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07-17-2019, 07:31 AM - 1 Like   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
Hey guys!

So I often see eagles and stuff that I want to photograph.

I am not full of cash.

How long focal length to I need to get for bird photos? I have a Tamron 70-300 which is a brilliant budget lens. But 300 is too short.

Give me your suggestions: which lens for bird photography for Pentax K1 for less than $500 (used)?
I see in your Profile that you also shoot Nikon. How about a used Tamron or Sigma 150-600? They might be a bit over $500 USD, but probably your best value overall.

07-17-2019, 07:40 AM - 2 Likes   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
keep saving - you'll be wanting at least an F* or FA* 300 with a good FF 1.4x teleconverter...
I agree. 300 mm even on APSC does not cut it with our birds. The 1.4 TC helps as well and if you have a good lens and sensor cropping the shot is quite effective as well. I have not used the 150-450, but it might be a bit hefty for handheld and by birds are usually to skittish to use a tripod and a DA* 300 mm F4 works well with handheld
07-17-2019, 07:56 AM - 1 Like   #18
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I have been researching wildlife lenses for my limited (actually non-existent currently) budget. I own a Vivitar 400mm f5.6 from the 70s. Average user rating here on the forum is 7.5, so not great. For under $500USD and longer than 300mm:

The Pentax-A 400mm f5.6 has an average user rating of 8.61 and an average price of $384USD. SMC Pentax-A 400mm F5.6 Reviews - A Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database

Then there is the Sigma 170-500mm f5-6.3 APO DG, average user rating of 9.0 and an average price of $377USD. Sigma 170-500mm F5-6.3 APO DG Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
07-17-2019, 10:23 AM - 2 Likes   #19
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i think the other point to consider here is exactly what birds you wish to photograph.

consider the typical range of birds, on one hand, great egrets and great blue herons are in the order of 1 meter high, an average humming bird is 100 mm.

if you are filling the frame with a humming bird you would need to either have a lens 10 times longer than that for an egret or heron, or be 10 times closer, or a combination of the two.

basically you need to work with the following equation

image size = subject size x focal length / distance


if you re-order this to isolate focal length, and consider a heron, for example, to fill the 24 mm height of an APS-C sensor you get the following

Focal length = 0.024 x Distance, but if you are shooting humming birds you will need Focal length =0.24 x Distance

so now you can see the real issue, even of you could shoot a humming bird from 1 meter away, you would need a 240mm lens to fill the frame. it is, as a result essentially impossible when shooting small birds to fill the frame. you never can get along enough lens or approach close enough.

but you will also notice, getting closer reduces the demands of focal length, and since getting closer is all about practice and patience, if you have time on your side, good technique and patience can save a ton of money on lenses.

07-17-2019, 02:28 PM - 2 Likes   #20
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Shouldn't you be getting a Nikon lens for your D850? That should be your bird body, not the K-1.
07-17-2019, 11:32 PM - 1 Like   #21
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As another poster implied, a 24 megapixel APS-C body such as the K-70 will give an effective increase in resolution over the K-1 in crop mode (16 megapixel). A second-hand body could well be cheaper than a big autofocus lens.


I use my K-70 with a Sigma 150-500mm for wild bird photography and find it a very well balanced combination, but a shorter, wider aperture lens with a 1.4x converter could serve as well.


Of course, if you want the "budget" option, a good-quality manual-focus 5-600mm mirror-lens will work very well on relatively distant slow-moving subjects.
07-18-2019, 02:37 AM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by kypfer Quote
. . . Of course, if you want the "budget" option, a good-quality manual-focus 5-600mm mirror-lens will work very well on relatively distant slow-moving subjects.
" and now something completely different " - " Mirror " [ ' catdiotropic’ or ‘reflective ' ] lenses

that is another country being heard from:

Mirror, Mirror ( in the lens ) eek ? ! ? - Page 4 - PentaxForums.com

find a good one, and I did, Tamron Adaptall-2 SP 500mm f/8 Mirror (55BB),

then you just have to worry about the built in limitations

and, in my case, the ever present " operator error "

but a good mirror lens would be well within the OP's budget:

QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
. . . I am not full of cash.. , , Give me your suggestions: which lens for bird photography for Pentax K1 for less than $500 (used)?

Last edited by aslyfox; 07-18-2019 at 03:22 AM.
07-19-2019, 01:29 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by TerryL Quote
Shouldn't you be getting a Nikon lens for your D850? That should be your bird body, not the K-1.
Why? I want to use K-1 more

07-19-2019, 05:35 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
Why? I want to use K-1 more
Frankly speaking, there are no modern AF lenses that exists within the criteria that you have set for the K1.
07-19-2019, 06:57 AM - 4 Likes   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
Why? I want to use K-1 more
OK, but we need more information from you. How much more magnification do you need than your 70-300mm provides? Will you be shooting mostly tripod or hand-held? Are you willing to use a manual focus lens?

When I needed a lens that was longer and sharper than a consumer zoom xx-300mm, I bought the Pentax-A 400mm F5.6. It is a very fine lens, nice focusing action, a bit much with chromatic aberration but sharp and did not cost much. It pairs well with the Pentax Rear Converter-A 1.4x-L for 560mm total focal length.

07-19-2019, 08:19 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
Why? I want to use K-1 more
Because lens options exist for F-mount that do not exist for K-mount. Sad but true.
07-19-2019, 11:57 AM - 1 Like   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
Why? I want to use K-1 more
but considering you crop everything due to lack of focal length, isn't a higher MP APSC body much more suited (except high MP is usually not mutually compatible with high ISO)
07-19-2019, 01:21 PM - 1 Like   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by norwegianoutdoors Quote
Hey guys!

So I often see eagles and stuff that I want to photograph.

I am not full of cash.

How long focal length to I need to get for bird photos? I have a Tamron 70-300 which is a brilliant budget lens. But 300 is too short.

Give me your suggestions: which lens for bird photography for Pentax K1 for less than $500 (used)?
I bought a KP and DA 300 for the same thing. I quickly got tire of it, and went back to landscape.
07-21-2019, 11:55 PM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
OK, but we need more information from you. How much more magnification do you need than your 70-300mm provides? Will you be shooting mostly tripod or hand-held? Are you willing to use a manual focus lens?

When I needed a lens that was longer and sharper than a consumer zoom xx-300mm, I bought the Pentax-A 400mm F5.6. It is a very fine lens, nice focusing action, a bit much with chromatic aberration but sharp and did not cost much. It pairs well with the Pentax Rear Converter-A 1.4x-L for 560mm total focal length.

Thank you, sir But I think I got enough answers here to come to the conclusion that I should save up more and wait
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