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Old Dec 6, 2006, 12:46 AM   #1
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There is a great bike trail near my house that takes me to Upper Newport Bay aka Back Bay. This wildlife estuary is an important winter stop over for migrating birds on the Pacific Flyway. Stuffing my camera into my camelbak and hopping on my bike, off I went to find me some birds.

When I entered Back Bay, I was greeted by this sign. Ah. I came to the right place!



1) Great Egret
Focal length=300mm, Tv=1/500, Av=8, Iso=400


2) Grey Heron
Focal length=300mm, Tv=1/250, Av=8, Iso=400


3)
Duck in flight
Focal length=300mm, Tv=1/750, Av=8, Iso=400


4) White tailed Kite (taken in orange sunset lighting)
Focal length=300mm, Tv=1/500, Av=8, Iso=400


5) American coot
Focal length=300mm, Tv=1/1500, Av=5.6, Iso=800


Who knew birding would be so much fun! I love it. I was wondering. How well a 1.4x teleconverter would work with the sigma 70-300 apo dg lens? I heard that teleconverters are best used with prime lens and not zooms since it degrades the quality of the image a bit. Also I heard that I will be losing 1 stop when using the 1.4x TC. If used with this lens, will I still be able to use the autofocus ability?

Always looking for ways to push my photography to the next level, I was pondering a future potential upgrade. For all of you guys that are into birding what do you think would be best. Should I go for a prime lens (300mm), a larger constant apeture f4 (or maybe 2.8, or should I go for longer reach (sigma 50-500). So many possibilities, but it all seems like a HUGE jump up in cost to get up to the next level. One thing to factor in is that it has to be hand holdable. I like to bring my camera on hikes and when I bike around.


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Old Dec 6, 2006, 1:13 AM   #2
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Great shots , I love the Heron and especially appreciate your skill with the 'in flight ' shot.
I would also be very interested in a convertor for my Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro.
Have you thought of a monopod, I have looked at some and am waiting for stock of a quick release model to come in so I can evaluate. They can contract to quite a small size.

http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo5.php3
http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce/pid/2362?livid=103|113&lsf=113&child=2

Rodney.
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Old Dec 6, 2006, 1:33 AM   #3
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Thanks! I've thought about a monopod. At this point I'm not sure I need one yet. The sigma 70-300 is fairly light that I can hand hold my shots comfortably. Also the k100d shake reduction feature helps minimize hand held blur even when I am zoomed out to 300mm. It is only when the sun is close to setting and the light levels are low that I get the blurry pics. For my birding photography, I like to keep my equipment light, mobile, and fast to deploy. I often cycle with my camera in my backpack. When I see something interesting, I need to quickly get my camera out and shoot.

Rodney9 wrote:
Quote:
Great shots , I love the Heron and especially appreciate your skill with the 'in flight ' shot.
I would also be very interested in a convertor for my Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro.
Have you thought of a monopod, I have looked at some and am waiting for stock of a quick release model to come in so I can evaluate. They can contract to quite a small size.

http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo5.php3
http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce/pid/2362?livid=103|113&lsf=113&child=2

Rodney.
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Old Dec 6, 2006, 7:13 AM   #4
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Rodney9 wrote:
Quote:
Great shots , I love the Heron and especially appreciate your skill with the 'in flight ' shot.
I would also be very interested in a convertor for my Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro.
Have you thought of a monopod, I have looked at some and am waiting for stock of a quick release model to come in so I can evaluate. They can contract to quite a small size.

http://www.outdooreyes.com/photo5.php3
http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/...13&child=2

Rodney.
i've got the 679b and it is taller but only 3 sections. works fine. do spike on the foot tho.

THIS would work fine for you.

also THIS is another i have. i like it better.

get a cheap ball head like THISand you're set.
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Old Dec 6, 2006, 10:51 AM   #5
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Great shots, we call Coots "Mud Hens" around here.

I can't wait until January when I will be out in Monterey and can take some more bird photos, since most of them have gone South for the winter. I like a Mono-Pod because it much easier to take along than a Tri-Pod, and it can be used as a walkiing stick too.

Tom
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Old Dec 6, 2006, 11:00 PM   #6
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robar wrote:
Quote:

i've got the 679b and it is taller but only 3 sections. works fine. do spike on the foot tho.

THIS* would work fine for you.

also** THIS* is another i have. i like it better.

get a cheap ball head like THIS*and you're set.
I am thinking of getting this one - http://centre.net.au/Manfrotto_680B_...od_0007XF.html
as it fits my budget, however I am a little worried after reading this -

Quote:
Another aluminum disadvantage is the stealth factor. Aluminum makes far more noise when hit by branches during a stalk on elusive wildlife. By the way - the flip-locks will send all wildlife in the area into flight when closing - they are very loud. The smooth surface of aluminum is also reflective of sunlight.
at - http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...od-Review.aspx

The fibre ones are just to expensive, but I want to be as quite as possible for birding. So my search goes on, unfortunatley there are very few here to see or buy.

EDIT After more searching I found this one -

http://www.manfrotto.com/Jahia/site/manfrotto/cache/offonce/pid/2374?livid=103|113&idx=115

Anyone know anything about it, is the quick release quite ?
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 12:53 AM   #7
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Great captures Royce.

I see focal length shown as 300mm but wouldn't it actually be around 450mm with the pentax slr conversion factor.
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 1:07 AM   #8
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Thanks Ian for the compliment. Actually I think someone had asked this question before. Bilybianca responded with the following statement.

"Yes, it is. The focal lenght of the lens is always what is written on the lens, but the crop factor gives you the "35 mm equivalent focal length".

The "focal length" comparisononly has any value when you want to comparea photo taken with alens mounted on a DSLR with anotherphoto taken with a lens mounted on an analog SLR(or a full frame DSLR, but then it doesn't belong in the Pentax forum).

A lot of people upgrading to a DSLR never owned a film camera. And few will get one now. I'd say it's time to get used to the new technology, and stop talking about 300 mm as "actually being 450 mm". Unless you make a rubber band ruler..."

Kjell

Ian Mc wrote:
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Great captures Royce.

I see focal length shown as 300mm but wouldn't it actually be around 450mm with the pentax slr conversion factor.
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 2:28 AM   #9
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Thanks for the explanation Kjell.

I have two Pentax film SLRs so I guess I'll have to get used to a new way of thinking for Pentax digital SLR it's just that panning bird shots at 400 mm is more easily managed than atlonger focal lengths.

Cheers:Ian Mc
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 8:17 AM   #10
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Actually, it doesn't bother me that they use 35mm equivalent when comparing field of view. My old digital camera was a Sony F717 and with the small sensor, the actual focal length would report itself as some tiny number that didn't mean anything to me. Using the 35mm equivalent numbers gives someone a way to compare cameras with different sized sensors - to give an example with made-up numbers, how do you know how one camera's actual6-24mm lens compares visually with another cameras 18-100? Now with the Pentax I have an understanding of what a 300mm lens does, so payno attention to the conversion factor any more.
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