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03-06-2012, 01:07 PM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by rvannatta Quote
I'm only half in jest here. WE are on the thresh hold of technology that will revolutionize bird photography, and this is remote control.

While Pentax missed it on the K-01 it is the low end model, and if they follow through with an upscale mirrorless they will surely include support
for a full remote control package.

If I can plant a mirrorless (or even a mirrored) camera on a tripod, and toss a towel over it to make it a little less conspicioius (at least to the
camera theives) and retreat a 100 yards and fully operate my camera (and tripod) from an APP on my iPad, or lap top computer including
watching the image on the screen, I don't need a bizillion MM telephoto.

The ideal lens would then be the "high magnification" zoom lens do out by Pentax later this year on their road map, with the hope
that it included a remote controllable 'power zoom' function. You could set it up fairly close to where you expected the birds to come,
retreat a good distance, monitor the area in wide angle mode, and pan/elevate/zoom as appropriate hopefully fairly quietly
probably with better success than trying to sneak up on one with 50 lbs of gear.

We can do this on Mars, why not here.? So far the folks running the Pan-Cam on the Mars rover haven't sneaked a photo of martians making out, but but maybe some day????

Once upon a time Pentax had a power zoom function on their cameras--- its where the 2 came from in the KAF2---but I don't know if its still
available since the 2 has been hijacked for the SDM function or not.
but you know except for remove live view we have the capability today to trigger the camera remotely. I can do it from 3 KM (line of sight) using FRS radios, and the call feature, with a simple transistor as the switch and plug into the radio earphone and camera trigger.

I can do it from around the world with a cell phone and the same thing, except I am no longer able to view the subject directly.

03-06-2012, 01:08 PM - 1 Like   #47
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I don't want to start trouble here... but I am only going to suggest another non-Pentax solution for future reference. It's the Panasonic Lumix 100-300mm (a 200-mm-600mm FOV) lens used on any Panasonic micro four-thirds camera body. I suggest any of the cameras with built-in viewfinders, such as the G1, G2, G3, GH1 or GH2. The photo at this link was taken with the lens mounted on a G1 - the oldest micro four-thirds camera - and shot handheld at 300mm. It was the first shot I ever took with the lens. Click on the image to make it larger and see more detail:

http://www.mu-43.com/attachments/f38/4255d1305603143-panasonic-100-300-perfo...-p1010240a.jpg

This is only a suggestion and might not work for the OP because he wants to keep costs under $500... which is the price new for the Panasonic 100-300mm alone. But just something to think about if one can't deal with the size/weight of a DSLR kit with a long lens like the Sigma 150-500 or isn't impressed by the quality of images shot with TCs. Formats like micro four thirds do have their advantages in certain situations. I think birding might be one of them. It's certainly better than a bridge camera.

Last edited by Biro; 03-06-2012 at 01:15 PM.
03-06-2012, 03:55 PM   #48
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Hmmm...this is a good idea. I have not thought of this previously. I saw somewhere that a GF2 is now selling $350 or so. I wonder how much is a used m43 300mm lens.....
03-06-2012, 04:10 PM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
Hmmm...this is a good idea. I have not thought of this previously. I saw somewhere that a GF2 is now selling $350 or so. I wonder how much is a used m43 300mm lens.....
Keep an eye on the for-sale forum at the website where you found that image. You might be surprised what you can find a used G2 or G3 for as well. The G2 has the same 12mp sensor as the GF2 but adds a built-in EVF. The G3 has a newer 16mp sensor and improved image processing for jpgs. Auto-focus is better as well.


Last edited by Biro; 03-06-2012 at 04:25 PM.
03-06-2012, 04:50 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frogfish Quote
You look younger Dave
Turning 70 was a recent development I was much younger last summer ;~)
03-06-2012, 08:00 PM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by Biro Quote
Keep an eye on the for-sale forum at the website where you found that image. You might be surprised what you can find a used G2 or G3 for as well. The G2 has the same 12mp sensor as the GF2 but adds a built-in EVF. The G3 has a newer 16mp sensor and improved image processing for jpgs. Auto-focus is better as well.
Surprisingly, there has been a lot of M4/3 cameras listed at shopgoodwill.com lately. Probably 4 or 5 over the last three weeks or so.
03-07-2012, 12:49 AM - 1 Like   #52
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FA*300/4.5 + Vivitar 1.4X AF TC

QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
Hi Greyser, any photos u can post? I am keen to see the IQ of this particular TC.
As promised, I'm posting a few samples of the teamwork of K-5 and FA*300/4.5+Vivitar Series1 1.4X AF TC

Uncropped test shot from approx. 20ft. distance



100% crop



Long Tailed Weasel (moderately cropped)



Black Phoebe (cropped)



Red Shouldered Hawk (aggressively cropped)

03-07-2012, 03:20 AM   #53
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Wow. Those are incredible shots and even more so considering that those are taken using the 1.4 TC. I am impressed. And thanks for your effort to produce these shots too.

I will look into the vivitar 1.4TC. Seems like a great value TC.

Edit: Is it confirmed that this particular TC will work with the Tamron 70-200/f2.8 in AF mode? Will this also work (full AF) with the Sigma 150-500?


Last edited by raider; 03-07-2012 at 03:32 AM.
03-07-2012, 08:29 AM   #54
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Convincing test shots!
03-07-2012, 09:33 AM   #55
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I have done very little bird photography, but want to chime in with regard to the DA 55-300 and technique. Other than birds-in-flight, if you aren't getting it with the 55-300, you aren't close enough. I do find it a bit soft at the long end and wide open, but ~270mm and F/8, completely passable. The Quick-Shift capability of DA lenses comes in very handy in these situations, and I can second the hip-wader suggestion.
03-07-2012, 09:49 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by grainbelt Quote
I have done very little bird photography, but want to chime in with regard to the DA 55-300 and technique. Other than birds-in-flight, if you aren't getting it with the 55-300, you aren't close enough. I do find it a bit soft at the long end and wide open, but ~270mm and F/8, completely passable. The Quick-Shift capability of DA lenses comes in very handy in these situations, and I can second the hip-wader suggestion.
The DA 55-300 is a bit soft at 300mm and F5.8, but improves significantly even at F6.3 or F7.1 without any significant loss in exposure (only 1/3 or 2/3 stops). It is at its best at F8.

I found that the TAv mode being the best for birding with this lens under highly variable light condition as in tree foliage. Just set the camera to TAv mode, the aperture at F8 and the speed anywhere from 1/200 to 1/500 (whatever you feel comfortable) and let the ISO float. That way you use the lens at its best F-stop, you get a speed that will provide a blur-free image and let the light dictate the ISO and noise.

Or if you have a strong flash, set the aperture at F8 and keep shooting.
03-07-2012, 01:15 PM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by raider Quote
Edit: Is it confirmed that this particular TC will work with the Tamron 70-200/f2.8 in AF mode? Will this also work (full AF) with the Sigma 150-500?
On my FA*300 Vivitar was slightly inferior to the Tamron 1.4X Pz-AF, on par with Sigma APO 1.4X EX, and, to my surprise, superior to the Sigma APO 1.4X EX DG (may be a copy variation issue, though). I can't say how it would be on Sigma 700-200 and 150-500. I tried my Tamron 1.4x on Sigma 100-300, though. The output was better than with Sigma 1.4X.

Last edited by Greyser; 03-07-2012 at 01:33 PM.
03-08-2012, 04:48 AM   #58
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Thanks Greyser for your remark. I will spend time to look into the vivitar TC.
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