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02-27-2016, 01:55 PM   #1
John Meadows
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K3 from K5 with 55-300

I presently own a K5 with a 55-300. I love the camera and lens. My main interest is wildlife photography, birds in flight etc. Recently I had requests to have several shots printed and enlarged. I am satisfied with the results, but would like a longer reach so I would not have to crop as much.

I have considered the 1.4 extender and know the drawbacks ( loosing F stops ) Have looked at some longer reach lens, and am turned off by the size & the price. All of my photography is done by bicycle, walks or kayak. I am therefore contemplating to upgrade to the K3 or K3II. Reasoning is the larger megapixel will require less cropping. My question is how does the 55-300 pair with the K3 and will there be an appreciable difference when cropping the shots ? I also have A KR, DAL 18-55, DA 35MM Macro.

The banker says will have to get rid of stuff to get more stuff. Any advice...appreciated.

Thanks

02-27-2016, 02:53 PM   #2
csa
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John, I have the K3, and recently got a TC to go with my 55-300. I will say, cropping with the K3 gives fantastic results, with no TC.

However, here is my thread that you might be interested in:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/10-pentax-slr-lens-discussion/314333-pentax-55-300-tc.html
02-27-2016, 03:10 PM   #3
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I used a Sigma 150-500 OS lens with a K-5 and the combination produced excellent images. I also used it with a K-5IIS, and now use it with a K-3II.
02-27-2016, 03:43 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
I used a Sigma 150-500 OS lens with a K-5 and the combination produced excellent images. I also used it with a K-5IIS, and now use it with a K-3II.
QuoteQuote:
Have looked at some longer reach lens, and am turned off by the size & the price. All of my photography is done by bicycle, walks or kayak.
I think you missed this.

The 55-300 at the long end is, ƒ5.8, not to shabby. The TC gets you approx. ƒ8 and a .4 increase.
The K-3 maintains your ƒ5.8 but only gets you about a 20% increase in lw/ph.

Both present problems. Less increase in resolution for the k-3, less light (which will affect auto-focus in low light situations,) with the 1.4 TC. My guess is, for overall IQ, the TC route will be better, but, in my experience, there are not a lot of times you can shoot birds or other wildlife at ƒ8.

02-27-2016, 04:48 PM   #5
Des
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QuoteOriginally posted by First Poster Quote
I am therefore contemplating to upgrade to the K3 or K3II. Reasoning is the larger megapixel will require less cropping.
I'm afraid that reasoning is wrong. The sensor size is the same. If the bird you photograph at 300mm fills say one-quarter of the frame on the K-5, it would also fill one-quarter of the frame on the K-3 The difference is that the K-3 has greater pixel density. So if you crop the image to half the original size on the K-5 it will go from roughly 16mp to roughly 8mp. If you took the same image with the K-3 and cropped to half the original size it would go from about 24mp to about 12mp. The benefit is greater resolution when you do crop rather than less need to crop.

I have gone from a K-30 to K-3 and I am seeing the benefit of higher resolution, particularly when cropping. The 55-300 is a good lens and it does perform better on the K-3. It also focuses faster and more accurately (particularly in lower light) on the K-3 than on the K-30. But it is a slow lens and I still find it needs stopping down to f8-f11 for best results, so it does require very good light.

Carol's experiments show that using a 1.4x teleconverter can work with the 55-300. But the TC costs a stop of light, so it is a combination that I would save for optimal conditions.

Wildlife photography involves a lot of compromises. I would say that the best investment would be a faster or longer lens. But I understand that you are put off by the weight and cost, and they are real considerations for walking, cycling and kayaking. The next step in IQ from the 55-300 is a manual focus 300mm f4 prime, but it would be bigger and heavier than the 55-300. Going to AF lenses, consider the Pentax F*300 f4.5, which is one of the all-time great Pentax lenses. It would give much better image quality than the 55-300 - so much so that images could take a lot of cropping. It isn't that much bigger or heavier than the 55-300 at about 880 grams, and is commonly used handheld. The trouble is that it is hard to find and quite expensive - although certainly less than the price of a new K-3ii and possibly less than a used K-3.

The xx-400 and xx-500 zooms and the 400 and 500mm primes all weigh upwards of 1.3kg (the Bigma and the DFA 150-450 about 2kgs), so I would say they are impractical for your intended use.

Here's another thought for a cheap and lightweight solution: add fill flash with a flash extender. I recently bought a Rogue Safari flash extender, which greatly extends the range of my popup flash, weighs almost nothing, and cost $A25. So far the results are promising. See this thread for more information: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/22-pentax-camera-field-accessories/256288...-extender.html

Good luck with your choices, John. I hope you will join the forum and share your experiences and photos.

Last edited by Des; 02-27-2016 at 11:12 PM.
02-27-2016, 06:34 PM   #6
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I have taken images of birds in flight using F7, F8, and F9 very successfully using from 800-1250 shutter speed. I have also shot moving (for example walking) or still birds on branches using F9-F13 and 250-320 shutter. Both types of shooting with the K-5, K-5IIS, and K-3II along with the Sigma 150-500 OS. I know The Sigma 150-500 OS for Pentax is no longer in production, but just wanted to mention it.
02-27-2016, 06:54 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
The benefit is greater resolution when you do crop rather than less need to crop.
Wel no, that's film thinking, in digital, a pixel is a pixel when you put it up not he screen or print it. It's the number of pixels that determine the size of the output. So if you print a K-5 image at 100 DPI you are printing 49 inches wide, if you print a K03 image at the same resolution, 100 DPI your image is 60 inches. The image is bigger at the same resolution. That's bit of an over simplification but that's the concept. IN digital, the image size is the number of pixels, not the sensor size.

It is seriously more complicated, the law of diminishing returns set in, even though a K-3 has 50% more pixels, it only has about 20 % more resolution. When you go from 4900 x3200 to 6000x4000 , you are only increasing your number of pixels 20% in each direction...so in terms of lw/ph one widths per picture height, it's about a 20% increase.

Still a K-5 measures in about 2200 lw/ph while a K-3 tops out around 26 lwph. You can crop the K-3 image to 4900 x 3200 and have exactly the same size image you would with a K-5, both in terms of sized in lw/ph. And in essence they would both print the same. But the K-3 image would be a 20% larger subject than the K-5 image. Reducing the size of the K-3 to K-5 size probably doesn't get you any more resolution than a K-5 would in terms of lw/ph. You don't get to keep your 2600 lw/ph if you reduce the overall size of the image.

Last edited by normhead; 02-27-2016 at 07:05 PM.
02-28-2016, 11:04 AM   #8
John Meadows
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K3 from K5 with 55-300

Thank you all so much for the information. Much to digest. I am a member but have not been on for so long I forgot the password. ( bouts of cancer & chemo...well now ). Have since found it and plan to be a regular.

I live in Ontario Canada, and find it hard to find places that sell Pentax. Use to travel to Henry's in Ottawa, but according to their site ( and others), very limited . I guess amazon.ca is about the best. Is this common world wide or just here.

Norm we are not to far apart, where do you obtain your cameras & accessories ?

Once again thank to everyone. IF I could get a good deal on the K3 , I would sell the Kr to help pay & keep the K5 as the spare. ( although I like the Kr size ) Failing that will be looking for the 1.4 teleconverter. Willa SIGMA give same reults as the Pentax 1.4 ?

Thanks again to all...CSA that was an interesting clip...

Regards

John

02-29-2016, 09:23 AM   #9
csa
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You might also keep an eye out for the Tamron F 1.4x Pz AF MCH TC. This one has gotten some nice reviews, and is the one I just purchased right here on Marketplace.

You might contact Adam, to see if he can help you with your past membership ID.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/1-adam/
05-04-2016, 06:28 PM   #10
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I know you don't want the size of the Sigma 150-500. However, it is really not that heavy of a lens as it has a considerable amount of composite material in its make-up. In fact, I often carry mine one-handed with a wrist strap for safety with no problems.

I shoot both the Sigma and the Pentax 55-300 with a K-5iis and have done some of this from kayaks. The Sigma presented no problem on the kayak. I mention all this to present an economical alternative as you can generally find a good used Sigma for about $500 - $600.

Good on you for surviving the cancer and chemo. Stay well.
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