Advice please


takuman

Link Posted 12/02/2020 - 09:46
Due to advancing years I am now looking for advice. I spend a good amount of time wandering my local river with K3ii with Pentax 300* with Pentax Da 1.4 AF Rear Converter attached, all mounted on Manfrotto monopod. The K3ii is also gripped. This combination is becoming increasingly difficult to hold steady. I have recently seen advertised a shoulder stock advertised that might help, however the reviews are not good in my opinion. Many years ago I saw a "sniper" mount and wondered if any other members have either seen one of these or can offer other ideas for me. I have in the past used the old trick of clasping my right shoulder with me left hand and laying the lens across he crook of my left arm. That worked but is now not possible. Any advice would be much appreciated. Regards to all in anticipation
Just passing thru

davidwozhere

Link Posted 12/02/2020 - 10:28
A shoulder stock would still allow the front of the lens to move in quite a wide arc (relatively speaking) in several planes. I am getting more shaky as the years go by and I have been encouraged by the high ISO results from other people to abandon the traditional "keep the ISO low to avoid grain/noise" mantra. It's astonishing how ingrained that one can be! I am now regularly using 1600, 3200 and even 6400 having realized the cameras (K3ii and K1) will accommodate it. Movement blur is killed outright. Clearly there are limits to this depending on your style, but I would certainly experiment with higher ISOs before shelling out hard cash.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 12/02/2020 - 10:37
The only advise I can think of is to switch to a tripod instead of a monopod, or move to an Olympus or Panasonic camera where (at least in theory) a lens with a slightly shorter focal length will get you the same field of view. Of course, you'll get a smaller sensor with poorer dynamic range and high ISO performance and lose all the nice things that Pentax has to offer.

I just read this morning that the newest Olympus bodies can manage up to seven stops of stabilisation. I'm not sure what Pentax claims but I've never managed to get better than around two from my K-3.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

LennyBloke

Link Posted 12/02/2020 - 10:42
An alternative "compromise" might be to move from the DA*300 to the HD DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM - I don't have personal experience of this lens with the 1.4x but I've read they do perform fairly well in fair lighting. The weight saving is significant, and if you can do without the grip (carry a couple of spare batteries in your pockets) it will be even more.

You may have to move up the iso's a little, but I suspect the K3ii is capable of dealing with that.
LennyBloke

bforbes

Link Posted 12/02/2020 - 13:59
I agree with Jonathan about using high ISO's. I've started using TAv mode and let the camera take care of the ISO. Not been much of a problem so far.

On LennyBloke's comment. I don't have the PLM version of the 55-300, but at one time I did try an older model with the 1.4x. From memory it was a bit hit and miss for focus especially at the long end with the small aperture
Barrie
Too Old To Die Young

http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/barrieforbes

johnriley

Link Posted 12/02/2020 - 17:01
A shoulder stock with a long lens might not be the best choice these days - you might get more attention that you wish for.

I'd go for the tripod option, or alternatively the 55-300mm zoom without the converter would be a lighter option and pretty good quality as well.
Best regards, John

takuman

Link Posted 12/02/2020 - 21:06
Thanks all for advice most of which I take onboard. However, I will never change my Pentax gear, regarding lens I enjoy very much my 300* and would never part with it, I keep on the move when I walk the river so a tripod is not my choice.The 1.4 attached to the 300 is a marriage made in heaven in my eyes. I do tend to use TAv most of the time now and agree totally with David regarding high ISO aka ASI in old money. Thanks once again to you all. Regards John
Just passing thru

johnha

Link Posted 12/02/2020 - 21:18
IIRC there used to be a strap contraption that attached to the top of a monopod and reached the floor. The idea bring you stood in the strap and braced the monopod with it. I have no idea how well it worked.

Edit: Is this the shoulder brace (looks like goes on the monopod);
https://www.wexphotovideo.com/manfrotto-361-shoulder-brace-mn361-11046/

There are various foot attachments available too.
PPG Flickr
Last Edited by johnha on 12/02/2020 - 21:25

derek897

Link Posted 13/02/2020 - 01:41
Live view might help here,
Mono pod, shoulder strap on, and use the shoulder strap / neck strap to steady by pushing away while using live view, might help, worth a try anyway. But I'd lose the grip, its adding weight, and offering very little in return.
Do you sit when out ?
You could rest the lens on your knees if sitting with knees bent,

I found I had to learn to use live view for macro shooting. (Totally unrelated other than live view use) but with extra magnification there was no light coming through the viewfinder, I persevered and find it invaluable now.
Let us know how you get on.
I know what i like, If not always why.

RobL

Link Posted 13/02/2020 - 09:13
A telephoto lens with a tripod foot will balance better on a monopod, like the 150-450mm although of course that is a considerable weight gain. However I have just found that universal lens tripod mounts can be bought quite cheaply, they attach by a collar around your lens so one of those on a monopod would be worth a try - I see this has been discussed for your lens on the other forum. If one isnít available for a perfect fit then maybe a slightly larger one with an adhesive foam strip between could be made to work.

PS the collars on the Pentax 150-450 and 70-200 enable the lens and camera to rotate 90 degrees which makes switching from landscape to portrait a doddle.
Last Edited by RobL on 13/02/2020 - 09:18

Jonathan-Mac

Link Posted 13/02/2020 - 12:20
johnha wrote:
IIRC there used to be a strap contraption that attached to the top of a monopod and reached the floor. The idea bring you stood in the strap and braced the monopod with it. I have no idea how well it worked.

Edit: Is this the shoulder brace (looks like goes on the monopod);
https://www.wexphotovideo.com/manfrotto-361-shoulder-brace-mn361-11046/

There are various foot attachments available too.

I have something similar which I think attaches to a belt, the idea being you pull your camera & lens upwards and that stabilises it. It's absolutely useless. I used it once and then never bothered again. I imagine a monopod provides far more stability.

A bit of googling shows that there are some monopods that have three feet and could possibly provide more stability than a standard monopod. Have a look here:

https://www.better-digital-photo-tips.com/monopod-tripod-combination.html
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3 & K200D, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses

takuman

Link Posted 13/02/2020 - 12:22
Thanks to Robl. I know I have/had a collar to fit the DA* 300, can I find it? No. But a swift call to SRS sorted that. On Order. Thanks again to all, believe my issue is solved I can carry on snapping into the sunset.
Just passing thru

RobL

Link Posted 13/02/2020 - 12:32
takuman wrote:
Thanks to Robl. I know I have/had a collar to fit the DA* 300, can I find it? No. But a swift call to SRS sorted that. On Order. Thanks again to all, believe my issue is solved I can carry on snapping into the sunset.

Great to hear.

davidwozhere

Link Posted 13/02/2020 - 23:47
Lennybloke and Barrie commented above about the PLM with a 1.4TC. I have to confess that combination had never
occurred to me so I took it out on the K3ii this afternoon set at ISO800. The results were very favourable..

at 77mm to give an idea of the range ....



and the same scene at 420mm and f10. Very moderate PP just to brighten it up and slightly cropped in to fill the frame.



This is a bit closer with deliberate bokeh, also at 420mm and f9.5 (it's a spent and dead echinops bloom).



There were several other shots too that were equally pleasing but I think these give an idea of
what a PLM and 1.4TC can do, especially since conditions were dull and miserable.
Both the *istDS and the K5 are incurably addicted to old glass

My page on Photocrowd - link

HarisF1

Link Posted 13/02/2020 - 23:49
These are excellent examples, I'm really impressed with how the sharpness of the PLM is retained through the TC. Can you comment on the handling?
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