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Old Aug 18, 2008, 4:26 PM   #11
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Goldwinger wrote:
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Some great shots Don.
That's the best shot of a starling I've seen!
GW
Thanks GW!..cheers...Don
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 2:13 AM   #12
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Just wondering, I have used a 5D quite a bit and it's biggest issue is the FF sensor requires very expensive lenses to get a sharp image all the way to the edge. I have never even held a MarkIII so I have no experience with that although many just love it.

As I mentioned before I never went the Canon way because of the images I got with the 5D, although the AF is to die for compared to Pentax. Also being able to limit the zoom range on some Canon glass really helps also, so the lens doesn't have the option of zooming all the way out or in.

Tom
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 2:41 AM   #13
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Hi Don,

Great stuff. I've always found it hard to get any feather detail at all from Waxwing shots, so I'd say these are exceptional. The Starling must have been having a very good feather day -- I don't think I've ever seen one looking that good. The snail is a great image.

Looks like the DA*300 will see some serious time on your K20. . .:-).

Scott
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 11:01 AM   #14
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For one simple reason, Switching to Canon now would not be economically feasible for me since I have my limit spent in Pentax lenses, and although I would really like the faster focus I am still getting the results I want most of the time.

The other reason is a social one. Canon is such a huge seller that the forums have many Canon owners who are more interested in being seen with the "right" brand of camera than they are in photography. This is only a small group of Canon owners but are often the most vocal (part of that whole image thing) and can sometimes make those forums less pleasant to visit.

One more comment, many people own more than one system, for me that choice would be ideal. A fast focussing Canon (or Olympus E-3 even) with a good long lens would make an ideal package for my occasional wildlife treks. Horses for courses as they say.

Back to the topic at hand, Don, how do you get so close? This weekend I was at a puffin nesting site, a tiny island only about 30 meters off-shore. At that distance 300mm did not give me very usable images, the birds were still far too small in the frame. In this case getting closer was not an option but I find that on land most birds (except segulls, you sometimes have to kick them out of the way:roll just bolt as soon as you try to approach (bluejays are near impossible).

Any hint that will make it easier would be appreciated.

Ira
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 3:58 PM   #15
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ennacac wrote:
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Just wondering, I have used a 5D quite a bit and it's biggest issue is the FF sensor requires very expensive lenses to get a sharp image all the way to the edge. I have never even held a MarkIII so I have no experience with that although many just love it.

As I mentioned before I never went the Canon way because of the images I got with the 5D, although the AF is to die for compared to Pentax. Also being able to limit the zoom range on some Canon glass really helps also, so the lens doesn't have the option of zooming all the way out or in.

Tom
Yes, the AF is a little faster, but I really don't think it's a huge amount from my experience. I had a 30d and the Mark III, and they both were quick. If you use a 5d, you really need L glass. Expensive, but not any more so than the Pentax equivalents I think. Their 300L IS f/4 is in the DA 300's ballpark. Maybe a little more with the built in IS, but you can pick them up used for around $900. I too liked the limited focal length option the 300L had. Made for quicker AF sometimes. But you can use the Pentax focus manually as I do to keep the focus distance to a close n range, and not experience the full focus range search. It takes a little practice, but it isn't that difficult to do. ...Don
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 3:58 PM   #16
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snostorm wrote:
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Hi Don,

Great stuff. I've always found it hard to get any feather detail at all from Waxwing shots, so I'd say these are exceptional. The Starling must have been having a very good feather day -- I don't think I've ever seen one looking that good. The snail is a great image.

Looks like the DA*300 will see some serious time on your K20. . .:-).

Scott
Thanks Scott. Yes, I think it'll be getting lots of workouts chasing the birdies around...Don
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Old Aug 19, 2008, 4:16 PM   #17
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Monza76 wrote:
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For one simple reason, Switching to Canon now would not be economically feasible for me since I have my limit spent in Pentax lenses, and although I would really like the faster focus I am still getting the results I want most of the time.

The other reason is a social one. Canon is such a huge seller that the forums have many Canon owners who are more interested in being seen with the "right" brand of camera than they are in photography. This is only a small group of Canon owners but are often the most vocal (part of that whole image thing) and can sometimes make those forums less pleasant to visit.

One more comment, many people own more than one system, for me that choice would be ideal. A fast focussing Canon (or Olympus E-3 even) with a good long lens would make an ideal package for my occasional wildlife treks. Horses for courses as they say.

Back to the topic at hand, Don, how do you get so close? This weekend I was at a puffin nesting site, a tiny island only about 30 meters off-shore. At that distance 300mm did not give me very usable images, the birds were still far too small in the frame. In this case getting closer was not an option but I find that on land most birds (except segulls, you sometimes have to kick them out of the way:roll: ) just bolt as soon as you try to approach (bluejays are near impossible).

Any hint that will make it easier would be appreciated.

Ira
I agree with your comments Ira. Personally, I really don't care what brand it is. As long as it does the job. I think the Canon Mark III is an excellent camera. Top notch in every respect. But it's heavy and very expensive. Ergonomically, I really like the Pentax. I love the setups you can cater to ones liking. And the IQ is as good as the other current top brands.

How do I get so close? Hmm. Well, the wildlife sanctuary I frequent has trails cut through the bush, and it is also surrounded by Burrard Inlet on 3 sides. This is why we get a lot of shore birds and Ospreys. As far as me being able to get close, I always try to go alone. Nothing worse than having mutliple people about making sudden movements and noise when trying to get close to birds. I also listen very carefully when walking through the sanctuary. You can quite often hear a bird or birds close by, and if I do, I stop walking hopefully they'll migrate close to where I'm standing - let them come to me. It seems to work for me. I also try to be very quiet, even when walking. Once in a while, I'll come upon a bird that doesn't seem to mind me being there. I'll stop immediately, and take a few quick shots. Then I'll try to edge closer very slowly, and take a few more and so on, until it's finally had enough of me and moves on. Sometimes I get lucky, and they sit until I tire of them and I move on - but that is rare. Not much else really to tell. I don't use blinds. The best 3 things I can recommend is being very quiet, and being very wary and observant of what is going on around you. And lastly, you have to be very patient. I've had days when I've been out for a 3 hour trek, and gotten literally zip for sightings - other days, I get a lot. You do need some luck too - being in the right place at the right time..cheers..........Don
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