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10-26-2012, 02:11 PM - 1 Like   #1

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Chicago suburb, IL, USA
Posts: 1,535
Handholding very long Q shots with FW 1.1

Hi All,

I grabbed some shots with my new Q v1.1 hand held. I brought the D FA 100 f2.8 Macro, FA* 300 f4.5, and an F 1.7x AFA. The point was to see if could actually hold and manually focus at 560mm, 950mm, 1680, and 2790mm EQ. One of he biggest challenges with handholding tele lenses on the Q is that my heartbeat, breathing, and natural sway throws the LCD image around so much I can't keep the subject in the VF long enough to focus. I figured that with some support (leaning against a tree, but supporting the camera/lens with just my hands), I might be able to get something done with SR enabled full time.

First of all, this was not a great test of the effects of SR on the photo, because it was very bright sunlight, so shutter speeds were short. The challenge was to hold on the target long enough to focus. I'm pretty good at handholding long glass, but not this long. . . Also let's not critique things like PF, composition, moment of capture, and exposure -- none of these are magazine shots -- I was just trying to see if I could get anything remotely passable.

First, just with the 100 Macro. This is a very light lens -- the Q + lens is only about 20 oz -- less than a K-5 body alone. This was completely unsupported. At 1/4000, I expected no real camera shake, and it was pretty easy holding on target, focusing and composing the shot. this was shot in jpeg, only resized in steps, brightened a bit, with some added contrast.

All of these are straight out of the camera -- the full frame shots are resized only, the crops are 100%, no resizing or PP

This one I shot for perspective with the 01 prime I circled the subjects of the following shots

This goose is actually a bit closer than the one in the perspective shot. FA*300 f4.5 + F 1.7s AFA for 510mm (call it 500mm or 2790mm EQ). Realize that this combo is f7.7 max aperture, so we're also dealing with some diffraction issues.

100% crop

Here's the red car from the middle of the perspective shot. 500mm shot leaning against a tree.

100% crop

The balcony on the building to the left on the perspective shot

100% crop

This last one I PP'd with Topaz DeNoise and Topaz InFocus, corrected PF, and resized to post. this was with the 100 Macro and 1.7x AFA (170mm f4.8 -- 950mmEQ). Wide open, my D FA 100 Macro creats quite a bit of PF

My conclusion -- with SR and Peaking, the 100mm is not a big deal. I can do better with the FA* 300 f4.5 + 1.7x AFA and my K5. The 170mm shot I could not have gotten as easily with the DSLR -- I'd need one of my 300 f2.8s + either 2 ea 1.4x TCs or a 2x TC. MF with a 6+ lb lens is not easy, and it's fatiguing to just hold it to the eye for more than a few seconds, causing a lot of shake. The 500mm shots would just be impossible. I'd need 1940mm on my DSLR, and there's just no way to get this, and handholding wouldn't even be a consideration in any case. Last but not least, this was a bit over $1400 USD for me plus the Q and adapter.

These were shot without a loupe, which would have made it easier because I could have the additional brace against my face, plus a much better view of the LCD. I used Peaking alone to focus, and it was difficult, but obviously doable. I'd say I'd shoot at up to 200mm handheld without too much reserve in good light, but a tripod makes it so much easier, it's silly to even consider doing it any other way, and I know I can get away using very lightweight support gear. My Q long lens support system right now consists of a FotoPro MGC584-N CF travel tripod (almost exactly the same thing as a Benro Travel Angel) that I picked up on closeout at $160 USD, a Vanguard ABH 120K ballhead that I got on Special from Adorama for $99 USD, and my Wimberley Sidekick ($250) that I've had for several years. The whole thing weighs 4 lbs 6 oz total, and it supports my K-5 and a 300/2.8 very well if the legs don't have to be extended fully.

A very good FW update indeed!!! this opens things up for me considerably.


10-26-2012, 02:32 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: France
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Interesting results; I have the impression (I'm used to handle long lenses) that your tests shots with the Q at 500 mm (ie the balcony) suffer from atmospheric haze and turbulence - there are hot surfaces in front of you and colder ones cause of water; we should be able to get better results. I'm waiting the release of the genuine Pentax Q adaptator in europe to get mine.
Maybe shots of smaller, neared objets would give better results ?
BTW as soon as I get the adaptator I'll adapt the Q to a 600 f4; and with a 600f4 + 1,4XL converter; it will be a 4620 mm equivalent, crazy !

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