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10-01-2016, 05:12 AM - 4 Likes   #23356
GUB
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BNIF !!
NZ Kereru (wood pigeon) at an odd angle.
K01 with Tak 300mm cropped a bit.

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10-01-2016, 05:14 AM   #23357
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
BNIF !!
NZ Kereru (wood pigeon) at an odd angle.
K01 with Tak 300mm cropped a bit.
Very nice! It looks like it's related to the Australian Wompoo Pigeon.

---------- Post added 01-10-16 at 10:33 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
This always makes me curious, it's possible to do BiFs with manual lenses...
If you can use a manual lens, sure. Now that I have to wear glasses, I just find manual lenses too hard - especially without the old split focus viewfinder.

QuoteQuote:
So what I'm wondering, is, for a guy like myself for whom BiFs are a small part of my shooting, what is the difference in BiF worth? I'm happy to accept that Cabikon is better, the question to be answered is why should I care? Whenever I've gone out for BiFs, I have some images to show for it. It's not like I'm getting skunked here. Are there actually people who buy cameras for their BiF capability? Is this relevant to many folk's purchasing decision? This issue has always seemed to me to be marketing hype. It's amazing how often fast focusing for BiFs etc is mentioned as if it's part of everyone's purchasing decision.
Please refer back to my point about the DA*300; it's ridiculously slow AF, tendency to hunt and lack of focus limiting. Optically the lens is amazing, but these other factors make it really frustrating when trying to photograph anything moving fast. It doesn't have to be a BIF, but a bird hopping around or an animal moving around can be equally frustrating. I tried to photograph a Tasmanian Devil doing circuits of it's enclosure but it was impossible to get a focus lock. If the lens could be remade with the motors from the DFA150-450 and a focus limiter, it would be a far better lens. If the main reason you're buying a long lens is to photograph birds, the ability to capture BIF may well be important. As I also mentioned, the DA*300 is so slow that it's poor when using CAF at an airshow. It's great that you are getting images of BIF, but my experience with the DA*300 has been far too many lost photos because of slow focus and hunting.
10-01-2016, 05:47 AM - 2 Likes   #23358
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Very nice! It looks like it's related to the Australian Wompoo Pigeon.

---------- Post added 01-10-16 at 10:33 PM ----------



If you can use a manual lens, sure. Now that I have to wear glasses, I just find manual lenses too hard - especially without the old split focus viewfinder.



Please refer back to my point about the DA*300; it's ridiculously slow AF, tendency to hunt and lack of focus limiting. Optically the lens is amazing, but these other factors make it really frustrating when trying to photograph anything moving fast. It doesn't have to be a BIF, but a bird hopping around or an animal moving around can be equally frustrating. I tried to photograph a Tasmanian Devil doing circuits of it's enclosure but it was impossible to get a focus lock. If the lens could be remade with the motors from the DFA150-450 and a focus limiter, it would be a far better lens. If the main reason you're buying a long lens is to photograph birds, the ability to capture BIF may well be important. As I also mentioned, the DA*300 is so slow that it's poor when using CAF at an airshow. It's great that you are getting images of BIF, but my experience with the DA*300 has been far too many lost photos because of slow focus and hunting.
Those of us who get images with A-400's are kind of sneezing into our sleeves.

That's the trouble with this darn technology, no matter how good the equipment gets, you still have to learn some technique. Less and less all the time, but those who understand MF technique will always have the edge.

An alpha Arctic Wolf pacing his perimeter... taken with a really slow SDM lens. I have no recollection of it being an issue getting this image. My problem with the image is that this type of image rarely gives you the framing and composition you need to be compelling picture.


This series of a little wolf attacking one of the yearling "babysitting" males was much more compelling, and it required decent DoF, not AF speed or tracking.








Making a case for the overwhelming need for AF speed is just Canikon propaganda. I'm not saying it's not nice to have, I'm saying your talking about cameras way out of Pentax's price range, then saying "why doesn't Pentax have that?"

The thing I like about my Pentax SDM lenses? They are half the cost of the new ring motor lenses, from Sony Canoikon or Pentax. What kind of person then turns around and says darn, it's too slow. If it's too slow buy the real deal. Stop whining about Pentax.

I bought my DA*200 thinking, darn! if they redesign this with a fast AF motor on it, I'm not going to be able to afford it.

My issue with these pictures is bad lighting, direct and uninteresting middle of the day sunlight and less than ideal shooting angles.

But, I guess it would be easy to imagine all that would have been great if I had a faster focusing lens. Be careful what you blame your failures on.

Last edited by normhead; 10-01-2016 at 06:56 AM.
10-01-2016, 06:41 AM - 1 Like   #23359
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
The thing I like about my Pentax SDM lenses? They are half the cost of the new ring motor lenses, from Sony Canoikon or Pentax. What kind of person then turns around and says darn, it's too slow. If it's too slow buy the real deal. Stop whining about Pentax.
But, I guess it would be easy to imagine all that would have been great if I had a faster focusing lens. Be careful what you blame your failures on.
Sure, the lens hunting slowly across its entire focus range while the animal or bird goes away must be entirely my fault. Please be more careful with your language. I am not "whining about Pentax". I am simply saying that the DA*300 is pathetically slow to focus and has no focus limiter, both of which are major issues in the sort of situations where you need to achieve a focus lock quickly, or to track a moving subject. The DFA 150-450 has a much more powerful motor system and focusses faster - I had a hint of it while trying the lens in Tokyo. It also has a focus limiter. Maybe $3000+ for a lens is a price you don't blink at. If I am going to make that sort of investment, I want to be sure that it's the right investment for the situations I want the lens for and there isn't a camera and lens combination that would be better for around the same price. I've been using Pentax cameras for a long time now, and I'm not in a hurry to go elsewhere. However, if there's a better solution for a specific purpose, it makes sense to consider it. At the moment I'm trying to reduce the risk of "buyer's regret" for a significant investment in camera equipment.

As I have said - optically, the DA*300 is wonderful.


Great Cormorant
by RobGeraghty, on Flickr

10-01-2016, 06:47 AM   #23360
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Lovely shots there Norm.

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Making a case for the overwhelming need for AF speed is just Canikon propaganda.
100% correct. I shoot all the time with my friends and almost ALL are using Canon 1Dx II with 500mm f/4 or 600m f/4 and I had no problem to keep up with AF with them when I had 55-300mm WR on K-1.
I think it is more of the technique issue. I loved the shift focus with 55-300mm WR and used it all the time to prefocus where I would expect the bird to be and let the AF takes over from there...it helped tremendously with AF speed. Most of my pictures would be dead on sharp even when I took lot of pictures of the owls flying towards me at full speed and K-1 and K-3 had zero issues to keep up.
K-1 seems slightly faster in AF.
I sold all my autofocus lenses and now saving for one long prime AF telephoto like FA*600mm f/4 or DA 560mm f/5.6 or even superb zoom like D FA 150-450mm.

Point here is folks, like Norman said, don't buy into Canikon propaganda that you need $18,000 + setup AF system. Pentax system is just fine
10-01-2016, 07:03 AM   #23361
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Sure, the lens hunting slowly across its entire focus range while the animal or bird goes away must be entirely my fault.
But not knowing that if you manually focussing quick shift just a bit beyond your target the lens will come back to your target and lock focus without hunting is. Using a lens you want fast AF from that doesn't have some kind of focus limiter is your fault. Not knowing that you need 2.8 glass to get the most out of the capability of your AF capabilities that are designed into your camera is. Missing shots because you didn't have the skill to just switch to MF and go from there, also your fault.

You need to understand the limits of your gear. Given that you were trying stuff that didn't work, shows you don't. You don't miss images because of your camera. At least not any modern rig that I've seen. You miss images because of your skill level with your camera.

People often suffer from the illusion that if you buy some other camera system than the one they own, all their problems will be solved. A faster AF system and FPS may get get you more good images, probably more than you need, but if you're getting nothing now, someone else's fancy AF system isn't going to help.

Last edited by normhead; 10-01-2016 at 07:09 AM.
10-01-2016, 07:22 AM   #23362
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
But not knowing that if you manually focussing quick shift just a bit beyond your target the lens will come back to your target and lock focus without hunting is. Using a lens you want fast AF from that doesn't have some kind of focus limiter is your fault. Not knowing that you need 2.8 glass to get the most out of the capability of your AF capabilities that are designed into your camera is. Missing shots because you didn't have the skill to just switch to MF and go from there, also your fault.

You need to understand the limits of your gear. Given that you were trying stuff that didn't work, shows you don't. You don't miss images because of your camera. At least not any modern rig that I've seen. You miss images because of your skill level with your camera.

People often suffer from the illusion that if you buy some other camera system than the one they own, all their problems will be solved. A faster AF system and FPS may get get you more good images, probably more than you need, but if you're getting nothing now, someone else's fancy AF system isn't going to help.
Ok, thanks for your opinion. While I appreciate many of the points you have made, I don't appreciate the way in which you have made them, including a lot of assumptions about my skills or lack thereof, or the circumstances in which my frustration with the DA*300 has occurred. I never said I wasn't getting any photos, rather that I was missing a lot of opportunities because of the behaviour of the lens. In any case I'll stop bothering you.
10-01-2016, 07:54 AM   #23363
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
rather that I was missing a lot of opportunities because of the behaviour of the lens.
And my point, from hanging around with many shooters with all types of cameras is, everyone does. Camera gear can be frustrating to work with. All of it. My favourite Pine Martin images, I went back to where they lived 3 days in row. It took me that long to get it right. The guys with the faster AF lenses weren't doing any better.

Anyway, we're starting to get some colour here, I've been trying to work it into the out of focus areas of my images.

Tamron SP 300 ƒ2.8 and K-3
ISO 400, ƒ3.5, 1/400s

On images like this you shoot 150 images, then select the one where the birds body aligns with your focal plane. You don't have enough DoF to get the whole bird. There's a thin cloud cover with very diffused light. That is critical for getting even lighting, even if it means you don't get much DoF and shoot close to wide open. Most of the 150 images have something in focus, I tend to toss the ones where their heads are a blur but their butt is sharp.







10-01-2016, 09:10 AM   #23364
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Our camera gear defines the photos we don't take. Whenever I upgraded my gear, lenses or bodies, it expended the sphere in which I could get shots. For various reasons I end up buying in the fall, and the low light distant water birds feeding on the shore spawning kokanee is the subject at hand; the K5 was unable to focus or resolve details, the K3 was much better, increasing the effective resolution both by sensor and focus. Now the K1 has increased it again. In other situations it isn't a clear cut, and I'm finding the K1 demanding of good technique.

As for speed of focus I would take as much as I can, but interestingly the new Nikon 300 f4 with the different lens construction doesn't have lightning fast focus movement. it is faster than the DA*300 by a bit, but I was surprised how little. A small difference makes a big change. But the confidence of the D500 focus captures shots that I know I would miss.

As far as that goes, I was finding the DA*300 to be a very nice lens this summer, light and at hand. An in focus shot is very nice. And a shorter tele makes incentives for better technique like getting closer.

Any improvements in my shooting over the last two years or so hasn't been equipment but technique. Cleaverx gets amazing shots manually focussed. I know I miss some because I didn't replace all my gear three times over the last two years. But I would have missed far more being forced to work to pay for the stuff and not being in the field.
10-01-2016, 09:18 AM   #23365
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Were the seagulls reasonably stationary in a headwind?
Thanks Rob, and to everyone else for the "likes". The gulls were gathered at a small cove that seemed to funnel the wind and the waves (and the food, I suppose), and they hung in the wind for a few seconds at a time. The DA*300 worked without the TC this time because the light was low (at least when I started shooting) and the birds were fairly close, though all the images are cropped.
While the AF doesn't jump to attention with every try I'm able to get good and reasonably fast focus most of the time, and to get in-focus shots of birds surrounded by twigs etc. and many birds in flight using spot focus. I'm not having much luck with expanded AF for birds in flight: I can't seem to get that first lock on the bird with the centre point (I don't have that trouble with spot focus) and the other red focus points just seem to dance around it while it remains out of focus.

Last edited by jacamar; 10-01-2016 at 09:39 AM.
10-01-2016, 09:38 AM   #23366
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
Ok, thanks for your opinion. While I appreciate many of the points you have made, I don't appreciate the way in which you have made them, including a lot of assumptions about my skills or lack thereof, or the circumstances in which my frustration with the DA*300 has occurred. I never said I wasn't getting any photos, rather that I was missing a lot of opportunities because of the behaviour of the lens. In any case I'll stop bothering you.
Rob,
Financially I've had to settle for the A/400, and work at technique now for two years with it. The keepers are very rewarding but it all comes down to preparation(lighting, manual, pre focusing in a certain range, and so on etc.) and realize the misses are part of the game as we did in the 60's and 70's. Frustration is always around the corner and the blame is on me primarily on exposure issues. I'm taking the tripod and monopod nowadays as a "crutch" and resolved the fact that I have to do the best with what I've got. Since I shoot singles I quit worrying about %'s and getting at least one right, then go home, hug the dog, load the computer, and see what surprises appear. YMMV, Regards.
10-01-2016, 10:20 AM   #23367
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QuoteOriginally posted by lukulele Quote
Financially I've had to settle for the A/400, and work at technique now for two years with it
I think SMC A 400mm f/5.6 is way underrated lens IMHO . One of my favorite lenses. I never leave home without it. Razor sharp around f/7.1 and even wide open still acceptably sharp. Great combo with K-3 making it effectively (600mm) and on K-1 if you can get close to subject it is superb.

---------- Post added 10-01-16 at 10:24 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Tamron SP 300 2.8 and K-3
ISO 400, 3.5, 1/400s
Love the output from this lens. Shallow DoF really brings the bird out in front and fall colors are awesome. Just start to turning colors in my backyard.
10-01-2016, 11:31 AM   #23368
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K-1 - APSC mode - DA55-300PLM@300 - f6.3, ISO12.800, 1/125s, no flash


K-1 - APSC mode - DA55-300PLM@300 - f6.3, ISO2.000, 1/200s

Both shot at Tierpark Hellabrunn, Munich

Last edited by acoufap; 10-01-2016 at 11:36 AM. Reason: second image added
10-01-2016, 12:11 PM   #23369
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QuoteOriginally posted by RobG Quote
frustration with the DA*300 has occurre
RobG, try to use quick shift focus. When I first started to use my 55-300mm WR I didn't use quick shift focus that much. Later on I appreciated what this feature has to offer.
I start using it almost like a semi-hybrid manual/AF. It made a world of difference. Every time I picked the object to shoot I would manually thru quick shift focus focused on the object and then
let the AF takes over either in AF-S or AF-C...this way the hunting you experiencing will be minimized since you are helping AF to hone on the object. I am not sure if Canon or Nikon lenses even have quick shift focus.
We are blessed that Pentax using this in most new lenses.
Try to use it all the time and it will became natural. Don't give up on that DA *300mm f/4 it is a superb class lens (I wish I have one )

Last edited by cleaverx; 10-01-2016 at 12:26 PM.
10-01-2016, 02:47 PM - 1 Like   #23370
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From last weekend..shore birds resting. Long-billed Dowitcher(left) and Lesser Yellowlegs (right). Shot with K-3 and SMC 500mm f/4.5

K-3 and SMC 500mm f/4.5 ISO-400, 1/640, f/11

Long-billed Dowitcher(left) and Lesser Yellowlegs (right)





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