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Old Apr 23, 2007, 1:35 AM   #1
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I just posted a topic in the Wildlife forum with a number of photos I took on a recent nature walk. I shot most of them with the Pentax K100D using a Sears 80-200 f/4 manual focus lens mounted on a Vivitar 2x Macro Teleconverter. Please take a look;

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=11

Here are a few shots from the series:











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Old Apr 23, 2007, 4:09 AM   #2
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Great series!

I like the uncropped version of #3 better, but that's just me....

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Old Apr 23, 2007, 1:01 PM   #3
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Nice shots.

I also prefer the uncropped verison. Gives more info about the subject.


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Old Apr 24, 2007, 12:55 AM   #4
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Love the deer pictures. What's interesting is that I first looked at the 3 you posted here and went "wow!" when I saw the third one. I read the comments about how others preferred the uncropped versions, so looked at your full set - and I, too, like the uncropped one better. It's still a "wow!" picture.
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 2:15 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses. I agree that the uncropped squirrel photo is a better overall photo, and that's what I'd use if I wanted a printed 8x10, but I just really wanted to illustrate how detailed the image actually was. Managing a 600mm equivalent lens combination in manual focus when shooting wildlife is tricky business, particularly when shooting the smaller critters which rarely stay still for more than a second.

I really gotta get a 70-300 some time, but from things I've read, even the Sigma APO might not have image quality and edge sharpness that's any better than what I'm already using. I might just wait and see what new lenses might come out since I recently found out (thanks to Hayward) that DA lenses are at least half a stop brighter than normal lenses. The very pricey Tamron 18-250 came out recently, but I'd prefer something in the 70-300 range, and not so expensive.
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Old Apr 24, 2007, 10:31 PM   #6
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The other option is to try to pick upone of the*300 lenses - I'm so glad I waited around until I found one. It makes my other lenses so ho-hum now.
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Old Apr 25, 2007, 1:20 AM   #7
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Corpsy, Those are great shots. I like the close-up of the squirreljust because his expression is so interesting. I also like the little chipmonks. My uncle used to train them to come and sit on his shoulder up in New Hampshire when I was a kid.

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Old Apr 25, 2007, 3:47 PM   #8
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Mtngal, I'm not sure I know what lens you mean. Is that an older manual focus lens?

Mostly, I use my 135mm f/2.5 stack on the 2x TC which becomes a 270mm f/5. That usually gets decent results, it's just a bit cumbersome.

Glen, squirrels seem to be rather cute, but once you see them up close you realize they have a very intense stare. Here's a crop from a photo my friend took;


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Old Apr 25, 2007, 10:32 PM   #9
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Pentax has several versions of the lens. They are 300mm prime lenses and are known for being really sharp. The M* and A* versions are both manual focus and f4 (I have the A*300). The F* and FA*300 is f4.5 and is auto focus. None of these lenses are being made any more (though Pentax does make a FA*300 2.8 still - costing thousands!), and prices have gone through the roof. Up until last summer the A*300 was running around $500, but went up over $1,000 around Christmas (think that's more than they cost new. Don't know what the price is now). They are wonderful lenses, almost legendary and highly sought after.
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Old Apr 25, 2007, 11:21 PM   #10
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Thanks for the info. The A 300mm f/4 would be very nice, but at that price it's pretty much out of the question.

I occasionally shop around to see what else is out there, and I think I found the lens I really want, only it isn't supposed to come out until December and I have no idea how much it will cost. Pentax will be releasing theSMC PENTAX-DA 60-250mm F4 ED [IF] SDM in December. That looks to be a very promising lens.

It has a nice zoom range and a very good telephoto, but what's really appealing to me is F/4 on a DA lens. DA lenses are about half a stop brighter than standard lenses, so that would perform more like an F/3.4. With a 1.4x TC, that effectively becomes an 84-350mm F/4.8. Considering that what I used to shoot these was basically a 160-400mm F/8, that would be a vast improvement, around 3x brighter.

The problem is the waiting and not knowing what it'll cost. I'm not sure I'd want to go through summer with just these old mf lenses only to find out later that this lens is completely unaffordable. Maybe I should just find a used version of the $130 Sigma 70-300mm for now.
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