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07-04-2008, 10:17 AM   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Re the auto flash, the AF540FGZ also has an auto mode, so it can work on the other DSLRs like the K10D and K20D with K mount lenses. The only draw back is it takes in the average exposure of a wide area, and when shooting birds, I prefer to use TTL with spot metering, so that metering is correct on the subject.

Auto mode is fine, for a close up or birds on a feeder, but when there is no background at the same distance, such as a bird on a wire, it will tend to over expose because there is nothing reflected back, or under expose because the background is bright, and the bird is in the shadow.

This is one reason, why in other threads regarding back up bodies for a K10D, I always suggest the *istD.
THAT WAS VERY ENLIGHTENING...I'll have to rethink of buying that sunpak flash..After doing all research I was dying to buy it at that price..

Will stick to the built in flash for a while and then buy AF 360..

07-04-2008, 01:14 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by hrishi Quote
THAT WAS VERY ENLIGHTENING...I'll have to rethink of buying that sunpak flash..After doing all research I was dying to buy it at that price..

Will stick to the built in flash for a while and then buy AF 360..
Lowell is ofcourse right with the Auto-mode being limited to a wide measuring angle (usually between 20 and 30 degrees). Nevertheless I rarely use P-TTL when photographing birds, as the delay is too long (because of the pre-flash). The old TTL never worked realiably enough for my taste on the istDS, so was no option either. I usually simply fire off the flash completely manually at a pre-set charge (full or half or whatever meets my aperture). The flash projectors (Better Beamer or Project-a-Flash) work very good, though my reach with my Metz MZ54 was something around 10-15 meters - but I can step down much further, using the Project-a-flash (two f-stops at least).

For general shooting the Auto-mode (Thyristor control) works very good and seems to be more repeatable in its results, than P-TTL (at least with my Metz flash guns). So, I wouldn't forgo the Sunpak completely. Otherwise the old Vivitar flashes are very cheap and nice, having a good set of available aperture-stops (many flashes only have one or two f-stops available in Auto-mode).

Ben
07-04-2008, 09:01 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
Lowell is ofcourse right with the Auto-mode being limited to a wide measuring angle (usually between 20 and 30 degrees). Nevertheless I rarely use P-TTL when photographing birds, as the delay is too long (because of the pre-flash). The old TTL never worked realiably enough for my taste on the istDS, so was no option either. I usually simply fire off the flash completely manually at a pre-set charge (full or half or whatever meets my aperture). The flash projectors (Better Beamer or Project-a-Flash) work very good, though my reach with my Metz MZ54 was something around 10-15 meters - but I can step down much further, using the Project-a-flash (two f-stops at least).

For general shooting the Auto-mode (Thyristor control) works very good and seems to be more repeatable in its results, than P-TTL (at least with my Metz flash guns). So, I wouldn't forgo the Sunpak completely. Otherwise the old Vivitar flashes are very cheap and nice, having a good set of available aperture-stops (many flashes only have one or two f-stops available in Auto-mode).

Ben
THAT WAS ENLIGHTENING TOO!

U guys continuw to amaze..

However, I know one thing- Ultimately, within 2years, I want to get a fully automatic gear so that I can concentrate more on the creative side of photography than the technical..

Hence I would buy a Bigma and a 100/2.8 macro + 1.4/2x TC..

Now, if I want ONE flash which will give me the least worry, be completely compatible with the two lenses, which one should I buy?? I agree I wont use wireless mode on a tele but will surely use it on the macro..I can actually hold the flash in one hand and camera in the other..or use a stand/bracket..I have never used wires in photography except the USB n have a general phobia about them..

One question though- Does the sweivel perform the same effect as a flash mounted sideways on a bracket? In that case, I'll keep the flash mounted on the camera for both macro and tele, and hence buy the sunpak flash instead of a unsweiveling AF360 on a bracket..
07-05-2008, 05:53 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by hrishi Quote
One question though- Does the sweivel perform the same effect as a flash mounted sideways on a bracket? In that case, I'll keep the flash mounted on the camera for both macro and tele, and hence buy the sunpak flash instead of a unsweiveling AF360 on a bracket..
No, swivel and placing the flash sideways are two different things, though there are similarities. You would aim the flash head sideways (swivel) to use a nearby reflective surface (a wall or dedicated reflector) to bounce back the ligh onto your subject. Bouncing the flash would give a much softer light, because the reflecive surface acts as the light source, which is much bigger, than the flash head. But bouncing just to a side will give you a very directional lighting and should be supplemented by a frontal fill-light (may the onboard mini-flash of the camera).

Placing a flash gun on a bracket sideways will move the main light source a bit to the side, thus giving in effect better modulation to the subject, than full frontal light. But as the flash head is small, the light will still be quite harsh. So combining a flash placed on a bracket with a reflector to spread and soften light output is a good way to work in macro. This also allows to get some light into the background which might go completely black, if you just use one directional light source, namle a direct flash.

Ben

07-05-2008, 07:11 AM   #50
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Oh..understood..anyways, for time being i'll stick to the on board flash which gives me decent results with the 300/4..
07-07-2008, 11:26 AM   #51
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Today I went out to test the 2x TC on the 300/4 and the Super Takumar Macro 50/4..

k300/4 was significantly underexposing as the in-built flash wan't enough to illumunate the owl. So used ISO 800 to get correct exposure. Shot wide open (effective f8), Handheld with the in built flash intensity at +1..

here is the result with the 300/4 + 2x TC..It is uncropped, shot in RAW, processed at the default settings of the RAW Therapee, resized in Irfanview at the default settings, 10pxl border and copyright..Have to admit that the image below looks many times better than that in camera..(though I haven't done any editing..)



Flash caused Red eyes. Don't know how to remove it..

I think Irfanview does something to the image while resizing..It's sharpness stays spot on..even noise of the ISO 800 disappeared almost completely.



Here is one taken with 300/4 without the TC..f4, flash, 1/180, ISO 200

07-07-2008, 12:02 PM   #52
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Hrishi. Your images could be so wonderful... They are the best proof, that the most important accessory to any camera is a good external flash gun! Just imagine, how much a stronger flash would have improved these beautiful shots! Composition and focus are spot on, just that the internal flash wasn't up to the task. Buy a cheap Vivitar 285 and you will see so much improvement in the technical quality, that it will even match your apparent compositional skills.

Ben
07-07-2008, 07:59 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
They are the best proof, that the most important accessory to any camera is a good external flash gun! Just imagine, how much a stronger flash would have improved these beautiful shots! Composition and focus are spot on, just that the internal flash wasn't up to the task. Buy a cheap Vivitar 285 and you will see so much improvement in the technical quality, that it will even match your apparent compositional skills.

Ben
Yes totally agreeed! Will buy the Sunpak 422D flash after repairing it. $100 is quite less for what it provides, but then I won't buy another flash for a very long long time (3-4 years)!!

Hey, as the shake was too much, composing was difficult. and as I was gettin red eyes, I switched the flash to 'Red eye' mode and quess what, there is a infinitesimal pause after pressing the shutter release till the image being captured. This paused served like a remote release as it nullified the shake induced by pressing the shutter release and made better composition possible...


Last edited by hrishi; 07-07-2008 at 08:06 PM.
07-08-2008, 07:37 AM   #54
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Tripod mount

Just to let you know that I use the tripod mount that came with my Tamron SP300 f5.6, and I have found it gives excellent support, especially if the base points towards the front of the lens. I have a cheap monopod but with care it works well.

I have used my Tamron SP F converter but the PF can be terrible which puts me off. Would rather crop the image in PP.
07-08-2008, 08:03 AM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by hrishi Quote
Yes totally agreeed! Will buy the Sunpak 422D flash after repairing it. $100 is quite less for what it provides, but then I won't buy another flash for a very long long time (3-4 years)!!

Hey, as the shake was too much, composing was difficult. and as I was gettin red eyes, I switched the flash to 'Red eye' mode and quess what, there is a infinitesimal pause after pressing the shutter release till the image being captured. This paused served like a remote release as it nullified the shake induced by pressing the shutter release and made better composition possible...
A good flash will serve you much longer than 3-4 years. My old Metz 45CTsomething is around 25 years old now and works perfectly.

Red eye reduction will cause a delay in the shutter release. If that worked to reduce camera shake, that's great news. I have never used red eye reduction, as I use the camera flash only during day time as a fill, when I am too lazy to carry a proper flash gun with me (thats a rare occasion). I alsways find, that any pre-flash, even the P-TTL pre-flash leads to too much delay and your subject might have changed its expression in the short meantime, before the shutter actually fires. people tend to blink their eyes after the P-TTL pre-flash and you get an image with clodes eyes morre often. And animals are so fast movers (especially small birds), that the pre-flash delay often ruins the image for me. That's why I use flash for bird photography almost always completely manually.

Ben
07-09-2008, 02:38 PM   #56
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Few more taken today with my 300mm. F4.









Liking this lens more and more.
07-09-2008, 09:14 PM   #57
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Great images!!
Yes, the lens is excellent without the TC..you shot wide open?

IN a different thread, I'v posted a few images from it taken during the Himalayan trip, anyways, here they are









08-21-2008, 06:26 AM   #58
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Smc k 300/4

I bought this lens around April/May of this year after getting some overtime at work. It was purchased from KEH and I really did not realize how large/heavy it would be. I admit I have not used it as much as I should, but these prior posts have made me rethink this lens. I didn't want to purchase any of the aftermarket tripod collars and do not have the skill/time/resources to have one of the aluminum ones made, so I made a "rest" for my 300 that mounts on my tripod with the QR. Mine is made of wood and took maybe an hour total to measure/cut/sand/install the 1/4x20 nuts and paint. I'll attach a photo of the "rest" mounted on the tripod.

Last edited by Nick1946; 10-11-2008 at 06:57 AM.
08-21-2008, 08:15 AM   #59
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K 300

Looks like a neat solution Nick. You might put a bean bag in the cradle as well. Let us know how it works for you. Yes, this lens is very front end heavy. I found, while one could use the tripod socket in the camera with this lens, I was never really comfortable the rig wouldn't topple over. It never did but I was pretty sure it would just be a matter of time.

There hasn't been a whole lot of action in this thread for a while. I guess the half dozen of us who own the world's supply of this optic have been busy. I note there is one on sale on Ebay and it looks like it will go for over $300 today. Let's see if we can keep the thread alive and show the old 300 a little love.

I've posted these K 300 images in another thread but they seem to fit well here too. I've been trying to get some Goldfinch shots for some time now with the K 300 and this little fellow was a lot more cooperative than normal. He must have sat still for at least 10 seconds!








All shots Pentax K 300 f4 on monopod. (ISO 100 @ shutter speed 400 @ f8)

Tried to get the shot with th K 200 2.5 yesterday. This is the best of that lot. Why is there always a branch in the way?



The hunt continues tomorrow.

Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-21-2008 at 12:40 PM. Reason: typo
08-21-2008, 11:58 AM   #60
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A few more Finches with the K 300

Had some luck with the local finches today. The K 300 performed pretty well.
















Tom G
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