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03-19-2019, 03:40 PM - 2 Likes   #31
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Try the Q!

Hi Nass. With the parameters you’ve stated, affordable and not the “very best” images, I recommend getting a Q. I had a similar need to yours, just checking up on wildlife across the river, and found the Q was more than satisfactory for that purpose. I tried it out, with no knowledge of the camera, with my Sig 150-500 and found it to be perfectly adequate. With more attention to details, not shooting from a floating platform, and some work on the raw files, the images could be quite good. Here’s the link to my post on it:

Q7 and the Big Sig Try a Dance - PentaxForums.com

03-19-2019, 03:56 PM - 1 Like   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kath Quote
Hi Nass. With the parameters you’ve stated, affordable and not the “very best” images, I recommend getting a Q. I had a similar need to yours, just checking up on wildlife across the river, and found the Q was more than satisfactory for that purpose. I tried it out, with no knowledge of the camera, with my Sig 150-500 and found it to be perfectly adequate. With more attention to details, not shooting from a floating platform, and some work on the raw files, the images could be quite good. Here’s the link to my post on it:

Q7 and the Big Sig Try a Dance - PentaxForums.com
Kath - I don't know why I missed your original post (the one you linked to), but it's a great demonstration that shows just what can be possible with the Q-series cameras and adapter
03-19-2019, 04:03 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I agree. A blind + lots of spare time to sit in it + quality 3-400mm > super long lens.
I agree, especially as the aperture mounts up - wildlife moves surprisingly fast (even feathers fluttering) and super long lenses would need very high ISO unless in very bright conditions. As the lenses get longer, the need for stability increases, as does the weight of the tripod and probably a heavy duty gimbal head...

The best 'affordable' (pick your price point) lens is going to be a spotting scope or telescope with the right camera adapter - but you may not get coverage across the whole APS-C frame (circular image in the centre of the frame). As mentioned, a Q is a more sensible (and versatile) option.
03-19-2019, 04:46 PM   #34
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I use a Sigma 150-500mm on my K-70 and, to my mind, it's a fairly top-line configuration. The problem with anything longer is getting the focus absolutely spot-on. The depth of field on a 500mm at f/8 is only a few feet at 100 yards, less at wider apertures or longer focal lengths.


Unless you've a much larger budget than mine, finding an autofocus lens much over 500mm will be difficult. Manual focus is finicky on a good day, even with "focus peaking", you'll probably be limited to using a tripod.


I carry a Samyang 800mm f/8 mirror in my bag as a last-chance effort for that really remote subject, but so often "digital zooming" from an image taken with the 500mm is as good or better than I manage with the 800mm. I'll even try a 2x converter on the 500mm on occasion but again, focussing the dim image can be very hit-and-miss unless it's a fine sunny day and the subject is in good light. OK for a "record" shot, but hardly worth the effort otherwise. Distortion from heat haze or shimmer, especially over water, can be a problem on a sunny day at any range, even more so at the sort of distances where a 500+ lens might seem useful.


Good luck

03-19-2019, 05:29 PM - 2 Likes   #35
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I have a celestron C90 1000mm F11

The biggest issue I fought for years was vibration, you need a really good tripod and head to keep it stable.

The other option I have is a Tamron 200-500/5.6 that with a 1.4x converter gets you to 700 mm. I have also played with ultra cropped sensors, take a Pentax Q and put a 300mm lens on it, with the crop factor of 5 it makes a 1500mm full frame equivalent F4 lens.

Is that long enough and fast enough?
03-19-2019, 05:53 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have a celestron C90 1000mm F11

The biggest issue I fought for years was vibration, you need a really good tripod and head to keep it stable.

The other option I have is a Tamron 200-500/5.6 that with a 1.4x converter gets you to 700 mm. I have also played with ultra cropped sensors, take a Pentax Q and put a 300mm lens on it, with the crop factor of 5 it makes a 1500mm full frame equivalent F4 lens.

Is that long enough and fast enough?
I have that telescope. I finally bought the dedicated telescope tripod they sell for it (used) and the vibration issues (mostly) went away.
03-19-2019, 07:05 PM   #37
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If I want longer then my 150-450/4.5-5.6 zoom (which is more than enough reach for the limited wildlife shooting I do, especially on crop), I would use my 70-200/2.8 or 300/4.0 on the Q7.

There are problems with the Q option though. The pixel pitch of the Q sensors is such that only stellar lenses have the resolving power to stand up to close inspection. Then add the fact that noise becomes an issue at quite low ISO values, and diffraction starts eating into details at about f/5.6

There's no free lunch
03-19-2019, 07:34 PM - 1 Like   #38
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Maybe forget the ILC and get a coolpix 1000 bridge camera?

Birds with my P1000: Nikon Coolpix Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

03-19-2019, 07:49 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
Maybe forget the ILC and get a coolpix 1000 bridge camera?

Birds with my P1000: Nikon Coolpix Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
At $329 and 1440mm, that Coolpix B600 is looking good for such purposes. Couldn’t tell if it shoots raw. The 1000 shoots raw but goes “only” to 840mm. But for a couple hundred bucks investment, I still think the Q is more versatile if you already have lenses. Also, for some reason, the darn thing is just fun.
03-20-2019, 02:21 AM - 1 Like   #40
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Just wanted to say thanks very much for everyone's recommendations, I really appreciate them, and lots to think about. I think I've identified the necessary purchase, now I just have to negotiate with Mrs Nass
03-20-2019, 03:38 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Just wanted to say thanks very much for everyone's recommendations, I really appreciate them, and lots to think about. I think I've identified the necessary purchase, now I just have to negotiate with Mrs Nass
Well, good luck and let us know what happens.
03-20-2019, 07:27 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Just wanted to say thanks very much for everyone's recommendations, I really appreciate them, and lots to think about. I think I've identified the necessary purchase, now I just have to negotiate with Mrs Nass
Good luck!

You might start by mentioning the really really expensive option (plus all the really really expensive carbon fiber tripod kit you'll need), then explain you found a second option that is only really expensive, then work your way down to the third option that is only somewhat costly. She'll be so relieved that you are "saving" so much money that she'll say "yes" immediately.
03-20-2019, 11:45 AM - 1 Like   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoptimist Quote
Good luck!

You might start by mentioning the really really expensive option (plus all the really really expensive carbon fiber tripod kit you'll need), then explain you found a second option that is only really expensive, then work your way down to the third option that is only somewhat costly. She'll be so relieved that you are "saving" so much money that she'll say "yes" immediately.
haha - man problems
03-21-2019, 11:13 AM   #44
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DA 560mm 5.6 is ~ $3000 used.
Delivers 840mm equivalent focal lenth on APS-C Sensors.
10-16-2019, 12:45 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Just wanted to say thanks very much for everyone's recommendations, I really appreciate them, and lots to think about.

I think I've identified the necessary purchase, now I just have to negotiate with Mrs Nass
How did you leave the negotiations?
And what happened to the identificated purchase target?
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