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05-26-2012, 09:58 AM   #1
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New 60-250 & TC conundrum

After being on order for over 2 months my 60-250 arrived on Friday. This turned out to be a very good day because we found out the SKA will be partially based in Australia (I work in radio astronomy in Australia) :-) Anyway, back to the lens...

It's ridiculously great, but I was pretty sure it would be. I don't quite see why some people are concerned about the weight- it feels pretty useable even handheld, although I think it will mostly be used on my tripod thanks to the FL and shutter speeds required on my K7. So far so happy.

A pic at 60: IMGP2778.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
and 250: IMGP2753.jpg | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

The cropping that 250 shot has got me thinking about whether it is even worth getting a teleconverter to achieve a "real" 500mm focal length. I had a play with a Kenko x2 in a local shop and (ignoring that it made my K7 go absolutely barmy when used with the 60-250) it wasn't obvious I gained any IQ over cropping. That, and the fact the Kenko feels so cheap, has perhaps put me off using a TC for some solar photography I have planned for the transit of venus.

I'd be interested to hear what people here have to say on the TC versus crop matter. Is it worth the cost, hassle, focus shenanigans? Are they really a film era relic? The fact Pentax *still* aren't producing one doesn't seem like a vote of confidence.

Cheers,

Aaron

05-26-2012, 10:24 AM   #2
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I'm in the 'film era relic' camp for most of the uses of a TC.

You really need to do some experiments with YOUR TC and YOUR lens in order to see if you get any sharpness improvement - and then you have to consider whether the reduced DOF, increased shutter time, increased AF time (for most uses of AF), and reduced FOV is advantageous or not, for YOUR normal level of cropping.

For me, for the pictures I've done, TC's haven't really been 'worth it'. I'd rather have the increase in DOF, increased FOV, and decreased shutter time. I can crop to my heart's desire later. For me, for the pictures I would take with a TC, I believe has an improvement in IQ.
05-26-2012, 11:20 AM   #3
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2x TC is simply too much, certainly for a zoom, a 1.4x TC might be much more successful, pentax is coming with a 1.4x TC with SDM the coming year.
05-27-2012, 07:06 AM   #4
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The coming year is probably too late. This will be the last transit of Venus this century :-) I think I'll stick to the crop.

Annoyingly the parrots that often wake me up in the morning outside my window have all disappeared since I got the lens- cunning critters.

05-27-2012, 12:10 PM   #5
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Well they are releasing a 560mm this year by the looks of it
05-28-2012, 08:03 AM   #6
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Problem solved. I made a DIY solar filter today and took some test shots- it easily resolves sunspots and limb-darkening, so it will be pretty good for the transit. No need for any TC complications.
Sun picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/60588666@N04/7287201410/in/photostream
03-11-2013, 09:15 PM   #7
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Did you get any shots?

QuoteOriginally posted by asgr Quote
The coming year is probably too late. This will be the last transit of Venus this century :-) I think I'll stick to the crop.

Annoyingly the parrots that often wake me up in the morning outside my window have all disappeared since I got the lens- cunning critters.
Did you get any shots ?
03-18-2013, 02:20 AM   #8
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Indeed, and with my new 60-250mm!

Transit of Venus | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

:-D

03-18-2013, 05:16 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by asgr Quote
Indeed, and with my new 60-250mm!

Transit of Venus | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

:-D
We're they with the tele?

Btw on a side note do you have any shots with the 60-250 and a teleconverter?
03-18-2013, 10:41 PM   #10
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I didn't use a tele. I'm still not sure if this is really worth the hassle. Maybe for astro-photo with static infinity focus (modulo temperature), but probably not for wild-life. That's my current thinking at least. I'm keen to try the astro tracer out- but even without it I got some nice shots last week at Shark Bay in WA. Check it out on Google Maps- it's *very* remote. It's amazingly dark, and in fact probably darker than some of the real astronomy telescope sites I've visited for work. Certainly darker than Siding Springs in NSW. I included the foreground turbine lights for effect, it was easy to get a shot without any light pollution.

The first link is close to the S-pole, so not much star trailing. The second link is of Orion, and this is more of a pain being on the equator (same exposure). The astro-tracer might work nicely here. Because I spend a lot of my day mucking about with astronomic imaging, I don't fancy making that my hobby too, so exposure stacking isn't something I want to invest time into.

Little Lagoon + Big Night 2 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
Little Lagoon + Big Night 1 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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