first birding with K-3... BAM!

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paulkienitz
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first birding with K-3... BAM!
3 months ago

The very first time going out birding with my new K-3, the conditions could not have been more perfect.  The weather was as nice as could be (we're looking at water rationing if things get any drier), and the birds were as calm and cooperative as I've ever seen.  A bewildering variety and hardly any of the normal overabundance of familiar species.  I hardly saw a single coot, for instance.

And the camera?  At home it had seemed quirky and weird and disappointing, but out in the wild, it was magnificent.  Even coupled with a notoriously bad focuser like the 55-300.  And the cropability... if you nail the focus exactly right (which is no easy thing, as even at f8 the DOF is damn thin), you can totally get usable 100% crops out of it.  With a consumer zoom!  Pentax is  rocking my world.

american wigeons

willet

greater yellowlegs with female green-winged teals

least peeps

another teal

This last one is a 100% crop!

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paulkienitz
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a case study in gadwalls
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

Here is about the best picture of a gadwall I ever got with my K10D.

And here might be the best one I've gotten with my Q.

Now here's the gadwall I got yesterday with the K-3.

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"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -- Ansel

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brandrx
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Re: a case study in gadwalls
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

Look out world, Paul the shooter has made his first K-3 mark.

Outstanding first time K-3 shots. Thanks for showing.

Ron

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Carl - 'What do you mean? It will only take 1/1000s.'
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Dale108
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Re: first birding with K-3... BAM!
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago
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starjedi
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Re: a case study in gadwalls
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

Apparently K3 wins... congratulations...

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paulkienitz
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my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

Screw-drive autofocus is very fast and very positive compared to what I'm used to, but with fast-moving subjects, sometimes it has more near-misses than actual hits.  For instance, when shooting at BIFs (using selected point with large expanded area), it will easily lock on to targets in cases where my previous camera would just flail helplessly and rack the focus end to end... but the focus it arrives at is usually somewhat off.  Maybe an SDM lens would do better.

On the ground, you have to be cautious of it locking focus on the background behind the bird.  It may only be two feet further back, but if you crop tightly that's enough to make a visible focus error.

The metering, I am very impressed by.  I can shoot at a small white bird in a large brown area and as long as the bird isn't too tiny a portion of the picture, it doesn't blow out the white!  At least, not unrecoverably.  A lot of cameras seem to fail at that even in live view mode.

this is the OOC JPEG, resized down... at full size, it also shows the background focus issue

The colors of the OOC jpegs seem like a definite improvement, even relative to the Q which is not much older.  And the rear monitor's color seems much truer too.  But in DXO 9 the "daylight" setting seems way too magenta by default.

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AJSAUco
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

Have you calibrated? It sounds like you need to.

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paulkienitz
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to AJSAUco, 3 months ago

Have you calibrated? It sounds like you need to.

Not yet.

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MightyMike
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Re: first birding with K-3... BAM!
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

Nicely done Paul

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Mike from Canada
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paulkienitz
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

paulkienitz wrote:

Have you calibrated? It sounds like you need to.

Not yet.

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"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -- Ansel

I just calibrated. The 55-300 got like a +4, and both ends gave the same result, which was nice. DA 50 was +2... more like +1.5 really. Outgoing FA 50 was -2. The old 17-70 was all over the place... combine screw drive and a short throw, and I could hardly get the same result twice. When I did settle on a value, it was like +7, but depending where in the zoom range I was, it might be anything from +5 to +12.

The weird thing was, when shooting the target with flash, the FA 50 overexposed horribly, while the other lenses all worked correctly. WTF is up with that??

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DarylK
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

Maybe a sticky aperture for your 50?

Daryl

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simosvak
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to AJSAUco, 3 months ago

AJSAUco wrote:

Have you calibrated? It sounds like you need to.

how you can do that?

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Nicols
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Re: a case study in gadwalls
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

paulkienitz wrote:

Now here's the gadwall I got yesterday with the K-3.

That's great news. An excellent shot.

Cheers - Klaus

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audiobomber
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

paulkienitz wrote:

Screw-drive autofocus is very fast and very positive compared to what I'm used to, but with fast-moving subjects, sometimes it has more near-misses than actual hits.

How is your camera set up? I use a User mode for BIF; TAv mode, AF-C, focus priority, 27-point expandable focus point and SR off. AF Hold is set on Low, but if anything can come between me and the subject, I bump it to High.

The metering, I am very impressed by.

That was an unexpected bonus for me too. I have highlight and shadow correction set for Auto. They are set very conservatively (rarely activate, and well justified when they do).

The colors of the OOC jpegs seem like a definite improvement

I found all Pentax DSLR's since the K-x too blue in daylight, especially low intensity daylight. The K-3 is the first to overcome this fault.

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Dan

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paulkienitz
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to audiobomber, 3 months ago

paulkienitz wrote:

Screw-drive autofocus is very fast and very positive compared to what I'm used to, but with fast-moving subjects, sometimes it has more near-misses than actual hits.

How is your camera set up? I use a User mode for BIF; TAv mode, AF-C, focus priority, 27-point expandable focus point and SR off. AF Hold is set on Low, but if anything can come between me and the subject, I bump it to High.

The metering, I am very impressed by.

That was an unexpected bonus for me too. I have highlight and shadow correction set for Auto. They are set very conservatively (rarely activate, and well justified when they do).

The colors of the OOC jpegs seem like a definite improvement

I found all Pentax DSLR's since the K-x too blue in daylight, especially low intensity daylight. The K-3 is the first to overcome this fault.

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Dan

I was shooting very much as you desctibe, with TAv and full size expanding focus, but with SR on and medium hold.

I rarely used TAv on my older cameras, as the range of good ISO was too small. I'd usually use Sv for birds, in fact.

For me the perfect shooting mode would be one where you set a minimum shutter speed rather than a fixed one. As the light gets dim it raises ISO, but when it's bright it's okay to use higher shutter speed.

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paulkienitz
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to simosvak, 3 months ago

AJSAUco wrote:

Have you calibrated? It sounds like you need to.

how you can do that?

See http://regex.info/blog/photo-tech/focus-chart
--
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paulkienitz
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to DarylK, 3 months ago

Maybe a sticky aperture for your 50?

Daryl

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There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. - Ernest Hemingway
Great photography is largely a matter of perspective, both visually and mentally - Daryl Kottwitz (but probably said before )
My gallery: http://darylkottwitzphoto.smugmug.com
My shots on PPG: http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/darylkottwitz

But it was wide open. And mechanically, it seems flawless.

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"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -- Ansel

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simosvak
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

paulkienitz wrote:

AJSAUco wrote:

Have you calibrated? It sounds like you need to.

how you can do that?

See http://regex.info/blog/photo-tech/focus-chart
--
"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." -- Ansel

thank you.

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audiobomber
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Re: my impression of K-3 focusing and metering with birds
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

paulkienitz wrote:

I was shooting very much as you desctibe, with TAv and full size expanding focus, but with SR on and medium hold.

I used to shoot BIF with SR on, but my testing showed conclusively that I get sharp photos with SR off, vs. rarely sharp with it on. It's not really needed at normal BIF shutter speeds anyway.

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Dan

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sleepwalker400
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Re: a case study in gadwalls
In reply to paulkienitz, 3 months ago

SWEET

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