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Birding with the 55-300 plus 1.4x TC (630mm in 35mm-e terms) on the K-30
Lens: 55-300 DA with 1.4x TC Camera: K-30 Photo Location: Ontario, Canada 
Posted By: Michael Barker, 11-18-2023, 05:42 AM

ISO 800-3200. Just wanted to share some experiences as a novice birder with this kit. I appreciate the high quality in terms of lack of aberrations in backlit situations. The SR is good to have in those rare cases that you have high confidence that the bird is still... VR might be more appreciated. Zoom is also rarely appreciated for me, as I don't work alone and scanning for a bird's location after hearing it and glancing at the Merlin app is sometimes done by my wife with her good binoculars, or myself with the little dinky ones, or just the naked eye. If you zoom out to scan, you are already in a situation of hunting for a really active bird, and rarely have time to zoom in once you find it. So a bright, long prime would be more appreciated; If I had something longer, I'd want zoom more, but at this max focal length I'm not interested in zooming out. More ISO never hurts.

I'm listing above a lot of the limitations - when I focus on kit, that's what I think about - know your limits and you know how to push to them.

That said, it's a ton of fun. And I have many satisfying shots. I'm using over a hundred of the favourite ones as a TV screensaver right now, and would sometimes rather watch that than anything that's on TV.

Attaching here some interesting ones that are all considered keepers, but not my luckiest or best shots - it's meant to present a realistic idea of what you could get with this kit as a novice. And as a birder, I appreciate every single shot that I can use to ID the bird.

As soon as you start using the Merlin app to listen, you enter a world where interesting birds are all around you but you can't see them You then get hooked on the game of finding and appreciating them.

The following are all at full zoom and shown uncropped (image downsized per forum requirements). Finally, a confession - I don't use a hood most of the time. Maybe it would have improved the thrush photo below?


Northern Parula, Point Pelee, Ontario
f/8, 1/1250s, ISO 3200


Swainson's Thrush, Markham, Ontario
f/16, 1/1600s, ISO 1600


Rose-breased Grosbeak (female), Point Pelee
f/8, 1/1250s, ISO 800

Last edited by Michael Barker; 11-18-2023 at 05:57 AM.
Views: 170
11-18-2023, 08:33 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Nice work with that kit and a good way to get into an interesting hobby.
11-18-2023, 09:07 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Love that top image!
Intriguing bird in twisted stems.
Angky
11-21-2023, 04:56 PM   #4
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Thanks guys!

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