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Forum: Post Your Photos! 08-28-2017, 10:29 AM  
Nature The Diamond Ring
Posted By Kath
Replies: 13
Views: 603
Thanks, vagrant10. I hold the DA*300 responsible for rendering those rays just so.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 08-23-2017, 05:41 PM  
Nature The Diamond Ring
Posted By Kath
Replies: 13
Views: 603
Thank you, Sailor and ColoradoCJ!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 08-23-2017, 10:14 AM  
Nature The Diamond Ring
Posted By Kath
Replies: 13
Views: 603
Thank you, all. What a terrific experience!
Forum: Mini-Challenges, Games, and Photo Stories 08-23-2017, 02:22 AM  
Contest 2017 Solar Eclipse Challenge!
Posted By Kath
Replies: 99
Views: 9,756
I left the house at 0400 to drive 35 miles south from Portland and try to find a nice open space in the eclipse path. I spent the next 7 hours alone in a field with a great view of the eastern and southern sky. What a terrific experience, likely once in a lifetime for me.

I'd never tried solar photography before, but decided to try a 4x4 solar filter (16.5 stops) on my DA* 300mm. The quality of that lens is really superb. I set up for auto bracketing, 5 shots each, aperture priority so I could control the ISO, and took photos from start to finish. This is the best of the lot.


Forum: Post Your Photos! 08-23-2017, 02:13 AM  
Nature The Diamond Ring
Posted By Kath
Replies: 13
Views: 603
My "Diamond Ring" taken in the path of totality on a farm in Liberal, Oregon.


Forum: Pentax News and Rumors 02-20-2017, 02:52 PM  
HD PENTAX-D FA 150-450mm F4.5-5.6ED DC AW
Posted By Kath
Replies: 1,426
Views: 223,307
I think the answer to this lies mostly in another question: how often are you shooting birds at close range (i.e., from 150-250)? If the answer is "a lot", then maybe the 150-450 is for you. If "not so much", then I recommend the prime.

Here's why: The image quality of the DA*300 is widely accepted as superb and I can confirm that fact. Zzeitg's gorgeous photos on this forum are a great example. Paired with the 1.4 TC, it is uncommonly terrific. The image quality of the150-450 has many proponents as well.

But I have found that carrying more FL variability than I need is nothing but a drain on me. There are times when it's appropriate, as you've found with the Bigma, but the 300 is a beautiful little lens for so much reach, and the TC adds just the smallest bit of length. I have two of the Sigma 150-500s and use them often, but their images can't begin to compete with the 300. Likely you've also discovered that, thus your desire to upgrade.

I got tired of lugging around - and holding up - heavy lenses when I want to be on a lightweight outing. Are there times when I have the prime on and find I'm too close? Once in a blue moon, yes. So much more often, especially with smaller subjects, I find I need all of the 420 I can get. 450 would be nice but, for me, not at the expense of weight.
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-20-2017, 02:18 PM  
Perfect focus everytime
Posted By Kath
Replies: 277
Views: 78,180
Hmmmm... how much time is "eventually"? I can't say I've noticed this, perhaps because I generally take a shot rather quickly when in continuous. And then am reacquiring the subject anyway. Anyone else? Could be something in the manual or Ebook about it.
Forum: Lens Clubs 02-20-2017, 02:11 PM  
The 300mm plus lens Club discuss your long lenses.
Posted By Kath
Replies: 30,222
Views: 2,707,801
I have both the DA*300 and the F*300. They're both fantastic lenses but differ for me in these ways:

The DA generally acquires focus faster. Its newer design gives it advantages in responsiveness over the F*.

The F* is a lovely legacy lens with an image quality that surpasses the DA in many ways. The colors are richer and it has a 3D quality I can't quite describe. It's also full frame compatible, since it's a film-era lens.

I bought the DA because I wanted to use my 1.4 TC to its greatest advantage. Though I've paired the TC with the F*, it doesn't seem quite as happy in the pairing as the DA. Those two seem made for each other.
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 02-14-2017, 12:48 AM  
Photoshop + Lightroom CC Deal is Back!
Posted By Kath
Replies: 4
Views: 678
... and Justin Trudeau.
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-14-2017, 12:40 AM  
Perfect focus everytime
Posted By Kath
Replies: 277
Views: 78,180
Do Give it another try. I use on both the K3-II and the K50. Not sure what I would do without it at this point. Makes so much sense...
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-12-2017, 12:50 PM  
Perfect focus everytime
Posted By Kath
Replies: 277
Views: 78,180
Ha! So tough, I went running for the nearest hot cup of coffee! Gone are my ski patrol days when I could stand outside in the freezing cold for hours and barely feel it. :lol:

Those gloves look good. I did find myself a couple pair of similar ones at Costco and love them. They fit tight and are made for digital, too. So you're not flopping around with big fuzzy gloves. Big improvement!

amazon.com : HEAD Digital Sport Running Gloves with Sensatec ?tag=pentaxforums-20&"Touch Screen Compatible" : Gloves By Head : Sports & Outdoors
Forum: Lens Clubs 02-12-2017, 12:39 PM  
The 300mm plus lens Club discuss your long lenses.
Posted By Kath
Replies: 30,222
Views: 2,707,801
Hi Bob! It's such a downer when you work so hard to get sharp shots and find many OOF. I have hundreds. No, wait, thousands.

It sounds, from this and your later posts, that you've taken all the usual precautions and learning some new ones (like BBF, etc.). Some of that sounds like it's helping. And I see that some folks have offered their ideas, too. Here's my $.02:

I don't know about that 300 and whether the lens itself is off. Could be. The only way to know that will be when you can take a bunch of shots with lots of light, your heaviest tripod/gimbal setup, very high shutter speed, and dead-still subjects at increasing distances from the lens without moving it. If you find that your results match your field results (as in, sharp closer in, OOF farther out), either the focusing mechanism is off OR this is happening: You mention shooting mallards at 50-60 feet away and finding them not sharp when cropped close. I will offer that I don't shoot anything live at 60 feet with a 300mm lens. In my opinion, that's just too far away, forcing such a close crop that you're going to magnify the results of any slight movement too many times to get any real sharpness.

The other piece of advice I would offer, after you've done all the basic things to minimize camera movement is this: I now shoot at much higher shutter speeds than we might normally think of as adequate, precisely because long shots are so easily blurred by the slightest movement of camera or subject. 1/2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000... I try to take advantage of our higher available ISOs, preferring to deal with a little grain in post, if necessary, than to risk a whole card full of blurred shots.

I will also add that I think our perspective is somewhat skewed about the percentage of ultra-sharp wildlife shots we're actually seeing. There are many, many shots on this forum and elsewhere that aren't anywhere near tack-sharp. The ones that are - you know, when you say, "Wow!!" - are either a) made by very experienced people who are on the downside of the learning curve OR b) the one photo that made the grade out of perhaps several hundred that didn't OR c) a really lucky shot. I know my Lightroom catalogue is full of the ones that didn't make it.

I keep planning to end this and then think of one more thing... I have a cupboard full of lenses and, in some cases, multiples of the same lens. The multiples have taught me a real lesson in variability: one lens produces consistently sharp images while the other, its twin, will not. If you find your lenses are not producing for you after they've been tuned and you're controlling for all the variables, swap 'em out. Or stick with the one(s) that work and offload the others.

Good luck working with your new techniques and don't be too hard on yourself. I occasionally hit myself over the head for how crappy my shots are from a whole day of shooting and then remind myself that I was shooting from a kayak or other floating platform and, gee, maybe I should expect some movement? :) When I'm on solid ground, with the right lens and following all the rules, including high s/s, it works. Except for BIFs. That's a total crap shoot! :lol:
Forum: Lens Clubs 02-12-2017, 11:15 AM  
The 300mm plus lens Club discuss your long lenses.
Posted By Kath
Replies: 30,222
Views: 2,707,801
Gees, you're a brave man! I shoot from a kayak too, and the first thing I noticed was that big thing with those enormous teeth! Last year a playful otter got ahold of my kayak and I nearly capsized. I sure wouldn't want to meet up with that monster you have there!
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-12-2017, 11:05 AM  
Perfect focus everytime
Posted By Kath
Replies: 277
Views: 78,180
Nah, it pinked right up when I got inside. But I did find some gloves with better utility for camera use! Most of my cold-weather gear is for skiing and snowshoeing, way too bulky for shooting in extreme cold which, thankfully, I don't do very often.

Glad you enjoyed the photo!
Forum: Photographic Technique 02-04-2017, 03:01 PM  
Perfect focus everytime
Posted By Kath
Replies: 277
Views: 78,180
Thanks @jpzk! All for the cause, right? 😄
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-18-2017, 05:59 AM  
The 300mm plus lens Club discuss your long lenses.
Posted By Kath
Replies: 30,222
Views: 2,707,801
Great eagle shot. The perspective on the pup is perfect. Ya just wanna hug him!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-18-2017, 05:47 AM  
Nature A Hunting Red Tailed Hawk in Sky
Posted By Kath
Replies: 13
Views: 738
I'm inspired to take the Q with me next week and see what I can find!

Good stuff to know about the K1 and glad you're enjoying it. Maybe down the road for me...

---------- Post added 01-18-17 at 04:52 AM ----------



Hi! Thank you. It's the Pentax 1.4 TC. I'm not sure about "unreliable". It seems to work just fine. The bigger problem is getting and staying on your target with so much magnification. But for static subjects, it's a breeze.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-16-2017, 02:14 PM  
Nature A Hunting Red Tailed Hawk in Sky
Posted By Kath
Replies: 13
Views: 738
Well, that's always great! Sounds like you like the 560/K1 combination. i haven't gone that direction yet... so far, not willing to give up the small fps or reach advantage. Not a problem for you?

---------- Post added 01-16-17 at 01:17 PM ----------



Hi Bert! Yes, it is! But everything's relative... it's nowhere near as hard as when I put the Q on it LOL!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-16-2017, 01:02 PM  
Nature A Hunting Red Tailed Hawk in Sky
Posted By Kath
Replies: 13
Views: 738
Hi Kilo! We haven't talked in a while. Thanks!

Funny thing, I had the 1.4 TC long before I got the 560. I used it on the Sig and the 300, and anything else just for kicks. But, it really does well on the 560, if you can find your bird in the viewfinder LOL!

How've you been liking the 560? And, yep, you're right, the reach is never long enough!
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-15-2017, 02:53 AM  
Nature A Hunting Red Tailed Hawk in Sky
Posted By Kath
Replies: 13
Views: 738
You know, you could very well be right. I had this shot in a mix with a group of red tailed hawks and I assumed it was the same bird. But, on second look, I see I used a different lens on a different day. Checking the Audubon Guide, I think this one does look more like a harrier. Thanks for noticing that!

---------- Post added 01-15-17 at 01:56 AM ----------

@eaglem @C-Jones , Thank you!
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-15-2017, 02:18 AM  
The 300mm plus lens Club discuss your long lenses.
Posted By Kath
Replies: 30,222
Views: 2,707,801
Yes, indeed! The K50 was my first digital Pentax and I've kept it for its light handling for work on the water. I keep the K50 and Sigma at the houseboat, seen in the photo, because that's where I do most of my boat work. I shoot a lot from a kayak and rowboat and figure if everything goes overboard, I'll cry but get over it quicker. My other equipment, not so much. I try to keep that stuff on land.

I really do prefer my beloved K3-II for the obvious reasons and have fought with my wallet over getting a second one to replace the 50. But I keep hearing rumors of an eventual K3 upgrade and figure, as long as the 50 is still working, might as well wait it out. Because, boy, would I love an articulating screen! The Sigma has been very versatile for wildlife, but more often than not, I'm disappointed in its sharpness, probably due to being spoiled by primes. I recently picked up a DA300 and have been shooting it with the 1.4 TC I already had. Time will tell if it was worth the investment, but I'm really enjoying the maneuverability, since I tend to shoot at the 400-450 range anyway.
Forum: Post Your Photos! 01-14-2017, 06:22 PM  
Nature A Hunting Red Tailed Hawk in Sky
Posted By Kath
Replies: 13
Views: 738
BIF at 784mm, heavily cropped. The 560 and 1.4 TC played much better together than I expected.


Forum: Lens Clubs 01-14-2017, 03:42 PM  
The 300mm plus lens Club discuss your long lenses.
Posted By Kath
Replies: 30,222
Views: 2,707,801
Was lucky to catch a raft hanging around for a couple of days. So, set up early as low as I could while still staying dry and waited for this little gal. She was a delight to photograph.

K50, Sigma150-500 at 400mm, 1/1000 sec, f/9.0, ISO 1250, cropped closely.

.
Forum: Lens Clubs 01-14-2017, 02:56 PM  
DA560 lens club - Let's see some photos!
Posted By Kath
Replies: 170
Views: 25,130
Taken with K3-II, DA560 with 1.4TC, 784mm, 1/1000 sec, f/9.0, Wimberley gimbal on tripod, against sky.


Forum: Photographic Technique 01-09-2017, 07:00 PM  
Perfect focus everytime
Posted By Kath
Replies: 277
Views: 78,180
I truly love BBF. But here's a little issue I present with tongue only slightly out of cheek: ;)

It's been really cold but clear here in Portland and I happened to wake up way before dawn the other day with a brand new lens waiting in my bag (DA*300, for the curious types). So, feeling enthusiastic, I jumped in my photovan to go get some dawn pics. Turns out it was 19 degrees and "feels like 11". Cause that wind was blowing like a sonofagun. And I'm in an open field, staring at Mt.Hood.

So what's the issue? With Back Button Focus, not only did I have to freeze my index finger but my thumb went totally numb. If I'd been using a more familiar lens, I could've fumbled around through my gloves. Or, if I wasn't such a slave to BBF. But, no! I stubbornly kept at it till I thought my thumb was gonna fall right off. I've never had frostbite but I swear my thumb is not naturally that white! Finally left to go find some warm water.

Lousy dawn pictures, but went back later for sunset, when things had warmed up a bit. Three days later, my thumb is still sore.

.
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