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Bald Eagle - St. Johns River, Florida
Lens: Pentax-DA 18-270mm Camera: K-70 Photo Location: Blue Springs State Park, FL ISO: 1000 Shutter Speed: 1/320s Aperture: F8 
Posted By: Dale H. Cook, 11-25-2022, 05:28 PM

Wednesday I took a 2 hour boat ride on the St. Johns River from Blue Springs State Park in Florida. IIRC this was the first photo of a bald eagle that I have taken in my >50 years of photography. Even at 270mm it was pretty far away, and small in the original image, but even with major cropping it turned out better than I expected.

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11-26-2022, 08:43 AM   #2
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Nice catch of the Bald Eagle in a good pose. I don't get a lot of opportunities to photo eagles either. Even a 500mm lens is not enough reach sometimes. Your crop retained good detail. Nice shot.
11-26-2022, 03:11 PM   #3
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Terrific capture, Dale. Magnificent bird!
11-26-2022, 06:10 PM   #4
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Thank you, folks. I have seen bald eagles before, but only now in retirement do I have enough glass for that shot. I didn't bring my 650-1300mm glass on the boat - it is pretty much impossible to use without a tripod.

11-26-2022, 06:48 PM   #5
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That K70 is "supposed" to be something on the order of a "beginner's" camera.
But that camera really produces professional level images!
The digital enlargement in your image is barely visible, and the vividness of the photo is all there!
Really a great shot of that bird!
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11-26-2022, 08:30 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by angkymac Quote
That K70 is "supposed" to be something on the order of a "beginner's" camera.
I did a lot of research on DSLRs five years ago before choosing the K-70. Rather than a "beginner's" camera I would classify it as an "advanced amateur's" camera. I already had more than fifty years of experience with 35mm SLRs before buying the K-70, so I would classify myself as an advanced amateur.

I have heard of photographers using a much more expensive body with an expensive prime lens, but who carry a K-70 with a zoom lens so they can grab the K-70 and shoot something that would disappear before they could swap a zoom onto their main body. I have two primes but for something like that boat ride the Pentax-DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 is ideal - I call it my all-purpose lens because with that focal length range I can get pretty much any shot I want with it without having to change lenses.

Note that the image was shot as a .PEF, but had already been exported to a .JPG before I cropped and enlarged it.
11-26-2022, 09:42 PM   #7
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Dale, when I resided in Fla. 1980-83 I did not see bald eagles. I grew up in Iowa. Bald eagles were here in Iowa when I was growing up in small #s in the 1960s and 70s along the Mississippi - they were decimated by DDT. I saw my 1st bald eagle in Iowa in 1991. We now have many eagles in my rural NE Iowa county.

Two years ago a pair of eagles built a nest in my county seat town of 5,000, about 4-blocks from my home. Watch out above, feral cats. I took a shot but was a bit over-exposed.
A new nest inside Manchester, Iowa | Mark Roeder | Flickr
Approximately a 12-year old nest north of Manchester, Iowa about 2-miles. https://flic.kr/p/2iSbLak


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11-27-2022, 06:06 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dale H. Cook Quote
I did a lot of research on DSLRs five years ago before choosing the K-70. Rather than a "beginner's" camera I would classify it as an "advanced amateur's" camera. I already had more than fifty years of experience with 35mm SLRs before buying the K-70, so I would classify myself as an advanced amateur.

I have heard of photographers using a much more expensive body with an expensive prime lens, but who carry a K-70 with a zoom lens so they can grab the K-70 and shoot something that would disappear before they could swap a zoom onto their main body. I have two primes but for something like that boat ride the Pentax-DA 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 is ideal - I call it my all-purpose lens because with that focal length range I can get pretty much any shot I want with it without having to change lenses.

Note that the image was shot as a .PEF, but had already been exported to a .JPG before I cropped and enlarged it.
Your history sounds very similar to mine--or mine to yours.
And, after a good deal of research on my part as well, I also, like you, chose the K70.
I carry my K70 with two zooms for exactly the same purpose. It is a great camera.
But I also carry it because it weighs so much less than the FF body and primes that I also use (but leave in the car until needed). Now that I'm old, my back really feels the weight, and the K70 is much easier to carry.
I was glad to see you doing such good work with the K70; my K70 is fairly recently purchased and I was glad to see someone else supporting that camera.
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11-28-2022, 05:40 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by angkymac Quote
... like you, chose the K70.
Two of the things that I like about a DSLR are 1) the ability to take many shots without changing film (The eagle was among the shots I bracketed on the boat because of varying light), and 2) ability to transfer images directly to a computer (I have an SD slot on my laptop). My brother and I have large collections of slides and smaller collections of negatives. I brought home from thanksgiving the slide and film scanner that he bought to digitize his images. It will take me many months to scan everything.
11-28-2022, 06:45 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by angkymac Quote
Your history sounds very similar to mine--or mine to yours.
And, after a good deal of research on my part as well, I also, like you, chose the K70.
I carry my K70 with two zooms for exactly the same purpose. It is a great camera.
But I also carry it because it weighs so much less than the FF body and primes that I also use (but leave in the car until needed). Now that I'm old, my back really feels the weight, and the K70 is much easier to carry.
I was glad to see you doing such good work with the K70; my K70 is fairly recently purchased and I was glad to see someone else supporting that camera.
Angky.
I'm another K70 fan. As soon as I touched it, I knew it was for me...the grip fits my hand perfectly. It's so much lighter than R's Nikons, I have no idea how he manages the bulk and weight. Even so, I also have a Kr, and it's even smaller and lighter than the K70. Terrific little beast, I carry it sometimes when even the K70 might be too heavy. All the lenses fit both, I have an adapter to mount some M42 glass from Spotmatic days although I do it rarely.
11-28-2022, 08:19 AM   #11
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Nice shot of a majestic bird, thanks for showing us
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