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SMC300F4 strikes again
Posted By: Lowell Goudge, 08-16-2009, 04:06 PM

Out for a little paddle today on the humber river.
Took the 300F4 + 1.7x AF TC (they seem perminantly attached) and my K7

earlier on a walk, I spotted the Night heron.

night heron shot at 1/100

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08-16-2009, 05:02 PM   #2
Ash
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Looks like you're sitting right up close to them getting these.
Well done.
Is your TC a Pentax-F one? Any troubles focusing?
08-16-2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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Ash

night heron was sitting in a tree and hardly took any notice of me.

the Egrets were harder, but only because it is difficult in a kayak to control it at all on a river when both hands are on the camera.

TC is in fact the Pentax SMC-F 1.7x AF unit, and it has always frocused well, K7 is the 4th AF body I have used it on, starting with my PZ-1 in 1991.

considering none of these shots was done at more than 1/200, and 2 of them from a boat, I would have to say that SR on the K7 seems a little better than my K10
08-16-2009, 06:28 PM   #4
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When are you going to get rid of the K 300 Lowell. Everyone knows that old lens is useless.

You may have forced me to dust mine off again.

Tom G

08-17-2009, 04:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
When are you going to get rid of the K 300 Lowell. Everyone knows that old lens is useless.

You may have forced me to dust mine off again.

Tom G
Tom

I might ditch this lens some day soon, if pentax ever comes up with a 500mm F5.6given what the K7 (or I assume K20) can do at ISO800 for wild life, I don't see the need for anything faster. And shake reduction for subjects that sit still (like the birds above) make this all you really need.
08-17-2009, 05:53 AM   #6
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beautiful shots!
08-17-2009, 08:56 AM   #7
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K7 vs K10 and Manual focus lenses

Lowell,

I have a K10 as well. Do you notice a significant improvement with the K7 over the K10? Clearly you did as you bought one but after a bit of use what is your impression? I'm especially interested in your insights on the K7 and use with manual focus lenses.

Cheers

Tom G
08-17-2009, 09:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by 8540tomg Quote
Lowell,

I have a K10 as well. Do you notice a significant improvement with the K7 over the K10? Clearly you did as you bought one but after a bit of use what is your impression? I'm especially interested in your insights on the K7 and use with manual focus lenses.

Cheers

Tom G
Tom

Interesting question.

First, a disclaimer.

I use the 300F4 almost exclusively at this point in combination with the SMC-F 1.7x AF TC, so I am not really manually focusing. Additionally, I decided that I would get a new body when the shutter on my K10D failed. I opted for the K7 because of the reports of superior metering expecially with older lenses, and felt the K20D would have too many of the same problems as the K10D in this respect. I also decided for $325 the K10D was worth getting fixed, so now I have 3 DSLRs, *istD, K10D, and K7D. From postings you will see that I still use all of them, as they all do different things.

So far, I have only shot about 1/10th the shots with the K7 as my K10D, and have not used all of the lenses on the K7D yet, but here is my initial thinking.

From a metering perspective, the K7D is superior to the K10D, with manual aperture lenses, It is still not perfect, but it is better. Problems still exist in my opinion to fast lenses wide open. This also applies to better accuracy with Sigma long zooms and TC combos, and with my 300F4 and 1.7x AF TC combo, where the K10D needs exposure compensation and the K7D does not appear to need any.

As for focusing, I have not had any issue achieving sharp focus with the MF lenses I have used on the K7D, although I spent quite some time making sure the eyepiece diopter is correct for my vision and eyeglass combo that I use.

I can't really compare to the K10D and manual focusing as I have a diagonal split image in the K10D at the moment, and I don't see changing this any time soon. In fact, despite the metering issues with the K10D I may just make it a MF body or use it in good lighting, and use the K7D for higher ISO applications like wild life, since it excells at this.

Clearly I need to do more testing with the remainder of my lens kit on the K7D, but I am heavily leaning to an AF kit and an MF kit approach, where all my new and high quality zooms plus a few specific lenses to use with the SMC-F 1.7x AF TC go with the K7D and my MF primes go with the K10D. The *istD will still be the preferred for some flash shots and wildlife using flash since it can do TTL flash, with manual aperture lenses (as you saw with my night heron shot a few weeks ago)

08-17-2009, 09:54 AM   #9
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Very nice shots. I do a lot of shooting from a kayak also and can appreciate how difficult it can be to line up the boat, drop the paddle without making enough noise to send every bird within a 1/2 mile flying and get a shot that isn't blurred. Nice job!
08-17-2009, 10:35 AM   #10
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Thanks for the K7 review Lowell.

My K10 is working just fine but I'm always looking for something better. The K20 didn't, from my perspective, offer enough new features to upgrade. The K7 may although physically I find it too small and this might be a showstopper for me. In this regard it is similar to my old MX. I disliked that camera until I added the winder and it was a perfect fit. I'll have to try the K7 with battery pack and see how that fits my hand. I'll look forward to your further impressions in a month or so.

Cheers

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-17-2009 at 10:35 AM. Reason: typo
08-17-2009, 01:29 PM   #11
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Tom

re size of K7D, it is similar to the *istD but the grip design is much different and more positive, at least with my fat little fingers
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