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05-05-2022, 04:05 PM   #1
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KS-1 or K-1 , TC or no TC -- Choice for the day.

Tomorrow I am heading out to try and get some shots of the New Zealand Whitehead. A small shy bush-land bird.
Opportunities to take the shot will be fleeting moments and I will probably be limited to a monopod for mobility.
I thought I would do some quick field tests here at home to compare utilising my FA 400 with or without an AF 1.7 Teleconverter
And a choice of the K-1 that I am very used to using or a KS1 that I have recently acquired with its slightly increased pixel density in mind.
Note that the image will most likely have to be cropped.
Test here is wide open and given the lighting that probably will be the case in the field.
Shots without TC cropped and resized to match the TC Image.
Context image courtesy of the KS-1 without TC
I am thinking my choice is the K-1 for its familiarity and wider FOV to find and capture the bird is the one for me.
And casting away the TC and its reach to be able to utilise 1.5 stops of light elsewhere. (and the compromise of its auto-focusing )
Note this is wild birds in their environment - a more formal set up is not an option. Lady luck is counted on very much.
What do you think?.

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05-05-2022, 05:21 PM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
Tomorrow I am heading out to try and get some shots of the New Zealand Whitehead. A small shy bush-land bird.. . . Lady luck is counted on very much.
What do you think?.
that regardless of the gear you choose or ultimate success of your efforts, you will have fun

[ I hope I'm correct ]
05-05-2022, 05:38 PM   #3
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I'm not familiar with using the 1.7 TC, results look good, but light means a lot. I would use the camera that I was most comfortable with. To me, a monopod would be cumbersome and make me miss shots, I feel shooting birds is easier and better freehand, unless you have something like a nest where you know they will be. But as a disclaimer, I've never used a monopod with any success, for anything.

But of course, the bird must be found, and hopefully it may be cooperative. Good Luck!
05-05-2022, 07:30 PM - 1 Like   #4
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The KS-1 sensor is 20mp vs 15mp so a 1/4 higher number of pixels in the same area. The sensor is not as good at higher iso as the older 16mp nor as good as the 24mp. The delta isnít huge - but itís there. The K-1 will give you much better high iso and allow you to use narrower aperture and higher shutter speeds which I think will be more important than a very small bump in resolution. Additionally you are more competent with the k-1.

The FA 400/5.6 plus the 1.7x AFA isnít too heavy at 1275g (1140+135g) and gives you a 680mm f9.5. This will take a lot of effort to stabilize and keep the iq up so you will need all the high iso advantage you can get. At that aperture you may struggle to get the 1.7x AFA to focus reliably unless the light is excellent.

Before you decide on the 1.7x plus the 400 you may want to consider renting the 1.4x tc. That combo should have better autofocus and offers a 560mm f7.8. (Why not take both the 1.4 and 1.7 with you and decide in the field?)

I thought about suggesting renting the D FA 150-450 but that is heavier than what you are taking! It would likely focus better and be easier to acquire the subject by zooming out and in.

Lastly I have combined the two teleconverters before with moon shots. I personally donít know if this is better than just cropping. My gut says you lose too much light and have too much glass added at that point. If it was useable it would give you a 952mm f13 - but Iíd guess focusing would be pretty tough, and the iso would be very high and stabilization would beÖ challenging at best.

---------- Post added 05-05-22 at 10:36 PM ----------

I have just realized this is a quick trip out not a big trip that you want to rent gear for! Iím curious, how did it work out?

---------- Post added 05-05-22 at 10:38 PM ----------

Which changes my answer to - take both! Put a smaller lens on the Ks-1 and have it ready if needed.

05-06-2022, 02:06 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Before you decide on the 1.7x plus the 400 you may want to consider renting the 1.4x tc. That combo should have better autofocus and offers a 560mm f7.8. (Why not take both the 1.4 and 1.7 with you and decide in the field?)
Isn't the 1.4x a DA ? Or does it cover FF with the 400?
I think the probable loss of AF with the AF TC means I am better sticking with simply the K-1 plus FA 400.
But I will take the TC in tomorrow as well and if I get a chance I will experiment.
05-06-2022, 02:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
But of course, the bird must be found, and hopefully it may be cooperative. Good Luck!
Why I am going in is they are trapping them at the moment in mist nets to translocate them.
I went with them the other day and noted that the birds paused for a while often in better lit situations.
But the mist net was placed in deep shade to help hide it.
So here is hoping.
05-06-2022, 07:14 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
Isn't the 1.4x a DA ? Or does it cover FF with the 400?
I think the probable loss of AF with the AF TC means I am better sticking with simply the K-1 plus FA 400.
But I will take the TC in tomorrow as well and if I get a chance I will experiment.
Yes it is a DA. And it will vignette heavily on most full frame lenses. However my assumption is that if you considered the Ks-1
You expected to crop.

05-06-2022, 07:41 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Based on the crops in the top post, #4 ("KS1 with TC") has the finest detail, #1 comes in second (just labeled "K-1" without indicating with or without TC).


The images are pretty close and it's tough to make a conclusion based on a single test. Maybe the KS1 with TC is really best because of more pixel density. Or maybe it was just the randomness of getting focus exactly right.


Another test that might be worth trying is to stop down and boost ISO to compensate. Does extra sharpness from stopping down beat noise from higher ISO? Your EXIF on the wide shot says ISO 100, 1/200s shutter so I think you have room to boost ISO.
05-06-2022, 11:37 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DeadJohn Quote
Based on the crops in the top post, #4 ("KS1 with TC") has the finest detail, #1 comes in second (just labeled "K-1" without indicating with or without TC).


The images are pretty close and it's tough to make a conclusion based on a single test. Maybe the KS1 with TC is really best because of more pixel density. Or maybe it was just the randomness of getting focus exactly right.


Another test that might be worth trying is to stop down and boost ISO to compensate. Does extra sharpness from stopping down beat noise from higher ISO? Your EXIF on the wide shot says ISO 100, 1/200s shutter so I think you have room to boost ISO.
The K-1 shot is without TC
I agree with your conclusion of the results. But I suspect the apparent sharpness of the K-1 over the KS-1 is from the slightly coarser pixelation of the K-1 giving that appearance.
The test were in good light on a tripod. 1/200 iso 100 f5.6
In the field I will be either handheld or monopod in poorer light.
I am thinking most of my spare iso will be invested in these two factors so I will be reasonably committed to f5.6 or possibly f8
05-07-2022, 03:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
you may want to consider renting the 1.4x tc. .
In NZ ? :-D
05-07-2022, 03:50 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Transit Quote
In NZ ? :-D
On mobile I donít see where people are from but I realize there was context in the thread. I misunderstood the original post when I first read it and I thought he was taking a trip to New Zealand in the future from elsewhere. When I realized my mistake I posted about it.
05-08-2022, 10:03 AM - 2 Likes   #12
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I've shot a little with the 1.7x and the DA* 300, on the K-3 III. I find it hard to properly judge focus through the viewfinder, AND you are stuck with the central focus point. I've been disappointed more than once after looking at the images I got with it on a big screen after they looked very fine on the back of the camera. I think the combo doesn't allow for nearly as much cropping as the lens alone offers. And I feel like I need MUCH tighter shutter speeds to handhold the combo for pixel sharp results.

Regarding the choice of camera, I'd go with the K-1 for better metering and familiarity. I think for fps and buffer clearing they might be close, K-S1 might be a tad better but shouldn't make a huge difference. When everything comes together you can crop the K-1 image a lot and still get great detail, for example this image with K-1 and DFA 100 WR was cropped down to less than 3 megapixels:

European robin

I think I would go with K-1 and the lens alone at first, and perhaps add the TC later after you got a few good shots in.

e: I just realised the opportunity has already gone by. Did you get some good images?
05-08-2022, 02:14 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by ehrwien Quote
I've shot a little with the 1.7x and the DA* 300, on the K-3 III. I find it hard to properly judge focus through the viewfinder, AND you are stuck with the central focus point. I've been disappointed more than once after looking at the images I got with it on a big screen after they looked very fine on the back of the camera. I think the combo doesn't allow for nearly as much cropping as the lens alone offers. And I feel like I need MUCH tighter shutter speeds to handhold the combo for pixel sharp results.

Regarding the choice of camera, I'd go with the K-1 for better metering and familiarity. I think for fps and buffer clearing they might be close, K-S1 might be a tad better but shouldn't make a huge difference. When everything comes together you can crop the K-1 image a lot and still get great detail, for example this image with K-1 and DFA 100 WR was cropped down to less than 3 megapixels:

European robin

I think I would go with K-1 and the lens alone at first, and perhaps add the TC later after you got a few good shots in.

e: I just realised the opportunity has already gone by. Did you get some good images?
I managed to get out with the catching crew but the opportunity to get a shot of a Whitehead in a tree didn't eventuate. We were sitting a little too far away from the net to take advantage of the birdsongs being played.
But here is a little Grey Warbler that was caught and released as a bycatch. Looking a little grumpy and feather ruffled. A nice easy technique for photographing birds. Get someone to hold them for you!
After a week of work the 4 or so trapping crews managed to net about 50 birds so the operation on the whole was a success.
After this discussion I had already decided to forgo the TC and opted for the K-1 and the FA 400
I feel that having the slightly wider FOV of the full frame was a nobrainer in the dappled light settings I was having to deal with.
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05-08-2022, 02:21 PM - 3 Likes   #14
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But it was great to be up at Waitahinga early in the morning to catch the views.
Courtesy of the FA 400 at f11
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