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03-24-2009, 02:29 AM   #16
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Hin

I have posted my 2 soilutions before, both fit your criteria.

solution 1

Sigma APO 70-200 F2.8 EX (non DG non macro) with sigma 2x EX Teleconverter
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/187646-post19.html

and

Pentax SMC 300mm F4 with SMC-F 1.7x Autofocus adaptor
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/106132-post4.html

Both will do what you want but regardless of lens, GET AS CLOSE AS YOU CAN because nothing substitutes for distance. remember the following.

image size = object size * focal length / distance (keep all units the same)

My image of the chickadee was almost at the minimum focus of the 300 F4. the small falcon was about 20 feet away and it is a full frame (no crop) direct out of my K10D ar 400mm

03-24-2009, 04:23 AM   #17
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My old M42 SMC 400/5.6 can do a decent job, but it's much too heavy to hand hold, requires lots of light (DOF is very narrow, even stopped down), and very careful focus. A tripod it needed to keep it steady...

K100D w/SMC 400/5.6

Last edited by Michaelina2; 03-24-2009 at 07:37 PM.
03-24-2009, 11:27 AM   #18
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@Soldbear, thank you on the inputs on both Sigma 400mm and Tokina 400mm, I would pay attention to those. I also get a lead from my good friends in photo.net on Tokina 400mm and Tokina 80-400mm.

@Douglas, thank you for the sample. I also consider Tamron SP 500mm f/8.0 but my previous attempt with Vivitar 500mm f/8.0 has not shown good results. It is okay but definitely not as sharp as the combination of a 300mm + TC. Will a good mirror lens do well for birds?

@Lowell, thanks for the two suggested solutions. I should have kept my copy of Pentax 300mm f/4.0. What was I thinking?

@Michael, I wish I had not sold you my 300mm f/4.0, have you found the right tripod collar on the lens? PF/CA has been reported on the lens. I wonder how it compares to the SuperTakumar 300mm f/4.0. And I will look into the Pentax 400mm f/5.6 in both K and M42 mount. In general, I prefer M42 mount for the Av mode.

Last edited by hinman; 03-24-2009 at 11:45 AM.
03-24-2009, 11:39 AM   #19
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My current setup with 200mm f/2.8 + 2x or 1.7x TC is very portable. Just the 200mm alone is way too short unless I can magically get real close to birds


cropped quite a bit

Soligor 200mm f/2.8 alone
the little sparrow has a bracelet
the 200mm is quite soft in a distance




Soligor 200mm f/2.8 + 2x Kiron doubler
cropped
quite soft and lost of detail when I zoom in
some fringing



quite soft
a singing bird with good melody
don't know the name
cropped






Last edited by hinman; 03-24-2009 at 06:08 PM.
03-24-2009, 11:50 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman;535336}

@Michael, I wish I had not sold you my [B:
300mm f/4.0[/B], have you found the right tripod collar on the lens?
SOLD... and replaced by a DA(star) 300. It has a new owner who loves it.

Cheers...

Last edited by Michaelina2; 03-24-2009 at 05:40 PM.
03-24-2009, 11:59 AM   #21
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My 400mm combo using a 2x TC on a 200mm lens is very portable, and due to the M42 mount, I can save the step of stop-down metering in going for the Av mode. This is important to react quickly. I missed quite a lot of shots in stop-down metering shooting birds hand-held. So I do wish to find a 400mm f/5.6 without the need of TC to improve on the IQ and sharpness.

I saw a big bird this morning, likely a hawk, I stayed far and missed the focus and when I get closer, I only managed to scramble for few shots before it flies away


Soligor 200mm f/2.8 + 2x TC
cropped from 10 meg to 2.1meg in size



Last edited by hinman; 03-24-2009 at 12:14 PM.
03-24-2009, 01:12 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
I saw a big bird this morning, likely a hawk, I stayed far and missed the focus and when I get closer, I only managed to scramble for few shots before it flies away
Nice shot.

Looks like a Cooper's Hawk to me.

Enjoy the season...
03-24-2009, 02:38 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
Nice shot.

Looks like a Cooper's Hawk to me.

Enjoy the season...
I agree (in fact, it looks like my Cooper's--I wondered where he'd gone to ;~)

03-24-2009, 03:00 PM   #24
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Thank you Michael and Dave.

I like my current set up for ease of use and pretty much less than 2 lb and it is very portable and I can grab and shoot quickly.


Soligor 200mm f/2.8 in m42 next to
Vivitar 200mm f/3.5 from Komine in K mount
Both are relatively small & lightweight



And I prefer quicker reaction in Av metering without stop-down and the M42 lens or an 'A' lens will do that. The Av mode, allows me to concentrate on the framing and panning when needed. I hear the plane after the cooper hawk this morning.

And I practice on panning distant plane flying. It gives me the instant thrill to follow the plane in action. My 400mm combo usually does poorly for infinity object, perhaps I have good lighting today and that really helps in the shooting as I can stop down to f/8 and still have reasonable shutter for the panning. I used my K mount 200mm f/3.5 on Komine before on similar shooting and after the stop-down, the plane may have already turned to a different direction.


Soligor 200mm f/2.8 m42 +
Kiron 2x doubler
cropped
1/125 sec, f/6.3, 400mm, iso 200, 0 Ev




1/125 sec, f/6.3, 400mm, iso 200, 0 Ev



heavily cropped
bird is way too far
1/1600 sec, likely f/5.6, 400mm, iso 100, -0.7 Ev



I hope I can find a good prime or zoom in 400mm f/5.6 that is both hand-holdable and offer better IQ that I can depend less on the TC. As of now, I have these choices in manual focus:
  • Sigma or Tokina 400mm f/5.6 in manual focus with 'A' setting -- about 1010g in Tokina
  • SuperTak 300mm f/4.0 in m42 -- about 985g
  • Pentax 300mm f/4.0 in K mount -- about 1020g
  • Pentax M*/A* 300mm f/4.0 in K mount -- lightest about 850g
  • Pentax K 400mm f/5.6 (or the Takumar 400mm f/5.6 equivalent in m42) -- about 1285g in K version

Last edited by hinman; 03-25-2009 at 05:02 PM.
03-24-2009, 03:50 PM   #25
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out ot your original possibilities I can't comment on any, never tried any nor will I in any near future. But it crossed my mind why you don't think of 400 too

QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
@Michael, I wish I had not sold you my 300mm f/4.0, have you found the right tripod collar on the lens? PF/CA has been reported on the lens. I wonder how it compares to the SuperTakumar 300mm f/4.0. And I will look into the Pentax 400mm f/5.6 in both K and M42 mount. In general, I prefer M42 mount for the Av mode.
Good for you as SMC 400/5.6 (K series) is IDENTICAL to Takumar version with only difference being K bayonet in place of M42 screw. That means it's one of the few K lenses to keep fully manual apperture! There is NO connection between the body and the lens. It works well in Av mode but focusing gets trickier as you stop down. If you want to read bit more about my experiences with this lens:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/33779-review-s...5-6-400-a.html

and some pics:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/42039-morning-walk-w-k10-k400.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/36695-k400-sr.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/52955-wildlife-friday.html
03-24-2009, 07:33 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
out ot your original possibilities I can't comment on any, never tried any nor will I in any near future. But it crossed my mind why you don't think of 400 too



Good for you as SMC 400/5.6 (K series) is IDENTICAL to Takumar version with only difference being K bayonet in place of M42 screw. That means it's one of the few K lenses to keep fully manual apperture! There is NO connection between the body and the lens. It works well in Av mode but focusing gets trickier as you stop down. If you want to read bit more about my experiences with this lens:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/33779-review-s...5-6-400-a.html

and some pics:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/42039-morning-walk-w-k10-k400.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/36695-k400-sr.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/52955-wildlife-friday.html
Hi Peter,

You have wonderful pictures with SMC 400mm f/5.6 and I see good pictures from Victor from Canada with the Takumar 400mm f/5.6. Are you mostly using this lens on tripod? Thanks for all the links to pictures.

Another question to all forum members, will a Tamron SP 500mm f/8.0 adaptall-2 mirror lens serves the wild life photography purpose? I would think the mirror lens will be too slow for fast moving animals such as birds.
03-24-2009, 07:40 PM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
My 400mm combo using a 2x TC on a 200mm lens is very portable, and due to the M42 mount, I can save the step of stop-down metering in going for the Av mode. This is important to react quickly. I missed quite a lot of shots in stop-down metering shooting birds hand-held. So I do wish to find a 400mm f/5.6 without the need of TC to improve on the IQ and sharpness.

I saw a big bird this morning, likely a hawk, I stayed far and missed the focus and when I get closer, I only managed to scramble for few shots before it flies away


Soligor 200mm f/2.8 + 2x TC
cropped from 10 meg to 2.1meg in size


Sorry to the purists here, but bring this image into Photoshop, get rid of the blurry branches and some other distracting parts of branches, and you got a total winner in this shot.
03-24-2009, 08:05 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Sorry to the purists here, but bring this image into Photoshop, get rid of the blurry branches and some other distracting parts of branches, and you got a total winner in this shot.
Thanks for the suggestion. I am way behind in post processing. I only use the basics as in iPhoto and Picasa. I am very much on training wheels in post processing. I will hopefully sell a lens or two to get a copy of Lightroom and learn to use free software with Gimp/paint.net.

The shot on the cooper hawk is a test picture heavily cropped from 10Meg to 2.1Meg in size. When I zoom in, it is quite blur on the eye and beak. I really got lucky to have a test shot to show. My SD card was full after the 6th pictures. First three are all blurred as I stay too far NOT to scare the hawk. And I ran much closer on 4th and 5th, probably 30 to 50 feet from ground to a tall tree. In scrambling to quickly delete old pictures, the hawk became impatient and flew away in a blink.

Lesson learned: always carry an empty SD card in battery grip. I have spare SD cards but they were far away in my car at the time.

Last edited by hinman; 03-25-2009 at 04:57 PM.
03-25-2009, 12:51 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
Hi Peter,

You have wonderful pictures with SMC 400mm f/5.6 and I see good pictures from Victor from Canada with the Takumar 400mm f/5.6. Are you mostly using this lens on tripod? Thanks for all the links to pictures.
......
yes and no,
all pics from "morning walk" are on tripod, one pic of the heron is on the tripod too
shots from "wildlife friday" are all from monopod

BR
03-25-2009, 02:54 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
...
I hope I can find a good prime or zoom in 400mm f/5.6 that is both hand-holdable and offer better IQ that I can depend less on the TC. As of now, I have these choices in manual focus:
  • Sigma or Tokina 400mm f/5.6 in manual focus with 'A' setting -- not sure on weight?
  • SuperTak 300mm f/4.0 in m42 -- about 985g
  • Pentax 300mm f/4.0 in K mount -- about 1020g
  • Pentax M*/A* 300mm f/4.0 in K mount -- lightest about 850g
  • Pentax K 400mm f/5.6 (or the Takumar 400mm f/5.6 equivalent in m42) -- about 1285g in K version
I have the Tokina SD 400mm f5.6, MF in PK-A mount. It is 1010g with original caps and its tripod mount. The tripod mount is detachable but not that much extra weight or size. Filter size is 72mm and it's 8-7/8 inches long (sorry, no metric measuring tape). It doesn't change length when focused and it has a very nice light focus ring. Minimum focus distance is 4 meters. It has a nice slide-out hood.

It has some CA wide open but improves a lot by f8. I often use it for moon photos, alone or with the Vivitar Macro Focusing Teleconverter. The TC shots are pretty good for TC shots. Most of my usage is on a tripod. I paid $175 three years ago. I have read that the AF version has improved optics.

Here is a handheld shot at f6.7, 1/250s:



I don't usually look for birds but I agree with others that 400mm helps a lot - or really big birds. I also like the idea of a fast 300mm + TC, but the right combination is expensive. (I'd like the A*300mm f4 + 1.7x AF Adapter.) I bought an old Vivitar T4 300mm f5.5 prime recently but don't have any photos yet.

Last edited by Just1MoreDave; 03-25-2009 at 03:14 PM.
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