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02-08-2022, 08:32 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Another help me choose a long lens

My wife and I went eagle watching a couple weeks ago. The eagles were mostly on the opposite side of the Mississippi river. They were mostly smallish birds with my 300. I have the DA 1.4 converter, that I forgot (didn't check to make sure it was on the lens when we left home). So my wife says "you need a longer lens"! Thats an invitation to get something looong.

I would like 600mm but truly I don't want to spend $4000 or $5000 on one.

The options I see are:
DFA 150-450 but that doesn't get me to 600 unless I use the converter. Used it can be had for around $15-1600.

A*600 f5.6 under $2000 but manual focus,

F*600 f4.0 I'd be happy with a well used one as long as the glass was good.
FA*600 f4.0 again well used is fine but the F and FA are well above what I want to or can spend.
Then there's the FA* 250-600, there's even one for sale here on the forum. Again well over what I want to spend.

I guess the K 135-600 and K500 would be options too but not sure it's what I want.


If you were spending your money and I'm retired so somewhat limited income, what would you do? Ideas? Have I over looked anything?


Currently my longest lens in the DA*300 + DA1.4 converter at 420mm.


Thanks

Tim

02-08-2022, 09:26 PM - 2 Likes   #2
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You could get another used APS-C camera + Tamron/Sigma 150-600 for under $2000.

Do you plan on using a tripod/monopod, or hand-held?
02-08-2022, 09:27 PM   #3
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-Various versions of ___-500 Bigma.
-Sigma 135-400. There might be a similar Tamron or Tokina as well, I can't find it now so maybe not.
-Several 400 5.6 options, either expensive+rare or manual focus, take your pick.
-Several 300 2.8 options, either expensive+rare or manual focus, take your pick. Very good w/ TCs.
-Adaptall 2 options (300/2.8, 400/4, 200-500/5.6)
-Sigma 500 4.5: just as expensive as the good big Pentaxes.
-Pentax 560/5.6, quite expensive but not as much as the 600/4 or the Sigma 500. AW & QS are plusses.
-Pentax Q with K mount adapter.
-Mirror lenses.

People sometimes act like there are no other options for Pentax; there are, they just aren't very good. 150-450 comes out a clear winner for almost everyone.

------

P.S. Sorry, I had this written up with links to every lens review, but my browser crashed. Yargh... Let me know if you would find that helpful, I can go back and put the links in.

Last edited by wadge22; 02-08-2022 at 09:35 PM.
02-08-2022, 09:43 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
You could get another used APS-C camera + Tamron/Sigma 150-600 for under $2000.

Do you plan on using a tripod/monopod, or hand-held?

Yes tripod only or 90% of the time. I looked at the sigma 150-500, I didn't see the 600.


I did go back and look at the legacy Sigma glass, some highly rated stuff in there and also the price. I know I have to pay to play and so my problem.

Tim

---------- Post added 02-08-22 at 10:45 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by wadge22 Quote
Pentax 560/5.6, quite expensive but not as much as the 600/4 or the Sigma 500. AW & QS are plusses.
I had forgotten about this lens, I'll check it out.

No need to list the reviews, I can check out the recommended lenses

Thanks

02-08-2022, 09:54 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuzzyphotos Quote
Yes tripod only or 90% of the time. I looked at the sigma 150-500, I didn't see the 600.


I did go back and look at the legacy Sigma glass, some highly rated stuff in there and also the price. I know I have to pay to play and so my problem.

Tim
Just as an example, over at MPB.com, you can buy:

- Nikon D7500 (20MP APS-C) DSLR: Used Nikon D7500

plus

- Tamron 150-600: Used Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Nikon Fit lens - mpb.com

And the total will be $1500-$1600
02-08-2022, 10:12 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuzzyphotos Quote
I looked at the sigma 150-500, I didn't see the 600.
It's not available in K mount. It's a very popular and good choice for the other brands, one that we all wish was available for our cameras.
02-08-2022, 10:21 PM - 7 Likes   #7
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I would go about learning the subject you are wanting to photograph, this is relatively cheap other than the time you spend. A great deal of wildlife photography your subject distance for something like large birds of prey 15-45m away.
When you start looking at wildlife further away your IQ can start to diminish very quickly and this is even more evident when you start to crop to narrow the FOV.

99% of wildlife photography is knowing the subject you are wanting to photography and the time you are prepared in putting yourself in the conditions to photograph your subject well.

Putting in the time to know your subject will also prepare you for learning the habits of other subjects and where to find them, one of the things I like to do is focus my time on photographing a specific subject and once you know the habits it can be very easy to locate them in their habitat .

Learn what sounds the birds make for that time of year can make a difference it how you go about locating them, take a belted kingfisher, once you know how they sound you can rather quickly tell if one is in your area or has just entered the area around you.

One good way of practicing is to photograph birds around the bird feeder, this will help you in quick and precise tracking the eye of your subject and knowing how your camera operates.

A lot of times people get excited about capturing birds around the birdfeeder but don't forget that 80% of what makes a good image is the environment that surrounds the subject and their actions.

Happy shooting

02-08-2022, 10:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuzzyphotos Quote
I would like 600mm but truly I don't want to spend $4000 or $5000 on one.
I think if you stick with Pentax right now unless mirror lenses or manual focus lenses are on the agenda you have few options. Other brands offer this with lower cost which could be a rational option if you are willing to grab a body and a lens for this specialized purpose.

QuoteOriginally posted by fuzzyphotos Quote
The options I see are:
DFA 150-450 but that doesn't get me to 600 unless I use the converter. Used it can be had for around $15-1600.
This is probably the best option. Paired with the teleconverter it gets you to the magic 600.

QuoteOriginally posted by fuzzyphotos Quote
A*600 f5.6 under $2000 but manual focus,
A fantastic lens by all accounts. If the purpose is specialized and you plan to shoot in situations where manual focus is reasonable this a promising option. Grab the A 1.4x-L manual adapter to go with it for an 840mm f8.

QuoteOriginally posted by fuzzyphotos Quote
F*600 f4.0 I'd be happy with a well used one as long as the glass was good.
FA*600 f4.0 again well used is fine but the F and FA are well above what I want to or can spend.
Then there's the FA* 250-600, there's even one for sale here on the forum. Again well over what I want to spend.
If thatís more than you want to spend pretend they donít exist!

QuoteOriginally posted by fuzzyphotos Quote
I guess the K 135-600 and K500 would be options too but not sure it's what I want.
Stay away from the 500. It is heavy and cumbersome and image quality is weak.

QuoteOriginally posted by fuzzyphotos Quote
If you were spending your money and I'm retired so somewhat limited income, what would you do? Ideas? Have I over looked anything?
Iíd probably get a micro 4/3 EM1 mk II or III and the 100-400 or the 150-450 Pentax.
02-08-2022, 10:47 PM - 8 Likes   #9
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To Ian's point, this lovely couple was shot about 100 feet away, at 560mm (400mm lens + 1.4x TC) with no cropping.




Which brings up the question, how far is "the opposite side of the Mississippi river"?
02-08-2022, 10:57 PM - 3 Likes   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
To Ian's point, this lovely couple was shot about 100 feet away
I will tell you that you will have a very different outlook to wildlife photography when you have a bird of prey fly by you at 15m, a belted kingfisher land under 5m away or even a Loon sitting beside you at under 8m
There is a peace that can not be described
02-08-2022, 11:03 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Stay away from the 500. It is heavy and cumbersome and image quality is weak.


Heavy crop


w/2x TC



SMC Pentax 500 f4.5 - PentaxForums.com

Last edited by luftfluss; 02-08-2022 at 11:15 PM.
02-08-2022, 11:12 PM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ian Stuart Forsyth Quote
I will tell you that you will have a very different outlook to wildlife photography when you have a bird of prey fly by you at 15m, a belted kingfisher land under 5m away or even a Loon sitting beside you at under 8m
There is a peace that can not be described
Never had the pleasure of those experiences - I'd love to - but the animals that I have had close encounters with have profoundly impacted my worldview.

It's a joyous and humbling experience.
02-08-2022, 11:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuzzyphotos Quote
If you were spending your money and I'm retired so somewhat limited income, what would you do? Ideas? Have I over looked anything?
Been there, done that. A7RIV, 200-600G and 1.4TC.

Assuming you don't wanna drop $6k, and I don't blame you, there's a Sigma 170-500/5-6.3 DG on E-Bay right now for $600. It even has that stupid coating Sigma used back then still on it, that's a miracle in itself. I have a 180/3.5 macro from that era and it didn't take much for that junk to start coming off. Looks like the owner took good care of it. If I wasn't already birding with a Sony, I'd probably snatch that thing up myself.
02-08-2022, 11:42 PM - 4 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Never had the pleasure of those experiences
Here is a Belted Kingfisher at Full frame 290mm F4 1/5sec iso 2000 using MLU and a cable release under 5m away cropped to 16 by 9




Full frame 500mm at under 15m cropped to 16 by 9



I was hooked the first day a Great Horn flew just 7 feet above my head several times as I walked down a cutline. the owl was using me to flush out mice as I walked down the line

---------- Post added 02-09-2022 at 12:56 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
- Nikon D7500 (20MP APS-C) DSLR: Used Nikon D7500

plus

- Tamron 150-600: Used Tamron 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Nikon Fit lens - mpb.com

And the total will be $1500-$1600
I would even recommend maybe going for a D810 or D4, D4S it might cost you $300 more but the pro focus and better build quality will be worth it
02-09-2022, 01:31 AM - 1 Like   #15
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Another vote for the "bigma" … I found mine at a UK retailer for £350 (GBP) a couple of years ago and it's been faultless.
I've skimmed the previous postings but couldn't see reference to which camera the OP is using … if it's a 16Mpixel or less, an upgrade to 24Mpixel would probably be advantageous.
Just remember, once your subject distance gets out towards the 100m range and beyond, heat haze and the like can start to affect the image, so, in my opinion, a 500mm on a 24Mpixel camera is about as good as it needs to be under many circumstances.
There's a lot to be said for simply getting closer, even if it does mean crossing the river
Good luck
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