Shooting BIF's with DA*300/4 + teleconverter.

Started Jun 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
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brandrx Forum Pro • Posts: 28,337
Shooting BIF's with DA*300/4 + teleconverter.

Hi folks,

As many of you know the DA*300/4 lens is one of the best 300mm lenses ever made when it comes to image quality. However, most of the time 300mm is just too short to capture birds in flight (BIF's). The addition of teleconverters to the DA*300/4 does not degrade the image very much at all. However, there is not a teleconverter that I know of that will work properly with the DA*300/4 when trying to track a BIF when in autofocus. Now that I have purchased the K-5 II I tried again to track a BIF with a Tamron-F 1.4X PZ_Af while in AF-C and using Expanded Area Auto Focus. The main problem with this combo, as I see it, is getting that first focus confirmation so that it will then track the bird. As it turned out, just like when I was using any of my other Pentax DSLR cameras, the K-5 II was also a failure with this combo. I always have the recourse of using one of my screwdrive 400mm f5.6 lenses or my screwdrive FA*300mm/4.5 + 1.4X teleconverter, which in either case works great. Some of you don't have that same recourse to fall back on. So, below I will make a suggestion for shooting BIF's with the DA*300/4 + a teleconverter.

Here is my suggestion for you to try: Set up to do catch-in-focusing. Camera to AF-S, Auto 11, Continuous shooting to HI, DA*300/4 lens set to MF, use an autofocusing teleconverter of 1.4X, 1.5X, 1.7X or 2X. For this type of shooting the teleconverters do not have to be SDM compatible. Point at the BIF and press the shutter all the way as you manually focus the lens. As soon as you obtain focus the camera begins firing. As long as the bird is in focus the camera will fire. If it stops firing, do not release the shutter, rather manually focus the lens until it starts firing again. I don't remember who it was that made the suggestion to me to use a locking wired remote. Press and lock the wired remote and put it in your shirt pocket. Now all you have to worry about is pointing at the BIF and manually focusing the lens until the camera begins to fire or if the camera stops firing then manually re-focusing the lens until it starts firing again.

I hope this will work for you.



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Ron - 'We don't have time to go take pics this afternoon Carl.'
Carl - 'What do you mean? It will only take 1/1000s.'
'Keep your eyes looking forward. However, glance back now and then to see where you've come from. It will put a smile on your face.' ~ brandrx

Panasonic Lumix DMC-F5 Pentax K-5 II
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