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Old Feb 9, 2008, 3:53 PM   #1
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I take a lot of pics of small birds and find myself shooting at the max, 250mm, constantly and wishing I had more. One solution would be the Sigma 1.4 teleconverter but I would still need more reach. Another solution, to my way of thinking, is to upgrade from my K100d to the K200d. The K20d is out of my reach. With the 200d I would gain 4 megapixels over the 100d and that would allow me about a 40% gain in my ability to crop tighter. In other words the additional cropping could act as a zoom in PP. Am I on the right track?
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Old Feb 9, 2008, 4:25 PM   #2
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dwssas wrote:
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I take a lot of pics of small birds and find myself shooting at the max, 250mm, constantly and wishing I had more. One solution would be the Sigma 1.4 teleconverter but I would still need more reach. Another solution, to my way of thinking, is to upgrade from my K100d to the K200d. The K20d is out of my reach. With the 200d I would gain 4 megapixels over the 100d and that would allow me about a 40% gain in my ability to crop tighter. In other words the additional cropping could act as a zoom in PP. Am I on the right track?
I too am on the track to shoot better and better small bird photos. I promised someone on another forum to do this and am finding it a very hard thing to do. I have a K10D and a Sigma 50-500mm lens but I've found that there is a lot more to it than just a long reach. These are the things that so far have helped me get better.

1. I changed my in-camera settings for Jpeg to..

A. Saturation -1

B. Contrast +1

C. Sharpness +2

D. Bright tone

E. Fine quality (three stars)

F. 10 mp

This really helped give me sharper photos. I tried Raw but was getting photos not as sharp as I was in Jpeg. Also I mainly post my photos on the web and the Jpeg helps with the PP time involved in doing that!

2. I moved my feeder much closer and put it where tree limbs are very close to where I do my shooting. A blind is somewhere in my future if I can talk the wife into it. With the Sigma 50-500 I need to be at the closest point that the lens will still focus at. (in the case of the 50-500 that is about 8 feet away)The sharpness increases the closer you get...Proven fact not just me saying so. Right now the closest I can get is about 20 feet away. I get sharp photos but not as sharp as I would like.

3. Learn post processing techniques. There are a ton of different ways to sharpen a photo and sometimes you have to combine 2 or three to get it done. Learn as many as you can then try them out and decide how you want to use them. I'm still learning.

4. Crop for composition not zoom. Some of my posts I still crop for zoom and they usually are my least appealing photos.

5. If you use a teleconverter do it at the closest distance the Camera-lens-tele converter combo will allow. If you try from too far off the photos will be softer. Do without the teleconverter when possible.

6. Sunlight is needed when going for small birds and getting feather details. I can get "artistic" photos with out the good light but the sharper ones are going to be with good light!

I hope some of these Ideas will help. I do know from my own experience that a fast 300mm prime lens is about as small as you should use for this. Especially with a teleconverter. A tack sharp 300 will help with the converter induced softness some, and a fast lens will help with the exposure in shaded areas the small birds like!



Dawg




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Old Feb 9, 2008, 4:39 PM   #3
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My advice would be to get a prime lens. A zoom with such a span will never give good enough PQ to couple with a converter, but a 200 (or even 300) mm prime will go well on its own and with a converter.

Kjell

600 mm prime A*600mm 5.6 with a 2Xconverter, long distance and cropped 6 mp *ist DS:


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Old Feb 9, 2008, 4:58 PM   #4
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i agree. you'll never get the IQ with a zoom as you will a good prime.. you can pick up a smc takumar 300/4 for about 200bucks

500mm/4.5 from about 90yards out.


300mm/2xTC form about 90yards.


300/4 from about 20'


but.... 70-210/4 from about 25'


roy
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Old Feb 9, 2008, 4:59 PM   #5
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BigDawg--- Thanks for the advise. You described the same set-up with the settings that I use. I recently moved residences and at the old one I waS yery isolated and had no competition from other feeders. I could get very close to the subject. Using my then Panny FZ-20 I have pics that are extremely sharp but that is because I could get so close. I just wish I had the Pentax back then.
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Old Feb 9, 2008, 6:20 PM   #6
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I won't say that it isn't nice to have more mp to crop - I'll use the K10 for macros when I know I want to capture something really small. However, I think a better quality, longer prime lens would be more to the point. If you want to see some examples of what type of extra "real estate" you would get from the K10 vs. the K100 - here's a thread I did the day after I got my K10. I was actually trying to decide between two different 50mm lenses that I have, an M50mm 1.4 vs. M50mm 1.7, thinking I should sell one of them to help pay for the K10, so the pictures were looking more at sharpness, rather than extra information. However, the thread includes some 100% crops as well as the full frame shots, so you can get an idea of how much extra you'd really gain: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=80

P.S. - It's not all that great - look partway through the thread, to the crop of the sign.
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