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01-16-2015, 11:48 AM - 1 Like   #1
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What Hath I Wrought?

Ever since my wife started birding I've been keen to join her and take photos while she watches. Thanks to a lot of research here, I've managed to cobble together this little beastie.


There's a camera in there somewhere.
by john m flores, on Flickr


Here's the breakdown:
Camera: Pentax Q7
Lens: Pentax DA 55-300mm HD WR via Pentax K-Q adapter
Loupe: Kamerar QV-1
Flask: Metz 58 AF-1 + Better Beamer flash extender
Tripod and Head: Vanguard

If you look closely, you'll see the K-Q adapter mounting plate is reversed. That's so the Kamerar plate can be mounted there. The Kamerar plate is compatible with the Manfrotto 501PL plate and slides into my Manfrotto 701HDV fluid pan video head perfectly. Without this change, the Kamerar whn mounted directly to the Q sits too high.

One of these days I'll spring for a DA300+TC or wait to see if Pentax releases a new zoom soon. Until then, the DA55-300mm will do double duty as birding lens and smallish motorcycle travel long-zoom. I've already got some nice results from bits and pieces of this kit-still waiting to use the Better Beamer in real-life situations.

Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences and knowledge.

01-16-2015, 12:15 PM   #2
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Well done. Would be interesting to hear about your success in establishing exposure in various conditions with that set up.
01-16-2015, 12:45 PM   #3
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Wow, cool setup. I've seen some great birding photos with the better beamer involved. I'm loving that HD 55-300 as well, definately better than my old DA 55-300. Wow, on the Q7 too. Now that, I do have to try. Thanks for sharing here.
01-16-2015, 12:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pacerr Quote
Well done. Would be interesting to hear about your success in establishing exposure in various conditions with that set up.
Thanks. Here's some early backyard tests from 20 yards away and in the shade on a sunny day:


House sparrow
by john m flores, on Flickr


House sparrow
by john m flores, on Flickr


House Finch, Male
by john m flores, on Flickr


House sparrow
by john m flores, on Flickr

Benefits of the Better Beamer are that I'm able to keep ISO down (ISO160 here) as well as the shutter speed (1/160) low in this situation knowing that the flash was going to freeze the action. The limitation is the 1/160 flash sync speed in brighter situations.

Definitely a learning curve here as the Better Beamer throws a pretty tight beam and if the flash head is pointed perfectly you can easily miss the subject.

And as you can imagine, nailing focus with the flighty birds is tough. Perhaps I should start turtle watching instead...

01-16-2015, 01:41 PM   #5
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That's pretty nuts. I can't remember if the Q has a trigger remote input like the K5 does. I have a ballhead with trigger which works great.
01-16-2015, 06:40 PM   #6
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Nice bird images. You are really getting into bird photography. Cool set up. Like the pistol grip and beamer. Haven't tried the beamer with the Q. Will have to remedy that. Ultra telephoto photography is addictive. I would have to add a red dot scope to help locate the bird. The Q helps get bird images that are very hard to get any other way.

thanks for sharing
barondla
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