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08-27-2009, 05:56 AM   #1
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The blue wren I discussed

I mentioned the fact that my blue wren was not blurry but not sharp either, and asked if the Pentax would be a better choice. (see last posting under Blurry Pics)

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08-27-2009, 07:29 AM   #2
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With regards to this image (and the other thread), it shows that your lens is probably the problem. I had a similar lens to you (the Tamron one), and was finding similar results. Any time I had the lens zoomed in past 250 mm, the images were soft. Shutter speed didn't matter, and I didn't realize it until I started using a tripod to get my shots. Then, being the poor amateur that I am purchased the Pentax 55-300mm lens, and that has made quite a difference. It still isn't perfect (no zoom lens will be), but it does get a better shot at 300 mm including handheld at my own minimum of 1/300 s shutter speed.
08-27-2009, 07:58 AM   #3
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Is this a 100% crop?
08-27-2009, 08:46 AM   #4
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Yeah, that sure looks like very extreme crop. If so, that's really not bad for a consumer lens. And if it's the full image resized, then I'd say you've got some pretty bad JPEG compression artifacts going on. But my money's on the extreme crop.

08-27-2009, 09:39 PM   #5
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You are very clever, yes it is an extreme crop. so I guess it is time to save for a better lens. Thanks again.
08-27-2009, 11:21 PM   #6
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Hi trishytee,

Perhaps you could post the original uncropped picture aswell?

I have the 55-300mm pentax lens and have tried a few pictures of small birds at max zoom. I thought I could try and crop a similar pic to about the same size as the blue wren, to try and give you something to compare to.

Or perhaps have a look at the 2 bird pics in my thread here -

They aren't crops, but I did use the 55-300 @ 300mm. Fairly bad light too. I can get the exact settings if you like.


BTW - What an amazingly coloured bird - wish I had a pic of one

Last edited by goddo31; 08-27-2009 at 11:22 PM. Reason: add comment
08-27-2009, 11:45 PM   #7
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I'd say you don't need a "better" lens if you're going to take pictures of birds that far away - you need a longer one. That is, it's unlikely any lens is going to do *that* much better if you judge it on extreme crops.
08-28-2009, 01:24 AM   #8
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The other thing to explore, Trishytee, is your technique for approaching birds, especially small ones like wrens, thornbills etc. that never keep still. If you want to fill the frame with one of those you'll do better with a hide and a mono- or tripod (with SR off). A hide can be as complicated or simple as you like. Even shooting from a car with a bean bag on the windowsill to rest your camera on can do the job. Small birds usually have only small territories and do the rounds on a regular basis, choosing perches on which to sing to announce ownership of their territory. If you have the time and can work undisturbed you can observe the activities of a family of wrens, say, notice where they regularly perch in good light, then set up your camera with a remote and go and hide behind a tree.
There are some really good websites devoted to bird photography that are well worth checking out. It's not the easiest genre, as you've discovered, but with your positive attitude and some more reading and practice you'll be able to get quite a level of improvement with the gear you currently have. Finally, I'd suggest if you want to make bird photography your thing, think about joining Birds Australia or a local birding group, where you can go on field trips and try out other people's gear.
Good luck.

08-29-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
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Beautifully coloured bird.

I can see why you want a good shot of it. I second Wombat's suggestion about technique. Small birds and birds in general tend to be very skittish. They have to be as thier survival depends on it. A blind and a much longer lens will do the trick ~ that and a lot of patience.

Tom G

Last edited by 8540tomg; 08-29-2009 at 02:55 PM. Reason: typo

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