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Old Oct 25, 2008, 6:23 PM   #11
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ennacac wrote:
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The K20D seems to focus much better on subjects coming your way than my K10D does which seems to hunt for focus enough that I many time miss the shot. I may have to look into replacing my K10D with the K20D since focus speed is really the only complaint I have with the camera.

Very nice shots.

Tom
I've got a K10D and the 55-300. I have taken pictures of birds, including White American Pelicans in flight and I find that this combo focuses fine, with some caveats.

The lens hunts at far away subjects, like...say a PIF, so what I have done which seems to work well is focus at 55mm then zoom out to 300. I think the problem is that I'm having trouble finding the subject at 300, which is also a problem I have when trying to find the subject (say BIF) with Binoculars. The field of vision is too narrow and the focus mechanism is focusing on empty sky. A friend has suggested I learn to shoot with one eye in the viewfinder and the other eye open, much like when you use a microscope. So far I haven't been able to 'train' my eye to do this, so I use the find the subject of a relatively small subject in the sky (BIF)focus at 55mm.

I also use the continous focus setting and the spot meter for birds. I try to lead the birds as I would if I was shotgun shooting moving ducks. BTW, I'm not a gun hunter , just a 'hunter' with a camera.:|
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Old Oct 27, 2008, 9:34 PM   #12
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Les, I have used this lens with BIFS on the K10 too, and with success, but the limited experience I have so far had with the K20 seems to be better - it seems to focuss faster and more accurtely.

Some observations based on my experience: Hunting should not be a problem with large birds lke pelicans, and your Whites are even larger than the Browns (11 foot wingspan vs. 7)! Except when tossing around on a rocking boat, I don't have much trouble "aiming" as I have been using binoclars and telephotos for many years and have gained a good feel for it. The method you describe helps, but prefocusing on a spot where you know the bird will be is better if the situation warrants - for example with the pelican when it was farther off I watched as it made repeated circles, pickeed a spot in the marsh to prefocus on, and waited for it to fly by the spot, picked it up there and followed it as it approached with no hunting. It is harder with fast and erratic smaller birds like terns actively diving close by - you can get a lot of empty sky or partial images that way if you try to fill the frame with one! Spot metering and central focus point selection is problematic with any but the closessst BIFs, as you can miss the "sweet spot" with any but the slowest, closest or largest birds - center-weighted averaging and multi-point (pattern) focus is better (at least against an otherwise empty sky) as the bird can still be found and sensed even if off-center. And continuous focusing is a must.
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Old Oct 27, 2008, 9:47 PM   #13
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penolta wrote:
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Les, I have used this lens with BIFS on the K10 too, and with success, but the limited experience I have so far had with the K20 seems to be better - it seems to focuss faster and more accurtely.

Some observations based on my experience: Hunting should not be a problem with large birds lke pelicans, and your Whites are even larger than the Browns (11 foot wingspan vs. 7)! Except when tossing around on a rocking boat, I don't have much trouble "aiming" as I have been using binoclars and telephotos for many years and have gained a good feel for it. The method you describe helps, but prefocusing on a spot where you know the bird will be is better if the situation warrants - for example with the pelican when it was farther off I watched as it made repeated circles, pickeed a spot in the marsh to prefocus on, and waited for it to fly by the spot, picked it up there and followed it as it approached with no hunting. It is harder with fast and erratic smaller birds like terns actively diving close by - you can get a lot of empty sky or partial images that way if you try to fill the frame with one! Spot metering and central focus point selection is problematic with any but the closessst BIFs, as you can miss the "sweet spot" with any but the slowest, closest or largest birds - center-weighted averaging and multi-point (pattern) focus is better (at least against an otherwise empty sky) as the bird can still be found and sensed even if off-center. And continuous focusing is a must.
Thanks, Penolta for the suggestions. I will give them a try.

Les
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Old Oct 28, 2008, 12:56 PM   #14
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great series, penolta.

i got my first pelicans in flight this past weekend. aren't they awesome birds?! i hope my pics come out as good as yours did. :|

ellen fl
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Old Nov 1, 2008, 5:44 PM   #15
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ellenfl wrote:
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great series, penolta.*

i got my first pelicans in flight this past weekend.* aren't they awesome birds?!* i hope my pics come out as good as yours did.* :|

ellen fl
Thanks, Ellen - yours (now posted) turned out well, too.
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Old Nov 2, 2008, 3:50 PM   #16
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penolta wrote:
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There are a few comparable to #7 in this series still to be posted. If you haven't seen the others already, look at these two approach sequences posted in the Pentax forum:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...27&forum_id=80

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...60&forum_id=80
The promised closer shots have now been posted in the Pentax forum:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...69&forum_id=80
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Old Nov 2, 2008, 9:22 PM   #17
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Fantastic series.
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Old Nov 11, 2008, 11:53 AM   #18
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Thank you Flutelady.
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