Whale and Action shots with DA 55-300mm lens and K5 and K20D.

Started Jul 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Richard Freeman Contributing Member • Posts: 988
Whale and Action shots with DA 55-300mm lens and K5 and K20D.

I have not posted for a long time but I thought I would respond with a new thread re: ‘Tired of my slow K5’ thread.

I love these cameras because of the lovely clean shots at ISO400 which allow me to straighten the horizon, crop the image and still print at least to A2 size. And believe me these cameras can take the punishment of bouncing around in a small boat and being regularly drenched with salt water. I have had the shutter button freeze with the salt and easily freed it with a few drops of engine oil and kept on shooting. I had some of the other buttons freeze while on the Queen Mary 2 when I was shooting Yellow nosed Albatross while south of New Zealand. I obtained a little olive oil from a cook, worked as good as gold. I just cannot kill these cameras.

If it is of any help to anyone this is how I shoot Whales with DA 55-300mm lens and K5 and K20D.

If you are obtaining good action shots with any other method then disregard because what you are doing is right for you and that is all that matters. This is what I do.

I use ISO 400 and the fastest shutter speed possible.

Take charge of AF.

Remove the AF from the shutter button.

Pre focus with AF button.

When there is possible action view through the camera as much as possible while you are waiting.

Valuable time is lost just bringing the camera to the eye and a great breach shot is mostly lost no matter how fast the camera is. Even when you think you have been fast enough you may find just a big splash when reviewed.

Repeat pre focusing in any area which may produce action.

At start of action, choose your moment and when you know the camera is looking in the right place grab a quick new focus lock with the AF button and shoot.

If you are proficient and have a good eye manual focus may be a good option, which I have used, but I do prefer the AF button.

Don’t panic, which is hard because if you are like me the adrenaline is flowing.

The weather looks as if I will be at sea for the next few days so please forgive me if I unable to reply.

Kind regards,


Just a few handy examples some of which I may have previously posted.

Pentax K20D Pentax K-5
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