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11-02-2012, 07:30 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Q FW v1.1 + DA 55-300 Handheld

Hi All,

Got a chance to shoot some with the Q v1.1 and the DA 55-300 at 300mm handheld. Just the usual suspects -- House Sparrows -- but they're abundant . . . and a couple of squirrels. I used the DA 55-300 because of the weight.

I used my Hoodman Hood Loupe and an inexpensive NoStar screen-type Red Dot that I had picked up to experiment with. The sparrow shots are from about 12-15 feet, all handheld with SR set at 300mm, f5.8, in jpeg 3 Star. All were PP'd with Topaz DeNoise and Topaz InFocus and downsized for the web. Most of the shots are at 1/100 - 1/200 since the birds were mostly in shadow.

# 1 1/100 sec


# 2 1/200 sec


# 3 1/160


# 4 1/160


# 4 1/100


# 5 1/100


# 6 1/100


# 7 1/400


# 8 1/500 @ 30 feet


This combination is pretty easy for me to handhold. I shot both with SR enabled full time and only on shutter press. I didn't find it too much different for holding the subjects in the frame, and got about the same percentage of keepers each way, so I'll be saving battery power and shooting with part time SR in the future. In my experience with Pentax DSLRs, I'm pretty capable of shooting down to 1/125 at 510mm (765mm EQ), but can actually go slower with the Q at 300mm (1674mm EQ), so I'd say that the SR is more effective with the small sensor. This makes sense because the sensor is that much smaller and lighter. Previously, I had found that I could handhold up to about 200mm with the Q and adapted lenses without SR, but I needed faster shutter speeds.

The images were only a little soft due to diffraction at f5.8 but the major cause was probably camera shake that SR could not nullify since the fine feather barb detail on the wings became much more evident when shutter speeds went up significantly (#7 @ 1/400).

The Focus Peaking makes this almost easy, now that I'm getting the hang of using it -- I'm finding that there are definitely some tricks to getting the focus plane exactly where I want it pretty quickly.

I know I can get consistently better results with the FA* 300/4.5 and the Q on a tripod, but this will definitely do if I want to really travel light -- and I enjoy shooting handheld -- when I get good results. I plan on at least keeping the DA 55-300 in the car at all times to use with the Q. When I get the 06 Tele zoom, then I'll have the FE, 02 zoom to cover 28-80EQ, 06 zoom to cover 80-250 EQ, and the DA 55-300 in the car to cover 300-1675 EQ when I'm not packing my DSLR birding kit.

Scott

11-02-2012, 08:00 PM   #2
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Excellent results. I assumed the 55-300 was too slow for the Q. What a bargain combo this is.
11-02-2012, 08:01 PM   #3
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Spectacular results. You are very good at hand holding long lenses at slow shutter speeds. Add SR and I am amazed at your results. I need to practice this more.
thanks
barondla
11-02-2012, 08:20 PM   #4
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Awesome work Sno!

11-03-2012, 02:36 AM   #5
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Yes, i can only agree - this is awesome! Great detail.
Thanks for sharing
11-03-2012, 08:02 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenafein Quote
Excellent results. I assumed the 55-300 was too slow for the Q. What a bargain combo this is.
Hi kenafein,

I have found predictions of IQ based on calculations and theory have been unreliable for my purposes in the past, so I always experiment on my own rather than just accept them. I've found that I can live with the images from a number of lenses at f8 with the Q -- depends on the lens, the subject, how much PP the image can tolerate, and if the image is worth the work. When it comes to IQ, I find that it's easier to make up my own rules since it's a totally subjective concept, and I don't shoot what the majority of photographers seem to like.

You are correct that this is indeed a bargain super long shooter. It's expanded the usefulness of all fo my long glass significantly, and for a comparatively low cost, even at the intro price. This was why I was an early Q adopter, and am very happy that Ricoh/Pentax has issued this update.

Scott
11-03-2012, 08:05 AM   #7
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Hi barondla, Larry, and NKK,

Thanks for looking and taking the time to comment. I'm very pleased with the results. This is a very lightweight setup, and it even looks awesome, IMO. Later today, I'll try to get a pic of the setup and post it. . .

Scott
11-03-2012, 08:34 AM   #8
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Nice work. I was wondering how the 55-300 would work with the adapted Q. I need to order my adapter today. Can't wait to see more of your work!

11-03-2012, 10:08 AM   #9
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Here are a few quick shots of the setup.

I shoot it with the tripod ring/foot, but without a plate on it. The ring foot acts as a palm rest that I find convenient. FYI, the tripod ring is the OEM for the Tamron SP 80-200 f2.8 Adaptall 2. It fits the DA 55-300 perfectly, and also is the best tripod ring for the FA* 300 f4.5 if anyone is interested. The Hoodman HoodLoupe is attached by two heavy duty rubber bands. I have to detach the bottom of my strap to attach it like this, but I can pop off the top band, and the strap keeps the Loupe captured to the camera, dangling from the strap. It's actually convenient this way.

The NoStar Red Dot is an experiment. So far, it seems to have very good battery life for one of these devices -- I left it on accidentally all night and the battery still has some juice in the morning. . . The sight is mounted on an original style Photosolve Xtend a Sight. The strap is a Camdapter Cam Strap, and it's especially good for this application, but I have it mounted all the time, even with Q system lenses.







The whole thing weighs in at 2 lbs 8 oz.(just a couple of oz more than the DA* 300/4. alone).

Scott

Last edited by snostorm; 11-03-2012 at 10:55 AM.
11-03-2012, 02:59 PM   #10
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Scott that's a great looking setup, seems to work well also, I have been looking to go longer and this might be a way to go. Certainly more cost effective than a good long lens for my Kr. I've got a few manual lenses and a hood that would work well with a setup like yours.

Hans
11-04-2012, 12:43 AM   #11
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Hi Hans,

Thanks for taking a look. If you don't mind manual focus and doing a bit of PP to sharpen up the images, this is a very viable alternative. It's not only for the long lenses though. Your A50 f1.7 would give you the same FOV on the Q as a 180mm that you can shoot at f1.7 that focuses down to about 1.5 ft. -- and it's still very small and handy. The Q + just about any K mount lens opens up a whole lot of possibilities that you just can't get with the DSLR kit.

Scott
11-04-2012, 06:46 AM   #12
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Yea I was already thinking the 135 or my Super Tack 200, hadn't been thinking the 50 or 28 but that's an interesting idea. How well do the non Pentax adapters work, I have been reading about not focusing to infinity.

Hans
11-04-2012, 07:18 AM   #13
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Hi Hans,

AFAIK, with the 3rd party K2Q adapters, there have been no problems so far. We have users here that have used the JR (which I have), and Fotodiox with the aperture rings, and I don't recall any complaints. I personally had an infinity focus problem with an RJ C2Q adapter combined with a Bower K2C adapter on one lens only (a S-M-C Takumar 55mm f1.4 M42 with Pentax M42 to K adapter), and I can recall some shimming having to be done on some Kipon C2Q adapters with specific lenses.

Since you seem to have some DA series lenses, the only thing you need to do is make sure you get an adapter with an aperture control ring. If you plan to use flash, or get upset about rolling shutter effect, then the Pentax OEM K2Q adapter that has not yet been released for sale, is your best option since it will have an aperture ring and will include a mechanical shutter in the adapter that will supposedly go up to 1/1000 and is assumed to give us flash sync to 1/1000 with the popup and 1/250 with external flash.

Scott
11-04-2012, 08:00 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
Here are a few quick shots of the setup.
That looks downright evil I need to get a hood loupe myself - finally an application for these golf tees I have laying around

QuoteOriginally posted by hnikesch Quote
How well do the non Pentax adapters work,
No problems here with the Fotodiox w aperture that I use.
11-04-2012, 08:15 AM   #15
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Nice setup and great results! These birds are very common here, but I've never seen them from so close
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