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01-24-2009, 08:37 AM   #1
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Focus motor noise. Is it a concern?

Good day all,
Was at the local camera store today, was holding and playing with cameras and narrowed it down to 2. I am really liking the k200d,.
My question is that I intend to do a fair amount of wildlife photography. I noticed that when focusing the motor noise is considerably louder than the Canon or Nikon. Do you think this is a concern when trying to get the shot or am I making to much of it.
Thanks.
S.B.

01-24-2009, 11:58 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sitting Bull Quote
Good day all,
Was at the local camera store today, was holding and playing with cameras and narrowed it down to 2. I am really liking the k200d,.
My question is that I intend to do a fair amount of wildlife photography. I noticed that when focusing the motor noise is considerably louder than the Canon or Nikon. Do you think this is a concern when trying to get the shot or am I making to much of it.
Thanks.
S.B.
The difference here is between a lens with an internal motor and one without. The camera motor is designed to be small enough to fit in the camera but powerful enough to drive pretty big lenses, but is not optimized for noise. Note that the lenses with an internal motor are sold at a premium, but sometimes have better optics. Check out PENTAX DA* 300 or Sigma 150-500 HSM. Here's a comparison between two Pentax lenses, the kit lens mark II and one with an internal motor: YouTube - pentaxlan's Channel

The effect of the noise depends on what kind of wildlife you're shooting. The critter in my avatar (which was shot with my da 55-300) does not appreciate camera beeps and buzz. So turning off the beeping and getting a lens with an internal motor would help--or using manual focus.
01-24-2009, 01:43 PM   #3
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So, I plan on getting the K200d with the 18-55 mm lens, and I will be taking shot of anything that moves. Deer , Elk, Moose, Bears, Rabbits you name it. Are you saying that I should be looking at lenses with motors?. Does Pentax make those kind? if so what happens to the body motor. If not should I be going to Nikon or canon.?
Sorry if I am not getting this.
01-24-2009, 03:17 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sitting Bull Quote
So, I plan on getting the K200d with the 18-55 mm lens, and I will be taking shot of anything that moves. Deer , Elk, Moose, Bears, Rabbits you name it. Are you saying that I should be looking at lenses with motors?. Does Pentax make those kind? if so what happens to the body motor. If not should I be going to Nikon or canon.?
Sorry if I am not getting this.
Yes, Pentax lenses with "SDM" beside their name have very quiet motors. Look at the youtube videos I uploaded.

For wildlife photography you probably want a greater focal length. Forget about the kit lens--of any brand's camera. DA 55-300 is a great lens, has good image quality and is relatively cheap. It's not quiet though and because of its small aperture it's inappropriate for low-light situations--if you use auto-focus. In any case, here's a sample I found:

http://flickr.com/photos/bonedad/2769449504

Sigma's 150-500 HSM for Pentax cameras is quiet and has a focal length more appropriate for wildlife photography, but, unfortunately, it's at least three times as expensive.

Most animals won't be bothered by the camera's motor--but do turn off the focus confirming beep. Also, get a tripod if you intend to shoot at 300-500 mm.


Last edited by asdf; 01-24-2009 at 03:32 PM.
01-24-2009, 05:33 PM   #5
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01-24-2009, 06:25 PM   #6
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Thanks guys,
Now I have a better understanding.
This is all new to me but it sure is fascinating. I was out today with a good friend in Elk Island Park looking for wildlife . We saw deer, elk grouse a moose and bison. He is what I would consider a pro and he is the one who sparked the desire in me to get a camera. He shoots Canon. I told him about the K200d and how much I liked it and the way it fit in my hand. He basically told me to try them all out and which ever one feels good and has the options that I wanted for the price that I could afford, get that one. Not ounce did he try to sway me to his brand . I Had brought my point and shoot and got some real close shots of some buffalo. I cant wait t'ill I get a real camera.
Thanks for your patience with the basic questions.
01-24-2009, 10:22 PM   #7
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You have a very good friend there. Elk Island is on my list of places to go before I cannot trailer any more.
01-25-2009, 12:53 AM   #8
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If you're going to do elk and bear with an 18-55, please let us know beforehand which funeral home you use. I'm sure we'd all like to chip in on a nice wreath for you.

You're going to want something considerably longer than 55mm for wildlife.

01-25-2009, 01:10 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
If you're going to do elk and bear with an 18-55, please let us know beforehand which funeral home you use. I'm sure we'd all like to chip in on a nice wreath for you.

You're going to want something considerably longer than 55mm for wildlife.

made me laugh there Mike...

but at the end of the day, you're right. Wildlife with kit... Hard to imagine. Next door to my house is Richmond park. The Red Deer in there are very calm and friendly. Used to people photographing them too. Let you come as close as 10m but still, eve Sigma 105 is too short. 135 is on the edge. For propper wildlife I'd imagine even 200 being tad on the short side. 300 and longer is the way to go.
The winner: DA*300/4 long, quiet weather sealed, fast enough but $$$
other quiet alternatives: get any of the old long glass. I mean A (idealy) M, K series. Myself I have SMC400/5.6 (K series). MF is as quiet as it gets if you're fast enough.
BR
Peter
01-25-2009, 02:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
If you're going to do elk and bear with an 18-55, please let us know beforehand which funeral home you use. I'm sure we'd all like to chip in on a nice wreath for you.

You're going to want something considerably longer than 55mm for wildlife.
Mike is right. At least the last sentence...
With bears I seem to be using focal lengths between 200mm and 400mm most of the time.
I have never found AF noise a problem, at least not with bears, moose or other animals of that caliber. Not even with traditional shaft-driven AF lenses utilising the body motor. Cannot recall a single incident where this would have become a problem. Lots of other problems though...
However,there are differences among these lenses as well. High quality telephotos are usually not even nearly as noisy as cheapo kit lenses. SDM is guiet, sure, but I have not really found this to be a big issue. Not from the animals point of view at least... Somehow the body beeps seem to catch the attention of the animals more effectively.
And yes, you do need support for the long lenses. I like monopods as they do not limit your mobility too much.
01-25-2009, 07:24 AM   #11
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Thanks guys for your replies,
I have spent many hours and days in the bush pursuing other hobbies . I have some great shots of bears and big ones taken with a point & shoot. Gotta have a little challenge eh! can't get close and personal with those big lenses, have to feel the experience, the moment.
I had just noticed in the store how loud the Pentax was compared to other cameras and wanted to know if and how it affected you and getting close to animals. I had a look at some of those lenses. Some are pretty pricy. I understand you get what you pay for, but I won't be able to afford that for a little while yet. I am contemplating buying the K200d body with the 18-250 lens to get started with.
I find that the lenses are a little difficult for me to understand. I don't quite understand the #'s on the lens and how that all l translates to the type of pictures I will get.
Example would be a standard 18-55 mm and a 16-45 mm. What differences will I see in the picture.? Lots to learn but extremely interesting. I literally no nothing about photography.

Last edited by Sitting Bull; 01-25-2009 at 07:29 AM.
01-26-2009, 02:57 AM   #12
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I was on the same boat like you a year ago.

Best advice is to start reading the basics. Like wiki/ google search: beginner dslr/ apecture/ iso/ shutter speed, whatever term u come across and couldn't understand.

Go with an affordable kit set (whatever brand is a start, but Pentax will definitely be the preference anyone u ask in this forum) and start shooting. Read more as you shoot and realising the effects of various setting will give.

Most importantly from now, look at the photo information of other people's photos. As you read, you'll realise how the images are presented the way they are from their settings.

Have fun.
01-26-2009, 04:46 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sitting Bull Quote
I had a look at some of those lenses. Some are pretty pricy. I understand you get what you pay for, but I won't be able to afford that for a little while yet.
Don't forget that there is always the option of used lenses. Practically every lens I own is used, with the lenses I use for my everyday shooting being 35~40 years old. You'll find lots of folks here lovingly using previously-owned lenses....even folks who can afford to buy everything new if they want to.
01-26-2009, 09:48 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
Don't forget that there is always the option of used lenses. Practically every lens I own is used, with the lenses I use for my everyday shooting being 35~40 years old. You'll find lots of folks here lovingly using previously-owned lenses....even folks who can afford to buy everything new if they want to.
And also older manual focus lenses are very quiet.
01-26-2009, 11:55 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sitting Bull Quote
I am contemplating buying the K200d body with the 18-250 lens to get started with.
I have the K200d and 18-250 combination and like it a lot... here's the thread that led to the purchase.

FWIW, I really dig the whirrs and clunks that my camera makes. However, I haven't tried to photography skittish wildlife yet.

Reid
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