Birds in flight shots using K-50 and Tamron 70-300mm f4-5.6 lens.


Gedski

Link Posted 20/08/2016 - 11:28
Good morning to you all. I'm really intrigued about the various views of you all as to my best way forward and they are all muchly appreciated. I'm torn between the Pentax 55-300, not the newest one because I don't think it will work on the K-50, and possibly the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 SP AF Di LD (IF) macro lens. I would like to hear from anyone who has, or has had, experience of this lens in particular.

I should also add that any additional 'stuff' for my K-50 is going to be put on the back burner as I'm due to have open heart surgery next month. It sounds worse than I think it really is, I hope! Once I'm over that then I'll be seriously looking at a new, better, lens.

Finally, for this post, I would like anyone who might bethinking of the K-50 for BIF, don't be alarmed as BIF are certainly attainable. If I can manage them then anyone can. Pentax may not be as fast as my Canon 760D but with a little patience and assistance from this site it is possible. Now, I need some decent weather before I go into hospital to get out with the K-50, the 760D is easy, I need practise with my K-50.

McGregNi

Link Posted 20/08/2016 - 11:59
That sounds like a good approach for now, and I wish you well for the surgery .... Ask while you're there if there's anything they can do to boost your reflexes for BIF photography (although it it's NHS they might see that as non-essential ).

I applaud the efforts you're putting in and the results have improved. You clearly want to make this equipment work for you, some might say stubbornly so ! , but there's satisfaction to be gained from that I guess. Again, some might question why to bother when you had, or have still got, an 'easier' alternative system ....

Going back to my earlier post, as a happy owner of the Tamron 70-300 I'm glad to promote its qualities ... And it has delivered to me some of my best recent images ... But it needs careful consideration of the lighting conditions and setting configurations to get it to perform. I have had my best results yet just last week for landscape work (see that link in my earlier post) ... But that was at ISO 100 and F13!!
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 20/08/2016 - 12:11

PeterKR

Link Posted 20/08/2016 - 17:45
AggieDad wrote:
I started a similar discussion on the U.S. PentaxForums as the "hunting" of my 55-300mm drives me nuts when extended and working BIF. You might look here for some thoughts.

I'm finding this a very interesting thread as I've also had great problems with 'action' shots at long focal lengths, both birds and aircraft. The link in the quote poses some very interesting points relating to both lenses and cameras !

My first DSLR was a K-r and to do some bird photograhy I posted a similar question on this forum, i.e which lens to get ? As the unanimous answer was the Pentax DA55-300 that was was what I got. I was very pleased with the general results but extremely frustrated by the way it 'hunted' at around 300mm when looking into the skies (i.i the contrast was low). At shorter zooms and with good light and more contrast the results were extremely good.

Wanting a single 'walk-around' lens covering the full range down to 18mm I did some research and as a result bought the Sigma 18-250.
This may not be quite as sharp as the DA55-300 but the AF is both quick (it is motor driven) and accurate, the sharpness is very good throughout the full zoom range and I've rarely had any 'hunting' problems.

I upgraded to my current K50 and have used both the DA55-300 and the Sigma 18-250 with similar results to those with the K-r. However, I have always wondered if part of the problem might be camera sensitivity rather than lens performance ? The US Forum quoted above has comments comparing results with the K30 with those from a K3. This poses the question of whether the sensor performance (24MP vs 10 or 16MP) has the greater effect on AF under more difficult lighting conditions?

It is usually said the 'better glass is more important than a better camera' but I'm having some doubts ?

What do the experts think ?
And would the new K70 perform as well as a K3 in this respect ?

Peter

Perspicador

Link Posted 20/08/2016 - 21:23
Gedski wrote:
Hello Perspicador, thanks for your comments. I've looked through your gallery and the best shot I saw, by far is the gull against a clear blue sky that you posted on 20/12/15 at 21:21. I would suggest using the settings for this shot every time the weather conditions are similar, for BIF.

The shot of the geese in this post does not appear to be in focus and the gull has something not quite right about it. I'm no-one to criticise anyone's photo's but it seems that we both might have similar problems.

I think that my best advice is for you to go back a bit in my thread and try experimenting with the settings given by the various kind people who have tried to assist me.

Many thanks for your interest and attention. I had the temporary use of 500mm focal length, and so with freak conditons, this is my best effort Maybe this is what you saw ##

Quote:
... the best lack all conviction, while the worst
are full of passionate intensity.
W.B Yeats

dcweather

Link Posted 21/08/2016 - 16:49
johnriley wrote:
Quote:
Could the Pentax 55-300 really be described as 'streets ahead' of the cheap Tamron?

Streets ahead is a vague phrase, but the Pentax lens is definitely better. It's not just slightly better. I have used them side by side and the difference is quite marked.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yes I had/have them both as well. The Tamron was good at macro I must say but I will change my "streets ahead" to a more useful "noticably sharper" at 300mm.
Neil is right of course about budget but if you only have a low amount of money you are a bit limited. I don't want to demean Gedski's pics but I am sure I had much better BIF with the 55-300mm. I will look back and see if I can post some examples.

Gedski

Link Posted 29/08/2016 - 12:07
Good morning all. Hopefully, below, there should appear three of, not my best, pictures, taken earlier this morning.


ISO 800, f5.6, 1/4000, @240mm.




ISO 800, f5.6, 1/4000, @240mm.




ISO 800, f5.6, 1/1600, @ 240mm.

My point of these three not too good shots is the dreaded purple fringing. I reduced from 300mm to 240mm hoping that it would alleviate the problem but it didn't. Is it, again me, or is it one of the things that go with the lens. Finally, how do I get rid of the wretched fringing?

McGregNi

Link Posted 30/08/2016 - 16:16
That is absolutely rampant PF! I've said before, the lens has to be 'worked with', not against .... this type of shot is really 'against' and is wholly unsuited to the lens characteristics.

I get the feeling throughout this that you haven't wanted to hear what I was saying .... that you only wanted to hear what suited ..... (no unkindness, just an honest impression). You also didn't respond to the last four helpful posters, including myself and Peter who offered some new insights.

If you really can't get another lens, then fair enough .... but forget about these types of shots, especially in such light. Take another type of image that suits the lenses strengths .... here's a couple of mine where the lighting is such that the fringing does not occur, and I stopped down a little to F6.7 .... these conditions allow the great strength of the lens to come through, which is very good clarity and sharpness at the long end, even fairly wide open ....










I'm afraid that there is nothing to be done about the PF .... you might be able to reduce the colour but it has destroyed the outline of the subject with a haze. If you want to keep doing BIF in sunlight then you'll have to cough up and get another lens, as advised by the experienced people here. The autofocus performance of the Tamron also I feel will be relatively weak compared to some alternatives.

As has been said near the beginning of this thread, the Tamron AF70-300 is a poor choice for your intended BIF images.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 30/08/2016 - 16:20

Gedski

Link Posted 30/08/2016 - 18:58
McGregNi wrote:
That is absolutely rampant PF! I've said before, the lens has to be 'worked with', not against .... this type of shot is really 'against' and is wholly unsuited to the lens characteristics.

I get the feeling throughout this that you haven't wanted to hear what I was saying .... that you only wanted to hear what suited ..... (no unkindness, just an honest impression). You also didn't respond to the last four helpful posters, including myself and Peter who offered some new insights.

If you really can't get another lens, then fair enough .... but forget about these types of shots, especially in such light. Take another type of image that suits the lenses strengths .... here's a couple of mine where the lighting is such that the fringing does not occur, and I stopped down a little to F6.7 .... these conditions allow the great strength of the lens to come through, which is very good clarity and sharpness at the long end, even fairly wide open ....

McGregN, Please forgive my not responding to the earlier helpful posts. I hadn't realised that I needed to as I have taken note. Also, at the minute, I'm trying to take pictures and then literally have to take quite a bit if time to recover because of my heart condition.

I feel that once I've got this operation over and done with I'll be more able to concentrate on my photography. Muchly thankings.










I'm afraid that there is nothing to be done about the PF .... you might be able to reduce the colour but it has destroyed the outline of the subject with a haze. If you want to keep doing BIF in sunlight then you'll have to cough up and get another lens, as advised by the experienced people here. The autofocus performance of the Tamron also I feel will be relatively weak compared to some alternatives.

As has been said near the beginning of this thread, the Tamron AF70-300 is a poor choice for your intended BIF images.

McGregNi

Link Posted 30/08/2016 - 19:00
.... Oh dear, you're speechless !

Don't mind my forthrightness, it's in a good cause. I just want to help identify aspects of the lenses performance that can be harnessed to get the most out of it.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 30/08/2016 - 19:03

Gedski

Link Posted 31/08/2016 - 11:14
McGregNi wrote:
.... Oh dear, you're speechless !

Don't mind my forthrightness, it's in a good cause. I just want to help identify aspects of the lenses performance that can be harnessed to get the most out of it.

McregNi. Something has gone wrong. I did post a response to your post but it seems to have gone missing. Ooer! If I can recall accurately it went something like this.

As I didn't respond to some earlier posts it would have been because of the following reasons.

1. I I didn't think that I needed to respond as they were informational only.

2. Due to my current health problems, I was probably feeling too tired to do anything. I seem to be permanently very tired of late. If I have caused anyone offence, I apologise profusely.

My last set of shots that appear above were to show that I had used settings suggested by the members of this forum. I'm wondering whether using the lens at 300mm and f5.6 depends upon the quality of light available. I'm trying different settings for each shot, if I remember. I am also finding that after only about ten minutes or so I am very tired and have to pack in. I'm due for open heart surgery in a fortnight, notwithstanding further doctor's strikes so I'm thinking that I maybe best forgetting photography until after that.

I shall make efforts to take some shot and will post accordingly. If I don't, you know why. As always, my grateful thankings for everyone's assistance.

McGregNi

Link Posted 31/08/2016 - 15:56
I'm sure there's no offense caused .... As the original poster I suppose I always try and refer to everyone's points, but its been a long thread, and of course you can be excused with the heart issues (and again I hope that goes well and helps you get back up to full speed with photography again).

Regarding the settings, then generally the fringing will reduce with smaller apertures ... But you don't have that leeway with BIF, and you don't want to go crazy with ISO either. It all adds to the reasons that I'm saying its best to move on from this lens for that type of shot. The lighting quality and angle plays a big part ... My example shots are in soft, side lighting ... That plays to the strengths of the lens.

But its hard to control that aspect when you've got birds darting around in the sky and contrast is often an issue. Whilst you're doing well against so many odds, I believe continuing with the Tamron for this purpose is a wasted effort and ' flogging a dead horse'.
My Guides to the Pentax Digital Camera Flash Lighting System : Download here from the PentaxForums Homepage Article .... link
Pentax K7 with BG-4 Grip / Samyang 14mm f2.8 ED AS IF UMC / DA18-55mm f3.5-5.6 AL WR / SMC A28mm f2.8 / D FA 28-105mm / SMC F35-70 f3.5-4.5 / SMC A50mm f1.7 / Tamron AF70-300mm f4-5.6 Di LD macro / SMC M75-150mm f4.0 / Tamron Adaptall (CT-135) 135mm f2.8 / Asahi Takumar-A 2X tele-converter / Pentax AF-540FGZ (I & II) Flashes / Cactus RF60/X Flashes & V6/V6II Transceiver
Last Edited by McGregNi on 31/08/2016 - 16:00

Gedski

Link Posted 31/08/2016 - 17:14
McGregNi wrote:
I'm sure there's no offense caused .... As the original poster I suppose I always try and refer to everyone's points, but its been a long thread, and of course you can be excused with the heart issues (and again I hope that goes well and helps you get back up to full speed with photography again).

Regarding the settings, then generally the fringing will reduce with smaller apertures ... But you don't have that leeway with BIF, and you don't want to go crazy with ISO either. It all adds to the reasons that I'm saying its best to move on from this lens for that type of shot. The lighting quality and angle plays a big part ... My example shots are in soft, side lighting ... That plays to the strengths of the lens.

But its hard to control that aspect when you've got birds darting around in the sky and contrast is often an issue. Whilst you're doing well against so many odds, I believe continuing with the Tamron for this purpose is a wasted effort and ' flogging a dead horse'.

McGregNi, I've managed to get near to your observations about trying to get rid of PF. I've come to terms with the problem of trying to get the aperture and ISO to work together so as I do not get the dreaded PF.

I'm also coming to the same conclusion as yourself regarding the suitability of the Tamron lens that I have. I shall of course persevere with current 'stuff' until I can manage a better lens. The 'used' f2.8 70-200mm lens that I had designs on has gone. So, back to square one, no worries.

bwlchmawr

Link Posted 01/09/2016 - 07:42
You need to realise you're trying to take the most difficult photographs possible: small fast-moving targets with changing backgrounds. I would imagine that most skilled bird photographers expect a fairly low "hit" rate with even the most exotic equipment i.e. the quickest, most accurate focusing DSLR bodies from Nikon or Canon's professional range, with the longest, brightest (most expensive) lenses. It's a bit like taking my old Skoda Octavia (perfect for everyday duties) to Le Mans and expecting it to compete with specially prepared racing cars. Not an exact analogy, but you get the idea.

Nigel's right: you have to work within the boundaries of what you've got, not try to force it to do things it can't do. I've given up trying to get decent shots at air shows and aircraft are much easier to photograph than birds. If I know I'm going to get good light then my K10 is perfect for landscapes. If I need low light capabilities then it has to be my K5. If lightweight and portability is paramount or I want to blend in rather than looking like a photographer, then my MX-1 or Canon EOS "M" are best.

Of course, if you persevere with the equipment you've got, you'll nail the odd sharp picture in perfect conditions but there'll be a lot of angst and frustration most of the time. I'm not sure that throwing more money at new/better lenses to fit onto an existing body is the answer; if you really want to persist then a change of systems might be the happiest (if most costly) way forward.

I love my Pentax stuff and it suits what I like to photograph very well, but I've never read or watched a review that enthuses about Pentax's autofocusing capabilities when faced with a moving target...
Best wishes,

Andrew

"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference.  All of them can record what you are seeing.  But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
My website: http://www.ephotozine.com/user/bwlchmawr-199050 http://s927.photobucket.com/home/ADC3440/index
https://www.flickr.com/photos/78898196@N05

Gedski

Link Posted 02/09/2016 - 12:24
I'm having difficulty posting as the site keeps showing the busy icon and the not responding message. It has taken me almost ten minutes to type this. What is wrong?

johnriley

Link Posted 02/09/2016 - 12:34
Seems OK from here, maybe it's a local internet glitch?
Best regards, John
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