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06-26-2008, 08:34 AM   #1
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DA 55-300 Sample Shots (x7), no post processing

As is often the case, my photos look wildly different, or at least better, after I give them a healthy does of post-processing

My normal routine is to boost exposure if the picture is too dark, maybe recover blown highlights. Touch up contrast, maybe tap vibrance or saturation up a hair, then Smart Sharpen in CS3 at around 100%, 1.5 pixels (depending on subject).

---

None of these pictures underwent that routine. At most, these have been cropped. The single wasp picture was exposure comped because I fired the flash.

All PEFs exported to JPEG using Lightroom 2.0 64bit beta defauls for K20D.

EXIF data presented for each photo.
These won't win any awards, but maybe add to the growing samples of 55-300 shots.

These were shot under extremely overcast conditions, definitely not the most favorable. I was using a cheap $20 tripod like a monopod with SR on. Any post processing will be mentioned in picture title.

--------------------------------------

Bloom Through Trees: 300mm F/5.8 1/125s ISO1600


Wasp on Leaf: 300mm F/8 1/180s (flash) ISO200 Crop, EV+1



Big Rose: 300mm F/5.8 1/250s ISO800



Cat on Hood: 300mm F/6.7 1/180s ISO800, Crop


The One Remaining: 300mm f/6.7 1/250 ISO800, Crop
(It really is the single remaining bloom on my tree!)



Bird Not Looking: 300mm F/5.8 1/60s ISO1600, Crop
(This is why we buy Pentax folks!. 300mm shot at F 1/60s. Not the best in the world, but I got the shot.




Ka-BLoom!: 300mm F/6.7 1/30s ISO200
(Needless to say, I wasn't paying attention to camera settings!)



--------------
-------------

Final Verdict?

I absolutely love this lens.
Colors - Outstanding, given these are completely untouched with regards to any color adjustments (besides that single EV comp photo).

What amazes me even more is the fact these photos were on a very dreary morning, overcast, no sun rays in sight. I don't feel I would need to boost contrast or color at all unless I was going for a really "POPPY" photo.
I might sharpen them up a bit and/or run through noise Ninja for the really high ISO shots, but otherwise I'm very pleased.

Pixel peepers of course will spot the camera blur, as I was working with A) a horrible tripod and B) very slow shutter speeds, given then focal length.


Taken at "full size" though, I'm proud to say the DA 55-300 is a very nice lens
Highly recommended, even with the price difference between this and the 3rd party 70-300s, though you'll miss macro mode.

06-27-2008, 03:27 AM   #2
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All thats left is search for the best price The sigma 70-300mm isnt to bad but the 55-300 looks impressive

cheers
06-27-2008, 07:41 AM   #3
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Very nice shots. Colors are indeed vibrant. I am very happy with my copy as well. I bought it in one of those evil moments when instead of seaching on-line for LBA I walked into a retail shop , much harder to 'close the browser and walk away"

That said for the price I have no regrets. It is much easier to slap on than the Bigma for those times I want a little less girth on the camera.
06-27-2008, 09:46 AM   #4
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Too much colour?

Maybe I need to set the camera on Natural when I mount this lens. Or maybe I should just enjoy the saturation, what do you think?

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06-27-2008, 05:03 PM   #5
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I like the saturated colours with flowers.
06-27-2008, 05:32 PM   #6
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Those look very good, cputeq, and I like the vibrancy levels of those shots audibomber,
wouldn't change a thing (was it on 'bright'?)

cputeq, I'd be curious to see how some of those shots look after your typical PP workflow
- if you have some free time that wold be appreciated. I usually shoot jpeg on bright or
natural, with sharpening set to fine +1 or +2. The jpegs come out very nice, but I'll
probably go back to some standard raw workflow like I used to do on my K100D at some point....


.
06-27-2008, 08:20 PM   #7
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I like them how they are, Audiobomber !



QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
Those look very good, cputeq, and I like the vibrancy levels of those shots audibomber,
wouldn't change a thing (was it on 'bright'?)

cputeq, I'd be curious to see how some of those shots look after your typical PP workflow
- if you have some free time that wold be appreciated. I usually shoot jpeg on bright or
natural, with sharpening set to fine +1 or +2. The jpegs come out very nice, but I'll
probably go back to some standard raw workflow like I used to do on my K100D at some point....


.
Sure, I'll post some up later tonight. For the most part, depending on the shot, I'll touch up any exposure, contrast, cropping, 'clarity' or color effects in Lightroom. For sharpening I use Photoshop CS3, usually selective sharpening of the subject. I then inverse the selection and run the background through Noise Ninja if it's at around ISO 800 or higher. If I'm unhappy with the bokeh, I'll add a lens blur to the background selection, though this is pretty rare that I go through with it that much. It's processor intensive and it's sorta "cheating", though I will use it if it'll push a picture into "excellent" category.


Truth be told, I went through some PPing of the shots I posted and there isn't a huge improvement. I was able to bring out the wasp details slightly. I sharpened the cat on the hood and smoothed the noise a little.

The rose is technically good that my sharpening had almost zero effect.

The most radical post process is the bird on the branch. I'll post it in a while.

Here it is.



Sharpened the bird and twigs. Blurred the background slightly. Brought out just a little more color on the bird.
This was a really fast and dirty edit (pixel peep to see the errors), but you get the idea.

Last edited by cputeq; 06-27-2008 at 08:34 PM.
06-27-2008, 08:31 PM   #8
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Yes jsherman999, I used the K100D Super's default "Bright" setting and +1 sharpening.

Thanks for the feedback guys.

06-27-2008, 10:37 PM   #9
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color saturation/vibrancy

slightly ot, but not really:

i have read that colors actually look much better (more pop, saturation, etc.) under overcast skies vs. perfectly clear skies and direct sunlight. they get washed out by the sun.
I've never had the opportunity (or made the effort) to shoot the same thing in the sun and on an overcast day, so i can't really say from personal experience.

Veiling flare/ghosting/contra-light might be less of an issue?
06-28-2008, 03:22 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by architorture Quote
slightly ot, but not really:

i have read that colors actually look much better (more pop, saturation, etc.) under overcast skies vs. perfectly clear skies and direct sunlight. they get washed out by the sun.
I've never had the opportunity (or made the effort) to shoot the same thing in the sun and on an overcast day, so i can't really say from personal experience.

Veiling flare/ghosting/contra-light might be less of an issue?
I think it depends on what type of day we're talking about.

A heavy overcast day (dark grey clouds) is not fun to shoot in. Very dreary weather and everything comes out with low contrast. Shutter speeds are long.

A heavy but bright overcast day (white clouds) is great - fast shutter speeds, good color, soft shadows.

Direct sunlight yes, hard to work with, and you have to fight everything you listed above. Not my favorite time to shoot.
06-29-2008, 06:47 PM   #11
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Here are a couple of mine from the 55-300 that I took yesterday while at the Butterfly Rainforest at the University of Florida in Gainesville. PP done in Lightroom.





Along with the 55-300, I also took both the DA35 macro and A100/4 macro, which proved to be a satisfactory kit for the environment.

Heather
06-29-2008, 08:03 PM   #12
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Very nice Heather. I especially like the purple colour in your flower shot.

I played around yesterday with the quick shift focus on this moonflower. The lens did pretty well, imo.

06-30-2008, 11:32 AM   #13
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Fun with the 55-300

Here is Kermit taking a break between shoots



Pat
07-03-2008, 09:04 PM   #14
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ve2vfd

Excellent shot..Which aperture did u use?
07-03-2008, 10:37 PM   #15
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Thanks!

f6.7 at 300mm

Mid afternoon sun

Pat
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