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08-09-2018, 04:27 AM   #1
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Photographing wildlife

I have a Pentax K7 with a 18 to 55mm lens and also a 50 to 200 mm lens so I can set the area I want covered. Recently fox cubs have started visiting my garden at night and I would like to try and get some photos of them at play. I understand that the K7 is weather resistant and should not suffer any ill effects from being left outside overnight or would it? I would be grateful for any advice i.e whether to use the built in flash or a more powerful Vivitar or just to rely on my garden security lights, what sort of ISO setting to use etc Obviously I would need an I.R trigger of some sort as I don't really want to sit up all night with my wireless trigger. I live in the UK. Thanks Peter

08-09-2018, 04:37 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. There are a few options, but none of them cheap, unless you can build something yourself:
See The Time Machine Camera Controller / Intervalometer or TrailMaster Infrared Trail Monitors - world leaders in infrared trail monitoring equipment. Providing game cameras and trail cameras, trail counters and traffic counters.

I do wonder if Catch-In-Focus may not work for you, provided you have enough light for the camera to focus? Could be a much cheaper solution.
See Catch-in-Focus Tutorial - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com
08-09-2018, 05:00 AM   #3
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sounds like you might want to look at something like these trail cameras if you want the device to fire remotely

What's The Best Trail Camera? - (Reviews & Buying Guide 2018)

no idea if anything like this is available in your area
08-09-2018, 05:03 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by redlionbass Quote
I understand that the K7 is weather resistant and should not suffer any ill effects from being left outside overnight or would it?
If it were mine, I wouldn't take the chance with the camera. Too many things could go wrong while it is unattended. And your lenses are not WR rated.

08-09-2018, 02:08 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
sounds like you might want to look at something like these trail cameras if you want the device to fire remotely

What's The Best Trail Camera? - (Reviews & Buying Guide 2018)

no idea if anything like this is available in your area
NHBS has a good selection of trail cameras in the UK. I am looking to buy one from them myself - I live in Denmark.

Trail Cameras | NHBS Wildlife Conservation Shop
08-09-2018, 06:43 PM   #6
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If you were sure your equipment was not threatened in any way, you could set up some interval shooting from your camera menu. I do not have a K-7, but noticed on the Ricoh site that it has the interval shooting option (in camera). If your Vivitar flash is safe to use on your camera, and it has metering capability, you could set your camera to Manual and some settings like 125 shutter, 400 or 800 ISO, and something like an F/7 aperture and let the camera shoot at the set intervals. Otherwise, with no flash, you could wait till it gets dark one night and do some test shots to see what may work with your artificial yard lights. Then, once you know what settings may work, you could set up your camera for those settings and use them with your interval shooting.

After getting some results from testing, you could tweak settings to accommodate the shooting environment/conditions in the way you like it best.
08-09-2018, 07:17 PM   #7
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Are you familiar with "Trap-Focus/Catch Focus"? If you have a place you KNOW the animal goes with an 'A' lens you can prefocus where the animal will be set the shutter and appropriate settings in the camera and let the animal take its own images. It's something (else) to love about Pentax (I think Nikon can do it as well). the directions are here: How to use Trap-focus or Catch-in focus - PentaxForums.com. The nice thing is then you DON'T necessarily need a long lens. I've done it some for bird photography back in my film days with great success.
08-10-2018, 03:29 AM   #8
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Welcome to the Forum. Now to the hard bit in your question. You can get a motion sensor trigger like this (I believe others have found them satisfactory but I have not tried this):
Movo Photo LC100-C Canon EOS Lightning and Motion Trigger ? MOVO Photo
I use trail cams for a similar purpose (keeping tabs on feral animals) and I currently have seven keeping watch for me. Some are very expensive, some are relatively cheap. I use the cheaper ones because they give me what I need. But they don't give you DSLR quality or even P&S quality. For example, here is one of a dingo (not a pure dingo, most are hybrids) taken by an old Bushnell trail cam:



At night a trail cam will give a B&W image taken with IR flash. The flash does not disturb the animals. However, night shots tend to be at fairly slow shutter speeds so they are often blurred. I think most trail cams will allow you to shoot video clips and some can record both stills and video at the same time. The only trouble is that your subjects will rarely put themselves neatly in the frame (as above) but it can be fun trying to get your shots. Some kind of scent sprayed onto an object in the centre of your frame can get them in the right place.

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