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03-09-2012, 09:28 PM   #16
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Third party-lenses like Sigma and Tamron as long as they are labeled "for K mount" will work on your K-r. However, all, if not most, of extreme telephoto lenses beyond 300mm are usually not good for handheld spotting and shooting, as they are all heavy and big. Price-wise, the quality ones rarely fall below $400 or so, so... expect the prices of lenses you're looking for to range from mildly expensive to ridiculously expensive. And you have to couple them with quality (heavy, a bit expensive) tripods to be able to make stable shots.

As for the DA 560... it will most likely go will surely fly beyond $1,000, even if Pentax doesn't release it as a DA* (pro-level) lens. Or if heaven allow it not to, it will still get close to $1,000. Be prepared to spend a lot if you're really aiming for this lens!

For cheaper options, you could still go for older, manual-focus long tele's like the 300/400mm's, then mount them on "teleconverters"- accessories that multiply the focal range of your lens (degrades image quality though, I think) [experts please correct my statement if it's wrong] to get the equivalent length you're looking for.

e.g. 300mm lens + 2x teleconverter/adapter = 600mm

Now about the moon and astrophotography... did you know that you can also mount your Pentax K-r into Pentax telescopes? With an adapter, you can use telescopes as your lens! Don't expect stellar IQ though, but at least you got the photo!

03-10-2012, 09:03 AM - 1 Like   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by FabienA380 Quote
I went yesterday to a Photograph Shop at the mall and the guy showed me a "Sigma500mm" that could be mounted on my K-r?.... Little expensive though (1300$ I think) and physically huge, I was thinking of something maybe smaller
*Any* conventional 500mm lens is going to be huge and expensive - that's just the nature of things. But do check out the "Mirror Lens Club" thread in the Lens Club forum for examples of what can be done with a decidedly "unconventional" type of lens that is neither huge nor expensive.
03-11-2012, 08:56 PM   #18
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Pentax X90

QuoteOriginally posted by Alizarine Quote
@FabienA380

your name reminds me of a Sony but... anyways there's the upcoming Pentax DA 560, and if you're looking for stuff longer than that, there are ones from the older lines. Not easy to find, and not cheap, either. Speaking of P&S, have you tried the Pentax X90:?
I've just had a look on google at the Pentax X90 hehe I didn't know this model, it seems to be a 26x optical zoom, I've tried to read this thread on another forum but didn't understand a lot lol, how many mm would a 26x match?......

Fabien
03-11-2012, 09:13 PM   #19
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Lenses advices

Thanks Marc and Alizarine!

Thank you so much as your answers help me heaps know a little more about my possibilities......

Would you guys know or guess what could be the physical size of the forthcoming DA 560mm?...... The Sigma at the shop was looking so huge and long!...... Could the DA 560 maybe be half of the Sigma's size perhaps?.....

And also (so many questions lol) I saw the lens road map (thanks jatrax!!), are there by any chance current rumors on when the DA 560 could be released, or it is just unknown at the moment?.......

I'm also wondering how they are doing these extreme pictures, do they have tripods and which ever zoom and try to shoot the planes just with the camera??..... Seems to be so hard to me?.....

Fabien

03-12-2012, 06:49 AM - 1 Like   #20
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You shouldn't need a tripod for those kinds of shots. On a nice sunny day there's plenty of light so your shutter speed should be plenty high (1/350 or so). Tripods can be unwieldy, when the camera's facing nearly vertical. Big long lenses will wear your arms out, though.
03-12-2012, 07:39 AM - 1 Like   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by FabienA380 Quote
Thanks Marc and Alizarine!

Thank you so much as your answers help me heaps know a little more about my possibilities......

Would you guys know or guess what could be the physical size of the forthcoming DA 560mm?...... The Sigma at the shop was looking so huge and long!...... Could the DA 560 maybe be half of the Sigma's size perhaps?.....

And also (so many questions lol) I saw the lens road map (thanks jatrax!!), are there by any chance current rumors on when the DA 560 could be released, or it is just unknown at the moment?.......

I'm also wondering how they are doing these extreme pictures, do they have tripods and which ever zoom and try to shoot the planes just with the camera??..... Seems to be so hard to me?.....

Fabien
Nowhere near half, maybe 4/5ths? Not sure. ) Here's a sample of a smc (K) 500 f4.5 (or was that 5/5.6.. can't remember lol) with my K-x on it... as you can see due to the angle the lens seems shorter than it is; don't be fooled. this lens is big!



so, nope. It can never be as small as a DA* 60-250... surely it will be more than a foot long and around twice as heavy as a K-x + batteries. As for its release... only Pentax knows the exact date but they say it's going to be released this year.

Now I'm not a super tele shooter but I've made some attempts catching planes in flight -
but as long as the planes you're trying to shoot aren't like, flying a kilometer or so up in the sky you won't need that long a lens. This photo was taken with an FA 28-105, no teleconverters attached, the plane was somewhere up probably around 300 or so meters off the ground (not sure about that though, estimate in other scales is around 10 to 13 storeys high). It's not the sharpest lens for such purposes but at least I got the shot
Attached Images
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PENTAX K-x  Photo 

Last edited by Alizarine; 03-12-2012 at 07:44 AM.
03-12-2012, 08:12 PM - 1 Like   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by FabienA380 Quote
I've just had a look on google at the Pentax X90 hehe I didn't know this model, it seems to be a 26x optical zoom, I've tried to read this thread on another forum but didn't understand a lot lol, how many mm would a 26x match?......
There is no general way to convert - that's like asking how many inches are in a gallon. The way to find the equivalent is to read the "35mm equivalent focal length" from the X90 specs. I see it says 676mm. Then you figure out what lens on your camera would be equivalent to 676mm in 35mm equivalent. The answer is 676/1.5 (since the "crop factor" is 1.5). So the answer is, somewhat around 450mm.

But there is no reason to think the results of actually shooting with the X90 at that focal length would be any better than shooting your DALR at 200mm or 300mm and then cropping.
03-13-2012, 05:53 PM - 1 Like   #23
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Fabien,

I suggest that you find a dealer who will rent you a big lens for a day or a week. It will be money well spent.

In other words, try before you buy. You may be shocked at how awkward and finicky and demanding and unpleasant those long monsters can be. Hauling the lens and a necessarily heavy tripod can be demoralizing.

If you go out and buy one and find it is not as great to use as you imagined you will have an expensive piece of hardware on your shelf.

There is always your local airport. Pentax K100d. Tamron lens at 300mm. Hand held.


Mickey


Last edited by mickeyobe; 03-13-2012 at 09:22 PM.
03-14-2012, 05:54 AM - 1 Like   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by FabienA380 Quote
I've just had a look on google at the Pentax X90 hehe I didn't know this model, it seems to be a 26x optical zoom, I've tried to read this thread on another forum but didn't understand a lot lol, how many mm would a 26x match?......

Fabien
As cited above, 26x doesn't match a focal length, it describes a relationship between the widest possible focal length and longest possible focal length of a zoom lens. In this case, the longest Telephoto focal length is 26x longer than the longest wide-angle focal length. As the other user correctly cited, it would give you the same field of view as mounting a 450mm lens on a Pentax D-SLR.

If I were you, I would definitely rent a big monster lens before I buy. I have a Takumar 300mm f/4 and that thing wears me OUT if I shoot completely handheld with it, and it's just a baby compared to the 400, 500, and 600mm monsters out there.

I would look at the following alternatives: A telephoto zoom lens, such as your Pentax DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 or one of the big Sigmas like you mentioned ($1300 for quality telephoto glass seems expensive but it really isn't..), and either shoot at low ISO (you'll have tons of sun...) and crop, or alternatively use that same lens with a teleconverter which will effectively double its focal length at the expense of the ability to gather light. Your shutter speeds will be between twice and four times longer, but you'll be able to get in a lot tighter.

Alternatively there are cardiotropic or "mirror" lenses, which are basically reflector telescopes mounted to your camera. They are basically a Telephoto prime folded in on itself. Although they don't have quality that's as good as a conventional lens of the same construction and their apertures are fixed, they DO provide decent enough IQ for most purposes, and they are also MUCH shorter and lighter than the equivalent conventional lens. They are typically slow though, so I wouldn't use one with a teleconverter if I could help it.

Go out there and take some great plane shots! Especially of the Boeings
03-15-2012, 10:00 PM   #25
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Zoom Lenses..

So many thanks for all your replies guys!!!

I'm a little late, sorry for my delayed reply.... Yes in fact I saw a sign in the window of the shop I was advised about the Sigma, about renting cameras, should be the same for lenses, how does it work?.... Like there must be some kind of insurance for damages, how long could the leasing be for?.......

I think I'm step after step making my mind though, I think I'll buy the 300mm lens zoom, I'll see what I can do with this one, it seems not to be so much bigger than the one I have (55-200).. At least if I still want to go further it will cover the time-gap before the 560mm is released....

Still a question for a newbie loll, what is the best for carrying camera and lenses, is it the best to store-case body and lens separately or is it okay to store in the case a lens mounted on the body?........

Fabien
03-15-2012, 10:15 PM - 1 Like   #26
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For the record, here's the Pentax 560mm



and it alongside what I tihnk is a DA*50-135 although it could be a DA*60-250



and to put the DA*50-135 size into perspective compared to a lens you may be familiar with





My conclusion is the new Pentax 560 is gigantic.
03-16-2012, 08:30 AM - 1 Like   #27
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YEAH, that 560 is a big lens. Huge. Great to see them release it, but it won't be on my short list. It's unusable without at least a monopod.

I really think it's hard to beat the 55-300 for reach, quality and cost. It's pretty clear to get longer than 300 requires some investment in effort or money - older manual-focus primes aren't easy to use, and mirror lenses require some discipline with camera settings and attention to conditions.
03-16-2012, 09:36 AM   #28
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wao thank you so much twitch!!

Wao yes it looks so big definitely now I think I'll buy first the 300mm and see thereafter..... Is the 560mm now released then??....

Fabien
03-16-2012, 10:40 AM - 1 Like   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by FabienA380 Quote
Thanks Marc and Alizarine!

Thank you so much as your answers help me heaps know a little more about my possibilities......

Would you guys know or guess what could be the physical size of the forthcoming DA 560mm?...... The Sigma at the shop was looking so huge and long!...... Could the DA 560 maybe be half of the Sigma's size perhaps?.....

And also (so many questions lol) I saw the lens road map (thanks jatrax!!), are there by any chance current rumors on when the DA 560 could be released, or it is just unknown at the moment?.......

I'm also wondering how they are doing these extreme pictures, do they have tripods and which ever zoom and try to shoot the planes just with the camera??..... Seems to be so hard to me?.....

Fabien
If you would scroll to the bottom of the page you linked to, you will see what they are using to get these photos.

On that link itself, the photographer list his/her equipment as a synta 8" 1200mm. That would be an 8" telescope like what the people are standing by at the bottom of the page.

Most of the photos on that website show contrails in the photos so the airplanes are at least 30,000 feet up.
03-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #30
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8'' telescope

hi bigdavephoto! Thank you for your reply!!

Yes in fact I'm just realising this, excellent!!... You think it could be possible to adapt my K-r on a 8'' telescope (as suggested earlier by Alizarine)?......

Fabien
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