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09-24-2018, 07:01 AM   #256
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
It appears to be related to the technology not the design of the lens per say. The diffraction characteristics of the PF lens supposedly cause this. If you look at the flickr photo and the comments only one of the lights in the shot seems to have the effect - the light needs to be strong to have the effect visible. In any case there are some corrections in the Nikon specific raw developer (can't recall the name). I can't find a lot of info that is recent on this phenomenon which leads me to think most photographers aren't finding it a huge problem. Nikon also claims the 500 PF has improved the element and has less flare than the previous PF lenses.
OK, I see the issue now, in the car headlights on the night-time street shot. Given the most common use-cases for this lens - wildlife, BIF, sports etc. - I can't see that being a big problem. I guess you just need to be aware of it and shoot accordingly. Considering the size and weight of a more traditional 500mm f/4 design, it's a small price to pay, IMHO.

Looks like it's capable of very impressive detail, too. Those bird shots are fantastic...

09-24-2018, 07:07 AM - 1 Like   #257
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
OK, I see the issue now, in the car headlights on the night-time street shot. Given the most common use-cases for this lens - wildlife, BIF, sports etc. - I can't see that being a big problem. I guess you just need to be aware of it and shoot accordingly. Considering the size and weight of a more traditional 500mm f/4 design, it's a small price to pay, IMHO.

Looks like it's capable of very impressive detail, too. Those bird shots are fantastic...
I tend to agree. It is however important to know since some people use long lenses for detail landscapes that might have the sun or other bring sources of light in the frame.
10-07-2018, 10:44 AM - 2 Likes   #258
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
I'm having trouble sleeping...
This decision is looming over my soul! The thought of leaving Pentax sends a twisting, stabbing, burning, gut wretching sensation...

I'm an enthusiast.
I love wildlife photography, it's the root of my hobby.

I'll occasionally shoot landscapes, portraits, macro, astro etc. But again, wildlife is my primary subject.


I first learned how to shoot with a Pentax K-30 with a 60 year old 50mm manual lens.
I set the camera on full manual and cranked out 25,000 images that year. Let's say 0.01% keeper rate... But I learned so much!
Upgrading to the K-3ii was incredible... However I still felt like the AF was lacking, but perhaps if was user error.

A few years go by and I'm still troubled by the keeper rates of my wildlife shots, particularly BIF.
The K-3ii is an incredible camera. I love pixelshift, astrotracer, GPS. I don't care for an onboard flash so that's a welcomed "feature".
The weather sealing, the ergonomics (though it feels smalls, even with the D-BG5 - I have big hands)...
But the AF is holding me back...


I jotted down some rough figures. I could likely sell ALL my Pentax gear (listed below) and be able to fund a D500 and the 200-500 F5.6. But I wouldn't be able to replace the other lenses I currently own!

K-3ii
AF201 flash
D-BG5 grip
SMC DA15 ltd
HD DA35 ltd
HD DA70 ltd
DFA 100 WR
HD DA 1.4xTC
DA*300


Is that worth it?
Part of me says yes - switching systems is going to hurt regardless, but if I'm shooting wildlife primarily and switch now I'll see the benefits I'm looking for and can build my other gear back up over time.
Also, for a couple hundred bucks I could get a few fast primes to hold me over...

Part of me says no - WAIT FOR THE K-3II SUCCESSOR! ... When the D500 came out I was thinking about switching but decided to wait... It's been a while now and I'm still waiting.
I'm worried that the K-3ii successor, whenever it does finally come out, will not meet my needs in terms of AF performance and tracking. But if it does, I would gladly stay with Pentax.



It's sad to even have to consider this, but when I'm shooting BIF and my keeper rate is 1/10 - 3/10... something needs to change.
I'm confident it's not my shooting style either. I've learned how to work with my gear over the last few years.



I would love some opinions in the comments below. What's your take?
Obviously on a Pentax forum I will get the wrath of switching! But I'm doing that to myself already

When it's solely a hobby it's difficult to justify such a drastic financial hit, switching systems (assuming a full replacement of everything I have, or comparable.)
But at the same time, if it's a hobby (for sole enjoyment) and I'm getting frustrated by the limitations of my gear, isn't that time for a re-evaluation?



I'm sure the D500 is a very capable camera aside from shorts/action photography.
I'd like to see how it compares for Macro (likely my second most favorite shooting style aside from wildlife).
Does the Nikon equivalent compete with the K-3ii + DFA 100mm Macro?


So many questions.
So many feels.


Where's my support group?!
Go rent systems, play with them, try them out. Try the Olympus 300 Pro with the new EM1.ii. Try the D500 with 200-500. Play with the Pentax 150-450. Look at the new PF500 from Nikon. Check out what the new Fuji can do. There is so much news and excitement around in AF performance and new lenses, go for it. Pentax is pretty silent with new products or superlatives, but they perform well and products are offered at decent prices. OK, DA*200/300 are slow, DA560 ended up becoming very long - only the 150-450 appears to be a serious competitor.

Pentax may show something in the next couple months, but you also should check out what kind of lens you prefer and what is available - even in the used market and third party offerings. A Sigma 4.5/500 with ultarsonic AF is easy to find used for Canon and Nikon - not for Pentax, and only as screw drive.
A K3iii with competitive AF performance is only the first step into a long tele system. Some types of lenses are missing in Pentax land and the current camera lineup is not asking for long tele lenses.
10-19-2018, 07:12 AM   #259
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Here's an update!


I made the jump...
I sold ALL my Pentax gear on the marketplace here (true testament to this forum and the people here. Great transactions and communication with my buyers and everything went very smoothly!)

I picked up a lightly used D500 on eBay for $1000 and a 200-500 F5.6 VR from Adorama for $950
I was expecting to drop $2500-$2700 for these two so with the extra $$$ I grabbed a Tamron 10-24 VC (the newest model) AND still had money left over for a new road bike

First impressions on the D500 compared to the K-3ii:
PROS:
- BLOWN AWAY by the D500 AF
- High ISO is much cleaner than the K-3ii
- Custom control assignment is a GAME CHANGER (wasn't expecting this...) - This deserves much more attention than it gets! I use AF-C all the time now, back button AF enabled with shutter button AF disabled. There is a Pv button on the front of the camera that I set to AF mode 25 pt dynamic + AF-on. And the Fn1 button below the Pv button to change shooting modes.... Without moving my hand and compromising my handle on a large rig, I can fire the shutter with my index, focus single point with my thumb, focus 25 pt dynamic with my middle finger and change shooting modes with my ring finger... It's fantastic to be able to control so much without moving my eye from the viewfinder or moving my hand at all. The joystick has a center push function as well that I set it to reset the focus point. So if I'm single point focusing on a subject to the edge of my frame and something takes off in the center on my view finder, I can click the joystick press the Pv button and nail focus tracking on that other subject. This same transition would have been nearly impossible in the same amount of time with my K-3ii.
- Flip out screen is nice, already used it on a product shoot where I was pressed against a wall and couldn't see the screen or the viewfinder to compose the shot.
- Surprisingly I like the touchscreen... I actually wish I could use it for menu options, but for Live View focusing it's wonderful. I've always said I cared less for touchscreen, but now I feel differently. Also, it is truly amazing how many people see a screen and just assume it 'pinch-zooms' like a smart phone... My family was going through some shots I took and naturally 'pinch-zoomed' without know if the camera allowed this functionality (it does). Pretty cool I thought.

CONS:
- NO focus peaking... I will miss this once I finally pick up a dedicated macro lens, I'm sure!
- The viewfinder on the K-3ii is better... Something about it, can't really describe it. It feels more "in-focus" than the D500... And yes, I've adjusted the diopter!
- Card slot door feels better on the K-3ii - I know this is a weird one, but the D500 just feels like it would be the first thing to go if it took a tumble!
- I also prefer the battery door on the K-3ii. Something about the turn/key operation to access the battery just felt right. I know some people overlook these things, but having confidence in your gear means you aren't thinking about it during the shot... If you are worried about a card slot door popping open or a battery falling out, you aren't fully focused on your subject (no pun intended ). I doubt the D500 is going to fall apart, it just feels less sturdy than my K-3ii did.
- 24 vs 21 MP... The K-3ii has a slight advantage when it comes to extreme cropping.


There are more PROS and CONS than this; little things like a small pin-notch in the bottom of the D500 for L brackets to 'slot' into when screwed in is super convenient. The K-3ii doesn't have this and my L bracket would have to be CRANKED tight so it didn't slide around.
Also the D500 just feels better in hand, but that's personal preference as I have fairly large hands...
The K-3ii had a certain feel to it that I loved for just going outside and walking around. The D500 feels intrusive in that sense. Definitely not a 'street camera'.



OK... Now to the 200-500 F5.6 VR.
Sorry, but anyone here that said that lens would be the 'weak link' to my transition was wrong!

This lens is remarkable!
But to be fair...

First impressions on the 200-500 F5.6 VR compared to the DA*300 + 1.4xTC:
PROS:
- VR > WOW... Just WOW! I mean, in body stabilization is great and all... But in-lens VR provides a stabilized view finder!! If you haven't experienced this, you don't know what you're missing. Composing a shot handheld at 500mm is a walk in the park with this VR system. Initial testing - I got TACK SHARP images at 1/30s, 500mm, F5.6... I thought my mind was playing tricks on me... It's unreal...
- SHARP at F5.6. Comparable to the DA*300 + 1.4xTC at F5.6...
- IQ equal throughout the focal range > Some of these big zooms have IQ fall off at the max focal length, but the 200-500 is perfect at 500... No need to turn it back a hair to 480mm like I used to on my Bigma.
- BOKEH! > I've often cringed at the bokeh of the DA*300 + 1.4XTC.. It's just distracting. The 200-500 at F5.6 is better. Not comparing it to a 500mm F4 by any means! But it's better than the DA*300 combo.

CONS:
- Size > This lens is heavy, and bulky. It balances very well on the D500 actually, but compared to the DA*300 + 1.4xTC it's a beast...
- Focus ring placement... The focus ring is veryyyyy smooth, and feather-light.... I can focus with my pinky with minimal effort, cool right? Well, sometimes.... My hand positioning that makes the lens comfortable in hand also happens to land me on top of the focus ring, see where I'm going with this? AF on my subject, the slightest movement of my hand will push the focus out. I just need to work on placing my hand elsewhere on the lens when handheld shooting.
- F5.6 > honestly this lens is sharp at F5.6 AND if it were F4 it would cost 5 times as much and weight twice as much. The high ISO capabilities of the D500 allow F5.6 to be acceptable. Regardless, I put it here because if I was shooting at 300mm, the DA*300 by itself would offer F4. So there's that.
- It's plasticky... But that could be a PRO also... Ever shot the DA*300 in middle of January? Even with gloves on that metal lens body send shivers through my entire body. Looking forward to having a less thermal-conductive material in hand this winter!


You may say I've got honeymoon feelings for my new gear.
Maybe you're right, I am very happy with this upgrade for my style of shooting...

I already miss my DFA 100mm macro. And my DA35 macro!
Those were my babies and they rendered beautifully... I miss the focus peaking of the K-3ii and the smaller ergonomics of the camera at times when I didn't need the bulky rig...

But to meet my desires in wildlife photography, I had to move on...


OH YEAH, and....
Once I got my new camera I found out a close friend of mine used to shoot Nikon about 10 years ago.. He has a 70-200 F2.8 and a 17-55 F2.8 sitting in his closet, untouched for almost a decade... He said I could "long-term borrow" them.
Perk of becoming a "Nikonian"? I'd say so.



I'm sticking around these forums for the tips and tricks you all provide, along with the general community support and involvement. There is truly nothing out there like PentaxForums.

Who knows, maybe I'll grab a GRIII for a walk around 'snapshot' camera and you all will accept me again.


Last edited by UserAccessDenied; 10-19-2018 at 07:18 AM.
10-19-2018, 11:10 AM   #260
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
You may say I've got honeymoon feelings for my new gear.
Maybe you're right, I am very happy with this upgrade for my style of shooting...
Had a feeling you would like it. Good choice
10-20-2018, 04:11 PM   #261
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
Here's an update!


I made the jump...
I sold ALL my Pentax gear on the marketplace here (true testament to this forum and the people here. Great transactions and communication with my buyers and everything went very smoothly!)

I picked up a lightly used D500 on eBay for $1000 and a 200-500 F5.6 VR from Adorama for $950
I was expecting to drop $2500-$2700 for these two so with the extra $$$ I grabbed a Tamron 10-24 VC (the newest model) AND still had money left over for a new road bike

First impressions on the D500 compared to the K-3ii:
PROS:
- BLOWN AWAY by the D500 AF
- High ISO is much cleaner than the K-3ii
- Custom control assignment is a GAME CHANGER (wasn't expecting this...) - This deserves much more attention than it gets! I use AF-C all the time now, back button AF enabled with shutter button AF disabled. There is a Pv button on the front of the camera that I set to AF mode 25 pt dynamic + AF-on. And the Fn1 button below the Pv button to change shooting modes.... Without moving my hand and compromising my handle on a large rig, I can fire the shutter with my index, focus single point with my thumb, focus 25 pt dynamic with my middle finger and change shooting modes with my ring finger... It's fantastic to be able to control so much without moving my eye from the viewfinder or moving my hand at all. The joystick has a center push function as well that I set it to reset the focus point. So if I'm single point focusing on a subject to the edge of my frame and something takes off in the center on my view finder, I can click the joystick press the Pv button and nail focus tracking on that other subject. This same transition would have been nearly impossible in the same amount of time with my K-3ii.
- Flip out screen is nice, already used it on a product shoot where I was pressed against a wall and couldn't see the screen or the viewfinder to compose the shot.
- Surprisingly I like the touchscreen... I actually wish I could use it for menu options, but for Live View focusing it's wonderful. I've always said I cared less for touchscreen, but now I feel differently. Also, it is truly amazing how many people see a screen and just assume it 'pinch-zooms' like a smart phone... My family was going through some shots I took and naturally 'pinch-zoomed' without know if the camera allowed this functionality (it does). Pretty cool I thought.

CONS:
- NO focus peaking... I will miss this once I finally pick up a dedicated macro lens, I'm sure!
- The viewfinder on the K-3ii is better... Something about it, can't really describe it. It feels more "in-focus" than the D500... And yes, I've adjusted the diopter!
- Card slot door feels better on the K-3ii - I know this is a weird one, but the D500 just feels like it would be the first thing to go if it took a tumble!
- I also prefer the battery door on the K-3ii. Something about the turn/key operation to access the battery just felt right. I know some people overlook these things, but having confidence in your gear means you aren't thinking about it during the shot... If you are worried about a card slot door popping open or a battery falling out, you aren't fully focused on your subject (no pun intended ). I doubt the D500 is going to fall apart, it just feels less sturdy than my K-3ii did.
- 24 vs 21 MP... The K-3ii has a slight advantage when it comes to extreme cropping.


There are more PROS and CONS than this; little things like a small pin-notch in the bottom of the D500 for L brackets to 'slot' into when screwed in is super convenient. The K-3ii doesn't have this and my L bracket would have to be CRANKED tight so it didn't slide around.
Also the D500 just feels better in hand, but that's personal preference as I have fairly large hands...
The K-3ii had a certain feel to it that I loved for just going outside and walking around. The D500 feels intrusive in that sense. Definitely not a 'street camera'.



OK... Now to the 200-500 F5.6 VR.
Sorry, but anyone here that said that lens would be the 'weak link' to my transition was wrong!

This lens is remarkable!
But to be fair...

First impressions on the 200-500 F5.6 VR compared to the DA*300 + 1.4xTC:
PROS:
- VR > WOW... Just WOW! I mean, in body stabilization is great and all... But in-lens VR provides a stabilized view finder!! If you haven't experienced this, you don't know what you're missing. Composing a shot handheld at 500mm is a walk in the park with this VR system. Initial testing - I got TACK SHARP images at 1/30s, 500mm, F5.6... I thought my mind was playing tricks on me... It's unreal...
- SHARP at F5.6. Comparable to the DA*300 + 1.4xTC at F5.6...
- IQ equal throughout the focal range > Some of these big zooms have IQ fall off at the max focal length, but the 200-500 is perfect at 500... No need to turn it back a hair to 480mm like I used to on my Bigma.
- BOKEH! > I've often cringed at the bokeh of the DA*300 + 1.4XTC.. It's just distracting. The 200-500 at F5.6 is better. Not comparing it to a 500mm F4 by any means! But it's better than the DA*300 combo.

CONS:
- Size > This lens is heavy, and bulky. It balances very well on the D500 actually, but compared to the DA*300 + 1.4xTC it's a beast...
- Focus ring placement... The focus ring is veryyyyy smooth, and feather-light.... I can focus with my pinky with minimal effort, cool right? Well, sometimes.... My hand positioning that makes the lens comfortable in hand also happens to land me on top of the focus ring, see where I'm going with this? AF on my subject, the slightest movement of my hand will push the focus out. I just need to work on placing my hand elsewhere on the lens when handheld shooting.
- F5.6 > honestly this lens is sharp at F5.6 AND if it were F4 it would cost 5 times as much and weight twice as much. The high ISO capabilities of the D500 allow F5.6 to be acceptable. Regardless, I put it here because if I was shooting at 300mm, the DA*300 by itself would offer F4. So there's that.
- It's plasticky... But that could be a PRO also... Ever shot the DA*300 in middle of January? Even with gloves on that metal lens body send shivers through my entire body. Looking forward to having a less thermal-conductive material in hand this winter!


You may say I've got honeymoon feelings for my new gear.
Maybe you're right, I am very happy with this upgrade for my style of shooting...

I already miss my DFA 100mm macro. And my DA35 macro!
Those were my babies and they rendered beautifully... I miss the focus peaking of the K-3ii and the smaller ergonomics of the camera at times when I didn't need the bulky rig...

But to meet my desires in wildlife photography, I had to move on...


OH YEAH, and....
Once I got my new camera I found out a close friend of mine used to shoot Nikon about 10 years ago.. He has a 70-200 F2.8 and a 17-55 F2.8 sitting in his closet, untouched for almost a decade... He said I could "long-term borrow" them.
Perk of becoming a "Nikonian"? I'd say so.



I'm sticking around these forums for the tips and tricks you all provide, along with the general community support and involvement. There is truly nothing out there like PentaxForums.

Who knows, maybe I'll grab a GRIII for a walk around 'snapshot' camera and you all will accept me again.
I for one appreciate the field report and the detail. I have a lot of trouble imagining the multiple finger manipulations and the joystick work but I've never been one to love complex finger manipulation with my shooting - I'm still using single point AF most of the time! (Even on my m43 gear!) I am happy to hear this is working well for you.
10-21-2018, 03:29 AM   #262
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QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
The joystick has a center push function as well that I set it to reset the focus point.
Another nice feature with the push center is that you can setup when previewing your image on back it will zoom in on the AF point to do a spot check on focus

QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
But in-lens VR provides a stabilized view finder!! If you haven't experienced this, you don't know what you're missing.
This is one of the feature that I first noticed when switching, you also have the benefit of using VR on a tripod with some of the newer VR lenses will sense when they are on a tripod and accommodate how they operate. I use VR on the tripod at shutter speeds that will affect IQ to help eliminate movement from activating the shutter and any movement from wind and so on. With some of the better VR systems they are very effective for this.

QuoteOriginally posted by UserAccessDenied Quote
I just need to work on placing my hand elsewhere on the lens when handheld shooting.
- F5.6 > honestly this lens is sharp at F5.6 AND if it were F4 it would cost 5 times as much and weight twice as much.
Some of the early ones had issues but the 3 I tried worked very well. I tried using the new 1.4 mk3 conv with it and it worked better than I would have expected coming from pentax
03-23-2019, 07:52 AM   #263
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 134
I've decided to wait for this rumored 2020 reveal from Pentax when it comes to APS-C.

Recently sold off some Nikon and Canon gear since people in blind tests seem to always choose the Pentax cameras or older Nikon Camera images either on screen or in printouts. My Olympus E-M1 Mark ii for all intents and purposes replaced my D500 and the e-m1 mark ii was much better at general purpose.

I haven't been all that impressed with new cameras over the past coupe years. The exception being the original K-1 obviously.

However since your passion is wildlife photography the D500 is the way to go. Its better than the D850 was far as tracking goes. Just don't expect good results with the D500 the wider the angle you go and bring down the exposure and a couple stops so that the details don't get blown out as much.

Sorry if this isn't helpful.


Last edited by solitudebound; 03-23-2019 at 08:04 AM.
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