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Old Dec 25, 2012, 12:11 PM   #1
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Default Merry Christmas from Florida

A couple of cardinals and titmice visited late this Christmas morning. I had to try out my new K-5IIs and the DAL 55-300 lens that I received on Sunday.

My technique with this camera (and lens) needs work, but it is a start. Titmice never seem to stop, but cardinals sometimes will delay long enough to get a more "posed" photograph. Improvements might include removing/replacing the inexpensive UV filter on the lens, and shooting at a lower ISO, these were at 3200.





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Old Dec 25, 2012, 6:53 PM   #2
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Congrats on the new equipment. I love the shot of the last one. He's looking directly at you.

Patty
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Old Dec 25, 2012, 11:45 PM   #3
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Congrats on the new stuff! These look like a good start, I like both titmice.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 6:11 AM   #4
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Thanks, Patty. This titmouse actually flew into the bush right next to me and stared. It was too close to focus the 55-300.

mtngal, I hadn't seen either the titmice or the cardinals in a couple of days, but they returned yesterday to their more normal behavior. I think the titmouse was interested in the new camera and the (used) lens or maybe wanted a portrait shot on Christmas Day!
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Default Nice images

The cardinal image is nicely detailed. I have these visitors at my Florida home, too.
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Old Dec 26, 2012, 1:18 PM   #6
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Hi MacBook,

Nicely done!

The DA-L 55-300 is performing well for you. Pentax did well with this optical design.

I'm jealous of the Tufted Titmouse shots -- they apparently commonly range this far north, but I've never seen one. IMO, they're one of the most photogenic birds with the crest and those big innocent-looking eyes.

With the K-5 and K-5IIs, you can get away with pretty high ISO, even for bird shots where you want a lot of feather detail. There is a point, however where there is diminishing returns and you trade detail lost from camera shake for detail lost because of noise.

I usually have found that with SR, I can pretty reliably handhold to about 2 stops slower than the "rule of thumb" of 1/35mm FL EQ. In this case, it would be 2 stops slower than 1/450, or somewhere between 1/100 and 1/125. I'd risk slower, but with the knowledge that my keeper rate will probably be lower. It's worthwhile to experiment a bit and find what your own limits are.

Every time I get a new camera, I set up a few feathers that I get at a craft store and shoot them at different apertures and in different lighting conditions and try to find the minimum shutter speed that I can handhold reliably with SR, and then the maximum ISO I can shoot and still retain the amount of detail that I want. With a new lens, I also shoot a different apertures to get to know where the "sweet spot" is for the lens.

Congrats on the new camera!!! The K-5 is pretty sweet. . . I've not shot mine much, but I like what I've seen so far.

Scott
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 7:15 AM   #7
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I like the idea of getting some feathers and trying the different apertures and shutter speeds.
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Old Dec 30, 2012, 7:02 PM   #8
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Very fine first shots with the new equipment (and some very good advice from Scott too!)

Our East Tennessee Titmice are definitely photogenic as well as energetic. One behavior pattern that helps - they often choose a favorite perch while waiting their turn at the bird feeder. Once I find that spot, it's easy to pre-focus and just wait for one to land...
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