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Old Apr 24, 2008, 3:35 PM   #11
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Holy cow!!! Those have got to be some of the clearest, crispiestshots I've seen here yet.

I've got so many questions......

How much does that lens go for?

Were you shooting AF or Manual?

Were you using a tripod?

How far away were you and how much cropping did you do?

I was going to ask you the question about your sharpening method, but you've already addressed that, to a level beyond my meager talents. How long does it take you to do that per shot? It sounds painful.

Sorry for all the questions. Just answer what you're willing to. But hey, with shots that great, you've go to expect this!
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Old Apr 24, 2008, 3:41 PM   #12
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I just looked that lens up on the web -- no wonder I don't have one! :shock:
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Old Apr 24, 2008, 4:30 PM   #13
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wow - great series!

For some reason the cowbird doesn't work for me, but the sparrows are fantastic!



The PP workflow description was also interesting to read - you downsize in much smaller steps than I do and high pass sharpening is also something I seldom use - but I already found out that I do a lot things VERY differently from what other people write in PS books etc. /shrug
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Old Apr 24, 2008, 4:52 PM   #14
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thkn777 wrote:
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....but I already found out that I do a lot things VERY differently from what other people write in PS books etc.
With the number of parameters and variables involved in sharpening, I would be surprised if it was even possible for 2 people to perform the same process!
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Old Apr 25, 2008, 1:15 PM   #15
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PinonMesaJon wrote:
Quote:
Holy cow!!! Those have got to be some of the clearest, crispiestÂ*shots I've seen here yet.

I've got so many questions......

How much does that lens go for?

Were you shooting AF or Manual?

Were you using a tripod?

How far away were you and how much cropping did you do?

I was going to ask you the question about your sharpening method, but you've already addressed that, to a level beyond my meager talents. How long does it take you to do that per shot? It sounds painful.

Sorry for all the questions. Just answer what you're willing to. But hey, with shots that great, you've go to expect this!
Hi PMJ,

Thanks for the comments!

Cost -- The cool thing about the Tam SP 300/2.8 (mdl 60B) is that you can buy one with any mount and change the adapter to fit your camera. The bad thing is that PK/A adapters have gotten to be pretty hard to get and are relatively expensive. I'd say that it would be possible to get a good copy at $400-$800 USD used. There are usually quite a few available with C or N mounts. This is a far cry from what you'd have to pay for most 300/2.8s -- with the A* and FA* 300/2.8s and the Sigma EX AF going in the couple of thousand $$$ range. Many of the Tamron SPs for sale include the 140F 1.4x (and sometimes the 001F 2x TC also) so you get a quality 400/4 and a 600/5.6 as a bonus.

The Pentax F 1.7x AFA, though now also pretty expensive, is IMO, one of the most important accessories a long tele Pentax user can own. Add an old 50/1.4 and you get a pretty good 85/2.4 portrait lens with shallow DOF. Add a 100 2.8 macro and you have a 170/4.8 macro that gives you good working distance at 1:1, and about 1.5:1 max magnification. With a Tam SP180/2.5, it gives you a nice compact 306/4.25. The Tam SP300/2.8 gives you an AF 510/4.8, stack the AFA on the 140F and you have a 714/6.7.

Compare what you'd have to spend to get an A* or FA*85, A* or FA* 200/4 Macro, F* or FA* 300/4.5,or DA* 300/4, and a Sigma EX AF 500/4.5 or an A*600/5.6 or FA*600/4, and the AFA, even at the inflated current prices, will save you hundreds, if not thousands of $$$ for close equivalents to these very desirable and very expensive premium lenses.

I used AF for all of these.

I used a tripod (Amvona CF94 + Amvona ATH-A02 ballhead) in faux-gimbal mode -- I posted about this a little while ago. Although I've gotten similar results handheld in the past, I can get about 40-70% critically sharp shots using the tripod as opposed to maybe 1-10% even heavily braced handheld -- it's also a lot easier on the arms and shoulders.

I was about 10-17 feet away from the sparrows, and about 25-30 ft away from the cowbird. I set up the tripod with a wide leg spread down low about 10 ft away from the feeder, but out in the open, and just sat there, waiting for the birds to come for the food. No hides or camo used.

The PP workflow seems tedious, but only takes a few minutes per shot. Realize that the multiple resizes are only necessary for the relatively small number that I pick to post on the web. The great majority of shots don't need nearly as much processing for prints.

Here's a 100% crop from one of the shots from the shoot.
You can see the remarkable detail that can be gotten, even with the 6MP sensor. The credit really goes to the equipment -- I was just pushing buttons.

Scott
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Old Apr 25, 2008, 1:23 PM   #16
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Hi Th,

Thanks for the comment.

The multiple downsize steps is basically a turned-around variation of Fred Miranda's concept of "stairstep" interpolation to upsize image files for extreme enlargement (he used 10% increments). I've found it works for downsizing when the main purpose is to retain some of the very fine detail in bird shots.

Scott
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Old Apr 25, 2008, 1:32 PM   #17
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Rodney9 wrote:
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Terrific series, not one bad one.
Hi Rodney,

Thanks! I'm hoping that some of the new techniques I'm using will help get similar results with more interesting species when they pass through in the spring migration. These are pretty much experiments to get me in the swing of things.

Scott
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