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Old May 10, 2007, 9:43 PM   #1
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Hi All,

I just received a Bargain grade Tamron SP 80-200/2.8 LD Adaptall II from KEH. As usual, it's just shy of mint/EX, and probably graded down because it's missing both lens caps and the dedicated hood. I found a used 82mm screw in hood, and a used 77-82 step up ring, so I went out and tried the lens with my 1.4x AII TC, and the Pentax F1.7x AFA on the DS and just the F1.7x AFA on the K10. These were shot with the second combo.

Bluejays were almost wiped out by a virus that also effected Grackles and Housefinches in my area last year -- I only spotted one all last year. All these species have made a big comeback this year, and I've already seen 4 Bluejays, but these were the first shots I've been able to manage.

I was waiting by a recently discovered preferred bathing area for a lot of the birds nearby, a little stream at the bottom of a little ravine. I've seen as many as 6 different species visit this exact spot in less than an hour.

They're a bit soft -- not the len's fault -- the exif is intact on the first, but for some reason missing from the other 3. The sun went away right before this series, and I failed to change from ISO 200, so the shutter speeds are REALLY slow -- 1/40 - 1/60 of a second, and I had just taken the 1.4x off, and forgot to change the FL setting for the SR from 500. Heat of the moment stuff. . .

Enough typing -- here are the pics.

#1 checking it out. . . the water seems fine. . .

#2 might as well jump right in!!. . . kersplash!!

#3 Uhhh. . .anybody got a Towel????

Wish I had a flash. . . or the DS with me, set up properly -- but they're pretty good anyway . . . for 340mm @ 1/50 sec with the SR set up wrong.

The verdict on the Tamron 80-200/2.8 LD AII ?-- definitely a keeper. Sharper than my Tokina SP80-200/2.8 AT-X Pro AFII, the Tokina MF 80-200/2.8 MF I tried but never owned, and the much touted Tokina 100-300/4 MF that I bought recently. It stands up to use with the F 1.7x AFA, but my first impressions are that it's too soft with the stacked TCs -- I'll try this again tomorrow with the DS and maybe a flash. PF is there, but not bad really, considering the vintage of the lens. Unfortunately it doesn't hold focus throughout the FL range with the TC/s, but none of them do. It does, however do this when used alone. It's a one-touch zoom which I kinda like despite the opinions of many others who hate them. This would be a great zoo lens IMO.

A very good buy, IMHO for just over $200. It weighs just about 3 lbs and is a baby compared to the SP300/2.8, which is what I've been used to (if anyone really can get used to a 5lb+ lens). A nice plus is the removable tripod ring which also fits the FA*300/4.5 almost like it was made for it.

You'' be seeing more from this lens. . .


Edit:---Errrr 3 images - I was planning on posting 4, but the other was another "splash" shot, and I omitted it, forgetting to edit the Title line. . .
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Old May 10, 2007, 9:53 PM   #2
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That last one is awesome. I've seen a number of bluejays around, but haven't managed to get a goo shot at one. Nice watering hole you found.

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Old May 10, 2007, 10:05 PM   #3
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Great shots Scott.
I have a couple Blue Jays around here. They don't pose that good though. A Bluebird showed up a few days ago (never seen one here before), but have been unable to get a shot.
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Old May 10, 2007, 10:37 PM   #4
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SOFT? Those are great shots.

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Old May 10, 2007, 11:28 PM   #5
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Yeah, really great. I can't see any softness. I like it a lot when a short series of pictures tell a story like this, beautiful and funny at the same time.

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Old May 10, 2007, 11:58 PM   #6
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Very nice for "soft" pictures - I can imagine what you'll be able to manage without the operator errors (at least you didn't forget to have the camera set for a mode that controls exposure, like I did once).

Your bluejays are much prettier than the ones around here (stellers and scrub jays).
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Old May 11, 2007, 12:45 AM   #7
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Scott - nr1 and 3 are wonderfull. Nice to see that nature always tries to make a comeback and Yep that lens is a keeper.
And I can't see anything soft. Ronny

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Old May 11, 2007, 1:32 AM   #8
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I actually prefer number 2, I can see the frenetic activity that is going on and even though I can't see the bird I can visualise what must be under there.

Noice shots, all three.

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Old May 11, 2007, 5:31 AM   #9
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definately a keeper scott. #2 does it for me.
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Old May 11, 2007, 7:09 AM   #10
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Well I would sure be happy with your "soft" shots. I like the third one the best. "Dude, where's the party?" is the caption that comes to mind, for some reason it puts the image of headbanger with a mohawk in my mind.

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