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downy woodpecker
Posted By: cutterpup, 07-27-2007, 06:56 AM

Hi all. This one was done with the Tamron 70-300 without the TC. now this leads to a question. Since despite my closeness to my subject i still needed to do some cropping. If and when I have the cash would I be better off getting a camera higher than 6mg so I have the crop room or spending it on a longer lens. due to my physical issues most of my bird photos will be taken on my deck which has always had feeders and is now getting more natural perches and landing spots so I can try and mimic more natural settings.

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07-27-2007, 07:31 AM   #2
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Wow, very nice pic
07-27-2007, 09:45 AM   #3
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That's a beautiful crisp photo Judy with nice dof. I'm no expert on the pros and cons of more MPs v lenses. Like you I also have a 70-300 lens, Sigma in my case, and with bird photos (at least the more impromptu ones) I often feel I need that extra reach. I have a 2x Kenko teleconverter but haven't experiemnted with it much; the loss of aperture is certainly a nuisance. I've been wondering about getting a more powerful lens. As long as you don't plan printing greatly enlarged photos I'd have thought you'd be just as well going for another lens.

07-27-2007, 03:09 PM   #4
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My suggestions...

If you take a look here (scroll down to the two Tamron 100-300):

Lens Performance Survey - INTERPRETED OUTPUT

you'll see that the Tamron 100-300 lenses are rated as poor (macro version) or sub-average.

My personal opinion is that top quality photos require quality lenses. I fairly consistently get shots of this quality with my K100 - a lowly 6 mp camera:


I give the credit to my FA*300 lens and having the patience to let the birds approach me closely enough so that 300mm does the trick. I have seen many bird shots (and other subjects) taken with the K10 with lesser quality lenses
that leave a lot to be desired - IMHO only of course - I'm new to this game, too.

If you have birds regularly coming to your feeders and have natural-looking perches (I am not a fan of bird-on-feeder shots) for them to use, I'd recommend spending as much time as you can sitting quietly within range and letting the birds get used to your presence.

Hope this helps...

07-28-2007, 07:10 AM   #5
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Hi Tom, great goldfinch shot. I'm using the Tamron 70-300 (newest version optimized for digital) not the 100-300. That said my question was more MP for better cropping ability or a longer lens.
07-28-2007, 07:22 AM   #6
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Nice shot cutterpup. I agree with Tom give the choice the investimate in a high quaility glass will server you better in the long run. Croping does lose some detail. Someone here has a signature that says camera bodies come and go but good glass is forever. Given today's market new bodies come out evey 18 months or so, there will always be another one to buy.

If you buy the glass now - upgrade the body at some point , your investment in the glass is still good. Not so true if you purchase another body. That said good glass is more $$ than a new body so that can be a factor as well. Good luck with whatever you decide and given shots like this one - you are doing ok now
07-28-2007, 08:05 AM   #7
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First off I very much like the shot posted. To answer your question IMO you will get a lot more out of a better long lens than you would going from a 6Mp vs 10Mp other than the feature differences on the K10d. Get a nice long prime and worry about the camera change (if at all) someday down the road. I am always impressed with the k110D I have compared to the K10D. Half the time I have to check the EXIF data to know which camera took the shot.
07-28-2007, 08:17 AM   #8
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Hi Judy,

Thought I'd weigh in here with my experiences with the Tamron 70-300 LD Di... bottom line - it's a great lens for the money, but it has some limitations. I, too, am a "bird nut" and found that taking shots out of our den window was a great way to get some "up-close" captures this past winter with the Tamron. I agree with your approach of trying to bring the birds to you because I think it enhances the experience as you and your equipment become a part of their environment. As you may have noticed, the lens can have some purple fringing issues in high contrast shots, but avoid those and I think you'll be pleased with most of your results when your subjects are in the 6 - 15 foot range. I found that f-stops between 8 and 11 and focal lenths up to about 270mm usually yielded the sharpest results. You might try experimenting with the on-camera flash for fill light (you'll probably need to dial it back a bit) to bring out more of the detail. Ultimately, however, I have to agree with what others have said.... get the best glass you can afford when considering an upgrade. With the new lenses on the way, an affordable used F*300 or FA*300 sounds like a good option. I wound up purchasing an F*300 a few months ago because I wasn't happy with many of the Tamron shots on the long end.

Here's a few captures from this past winter with the Tamron that were taken out of the window with the birds in the 6 - 15 foot range. There's a few more in my pbase gallery if you're interested.

Good luck with your birding shots!

Oh, and by the way... I passed the Tamron on to my son (who is a photographer for his college newspaper) to use with his K100D... and he loves it


1/90s f/9.5 at 110.0mm iso400

1/90s f/9.5 at 160.0mm iso400 - no flash

1/180s f/8.0 at 300.0mm iso400 (on-board flash used)

07-29-2007, 07:14 AM   #9
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well, I've priced some of the 300a lenes on the market right now but it does add a third option for me.

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