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12-17-2009, 11:14 AM   #1
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KX at high(er) ISO for birds/wildlife?

I was wondering if anyone has some results to share from the KX using long lenses in typical lighting conditions for birding/wildilfe...so dawn, dusk and anything in between.

I have a 500/4.5 SMC Tak that I like to stop down to f8 or so get some decent DOF which helps in focussing, so I tend to expose at ISO400-800 on my K10D, but hesitate to go to 1600 due to noise.

Any thoughts?

12-18-2009, 05:38 AM   #2
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KX will be 2 stops better than k10 on high iso - so you can go to 1600-3200 easily.
but for serious bird-hunting I would change the system for Nikon or Canon
12-18-2009, 08:03 AM   #3
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I have used both the K7 and K10 at high ISO for wild life. The K10 on the basis that a shot is better than no shot.

here is the K10 at 1600 iso this is a crop of about 10% of the full frame Shot with K10D and sigma 70-200 F2.8 and 2x TC



here is the K7 at ISO 800 with a 100% crop of a larger image shot with K7 and SMC 300F4 plus SMC-F 1.7x AF TC


the background of the image for the K10D helps hide the noise. The K10D image was shot in RAW the K7D was a JPEG in camera.
12-18-2009, 10:19 AM   #4
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I have had some decent high ISO shots of herons in bad light so I think you should have no issues at all with the Kx. Those who use it say the high ISO performance is great. You DO NOT need a Nikon or Canon to shoot birds. That Tak of yours and some patience will get you some great results. This is a cropped 800 ISO shot of a heron around 8:30 pm last august from my K10D with a Sigma 70-300 (the cheap version).


Last edited by reeftool; 12-29-2016 at 04:42 PM.
12-18-2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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Thanks for the posts guys. I'm not serious enough into birding to change systems, there is no way I can afford to get to 500mm unless it's a bigma, so my 500/4.5 Tak shall suffice for now. Any body with decent high ISO should help out in this regard...
12-18-2009, 01:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by d.bradley Quote
Thanks for the posts guys. I'm not serious enough into birding to change systems, there is no way I can afford to get to 500mm unless it's a bigma, so my 500/4.5 Tak shall suffice for now. Any body with decent high ISO should help out in this regard...
If you have the 500 F4.5 then you should have no problem with any of the pentax cameras currently available (K7, Kx, or K20) in duplicating the K7 shot I took of the black crowned night heron above

shot at 800 ISO and 1/40th of a second.

I would expect the PF and CA opf the 500 F4.5 to be the same as my SMC 300F4 and the 1.7x AF TC combined
12-18-2009, 02:09 PM   #7
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There are a few K-x bird samples starting to show up on places like flickr. Eg this 500mm Sigma shot at 1600 ISO:



from user Zygonyx:
Flickr: Zygonyx's Photostream

It might be worth prowling flickr for similar images - more and more K-x pictures are turning up on flickr each day.
12-18-2009, 02:18 PM   #8
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A simple example of my own. I'm not sure if this qualifies, but it's a 800 ISO K-x shot using a old 100-300mm Sigma. Light was very poor.

Overcast and rainy day, bird sheltering under the car port. (Wet) Pied Butcherbird, ISO 800, 1/180 sec, f8, handheld, SR on.



Poor framing, I know.

12-18-2009, 04:42 PM   #9
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Thanks for the samples guys! The K10D is good in good light at ISO800:



But in poor light it starts to suffer:


The K-X certainly does look like it can handle those mid ISO's admirably, and one would help that the images would hold up to pushing the exposure in post as well.
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