Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-21-2015, 10:25 PM   #1
Site Supporter
Kameko's Avatar

Join Date: May 2012
Location: White Rock
Photos: Albums
Posts: 429
Uh oh! Another should I stay or should I go thread

Like everyone else who's ever posted one of these threads, my reasons are "different" (sarcasm) from everyone else who's posted the same. In all seriousness I'm very much on the fence about whether I should stay with my current setup, or sell it and invest in a different system.

I've found my niche in wildlife (bird nerd) photography. A lot different from the street photography that I started off doing. I'm looking at my current lenses and find myself getting frustrated with the lack of reach. What I have for wildlife is my K-3, the FA* 400mm and the DA* 60-250 which sits unused nowadays. What I want is 600mm at f2.8 or f4 so I'm able to use a 1.4x or 2x TC. When I had the Pentax 1.4 TC with my 400, it was difficult shooting birds hiding under the shadows of trees at f8.

I've invested a bit of $ in my current system, that being the 14mm, FA 31mm, F50 1.7, DA* 60-250mm, FA* 400mm, 540 flash, K-3 Limited w/grip. I realize to sell it off and reinvest in Canikon I'd only be able to afford bare bones right now. However, I'd be able to walk into any camera shop and pick up whatever lens it is I want. On the flip side, if I could find a clean copy of the F or FA 600 f4 when finances permit, I MAY be happy enough with my set-up. Or in a years time I may decide that 600 isn't long for me. Thoughts?

01-21-2015, 10:45 PM - 1 Like   #2
Site Supporter
jatrax's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: Oregon
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 10,717
Nikon 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR Lens 2205 B&H Photo

Even if we have seen a lot of these of threads I'll give you points for clearly defining what you want and what you do. Most such threads are just "the grass is greener" whines.

In Pentax you can get to 500mm with the well regarded Sigma 500mm f/4.5 or 560mm with the Pentax 560, but that is f/5.6, but other than that and relying on decades old glass designed for film there is not much happening in Pentax land.

If you are into long, fast glass and have the budget for it then I would say move on. Even if Pentax does move back into the big glass categories it will be years before they get around to such things and I suspect the market is so small they will not bother trying.

But before you jump you might want to look into the DA 560mm and see if it fits your needs. And AFAIK there is no 600mm f/2.8 available from anyone only 600mm f/4 such as Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens 5125B002 B&H Photo Video

So Canon 5d mkIII ($3,000) plus a 600mm f/4 ($12,000) plus maybe $1,000 for tripod and head should put you in good shape.
01-21-2015, 10:50 PM   #3
Administrator
Site Webmaster
Adam's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Arizona
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 42,390
I would recommend renting an alternative setup to see how well it works for your particular needs. All systems have their pros and cons, and while competing autofocus systems are still ahead of Pentax for moving subjects, and you may well end up discovering something about your current system that could outweigh the cons.

Without spending at least several days with a different system I would consider it a fairly big gamble to switch, especially given your current investment.

Adam
PentaxForums.com Webmaster (Site Usage Guide | Site Help | My Photography)



PentaxForums.com's high server and development costs are user-supported. You can help cover those costs by donating. Or, buy your photo gear from our affiliates, Adorama, B&H Photo, or Topaz Labs, and get FREE Marketplace access - click here to see how! Trusted Pentax retailers:

01-21-2015, 11:44 PM - 1 Like   #4
Pentaxian
calsan's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Perth, Australia
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,386
Sigma makes a 500mm f/2.8. I would say the hazards outweigh the benefits.



01-22-2015, 12:43 AM - 1 Like   #5
Senior Member




Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 138
QuoteOriginally posted by Kameko Quote
Like everyone else who's ever posted one of these threads, my reasons are "different" (sarcasm) from everyone else who's posted the same. In all seriousness I'm very much on the fence about whether I should stay with my current setup, or sell it and invest in a different system.

I've found my niche in wildlife (bird nerd) photography. A lot different from the street photography that I started off doing. I'm looking at my current lenses and find myself getting frustrated with the lack of reach. What I have for wildlife is my K-3, the FA* 400mm and the DA* 60-250 which sits unused nowadays. What I want is 600mm at f2.8 or f4 so I'm able to use a 1.4x or 2x TC. When I had the Pentax 1.4 TC with my 400, it was difficult shooting birds hiding under the shadows of trees at f8.

I've invested a bit of $ in my current system, that being the 14mm, FA 31mm, F50 1.7, DA* 60-250mm, FA* 400mm, 540 flash, K-3 Limited w/grip. I realize to sell it off and reinvest in Canikon I'd only be able to afford bare bones right now. However, I'd be able to walk into any camera shop and pick up whatever lens it is I want. On the flip side, if I could find a clean copy of the F or FA 600 f4 when finances permit, I MAY be happy enough with my set-up. Or in a years time I may decide that 600 isn't long for me. Thoughts?
Birds range from really tiny 10-20g creatures to Black Eagles and Flamingos and Albatrosses and so on.

With the big ones the problem is not the too short focal length but rather their location - they might be a few thousand kilometers away from where we usually shoot birds such that photographing them takes effort and money to plan a trip and carry the lenses and such. There is not much to do about.

For the tiny ones the approach is a bit different: although they do seem really tiny such that you feel that you need an extra 100-200mm focal length, I think what you would better try to do is learn about their behavior first, where they breed, where they perch, where it's most likely to find them and than wait for them patiently in a blind. A 200-300mm lens will suffice than. If you are not that kind of a person to try to lure them and wait for them then yes - you need a 600mm + 1.4 TC and just take snapshots as you go along. But this combo will most likely be a burden to you in 1-2 hrs walk.

I should mention that I did not wait for them in a blind yet but I have seen some great results on the web from people who do it. I did meticulously placed my feeder at home though to get nice background. This is another advantage - you can control the environment, such as having a higher shooting point so that you don't get sky between branches in the background etc. Here's an example of what it came out for me.
01-22-2015, 01:03 AM   #6
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 287
QuoteOriginally posted by Kameko Quote
Like everyone else who's ever posted one of these threads, my reasons are "different" (sarcasm) from everyone else who's posted the same. In all seriousness I'm very much on the fence about whether I should stay with my current setup, or sell it and invest in a different system.

I've found my niche in wildlife (bird nerd) photography. A lot different from the street photography that I started off doing. I'm looking at my current lenses and find myself getting frustrated with the lack of reach. What I have for wildlife is my K-3, the FA* 400mm and the DA* 60-250 which sits unused nowadays. What I want is 600mm at f2.8 or f4 so I'm able to use a 1.4x or 2x TC. When I had the Pentax 1.4 TC with my 400, it was difficult shooting birds hiding under the shadows of trees at f8.

I've invested a bit of $ in my current system, that being the 14mm, FA 31mm, F50 1.7, DA* 60-250mm, FA* 400mm, 540 flash, K-3 Limited w/grip. I realize to sell it off and reinvest in Canikon I'd only be able to afford bare bones right now. However, I'd be able to walk into any camera shop and pick up whatever lens it is I want. On the flip side, if I could find a clean copy of the F or FA 600 f4 when finances permit, I MAY be happy enough with my set-up. Or in a years time I may decide that 600 isn't long for me. Thoughts?
I'd stay and I'd go!
I haven't done birds in many years - not since the bad old film days really - but maybe my experience still has some validity. I obtained the best shots when I wore boots and rubber jacket and got down and dirty in the mud. Using a 600mm f/4.0 (!) on a ff almost guarantees you'll be mounting that behemoth on the back of your truck and never get very close at all :-(

So how about using what you have when you don't quite need the reach (also think in terms of wr sealing) and augment it with the small Nikon 1 system. I hear they have a 300mm lens that is supposed to be quite good. Perhaps that combination could give you the reach you need without forcing you to carry tons of gear?
01-22-2015, 03:45 AM - 1 Like   #7
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 881
Here's a lateral thought - buy a Q and an adapter. I've seen results from combining a Pentax Q body with a long lens which are frankly quite astounding.

Given your investment in Pentax gear at the moment an experiment with a Q + adapter wouldn't cost much and who knows, might work for you.
01-22-2015, 04:00 AM   #8
Loyal Site Supporter
clackers's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Melbourne
Photos: Albums
Posts: 8,675
QuoteOriginally posted by Kameko Quote
What I want is 600mm at f2.8 or f4 so I'm able to use a 1.4x or 2x TC.
Kameko, who makes a 600mm f2.8????

Consider a Fresnel lens flash extender for the birds in the shadows you're talking about, otherwise remote triggering of a camera placed up to the nest/feeding area.


Last edited by clackers; 01-22-2015 at 04:08 AM.
01-22-2015, 04:04 AM - 1 Like   #9
Site Supporter
Sandy Hancock's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 5,553
QuoteOriginally posted by JohnX Quote
Here's a lateral thought - buy a Q and an adapter. I've seen results from combining a Pentax Q body with a long lens which are frankly quite astounding.

Given your investment in Pentax gear at the moment an experiment with a Q + adapter wouldn't cost much and who knows, might work for you.
^this

A fast 135-200mm on the Q7 will give you your mythical 600/2.8 for a fraction of the cost. Of course you'll need to become very adept with manual focus, but I think most birders already are.
01-22-2015, 04:05 AM   #10
Senior Member




Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Hamburg
Posts: 287
I immediately thought of the Q too, but it lacks long native lenses and while I really enjoy adapting anything to the Q, the lack of a decent viewfinder and AF support would hold me back. YMMV of course.
01-22-2015, 04:20 AM   #11
Imp
Pentaxian
Imp's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Washington, DC
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,344
personally, for my birding photography, I find that my 300mm is barely enough. I would want 400mm. But beyond that, I couldn't see myself REALLY needed something above 600mm! What are you shooting?

And there is also the Bigma. And the yet-to-be-released 100-400 pentax
01-22-2015, 04:31 AM   #12
Pentaxian
zzeitg's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: South Bohemia
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,582
Something tells me that the Pentax telezoom could be even longer. But not f4 or even 2.8 for sure.
01-22-2015, 05:43 AM - 1 Like   #13
Site Supporter




Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 423
Can always buy the 645z. Take a picture of the tree the it'd is in and crop it to whatever you need
01-22-2015, 06:10 AM   #14
Site Supporter
Obin Robinson's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 266
QuoteOriginally posted by Another dyemention Quote
Can always buy the 645z. Take a picture of the tree the it'd is in and crop it to whatever you need


I've seen some incredible photos taken in that manner. I am surprised at how many wildlife photographers use big glass and medium format cameras. They just crop the part of the photo they need.


obin
01-22-2015, 06:19 AM   #15
Pentaxian
TaoMaas's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Oklahoma City
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 3,195
QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
If you are into long, fast glass and have the budget for it...
Budget is a big factor. How important is this to you? And, if you're married, what will your wife tolerate? We had a successful bird photographer speak to our camera club a few years back. He was using a Canon lens that cost him $12,000. Our club gasped when he told the price, but he said, "I know that's a lot. But I told my wife that her brother spent $20,000 on a bass boat that he only takes out 3-4 times a year. I use this lens every week and I sell pics from it which brings money back into our budget. So, in that light, it's not such a big expense." For me, the type of lens you're wanting would be a massive investment. For other folks I know, it would only be a minor inconvenience. When I was in your shoes (although I wasn't wanting long lenses), I set a goal for myself that I had to sell enough of my photography to cover the cost of the upgrade.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
400mm, camera, da*, dslr, f4, fa, fa*, k-3, photography, system, tc, wildlife
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Should I stay? Or, should I go? mdshooting Pentax Full Frame 176 10-18-2014 03:08 AM
What lenses should stay, which should go? grimmy2016 Pentax K-r 14 07-18-2012 06:11 PM
Should I stay with Pentax or not? RUSBoris Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 29 10-26-2010 02:55 PM
Should they stay or should they go? Some of my lenses that is. jboyde Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 2 07-30-2009 01:21 PM
Oh dear - another "how much should I charge" thread khardur Photographic Industry and Professionals 10 06-09-2009 09:01 AM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:12 PM. | See also: NikonForums.com, CanonForums.com part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top