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Old Oct 14, 2009, 7:02 AM   #1
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Default Some test shots with new lens

As mentioned over at the Pentax Lenses part of the forum, I recently purchased a Pentax 135-600 manual lens. Have had only a little time to learn to use this heavy old lens, and am SLOWLY learning the art of manual focus, the patience of working with slow, heavy equipment, etc. Would appreciate any input on these test samples taken earlier this week.
All were taken at 600mm, and only minimal cropping, PP, etc.

First a view of two very shy birds at our lake - a cormorant and a grebe.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 7:03 AM   #2
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Now some not very shy birds - a Canada Goose and two Mallards.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 7:04 AM   #3
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Here's a hungry little rodent - gray squirrel enjoying the aboundant acorn crop.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 7:05 AM   #4
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And one more - an autumn foliage sample - Virginia Creeper growing up a red oak trunk.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 7:06 AM   #5
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Would certainly appreciate any input on these images, or on using this lens in general. Thanks!!
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 7:49 AM   #6
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Looks like you have a fine copy of that lens. You obviously have quickly mastered the art of using it.

Were these shot hand held or with a tripod? How much does the lens weigh?

Nice shots!

Lou
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 8:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mole View Post
Would certainly appreciate any input on these images, or on using this lens in general. Thanks!!
Mole. I'm a big fan of your photography. And your composition is great in these shots. But since you asked for feedback I see a very noticable drop in image quality compared to your normal shots. Difficult to say whether it's a technique issue or just a lens issue. The goose is a great example - with minimal cropping there isn't much detail there. Of course that's a 1/125. So if you're not using a tripod and simply relying on anti-shake that could explain the issue. And even if you're using a tripod - it better be a sturdy one for 600mm. You're using some very low shutter speeds (1/60). So that could be the factor. Just don't know. It would be easier to say if you had shutter speeds around 1/1000 or so
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 1:26 PM   #8
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I like the squirrel!!
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 3:37 PM   #9
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I'm using a lousy monitor at work, so I can't judge the quality of the pictures. However, since you mentioned manual focusing - I found it much easier to learn manual focusing while shooting macro. It's easier to "see" the focus correctly when you are working with millimeters instead of meters, and I can imagine that it's physically harder to focus such a big lens. I did that and (after some practice) noticed a big improvement with all of my manually focusing lenses.
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Old Oct 14, 2009, 3:41 PM   #10
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Hi mole,

I think that you're getting some very good results with this lens, especially at long distances. I know how skittish PB Grebes are -- they are constantly on the lookout for movement on the shore -- then dive and swim underwater towards the middle of the lake, popping up 20 yards or more away. . . I've chased them around for days, with far more frustration than success. Unfortunately, I usually only have about a week or two window in the spring to shoot these guys locally.

If you're looking for a solution for the PF, I think I can help. It's not a one click solution, since I haven't really found one that works to my satisfaction (most one-click solutions just desaturate the purple to gray, and a noisey gray at that, and there are different shades, so these usually have to be adjusted and repeated), but it's pretty easy nonetheless.

These were done with Paint Shop Pro 9 (I use PSPP X2 for most of my PP since it has more sophisticated and developed tools, but use PSP 9 for quick and easy stuff), but just about any good image editing program should have analogous tools.

First I corrected the overall colors to get the birds looking more natural. I used RGB correction for this I used settings of Red +1, left the Green at 0, and Blue -20. This corrected the colors of the birds themselves, but left a red/magenta tinge to the highlights on the water.

To get rid of this, I used the clone brush in "color" mode at about 40% opacity and 0% hardness, and cloned just the color from the darker areas of the water over the highlights and bird reflections only. Took about a minute each.

I've attached the results.

Scott
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