
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Wildlife shooting is not just about how long lens you have or you can afford..it's more about being at the right place at the right time...this can mean experience or luck

K-x da50-200..definitely not the coolest wildlife combo:






K-5 da55-300:





Andras
06-27-2011, 01:38 PM - 1 Like   #36
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General tips:
Never chase--ambush.
Go where the subject naturally wants to go and hide well.
Set your blind or hide in a place or angle that gives you the best chance for good light at the time the subject wants to visit the area.
Blinds made of natural materials are better than manufactured blinds. Remember that when you change something or add something, you are rearranging their living room. In the woods, a fallen tree near the trail or feeding areas is best, and if it still has some leaves on it--all the better.
Always sit in the shade, preferrably with the sun behind you. If you sit against a tree, sit in front of it, not behind, and be sure the tree is wider than your shoulders. Peeking around something will get you spotted.
Wear full camo, including face mask, that best matches your environment.
After building or setting a blind, stay away for a couple of weeks to let them get used to it.
Feeding areas are generally better than resting areas.
Early morning (with increasing light) is better than late evening (with fading light).
Use calls, decoys etc. both to attract and as assurance of safety.
For land animals, scent and direction of the wind is most important. The nose rules. Enter and leave your blind on the same path, hopefull on a path they never cross. Try to mask your scent. Wear rubber bottomed boots, and spray a masking scent on them. Don't touch foliage comming or going. Never wear leather boots or tennis shoes.
Keep all movements to a minimum, and make all movements very slowly, even when you think nothing is near. Animals most detect movement, and they don't always let you know you spooked them. I swear a wild turkey can see a man blink at 40 yards.
Baiting an area is illegal for most hunting, but not for photography (check the rules).
Good shots of animals standing staring at the camera are a dime a dozen and look like they might have been taken in a domesticated area. Snap the shutter when the shot looks candid, and whenever possible, when animals are interacting with each other.
Don't just fire away when you see something. Wait for what you think is the best opportunity or pose, then fire away. When close, animals spook at shutter noise and AF whirr.
Always use a rest whenever possible. Tripods take too much time to adjust. Monopods aren't bad, but your camera bag or a bean bag are best. A bath towel folded and layed over a log works well too. If standing or walking, and you see something (unlikely, but possible), lay the lens alongside a tree to steady it.
Freeze your entire body and hold your breath before taking the shot, and then do so by squeezing the shutter botton slowly (like a trigger). Never slap it or hurry your shot. Ease your finger down. There should always be some element of suprise when the shutter fires, just as there is with expert rifle shooters.
For dramatic shots, always try to shoot up at an animal, not down. (Keep this in mind when setting your blind as well.)
To control your focal point in cluttered areas (such as woods), learn a quick and reliable MF technique.
Luck is always an element in wildlife photography, but the more you can eliminate that element, the more consistent you will be. It is like what Hogan said when asked how one can improve their putting. "If you want to improve your putting," he said, "knock the ball closer to the hole."
06-27-2011, 01:55 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by George Lama Quote
You mean like this Sigma beast, not available in Pentax mount, but priced in the down-payment-for-a-house range?
200-500mm F2.8 APO EX DG - Telephoto Zoom Lenses - SigmaPhoto.com
I was going to get one of those, but it's only available in Nikon, Canon and Sigma fit
06-28-2011, 04:26 AM   #38
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Thanks for taking the time and giving the tips Ron.
I think the biggest 2 things for me to change is blending in ( cameo ) and patience.

On the subject of lenses though I think I would love to see another Pentax 300 f2.8 and of course a good teleconverter.


Last edited by OrenMc; 06-28-2011 at 03:51 PM.
06-28-2011, 04:51 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
Never chase--ambush.
I owned a Sigma 170-500mm for a week or 6 and came to the conclusion that your first tip is a very good one and that I'm not patient enough to buy a serious telelens.

Did have some fun with it, bumble bee, birds and hare.
06-28-2011, 05:08 AM   #40
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Ah well. I'm sure blinds and bait gives the best results. I dont have time to do that. I hunt wildlife with a camera the same way I hunt with a rifle. Walk around until I find them, then stalk. For this technique to work you need focal length though.
06-28-2011, 05:13 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
I owned a Sigma 170-500mm for a week or 6 and came to the conclusion that your first tip is a very good one and that I'm not patient enough to buy a serious telelens.
I suspect I am about to find that out.

Just picked up a tamron SP 200-500F5.6

This is 2/3 of a stop faster than any other combo I have at 500mm but it weighs 2.4 KG as opposed to my K300/4 and 1,7x AF TC at about 1.1kg.

I have always wanted something faster, but the weight of this mosnter makes it a tripod/bean bage supported lens only (OK maybe a monopod)

It is certainly not a hand held beast.

chanse and ambush clearly can;'t work with something like this. It is a set up and wait. I figure what I learn in patience and use with this lens will pay off with everything else also
06-28-2011, 06:03 AM   #42
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I. too, am a wildlife photographer. But the blind idea won't work here. I live near two large bodies of water, the Indian River (aka Intercoastal Waterway) and the Atlantic Ocean. And that's what I shoot; water birds, of all kinds.

And I shoot MF on these birds. So there is no AF noise.

The birds I shoot are somewhat used to people being around and I walk slowly into their space, stop and wait. I need longer glass at times too because of where these birds are standing, wading, eating or nesting. I have two longer glass than 200mm, one is the Sigma 70-300mm APO/Macro, non DG, and the other is one I just recently bought from the Market Place here, a Samyang 100-500mm A lens. Below is a shot taken just recently with the Samyang lens:

Location, in the river, an island called Bird Island.

06-28-2011, 07:43 AM   #43
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I have tried shooting from my kayak and find birds are less intimidated by something on water. Shake reduction really helps when shooting from a floating object
06-28-2011, 04:01 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have tried shooting from my kayak and find birds are less intimidated by something on water.
I ran into someone while out shooting once that said the same thing. He was using an outfit like this. The gimbal was just mounted on a square piece of plastic and he was able to move it around at will.



I should invest in something like this with all the water around here.
06-28-2011, 04:34 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
I ran into someone while out shooting once that said the same thing. He was using an outfit like this. The gimbal was just mounted on a square piece of plastic and he was able to move it around at will.
That looks like a smart solution.
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