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04-01-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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1 week in first shot I am happy with

Hi guys I have been using my new K5 all week watching every video I can, I have been very interested in wildlife photography for a long time but until now I have not had time or money to do it. Anyway I was out today and found some vultures I took 100 or so shots using different settings and this is the best shot I got and I am pretty happy with it I just wish it was sharper but it was a really dark day.

I was using shutter priority mainly as I was in a inflatable boat and the wind kept blowing me in circles so I needed a high shutter speed.
Setting ISO 1600, F32, 1/200 and 300mm on the Sigma 70-300 do you think a Pentax 55-300 would perform better for me?

Over all the K5 I find is easier to use then my old K100 I don't have to dig in menus to find stuff now.

04-01-2012, 08:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by coreyhkh Quote
do you think a Pentax 55-300 would perform better for me?
Tough to say. Backlight shooting like this is a challenge for any lens imo. Though I've heard so many positive things about the 55-300 that I'm finding it hard to fault as anything other than one of the best cost effective means to 300mm for the K mount. - but that's just me.
04-01-2012, 08:31 PM   #3
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Composition is good here, but:

My first suggestion is that your aperture is way too small. F32 is possibly the smallest aperture on your lens and your shots will suffer from what is called diffraction. If you want better IQ you might need to aim for the f8 ball park its a good ballance between a lens being soft at wide apertures and suffering from diffraction at narrow ones .

Another suggestion is to use a shutter speed of 1/(focal length of the lens) as a minimum, Ie for a shot at the 300mm range you want 1/300 or shorter exposures. This will make camera shake have less impact on the sharpness of your images.

With the K-5 you can let the ISO float up to 3200 before noise becomes and issue (possibly higher) so it will give you plenty of shutter speed flexibility.

I hope these tips help you get the most from your lens (and save you money)
04-01-2012, 09:42 PM   #4
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Thanks so does this mean I have to shoot in Manual mode so that I have control over both settings?

04-01-2012, 09:51 PM   #5
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You can use TAv mode which can let you choose shutter speed and aperature whilst the camera can choose between a predefined range of ISOs(set on the menu). Or you can still use AV check the light meter reading before shooting and if its slower than the shutter speed you want, increase the ISO until you get the desired shutter speed. With the K5 you can do that without taking your eye off the viewfinder, just click or hold ISO button and use the thumb wheel to increase the ISO.
04-01-2012, 09:52 PM   #6
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There is detail available in this shot

The K-5 has great details lurking in the shadows. You can apply a post-processing technique called soft light to this one, and you will see detail in the tree and the birds.
04-01-2012, 10:02 PM   #7
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Yes, don't shoot at f/32. You won't ever get the most out of any lens and you're forcing yourself to use a much slower shutter speed.

A shutter speed of 1/focal length was the old rule of thumb for handholding in film days. Crop cameras push that a bit. And the rule doesn't work so well with long lenses. If you had set the lens at f/8 in this photo -- the sweet spot for most lenses -- you could have gone four stops faster on the shutter speed, which would have gotten you to 1/3200. Cut that to 1/1600 on the shutter and you could shoot at ISO 800 and get more detail.

In a boat with a 300mm lens I wouldn't really go slower than about 1/1000.
04-01-2012, 10:10 PM   #8
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+1 on bkpix recommendations above.

04-01-2012, 10:47 PM   #9
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f/8 @ ISO 100 would have given you the same shutter speed, same exposure, but the image would have been much sharper and less noise in the shadows. Cameras are very stupid machines, even good ones. The way I look at it, the camera is there to juggle the variables that you can't, but the more freedom you give it, the greater the chance that it's going to make the wrong decision, like choosing f/32.

Have a look at the effect of diffraction on the lens in question. Sigma Lens: Zooms - Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro APO (Tested) -! Actually it does quite well for itself even up to f/16, but I wouldn't go any higher unless you're doing macro shots with it and just have to have that extra DoF.

TAv is your friend on the K-5, because it lets you control the two most important variables, and the camera only has to figure out, "How do I set my ISO to correctly expose this scene?" And thanks to the K-5's low light performance, there's very little drawback if the camera has to go with a high ISO, in this case though, it wouldn't.
04-02-2012, 07:40 AM   #10
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Wow thanks I have read the manual like 5 times but it always makes more sense when a human explains it. Going back out to test this tonight.

thanks again
04-02-2012, 12:21 PM   #11
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When I'm out with the K-5 and 55-300 in good conditions I find f8-11 to be a sweet spot and will shoot 1/500sec on bright days. TAv mode is your friend, and you can quickly change aperture and shutter speed with the dials.

The Magic Lantern K-7 guide may be easier to read than the manual.
04-02-2012, 01:38 PM   #12
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There is also considerable chromatic aberration in your vulture image (the purple and green fringing on the branches) that a good post-processing program can make short work of.

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