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02-18-2016, 07:12 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
I used a Bigma (Sigma 50~500) for many years (purchased one soon after it was introduced). When the Tamron 150~600 came out, I hoped against hope it would be made available in Pentax mount, but as it was not, I purchased a Nikon body so I could use that lens. Up to about 500mm it's better than the Bigma. At 600mm it's about the same as the Bigma at it's maximum, but about 1/3 longer (the Bigma tops out about 450mm, not 500mm). I've gotten some good images with the Tamron, but I don't especially like the "feel" of the Nikon body (BTW: I also have a Nikon 18~140mm to go with it, plus an old 50mm f1.8). More recently I got a Pentax 150~450mm that I haven't had much opportunity to use, however tests indicate it's as good or better than the Tamron through their overlapping range. I also tested the 150~450 with the HD 1.4X TC and found the results very good. The two seem to be very compatible. At maximum (~630mm) the 150~450 + 1.4X seem to be a touch better than the Tamron. I also have a very old 400mm f4 Tamron Adaptall with Pentax mount, and use it with the old 1.4XL and 2XL Pentax TCs. That old Tamron is excellent, and seems to pair well with the 2XL providing 800mm f8, but focusing is extremely difficult and vibration is a major problem. BTW: both the Bigma and the 400mm Tamron were in my possession long enough to require professional CLA (major spots on interior lens surfaces) and both came out beautifully. The Bigma has gone on to another Pentaxian. I cannot quite part with the 400, but it is not an easy lens to use. Set up with the 2XL it requires both my heaviest tripod and a secondary support below the camera body if I want to realize the potential IQ. It is strictly a location rig (= I have determined where there is a bird, where to set up a camera and perhaps flash, and go with the sole purpose of imaging that bird).

That should be more answer than you wanted to read.
Wow! Yes, more answer than I expected, but among them the reference to Pentax 150~450mm, which I was hoping for. Thanks!

02-18-2016, 07:48 AM   #17
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A good copy of the hd 55-300mm can produce excellent bird images in proper light. If you use it at f8 with proper shutter speed, results should be a lot better than what you were getting from your compact camera. Is it your first dslr? It takes some time and practice to get the best out of it imho. Understanding exposure compensation, different metering mode and how the autofocus work (different focus point, sensitivity, cross type, etc.) are all important features, among others, to get better pictures with a dslr than with a good compact, which I believe you had.
Pentax shake reduction can also be "problematic". For instance, if you use a tripod, it should be turned off, which some of us sometime forget, me the first :P .
If you ask around for some bird/wildlife shots made with the hd 55-300mm, you should get plenty of nice examples of what you could expect.
(Have you tested your lens for front or back focus? That could also screw your results at 250-300mm since the depth of field, even at f8 is quite shallow.)
02-18-2016, 08:15 AM   #18
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The thing with the 55-300 is, it's too slow to work with the TC. ƒ5.6 is about the limit for TC use. But, it will get you started, and people get great pictures with it. It's rare for a telephoto zoom in that it's optimized to be strong in the long end. Most telephoto zooms like the 150-600 mentioned above are weakest int the long end. So it has that going for it. But as soon as you say bird , I think of the DA*300 with the 1.4 TC as a minimum. That gets you to 420mm ƒ5.6, and that is a great starting point for a birder.

I use a 60-250 and TC a lot of the time, but sometimes I end up using the A-400 and 1.4 TC, sometimes n birding you need much longer.

You just need to check out this thread to see what people are using....
02-19-2016, 08:41 AM   #19
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Thanks guys. I'll try all that advice one by one.
Just for the record, I used to own a film SLR camera (Nikon), and I still own it I guess. 😃 Since then I always used SLR-like digital cameras from Fuji and Panasonic. I was mainly using this Pentax in the preset Action setting, which sets the shutter speed to 800 most of the time.

02-20-2016, 06:51 PM   #20
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