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07-23-2013, 02:18 AM   #16
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How cheap can i get a da*300?

07-23-2013, 02:29 AM   #17
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Birding on a budget

My recommendation for a 13 year old with a budget, interested in bird photography:

An IST-DS for around $130, or a K10D around $200, from KEH.com.

200mm manual focus Pentax prime lens: $50 to $200 depending on which you get.

300mm: $150 to $250.

400mm: $465.

Add a tripod with a ball head. Lighter weight if you will be hiking with it, heavier weight if you will be planted and not moving around much.

You'll be able to get awesome shots, and you can also save some money for other things later!

---

KEH's page for Pentax digital DSLRs:
Pentax Digital Camera Bodies - KEH.com

KEH's page for manual focus prime lenses:
Pentax Manual Focus Fixed Focal Length Lenses - KEH.com
07-23-2013, 02:32 AM   #18
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Thanks bdp1, good suggestion, if i got q k10 or k20 and a manual focus 400mm would that give better results then a k5ii with a 55-300 or tamron 70-200 f2.8?
07-23-2013, 02:33 AM   #19
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Hi reptilezz, I have had a look on the camera you are using now - the powershot s2 iis; the main issue you are facing now is that your current camera has a 12 X zoom, they claim it is a 648 mm equivalent (full frame), this is possible cause the sensor is very small; you will upgrade to a SLR that has a bigger sensor so you need longer lenses to compensate and get the best image. For your budget I'll consider a K30 or K50, which has the same 16 Mpix sensor as the K5 and more or less the same AF except may be in very low light but for birding this is not an issue. Add a Sigma 150-500 telezoom, or a 50-500 telezoom, you'll have a combo that fits more or less within your budget. If you stay with a short lens, 200 or 300 mm, you'll be obliged to crop a lot the 16 Mpix image and you'll get down to a fewer number of pixels that your current camera. For the AF this is not an issue, the Pentax AF is good enough for birds, except maybe catching a bird in flight where a predictive AF is better but it is really a challenge where the main issue could be to locate the fast moving bird in the viewfinder.

07-23-2013, 02:36 AM   #20
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Thanks goubejp, i havent had a look at the k50 yet because it only came out not too long ago. Ill have a look now and see what lenses i could get with this set up.

Last edited by Reptilezz; 07-23-2013 at 02:43 AM.
07-23-2013, 03:14 AM - 1 Like   #21
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Reptilezz, just to show that I have some practice in birding (shorts made yesderday for the first one, last week for the second one)
Beecatcher

Mom watching his baby

European kingfisher

Beware of old lenses, you absolutely need apochromatic lenses, they incorporate ED elements and are expensive. Lenses at 200 $ does not and you'll have poor results.
And stay on last generation sensors, is K30, K50 and K5 incorporate the excellent 16 Mpix sensor (as the Nikon D7000). You need high iso performance for birding, and both the K10D and K20D and K7 doesn't shine in this area.
07-23-2013, 03:17 AM   #22
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Wow i love the last one of the king fisher. What lens did you use for those?
07-23-2013, 03:26 AM   #23
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All of them with a FA*600f4 lens, which is an expensive, pro lens (I got mine second hand for 4000 euros) and a K5 for the kingfisher, K5iis for the others. All shots are made in a hide, I got the best results using a rice bag to stabilize the lens and an electric remote command (can be found for less than 20 $), you need a good technique to avoid motion blur induced by mirror movement, camera vibrations and of course yourself if you are shooting handheld; the image stabilisation of the sigma is a plus (for the 600 it is impossible to shoot handheld as the lens wieights more than 7 kgs). The kingfisher is shot at 1/100 s to avoid exceeding 800 iso. But some of my friends have sigma telezooms, image quality is not top as with the 600f4 but really good. I have seen on this forum excellent images shots with these zooms.

07-23-2013, 03:34 AM   #24
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Wow that is one expensive lens for a first and only lens would you recommend a prime or zoom?
07-23-2013, 04:06 AM   #25
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The prime lenses at 400 mm and above are all professional lenses with astronomic prices. For your budget consider Sigma telezooms, 150-500 OS or 50-500 OS (the latter is more expensive but sharper), they are very capable tools. I use 2 primes (400 and 600) but 2 K5 bodies to avoid lenses change so my budget is a bit higher that the one you expect ;-)
07-23-2013, 05:17 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by vodanh1982 Quote
The Sigma 70-300mm is very bad at long end (200mm - 300mm) and it will be your most use. I would not recommend it.
I've just been looking at images on Pixel Peeper Full-size sample photos from Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 using this lens and I think the images at the 300mm end look pretty good. I've just given one of these lenses to my daughter to use on her K100d
07-23-2013, 11:50 AM   #27
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I get good results from a cheap Sigma 70 - 300mm f4 - f5.6, by cheap I mean 36 off eBay, I think I have a good copy and the small aperture is countered by the good ISO performance of the K5.

[IMG] [/IMG]

Even though it was a bright evening this bird was in a shady area and the ISO is 3200 @ f9, shutter speed was 1/125th hand held, wide open this lens is not good, even on this lens auto focus is reasonable, on my Sigma 70 - 200mm f2.8 EX (rear focusing and has the ultrasonic motor) it's lightning fast on my K5.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisJ; 07-23-2013 at 12:00 PM.
07-23-2013, 11:55 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by goubejp Quote
All of them with a FA*600f4 lens, which is an expensive, pro lens (I got mine second hand for 4000 euros) and a K5 for the kingfisher, K5iis for the others. All shots are made in a hide, I got the best results using a rice bag to stabilize the lens and an electric remote command (can be found for less than 20 $), you need a good technique to avoid motion blur induced by mirror movement, camera vibrations and of course yourself if you are shooting handheld; the image stabilisation of the sigma is a plus (for the 600 it is impossible to shoot handheld as the lens wieights more than 7 kgs). The kingfisher is shot at 1/100 s to avoid exceeding 800 iso. But some of my friends have sigma telezooms, image quality is not top as with the 600f4 but really good. I have seen on this forum excellent images shots with these zooms.
Putting the K5 into live view automatically locks the mirror up. An ISO of 1600 is noise free as far as I can see on thr K5, and I've really pixel peeped, see the above image taken ar an ISO of 3200, no NR has been used.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisJ; 07-23-2013 at 12:02 PM.
07-23-2013, 12:19 PM   #29
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Why not pentax 55-300, or digiscoping with a Q/mirrorless/good P&S, or Q with adaptor and 55-300? Of course is good to have FF+600f/4 but is expensive and heavy.
07-23-2013, 12:22 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by Reptilezz Quote
thanks guys, Clockwork, i mainly shoot grey fantails and other small birds around my yard and i know that those two lenses are completely different but i have a very tight budget so i think i might just go the k5ii because i probably won't have the money for a better lens if i got the nikon. i actually just watched video on utube of a k5 with a 70-200 tammy and the auto focus was very fast compared to the crappy super zoom i have now.
for birding, and especially small birds, long lens are better than short, even if the AF isn't fast, most small birds (song bird) are nearly impossible to catch in flight, if you want to catch them in flight, focus trap (which doesn't require fast AF), or one of those really expensive lens, and most of the time focus trap is still going to be more reliable to get a sharp shot.

So in retro spec, I actually recommend the sigma 170-500, they run around 300-400 bucks used, or if you want a slightly better lens, the tamron 200-500 or sigma 150-500 or sigma 50-500.

Nikon D7000 is a good camera, but because of the new sensor in the D3200/5200/7100 I would go ahead and place the D5200 over the D7000, for the sensor and the swing screen.

And for song bird, most of the time I see people lure the bird in to take picture, they don't chase it around. with BIF they do chase it some what, but it's more of using their vantage up a hill or cliff, and wait .

High MP counts, because you'll be cropping, AF doesn't count so much because most of the time you'll be using the center focus point for birding.
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