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04-29-2007, 07:32 PM   #1
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My April angst and what I've done about it so far...

Hi!

I had two goals for the month of April.

1.) When the Sigma Bigma pictures (and Ron's 170-500 as well) started appearing I developed such a case of "Want it NOW!" So one goal was to convince myself that I don't really need it.

2) Prove to myself that there are picture opportunities outside of the skating rink and I AM ABLE to take advantage of them sometimes! HA! LOL!
The following posts contain the reults...

(I posted this in separate threads on DPR to limit the time it takes for the pictures to load. That's not going to work here, though.)

04-29-2007, 07:36 PM   #2
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Re: The problem:

Oh, and Adam, if this is in the wrong area, please move it for me. I figured since it was about the Sigma Bigma, it should be in the lens area...

The setup:

Pentax K10D w/Vivitar 2X macro focusing teleconverter w/Pentax A*300 F4 weighing in at 4.3lbs

Crabapple tree 400ISO w/SR @ 600mm f4.0 1/45s


Not too encouraging. But that was handheld at 5PM in the shade at a pretty slow shutter speed.

So I pulled out my M200mm f4 just to remind myself why I wanted the reach. (I pushed the green button on this photo and then upped the shutter speed to what I thought it should be.)
F5.6 400ISO 1/120s 6:29PM


Then the A*300 by itself:
f5.6 800ISO 1/250s 6:34PM


A 100% crop from the A*300:
f5.6 800ISO 1/250s 6:36PM


Still not what I was after. Crops just don't cut it when compared to the wonderful images being shown by Ron/Roger/LaRee and now Rupert!!
04-29-2007, 07:41 PM   #3
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Re: Better results:

Back to the A*300 w/2XMFTC combination. I was determined this time. I got these handheld but with the lens combination braced against the doorjam or against my deck post or railing:
(Set the SR at 300mm for all of these.)
f4.5 800ISO 1/180s 8:26AM


f4.5 800ISO 1/45s 8:31AM


f4.0 800ISO 1/250s 11:15AM (but cloudy and in the shade)


f8.0 400ISO 1/90s 11:35AM


This is taken w/Zenitar just to give you an idea of how far off the next shot is:


f6.7 400ISO 1/120s 3:03PM


Then today, in the bright sun I finally got exactly what I was after:
f6.7 400ISO 1/90s 10:33AM


f6.7 400ISO 1/60s 10:33AM


f5.6 400ISO 1/120s 1:06PM
04-29-2007, 07:44 PM   #4
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Tracy, bigma will prove it very useful in capable hands.

I feel guilty myself for not using bigma for a few months now. This is the only lens without a protection filter besides my Fa 43 ltd. When I use bigma, I use it like a camping equipment, you can do anything to it and it will survive. The bokeh coming out of this lens at 500mm is very good especially with green and orange. But in low light environment, bigma proves to be quite useless: hunting AF an poor image details. I do not think you would miss bigma if you are going to use it in indoor skating competitions. Sure security staff would politely ask you out if you wag that lens around near the court side

Speaking of the 2nd wish, you have already been doing lots of photography outside skating like the kite photos you posted earlier on.

04-29-2007, 07:46 PM   #5
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And then there's the throw-aways...

And there were much more of these than partial successes or acceptables.

But I have to be braced or supported and what I'm taking a picture of can't move. HA! If I try to handhold it freely or just swing it up to take a shot the results are not great:

The circled area at the bottom is the hummingbird just after I got him in focus. LOL!
f8 400ISO 1/120s 12:31PM


Saw a woodpecker and tried to catch him before he flew off. They're very twitchy around here for some reason.
f8.0 400ISO 1/90s 2:11PM (cloudy)


Our first hummer of the year buzzed by and surprised me. I swung around to try to catch him:
f5.6 400ISO 1/90s 2:13PM (still cloudy)


The CA is terrible, too, particularly with the A*300 wide open.
f4.5 800ISO 1/90s 8:27AM
04-29-2007, 07:47 PM   #6
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Oops, Tracy. I posted before your beautiful port folio was presented.

They are beautiful spring birds! So colourful.

Looks like you got a great lens there
04-29-2007, 07:49 PM   #7
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I like the fourth one. Surprise you didn't have or mention a tripod.

I'm thinking about the first-that set-up. Don't take this wrong, I'm sure optically it is very nice--but it's an ugly combination. And I know ugly from a lot of different perspectives. Makes me wonder a bit if we should start a contest for the ugliest camera/lens combination. Divide it into categories by focal length/might be fun to see what people are using/concocting.

Simultaneous posting, probably should have waited until you put everything up: fourth image in first group.
04-29-2007, 07:49 PM   #8
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The conclusion and a milestone!

The conclusion - I don't NEED a longer lens. I need patience and something to brace against! The fringing/CA can be taken care of in post processing.

But it sure would be nice to not have to worry about the stops I lose with the converter making the slower shutter speed necessary. And WANT is a different story.

Oh, and I passed 10000 shots yesterday!
9996:


9997:


9999 (9998 was a dud):


10001 (IMGP0001):


10003:


And the bluebirds have taken up residence for good this year!

04-29-2007, 08:12 PM   #9
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The last link in the 'better' post should be:



But I still can't use the edit button to fix it.
04-29-2007, 08:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Tracy, bigma will prove it very useful in capable hands.

I feel guilty myself for not using bigma for a few months now. This is the only lens without a protection filter besides my Fa 43 ltd. When I use bigma, I use it like a camping equipment, you can do anything to it and it will survive. The bokeh coming out of this lens at 500mm is very good especially with green and orange. But in low light environment, bigma proves to be quite useless: hunting AF an poor image details. I do not think you would miss bigma if you are going to use it in indoor skating competitions. Sure security staff would politely ask you out if you wag that lens around near the court side
Hi James!

Yeah, that's one of the things that's holding me back. It's a very specific type of photography that I'd use it for and the combination works just as well, as long as I pay attention to the details. Thanks for letting me know about the downsides of the Bigma.

QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Speaking of the 2nd wish, you have already been doing lots of photography outside skating like the kite photos you posted earlier on.
Thanks! That was an event, though. I just had to show up. For these birds I had to hunt and wait around. That's what I meant by reminding myself that I had the ability to get out and find the picture opportunities.
04-29-2007, 08:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by roentarre Quote
Oops, Tracy. I posted before your beautiful port folio was presented.

They are beautiful spring birds! So colourful.

Looks like you got a great lens there
Hi again! Thank you very much! The A*300 is a great lens and the teleconverter is pretty doggone useful. I've just got to keep reminding myself about that fact!!
04-29-2007, 08:29 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jfdavis58 Quote
I like the fourth one. Surprise you didn't have or mention a tripod.

I'm thinking about the first-that set-up. Don't take this wrong, I'm sure optically it is very nice--but it's an ugly combination. And I know ugly from a lot of different perspectives. Makes me wonder a bit if we should start a contest for the ugliest camera/lens combination. Divide it into categories by focal length/might be fun to see what people are using/concocting.

Simultaneous posting, probably should have waited until you put everything up: fourth image in first group.
Hi Jfdavis!

Oh, I do have a tripod and the special Manfrotto long lens support. Every time I put the lens combination on that thing I find something that I want to shoot in the other direction. Not fast enough with it yet. I mainly use it for moon/star photos.

As for the setup, well, all of the long pictures were taken with that setup to try to convince myself that I don't need the Sigma Bigma 50-500mm lens. Yep, it's ugly, but I did finally show that it would do what I want as long as I slow down and do it right.

That would be a neat competition, though. Start the thread in the 'mini-challenges' area!
04-29-2007, 08:44 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by photo_mom Quote
Oh, I do have a tripod and the special Manfrotto long lens support. Every time I put the lens combination on that thing I find something that I want to shoot in the other direction. Not fast enough with it yet. I mainly use it for moon/star photos!
try a manfrotto monopod, cheap (relative to their tripods) and much more useful in these kinds of situations (for me anyway)...

Very pretty birds btw..

P.S. the monopod I got was the manfrotto 679B and 234RC head.. In th US I think the 679B with the 3232 head (non quick release version of the one I got) is around $60..
04-29-2007, 08:54 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by joele Quote
try a manfrotto monopod, cheap (relative to their tripods) and much more useful in these kinds of situations (for me anyway)...

Very pretty birds btw..

P.S. the monopod I got was the manfrotto 679B and 234RC head.. In th US I think the 679B with the 3232 head (non quick release version of the one I got) is around $60..
Thanks Joele!

BrandonPK let me use his monopod on the Gettysburg trip. You've just reminded me of it. It WAS very useful. Thanks!!
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