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Old Mar 20, 2009, 4:36 PM   #11
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Thank you VERY much, mtngal--you're a real gem and you've really helped me.

I have suspected I still maybe needed to be closer to that kildeer (thanks for correcting my spelling, as I only suspected it was wrong sometime after) and that it could have been still at extreme range. The crop was a 100%, extending about 1-1.5" from each longest end of the bird. I'm just starting in this DSLR foray too, so I'm not familiar with the ins and outs hardly (I got good with adjusting manual controls with my S3 IS, but that clearly doesn't count nor help much when there's a LOT more control over depth of field and far better ISO range with this K200D).

Since it'll probably be a REALLY long time before I can afford a 300 mm prime, I know I could use a teleconverter. Would a 2x help me? I know it doubles the focal length but conversely one has to shoot 2 full f-stops lower to compensate for less light from the teleconverter. If that would help me, what 2x teleconverter do you recommend to match with this DA 55-300mm lens?

I'm getting it packed in a jiffy and sending it out, then. Thanks tons, mtngal!
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Old Mar 20, 2009, 7:00 PM   #12
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I would not recommend a TC, especially a 2X TC, with this lens. The lens is what it is - a consumer, not very fast, not very expensive lens that tends to be soft at 300mm. Adding extra elements to it will make it even softer - the more magnification, the more pronounced the softness is. It's better than a number of other alternatives and the CA and PF are pretty much non-existent with it, a real plus over the Tamron 70-300. I'm not positive that your replacement will be hugely better - but since the store was willing to swap it out, it seemed like a good idea. Your brick walls looked a little underexposed - my K20 has a tendency to underexpose so I keep the camera (for the most part) set to a +.3 Ev. The interesting thing is that the 55-300 seems to underexpose LESS than my other lenses - I have to watch that carefully and if it looks like it's overexposing, adjust the Ev accordingly.

It doesn't look like the decentered lens I have does.

The other thing that you are introducing is raw processing. Does the K200 support raw plus jpg shooting? Try that and compare the output from both. You might not have noticed, but I ended up posting a whole thread about processing photos different ways due to the fact my computer was getting repaired. It was quite illuminating, to say the least.
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Old Mar 21, 2009, 12:48 AM   #13
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I forgot about the extra elements as only once you mentioned that did I remember about reading similar to what you described. Thanks a bunch again, mtngal! :G The one thing I have noticed is that at least with that DA 55-300mm lens, there's not any CA/PF outlines that I've seen yet, like my S3 IS will put around objects at extreme zoom.

One thing I did neglect to mention I'm sure is that 100% crop I did of the kildeer was from the full frame shot at the full resolution (3872 x 2592). The problem with Flickr is that they don't (at least didn't let me) see the full-sized pic I uploaded, so those on Flickr are smaller than the ones I uploaded (I think they changed that to access the full-sized original under a 'pro' subscription?). :?

Yeah, I'm curious to see what the replacement lens will do.

Actually those walls were properly exposed. The brickwork on this house is all different colors in different spots, sadly. The only thing I adjust on those photos was the white balance, since the K200D appears to (just like the DPReview said) miss a bit on the white balance by adding more tint and it lessens the temperature (it was set at 5150-5250). When I switched it to the Daylight default in the Adobe Camera Raw in my CS2, the temperature went to 5500 and then the brick color was spot on (the proper amount of red/copper). HOWEVER, I have noticed the same slight tendency to underexpose although I will change that when loading the RAW file into ACR and then I see if the +.33 or +.5 EV is better. Off the top of my head I'd say I've had 2 out of every 3 cases where I've gone with +.5 EV and it was much closer to what I remembered shooting.

Well, because I tend to overlook an adjustment or two while shooting, I keep it strictly to RAW. I did consider the RAW +JPEG avenue but after I saw all the test shots at DPReview, the JPEGS did show a shocking # of cases where straight lines were slightly jagged and I think the color was a little more off with the JPEG as well. They stated in their review something about the JPEG engine in the K200D doesn't seem to capture everything it should the way it should--and after seeing the comparison shots (RAW vs. JPEG), the JPEG was off. So that's why I've followed their recommendation of RAW + the fact as much as I try, I forget to check some things in spite of all the times I go through the same routine.

Oh, I'm bookmarking this thread at the very least for the unsharp mask sharpening you recommended. I noticed it all and I'll have it for reference as well. :G
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