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05-12-2018, 01:14 PM   #1
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Pentax HD PENTAX-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW Lens feedback

From users of the Pentax HD PENTAX-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6 ED DC AW Lens, typically what are the minimum shutter speeds with monopod use, to get sharp photographs at typical focal lengths of 150mm, 300mm and 450mm. Also how do users feel the lens autofocus speed performs (in continuous mode) in typically photographing race track cars and flying birds.
I am considering using the lens with a K-3 camera.

05-12-2018, 05:09 PM   #2
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I use it on my K-1 but used to use it on my K-3, and mostly at the long end (450mm). The K-3 has a better frame rate than the K-1, which I miss when using the K-1. For my birds in flight photos, which are typically done handheld, I shoot in Tav mode. My absolute minimum shutter speed is 1500, though if it's bright I'll push that shutter speed a high as possible. I set the aperture to F8 (sweet spot on my lens), and let the ISO ride. I shoot in RAW only, and I turn everything off that could use processing power and slow the camera down. Auto focus is typically good. If it finds the right subject, it usually stays with it for a few frames. If I'm not shooting birds that are not in flight (or other wildlife), then I use a tripod with a Wimberley Sidekick gimbal that works with my regular ball head.
05-12-2018, 06:34 PM   #3
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I have shot blue herons and geese in flight using 800 shutter speed, osprey and seagulls using 1000 shutter speed and ducks using 1250. 1000 for me is like a walk around setting when I am birding (in flight). I also use TAV mode and try to maintain an aperture digit of F8 or higher (F9, F10 for example). I also try to maintain an ISO of 800 or less. I have found that shooting in the opposite direction of where the sun is located usually has the best lighting and less glare than shooting into the direction of the sun. I also shoot handheld for the versatility that may be needed for positioning and for situations where the sighting of the subject requires an almost spontaneous reaction to get a shot.

My experiences have been with the K-5IIS and K-3II using the Sigma 150-500 DG OS lens for Pentax. The Pentax 150-450 was not available when I bought my 150-500. I would recommend the Pentax 150-450 for birding. It is an excellent choice.

Last edited by C_Jones; 05-12-2018 at 06:42 PM.
05-12-2018, 07:33 PM   #4
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TAv mode is the way to go, I have some nice Humming bird shots with my SIgma 120-400 at 1/1600s F8 and Iso up to a600 with my KP and it looks good straight out of camera, but better with a little post processing. I would try for 1/1000s an f 8 to start. Your lens should be wonderful there. Good luck!

05-12-2018, 09:03 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I recently acquired 150-450mm and did a brick-wall test. One noticeable thing was quality reduces a lot at F16. Otherwise it was ok, no surprises. I do not know whether this applies to your copy or not. But I will be sticking to F8, F11.

Last edited by pentaxfall; 05-12-2018 at 09:09 PM.
05-12-2018, 09:04 PM   #6
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I generally always hand hold it and use it in TAv mode.
05-12-2018, 11:33 PM   #7
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This isn't a direct answer to your question, (I don't use a monopod), but it may give clues about possibilities.

I've been using the 150-450mm since it was released. First on a K-3/K-3II, then on a K-1 since that was released.
I use it mainly for "things in flight", especially aircraft. For aircraft, I always hand-hold it.

I recently shot at the Shuttleworth Collection Season Premiere Airshow (UK).
For propeller aircraft, (which was most of them), I typically shot at about 1/320 to get some propeller-blur. (There are exceptions).
I've posted some photos (typically 3000px wide) at DPReview:
Photos from Shuttleworth Season-Premiere Airshow: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
05-13-2018, 08:10 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
This isn't a direct answer to your question, (I don't use a monopod), but it may give clues about possibilities.

I've been using the 150-450mm since it was released. First on a K-3/K-3II, then on a K-1 since that was released.
I use it mainly for "things in flight", especially aircraft. For aircraft, I always hand-hold it.

I recently shot at the Shuttleworth Collection Season Premiere Airshow (UK).
For propeller aircraft, (which was most of them), I typically shot at about 1/320 to get some propeller-blur. (There are exceptions).
I've posted some photos (typically 3000px wide) at DPReview:
Photos from Shuttleworth Season-Premiere Airshow: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
Conclusions please? I won't give DPR any clicks if I can avoid it.

Thanks!

05-13-2018, 09:31 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
Conclusions please? I won't give DPR any clicks if I can avoid it.

Thanks!
I was pointing out that I can get large sharp photos of aircraft in flight using the 150-450mm lens hand-held at 1/320 second on the K-1.

I linked to DPReview to show my photos taken a week ago in the way I identified, so that you could judge whether they meet your standards, or the standards of anyone else reading this thread.

Something that may be of interest is that I typically nearly always use "AF-C Spot" as my autofocus setting. I find I typically don't need anything other than the central AF point. (I doubt if I've used any other AF point since 2016).

I nearly always use TAv, because shutter speed and aperture are typically vitally important, and nowadays ISO is relatively unimportant. ISO-noise is probably the easiest problem to solve in software. (Although some panning problems can be addressed by "Filter > Sharpen > Shake reduction" in Photoshop).
05-13-2018, 10:30 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by david94903 Quote
I use it on my K-1 but used to use it on my K-3, and mostly at the long end (450mm). The K-3 has a better frame rate than the K-1, which I miss when using the K-1. For my birds in flight photos, which are typically done handheld, I shoot in Tav mode. My absolute minimum shutter speed is 1500, though if it's bright I'll push that shutter speed a high as possible. I set the aperture to F8 (sweet spot on my lens), and let the ISO ride. I shoot in RAW only, and I turn everything off that could use processing power and slow the camera down. Auto focus is typically good. If it finds the right subject, it usually stays with it for a few frames. If I'm not shooting birds that are not in flight (or other wildlife), then I use a tripod with a Wimberley Sidekick gimbal that works with my regular ball head.
David,
Many thanks for the reply. When using your tripod for static shots (I presume a very sturdy model), what is the minimum shutter speed for a given focal length can you obtain, again with good sharpness.
My questions generally relate to the shake reduction performance of the 150-450mm lens. Many thanks for your interest.
05-13-2018, 11:10 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robert N Quote
David,
Many thanks for the reply. When using your tripod for static shots (I presume a very sturdy model), what is the minimum shutter speed for a given focal length can you obtain, again with good sharpness.
My questions generally relate to the shake reduction performance of the 150-450mm lens. Many thanks for your interest.
I suspect that a myth has arisen that the 150-450mm lens needs to be used on a monopod or tripod.

That typically isn't true, whether used with a K-1 or a K-3/K-3II. I nearly always use it hand-held, for static shots and moving objects.

Some photos of racing cars taken with a K-3 & 150-450mm, hand-held:
Some photos of cars at Oulton Park: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Some photos of racing bikes taken with a K-3 & 150-450mm, hand-held:
Some photos of bikes at Oulton Park: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

(I have both a sturdy tripod and a versatile tripod, and gimbal and ball heads that can can be used on either of these and support either the camera or the longer lenses. I rarely find these necessary).
05-13-2018, 01:31 PM - 5 Likes   #12
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At Australian MotoGP at Phillip Island in Australia, handheld.


05-13-2018, 04:01 PM   #13
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No K3 here. Had the lens on the KP and K1 handheld TAv, f8 1/500.
The KP drives it much harder with better focus performance than the K1, to the point that K1 will not see the lens much at all.
Not sure if that can correlate to the possible performance of the lens with the K3.
An air-show is coming up shortly over here, interesting to see how it performs for that. Only done SOTR (squirrels on the run) images so far...
05-15-2018, 12:40 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Robert N Quote
David,
Many thanks for the reply. When using your tripod for static shots (I presume a very sturdy model), what is the minimum shutter speed for a given focal length can you obtain, again with good sharpness.
My questions generally relate to the shake reduction performance of the 150-450mm lens. Many thanks for your interest.
I tend to over compensate on shutter speed when shooting on the long end, so 1/500 is about as slow as I want to go when using the Wimberley Sidekick attachment, though I'm sure I could go slower with no issues. The Wimberley allows a lot of flexibility but it's not the most stable platform. If I'm directly attached to the ball head, especially for anything landscape related, I can comfortably go as slow as thirty seconds (presuming I'm not standing in a 30 MPH wind). And yes, I use a sturdy tripod, an Induro CLT404.

---------- Post added 05-15-18 at 12:49 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Barry Pearson Quote
I suspect that a myth has arisen that the 150-450mm lens needs to be used on a monopod or tripod
You are absolutely correct. The 150-450 is very usable handheld, and I used it that way for a long time, and still often do. No tripod or monopod necessary to use this lens. I only started using the tripod and gimbal out of shear laziness on my part. I got tired of standing around holding the lens and camera waiting for "something to happen" when shooting wildlife.
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