Do Pentax Users Really Shoot BIF and Other Motion Scenes

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
paulkienitz
paulkienitz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,418
Re: The intriguing question

Roland Karlsson wrote:

paulkienitz wrote:

That does tend to bite people like me... when I bought into Pentax I was thinking of myself as mainly a landscape guy. It was in the first few years of having the K10D that I discovered a new photographic interest in birding, which I was completely new to at the time. I could not have anticipated at the time I was making the purchasing decision, that I was going to start wanting high performance autofocus.

Birding is so many things. I can imagine that the most problematic thing is that the 500 mm lens is by far to wide angle. That the pesky little bird over there somewhere is still a dot in the middle of the scene. And then, AF is not a problem. Or, at least not the biggest one.

And, most bird images I have seen, there is the bird perching somewhere. And the most problematic for the AF is that it is hard to make it lock on the bird instead of a branch that is nearer.

Even when a bird is standing still with nothing around it, it can take several tries to nail the focus accurately! When it's such a small part of the frame, you have to control both the focus and the motion blur with incredible exactitude. The DA* 300 can get a good picture from a ten percent crop in the middle of the image, but you can't ever expect it to do so reliably, even without any extra challenges. It just isn't built to adjust focus that finely, nor is any consumer camera lens. And manual focusing with an optical viewfinder is hopeless when that much precision is needed. If I were to envision what kind of setup it would take to do birding shots like that reliably, you end up with practically an astronomical rig, with a separate finder scope and coarse+fine focusing wheels.

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

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Pentax Q Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA 55-300mm F4.0-5.8 ED Pentax smc DA* 300mm F4.0 ED (IF) SDM Samyang 8mm F3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye +4 more
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