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05-28-2014, 06:05 PM   #1
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Think I might of wasted $10 ...

Just arrived today a 2x screw on conversion lens. Now realistically I wasn't expecting super quality for $10 inc shipping BUT not being able to get anything resembling focus was disappointing. It also made me think since I am new to this that maybe I am missing something (hopefully?) I did manage to get a very soft focus at between 70-90mm with center clearer (but not even truly focused). Also seemed to have a bit of a fish eye look. Using k-50 with 55-300mm wr lens for @ 20 min after work today trying both AF and MF, varying focal length and distance.
Any tips on what I might have missed or do I chalk this up to u get what u pay for
Thanks for any insight.

05-28-2014, 06:22 PM   #2
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What kind of lens is it? Screw-on magnifiers designed for macro can only be used for close-ups, for instance.

If you want decent image quality for tele shots, you'll want to get a rear teleconverter, even if it's a cheap one.

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05-28-2014, 06:47 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by remark13 Quote
Any tips on what I might have missed or do I chalk this up to u get what u pay for
Thanks for any insight.
You learned a valuable lesson worth far more than $10.

And you now have an interesting paper-weight.
05-28-2014, 07:03 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
What kind of lens is it? Screw-on magnifiers designed for macro can only be used for close-ups, for instance.

If you want decent image quality for tele shots, you'll want to get a rear teleconverter, even if it's a cheap one.
It is a Neewer 58mm 2X Telephoto Lens.
I was starting to think macro (fine, can play with that too) so will check that out, but the opposite of what I am trying to achieve. Chasing birds all over and would love to peak in the nest across the river.
Have also been looking at the rear teleconverter, but 10 vs 100 (yeah I know cheap again) I figured why not. Any suggestions regarding the teleconverter was looking at the 1.4 vivatar for $99.

---------- Post added 05-28-14 at 07:07 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
You learned a valuable lesson worth far more than $10.

And you now have an interesting paper-weight.
Just a little embarrassing . Knew I was playing lottery and got the same result.
Not just any paper-weight, but one that can magnify the fine print

05-28-2014, 07:22 PM   #5
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You are probably not going to want to hear this but the proverb "Buy cheap, buy twice" applies to most things photographic. The Pentax 1.4x TC costs $600. So that's the gold standard, how much less can you get something of reasonable value is the question you should be asking. Not, how cheap can I buy something.

QuoteOriginally posted by remark13 Quote
would love to peak in the nest across the river.
No idea how far that is, but to really "peek in the nest" start thinking Sigma 500 f/4.5 or Pentax DA 560. And no, I'm not suggesting that you go out and buy those. Just consider that when the gear to do something properly costs $5,000 plus you are not going to get similar quality for $10 or even $100.

Teleconverters are usable, sort of, with the 55-300 but really that lens is too slow for them to work well. At least a 1.4x would be, I don't think a 2x would work at all, at least not with auto-focus.

If longer reach at bargain price is your goal look at some of the manual 400mm lenses, either Pentax or Takumar. Check the https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/55946-300mm-plus-lens-club...ng-lenses.html thread for what others are doing. There is a member who posts there using a Pentax manual 400mm with a 1.7x TC and gets really incredible results.

Bottom line figure out what you want to achieve and then save for the gear that will do that, spending money on cheap solutions is just a waste.
05-28-2014, 07:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
You are probably not going to want to hear this but the proverb "Buy cheap, buy twice" applies to most things photographic. The Pentax 1.4x TC costs $600. So that's the gold standard, how much less can you get something of reasonable value is the question you should be asking. Not, how cheap can I buy something.


No idea how far that is, but to really "peek in the nest" start thinking Sigma 500 f/4.5 or Pentax DA 560. And no, I'm not suggesting that you go out and buy those. Just consider that when the gear to do something properly costs $5,000 plus you are not going to get similar quality for $10 or even $100.

Teleconverters are usable, sort of, with the 55-300 but really that lens is too slow for them to work well. At least a 1.4x would be, I don't think a 2x would work at all, at least not with auto-focus.

If longer reach at bargain price is your goal look at some of the manual 400mm lenses, either Pentax or Takumar. Check the https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/122-lens-clubs/55946-300mm-plus-lens-club...ng-lenses.html thread for what others are doing. There is a member who posts there using a Pentax manual 400mm with a 1.7x TC and gets really incredible results.

Bottom line figure out what you want to achieve and then save for the gear that will do that, spending money on cheap solutions is just a waste.
Thanks, think I got your point. Would love to have the sigma 150-500mm but I guess being overly optimistic I was hoping for a while I save option -- doesn't happen in photography I gather. Guess I will continue to implement the always free use of my legs to get me as close as I can and continue to search out new sites.
05-28-2014, 07:56 PM   #7
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The Vivitar 1.4 converter works reasonably well with the 55-300, in good light. The 55-300 is best if you get close anyway...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/benmcgann/sets/72157634140992262/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/benmcgann/sets/72157635545936012/

I am very close to trading my K-5 for a D7000. Many more long telephoto options for Nikon
05-29-2014, 12:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by remark13 Quote
Thanks, think I got your point. Would love to have the sigma 150-500mm but I guess being overly optimistic I was hoping for a while I save option -- doesn't happen in photography I gather. Guess I will continue to implement the always free use of my legs to get me as close as I can and continue to search out new sites.
Just to give you a little guidance, do some simple math

Image size = subject size x focal length / distance

Let's think about what you are shooting

Although birds come I all sizes or shapes, you can think of them really as large wading birds up to 1 meter tall, medium hawks etc at 0.5 meters, large birds at 0.25 meters and tiny ones at 0.1 meters tall

If you are shooting even at a modest distance, let's say 25 meters, even with a 500 mm lens here is what you get

Large wading birds = 20mm
Medium hawk = 10mm
Large birds= 5mm
Small birds = 2mm

Considering a pentax DSLR frame is 16 x 24 mm you would get a good shot and virtually fill the frame with something like a big heron or egret, you would be cropping to about 25% of the frame for a medium hawk on a branch, you would use at best 10% of the frame for a large bird like a robin or grackle, and a small bird at best will be a record shot. If you want to do birds on the cheap, look at a pentax Q. The sensor is a crop factor of 5.5 from a 35mm film camera, and is about 6.17x 4.55 mm so even a small bird at 25mm will fill the frame with the same 500mm lens. You can pick up shorter lenses, in then200mm range that would be equal to about 1100mm on film or 750-800 mm compared to your pentax DSLR quite cheap. And you don't need the arms of a gorilla to hold the lens

05-29-2014, 03:20 AM   #9
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The only cheap solution in photography that I think works is to buy second hand. There is a lot of cared for second hand stuff about which is of a quality like it was built as when new. The old things that were very good when new are generally still competitive. For example many people here like the old series of Pentax lenses (not the brands that were built to be cheap way back). The Takumar M42s, original K and M lenses all seem to get plenty of interest here and work well. (You also need to put up with manual operation.)
05-29-2014, 06:09 AM   #10
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If you're willing to give up on auto-focus and possibly also aperture control from the body (ie you're using a lens with an aperture ring), you can get decent 7-element 2X tele-converters for not that much money on that well-known auction site (eg this one seems ok)...
05-29-2014, 05:26 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The Vivitar 1.4 converter works reasonably well with the 55-300, in good light. The 55-300 is best if you get close anyway...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/benmcgann/sets/72157634140992262/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/benmcgann/sets/72157635545936012/

I am very close to trading my K-5 for a D7000. Many more long telephoto options for Nikon
Some nice shots, like the pelicans. Were these shots using the teleconverter or just the 55-300mm?
Hopefully u can find what u need with pentax.... I just recently jumped into the whole dslr bit (captain obvious with my thread) and was back and forth between Nikon and Pentax, but there was just something @ the Pentax. So here I am even knowing that a majority feel that this was not the best system for some of my shooting (birds & soccer). Overall I am thrilled with the whole system and figure I am determined to learn how to use the gear for what I want it to do. Hiking, boating or maybe some good chum recipes for the ospreys. Soccer is easy as pie, don't know what everyone was talking about or maybe I just understand soccer better than the birds or maybe it was shooting soccer with P&S for 2 years.
Thanks for your input
05-29-2014, 05:35 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by remark13 Quote
maybe I just understand soccer better
And there you have the key! People shot sports all the time with fully manual film cameras. They did it by understanding the game, being in the right spot, pre-focusing and being ready. Just because we have auto focus and so on does not mean that understanding and anticipation of action will not always get you better shots.

Same with birds, wildlife photographers will all tell you if you want the good shots you have to understand the animal, what it wants to do, where it will be, where it wants to go.
05-29-2014, 05:36 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Just to give you a little guidance, do some simple math

Image size = subject size x focal length / distance

Let's think about what you are shooting

Although birds come I all sizes or shapes, you can think of them really as large wading birds up to 1 meter tall, medium hawks etc at 0.5 meters, large birds at 0.25 meters and tiny ones at 0.1 meters tall

If you are shooting even at a modest distance, let's say 25 meters, even with a 500 mm lens here is what you get

Large wading birds = 20mm
Medium hawk = 10mm
Large birds= 5mm
Small birds = 2mm

Considering a pentax DSLR frame is 16 x 24 mm you would get a good shot and virtually fill the frame with something like a big heron or egret, you would be cropping to about 25% of the frame for a medium hawk on a branch, you would use at best 10% of the frame for a large bird like a robin or grackle, and a small bird at best will be a record shot. If you want to do birds on the cheap, look at a pentax Q. The sensor is a crop factor of 5.5 from a 35mm film camera, and is about 6.17x 4.55 mm so even a small bird at 25mm will fill the frame with the same 500mm lens. You can pick up shorter lenses, in then200mm range that would be equal to about 1100mm on film or 750-800 mm compared to your pentax DSLR quite cheap. And you don't need the arms of a gorilla to hold the lens
Thanks for the math....I don't think they make a long enough lens
The river is about 250 feet wide round to 300 for 91m, still thinking boat or some special osprey and eagle bait. Don't think I could afford or lift the lens with the focal length needed. I've seen some spectacular bird shots taken at 300mm on this site so I just need to keep looking for that opportunity. Luckily it is a lot of fun chasing birds. Thanks I'm going to have write down that equation for future refernce.

---------- Post added 05-29-14 at 05:44 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
And there you have the key! People shot sports all the time with fully manual film cameras. They did it by understanding the game, being in the right spot, pre-focusing and being ready. Just because we have auto focus and so on does not mean that understanding and anticipation of action will not always get you better shots.

Same with birds, wildlife photographers will all tell you if you want the good shots you have to understand the animal, what it wants to do, where it will be, where it wants to go.
Jatrax, definitely a big part of it, learning the birds I am getting, but finding that spot has eluded me so far. But practice has never been so fun. Can't fault the gear, it's all me

---------- Post added 05-29-14 at 05:54 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
The only cheap solution in photography that I think works is to buy second hand. There is a lot of cared for second hand stuff about which is of a quality like it was built as when new. The old things that were very good when new are generally still competitive. For example many people here like the old series of Pentax lenses (not the brands that were built to be cheap way back). The Takumar M42s, original K and M lenses all seem to get plenty of interest here and work well. (You also need to put up with manual operation.)
Used is good, but being so new to dslr and pentax still wrapping my head around so many things and after this glorious adventure I am more concerned about the choices I may make. Adapters, screw mount etc just afraid I don't have enough info to make necessarily the best choice. Lots of research needed. Took me months to choose the camera and starter lenses. So I'll keep researching lenses.
05-29-2014, 07:10 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by remark13 Quote
Some nice shots, like the pelicans. Were these shots using the teleconverter or just the 55-300mm?
The shots in these 2 albums were with the TC. Most of my 55-300 shots after April of last year are with the converter. I haven't used it as much this year as I did last...
05-29-2014, 07:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
The shots in these 2 albums were with the TC. Most of my 55-300 shots after April of last year are with the converter. I haven't used it as much this year as I did last...
Boriscleto,
Thanks for response the visuals are certainly helpful knowing the combination.
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