Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-15-2009, 10:41 AM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Colorado
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 981
What to do?

So what do you do when the Sigma 50-500mm lens just isn't log enough to get some shots of wildlife (tele-converter is not the answer, to me it makes the shot soft). I know that no matter what I do there will be something that this new lens or scope can't get either. So my options that is see right now is to sell this lens and get a longer lens or sell this lens and use the money to get a spotting scope and adapter for my K20D.

The original this was taken at 500mm


The cropped version.


So my question are what would a scope give/not give me that a reg camera lens will give me?

Thanks
Jim

03-15-2009, 11:05 AM   #2
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,696
It may sound silly, but could you possible get any closer to your subjects?
500mm is a decent reach - really it's 750mm.
Any longer non-mirror lenses, and you're looking at big bucks - but seek and you will find...
How long would be long enough for you?
03-15-2009, 11:18 AM   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Colorado
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 981
Original Poster
Thanks for the reply Ash, no I couldn't get closer to the birds. There was a wooden fence up and wouldn't allow it. As far as what focal length I would be looking for. I don't have any idea. Like I said in the original post. No matter what focal length I get, something will be just out of range with it at some point.

Thanks
Jim
03-15-2009, 11:22 AM   #4
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 692
Maybe a spotting scope might work. You can get insane magnification by changing the eye pieces. Pentax actually makes really fantastic eye pieces and scopes. They are waterproof too. For the price of the Bigma you can get a nice spotting scope setup.

03-15-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
Veteran Member




Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nowhere, Sweden
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 654
It might looked like i was trying to be funny. But I was not. Camo and seeds are your best friend. Also a mp3 player with a good speaker and some recorded birdsounds.

There is a reason THIS GUY was only 25 feet away from the bird (a bird with very good eyesight) when he took THIS SHOT or THIS SHOT. And it is not the focal length.

He posted the second bird picture as an example of what he achieved with his 500mm and his new camosuit.

PS. I recommend looking thru his galleries.

PS2. Check this youtube movie about birdphotography : YouTube - Episode 11 , Bird Photography 101

Last edited by Zewrak; 03-15-2009 at 12:33 PM.
03-15-2009, 12:35 PM   #6
Pentaxian
Wheatfield's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: The wheatfields of Canada
Posts: 10,188
QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
500mm is a decent reach - really it's 750mm.

No, really it's 500mm.
How could it be anything else?

There are longer lenses out there, IIRC, there are a couple of third party 800mm mirror lenses being made.
03-15-2009, 12:47 PM   #7
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,213
QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
It may sound silly, but could you possible get any closer to your subjects?
500mm is a decent reach - really it's 750mm.
Any longer non-mirror lenses, and you're looking at big bucks - but seek and you will find...
How long would be long enough for you?
Ash, a 500mm lens is a 500mm lens. I know Pentax marketing uses the term "equivalent" rather loosely and that doesn't help. The actually difference in a 500mm lens on film compared to the aps-c is the angle of view. That effects how much you see and not the actual "reach" you see.
03-15-2009, 12:49 PM   #8
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,213
Getting closer is the most economical solution. The other route is to spend a lot of money on a relatively fast 600mm lens or get a fast 300mm and top quality converter. Even then, getting as close as possible helps. However, sometimes in nature, things get in the way . . . like the Snake River Canyon, Mississippi River etc.

03-15-2009, 01:16 PM   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
MikeW's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Indiana
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 355
My wife and I used to be reasonably active birders, but we never took many bird photos. In part it is the difficulty of being in the right place at the right time, plus back then I was never able to spend the money for really huge lenses. When I see photos of warblers that some people get I am just amazed. They are tiny things that never stop moving; just getting a look at them is a challenge.

More recently I bought a 400mm Mamiya-Sekor screwmount (i.e., the 35mm equivalent of 600mm) and tried it on a Cooper's Hawk who was no more than 100 ft from our back door; I was very disappointed in the results. It wasn't close enough.

All of which made me think along the lines of this thread. How big does your lens have to be? I can't (bad back) haul around a real monster lens, so how do you get close enough? I was unfamiliar with the Ghillie suit, but they look like a much better idea than a bigger lens. Also, a photo blind like this might do the job:

Ameristep®- Doghouse® Blind

But maybe in the final analysis more gear is not the answer. Maybe I just have to be more patient and spend more time in the woods.

Mike's Birding & Digiscoping Blog: Getting Close to Birds
03-15-2009, 01:37 PM   #10
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,213
QuoteOriginally posted by MikeW Quote

More recently I bought a 400mm Mamiya-Sekor screwmount (i.e., the 35mm equivalent of 600mm) and tried it on a Cooper's Hawk who was no more than 100 ft from our back door; I was very disappointed in the results. It wasn't close enough.

It is still just a 400mm lens it only has the equivalent field of view as a 600.

As far as blinds go, you still have to pack them and set them up. They are a good option but they have trade offs in that they are an "ambush" approach.
03-15-2009, 01:46 PM   #11
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,696
QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Ash, a 500mm lens is a 500mm lens. I know Pentax marketing uses the term "equivalent" rather loosely and that doesn't help. The actually difference in a 500mm lens on film compared to the aps-c is the angle of view. That effects how much you see and not the actual "reach" you see.
Thanks Blue & Wheatfield - I stand corrected. Apologies for my misunderstanding. Makes sense now.

A decent 1.4x TC could still be an option, though. Little significant depreciation in IQ when using a good quality TC, making your Bigma reach to 700mm.
03-15-2009, 02:12 PM   #12
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,213
QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Thanks Blue & Wheatfield - I stand corrected. Apologies for my misunderstanding. Makes sense now.

A decent 1.4x TC could still be an option, though. Little significant depreciation in IQ when using a good quality TC, making your Bigma reach to 700mm.
I understand how this happens when even the marketing from manufacturers including Pentax throw the term "equivalent" out there.

QuoteQuote:
The focal length is equivalent to 450mm in the 35mm format.
That is straight from PentaxImaging.com in the description of the DA* 300mm f4.
The focal length is equivalent to 450mm in the 35mm format.

They really need called out on that since it is only the FOV that is different between the film and APS-c.
03-15-2009, 02:27 PM   #13
Ash
Community Manager
Loyal Site Supporter
Ash's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 22,696
Yeah, well that's how I understood it until your simple explanation - so I suppose therein lies the benefit of FF.

For the same FL, there is a wider FOV in FF than on an APS-C, both giving the same absolute magnification but more captured on FF because of the APS-C crop.

Then there really is no 1.5x magnification at all - only less of the image being captured, and if magnified to the same size as a FF image, would be as if there were a 1.5x magnification...

Deceiving...

Last edited by Ash; 03-15-2009 at 09:38 PM.
03-15-2009, 03:00 PM   #14
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Ash, a 500mm lens is a 500mm lens. I know Pentax marketing uses the term "equivalent" rather loosely and that doesn't help. The actually difference in a 500mm lens on film compared to the aps-c is the angle of view. That effects how much you see and not the actual "reach" you see.
Please explain in what way "how much you see" differs from "reach". Here's my answer: they don't. A print of a given size taken with a 500mm on APS-C will look virtually identical in terms of "reach" to a print of the same size taken with with a 750mm lens on 35mm film. Only subtle differences in DOF might give away which was which.

Now, if we were talking about binoculars rather than cameras, there would be n obvious difference - magnification while looking through them. And I suppose one *could* compare cameras this way - and in that case, I'd agree the 750mm lens on the film camera wold produce a larger image in the viewfinder. But cameras are not binoculars - we judge them by the image they take, not what you see in the viewfinder.

QuoteQuote:
They really need called out on that since it is only the FOV that is different between the film and APS-c.
OK, but its also only FOV that 99% of photographers care about when discussing different focal lengths, so I don't see the problem. Sure, it could be worded more precisely, but it's also standard industry practice, and most of us know what is meant.
03-15-2009, 07:06 PM   #15
Moderator
Site Supporter
Blue's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Florida Hill Country
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 17,213
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Please explain in what way "how much you see" differs from "reach". Here's my answer: they don't. A print of a given size taken with a 500mm on APS-C will look virtually identical in terms of "reach" to a print of the same size taken with with a 750mm lens on 35mm film. Only subtle differences in DOF might give away which was which.

. . .



OK, but its also only FOV that 99% of photographers care about when discussing different focal lengths, so I don't see the problem. Sure, it could be worded more precisely, but it's also standard industry practice, and most of us know what is meant.
Your definition of reach is hilarious because you turn around and describe FOV. Reach has to do with magnification. The focal length of a lens is what determines the magnification at which it images distant objects. The FOV changes because of the change in the sensor size. In this case the size of a 35mm negative and aps-c sensor. The crop factor or focal length multiplier is used to get the equivalent FOV.

Some people understand that it is referring to FOV. Because it is stated as equivalent focal length there are many people that don't. In this particular example, I think reach is more important than FOV. If you were to take a picture with a 500mm lens on film and with a K200d, and were to crop the negative during scanning it, you would get a similar print.

The point being, regardless of which camera a 500mm lens is on, it is still a 500mm lens. T he magnification will be 10x on a SuperProgram or K20d. It isn't going to be magnified any more. Sure, you can do a "digital zoom" but that is similar to enlarging a negative in the dark room and the digital image is pre-cropped.

Maybe Falconeye or Wheatfield can do a better job of explaining this.


Also, it would be good to leave binoculars and telescopes out of this because of the eye-piece role in magnification etc.
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!
k-mount, lens, pentax lens, scope, slr lens
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:29 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