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05-03-2011, 06:51 PM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Jersey Shore
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Hello from the Jersey Shore

Just over a year ago I decided it was time to move into the world of DSLR cameras and I found myself attracted to Pentax so I bought the K-x kit from B&H that came with the 18-55mm and the 55-300mm lenses. My main interest was to take pictures of local birds, so the 55-300 lens lived on the camera. I've taken about 16,000 pictures in the last year, most of them of birds.

I was quickly frustrated that 300mm wasn't a long enough zoom, but the prices of the Sigma lenses (120-400, 150-500) put those choices out of reach (at least, last year). Instead, I picked up a couple of Pro-Optic teleconverters from Adorama. The 1.4x was just $90 and the 2.0x was about $110. The 1.4x became a permanent addition to my camera. I estimate that maybe 14,000 of my images have been taken with the 1.4x and the 300mm lens.

Come August, I lashed out on a second K-x nominally for the wife. In addition to the 18-55mm zoom, I also added a 10-20mm Sigma wide-angle lens. I've taken a few pictures with it, but it's a whole different ballgame and I usually leave it at home as I walk the local woods and ponds looking for birds.

Last week, I gave in an added the Sigma 150-500. It arrived Monday. The first two days were overcast but I was still able to get some pleasing shots of the birds at the feeder on our front-yard tree. But this evening, I had an unhappy time at Deal Test Site (a local park where they first bounced a radio signal off the moon during WWII). There's an osprey nest at the top of one of the towers and I just could not persuade the lens to focus on the nest. It went through the motions of focusing. To my eye, it looked in focus, but the camera just wouldn't take the picture.

I started with the camera's image stabilization on and the lens's optical stabilization off. It was hopeless. The camera just wouldn't take a picture. I tried switching off the camera's feature and switching of the lens's. It has two settings, 1 and 2. Using setting 1, the results were equally disappointing. Using setting 2, it finally took some pictures, but the auto-focus was flashing in and out almost continuously and it only took a handful of pictures over a period of about a minute.

All very frustrating. I'm thinking that the next time, I'll try my wife's camera to see if it gives the same results. If so then perhaps I've gotten a bad lens -- I've not seen anyone else making these kinds of complaints about the 150-500 on a K-x; not that there's a lot of discussion about this combination.

BTW, it turns out my brother in England has two K-7s. No doubt his mentioning Pentax had something to do with my predilection for Pentax.


05-03-2011, 08:48 PM   #2
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