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10-19-2009, 08:01 AM   #1
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Fat Albert and the TCs

You may be expecting concert shots of a doo-wop group but, in fact, this is a report on some tests with my newly acquired A* 400mm f/2.8 ("Fat Albert") with my teleconverters. After a gloomy week of rain, it was a clear morning and a new-to-me hawk (a Merlin, I think) obligingly stopped by to pose in the dead oak out back so it was a great opportunity for some testing.

Here are samples of the better shots, one from each of the TCs. All were cropped to 7.71MP portrait orientation and resized to 520 x 650 jpegs--no other pp. Like the song says, "If you think I'm happy, you're right!" I'm particularly pleased with the performance of the 2x-L: at 800mm, the results are at least competitive with (and maybe better) than what I get with the SMC 1000mm--and without the fringing!

10-19-2009, 08:02 AM   #2
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Tamron-F 1.4x Pz-AF MC4 ( f4, +1.0EV, 1/500s ISO 320)

( f4, +1.0EV, 1/500s ISO 320)
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10-19-2009, 08:04 AM   #3
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SMC Pentax-F 1.7x AF

( f5.6, +0.7EV, 1/640s, ISO 400)
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10-19-2009, 08:05 AM   #4
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Pentax Rear Converter-A 2x-L

f5.6, 0.7EV, 1/640s, ISO 1250

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10-19-2009, 08:25 AM   #5
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Great combo
Congrats on the new lens.
10-19-2009, 04:51 PM   #6
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Fat Albert!, no, no consert shots, this was the first thing that came to my mind.
Man, A 400 2.8, good way to build biceps.

Cheers, Mike.

Last edited by Ex Finn.; 11-11-2014 at 05:51 PM.
10-19-2009, 07:45 PM   #7
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Thanks, guys! I'm not worthy of the lens in terms of skill but intend to work in that direction. Lifting it, however, is not a problem.
10-19-2009, 09:15 PM   #8
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I too thought of the Blue Angels transport plane when I saw the thread title! That plane does some amazing maneuvers for its size.

QuoteOriginally posted by Ex Finn. Quote
Fat Albert!, no, no consert shots, this was the first thing that came to my mind.
Man, A 400 2.8, good way to build biceps.

Cheers, Mike.


10-20-2009, 08:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dadipentak Quote
You may be expecting concert shots of a doo-wop group but, in fact, this is a report on some tests with my newly acquired A* 400mm f/2.8 ("Fat Albert") with my teleconverters. After a gloomy week of rain, it was a clear morning and a new-to-me hawk (a Merlin, I think) obligingly stopped by to pose in the dead oak out back so it was a great opportunity for some testing.

Here are samples of the better shots, one from each of the TCs. All were cropped to 7.71MP portrait orientation and resized to 520 x 650 jpegs--no other pp. Like the song says, "If you think I'm happy, you're right!" I'm particularly pleased with the performance of the 2x-L: at 800mm, the results are at least competitive with (and maybe better) than what I get with the SMC 1000mm--and without the fringing!
I actually thought of my kids when the Fat Albert light bulbs came out. They were at that lovely ages when this was absolutely hilarious. Except to me.
10-21-2009, 03:46 AM   #10
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It just seemed a good nickname for a lens that looks like this.

The IQ this thing delivers at 560, 680 and 800mm kinda puts the investment in a different perspective.
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Last edited by dadipentak; 10-21-2009 at 03:56 AM.
10-21-2009, 04:20 AM   #11
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Wow.
What a massive piece of harware - good results with it so far.
Never heard of a 400/2.8 until now - very special.
Thanks for sharing this with us Dave - awesome stuff.
10-21-2009, 05:18 AM   #12
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Thanks, Ash. It's a bit of a cart-before-horse thing since I have a lot of skill development ahead of me but I have paid some dues with the 1000mm f8.
For better of worse, any IQ issues I encounter with this thing are presumed to be operator error.
10-21-2009, 07:53 AM   #13
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How far was the hawk?

How far from your camera position to the hawk? Are the samples cropped or full frame? And which body are you using?

Thanks,

Sig
10-21-2009, 09:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sigmoid Quote
How far from your camera position to the hawk? Are the samples cropped or full frame? And which body are you using?

Thanks,

Sig
I'd guess I was 40-50m from the bird, Sig. The samples were cropped to 7.71MP portrait orientation and resized to 520 x 650 jpegs--no other pp.
I used a K20D.
10-22-2009, 09:53 AM   #15
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Cool. Remarkable quality, especially for an unfamiliar super-tele. It took me months to get the hang of using my *A 600 f5.6 and I still take a few soft exposures when I momentarily loose mental focus on the focus.

To my aging eyes, the 2X returns sharper results than the 1.7X, with the 1.4 Tamron in the middle.

Sig
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