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01-09-2011, 01:07 PM   #1
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Needing a little help with a new lens

Ok, so here's the run down...over the holidays, I picked up a Tamron 28-300mm telephoto/maco lens at a VERY good deal. I say VERY good deal, because I bought the lens from an individual that had a bulk of Pentax K-mount lens and had no way of testing them, so he was selling them super cheap. For what I paid for the lens, I figured it was worth a shot just to upgrade form the 18-55mm kit lens that my K110d came with. After recieving the lens, I went over it with a fine tooth comb (well to the best of my limited knowledge, lol) and it apears to be just fine...aside from a few cosmetic scratchs and blemishes. Yesterday, I shot a roll of film through my ZX-50 with it and after having the film developed, noticed that some shots were super clear and sharp and some were well...not. This morning, I fired up the K110d and shot some photos of some birds and a small white-tail deer that has become a fairly good friend (mostly because I have been feeding her cracked corn, lol) and most of the shots I took came out very nice, but once again, some didn't. I'm pretty sure that there isn't an issue with the lens, but rather the person using the lens, lol.

I'm hoping some others on this site has had experience with this lens or can just get me some tips and pointers on shooting with this lens. So far, I'm pretty happy with it, and I guess that's the biggest point, but any help will great be appreciated. I have several books on shooting with a D-SLR, but sadly none help out with shooting macro shots which is what I'm really looking forward to.

I know that aparture and shutter speed is where I'm going to get my "sharpness" from and what I can't get from there, I can easily make up in PP. But like I said, I'm mainly looking for any advice and/or tips.

Here's a few of the shots with the K110d, just to give everyone an idea of what I'm talking about. I played with the contrast a little on these, but nothing major in the way of anything else.

Sharp shots:











and the not sharp ones:





and a little shot at some macro:



01-09-2011, 01:26 PM   #2
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In your 'not so sharp' shots, the Autofocus selected a branch, rather than a beak or eye, as the focus point, so there is sharpness in some of the branches, but not of the subject you selected.

Autofocus isn't perfect - it looks for a sharp edge in the area of the focus point you've selected. Sometimes it does not select what you'd like it to.
01-09-2011, 01:34 PM   #3
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Actually in the shots of the birds, I was using the lens in manual mode. That would explain why the focus is a little off. I was trying to catch a few of the birds in flight and that definitely wasn't happening with autofocus on.
01-09-2011, 02:23 PM   #4
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Shots look about right for the Tammy 28-300 although the copy I owned was for nikon. The strength of that lens is the extreme range of focal lengths. Everything else is secondary. You will not get very sharp shots, expecially at 250mm+ but you WILL be able to get the shot, thus its a vacation lense. Also, don't forget to crank up the EV in camera a stop or so when shooting snow least you record that nice 18% gray instead of white.

btw- after buying the Tamron 28-300mm and a nikon D60 years ago, I returned all of it after a week and went Pentax.

01-09-2011, 02:32 PM   #5
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Since my first post, I've shot a couple more through the window and have noticed that for long range shot, it reaches out there and snags a nice shot. But for fairly close shots of these small song birds, it leaves a lot to be played with in PP. I'm starting to think that a lot of it has to do with the low levels of light that I get on that side of my house has a lot to do with it as well. Thanks for the heads up imtheguy, I'll give the EV adjusting a try tomorrow to help out with the grayness in some of my shots. After only paying $60 shipped to my house for the lens, it was definitely a step up from my 18-55mm kit lens.
01-09-2011, 07:59 PM   #6
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My suggestion is to plant the k110d firmly on a tripod, pointed at a subject that will clearly show sharpness (street sign for example.) Use manual focus, and don't change it between shots. No window glass (or filters) between you and the subject. You should be able to confirm focus and hopefully will find that autofocus and careful manual focus will agree. Take photos to test each corner and the center of the frame wide open, at a middle aperture, and stopped way down. It's really the only way you'll know what your particular lens is capable of.

Paul
01-09-2011, 09:34 PM   #7
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Awesome advice Paul and thanks. I'm definitely going to head out tomorrow and play around with it some more.
01-10-2011, 05:44 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by DubVboy Quote
Ok, so here's the run down...over the holidays, I picked up a Tamron 28-300mm telephoto/maco lens at a VERY good deal.
There are a few different models. Was it this lens, I think model A06?



I sold that one in the spring for $160.

QuoteQuote:
I know that aparture and shutter speed is where I'm going to get my "sharpness" from and what I can't get from there, I can easily make up in PP. But like I said, I'm mainly looking for any advice and/or tips.
I tested mine here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/98808-300mm-le...p-options.html

I don't know how those results apply to other models. If you have enough light for f11, it's not that bad. As Lee said, a vacation lens, and considering its size, good for traveling light. A tropical vacation, so you can use f11.

01-10-2011, 09:21 PM   #9
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The one that I purchased (not sure what the model is), but has the same specs as the one you have pictured there. I actually like the lens a lot, just need to get used to it. I'm used to the 'ol point and shot cameras, so using a lens and camera that takes knowledge and skill to use is still fairly new to me. At this point, I'm just going to keep shooting photos till I get the "technique" of this particular lens.

Here are a couple random shots I took with it earlier







01-10-2011, 09:29 PM   #10
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On the one I sold, the model number is next to the serial number.



An older version uses a 72mm filter. I think there was a version with better lens coatings too.
01-10-2011, 10:28 PM   #11
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Mine appears to be the older version (using the 72mm filter)...the 185D. After reading some of the reviews of this lens, it seems that it tends to be a little softer past 200mm. But from what I've read, getting used to the lens can yield sharper photos, just takes a little experience on when to step done the exposure. Most of the reviews I'm reading talk of it being a fairly nice lens, even for the age of it.
01-11-2011, 06:27 AM   #12
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I looked at the EXIF data on the first series of shots, and half were at F4 and half were at F6.7. That ain't gonna cut it for depth of field, especially at the long end of the zoom.

If you look at the deer shots, you'll find perfect areas of focus in every shot, but the DOF couldn't handle it, in combination with where your focus point actually was. For the last one where he (she?) is leaning down to eat, you can see the sharp area on the neck. For the tighter shot above it, you can see an in-in focus area as well.

Go play at F8 to F11 and see what happens.

I see you did them at 400, so even if you have to go a little higher to get a shutter speed you can handhold at 8 to 11, give it a try.

Last edited by Ira; 01-11-2011 at 06:34 AM.
01-11-2011, 10:56 AM   #13
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Thanks for the tips Ira, I'll have to give those a try too. I didn't even realize that the f-stop was set there until you posted that. I went over most of my photos that noticed that most, if not all, were like this.
01-11-2011, 04:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by DubVboy Quote
Since my first post, I've shot a couple more through the window
Shooting through glass will also not help in trying to achieve max image quality, you need to get the other side of the windy.
01-11-2011, 05:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DubVboy Quote
Thanks for the tips Ira, I'll have to give those a try too. I didn't even realize that the f-stop was set there until you posted that. I went over most of my photos that noticed that most, if not all, were like this.
You were in Av (aperture priority)mode, so it's imperative you know the F stop you're using for a given scene in this mode.

If you were trying to isolate a flower from the background and BLUR that background, you WANT F4. But for the deer, you're going to want smaller.

Ironically, with the exception of your last "not in focus" shot, I thought all of those had better focus than the ones you said DID have better focus. The bird shots looked closer to good focus than many of the others.

And birds are a pain in the a** to shoot properly--with a camera.
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