Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
09-16-2018, 01:13 PM - 1 Like   #1
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2016
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,353
Using binoculars for bird photgraphy

I recently got a Pentax SP 8x42 WP binocular; it's my first binocular ever. I wanted an all-round pair, that could also be used for anything from large shows to outdoors to casual looking at the night sky.

Perhaps it is something entirely obvious to experienced bird and wildlife photographers, but for the clueless birder that I am, it was a revelation just how much easier it is to find (and admire) birds hiding in trees. Compared to 300mm on apsc, I'd say 8x magnification shows things about the same size, perhaps a bit closer, what makes it much easier to look around is the wider field of view.

09-16-2018, 01:41 PM   #2
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 470
QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
I recently got a Pentax SP 8x42 WP binocular; it's my first binocular ever. I wanted an all-round pair, that could also be used for anything from large shows to outdoors to casual looking at the night sky.

Perhaps it is something entirely obvious to experienced bird and wildlife photographers, but for the clueless birder that I am, it was a revelation just how much easier it is to find (and admire) birds hiding in trees. Compared to 300mm on apsc, I'd say 8x magnification shows things about the same size, perhaps a bit closer, what makes it much easier to look around is the wider field of view.

Yes isnít it great. I recently bought the image stabilized Canon 10X42L WR binoculars for birding and astronomy. WOW! Much easier to find and identify birds when you have the wide field of view and stabilization. On a recent trip to Yellowstone my family fought over the binoculars so I stuck to my 55-300 PLM on my K-3. 😏
09-16-2018, 02:41 PM   #3
Seeker of Knowledge
Loyal Site Supporter
aslyfox's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Topeka, Kansas
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 19,895
this article might be of interest:

" In this third segment of a four-part series, we will discuss what to look for if you are looking to observe and capture birds with a camera, as opposed to straight optical viewing. "

A Guide to Birding with Long Lenses | B&H Explora
09-16-2018, 03:12 PM - 3 Likes   #4
Senior Member
OJGoreng's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Amsterdam
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 197
QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
what makes it much easier to look around is the wider field of view.
That, and the much larger depth of field. When you use only a telephoto lens, it's perfectly possible you completely miss a bird sitting two branches behind the one on which you're focussing, because it's all drowned out in creamy bokeh .

09-16-2018, 04:24 PM - 4 Likes   #5
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampstead, NC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,464
Sometimes you can spot something with the binoculars you can't even see with 300mm, but you can then take a photo and see it there. I saw this owlet through a spotting scope that a scope company had set up. I could not see it through the viewfinder, it is heavily cropped and not really good quality, but it really shows how the little owls are hidden.

09-16-2018, 04:42 PM - 1 Like   #6
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Maryland
Posts: 470
QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
this article might be of interest:

" In this third segment of a four-part series, we will discuss what to look for if you are looking to observe and capture birds with a camera, as opposed to straight optical viewing. "

A Guide to Birding with Long Lenses | B&H Explora
This one was handheld with the 55-300 PLM on the K-3.
Attached Images
 
09-16-2018, 08:53 PM - 1 Like   #7
Pentaxian




Join Date: Feb 2015
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,914
Bird watching and bird photography are so different. Photography requires to be very close to the subject to get good images. Bird watching is different, allows larger distances to the subject to enjoy. More and more, when I don't know a place I don't bother carrying camera equipment, it's so much easier to carry binoculars, then come back later if the place is worth considering for wildlife photography. I'm using the SD 9x42 WP (new name), has some color fringing, no the best by today's standards, but it's fine most of the time, been using it dust, and water, that thing is unbeatable.

Last edited by biz-engineer; 09-16-2018 at 08:59 PM.
09-17-2018, 03:12 AM - 1 Like   #8
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Digitalis's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Adelaide.
Posts: 10,137
Sometimes there simply isn't enough space in my camera bag for a pair of binoculars so I use one of these:



The Zeiss 8X20 Monocular - small, light, and sharp as hell.

09-17-2018, 02:16 PM   #9
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
ramseybuckeye's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Hampstead, NC
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 12,464
QuoteOriginally posted by biz-engineer Quote
Bird watching and bird photography are so different. Photography requires to be very close to the subject to get good images. Bird watching is different, allows larger distances to the subject to enjoy. More and more, when I don't know a place I don't bother carrying camera equipment, it's so much easier to carry binoculars, then come back later if the place is worth considering for wildlife photography. I'm using the SD 9x42 WP (new name), has some color fringing, no the best by today's standards, but it's fine most of the time, been using it dust, and water, that thing is unbeatable.
Unless you are lucky enough to have them close up, which can happen occasionally, or certain places at the right time of year, like at Magee Marsh in May. At Magee March I have had warblers fly up and land so close that a 300mm lens can't fit the whole bird in view, that's rare but it happens there. Normally the problem there is that they move to fast.
10-16-2018, 12:22 AM   #10
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2015
Photos: Albums
Posts: 457
Hi, I am jumping on this thread because I have a similar challenge to come.


Next year, we will be visiting Ireland, the region around Skellig Michael, to be more precise. A friend is jumping over from NY and we will be flying in from Berlin.


Anyway, the question is around birding. I have seen a TV documentation where that region was shown with plenty of birds. So I was thinking of aquiring a Pentax binocular. I understand that 8x42/43 should be ok. Any particular experience here with Pentax glasses for birding? Especially, are the EDs a must or are WPs sufficient? I am strictly amateur in this regard. However, I am looking at the Z-line. The glass is not only for birds, it's all purpose... Should work in the Amazon jungle as well as on the desertic coastline of Peru.


There is no stabilized glass from Pentax, right?
10-17-2018, 08:02 AM - 1 Like   #11
Loyal Site Supporter
Loyal Site Supporter
jacamar's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Toronto
Photos: Albums
Posts: 2,497
I started out as a birder and feel binoculars ae a real asset in conjunction with a camera. I wouldn't limit my search to Pentax. Find a place where you can handle and test a range of binoculars yourself and go with the ones that work best for you.
Factors to consider:
General feel - do they feel good in your hands? Is the weight good for a long walk? Is the focusing wheel well damped? Do you have to turn the wheel several times to get from close to distant focus? Can you view something for several minutes without your eyes getting tired? Consider whether you need a harness rather than a simple strap.
Magnification - I use 10x for its reach but many prefer the wider field and greater depth of field that comes with 8x
Object lens diameter - smaller. lighter binoculars let in less light, which can be an issue at dusk or on cloudy days - mine are a larger 42mm
Water resistance: definitely an asset, but the "roof prism" binoculars that have this are heavier and more expensive than other types.
ED glass (or equivalent) - test for yourself and see if you can see the difference and whether it's worth the expense.
Close focusing: do you want to be able to focus on dragonflies or butterflies only six or seven feet away?
Stabilization: I have never felt a need for this. It's not as if you need to take a sharp picture. If you can hold the binoculars steady I wouldn't worry about it, but check it out for yourself.
Also practice with them before your trip. Set the focus roughly at the distance you are likely to see birds. When you see something, keep looking at it and look for something distinctive near it (e.g. a crook in a branch) as you raise the binoculars to your eyes. That way it will be easier to lock onto the bird rather than searching for it through the binoculars.
It's a long term investment so make sure you have something you are happy with - you get what you pay for, but as with most things the marginal benefit per dollar decreases at the higher end.
10-17-2018, 11:02 PM   #12
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2015
Photos: Albums
Posts: 457
Thanks, good hints...
10-18-2018, 04:28 PM   #13
Pentaxian




Join Date: May 2016
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,353
Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by yucafrita Quote
Especially, are the EDs a must or are WPs sufficient?
I have the SP 8x42 WP. It's a roof prism model, and as far as I can tell it's very sharp and with pleasing colors. You could save some money and get the porro WP optinos in the SP line, they're a bit larger and heavier. There is very minor color fringing, but nothing really to bother, only if you look for it at the border of backlit objects against the sky. As I mentioned when I started the thread, these are my first binoculars of any notable quality, so I'm sure the ED line will look objectively better under critical inspection, but with my relatively more affordable model I still see as clearly as with the camera's viewfinder, just brighter and better field of view.
10-18-2018, 09:55 PM   #14
Site Supporter
Site Supporter




Join Date: Oct 2015
Photos: Albums
Posts: 457
Thanks for the insights. ATM, I am between a Pentax 8x43 ED ZD and a Minox HG 8x43 BR. Minox is a bit older but lighter and has excellent reviews. Pentax is a bit newer and heavier and has excellent reviews. Price-wise about the same. Good thing is, I can buy online, see if it fits me or not and send back (thank you EU consumer laws).
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
binocular, camera, photography, technique
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax PCF 20x50 binoculars dwalt General Talk 2 05-24-2018 04:57 AM
Nature Birding with non birding lens kengoh Post Your Photos! 14 03-17-2018 11:42 PM
Pentax binoculars pricing in EU Glorfindelrb Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 9 04-18-2015 01:20 AM
Binoculars hjoseph7 General Talk 19 12-21-2014 08:30 AM
LBA spillover, I bought Pentax binoculars Aegon Photographic Industry and Professionals 14 05-06-2010 06:05 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:59 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top