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05-21-2012, 10:13 PM   #1
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Lens extender

Hi there,

I will shoot wild life some times, I am not the professional type don't except too much from my gear, also lack of fund, I am thinking about getting the DA* 60-250, as I already have a good 3rd party 500mm mirror. But the DA* is bit off budget to me, and 200mm (300mm after 1.5x) is the entry ticket for wild life photography, so the alternative for me is the DA* 50-135, which cost about the same as my DA* 16-50, plus a good lens extender to make it slightly longer. I read somewhere that Pentax got a MF 1.7x extender, it's hardly seen now in the used market, and I know a good lens extender won't be cheap, together with the lens would cost about the same as the longer zoom, but still want to know, if there is any good lens extender around for Pentax ?

05-22-2012, 11:29 AM   #2
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The Tamron auto focus 1.5x seems to get good reviews, but it may not work with SDM lenses, and is no longer produced. You would need to find a used one, and they are pricey. Have you tried cropping the image in your computer?
05-23-2012, 07:49 AM   #3
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Yes I used to crop my photos, because I lack of a long lens ! since I can settle on a mirror (500/6.3), I will surely satisfied with the lens extender, a good one like Tarmon and Kenko. Never heard of the Tarmon 1.5x, can't even find it on 'The Bay'.
05-23-2012, 07:59 AM   #4
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just to be clear, so you do not get disappointed , while 300mm is considered as the entry for wild life, it is considered this on the APS-C sensor, so no 1.5 crop factor applies.

you really need to get to 300mm minimum, this is for larger game and big birds. if you want little birds, start thinking seriously about getting good with the mirror.

Also note on most DSLRs, AF needs F6.9 or faster, so the pentax 1.7x AF TC wont let you get autofocus on anything slower than F4, however, I noticed that i could with my K5 get it to work on an F5.6 lens, so maybe the newest AF bodies can work at smaller apertures.

05-23-2012, 08:32 AM   #5
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Yes I understand, I always need the 500mm mirror to get close enough to small birds when shooting at safe distance, with a little luck and patience I can get good shots with it. I do have a 55-200WR non IF which hunt a lot, I decided to turn off AF instead ! since the K5 is bright enough I don't have much problem in manual focus. The reason I consider the DA* is the weather sealing, wild life photography is all weather, and I don't see any other made has similar capacity, it is also bright. Now I use the 55-200 mainly, it does not respond quick enough for birds and animals, and it is not macro, but I can still shoot insects and flowers at the long end, that's the main use of this lens !

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