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Bird Watching
Lens: DA* 300mm F/4 + SMC AFA 1.7x TC Camera: PENTAX K5 Photo Location: Sapanca 
Posted By: cem.kumuk, 11-07-2011, 07:35 AM

European Robin







White Wagtail


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11-11-2011, 12:00 AM   #2
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Most are out of focus and soft, difficult light to shoot in is bright sun.
11-11-2011, 03:51 AM   #3
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Hi

As snappychappy said: All are out of focus and soft. Colour I am sorry to say is all over theplace. Too purple. You can do better with practice.

Greetings
11-11-2011, 05:06 AM   #4
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You're all right. I fixed my mind in improving bird photography and understood that it is one of the most difficult expertise areas in photography. Thanks for your critics... In deed the main problem of these photos were my distance to the subject and the level of croping has dramaticly decreased the quality. Here I share also the originals without cropped and directly converted from RAW. The lens was 300mm + 1.7x converter : 510mm and I was about 30 mts distance to the subject.

The first image's original

The second image's original



Last edited by cem.kumuk; 11-11-2011 at 06:37 AM.
11-11-2011, 06:39 AM   #5
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Can you post some exif data? I downloaded one of your photos but the data has been stripped. We may be able to get you on the right track.

How do you have your camera set (image tone, saturation, contrast, sharpness)? These photos are jazzed up to look like they were shot by cheap superzoom camera. It is a very unnatural look and not what most wildlife photogs are looking for.

Finally, shooting with a 510mm f/6.8 lens is very demanding. It may be better to get comfortable with the DA*300 first, then add the TC once you have more experience. Have you tested focus on a simple subject? Maybe the softness is due to inaccurate AF.
11-11-2011, 06:54 AM   #6
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Sure. The first ones exif is as follows;
F/8 , Shutter 1/125, ISO 400, AWB, Multi segment metering

The second ones exif;
F/6.7, Shutter 1/250, ISO 400, AWB, Multi segment metering

I made many other tests with the same lens and had no AF accuracy problem. I had the opinion that the level of croping, the distance to subject and also a bit the external light conditions bring such results. In deed not cropped versions are not that bad but its quite difficult to come nearer to birds in natural environment. Of course while shooting birds under arrest ( I consider animals at zoo or ta the cage like this) gives opportunity to be near to them as much as possible.

For example the following images were shot also with the same lens and TC attachment and results were better in my opinion though these images were also cropped and birds are in flight instead of a still image.

F/8, 1/1500, ISO 400


F/8, 1/1500, ISO 400


F/8, 1/1500, ISO 400

Last edited by cem.kumuk; 11-11-2011 at 07:17 AM.
11-11-2011, 11:05 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cem.kumuk Quote
F/8, 1/1500, ISO 400
F/8, 1/1500, ISO 400
The recommended shutter speed for 510mm focal length on a Pentax camera is 1/750s. Below that you're relying on Shake Reduction. 1/180s is two stops below, 1/125 is 2-1/2 stops. IME, SR is good for one stop, not terribly reliable at 2 stops at supertelephoto lengths, so a tripod would have helped a lot here.

Sorry to have to say, but your bird in flight photos are soft too. The gull has a clear outline of motion blur around the outline. BIF's are very difficult to shoot well, but with the gear you have, at 1/1500s and f8, I would expect a better result. Have a look at this specialty thread to see what sort of results others are getting. That would be a great place to discuss your photos and get some help too.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/55946-300mm-plus-lens-club-dis...ng-lenses.html

Last edited by audiobomber; 11-11-2011 at 12:15 PM.
11-11-2011, 06:51 PM   #8
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What 300 are you using. I use the K300/4 with the 1.7x converter. Check the sample photos forum on the 1.7 x converter to see what it can do

One additional point to make is with 510 mm the hand holding is for a full frame printed 8x10. Cropping in to less than 5% of the frame ups the required shutter speed substantially.

Practice, as others have said makes perfect, but not so much your hand holding technique, you need practice getting closer.

11-13-2011, 10:22 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
What 300 are you using. I use the K300/4 with the 1.7x converter. Practice, as others have said makes perfect, but not so much your hand holding technique, you need practice getting closer.
I'm using DA*300 F/4. For bird watching I always used it with 1.7x TC but I understood that the problem is always the distance to subject and the ratio of cropping the image. The lens is a very good one but with TC or without, the image quality is dramatically reducing when the image 100% cropped. Of course practicing is very important. I wish I would have similar type of materials as Harish had in the environment where he's been living. In Marmara region of Turkey where I live, we have gulls, herons, cormorants living in urban areas. Our eagles are very shy and stays always at a distance of about 2~3 thousand meters high. So, I've to practice also mountain trekking for which I feel already a bit old

One of the most common residents of our hometown; Gulls F/6.7, Shutter 1/1500, ISO 560


I wish one day they’ll come down to pose me; Eagles
F6.7, Shutter 500, ISO 100
F6.7, Shutter 1500, ISO 280

Last edited by cem.kumuk; 11-13-2011 at 10:43 AM.
11-16-2011, 02:52 PM   #10
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Look on the k300/4 sample photos and 1.7x TC sample photos threads for shots I have done using the K300/4 and 1.7x TC. The DA is a better lens for sure than my 40 year old one like of metal and glass. If I can get these shots, any one can
11-20-2011, 11:41 AM   #11
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non-stop practicing is going on. this week I was luckier cos Robin came very closer this time and result was of course much better..By the way, I did not have AFA 1.7x TC this time.


11-20-2011, 03:21 PM   #12
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Your getting there. Nice shots. I would guess you are approaching the minimum focus distance
11-20-2011, 03:22 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cem.kumuk Quote
non-stop practicing is going on. this week I was luckier cos Robin came very closer this time and result was of course much better..
I agree, much better. Nice photos. We don't have this type of bird in North America. The American Robin is not even a member of the robin family, it's actually a thrush.
11-21-2011, 03:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Your getting there. Nice shots. I would guess you are approaching the minimum focus distance
Thanks Lowell, I'm not at the minimum focus distance in these shots as DA*300 can offer me much more chance to come nearer to the subject. However, birds are very shy and don't allow this. In these frames I'm about 3-4 meters distance to the subject and the image is cropped a little.
11-21-2011, 06:32 AM   #15
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A little sharpening applied to those shots in PP would probably go a long way.
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