Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
02-25-2009, 06:28 PM   #16
Site Supporter
Marc Langille's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NW Arkansas, USA
Posts: 4,702
QuoteOriginally posted by e_hutchinson Quote
Marc, I live in League City, Texas, about half way between Houston and Galveston Island. I usually don't have a problem shooting small birds while hand-holding the 300mm. See the PBase Bird Gallery (link below). The Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Killdeer, Loggerhead Shrike, Sanderling, and Mockingbird were all shot with the lens, then cropped quite a bit to obtain the posted images. Although not in the gallery, I have also shot a lot of sparrows with the 300mm.

Ed Hutchinson
e_hutchinson

Edwin D Hutchinson Nature Photography
Dane PhotoImagery's Photo Galleries at pbase.com
Hi Ed,

My apologies: I believe I didn't explain myself very well - I don't disagree with anything you said! I enjoyed viewing your images - I do envy the fact that you are in your location! I've traveled through San Antonio on my way to the Rio Grande Valley area and have always wanted to photograph the Gulf Coast shores - specifically the Coastal Bend Region.

What has been your experience of the birds' tolerance to human intrusion in that region? I am speaking in the general sense of distance before they become agitated/nervous and/or take flight. Obviously certain bird species are less tolerant, I am simply curious.

Back to my original train of thought: I just prefer little or no cropping for my work. Having been in situations where the competition rules dictate no cropping, it changes your technique and mindset - not necessarily always for the better! This is due to the printing requirements for the book, posters, etc.

Regards,
Marc

02-25-2009, 06:31 PM   #17
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
I have nothing against either lens, but own neither and have no plans on getting either.

let me explain why.

Presently, I have 2 different long options

-an origonal sigma APO 70-200F2.8 EX with sigma APO 1.4 EX DG and APO 2x EX DG teleconverters. this gets me in steps from 70-200 F2.8, 100-300 F4 and 140-400 F5.6. While the BIGMA is 500mm longer it is also slower at each increment, up to 400mm than what I have already. My zoom and TCs take amazing photos, which I have posted here many times.

- an SMC Pentax 300 F4 coupled (almost perminantly) to a pentax 1.7x AF TC, giving me 500mm F6.8 (about 1/3 stop slower than the bigma). Again, It has proven to be a great combo, especially when used with the AF500 FTZ on an *istD

the real issue is I just don't see a whole lot of advantage in getting either the DA300 or a bigma, over what I already have.

If I go for anything in the 300-500 range, simply going to the 86mm diameter BiGMA, or staying in what I call the 77mm club (front element diameter of a 200 F2.8, 300 F4, 400f5.6 etc) is not really a move forward.

My next step, if and when, will be in the 112mm plus club (300 F2.8 or 500 F4.5 or bigger / faster)

That is just me, of course, and largely a function of what I have bought along the way.
02-25-2009, 07:09 PM   #18
Junior Member
e_hutchinson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: League City, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 35
Original Poster
I didn't mean to imply that I like the Bigma better than the 300mm+TC, but for some reason when wanting something in the 400-500mm range, I usually use the Bigma on a tripod. I have taken pictures with both setups and really can't tell much, if any, difference in IQ. I love the 300mm and use it almost exclusively for hand-held bird shots. The picture of a Snowy Egret was taken with the Bigma then severely cropped. And, as you said, it's sharp enough for me.

http://www.pbase.com/e_hutchinson/image/109590745

Last edited by e_hutchinson; 02-25-2009 at 07:16 PM.
02-25-2009, 07:42 PM   #19
Junior Member
e_hutchinson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: League City, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 35
Original Poster
Marc, in my experience there isn't a lot of difference in a bird's reaction to human intrusion between different geographical areas. It seems to depend primarily on the species and the proximity of the birds habitat to a populated area. The ones I want to photograph are always too skittish!

Yes, the Texas coast is a great place to photograph birds. Unfortunately, hurricane Ike was devastating for many of my favorite locations, especially the Bolivar Peninsula. I'm anxious to see it's affect on the High Island rookery when the birds start nesting in a few weeks.

Ed Hutchinson
e_hutchinson

Edwin D Hutchinson Nature Photography
Dane PhotoImagery's Photo Galleries at pbase.com

02-25-2009, 08:12 PM   #20
Site Supporter
Marc Langille's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NW Arkansas, USA
Posts: 4,702
Hi Ed,

Actually I had ducks on my mind when I referred to skittishness. The black bellied whistlers are really difficult to photograph unless you are hidden or use a blind. What are your tough subjects?

I agree that 300mm will work, just using a slight variation in technique to approach the subject. Using vehicle as the blind. There is a slight crop on the top of the image for composition:

Photo Dimensions 3104 x 4139
EXIF

Extreme head crop:

Photo Dimensions 2167 x 1828

One more - it is in the Pentax Photo Gallery. Taken while in a blind. This is a rare bird in the US - the Olive Sparrow. Taken with the FA* 300/2.8 + 1.4 Tamron TC:

Photo Dimensions 2240 x 1644
EXIF

Of course, I am only showing what certain techniques can reward you with, when you work within the limits of the focal length, in order to minimize cropping. Again, I am not implying or saying your suggestions are valid! They do work, and I do like the Egret shot...

Regards,
Marc
02-25-2009, 08:15 PM   #21
Site Supporter
Marc Langille's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NW Arkansas, USA
Posts: 4,702
QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have nothing against either lens, but own neither and have no plans on getting either.

let me explain why.

My next step, if and when, will be in the 112mm plus club (300 F2.8 or 500 F4.5 or bigger / faster)

That is just me, of course, and largely a function of what I have bought along the way.
Ahh, you are after my heart Lowell... the 112mm plus (front element) club...
02-25-2009, 08:22 PM   #22
Site Supporter
Marc Langille's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: NW Arkansas, USA
Posts: 4,702
QuoteOriginally posted by e_hutchinson Quote
Yes, the Texas coast is a great place to photograph birds. Unfortunately, hurricane Ike was devastating for many of my favorite locations, especially the Bolivar Peninsula. I'm anxious to see it's affect on the High Island rookery when the birds start nesting in a few weeks.

Ed Hutchinson
e_hutchinson

Edwin D Hutchinson Nature Photography
Dane PhotoImagery's Photo Galleries at pbase.com
I look forward to those posts - keeping my fingers crossed for you!!
02-25-2009, 08:38 PM   #23
Junior Member
e_hutchinson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: League City, Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 35
Original Poster
Thanks, Marc. The habitats will recover from Ike but it may take a lot of time. If the herons and egrets are nesting at the High Island rookery this spring, I will be sure to post some pictures. It won't be too long until I will find out. Excellent images you posted! My toughest subject? They are all a challenge for me! But, I certainly enjoy the pursuit.

Ed Hutchinson
e_hutchinson

Edwin D Hutchinson Nature Photography
Dane PhotoImagery's Photo Galleries at pbase.com

02-25-2009, 09:47 PM   #24
Veteran Member
David Whiteley's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 374
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Langille Quote
@ David W.:actually you can use a 300 for wildlife work, but different technique is needed, and I've used it successfully. The only tough subject is small birds, for obvious reasons. Sometimes even 500mm is tough with the smaller subjects. BTW, where are you in the Ottawa area? I lived at several locales on both sides of the river during my 22 years there... Vanier, Ottawa, Aylmer, Kanata... I wish I could go nordic skiing again - went up to visit family at the end of January...
Hi Marc,

I've been impressed with your shots before; figures you'd turn up in this thread!

Yeah, I wasn't very clear before: I know well you can do wildlife with just 300mm as I was doing it in southern Africa (no TC) and Galapagos (200 + 1.7 TC; ok so 340mm). But skiing last Sunday, the combo of the situation I was in and my own laziness confirmed why some people will want more.

I live in Gatineau (specifically Hull, specifically Wrightville, Gamelin & St. Joseph) though I used to live in Val Tétreau and really miss being on the river's edge. Sunday I was skiing from Val Tétreau to Aylmer on the riverside bike path. No tripod and only bringing the 300mm 'cause it's new & I didn't want to miss an opportunity to test it out. No expectation of using it & I'm certainly no birder. So to be honest, when ducks out on the river caught my eye, I didn't even do the few meters from the trail to the water's edge to get closer, or wait to see if they'd get closer, or play with aperture settings for DoF, or to see a grouping to create some interesting composition with several birds, or or or... I was with my partner and after 30 seconds she'd had enough of admiring the ducks and not being a birder I just lingered enough to take 4 or 5 imperfectly focused shots & then went off to catch up.

I did only slightly better when the trail went right under some berry-bearing tall bushes that had attracted a large number of waxwings. In that case, I was really glad I wasn't trying to hand-hold anything bigger than the DA*300, and would have had some perfectly useable shots if I had the slightest bit of technique. (As is, they were perfectly useable to identify them after the fact--at the time we were guessing female cardinals as if they stick around Aylmer all winter ) Bracing while aiming so steeply upward wasn't working for me, and in the cold my patience to figure out how to do it better was rather tried. Had I a bit of wits about me, I would have turned ISO up a bit to stop down, used my skipoles or something to brace against, and cranked out some wicked shots.

Next time.

Also, the SDM motor on the DA*300 didn't seem happy at all in the sub-zero temperatures. Do people know: is this normal, or should I be worried about my lens? I haven't found anything about operating temperatures for SDM. It was behaving just fine back inside at human temperatures.
02-25-2009, 09:55 PM   #25
Veteran Member
palmor's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: North of Boston, MA
Posts: 798
QuoteOriginally posted by David Whiteley Quote

Also, the SDM motor on the DA*300 didn't seem happy at all in the sub-zero temperatures. Do people know: is this normal, or should I be worried about my lens? I haven't found anything about operating temperatures for SDM. It was behaving just fine back inside at human temperatures.
I've been shooting multiple times with my DA*300 in pretty cold temps (in the teens) and never had an issue. Although I haven't been in sub zero temps so maybe there is a point in between there where the lens/camera isn't happy?
02-26-2009, 01:33 AM   #26
Veteran Member
soccerjoe5's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Philippines
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,354
What do you guys think of the Sigma 100-300/4? I've been reading some very good reviews on it. Pity the Sigma 120-300/2.8 isn't available on the Pentax mount. I love that lens.
02-26-2009, 07:53 AM   #27
Pentaxian
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,400
one thing people need to consider, as marc has eluded to, is the math.

remember that image size is dictated by the following equation.

Image size = object size x focal length / object distance .

the biggest image size you can have is 24mm (your sensor is 24 x 16 mm in dimensions)

lets say you have a small bird, 6"inches long (150mm) and you have a 300mm lens.

to get full frame image you need to be within 1.875 meters from the bird or just over 6 feet. this is awfully close
02-26-2009, 09:45 AM   #28
Veteran Member
rfortson's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Houston TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,129
QuoteOriginally posted by palmor Quote
I've seen some great shots with the Bigma and have never used one so I'm not really in a position to compare but I can't imagine it being any better then the 300+TC. I'm just curious what you find better in the Bigma (shooting mostly wildlife myself I'm interested.. not trying to start a debate or say it isn't better ).
I think you're right about the 300+TC being about the same IQ as the Bigma. However, what you're missing is the zoom capabilty (just call me Captain Obvious). I actually use the full range on the Bigma, but of course bought it for the 500mm (actually 700 since I also got the matching 1.4x TC). Still, it's convenient to be able to go a little wider without having to change lenses.

Here are a few examples:

360mm:


115mm:


73mm:


And when you're at the airshow and you want to take a crowd shot, you don't have to switch lenses.
58mm:
02-26-2009, 09:53 AM   #29
Veteran Member
rfortson's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Houston TX
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,129
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Langille Quote
Hi Ed,

Actually I had ducks on my mind when I referred to skittishness. The black bellied whistlers are really difficult to photograph unless you are hidden or use a blind. What are your tough subjects?
Hi Marc,

Stop by sometime. There are hundreds of black bellied whistlers right outside my office in Houston (Clear Lake, near Ed). I actually got tired of photographing them. These were taken from about 30 feet away standing in the open, using my K20D and Bigma:





This was taken with the DA*50-135, so that should give you an idea of how close you can get. I did crop it though. I thought I had some DA*300 shots, but can't find them right now.



Anyway, there are lots of places to shoot water/shore birds in Houston. As Ed says, High Island is the place, but you can do okay right outside your door.


--edit ---
Ahhh, found one taken with the DA*300 and the K20D. This one is also cropped some, but should give you an idea of the black bellied whistling ducks outside my office.


Last edited by rfortson; 02-26-2009 at 03:42 PM.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
300mm, bigma, da*, k-mount, lenses, pentax da* 300mm, pentax lens, photography, shot, shots, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
For Sale - Sold: Pentax-A 135mm, DA 55-300mm, Tamron MC4 1.4x TC & Tokina 2x TC Light_Horseman Sold Items 8 07-08-2009 07:03 PM
For Sale - Sold: Pentax SMC K 300mm F4 & other lenses for sale Derrick Sold Items 3 01-28-2007 08:07 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:40 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top