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05-11-2022, 08:19 PM - 2 Likes   #1201
CBM
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Gator floating along, the wind picked up a bit and he had to work a little to maintain position.

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05-14-2022, 07:02 PM - 5 Likes   #1202
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In my life I have now had 4 seconds with a scarlet tanager. it was about 120 ft up and 40 ft away. I was still able to get a shot that shows the 1" insect it caught.

Purist will say I should wait another lifetime or 3 if that is what it takes to see one again. Others will say if the photo isn't good enough to print then throw it out. This is like a snap shot of your kid taking their first step.You can't be serious in thinking an imperfect shot has no value.

The insect is about 70 pixels height. an inch form is recognizable from over 125ft away. That is at 38.4meters I can recognize 0.025 meters. This is with the 1.4tc so at 420mm. The bird was so far away it was unrecognizable with the eye despite being the brightest colored bird in this area.
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05-14-2022, 08:02 PM - 2 Likes   #1203
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In my life, I have had 0 seconds with a Scarlet Tanager, and I am very pleased to be introduced to one on this forum - let alone one with a bug in his beak! Thanks for posting - and the way you described how your thoughts about posting this one - much appreciated!
05-16-2022, 12:26 PM - 1 Like   #1204
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In the park....for some reason I find myself shooting at 55mm most of the time with this lens. Rarely go beyond 100 or so. But its excellent in that range with the option to go longer on those rare occasions. Very fun lens to walk around with

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05-25-2022, 06:43 AM - 2 Likes   #1205
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Marshland
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05-26-2022, 02:09 PM - 2 Likes   #1206
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diving back
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06-04-2022, 05:02 PM - 3 Likes   #1207
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First photo with the PLM, and KP under very rainy skies. taken @300

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06-05-2022, 07:10 AM - 2 Likes   #1208
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I'm very pleased with my new 55-300 PLM! Lightweight, giving good results. Hand held, thru a window.

With my back problems, I see no reason to keep my DA*300, with it's heavy weight, when the PLM is quite nice and weight I can handle.
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Last edited by csa; 06-05-2022 at 07:27 AM.
06-05-2022, 11:07 AM - 4 Likes   #1209
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Took the 300DA* off for once and went for a walk with the 55-300PLM, forgot what a good walk around lens it is.



06-06-2022, 12:17 AM - 4 Likes   #1210
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Having had the lens a week, yesterday was my first chance to get out in good light and try using it.
Up to now I have only used the the DA LTD primes and some vintage 50mm lenses with my KP (I have the DFA* 50 for use with my K1) so I really am not used to taking hand held shots with a zoom.
The photo I posted here is one of my first attempts at some "wildlife" photography and it did need some DxO magic to denoise/clean it up but I see photos in this thread which are so clear and sharp (I am looking at you Des) that I wondered if some of you seasoned photographers could give this newbie some tips on how to get the best out of this lens?
Cheers.
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06-06-2022, 05:20 AM - 1 Like   #1211
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Marshland again
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06-06-2022, 08:19 PM - 2 Likes   #1212
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In the Salish Sea on Maya's Legacy Whale and Wildlife tour out of Friday Harbor San Juan Islands WA

two balls of " fluff " with eyes

3 1/2 - 4 week old peregrine falcon Falco peregrinus chicks in small cave on cliffside
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06-06-2022, 11:16 PM - 3 Likes   #1213
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QuoteOriginally posted by CraigR Quote
The photo I posted here is one of my first attempts at some "wildlife" photography and it did need some DxO magic to denoise/clean it up but I see photos in this thread which are so clear and sharp (I am looking at you Des) that I wondered if some of you seasoned photographers could give this newbie some tips on how to get the best out of this lens?
It's a very good start Craig. Uneven lighting is as much of a challenge in wildlife photography as in any other type - you did well to get the exposure right in the duck you focused on. Fill flash can help to even up the lighting.

Shooting through foliage is another challenge - you did well to get the central duck. Ideally the foliage can frame the subject, but even when it isn't as neat as that, it can add a sense of drama, as if we are privileged to get a sneak peek at the subject.

The shutter speed/aperture/ISO balance is always difficult with wildlife. It is constant trial and error. I am usually comfortable with 3200 ISO with the KP/DxO PL5 combination (although less is better and higher can be OK), so I generally use TAv with the ISO band capped at 3200 (or 1600 if the light is better). You can shoot the 55-300 PLM wide open with confidence. Using f8 gives more scope for slightly missed focus, but for wildlife if you get the focus right you only really need f8 where the DOF is otherwise insufficient (e.g. with a group of birds or where you are too close to get the whole bird/animal in). I'd suggest trying to get the shutter to 1/500th or 1/640th if practicable if the subject is moving at all (e.g. a bird preening), faster if it's hopping around and at least 1/800th (preferably 1/1250th or so) if it's flying. On the other hand, perched birds can be very still, if only for a moment, and then you can drop the shutter to 1/125th or even slower if necessary. (Providing you have good technique: see tps://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/long-exposure-handhelds/introduction.html) Shooting a burst will give you a better chance - one will often be better than the others.

But even in (relatively) sunny Australia, under tree cover often the light is insufficient for optimal settings. You can back off to about 260mm for f5.6, or drop the shutter speed to 1/80th, or raised the ISO to 5000 if you need to, but the success rate declines with each compromise. You can usually gain a stop or so with flash without adverse effects ...

.. but more is often too much. There comes a point when you just have to wait for better conditions (or get a faster lens!).

We all have our own focusing preferences. I use AF-C and an auto setting for birds in flight (saved to a user mode), but single-point AF-S for everything else. In AF-S, if the bird isn't large in the frame, centre point is OK - you can crop to create the negative space as required. But my preference lately is to select the focus point, starting with the one above centre or the one either side of it, depending on where I think the eye is likely to be. I used to use back button AF, but switched back to shutter button AF so my thumb is free to move the focus point. This is a matter of personal preference and practice.

The reality is that, for me, there are still lots of misses for every hit. Unless the bird is a rarity or a lifer and the photo is just a record, I try to cull more ruthlessly these days. Then I can spend more time post-processing the better ones. I like PL5 a lot. One trick is to turn off ClearView and reduce the microcontrast for the image as a whole, and maybe reduce the overall exposure a little, then select the subject in Local Adjustments (control points work well) and apply microcontrast and ClearView to taste and increase the exposure a little. This helps make the subject stand out; with a light touch it should not look artificial. I find it's also often worth exporting the processed image to Nik Color Efex and finalising with suitable filters - the Darken-Lighten Center filter is particularly useful.

Hope this helps. Enjoy the lens.
06-07-2022, 12:00 AM - 6 Likes   #1214
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Some more yard birds with the KP + 55-300 PLM. All processed with DxO PhotoLab 5 and Nik Color Efex Pro.

Crimson Rosella.


Little Wattlebirds




Superb Fairy-wren
06-07-2022, 12:03 AM - 1 Like   #1215
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote

Hope this helps. Enjoy the lens.
Wow Des, thank you so much for taking the time to write the above - it really helps me.
As I wrote previously I have never used a lens like this before but your beautiful images just inspired me to want to have a go (even when I had the Canon 90D and the majority of what I used to see on their FB page was birds, I never felt it was something I was interested in).
My only wish is that the yard bird population around here in Berlin looked like yours - it's all sparrows and crows where I live!
And thanks for the encouragement regarding my photo of the ducks - I took two photos but honestly had no idea what I was doing apart from trying to make sure they (or bits of them) could actually be seen and get that eye in focus.
I almost managed it
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