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01-09-2012, 01:21 AM   #46
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Added a post to show some pics of a swallow landing... in this case I did not need to use 300mm but was closer to 150mm (250 in 35mm format)... For the OP these were shot using my old K10D and cheapy 75-300mm zoom... so maybe for your purchase needs even the 55-300 would be fine?

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/photographic-technique/171169-how-photogr...d-landing.html

Cheers,
Gordon

01-09-2012, 06:57 AM   #47
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It's interesting, how this thread seems to have mutated into a lets show what can be done at less than 300mm for birds and wikdlife.

Don't get me wrong here, I am not in any one camp, i.e. you need more than 300mm or not, to shoot wild life.

clearly, you can get an image with any lens, and I am one who has shown this by posting a hawk shot with a 105mm lens. So yes, it can be done. Some where on the forum, there is a post with a 17mm fisheye of a bird. so even 105mm is not the most extreme (i.e. short) lens to post a bird shot.

What it comes down to, to a great extent is still what I posted a very long time ago.

Image size = subject size x focal length / distance

While there are situations that allow you to some times get unnaturally close, such as using feeders, building observation platforms, or just dumb luck, many times you simply cannot get close enough. in those cases there is no substitute for extra MM of focal length., or accept heavy cropping, or perhaps showing the overall environment
01-09-2012, 08:53 AM   #48
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Lowell I agree with you.. Having the option of longer reach is crucial for some of my photos... my example above is only to illustrate that you can get photos with a cheap lens and camera if you plan ahead.. Most of the time though I do not have that luxury...

I am seriously thinking of switching brands simply because Pentax do not currently have anything on offer above 300mm... Yes I could go with a sigma lens but would rather not... Nothing against sigma just prefer to stick to one brand...

If I go that route then my first choice will be the new Nikon d4 and 500mm plus other lenses like the 70-200....

I love Pentax and am hoping they will soon announce some lenses above a 300.... Maybe a higher spec sports body... Nice to dream...


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01-09-2012, 02:56 PM   #49
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Gordon. I do this as a hobby and not professionally, but I am not sure switching to Nikon will give you anything you can't do with Pentax and a used FA lens or a new sigma one. Note I use an old ( bug today's standards) sigma APO 70-200/2.8 EX Jon DG non macro and a sigma 2x TC. I also use an MF Tamron 200-500/2.8 and an SMC(K) 300/5 plus 1.7x AF TC. So you can see my newest lens is almost 10 years old and my older ones are 30-40 years old. They produce excellent results. So the point is there is no need to switch, and the should be no shame not having the lens maker match the camera maker. Not all Nikon lenses are any better than what I have for example. If I move up, it will be to a new sigma or used FA lens, but for now, the lenses I have combined with ever improving high ISO make the need for something better less important

01-09-2012, 04:38 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by GordonZA Quote
If I go that route then my first choice will be the new Nikon d4 and 500mm plus other lenses like the 70-200....
well if you do go that route a setup like that will cost more than a 645D, and personally when I got my new nikon setup several years ago I went for the Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR - because with a 2X teleconverter it becomes a 800mm f/5.6 which is extremely useful for situations where getting closer to the animals is not-an-option. With the 500mm f/4 you will get a 1000mm f/8 - which is in my opinion too slow, sometimes a stop of light is the difference between getting the shot and not. Thankfully the D4 does AF at f/8 - but you will only have the use of the centre AF point.
01-09-2012, 08:56 PM   #51
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I still have plenty of research to do on the various lenses and options...

There are times when a rarity shows up and the only way to get a record of the bird is a very long lens.. That's when a 500 or 600 with 2x plus converters are needed... Not to get an award winning photo but just to get proof...

The 400 is another option though that is a heavy beast!


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01-10-2012, 12:09 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike L Quote
I think a 300mm zoom will quickly become too short for birding. The IQ of the DA*300 is good enough to be able to crop the shots but you won't get that IQ from the DA55-300.

My vote for a value for money birding/wildlife zoom is the little Bigma (Sigma 150-500mm). It's a bit slow but with the K5 you should be able to up the ISO enough to stop it down to F8
I wonder which way would yield the better results concerning IQ: using a fast 300mm and crop the image (in case it's needed) or use a slower 500 and having to use a larger ISO. (I suppose one should use equally short shuttering in either case.)

For example, at 500 the bigma has f/6.3, which is 1.5 stops slower than the DA 300/4. Thus you'd need ISO ~4500 instead of 1600, keeping the shutter speed constant. But to get the same angle in the image, you just need to crop the 300-image "a bit" since its more than half the length of the bigma.

What tells experience?
01-10-2012, 04:54 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zampel Quote
I wonder which way would yield the better results concerning IQ: using a fast 300mm and crop the image (in case it's needed) or use a slower 500 and having to use a larger ISO. (I suppose one should use equally short shuttering in either case.)

For example, at 500 the bigma has f/6.3, which is 1.5 stops slower than the DA 300/4. Thus you'd need ISO ~4500 instead of 1600, keeping the shutter speed constant. But to get the same angle in the image, you just need to crop the 300-image "a bit" since its more than half the length of the bigma.

What tells experience?
There are a lot of issues here. Start off by raising ISO. If you are. Onside ring record shots grainy is better than nothing. Also with the k5 high is a reality. Second. Consider SR. I regularly shoot 1/100 with 500mm hand held. SR works

Zoom and crop has the same effect as a longer lens. It is the final magnification ratio that determines blurr so shutter speed and focal length get equalized

You should also consider using flash. It works great for birding

01-10-2012, 06:03 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
There are a lot of issues here. Start off by raising ISO. If you are. Onside ring record shots grainy is better than nothing. Also with the k5 high is a reality. Second. Consider SR. I regularly shoot 1/100 with 500mm hand held. SR works

Zoom and crop has the same effect as a longer lens. It is the final magnification ratio that determines blurr so shutter speed and focal length get equalized

You should also consider using flash. It works great for birding
Maybe my writing was a bit confusing, I'll try a different approach to my question:

Suppose you're at a certain distance to some object and you want to have it in a certain final magnification. Due to that fact you choose your shutter speed. You've got 300mm/4 and 500mm/6.3 lense, for simplicity keep all other circumstances constant.
Would using 300mm and crop give better results than 500mm and upping the iso (to achieve same shutter speed)?

(Hypothesis: of course one can't answer that question generally. My point is just that you might get the relatively small advantage of 500 vs 300 mm at the expense of larger grain (due to higher ISO) then you'd have if you crop the 300mm image.)
01-10-2012, 07:05 AM   #55
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My own experience is that it is better to have a longer lens than to crop. Again it is also better to use the lowest ISO possible... There have been times using my K10D and an old Canon FD 500mm 4.5 combo (impossible to find Pentax glass in south Africa), where it was just not enough and cropping a 800 ISO image looked horrible, so I switched to rather use my spotting scope at 1600mm f13.5 and ISO 1600 as I did not have to crop at all.. Bear in mind if exposure is wrong at high ISO then the image looks horrible anyway despite the extra reach...


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01-10-2012, 04:03 PM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zampel Quote
Maybe my writing was a bit confusing, I'll try a different approach to my question:

Suppose you're at a certain distance to some object and you want to have it in a certain final magnification. Due to that fact you choose your shutter speed. You've got 300mm/4 and 500mm/6.3 lense, for simplicity keep all other circumstances constant.
Would using 300mm and crop give better results than 500mm and upping the iso (to achieve same shutter speed)?

(Hypothesis: of course one can't answer that question generally. My point is just that you might get the relatively small advantage of 500 vs 300 mm at the expense of larger grain (due to higher ISO) then you'd have if you crop the 300mm image.)
On a K5 or K7, if I was starting at anything below ISO 800 on the 300/4 I would up the ISO and take the shot with the 500,
Somewhere on the forums, is a shot I took at 510mm (300/4 and 1.7x AF TC) with my K7 at 1600 ISO, and 1/40th hand held. Glad I had 500mm, and I can;t fault the image for grain either,

Right now, I shoot with my K7 on Auto ISO maxed to 2000, and my K5 at Max of 6400, and dial up the aperture I want to get DOF, the camera does the rest, keeping shutter reasonable, and upping ISO to suit.
04-14-2012, 10:23 AM   #57
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Hello All,
Thanks for all the great input. Just an update on what I have purchased and tried, and recent discoveries.

I have purchased a couple of older manual lenses. A smc 200 f4 and a smc 300 f4. I almost always just use the 300. I have since started to really want to take some macro shots, so i'm now looking for an older manual macro lens. However, i would need to always change between my 300 and the macro lense.

I just came across a lens that has really great reviews and would solve all my wildlife and macro pictures without changing lenses. The Sigma APO 400mm f5.6 Tele-Macro AF. What do you think? Are there any other lenses that are as highly regarded that are a tele/macro combo. I was really happy when fould out about this!! I have also read that they are no longer made and really hard to find.

Thanks,
TLS
04-25-2012, 07:34 AM   #58
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I have the 60-250 and its a fantastic lens but I think for birding you may need something longer. Also, if you are hand holding the lens, then a faster lens would be good as long as the weight is not greater. The 60-250 is already difficult to hold still. Decisions, decisions! ;-)

Cheers

PS: So I think you would be better with something that starts above 100m, like a 100-300 F2.8 hypothetically.

Oops. just saw that you already bought something. Enjoy!

Last edited by gbeaton; 04-25-2012 at 07:39 AM. Reason: adding post script
04-25-2012, 08:56 AM   #59
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Thanks for the input gbeaton. That 100-300 f2.8 would be a dream lens because of the f2.8 and cost associated with it. I'm in the process of getting a bit of a cost effective dream lens for me. A sigma apo 400mm f5.6 tele macro af. Great reviews for the lens. I can't wait to try it out. Should be in the mail right now. I've missed some great shots using my manual 300. Just couldn't focus quick enough on a diving tern or pelican.
04-26-2012, 02:36 AM   #60
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Maybe one of the older AF sigma zooms?

The 135-400 is often on ebay at a reasonable price... Not particularly fast but the OP has a K5 so really a non-issue...
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