Birds Feeder Shots with K-3 & PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM; Should I Buy DA* 300mm F4 ED?

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Bobolink Forum Member • Posts: 85
Birds Feeder Shots with K-3 & PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM; Should I Buy DA* 300mm F4 ED?
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Hi,

Just a few bird feeder shots with my K-3 and my PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM lens. These were taken around Christmas time at my Aunt & Uncle's place in Mansfield, CT, near UCONN (University of Connecticut).

For an under $400, roughly 1 lb. lens, I think it does quite well, although I might have taken 150 shots to get a few good ones. But that’s mainly because these little guys just can’t sit still! Especially at feeding time. These birds are Black Capped Chickadees and Tufted Titmice.

The downside of the small size and weight is that the aperture is 4.5-6.3, but in my bird photo experience (which is not too extensive) birds often don’t come out well except in the sun, where you don’t need the fastest lens.

That said, I'm now considering buying the Pentax-DA* 300mm F4 ED (and the 1.4 Teleconverter). My concern is that, while clearly having superior image quality, it may not do as well at getting shots like these quick little birds in focus. A lot reviews are critical of it's relatively slow autofocus. Being a 2008 issue, I guess the AF technology is significantly older than on the 55-300 PLM.

Any opinions on the Pentax-DA* 300mm F4 ED, especially comparing it's autofocus to the PENTAX-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM, would be quite welcome!  B&H has a deadline of tomorrow night (Sat, June 15) for the $850 price, so I I'm feeling the pressure (even though I'm well aware of the game of often extending deadlines, prices constantly rising and falling, etc.)

Also any constructive comments, criticisms for these shots from  a relatively inexperienced bird photographer are also most welcome!

Note: These are fairly small email jpegs (roughly 1-200 kb) that I sent to family and friends.  The originals are raw, so maybe I should have sent larger images.

-Bob

Black Capped Chickadee with Sunflower Seed

Tufted Titmouse

Black Capped Chichadees

Black Capped Chickadee: Cropped quite a bit

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

Chickadee & Titmouse

Titmouse and Chickadee

Tufted Titmouse: He Seems to Have Dropped His Sunflower Seed

 Bobolink's gear list:Bobolink's gear list
Pentax K-01 Pentax K-5 IIs Pentax K-3
Comment & critique:
Please provide me constructive critique and criticism.
Pentax K-3
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