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03-22-2009, 07:19 PM   #16
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Owned the 500/4.5 briefly in the early to mid '90's. Jumped up a couple notches and now after 15 years with a 600mm lens or two...I still have "issues" with vibration blurr.

Just last week received my new Really Right Stuff Long Lens Support Package (dual clamp version). This is undoubtedly the FINEST anti-vibe anti-motion stabilizer I've ever tried. Previously used the Bogen Long Lens Clamp which connects the camera body to the tripod leg, thus providing two support points instead of the single point attachment with the tripod collar. Double support works, but the Bogen unit restricts camera movement where this new RRS unit creates two support points without restricting motion. Unfortunately the RRS package costs almost as much as a 500/4.5, but anyone reading this who owns a long lens with a tripod collar may want to go to the RRS site and look up the Long Lens Support Package. It's new so may require a site search--Marc Langille told me it took a bit of "digging" to find the new item on their site...

Good luck all as getting sharp images through supertelephoto lenses does take some technical work!

03-22-2009, 07:55 PM   #17
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Really Right Stuff - Lens Support Pkg, dual Quick-Release - Kit Configuration Page

Wow...now that's complicated looking :-)
03-23-2009, 05:12 AM   #18
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The Tak 500mm f/4.5 does take some patience to focus correctly, and practice is key.

Using Dadipentak's lens I took this pic on a monopod at f/8, if I remember correctly (and it's uncropped):



I think in general I did have to use a bit more sharpening than with other lenses, but I thought that for the price it was well worth it. Important tip: Don't trust the focus confirmation beep.

.

Last edited by Miserere; 03-23-2009 at 08:54 AM.
03-23-2009, 06:58 AM   #19
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Thanks for the link Kenyee!

It isn't all that complex, but it is a beast. Of course, for Pentax there isn't a replacement foot as Pentax tripod collars integrate the foot into a single unit on all the big glass I've played with.

I spoke with one of the co-owners of RRS and told them that this item isn't small and artistic like most RRS stuff. Kind of oversized and clunky, but when you have a 12 pound or 15 pound lens as two of mine are, the extra clunk is irrelevant if it increases keeper ratio. It actually helps the 250-600 rotate better from horiz. to vert. by supporting the heft of the off-balance aft end of the lens (using the RRS unit reversed to support the back end rather than the front end of the lens).

Unlike the "nose-heavy" Canon lens in the RRS photos, the Pentax 600/4 is very well balanced in the tripod collar and doesn't really need the Long Lens Support System. Keeper ratio with that lens is quite high. The 250-600 zoom however is very "butt-heavy" as the tripod collar can't be mounted at a better balance point because there are both focus and zoom rings to accomodate.

Weird, clunky accessory item--but it really works!

03-23-2009, 07:09 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
the Pentax 600/4 is very well balanced in the tripod collar and doesn't really need the Long Lens Support System. Keeper ratio with that lens is quite high. The 250-600 zoom however is very "butt-heavy"
Wow, you have both of these huge zooms?
Out of curiosity, what's your most used long tele? (you can include the 300/2.8 if you prefer hauling that w/ a 1.7x TC)
03-23-2009, 07:11 AM   #21
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so if i am not trusting the beep then i guess that i am eyeballing it the best i can

i have a multiplier eye cup

i am using the remote shutter release as suggested

i am using a sidekick setup with a 10kg capacity MH 1000 giottos head and manfrotto 055xprob sticks

it is a steady setup; i am going to fence test the DOF

i have been opening to 4.5; focus; then close down past f11

yesterday I was vfustrated; today i am in the acceptance phase and will practice more; get more very helpful tips and accept the art as it is
03-23-2009, 06:03 PM   #22
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Use mag eyecup. Use 3 sec mirror lock up. On K20D go to live view and magnify image, while focusing very slowly. Go back to normal mode and shoot using wireless remote if possible.
thanks.
barondla

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03-23-2009, 06:47 PM   #23
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Kenyee,
I use the 600/4 prime lots more than the 250-600/5.6 zoom.

But that's partly due to the higher ratio of keeper shots. The 250-600 is actually the better lens in many respects, but it is quite imbalanced--ass heavy--due to the tripod collar being so far forward. Hence my excitement to use the RRS support system. Perhaps that will increase my skill level a bit...

Just so it's clear...I spent the better part of a decade being a long lens freak...still am to some extent. There's nothing like a really great morning at a bird or game refuge. Shoot 500 shots by the time some folks are just getting to work in the morning. In the film days I'd sometimes burn 20 rolls in a day with mostly morning and evening shooting. Now with digital I may shoot even more! Just so it's clear, many, many days I "hunt critters" and never trip the shutter a single time. But when it happens, it happens hard and fast!

Anyone with questions about Pentax Superteles can PM me as I've owned and shot tens of thousands of images through:

SMC Pentax 500/4.5
FA*300/4.5
A*300/2.8
F*600/4
FA*600/4
FA*250-600/5.6

M*400/4 for 67II
M*300/4 for 67II

03-23-2009, 08:02 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
I use the 600/4 prime lots more than the 250-600/5.6 zoom.
Thanks for the feedback. Marc Languille said the 250-600 was hard to focus because of the 5.6 aperture. That's why I was wondering if it was better to stack TC's on a 300/2.8 or use a 600/4 (massive price difference though :-)
03-24-2009, 06:28 AM   #25
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The A*300/2.8 is a killer lens as I'm guessing the FA* is...Had good success with the 300 plus 1.4XL and even the 2XL. Didn't work well at all with the 1.7X autofocus thingy. Soft images with that combo, but it has been suggested that I had a bad 1.7 because many on this forum like it. I sold mine for $35 and good riddance--crappy toy in my opinion. Note that with the exception of the XL converters I've never liked teleconverters and currently have sold off 4 of them in the last year since I don't use them--not worth the loss of IQ. My anti tc opinion was formed in the film era and based on examination and sales of slides. There was no sharpening--you got what you shot! And shooting through tc's created mediocre images that didn't sell like my stuff that was shot without tc.

The 300mm class works well for me in situations with bird handlers, rehab facilities, zoos etc. For real field work the 600 and 250-600 zoom are far better but obviously at a cost. You really have to want to do that kind of work.
03-24-2009, 06:35 AM   #26
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BTW I posted several bird shots made through the 600/4 under someone else's thread titled What To Do? It's here in the lens section...Those two posts have various species and situations. Note that those are all framed as shot with no cropping whatsoever (old film habit, I generally try to sell it as I shot it without reframing).
I'd link it for you if I knew how, but I don't...
03-24-2009, 07:54 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by rdrum76 Quote
i am using a sidekick setup with a 10kg capacity MH 1000 giottos head and manfrotto 055xprob sticks

I agree with Ron's suggestion. You may want to first consider whether the softness is due to your support system. For a lens that size a sidekick will probably still have too much vibration. When I use a telephoto lens I am amazed at how even the tiniest movement can have a huge effect. You probably need a full blown gimbal mount. Sadly, the good ones aren't cheap.

Plus you may even need to try a different set of tripod legs.
03-24-2009, 08:42 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
BTW I posted several bird shots made through the 600/4 under someone else's thread titled What To Do?
Thanks, Ron. Found it. Appreciate the time you took. I think my best bet is a 300/2.8 as a noob until I can figure out if I like it enough to get a 12# bazooka :-)
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/54285-what-do-4.html
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