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01-12-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
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Hello from Cape Coral, Florida

Happy New Year to All.
I have always had the old Pentax SLR's, but for Xmas I bought myself the K5. Boy, do I have some learning to do. So if anyone has any good pointers, feel free to let me know. Besides the reg lens, I got the Pentax DAL 1:4-5.8. 55-300mm lens. What lens do you suggest that will be even more zoom than this lens without breaking the bank? I do a lot of birds. Got a photo of two eagles in a tree yesterday, but didn't have the right lens.

Hope to be posting some photos soon.
Bobbouv

01-12-2012, 03:14 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Welcome to the forums, and to the world of DSLRs! I'd say the main learning you have to do is how to use your "digital darkroom"; even though the K-5 is loaded with features the fundamentals of SLR photography haven't changed. I'd suggest shooting RAW or at least RAW + JPEG; shooting JPEG only would be sort of like keeping prints but throwing out the negatives.

The 55-300 is widely considered a great value in a longer zoom, with good performance out to the long end. Hard to go longer than that on a similar budget, and achieve similar results. But I'm sure you'll get suggestions. The "Bigma" (i.e., Sigma 50-500) is well regarded, and if you can find a used non-HSM copy it will be a lot cheaper than a new one. Massive lens, though. The Tokina 840 (80-400mm) has its adherents, too.
01-12-2012, 04:42 PM   #3
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I'll have to look on ebay and craigs list for a bigger lens. What my wife and I saw yesterday, two eagles in a small tree was a great find. I'll post some photos, but if I had a bigger lens, the quality of the photo would have been phenomenal. I have a lot to learn with the K5. It's amazing how you can crop and save on the camera.
Thanks for your input.

Bobbouv
01-12-2012, 05:55 PM   #4
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I've been on something of a longer focal length (FL) quest myself lately. As they say, it's a never-ending quest. Getting closer to the birds is always best, when possible. Of course with eagles it often isn't possible. Once you go past 300mm you are definitely getting into tripod-only territory, and to get anything reasonably fast you are also talking large, heavy, and expensive. I settled on the Pentax-A 1:5.6 400mm for now. Light enough that it doesn't require an expensive specialized mounting system for good results; still very portable and even hand-holdable in bright light. Can be had for $500 or less. Manual focus.

You could also look into "digiscoping", i.e., attaching a spotting scope to your camera.

02-20-2012, 11:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
I've been on something of a longer focal length (FL) quest myself lately. As they say, it's a never-ending quest. Getting closer to the birds is always best, when possible. Of course with eagles it often isn't possible. Once you go past 300mm you are definitely getting into tripod-only territory, and to get anything reasonably fast you are also talking large, heavy, and expensive. I settled on the Pentax-A 1:5.6 400mm for now. Light enough that it doesn't require an expensive specialized mounting system for good results; still very portable and even hand-holdable in bright light. Can be had for $500 or less. Manual focus.

You could also look into "digiscoping", i.e., attaching a spotting scope to your camera.

My wife got a photo of two eagles in a tree. She had the DA L 55-300 and she pulled it in as close as possible, and switched to a 6MB picture. When I cropped the photo, it started to get grainy. I thought if we made it a larger picture that we would be able to crop it and would still have good quality. Any comments?
02-20-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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Depends what you mean by "grainy". Sounds like you are working with JPEG files; every time you re-save a JPEG you are losing information. The "grain" could be JPEG posterization, or it could be high-ISO noise (what was the ISO setting?), or if it is a heavy crop you might simply be reaching the resolution limit of the sensor. Can't say without seeing the shot.

Also note that noise and grain are more noticeable on a computer monitor than on a print.
02-20-2012, 03:56 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by baro-nite Quote
Depends what you mean by "grainy". Sounds like you are working with JPEG files; every time you re-save a JPEG you are losing information. The "grain" could be JPEG posterization, or it could be high-ISO noise (what was the ISO setting?), or if it is a heavy crop you might simply be reaching the resolution limit of the sensor. Can't say without seeing the shot.

Also note that noise and grain are more noticeable on a computer monitor than on a print.


I'm new here, where can I upload some photos for you to check them out?
02-20-2012, 04:12 PM   #8
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You can attach photos directly to forum posts -- click the "Go Advanced" link and look for the paper clip icon. Or you can upload photos to your forum account album space and link to them (use the "BBCode" version of the link). Or you can link photos from any other online source (flckr, etc.).

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