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11-29-2017, 10:01 PM - 1 Like   #31
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A couple long-lens options to consider:

1. A used Canon 7D and 100-400 (the old one) zoom gives excellent results and can be had at KEH for about $1,300 total.

2. Step up to the 7D Mark II and the 100-400 Mark II and you can get the whole rig, used, for about the new cost of a Pentax 150-450. And you won't have to apologize for the autofocus.

3. Finally, the old (film-era) AFA 1.7x teleconverter works really well with the DA* 300, giving you a 500mm-equivalent f/6.3 lens. I shot with this setup last summer in Svalbard and loved it.

11-29-2017, 10:32 PM - 1 Like   #32
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I love my Sigma 300/2.8, on the K-1, and use it with both the 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. they are match opitics for the 300/2.8 and work really well. I used it to shoot surfing a few years back on my K-5 with excellent results.

Final day at the Quicksilver Roxy Surfing Pro 2012 (50 pics) - PentaxForums.com

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/177642-sports-more-q...new-3-3-a.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/176833-sports-few-qu...rfing-pro.html

And this

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/12-post-your-photos/177639-misc-her-watc...utes-fast.html

Having the flexibility of a 300mm/2.8, 420mm/4, and a 600mm/5.6 all in one package is for me a very good option.

I have seen a few secondhand ones on ebay lately for the Pentax mount around $1700.oo aussie spendollies.

Last edited by cmohr; 11-29-2017 at 10:41 PM.
11-30-2017, 06:03 AM - 1 Like   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
450 mm is pretty marginal for wildlife on FF. It has the same field of view as 300 mm on APS-C, and I have a lot of experience of that with the DA 55-300
The 150-450 is superior to the 55-300 optically, however. Plus it builds muscle

QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
Yes, I know that there's the DA 560, but it's too expensive and is not really a FF lens
It is a FF lens.

QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
Or is the K-1 + DFA 150-450 + cropping a better option?
With all due respect, I fail to see why wildlife should be coupled with a FF sensor. If there's one area where APS-C really shines, it's this particular application.

Compare the K-3 and the K-1 : the K-3's pixels are smaller, so you actually get a higher resolution PER UNIT AREA (not total resolution). In other words, for any given area on the sensor (say, 1x1 cm) the K-3 has more pixels in that particular area than the K-1. Ergo, more resolution.

Simply coupling a 150-450 to a K-3 (which can be purchased dirt cheap) would deliver exactly the kind of results you're looking for. Add the 1.4x teleconverter (which works amazingly well with that lens) and you've got a killer combination. It would be less expensive than maintaining two systems and even though the K-3 lacks the ergonomics and dynamic range of the K-1, it's still a pretty good camera.
11-30-2017, 11:32 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman:
... Nikon D750 ... I have used my son's Sigma 50-500 on the K-1. It's very sharp at centre, but disappointing near the edges on FF ...
I'm coming in late. Did you make a purchase?

I am happy with my Sigma 50-500 on the K-1. It's the OS HSM version, the last model made for k-mount. I haven't noticed an edge problem but maybe that's because IMO edges don't matter for wildlife; edges will usually be a different distance than your subject so out of focus no matter how sharp the lens is.

The K-1 is not a "wildlife" camera regardless of the lens because frame rate is a little slow. It works well for larger animals in national parks, and is also a good combo for airshows and sun/moon closeups. It's difficult for birds in flight.

If I wanted to frequently photograph small birds, I would consider a KP instead of the K-1. The KP has denser pixels than the K-1 plus a faster frame rate. FF does not matter when most of the frame needs to be cropped away for a small bird. I don't know if the 50-500 HSM focus is quick enough for small birds.

If you do opt to try Nikon, I don't think the D750 offers much. A D7500 body or D500 APS-C sensor will give you a faster framerate and more pixel density for telephoto.


Last edited by DeadJohn; 11-30-2017 at 11:50 AM. Reason: I re-read top post and modified my response
11-30-2017, 12:00 PM   #35
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OP did acquire the 150-450, and has posted pics of some really interesting-looking birds with it.
12-06-2017, 05:50 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by bkpix Quote
A couple long-lens options to consider:
  1. A used Canon 7D and 100-400 (the old one) zoom gives excellent results and can be had at KEH for about $1,300 total.
  2. Step up to the 7D Mark II and the 100-400 Mark II and you can get the whole rig, used, for about the new cost of a Pentax 150-450. And you won't have to apologize for the autofocus.
  3. Finally, the old (film-era) AFA 1.7x teleconverter works really well with the DA* 300, giving you a 500mm-equivalent f/6.3 lens. I shot with this setup last summer in Svalbard and loved it.
Quality of K-3 with DA* 300 would be better than with 7D+100-400 (II).
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM on Canon EOS 7D vs Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM on Canon EOS 7D Mark II vs Pentax smc DA Star 300mm F4 ED (IF) SDM on Pentax K-3
12-06-2017, 10:02 PM   #37
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Yeah, the image quality of the older 7D is a little sketchy in less than perfect light. The 7D2 is much better.
12-07-2017, 06:05 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
With all due respect, I fail to see why wildlife should be coupled with a FF sensor. If there's one area where APS-C really shines, it's this particular application.
Yet, all the pro international wildlife photographers I follow are using full frame cameras for wildlife. They either use:

- one Canon 1Dx/1Dx Mark II + one 5DsR, or one 1Dx/1Dx Mark II + 5D Mark IV
or
- one Nikon D4/D4s/D5 + one D810/D850, or two D4/D4s/D5

most of them also have a third camera, a 7D Mark II or a D500, but usually 90% of their work is done with full frame cameras.

12-07-2017, 06:16 AM - 1 Like   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
Yet, all the pro international wildlife photographers I follow are using full frame cameras for wildlife.
"some people do it" is not a valid argument

The FF vs APS-C debate has been beaten to death a long time ago. For wildlife, this debate boils down to choosing between enlargement vs dynamic range, essentially. In low light, having larger pixels will help, but if light levels are good, there is no advantage to using a tele lens on a bigger sensor.
12-07-2017, 07:20 AM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
"some people do it" is not a valid argument

The FF vs APS-C debate has been beaten to death a long time ago. For wildlife, this debate boils down to choosing between enlargement vs dynamic range, essentially. In low light, having larger pixels will help, but if light levels are good, there is no advantage to using a tele lens on a bigger sensor.
As far as I'm concerned, the simple fact that the majority of pro wildlife photographers are using full frame cameras for wildlife it's enough as a reason for me to desagree with your comment about crop cameras being more suited for wildlife due to the crop factor. When pro photographers will use crop cameras most of the time for wildlife instead of top of the line full frame cameras, then I will agree with your statement. Wildlife is not about who has the longer focal range, at least not acording to pro photographers I follow. It's about:
- fast and reliable af and full frame deliver this better than crop cameras
- fps which full frame is better at
- ISO capabilities, again, a full frame is better
- technique (getting closer to the subject by adding a 1.4x/2x TC or making a good camouflage)

For those on a budget a crop camera with a good lens is good enough, but for pro wildlife photographers a crop camera is a back-up, at most. Even in good lighting condition you need high ISO capabilities at f8 (a 400mm or a 600mm f4 + 2x TC) and a shutter speed faster than 1/1000s (and I don't even mentioned birds in flight, where the shutter speed is usually faster than 1/1600s).

Take a look at this guy's images (see the link below). He uses a 1Dx Mark II and he said on a few occasions that even if the light seems good in his images, the ISO sometimes is over 3200. I haven't seen evidences that proves that a crop camera is better than a full frame camera for wildlife. All I saw on the internet is people saying the same thing "crop cameras are better for wildlife due to the crop factor". But as I said, this statement is contradicted by pro photographers who are using top of the line full frame cameras.

Avian - Ari1982
12-07-2017, 07:40 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
As far as I'm concerned, the simple fact that the majority of pro wildlife photographers are using full frame cameras for wildlife it's enough as a reason for me to desagree with your comment about crop cameras being more suited for wildlife due to the crop factor. When pro photographers will use crop cameras most of the time for wildlife instead of top of the line full frame cameras, then I will agree with your statement. Wildlife is not about who has the longer focal range, at least not acording to pro photographers I follow. It's about:
- fast and reliable af and full frame deliver this better than crop cameras
- fps which full frame is better at
- ISO capabilities, again, a full frame is better
- technique (getting closer to the subject by adding a 1.4x/2x TC or making a good camouflage)

For those on a budget a crop camera with a good lens is good enough, but for pro wildlife photographers a crop camera is a back-up, at most. Even in good lighting condition you need high ISO capabilities at f8 (a 400mm or a 600mm f4 + 2x TC) and a shutter speed faster than 1/1000s (and I don't even mentioned birds in flight, where the shutter speed is usually faster than 1/1600s).

Take a look at this guy's images (see the link below). He uses a 1Dx Mark II and he said on a few occasions that even if the light seems good in his images, the ISO sometimes is over 3200. I haven't seen evidences that proves that a crop camera is better than a full frame camera for wildlife. All I saw on the internet is people saying the same thing "crop cameras are better for wildlife due to the crop factor". But as I said, this statement is contradicted by pro photographers who are using top of the line full frame cameras.

Avian - Ari1982
Ari's photos of the Pileated Woodpecker are superb, and definitely demonstrates the superiority of a FF camera coupled with top-shelf glass.

But I think the adage "crop cameras are better for wildlife" applies well for people like me (and many others) - simply a dude (or dudette) with a camera who likes to shoot wildlife. Not a "wildlife photographer".
12-07-2017, 07:54 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by luftfluss Quote
Ari's photos of the Pileated Woodpecker are superb, and definitely demonstrates the superiority of a FF camera coupled with top-shelf glass.

But I think the adage "crop cameras are better for wildlife" applies well for people like me (and many others) - simply a dude (or dudette) with a camera who likes to shoot wildlife. Not a "wildlife photographer".
Just to be clear because I don't want to be misunderstood, I will say that a crop camera with a good lens is good enough for a lot of photographers and I don't deny the fact that a crop camera for wildlife may be the first choice for many due to:
- price (it's a big difference between a 1Dx Mark II/D5 and 7D Mark II/D500 when comes to price)
- DOF at the same aperture (for me this would be a better argument than the reach of a lens on a crop camera)
- focal range (1.5x or 1.6x)

But for best posible results, those big boys can't be beaten by any crop camera. At least this is my conclusion after shooting with 1Dx mark II and 7D Mark II and after watching tons of wildlife images from pro photographers.
12-07-2017, 07:57 AM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by bkpix Quote
the old (film-era) AFA 1.7x teleconverter works really well with the DA* 300
I totally agree with you on that.
Actually, it works better than the HD 1.4X Pentax TC ! (I have both).

Last edited by jpzk; 12-07-2017 at 08:37 AM.
12-07-2017, 12:58 PM - 1 Like   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
- fast and reliable af and full frame deliver this better than crop cameras
That's a case by case basis, dictated mostly by the launch date of the camera and not the size of its sensor.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
- fps which full frame is better at
Hum, not really. See the K-3 vs K-1, for instance. All things being equal, smaller files yield faster fps. Again it's mostly a case by case basis, you can build a fast-shooting camera regardless of its sensor, it's a shutter and buffer issue.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
- ISO capabilities, again, a full frame is better
That I agreed upon above. I'll point out, however, that you're better off with this year's APS-C than three years ago's FF.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
- technique (getting closer to the subject by adding a 1.4x/2x TC or making a good camouflage)
Getting "closer" is easier with APS-C's crop factor.

QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
All I saw on the internet is people saying the same thing "crop cameras are better for wildlife due to the crop factor".
And yet you're basing your opinion on some people you follow on the internet who use FF and say it's better (or maybe don't say anything at all but simply use FF?)

QuoteOriginally posted by Dan Rentea Quote
- DOF at the same aperture (for me this would be a better argument than the reach of a lens on a crop camera)
DOF is linked to the pixel size (because that drives the circle of confusion value) but otherwise is dictated by the focal length and aperture, not the sensor size.
12-07-2017, 03:14 PM   #45
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There are so many non-gear related variables in wildlife shooting I just don't see how it's possible to crown one sensor-size as best.

But for people who enjoy photographing wildlife - not necessarily wildlife photographers - APS-C and m4/3 offer solutions that strike closest to optimum in the price/performance/portability confluence.
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