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02-13-2013, 06:27 PM   #1
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What is the best lens to use for birding at 500mm eq. ?

I just thought of adding a lens to my line up for use with my Pentax Q ... for birding.

Just a note: I "normally" use the K5 + DA*300/4 which is the best combo for my needs thus far.

So, I was thinking to find/fit a lens with GREAT IQ which would be the equivalent of 500-600mm on the Q after having mounted the Pentax Q to K mount adapter.
I recently saw someone who will use a 135/3.5 (brand ??) and that would probably be quite a good set up.

However, I am trying to find a lens which would, if that is possible, that would have an IQ near that of my DA*300/4.

Some will say; "Just use the DA*300 !!" Yes, but I just want to find out if the IQ would be any better with a good quality lens in the 135mm range.

Cheers!

JP

02-13-2013, 06:44 PM   #2
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I take it you mean equivalent to 500mm on the K-5. A bit confusing with talk of equivalence between 3 different formats. Remember that the Q files are a little smaller in terms of pixels so you might want something a touch longer to be a practical 500mm-on-K-5 equivalent, something in the 150 to 200mm range.

The DA* 60-250 is a pretty good choice. A*200/4 macro would be killer, I suspect.
02-13-2013, 06:46 PM   #3
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since everything is done manual anyway, just go find a cheap 100ish mm M lens.

SMC Pentax-M 100mm F2.8 Reviews - M Prime Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Tokina 90mm f2.5 AT-X Macro Lens Reviews - Tokina Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

There's a few cheap options with great reviews. Puts you at 550mm and just short of 500mm respectively. Issue you'll probably find with some of these is since they were designed to be handheld, and are rather heavy, you'll have to get a tripod ring for your Q-adapter so you don't rip the mount out.
02-13-2013, 06:50 PM   #4
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Stan is experimenting with a M150 as I recall. I've got the old bog-standard M135/3.5 and I tried it out tonight. Very light combination, even with the adapter. Has a built in shade. Good contrast, I've got to work on my technique but the images have good color rendition.

Gibby The Mole just reviewed it on the Q and gave it the following:
Sharpness: 8 Aberrations: 7 Bokeh: 8 Handling: 10 Value: 10 Camera Used: Pentax Q

He also recommended using it at at least f5.6 with f8 as the sweet spot. I've used mine at the Zoo and of the old M lenses that I put on the Q it was the easiest to handle and produced the most consistently good photographs of the bunch.
Gibby's review is here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/lensreviews/SMC-Pentax-M-135mm-F3.5-Lens.html#review5439

02-13-2013, 06:58 PM   #5
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Check out the sticky in the Q forum for samples of lenses tested.
I haven't seen anything as nice as the DA*300 as far as purple fringe control especially in the older lenses but a little Post process can cure that.
I like my DFA100WR since it is so compact but that is a little shorter than what you might want.
The Oly Zuikos are surprisingly good.
My Sigma 70-200 is pretty good but it weighs more than the DA*300 so it is better on a tripod.
02-13-2013, 07:05 PM   #6
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I used the M 135 mm F3.5 with good results. Very compact design. The build-in hood though is rather short given the crop factor. A longer one may provide better contrast.

The one I like a lot from the old ones is the M 75-150 mm F4 zoom lens. Very sharp and relatively light with 49mm threads and a build-in (although short) hood. Very useful range for birding and easily handheld.
02-13-2013, 07:33 PM   #7
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I'll be curious how the 75-150 does when the Q gets here; the lens is sharper than my m200. I think the A-35-105 is going to be a bit stronger - and yields the 500+ reach. My highest hopes are for the Samyang/Rokinon 85-f/1.4 because it is so compact, responds very well to focus peaking, and will be ideal for use in the 2-2.8 range on the nature trail.
02-13-2013, 08:11 PM   #8
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As you test out the lenses please add a review to the reference thread to help others in the same spot.
I think there is a review of an 85 1.4 there you can check.
First page has the index.

02-13-2013, 08:16 PM   #9
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but on the 5, not the Q.
02-13-2013, 08:19 PM   #10
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Q > da560/5.6 = 3080 (!!!)
02-13-2013, 08:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Q > da560/5.6 = 3080 (!!!)
We're gonna need a bigger tripod.
02-13-2013, 08:25 PM   #12
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Original Poster
Thanks a bunch, guys!
I wasn't expecting such response, and as quickly!

Well, it becomes a matter of deciding what is the best:
1. In terms of IQ
2. Ease of use/handling
3. The final "reach" ... as long as I can get to a 35mm eq. of 500mm +, I'd be happy.


I do have a couple of candidates already, but I don't even know how they would perform with the Q + adapter:
1. A Zeiss 85/1.4 ZK ... the focus ring is somewhat "stiff" and that is one heavy lens!
2. A Vivitar 135/2.8 close focus ... all manual this one.
3. the DA*300/4 .... sample shots from other members using it seem good, not quite what I want in terms of IQ quality; Yeah I know: I am asking too much

Nothing in between 135-300mm though.

So, I'll start with the "candidates" which I already own and search for a good quality 200mm'ish lens as per suggested above.

Next step is to go and browse the thread about adapted lenses on the Q. Good suggestion.

The adapter should be in by mid week, next week and we shall go from there.

Thanks again, people!

JP

Edited: For what it's worth, I do have a 200mm-ish lens: it is the Tamron 70-200/2.8; huge, heavy, and not sure at all what this would do on a Q !??
I checked for the M 100/2.8 and the M 135/3.5; also looks very interesting.

Last edited by jpzk; 02-13-2013 at 08:33 PM. Reason: added a lens
02-13-2013, 08:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Thanks a bunch, guys!
I wasn't expecting such response, and as quickly!
Now that all my gear is in (Ballhead, K>Q, Tripod Foot) I'll do the K105/2.8, K135/2.5 and K200/2.5 for you (and the thread) but I can't get it done before Saturday.
02-13-2013, 08:34 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jpzk Quote
Edited: For what it's worth, I do have a 200mm-ish lens: it is the Tamron 70-200/2.8; huge, heavy, and not sure at all what this would do on a Q !??
I think you need to test it and gives us your review to add to the reference thread

It sounds like it could be a great option, I've been waiting for someone to try this lens out.
Oh wait someone did test it! https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-q/209474-adapted-lenses-tested-q-r...ml#post2229504
02-13-2013, 08:35 PM   #15
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I was going to say, The Sigma 70-200/2.8, But also the Pentax DA50-135/2.8 as Its got great IQ, does the Q-adapter have a Tripod mount????
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