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12-21-2016, 12:45 PM   #1
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Pentax HD -D FA 150-450mm Focus issues

Advice needed please, I have an HD D FA 150-450mm which either produces sharp, crisp images or images not worthy of a cheap telephoto zoom.
There is no consistency at all. I have tried it on a K20, K3 and now a K1. If used at high shutter speeds the image is usually good, but when used on a tripod at low speeds it's very hit and miss. No camera shake is to blame. Is the lens faulty? Has anyone else encountered this issue?

12-21-2016, 12:55 PM   #2
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When on a tripod are you turning shake reduction to OFF?
12-21-2016, 01:02 PM   #3
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Yes, the shake reduction is off.
12-21-2016, 01:10 PM   #4
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Is your tripod light? You need a pretty hefty tripod to keep a 450mm lens steady enough for slow shutter speed use. Using the IR remote or self-timer is also pretty much a must.


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12-21-2016, 01:42 PM   #5
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I use a Manfrotto 190 from the 1990's which is rock steady. I also use the self timer function set to 12 seconds. Looking at the K3 it's not giving me the option to turn off the SR. I assumed it was off, maybe not so.
12-21-2016, 01:49 PM   #6
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On k3 SR off is into menu. I have the raw button activated to put SR on or off
12-21-2016, 02:04 PM   #7
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Use 2 sec timer, raise ISO a little? Try to use an aperture that gives enough DoF
At 200mm+ even a small shake from pressing the button and the mirror slapping will show up.
2 sec timer also automatically disables SR

12-21-2016, 02:07 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andykins67 Quote
I use a Manfrotto 190 from the 1990's which is rock steady. I also use the self timer function set to 12 seconds. Looking at the K3 it's not giving me the option to turn off the SR. I assumed it was off, maybe not so.
The SR on the K3 is turned off when using the 2/12 sec timers.
12-21-2016, 02:43 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andykins67 Quote
I use a Manfrotto 190 from the 1990's which is rock steady. I also use the self timer function set to 12 seconds. Looking at the K3 it's not giving me the option to turn off the SR. I assumed it was off, maybe not so.
The Manfrotto 190 is quite a lightweight tripod for a camera-lens combo that size, especially when used at the longer focal lengths of that lens. I have found that even the Manfrotto 055 is too flimsy for super-telephoto focal lengths. The slightest breeze or the slightest touch from a person would induce shake magnified at longer focal lengths. This effect would be exacerbated by extending the centre column and when using a small camera head. To avoid camera movement, many wildlife photographers do not use a centre column on their tripods, but buy legs that are capable of extending to 6 feet high without the centre column. They install the head directly onto the tripod legs to eliminate any slack or flex in the centre column and its attachment to the tripod legs.
12-21-2016, 02:59 PM   #10
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I suspect you still have vibration. The mirror is at the end of a long mechanical arm, the lens plus body. I shoot a 500mm F4.5 with a K5. I use mirror up via remote timer mode. First remote press for mirror up, second press to trigger the shutter. I wait 10 to 30 seconds before triggering the shutter after the mirror is up. The built in 2 seconds delay is not enough for the mirror vibration to fully settle down with that long of a lens. Additionally I added a Manfrotto 359 stabilizer arm, tie the camera body to the tripod as well as the lens. It has been a slow learning curve, but I am getting decently sharp pictures at slower shutter speeds now. Need to shoot at F8 or F11 with the 500 F4.5.
12-21-2016, 04:04 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andykins67 Quote
Advice needed please, I have an HD D FA 150-450mm which either produces sharp, crisp images or images not worthy of a cheap telephoto zoom.
There is no consistency at all. I have tried it on a K20, K3 and now a K1. If used at high shutter speeds the image is usually good, but when used on a tripod at low speeds it's very hit and miss. No camera shake is to blame. Is the lens faulty? Has anyone else encountered this issue?
With the K-1 it can be vibrations caused by the shutter. Avoid the speeds from 1/60s through 1/180s or use the electronic front curtain shutter (available in live view only).
12-21-2016, 04:38 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Andykins67 Quote
I use a Manfrotto 190 from the 1990's which is rock steady.
That tripod is nice but is going to be marginal at best for a K-1 & 150-450. Try extending only the first set of legs, the big ones, and shoot sitting down. See if that helps any. You do not say what head you have so that can also be an issue.

Use mirror up with a wired remote, wait 10 seconds or so after the mirror flips up. You could also try a bean bag or shooting rest as a test to eliminate the tripod as the problem.
12-22-2016, 12:01 PM   #13
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Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated. Haven't tried mirror up yet, but have shot at higher iso's with tremendous results.
12-22-2016, 01:11 PM   #14
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Search on google about long lenses tecnique.
02-02-2017, 12:19 PM   #15
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Again, thank you all. I have purchased a gimbal head and the results now are stunning
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