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03-26-2012, 06:37 AM   #1
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A year later, and the k-5 still blows me away... a simple picture.

Most of the time when I take pictures, I do it for documentation purposes. If the circumstances allow for taking a beautiful picture, I will, but if they don't, often I'm just as happy with a blurry, noisy crop, provided it shows what I wanted to document. Yesterday I took this picture, of a young gull. It's not a very nice or interesting image. The gull was quite far away, but I really wanted to photograph it as it seemed unusual to me, possibly a different species from the more common large gulls in the Netherlands; perhaps a related species that occurs more to the east.*

Taken with a Sigma 170-500 mm @ 500 mm (TAv mode, 1/800 s, F/14, ISO 800. Post-processing in Pentax DCU, 4 mainly increasing the exposure by just over a stop and some noise reduction; some further corrections in GIMP 2.6). No tripod, just a shoulder mount, with SR on.

On closer inspection of the photo, I notice a coded leg band. After blowing up the photo, the ring is readable (inset), and traceable to the tagging project. Indeed, the gull was born in Poland last year, and belongs to the species I thought it did.

I could not have imagined getting a readable tag code from that frame. Nice kit. Really nice kit. (Undoubtedly the resizing of the linked image by this site will make the photo look worse than it is; it's here on Flickr).

* For those interested: my hometown is a great place if you're interested in the classical Herring Gull Ring Species complex, as a rather large number of the taxa converge here. Do to the general tendency of southern species expanding in norther direction due to the increased average temperatures, the recent influxes of a.o. two large southern species may shed further light on this wonderfully complex and dynamic species complex.

03-26-2012, 07:08 AM   #2
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F14, ISO800, not the most conducive values to detail, and yet you can still read it. I am quite blown away too

The k-x isn't a slouch either!

03-26-2012, 04:34 PM   #3
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Original Poster
Well, F/14 is the optimum for that particular lens (it's fairly crappy when opened more); I have an old one bought 2n hand, which acording to some has a much worse IQ than the more modern ones. But yeah, that leads to the requirement for high ISO... 800 on the k-5 basically doesn't have much of a noise problem, it seems.

That k-x shot is pretty impressive, yeah... I upgraded from a k100D, I don't think you'd have a chance of shooting an image like that with the old beast ;D.

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